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Back in 2002, I kept a decent journal of my experience marching with Crossmen for myself and as a gift for each person who helped contribute to me being able to afford to march. I came across it today

August 11, 2002, 2:25pm ET Newark, NJ   I have a few minutes here in Newark Airport so I thought I’d write a little about finals day/night. We woke up for stretch like usual and then ha

  • 3 weeks later...

February 3, 2002,  1:29am ET

Newark, DE
 

The February Crossmen camp is now ⅔ over. Friday night went pretty well as we read down the latest revisions to “Heat of the Day” and began looking at “Supertonic Suite.” (Note - Supertonic Suite was replaced later in the winter.) Rehearsal flew by and things looked to be going pretty smoothly. I even paid my tour fee in order to get the early-bird special. Today’s rehearsal blocks did not go quite as smoothly as last night. It wasn’t necessarily anyone’s fault, though. The rhythms, time signatures, and just general difficulty of the charts require time and patience. We did do a full two-hour marching block this afternoon so it was nice to break up all the playing with some visual time. The last hour of tonight’s rehearsal was spent putting together the opener and first half of “Supertonic” with percussion. Although the task seemed daunting, we got a lot accomplished and should continue that tomorrow. The schedule for tomorrow was pushed up for some administrative things so we will be done at 1pm. I also need to find time to interview Al Chez for Drum Corps Radio, and maybe Jim Coates as well. Today during a trumpet sectional, Drew (staff) introduced everyone in the section and explained about Drum Corps Radio. Some of the members knew exactly what it was and others asked for the information for listening so that was exciting. Now it is time for some rest before the last 3 ½ hours of February camp.

 

February 3, 2002, 4:32pm ET

Newark, DE

 

My third Crossmen camp is now history, but it sure did finish strong. By the end of today’s relatively short 3-hour rehearsal block, the hornline and drumline were able to play through the first two tunes. It didn’t sound half bad either! It felt good to hear the benefits of another weekend of hard work. Brass move-in has not been officially set yet, either May 17 or May 24. I’ve made arrangements for most of my classes already so I can take my final exams early so either way it shouldn’t be a big deal for me. After camp, I got some sound bytes from Al Chez for Drum Corps Radio and he said that I’m doing well with Crossmen. My biggest problem is not using enough air, which probably comes from lack of confidence. Some hard work between now and the March camp should help with that. I’m also going to work on getting into good shape so that I’ll be ahead of the game come spring training. Bones!

 

(Next posting will be March 3.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

March 3, 2002, 1:27am ET

Newark, DE

 

Two days of the March camp are now over. Last night we played through a new arrangement of America/O Canada, a potential replacement ballad, and Strawberry Soup. As for the ballad, the staff is considering a change to better complement our overall program, but nothing has been decided yet. Our closer is faster, higher, and louder than the opener, which is already the most complex piece of music I’ve ever played. We spent a good deal of time working on the closer in sectionals today and we did make some pretty good progress on the chart. We worked hard during a two-hour visual block this afternoon as well. Most of tonight’s ensemble time was spent pulling every last bit of music from tired, sore, and swollen lips for most of the hornline, myself included. We never gave up though, which is great. One side note from actual corps progress. After we were done tonight [name removed] ( a mello player) came up to me to tell me s(he) “hated me” because I have great posture and horn angle and all of that. That comment made me pretty happy especially after having worked on posture for 15-20 minutes during the visual block today, during which I had to be corrected for a problem with my posture. I’d better get some rest to do well during tomorrow’s five hours of rehearsal.

 

March 3, 2002, 5:35pm ET

Newark, DE

 

We worked  hard during today’s rehearsal block, probably harder than any of the previous Sunday rehearsals. We were all playing on pretty weak chops all day, but by halfway through ensemble rehearsal, we had almost nothing left. In addition, quite a few people left camp early for various reasons so we were practicing with a pretty small line. Regardless, we worked hard anyway and were able to run through our entire show as a complete corps - hornline and drumline. The show is really going to be a killer once we get it up to a suitable level. The level of difficulty and the level of excitement are going to turn some heads this summer. There is a lot to be done between now and next camp, but things are looking pretty good.

 

(Next post will be April 6.)

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  • 1 month later...

April 6, 2002, 1:26am ET

Newark, DE

 

Only one more regular camp to go after this one before spring training! This camp started much like the last one with only half the hornline in attendance. We seem to get a lot done at camp, but I can’t help but wonder how much it will pay off with so many people missing all the time. Anyway, tonight we worked on patriotic and YEA! Charts. This was all in preparation for Memorial Brass, which will be the very first public performance of the 2002 Crossmen. Things are really starting to move quickly towards tour now...I was fitted for my Aussie and Dinkles tonight and we are getting move-in and drill supply information either tomorrow or Sunday. I’d better get to bed so I’m rested and ready to work in the morning.

 

(Next post is April 11.)

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April 11, 2002, 7:19pm ET

Newark, DE

 

Last weekend’s camp worked out to be a great success. On Saturday night, the hornline (of which less than ⅔ of the members were present) finally took the step to becoming a great brass section. The staff was extremely happy with the growth of the section this weekend. We ended camp a little early on Sunday because too many people had to leave early for transportation home. Even so, the staff was clearly happy with the work that got done overall, which was great to hear. Next camp, we’ll be outside most of Saturday learning drill to the opener, Heat of the Day. We received our tour guide and information and move-in is less than a month and a half away. Things are really coming together; it should be an exciting summer.

 

(Next post is April 28.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

April 28, 2002, 1:10am ET

Newark, DE

 

Being the last camp before move-in, I felt that there was so much that needed to be accomplished. This camp was also unique because of the promise of learning some drill. Some logistical problems at Newark High School and weather issues greatly limited the drill learning. We did learn a few pages as well as the general show concept. It’s going to be an exciting opening with all the horns starting the show in the tunnels and then running (literally) on to the field. The drill I learned tonight included a set in which I have to jazz run at approximately a 3 to 5. Musical and physical demand is going to be extraordinary. Due to that it seems like we have the opportunity to be an amazing drum corps. There is also the possibility that we won’t be able to master what we are attempting. To this point, the corps has worked hard and we’ve made some major gains in the last two months. We even have a decent turn-out for this camp! Tomorrow morning’s schedule includes a meeting with the administration so we should receive some more details about the summer. Spring training is just around the corner on May 24th. There’s still so much to do before then!

 

(Next post is May 24.)

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