chris7997

Go For Your Dream Or Face Reality and Give it Up?

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Hi Drum Corps Fans, 

Random post here.  "Fun topic for discussion."   

Do I pursue a lifelong dream OR face reality, grieve, and move-on from the loss of the dream involving Drum Corps? 

Who:  Me.  I'm 40.  Drum Corps fan since 10 years old.  Marched only one year as a rookie age out.  Trumpet player. I'm in business now in the "Real World."  Part of the daily grind.    

The Dream:  Becoming a brass tech for an Open Class or World Class corps and conducting a large corps in warm-ups. 

How? Is it too late?  I wasn't a music major.  I'm a good trumpet player, but not a great one.  I don't have any resume at all to speak of other than high school, college marching band, jazz band, and one year in Drum Corps for a Division II drum corps.  It's inspiring, but discouraging, to see the resumes of a brass tech for even the smallest of corps...they usually are music majors with vast experience in drum corps for many years, accolades at school for brass performance. 

I'd have to probably go back to school, get a music degree in trumpet performance, play in several bands...it could be an 8 - 10 year process.  And would any drum corps hire me when they've got a "Whose Who" of musicians waiting in line for those tech positions?? 

Pursue or Grieve and Move-On?  

~Chris 

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how about starting by working with a local hs band? you might find that meets your dream or sends you in a new direction -

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3 minutes ago, chris7997 said:

Hi Drum Corps Fans, 

Random post here.  "Fun topic for discussion."   

Do I pursue a lifelong dream OR face reality, grieve, and move-on from the loss of the dream involving Drum Corps? 

Who:  Me.  I'm 40.  Drum Corps fan since 10 years old.  Marched only one year as a rookie age out.  Trumpet player. I'm in business now in the "Real World."  Part of the daily grind.    

The Dream:  Becoming a brass tech for an Open Class or World Class corps and conducting a large corps in warm-ups. 

How? Is it too late?  I wasn't a music major.  I'm a good trumpet player, but not a great one.  I don't have any resume at all to speak of other than high school, college marching band, jazz band, and one year in Drum Corps for a Division II drum corps.  It's inspiring, but discouraging, to see the resumes of a brass tech for even the smallest of corps...they usually are music majors with vast experience in drum corps for many years, accolades at school for brass performance. 

I'd have to probably go back to school, get a music degree in trumpet performance, play in several bands...it could be an 8 - 10 year process.  And would any drum corps hire me when they've got a "Whose Who" of musicians waiting in line for those tech positions?? 

Pursue or Grieve and Move-On?  

~Chris 

Hi Chris,

Never give up your dream. It may manifest itself differently that you see it now, but it can be there. Just go to Blue Devils home page or Santa Clara Vanguards page and look at the staffs. One woman on SCV's staff is a brass tech and she played soprano a long time ago. Her name is Amy Frost. Both corps have multiple technicians helping them and BD for example has 5 arrangers who at any time could arrange for BD. Then there are the feeder corps. I'm sure if you want to volunteer, someone could use the help. With the size of today's corps and the advanced shows, its almost as if each corps needs more individual help among the members for that extra edge to win. Just my take. Stay with it.

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35 minutes ago, tedrick said:

how about starting by working with a local hs band? you might find that meets your dream or sends you in a new direction -

I like this idea a lot - might answer a lot of questions for you about the role etc and then you can take it from there "more informed"

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Yes, you should face reality and give up now.

Take your creative desires and learn how to sail, or crochet, or fly sailplanes or shoot skeet because music, and most particularly, today's drum and bugle corps, will suck the very life from the marrow of your bones and leave you a heaping carcass in some roadside rest stop; you'll never be able to give enough and every good deed will be met with thanks and expectations for more good deeds.  If you take my advice and bail now, your bank account will thank you, your family will thank you, your time to fish or drive or sail will thank you.  EVERYTHING about your life will be better...

...except your soul.

 

The kids LOVE great teachers - find a way.

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I bet you can find a corps that would let you run through a chord progression and perhaps corps song in exchange for a donation of a certain amount.

Also, the techs probably are not the ones conducting warm up.

Perhaps you should consider volunteering at a high school band? I live in the "real world" as well but I spend a lot of time with a high school marching band (hundreds of hours a season).

Edited by soccerguy315
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There are times when I’ve wondered “what if” in regards to having gone the music education route, especially over the past few years of watching one of my kids go through four years of band. (Somehow I managed to go UNT and march three summers of drum corps and still avoid it.) Once I hit 30, it all came to a head and I pulled a 180 degree career change like you’re talking about— I left my full time job, went back to UNT for more undergrad classes and started applying to professional school. It’s no picnic, but can be done. (I have the crushing student loan debt to prove it.) I still haven’t decided on my third career choice...

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I grew up with my nose in a book. The library was heaven on earth, and when I was in the 4th grade, Watergate and Nixon were not an example of wrong doing, the greatest crime was that I was not allowed to take books out of the upper library. My two favorite places were the library and the band room of St. Joseph’s Band in Medway, MA. You wonder where the expression “band geek” came from, it was someone who described me. So from a young age I decided I would one day write the Great American Novel. I’ve worked on it for years and I am serious about it, but life gets in the way. I assumed nothing would happen until I spoke with a friend who was helping people who were unemployed find new jobs, hopefully their dream job. His advice was for people to find ways they can have their dream job or at least a part of it in whatever they do. My job requires a good amount of writing, so I approach it as a novelist, and surprisingly it motivates me to write more. So find a way to live the dream partially, with the goal of fulfilling the dream. Look for ways to work toward the dream. If it can’t happen with your real world job, there may be other opportunities. 

I agree with George Dixon: take tedrick’s advice. If you subscribe to Flo Marching, watch San Antonio tomorrow. On Sunday watch the DVD “Mr. Holland’s Opus” for inspiration, “Drum Line” to get the adrenaline going, and call your local school district on Monday to see about volunteering. 

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I hadn't touched drum sticks in 15 years.  My daughter made the color guard for her high school band, so now we were band parents.  I started watching the drum line, and talked with the instructor.  The following year I took a week of vacation during the summer and helped with sectional work at drum camp.

The school district here has a program for Lay Community Coaches - and not just for football, but all programs in the high schools that want to have some extra assistance.  There is a sign up, fingerprints and background check.  After that an annual sign off sheet for no new legal actions.

Turns out over time I was given more responsibility, but my main attribute is my availability.  I can be at the high school soon enough after work to provide an 1 1/2 - 2 hours of help on weeknights, and warm the line up for football games, and the October competitions.   

I don't have any arranging duties - that would be too much for me.  I do however, write lots of exercises, and some cadences.  

It is a lot of fun and the kids have soooo much energy.   It also is nowhere near the pressure and crucible that is DCI, nor even Bands of America.

I was actually looking to step aside, but they couldn't find anyone to fill the spot.  College kids are in transit, so year to year consistency is missing.  Graduates are looking for regular teaching gigs.

It gives me a chance to teach/tech without the pressure of having to make a living at it.  I'm going on, I think my ninth year.  I'm an accountant with no music education training, just drum corps and my own school band experience.

Irony - I graduated with an accounting degree from UNT, and I passed by their drum line practicing in the shade as I went to class.

Edited by c mor
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6 hours ago, Rich Cline said:

Hi Chris,

Never give up your dream. It may manifest itself differently that you see it now, but it can be there. Just go to Blue Devils home page or Santa Clara Vanguards page and look at the staffs. One woman on SCV's staff is a brass tech and she played soprano a long time ago. Her name is Amy Frost. Both corps have multiple technicians helping them and BD for example has 5 arrangers who at any time could arrange for BD. Then there are the feeder corps. I'm sure if you want to volunteer, someone could use the help. With the size of today's corps and the advanced shows, its almost as if each corps needs more individual help among the members for that extra edge to win. Just my take. Stay with it.

Those techs are all band directors with music degrees.

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