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Volume 5, Issue 4 July/August 2011 ISSN 1939-6171 ®
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Christine Ngeo Katzman firstname.lastname@example.org (310) 594-0050
Art Director Jana Rade, impact studios
Editorial Assistant Elizabeth Geli
Editorial Interns Jeremy Chen and Lydia Ness
Marketing Intern Jonathan Harrison
COVER PHOTO Ken Martinson/Marching.com
Contributing Writers Lane Armey, Chris Casteel, Jeff Coffin, Haley Greenwald-Gonella, Matt Jones, Chase Sanborn, Megan Spicer
Contributing Photographers Kevin Flynn, Ken Martinson/Marching.com, Frank Posillico
Web Developers Mike McCullen and Jeff Grant Integrated Communications
Advisory Board Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band Tony Fox, University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band Anthony L. White, Los Angeles Unified School District Charles F. Whitaker, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism Peter G. Riherd, Entertainment Weekly Steve Goldberg, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business
Chief Technology Officer Joshua Katzman
Logo Designer Timothy Watters, Teruo Artistry
Subscriptions: Halftime Magazine is published six times per year. In the United States, individual subscription price is $14.95 per year, and group subscription price is now only $1 per student per year with a minimum of 15 copies sent to the same address. Cover price is $4.95. Send subscription orders to: Halftime Magazine P.O. Box 15247 North Hollywood, CA 91615 Halftime Magazine is published by Muse Media, LLC P.O. Box 428738, Cincinnati, OH 45242 Phone: 310-594-0050 Fax: 310-390-5351 Website: www.halftimemag.com Printed by Royle Printing Company in Sun Prairie, Wis. 2
ast month, my 2-year-old daughter broke her leg in a freak accident at an indoor playground. She stopped crying in about 5 minutes, and 30 minutes later was already limping around happily on the doctor’s examining table. I couldn’t keep her down, and the doctors almost didn’t want to cast her. As a parent, I never imagined that my toddler would be in a cast, but sometimes the unimaginable can happen in an instant. That’s what happened on Sunday, May 22 at 5:41 p.m. to the entire city of Joplin, Mo., when a deadly tornado killed at least 156 people and damaged more than 8,000 buildings. Just an hour earlier, 450 high school seniors graduated from Joplin High School; then, the building they had known in the prime of their teenage years was blown apart. In the district, seven students and a staff member died. Rescue workers arrived quickly and in the thousands to help survivors pick up the pieces. For Joplin students, school will begin on Aug. 17, but it won’t be as usual. Ten out of 18 district buildings suffered damage, and 62 percent of the entire student population is displaced. The music program itself needs $3.7 million to replace all of its instruments, sheet music and equipment. Thankfully, the program has already received hundreds of thousands of dollars in product and cash donations. We want to do our part to help the Joplin Eagle Pride Marching Band soar high again and will be collecting and donating money toward student band fees. At $85 for each of the 139 members, the total need is $11,815. Please consider joining us to pledge $85
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to sponsor a Joplin student. However, even smaller amounts add up quickly. Write your check to Joplin Band Boosters and send it to: Joplin Band Fee Fund c/o Halftime Magazine P.O. Box 428738 Cincinnati, OH 45242 100% of your donation will be given to the Joplin Band and is completely tax-deductible. Before you even read this letter, my daughter will already have gotten her cast off, and her leg will be as good as new. The town of Joplin will eventually get better as well. According to Rick Castor, director of instrumental music for the school district and the high school band director, “the wind can’t stop the music.” Let’s help make that statement a reality. Musically Yours, Christine Ngeo Katzman Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
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Features Nothing Stops Joplin. . . . . . . . . . . 14 In Joplin, Mo., a tornado may have destroyed the city, but it did not kill the human spirit, especially not for the 139 members and staff of the Eagle Pride Band. By Christine Ngeo Katzman
DCI Tour of Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Shows featuring only the top eight groups. An experimental entertainment score sheet. Finals open to all. And a street parade. These are just some of the changes happening with Drum Corps International’s 2011 tour. Get the skinny about why these changes were made and what corps members and fans think about them. By Elizabeth Geli
A sharp drop-off in marching band participation occurs between high school and college. For those that do make the leap, college band proves to be extremely rewarding. By Jeremy Chen
Departments Publisher’s Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Noteworthy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Cake Contest: “The Federal Funding March”; YEA! and DCI Win Big; “DRUMLine Live” Alums in Disneyland Parade; DCI, DCA Form Marketing Agreement; Guest Performers on “American Idol”; Marching Roundtable Educates Directors
Photo courtesy of the Joplin (Mo.) High School Eagle Pride Band.
Graduating From High School to College.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Need more marching band Sectionals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 material? Read online-only articles at Making Magic; Breathing Exercises; Start Fresh; In 10 Seconds
Gear Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 BCE Apparel; Adams Endurance Field Frame Percussion Rack System; Pneumo Pro Wind Director
Regionals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Calendar of events organized by region
Direct From. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps
Behind the Baton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Growing Up
Fitness to the Max. . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 From the Neck Up
For Fun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 DCI Events of 2011
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Back to School • DCI Winners • Hosting a Field Competition • Protect Your Equipment On and Off the Road • And More ...
By Elizabeth Geli
YEA! and DCI Win BIG
Cake Contest: “The Federal Funding March” Do you want your marching band to play a song by a multi-platinum rock band? Well, it’s as easy as pie … or Cake, that is. The U.S. Scholastic Band Association (USSBA) and popular music group Cake have partnered for a new contest, “The Federal Funding March,” for high school and college bands across the country. “With all the brass, the album track for ‘Federal Funding’ already sounded like it was a great arrangement for a marching band,” said Vincent DiFiore, Cake’s trumpet player, in a press release. “It is our hope that band directors everywhere will find this arrangement appealing for its rhythmic groove, melodic sensibility and thematic timeliness.” Cake has released the sheet music and marching band arrangements for the song “Federal Funding” off its last album, “Showroom of Compassion.” Marching bands are invited to tweak the arrangements, add drill and visual effects, and record a video of their performances. The best entries will be voted on by the public, and the winning band will appear in a music video with Cake. “Band directors, arrangers and students can log in to download the music on their own for free; they can take those arrangements and work on them however they want,” says Sean King, director of marketing for Youth Education in the Arts, parent group of USSBA. “They can create drill for a halftime show, pep bands, competitive, non-competitive; it doesn’t really matter. The band is being really cool in allowing arrangements to be changed; they’re encouraging creativity at any step of the way.” DiFiore wrote an op-ed piece for CNN.com about the contest and the importance of marching bands in schools. “Our drummer, Paulo Baldi, lived in three states as a teenager while attending four different high schools,” DiFiore wrote. “Joining the marching band in each unfamiliar place helped to connect his high school experience. He made friends through each transition, and it made comfortable what could have otherwise been an alienating experience.” USSBA will begin accepting video submissions in September. Cake and USSBA will choose nine finalists—the 10th will be an at-large fan favorite vote—to be announced at USSBA National Championships on Nov. 11. Then fans will choose the winner, to be announced in January. Download the music and get more details at www.yea.org/cake. 6
Drum corps and music education supporters have leveraged their social media prowess to win $860,000 for different organizations through J.P. Morgan Chase’s Community Giving Project on Facebook. The online contest invites not-for-profit organizations to submit their “Big Ideas,” and then Facebook members vote for their favorites. Youth Education in the Arts (parent organization of The Cadets and the U.S. Scholastic Band Association) earned the most—$225,000. Its “Big Idea” involved the creation of March 4 Music, a series of benefit charity walks and rallies to raise money for the benefit of high school music programs. “We’re really proud and thankful to The Cadets, our office staff, volunteers and alumni,” says George Hopkins, CEO of YEA!. “We had tons of people that worked many hours on the phone, on Facebook and sending emails to get people interested.” Also a finalist, Drum Corps International (DCI) won $125,000. The Blue Devils, the Glassmen and Santa Clara Vanguard won $45,000 each while WGI Sport of the Arts, Music for All and MENC: The National Association for Music Education each earned $25,000. “The effort that went into this was extraordinary, quite a payoff for the activity without question,” says Dan Acheson, CEO of DCI. “We are incredibly grateful to all those engaged in what we do to help make those kinds of things happen.” This is the third time that Chase has sponsored this contest, which was open only to organizations with operating budgets of $1 to $10 million. The grand-prize winner, ieladeinu, received $525,000 to advance its efforts to rescue at-risk children in Argentina. An earlier edition of the Chase giveaway in July 2010 awarded $20,000 to 10 other corps: Alliance, an all-age group, Bluecoats, Blue Stars, Boston Crusaders, Jersey Surf, Madison Scouts, Music City Legend, Pacific Crest, Spirit of Atlanta and Troopers. In January 2010, the Cavaliers, the Colts, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment each received $25,000.
Guest Performers on “American Idol”
Photo by Kevin Flynn
“DRUMLine Live”Alums in Disneyland Parade
Disneyland Park has a new musical entertainment offering, Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, led by drumming group Percussion Kings. “I’m loving it; it’s a different experience; I never thought I’d be working with or for Disney,” says Pop Price, leader of Percussion Kings, former performer in the “DRUMLine Live” stage show and drumming double for Nick Cannon in the 2002 film “Drumline.” “Everyday that we go out, it’s more smiles and more cheers and more laughing. They’re rooting us on, and they love it, and we’re excited that they love it.” Percussion Kings is a group of former “DRUMLine Live” performers that got together between the first and second tours. Many are Historically Black College and University marching band alums. One of “DRUMline Live’s” directors works for Disney Parks and Resorts and helped the Kings get the gig leading the parade. The snare drum line marches in front of Mickey’s float, where the mouse himself plays along on a full Yamaha drum set. But this collaboration almost didn’t happen for the Kings, who were formerly based in Florida and Atlanta, and finished up with “DRUMLine Live” in March. “It was almost a train wreck; we had less than a month to get out here,” Price says. “We had to find places to stay, see how we would get here, who was going to come. I came out here with a suitcase, a bag and one suit.” The six performers rehearsed and choreographed their trick stick routines and choreography with the Disneyland entertainment department for a month, with the parade’s premiere in late May. Price hopes that someday Percussion Kings could have their own featured show in a Disney park, cruise ship, or a touring theatrical production like “DRUMLine Live”—but for now is just enjoying the ride. “It’s the experience of a lifetime; we’re elated to have this opportunity,” Price says. “Look forward to someday seeing Percussion Kings in a city near you.”
A group of Southern California drummers became honorary American Idols, performing with singer Taio Cruz during the show’s season finale on May 24, 2001. Tama snare drums were rigged with clear Remo drumheads and radio-controlled color lights on the top and bottom of the drums. Performers wore jumpsuits with lights sewn on and used Lite Stix LED Drumsticks from Vic Firth. “It’s the first time I’ve been a part of a gig or a show where we had lasers, smoke, movement and the LED lights inside of the drums and on the drum sticks,” says Dan Wahl, one of the featured performers. “Everyone I talked to was blown away by how great it looked. We took that level of percussion entertainment to a new level.” Cruz, best known for last summer’s party anthem “Dynamite,” debuted a new song, “Positive,” with lyrics written by American Idol fans in an online contest. Although his microphone cut out during the performance, the drummers continued their complex choreography, unfazed. “We all kind of heard that sound cut out, but we had been so focused, and everything was blocked perfectly, so we couldn’t fail,” Wahl says. “It’s typical in drum corps, so we learned all the counts and movements, and it was kind of failsafe.” Most of the 12 drummers, handpicked by Drum Corps International Hall of Famer and Tama Drums consultant Tom Float, have marched with Riverside Community College (RCC) or top drum corps such as The Blue Devils (BD) and Santa Clara Vanguard.
Wahl, a performer at the Disneyland Resort, is a BD alum and has taught at RCC and Pacific Crest. Although he has performed for TV and films before, he cites this Idol performance as one of his favorites. “We got to interact a lot with Taio; he was very easy to work with,” Wahl says. “We also got to spend a lot of time with David Cook and his band, and when we were backstage we ran into Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez; it was cool.”
July/August 2011 7
NAMM SchoolJam USA Some of the nation’s top teen bands include marching band students. NAMM’s SchoolJam USA competition rewards the best teen music group along with their school’s music program. “NAMM believes that kids who study music in school do better in school and in life,” says Scott Robertson, NAMM’s director of marketing and communications. Starting in August, bands submitted their songs online, and 48 bands moved onto the semi-finals stage, with 10 advancing to finals. Finalists performed during the NAMM show in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 15 and were judged by a guest panel including Stan Freese, talent and booking director with Disney. The winner received a trip to Germany for the SchoolJam festival, $1,000 in cash and $5,000 for the school music program. Some of the finalist groups include students that also participate in their school’s marching band. “Marching band and being in a concert or school band, you read music and learn skills you can bring into other music that you play,” says Brennon Trant, lead vocalist and drummer for the rock band Uprising from Raceland, La., and a trombone player in Central Lafourche High School Band. Ska group Orpheus trumpet player Adam Fulwiler. “[Marching band] helped me by teaching me how to play as a team and not by yourself,” says Fulwiler, who marches at West De Pere (Wis.) High School. “You learn how to keep time and internalize the music and the beat.” Although there are no marching groups in the final stages of the competition, Robertson encourages them to try out in the future. “While most of the bands are in the rock genre, the competition is about music making of all forms,” Robertson says. “Actually one good way to differentiate from a field of similar competitors would be to do something entirely different.”
Ultimate Music Room Makeover Band director Doug Brown and his students at William Campbell Combined School in Naruna, Va., received the “Ultimate Music Room Makeover,” thanks to an essay contest sponsored by In Tune Monthly magazine and MENC: The National Association for Music Education. “It was amazing; I never really believed it was true until the prizes started coming in,” Brown says. Brown submitted an essay about how outsourcing had negatively impacted the former factory community and left many local families struggling. He also included some writing from students about what winning the contest would mean to them. “The kids already feel a sense of accomplishment on winning the essay,” Brown says. “It changes the way they play because they have a lot more confidence. We also have more quality instruments in the band room, so it helps the overall sound, and it gives a sense of accomplishment and sense of worth for the band program.” The “Pride of the Southside” band received $40,000 in musical instruments, software, recording equipment and performance gear from contest sponsors Buffet Crampon, Notion, Pearl, Peavey, Pro-Mark, PRS, Roland, Shure, Woodwind & Brasswind, Yamaha and Zildjian. “Getting those instruments in the students’ hands is like Christmas morning,” Brown says. “We all remember the first time we got our first really nice instrument, and when you get to give that to someone else, it’s just great.”
DCI, DCA Form Marketing Agreement By Christine Ngeo Katzman In a historic agreement, Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) have decided to collaborate on certain sales and marketing efforts. “We’re identifying areas in which we can take advantage of the synergy that already exists naturally,” says Bob Jacobs, director of marketing for DCI. The agreement emerged out of the fact that DCA—an all-age organization—will be moving its championships event starting in 2012 from Rochester, N.Y. to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., a location familiar to DCI. “DCA wanted to make it easier for customers to buy tickets and pick their seats,” Jacobs says. “So DCI produced a proposal on how they would go about helping DCA with championships tickets.” But the two groups are also brainstorming other opportunities such as cross-promotion of events, ticket packages, joint merchandising and video production. “We have had a very good rapport in helping each other in a very friend-to-friend sort of way,” Jacobs says. “With the challenges of not just drum corps but everyone in the arts [facing] declining attendance, … it’s time for us—before we have no audience left— to get together and look at this thing more holistically.” Previously, the two groups had informal arrangements that allowed all-age groups to perform at DCI events. While DCI hosts more than 100 events each summer, DCA typically organizes 20 to 25. “We’re looking forward to a two-way exchange of information and practices as we come together to offer the drum corps community ... increased levels of service,” said Gil Silva, president of DCA, in a press release. So, with these new collaborations, is a merger or acquisition in the works? “It would be premature to say that it would never be more formalized,” Jacobs says. “For now, [we’re taking] a look at how we could make each other stronger. There’s no directive, no plan, no agenda to flesh out any kind of merger plan, not by a long shot. DCI and DCA will remain autonomous for the foreseeable future.”
Marching Roundtable Educates A new multimedia resource for current and future marching band directors is now available online. Marching Roundtable is a collection of podcasts, videos, academic resources and discussion aimed at “the adults” of the marching world. “It occurred to me that, though we have so much energy in this activity, we don’t have a lot of academic reinforcement for it,” says Dr. Joe Allison, director of bands and graduate conducting activities at Eastern Kentucky University. “Many schools don’t even have a required marching band component in the music education degree. We want to solidify a curriculum, share knowledge and create a repository of information. We’ve had an amazing response. What I’m the most proud of is that we’re getting questions and comments from college students and young band directors.” Allison, also a DCI adjudicator, hosts Marching Roundtable with composers/arrangers Tim Hinton and John Bogenschutz as well as color guard adjudicator Mary White. “One of my big crusades about this is that no one understands much about judging or judges,” Allison says. “There’s so much misinformation or lack of information. It’s one of our goals to help people understand what we do and who we are.” Visit Marching Roundtable at www.marchingroundtable.com.
Making Magic By Jeff Coffin
When I was young and heard saxophone players like Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderley, Johnny Griffin, Joe Henderson and Michael Brecker, I was astonished at their fluidity and range of technique. It sounded like magic. I wanted to have that same quickness and liquidity to my playing, but I didn’t know how to get there. In college, when I finally learned how to practice, going slowly and consistently was my method of choice. Mastering Fundamentals. Fundamentals are the building blocks of musicianship, and technique is a byproduct of working on fundamentals. Scales and arpeggios make up the backbone of harmony, which is an essential area of study. I encourage students to practice slowly and consistently using a metronome because your brain remembers everything you put into it. Recalling these things can sometimes be difficult, however. If you play a scale or arpeggio incorrectly three out of five times, when it comes time to recall the information, your brain wonders, “Which one do you want?” By practicing slowly and consistently, you literally set up pathways in your brain that are like paths on a hiking trail; it’s easy to get through once the groove is there. It’s called muscle memory. Brushing your teeth or tying your shoelaces was a challenge when you were first learning; now, you’re a master! Building Technique. In regards to working on a solo piece, etude, school band music, etc., it’s important to apply the same concept of practicing slowly and consistently. Isolate your problem areas; slow down the tempo, so you can play consistently correct, then work your way back up. You can also sing the rhythms out loud, then put the notes in. If you practice slowly and consistently, your technique will dramatically increase, and you and others will be amazed at how quickly you improve. I read somewhere once that “through repetition comes magic,” … so, OK, maybe there is a little magic in there somewhere too. See if you can find it.
About the Author Jeff Coffin is the three-time Grammy Award winning saxophonist of Dave Mathews Band and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. In addition, Jeff leads the Mu’tet. As a clinician, Jeff has presented worldwide in places from Farmington, Maine, to Perth, Australia. He is a Yamaha and Vandoren Performing Artist. Jeff recently released two new CDs: “‘Duet’ by Jeff Coffin & Jeff Sipe”(check iTunes and stores) and “Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet—LIVE!” (at www.earuprecords.com). Visit Jeff’s website at www.jeffcoffin.com.
Leading instructors provide practical tips for each section of the band.
Breathing Exercises By Chase Sanborn We all know how to breathe; it’s the very first and last things we do! Advanced control of the air is the single most crucial element of high-level brass performance. Here are a few exercises to help you enhance an ability you were born with.
1. To Experience a Full Breath
With your feet spread apart, bend over at the waist and hang your arms down in front of you. While inhaling, slowly straighten up and bring your hands over your head. Your shoulders should be back, and your chest up. Slowly exhale while returning to the starting position.
2. To Expand Your Air Capacity
Take a full breath and hold. Bend slightly to the left and then to the right; each time sniff in a little more air. Exhale. Repeat, but bend forward and backward this time. Eventually combine into one continuous breath, bending in each direction to find a little more space to put air. You may feel a slight ache in normally unused breathing muscles. This makes you aware of additional muscles that can be developed.
3. To Further Expand Your Air Capacity
While walking, breathe in for five steps, hold for five steps and breathe out for five steps. Pace your exhalation and inhalation to completely fill and empty your lungs during the five steps. Gradually increase the number of steps.
4. To Focus Your Air Column
Form a large ‘C’ with your hand. Hold it out about 12 inches from your formed embouchure. Shape and direct your air column to send the air through the opening without hitting your hand.
5. Blowing Exercise With No Resistance
Tape a piece of paper hanging down from the bottom of a music stand. From a couple of feet away, try to bend it back with your breath and hold it there. Try blowing through the ‘C’ formation as in exercise 4, using your hand to direct the airstream.
6. Blowing Exercise With Resistance
Blow through a small straw. Strive to increase the duration of your exhalation.
About the Author Chase Sanborn is a jazz trumpet player based in Toronto. He is on the faculty at the University of Toronto and is the author of “Brass Tactics,” “Jazz Tactics,” “Tuning Tactics” and “Music Business Tactics.” Chase is a Yamaha Artist. Visit his website at www.chasesanborn.com.
By Lane Armey
Can you believe it’s time for another fall marching band season? Before band camp comes upon you, catch that last drum corps show, keep getting in physical shape and squeeze in a few more hours fixing your left-hand technique. Then, keep the following thoughts in mind starting with the very first rehearsal. Develop Camaraderie. The first job you have with your drum line or front ensemble this season is to make sure you and your friends have a great time. That’s why we all got started in this activity to begin with! And the more you like each other, the easier it will be to get through those hot August rehearsals and band camp. So make sure you spend time getting to know all the new students and including them in your activities. There is definitely a strong correlation between how close you are as a group and how well you will perform later in the season. Having your friends rely on you for shared success is a powerful motivator. Build the Basics. Now that you’re working together, make sure you’re working smart. As the season starts off, it is critical to build a foundation of skills and rudiments that can be applied to your music in October and November. That means: Focus on rep after rep after rep of exercises to build your strength and to build your ears. Whether your drum line plays paradiddles or book reports, learn to play them really well now; come late season, you are less likely to see the “water hose” come out. Work Toward a Goal. It’s also important during the early stages of a marching season to ensure you are working to achieve shared goals. Setting objectives will help keep everyone focused and building throughout the season. Perhaps your goal is to play a new cadence in your homecoming parade or to simply be the best you can be at a Bands of America regional. But stay away from competitive goals and focus on those things you can control. Set yourself up for success now, and the end of the season will be that much sweeter.
About the Author Lane Armey is the battery percussion coordinator for Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. During the past 10 years, he has worked with various groups including Northwestern University and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.
In 10 Seconds By Chris Casteel
“The most important part of any act is the first 10 seconds and the last 10 seconds … what happens in between isn’t that important.” When I first stumbled upon this quote by Broadway producer and performer George M. Cohen, I thought it seemed a bit extreme. Placed in the context of a halftime performance, it seems to discount the large majority of the show. However, after thinking about it a bit more, I realized that it does hold an important message for performers. The First 10. First impressions count. In the first 10 seconds, the audience is quickly forming an opinion about your guard’s identity. Performers must own their identity, bring the show to life and engage the audience. Take the first 10 seconds to introduce yourself to the audience. Set the mood, tone and establish eye contact. Yes, even in a venue as large as a football stadium, eye contact still reigns supreme in winning over your audience and creating a memorable first impression. Don’t miss the boat because you were trying to acclimate or get used to being on the field. If your audience is not immediately engaged and drawn into your show, you risk losing them, as people’s attention will wander to other thoughts or the happenings around them. The Last 10. Last impressions count. However, positive and memorable last impressions are much harder to make than first impressions. At this point, audience members are feeling much more in touch with your performance, and their expectations have been set. In addition, in the ending moments, fatigue may be working against you. Nonetheless, you need to push harder than ever to make the last and final moment of your show powerful and engaging for your audience. A poor last impression can nullify a good first impression. A good last impression can greatly enhance a good first impression. And finally, the last few moments of your show is what the audience will remember and take with them. It is what will inspire them to talk about your show with others.
About the Author Chris Casteel has been involved in the color guard activity since 1981 as a performer and an instructor. She has a master’s degree in education. She has instructed several medaling guards for the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC). Currently, Chris is an adjudicator for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association and the WGASC as well as a guest adjudicator for many other circuits. She also holds the position of education coordinator for the WGASC.
July/August 2011 11
Pneumo Pro Wind Director
Adams Endurance Field Frame Percussion Rack System
By Elizabeth Geli
Check out the following cool products before your next practice, show or competition.
on almost all the company’s available products, including T-shirts, hoodies and polo shirts. “All the inspiration for the designs are centered around greatness, things of the world that represent greatness and leadership,” Nelldell says. “That drum major logo is our Polo horse, if you will. A drum major is a leader; leaders achieve greatness.” Although not a marching band alum himself, Nelldell played trumpet in middle school. “Learning music when I was an adolescent really saved my life,” he says. “I didn’t grow up in the best community, and that was what I had to look forward to. After that I went into sports, but my love and respect for
music and what it did for my life never went away.” Nelldell hopes that the marching community as well as others inspired by the company’s creed—“Pride, Style, Swagger”—will embrace the clothing line. “The plan is to make and create a complete brand of fashion that musicians and those with the current or former band affiliation can identify with in the fashion world,” Nelldell says. “But it doesn’t close the brand off to those who aren’t musicians. There’s a vast world of people that wake up every day to strive for excellence in their lives.” For information or to order clothing, visit www.bceapparel.com.
eed a little extra support in your percussion section? Adams Percussion recently released the Endurance Field Frame Percussion Rack System (FFRS) to hold up your drums, cymbals and other percussion accessories. The durable steel tubes and extra large locking Adams Field Wheels give this rack the ability to navigate safely on uneven outdoor surfaces or quickly through an indoor setting. The sides of the rack feature the Adams Voyager Height Adjustment System, which allows easy adjustment for players of any height. The square
accessory bar is slip-free and does not allow clamps to creep or rotate. The highly customizable Adams FFRS is compatible with distributor Pearl’s ICON rack system accessories and clamps and offers a variety of crossbar lengths and extension arms. It can be built to work as a percussion rig, multi-percussion setup or as a mobile synthesizer or speaker cart. A variety of clamps and holders for snares, cymbals and bells as well as trap tray for your mallets and small accessories are also available. This summer, Adams also released a new line of protective custom case bags for
marimba, xylophones and vibraphones. For more information, visit the Adams section in the products dropdown menu of www.pearldrum.com.
they learn how to direct the air column to the right place and at the right speed. “Most flute players that are in junior high or high school have a slightly airy tone,” says Kathy Blocki, inventor of the Pneumo Pro and flute teacher/clinician. “It’s because they’re taught to blow like a pop bottle. If you blow the same way on the flute, you get this airy tone, and they don’t realize that to get a really good sound you need to get that air column down, way down.” Because blowing into the Pneumo Pro has no resistance, it takes twice as much air than just playing the
flute—making it great for building endurance and breath support. An added benefit is that flute players can play on the Pneumo Pro during rehearsal when the director is working with another section, allowing them to practice breathing and fingering without making a sound. Even advanced students can benefit by using it to practice double/triple tonguing and multiphonics. Professional flute player James Galway even uses it in his master classes, according to Blocki. Visit www.blockiflute.com for more information.
CE Apparel, a new fashion line for the “bold, confident and excellent,” features a drum major icon on its clothing, in hopes of “fashionably inspiring people to achieve greatness.” Owner and founder CJ Nelldell sees the drum major as a symbol of greatness and leadership. The logo is featured
elieve it or not, playing the flute takes more air than even a tuba, and a product called the Pneumo Pro Wind Director has flute players using all that air more effectively. The Pneumo Pro looks similar to a flute head joint but has a series of small fans attached. By teaching students to aim at the correct fan,
Major Events by Region West Drum Corps International July 10—Pleasant Hill, CA—Loudest Show on Earth July 16—Ontario, CA—So-Cal Classic July 17—Bellflower, CA—So-Cal Classic Open Class Championship
Midwest Drum Corps International July 10—Dubuque, IA—Music on the March July 10—Omaha, NE—Drums Across Nebraska July 11—Davenport, IA—Rhythms Along the River July 12—Waukee, IA—Celebration in Brass July 12—Metamora, IL—River City Rhapsody Metamora July 13—Sioux Falls, SD—Sioux Empire Spectacular July 13—Paddock Lake, WI July 15—La Crosse, WI—River City Rhapsody La Crosse July 16—Minneapolis, MN—DCI Minnesota July 17—Rockford, IL—Show of Shows, a Tour of Champions Series event July 17—Kansas City, MO—Brass Impact July 18—Lebanon, IL—DCI St. Louis July 19—Wichita, KS—Drums Across Kansas July 20—Broken Arrow, OK—Drums of Summer July 28—Madison, IN July 30—Paw Paw, MI—Drum Corps in the Village July 30—DeKalb, IL July 31—Battle Creek, MI—Legends Drum Corps Preview Aug 1—Rice Lake, WI—Rhythm Across Rice Lake Aug 2—Dayton, OH—The Dayton Summer Classic Aug 3—Spring Valley, IL Aug 5—Greendale, WI—Music on the March Aug 6—Dubuque, IA—Music on the March 2 Aug 8—Michigan City, IN—DCI World Championships Open Class Prelims Aug 9—Massillon, OH—Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Drum Corps Competition Aug 9—Michigan City, IN—DCI World Championships Open Class Championship Finals Aug 10—Indianapolis, IN—DCI World Championships Kickoff Party and Hall of Fame Induction Aug 11—Indianapolis, IN—DCI World Championships Prelims Aug 12—Indianapolis, IN—DCI World Championships Semifinals
Aug 13—Indianapolis, IN—DCI World Championships Open Class Individual and Ensemble Championship Aug 13—Indianapolis, IN—DCI World Championships Finals
U.S. Scholastic Band Association Sep 24—Jerome, ID—Jerome HS (Silver)
Miscellaneous Aug 5—Indianapolis, IN—Indiana State Fair Marsh Band Day Competition Sep 17—Waseca, MN—Waseca Marching Classic Sep 24—Luverne, MN—Tri-State Band Festival
Northeast Drum Corps International July 16—Manchester, NH—Fiesta de Musica July 17—Malden, MA Aug 3—West Chester, PA—Drum Corps: An American Tradition Aug 4—Lawrence, MA—East Coast Classic Aug 4—Johnsonburg, PA—A Blast in the Burg Aug 4—Rome, NY—Drums Along the Mohawk Aug 5-6—Allentown, PA—DCI Eastern Classic Aug 6-7—Erie, PA—Lake Eerie Fanfare Aug 7—East Rutherford, NJ—Tour of Champions Grand Finale
Bands of America Sep 24—North Huntingdon, PA—Norwin HS Stadium
U.S. Scholastic Band Association Sep 10—Collegeville, PA—Perkiomen Valley HS (Silver) Sep 10—Danbury, CT—Danbury HS (Silver) Sep 17—Brick, NJ—Brick Township HS (Gold) Sep 17—Hammonton, NJ—Hammontown HS (Gold) Sep 17—Norwalk, CT—Brien McMahon HS (Gold) Sep 17—Scotch Plains, NJ—Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS (Silver) Sep 17—Woodstown, NJ—Woodstown HS (Silver) Sep 17—Souderton, PA—Souderton HS (Silver) Sep 24—Burlington, NJ—Burlington City HS (Gold) Sep 24—Pompton Plains, NJ—Pequannock Township HS (Gold) Sep 24—Piscataway, NJ—Piscataway HS (Gold) Sep 24—Toms River, NJ—Toms River HS East (Gold)
Sep 24—Lansdale, PA—North Penn HS (Gold) Sep 24—Camp Hill, PA—Red Land HS (Gold) Sep 24—Rocky Hill, CT—Rocky Hill HS (Gold) Sep 24—Flemington, NJ—Hunterdon Central HS (Silver) Sep 24—Linwood, NJ—Mainland Regional HS (Silver) Sep 24—Tabernacle, NJ—Seneca HS (Day) (Silver) Sep 24—Belllingham, MA—Blackstone-Millville HS (Silver) Sep 24—Hicksville, NY—Hicksville HS (Silver)
South Drum Corps International July 19—Van Buren, AR—Battle on the Border VIII July 21—Denton, TX—DCI North Dallas presented by Red River Thunder July 22—Odessa, TX—DCI West Texas presented by Thunder in the Desert July 22—Houston, TX—DCI Houston presented by THE exSIGHTment of SOUND, a Tour of Champions Series event July 23—San Antonio, TX—DCI Southwestern Championship at the Alamodome July 24—San Antonio, TX—DCI World Class Individual and Ensemble Championship July 25—Lafayette, LA—Drums Across Cajun Field July 25—Dallas, TX—DCI Dallas presented by North Texas Festival of Drums and Bugles July 26—Edmond, OK—DCI Central Oklahoma July 26—Ocean Springs, MS—Mississippi Sound Spectacular July 27—Hattiesburg, MS—DCI Southern Mississippi July 27—Little Rock, AR—DCI Arkansas July 28—Gadsden, AL—DCI Gadsden presented by Alabama Battle of the Brass July 29—Murfreesboro, TN—The Masters of the Summer Music Games, a Tour of Champions Series event July 30—Atlanta, GA—DCI Atlanta Southeastern Championship presented by Lake Oconee and Greene County, GA July 31—Rock Hill, SC—NightBEAT, a Tour of Champions Series event July 31—Orlando, FL—DCI Orlando Aug 1—Summerville, SC—FirstBEAT Aug 1—Sevierville, TN—Drums Across America Aug 2—Charleston, WV—Drums Across the Tri-State Aug 2—Salem, VA—The Summer Music Games of Southwest Virginia Aug 3—Chesapeake, VA—Tidewater Summer Music Games Aug 4—Warrenton, VA—Drums Corps in Northern Virginia
Bands of America Sep 24—Richmond, KY—Eastern Kentucky University
U.S. Scholastic Band Association Sep 17—North East, MD—North East HS (Silver) Sep 17— Germantown, MD—Northwest HS (Silver) Sep 24—Annapolis, MD—Marine Corps Invitational Sep 24—Herndon, VA—Northern Virginia Regional Sep 24—Midlothian, TX—USSBA Midlothian Preview Sep 24—Pflugerville, TX—USSBA Pflugerville Preview Sep 24—Kingsville, TX—USSBA South Texas Regional—Texas A&M Sep 24—Arlington, TN—Arlington HS (Gold) Find us on
Miscellaneous July 21-23—Nashville, TN—Summer NAMM Sep 24—Kingsport, TN—Tennessee Valley Showcase—DobynsBennett HS
July/August 2011 13
By Christine Ngeo Katzman
Photo courtesy of the Joplin (Mo.) High School Eagle Pride Band.
In Joplin, Mo., a tornado may have des troyed the city, but it did not kill the hum an spirit, especially not for the 139 memb ers and staff of the Eagle Pride Band.
n May 22, 2011, a massive tornado struck Joplin, Mo., killing at least 156 people and damaging 8,000 buildings. Along its path of destruction, which stretched almost 1 mile wide and 7 miles long within the city limits, the tornado completely destroyed Joplin High School along with several other structures. In the wake of such a tragedy, how does a city—let alone a marching band—move forward? Exactly one month after the tornado, Halftime Magazine spoke with Rick Castor, district director of instrumental music and the high school band director, about the losses from the tornado and also about hopes for the future. Halftime: How much did the music department lose in the tornado? Castor: Right now, I’m standing in the parking lot [of the high school]. ... Everyday I come by; I can’t keep from coming over. Every day there’s more and more down. … At first the lower half of the walls were still up; now part of mine is down; the choir is down; part of the drum room is down; the roof has crashed in quite a bit in the band room; the music library room had beams crashing down on it. And our poor pianos … There are so many looters coming in. I
can look in to see that someone’s broken into my office. ... I was hoping we could go in to save stuff. We had just gotten our Long Ranger and AV system. That was sitting on the floor in there. We had a new electric jazz guitar that was sitting in there. All of our new marching music— our Christmas march, which was written just for us—was in a locker. All that would’ve been fine. But now the door is open, and I have no idea what’s gone. To replace everything for the entire music department would be around $3.7 million. To replace all the instruments is $400,000 to $500,000—that doesn’t count the pianos. It’s $100,000 for just marching and concert percussion. Our music library is $600,000 to $800,000 to replace. It was the second-oldest library in the state. Halftime: What are the steps you’re taking to rebuild the band program? Castor: We’re trying to figure out how to reschedule and how to plan everything because our schools are going to be split quite a bit apart. Freshmen and sophomores are in one building on one side of town, juniors and seniors in a building on the other side of town. As of now, we’re planning to go to the same competitions that we have been.
We’re in the process of getting uniforms and in the process of getting instruments. We’ve had 15 to 17 different places offer us their uniforms. But our assistant district superintendent came up to me and said, “We want to have the band in brand-new uniforms if there’s anyway possible.” I thought, “Oh my gosh, that’s usually a year’s process.” The company we bought them from before [Stanbury Uniforms] said they would try to get it done because everyone is volunteering to work overtime to get it done. Halftime: Why did the assistant superintendent find it important to have brandnew uniforms? Castor: We’re the most visible part of our school. We perform at every football game. We do three field competitions, seven parades a year, a Christmas concert, a spring concert; we have a winter guard and a winter drum line. ... It was a really active music program. We’re in the public a lot, so she wants everyone to know that Joplin is going to go on. She wants everyone to see that the band’s ready to go. Halftime: How are the students doing? Castor: Sixty-two percent of our entire
How TO HELP
student population is displaced. ... There are so many families—they didn’t just lose their home; they also lost their job because the businesses where they worked were gone. ... [Still] they’re all excited. We just had a picnic. We had the mockup of our new uniform there. It’s really cool looking. Halftime: What help have you received so far? Castor: People have just been wonderful. There have been thousands and thousands of volunteers coming and helping [the city]. A few of us are volunteering this weekend. You can’t go hardly anywhere without somebody asking you if you need something. [As for the band,] we’ve had several instrument companies helping out, but most are able to help with only smaller things. There’s a group called Hot Topic Foundation in Los Angeles. They were the first to call me and said they wanted to replace all the instruments. [They agreed to donate $100,000 for marching and concert percussion.] [Webb City] raised over $12,000 for our band. Another area band just had a fish fry. One guy caught all the fish and donated $1,500 to our band. One group in Illinois … they’re raising money and putting it into McCormicks, which is giving 40% off everything, and the other band is paying for it. Mike Lomax, a professional mouthpiece maker for woodwind instruments … he told me that he was going to make mouthpieces for all of [the reed students]. A color guard in Nashville is donating a new floor tarp and several sets of flags. Another group is sending us winter guard costumes and a couple sets of flags. There’s no way I could remember everything everyone’s doing. Halftime: How can we help? Castor: One of the best ways would be to donate money. That way I can control the quality of what we get. We’ve had some people offer us pianos that they were ready to take to the junkyard. They needed so much work that we didn’t have the money to fix them. We’re hoping to raise enough money, so [the students] don’t have to pay the band fees and instrument rental fees. … They just don’t have enough money to pay for anything right now. Halftime: With everything that you’ve gone through, what would be some words of wisdom you could share?
Halftime Magazine is joining the efforts to help Joplin rebuild its band program by collecting and donating cash toward student band fees. At $85 for each of the 139 members, the total need is $11,815. According to Rick Castor, director of instrumental music for the school district and the high school band director, 2,300 high school students can’t live in their previous home. “There are so many families—they didn’t just lose their home; they also lost their job because the business where they worked was gone. … They just don’t have enough money to pay for anything right now.” To reach the $11,815 donation goal, Halftime Magazine will be sponsoring at least one student to cover his or her entire $85 fee. In addition, between now and Aug. 13, we will give $1 from every individual subscription and 10% of the proceeds from every group subscription. Halftime Magazine will also be conducting a special fundraiser— with giveaways and prizes—during Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis from Aug. 11 to 13. We need your help to make an even greater impact. During this time, we will be collecting donations on Joplin’s behalf. Please consider a pledge of $85 to sponsor a Joplin student in need. However, even smaller amounts add up quickly. Write your check to Joplin Band Boosters and send it to: Joplin Band Fee Fund c/o Halftime Magazine P.O. Box 428738 Cincinnati, OH 45242 100% of your donation will be given to the Joplin Band and is completely tax-deductible. We hope you will consider this donation and encourage your friends, family, associates and band mates to do the same. Share it with everyone you know. Let’s band together for this cause to help Castor and the Joplin students prove that “the wind can’t stop the music.” Castor: Always try to be patient and don’t let stress get to you. … I’ve seen too many people stress out about little things. That’s why the Missouri Bandmasters want me to write a book about how to deal with this stuff.
If I were to write a book, I would call it, “The wind can’t stop the music.” No matter what happens we’re just going to keep going and get stronger and better. July/August 2011 15
rom Major League Baseball to NCAA college football to the International Olympic Committee, every competitive organization struggles with the occasional scandal, great debate, timely re-haul, impassioned fan demands, unhappy members and growing pains. Marching Music’s Major League, Drum Corps International (DCI), is no exception. It’s a summer of change for DCI. In response to both the “G7” proposal and today’s economic challenges, a slew of special events, experimental elements and a new finals format hope to expand drum corps’ appeal and fan base.
We Are the Champions Perhaps the biggest change this summer is the Tour of Champions, a series of events featuring the top eight corps from last year. These new programs will feature experimental elements such as mass performances, easy fan access to warm-ups, individual and ensemble performers in the marketplace, instant 16
Shows featuring only the top eight groups. An experimental entertainment score sheet. Finals open to all. And a street parade. These are just some of the changes happening with Drum Corps International’s 2011 tour. Get the skinny about why these changes were made and what corps members and fans think about them.
Pictured from left to right: Spartans, The Cadets and Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps
By E l i z ab e t h G e l i
Photos by Ken Martinson/Marching.com
encores and fan participation. If well received, some of these things may be included at all DCI shows in the future. “Those shows will give us a great opportunity to test some of the ideas we’ve always wanted to test and haven’t been able to,” says Mark Arnold, executive director of the Blue Knights and current DCI chairman of the board. “We’ve been boxed in by the competitive environment.” The Tour of Champions developed in response to last year’s “G7” controversy, in which seven top corps submitted a proposal to DCI that called for special shows featuring DCI’s “top acts” as well as major financial infrastructure changes. “They’re not exactly as some of us had envisioned,” says George Hopkins, executive director of The Cadets. “But I think the compromise that evolved between the top corps and the rest of the organization is reasonable and will give us a chance to see what might work in the future.” The controversy created tension among the DCI administration and the member
corps, not to mention drawing great concern from fans and participants—all of whom are now trying to move forward and keep the organization together and the performers performing. “I don’t think anyone believes that what we’re doing resolves anything that took place a year ago,” says Dan Acheson, DCI CEO. “But what I do believe is that everyone at every competitive level is being very supportive and cooperative in staging these events, and all are interested in seeing them be successful. And in a sense, that does solve where we might have been a year ago with our governance issues. We’re moving forward.” These events have created new challenges for the participating corps, including budget and travel concerns. “The extra touring days have added on much more expenses, and we’ve had to do some planning to make sure it all works,” says Rick Valenzuela, executive director of Phantom Regiment. “It makes it a lot more expensive, but the excitement of what we’re trying to do is the payoff.”
In addition, the participating corps had to complete their shows much earlier than in the past, requiring extra rehearsals and even higher than usual levels of commitment and focus. “The top eight events forced everyone to get their shows done earlier than they might,” Hopkins says. “There’s been more of a movement over the last few years to take your time and hold back flags or uniforms or not have the closer done. That’s not going to be the case.” While not officially considered a Tour of Champions event, the top eight corps met in Saginaw, Texas, to kick off the season with performances that were shown in theaters across the country. “The broadcast in the theater was highly accepted and spoken of as a great way to see those eight high-caliber corps all at one time early in the season,” says Dan LaMacchia, a longtime drum corps fan from Ohio and avid member of the Drum Corps Planet forums. “It calmed some of the concerns people had about the Tour of Champions and seeing all eight at one time.” July/August 2011 17
That’s Entertainment At the Tour of Champions events, the DCI Rules and Systems Task Force, led by Michael Cesario, will test out a new experimental judging system. This new system is said to place more weight on the entertainment value of shows. The findings will be presented to the corps directors in September, with a final vote in January. “The system is a derivative of the current system, but it’s something that has everything for everybody—from considering the audience to dealing with the intricacies of the levels of excellence a group of snare drummers might be achieving,” Acheson says. “I’ll be interested to see how the experiment goes and how they will vote. As I understand, it’s what most of the corps were looking for.” According to LaMacchia, the fans are looking forward to the new system as some felt the activity was becoming too intellectual at the expense of entertainment value. “I think the forum comments are a reflection on the quality of Cesario’s work because he’s been very tight-lipped, and very few people know what he’s going to do or propose,” he says. “The consensus is that if it can be done, then Cesario’s the right guy to get it done.” Helen Elliott, a longtime fan from Oklahoma City, says that many people at the theater broadcast were chatting hopefully about the new system. “They say they are going to put the crowd first when it comes to general effect; I hope that is correct,” she says. “I find it very frustrating sometimes when I hear the scores. Although we are not expert judges, we are not totally lost on what a good versus a great show looks like.” DCI hopes the new system will help increase drum corps’ fan base. “DCI 18
Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps
The Tour of Champions also indirectly gives other corps a chance to shine. “The nature of the Tour of Champions schedule enables us to have some excellent performance opportunities,” says Tom Spataro, executive director for the Boston Crusaders. “DCI Orlando is a really important market for DCI, and the same night there’s a Tour of Champions event in South Carolina. Since all those groups have to be there, the others are headlining the event in Orlando.”
is working very hard to improve fan involvement and participation,” says Mike Quillen, executive director of the Oregon Crusaders. “It’s part of their corporate goals. There will be some fans that are always upset with some of the changes, but I don’t know if that’s the vocal minority or if it’s really a majority making those criticisms.” The difficulty lies in deciding whom to try and please and attract—old-school drum corps fans or high school students and their parents. “We have a complex demographic that we go after: high school band kids all the way to grandma and grandpa following us for 40 years and everything in between,” Acheson says. “We’re doing all we can to appeal to those masses. We hope they embrace those changes and find them meaningful and exciting.” While the older fans are the ones able to spend money and keep DCI financially stable, attracting younger fans keeps the activity alive and inspires students to continue their musical education. “As a middle school student, you don’t see what more there is to band; you don’t see the payoff because you’re just performing for your parents,” says Shannel Sosa, a second-year mellophone player in Pacific Crest. “In drum corps you get such a rush. I have cousins in middle school who see me perform in drum corps and then get so motivated at their instrument or in color guard.”
Open Season Another big change for DCI is more of a throwback than a new idea. Finals week will begin in Michigan City, Ind., with Open Class Championships on Monday
and Tuesday. The festivities then move to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with finals prelims on Thursday. The event is now open to all corps, regardless of class, much like it was in the 1960’s and 70’s. The top 25 corps will advance to semifinals, and the top 12 from there to finals. “I think the change in format for finals is really just a celebration of DCI as an activity,” says Chris Komnick, executive director of the Madison Scouts. “Realistically, will any open class corps get to finals? No. But the opportunity to see what it’s like to play in Lucas Oil—it’s a really big stage, and if that connects with them as performers, then that’s great.” The new format will allow corps to compete in Indy regardless of the previous touring schedule, and DCI hopes it will increase attendance as well. “The responsibilities placed on the member corps are really extreme; they have to be able to stay out on the road and tour,” Arnold says. “This [change] allows corps to be able to check out where they stand competitively in the big picture without being obligated to the rigors of a national tour. We expect to have more participants and their families and fans attending championships as a result.” Drum corps fans are excited at the prospect of a full day of performances and getting to see corps they might not have normally. “I think everyone is pumped as heck about that,” LaMacchia says. “I haven’t seen a single negative comment; I think it was a great idea, and everybody agrees. Drum corps fans like drum corps all day long, and this gives them a chance to sit there all day.”
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Open class corps are excited for the opportunity and stepping up their game accordingly. “There are so few drum corps left that the chance to be all together at one show is a great thing,” says Richard Rigolini, executive director of the Spartans. “We hope it will strengthen the relationship between the Open and World Class groups as well. We didn’t change what we do or how we do it, but maybe we’re setting our personal goals a little higher. It will be a great experience for the kids. “ But for some World Class corps, a high-scoring Open Class corps could end up being the difference between them and semifinals. “From what I hear around me, most people don’t like it because it’s so different; we don’t know how to react or what’s going to happen,” Sosa says “It gives everyone the incentive to push harder. It’s a good idea, but it’s different, so we’ll see how it goes this year.”
On Parade Another highlight of finals week will be the Celebrate Indy Arts! Parade on Saturday morning. All the non-finals corps
will march through downtown Indianapolis with local visual and performing arts organizations. “We’re excited to be able to offer this; it’s been a long time since there’s been a championships parade, and it’s never been on finals day,” Acheson says. “Folks coming in that day can engage in a parade, and the locals here might be introduced to what we do for the first time.” The results of this summer’s changes could affect DCI for years to come. Almost everyone mentioned that the whole community wants to wait and see how it goes. At the end of summer, the directors, administrators and fans will reevaluate and start the debates again. “People have a wait-and-see attitude before we go back to the table,” Hopkins says. “With the rigors of everyone being on the road, there won’t be a lot of conversation this summer. People of like desires and different desires need to come up with an organizational vision that will please everyone and serve tens to hundreds of thousands of young people. We need to spend a lot of time to imagine how we fit into the future of arts education.”
About the Author Elizabeth Geli is an editorial assistant at Halftime Magazine. She has played flute and marched at Valencia High School in Placentia, Calif., and in the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band, where she is currently a teaching assistant. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a Master’s in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC. 20
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W A sharp drop-off in marching band participation occurs between high school and college. For those that do make the leap, college band proves to be extremely rewarding.
ith a crowd of nearly 100,000 gridiron-loving fans, college football games are perhaps the most visible stage that I have performed in during my marching career. By contrast, high school football games were simply the Friday-night â€œdress rehearsalsâ€? for the big weekend competitions. Some of my bandmates simply ignored the game while others were only moderately interested. I, on the other hand, did not differ much from the crazed football fans; I was really into the games. Little did I realize that in college I would wind up being a part of the epitome of band-driven football passion at the University of Southern California (USC). Everything would literally be aimed at helping the football team win the game. Nearly every band member would be highly involved in the football game, cheering along with every positive play and expressing disappointment when the calls didnâ€™t go their way. The clear contrast between high school and college band hit me very hard, and it did feel strange for a little while, but by the end of the first game, I could say that I loved being in college band.
Having Fun Approximately 2.2 million students participate in middle and high school band, according to MENC: The National Association for Music Education (MENC). On the other hand, only 75,000 to 80,000 students are active in college/university band programs, based on estimates from the College Band Directors National Association. The switch from high school to college marching band can either be a very smooth transition or a stark contrast for many marching musicians due
h School to the increased rigors of academic study, changing personal interests as well as the different focuses of the bands themselves. In general, high school and college bands function very differently as the former typically involves competitions, parades and festivals while the latter involves supporting school athletics and promoting school spirit. As such, some high school performers do not see college band as being particularly challenging and simply decide not to join. For those that do take their playing to the next level, the overall consensus is that college band is in its own unique world, greatly enriching the lives of the performers and allowing them to express their art in a more relaxed environment given the stresses of college life. For Alberto Ocasio, a music education major at the University of North Texas (UNT), college marching band differed greatly from his past experiences. As part of the highly regarded L.D. Bell High School Band in Hurst, Texas, he was driven to succeed in marching band. The band has been a major contender at Bands of America Grand Nationals, most recently winning in 2007. “There was a very high energy level that we needed to exert in order to perform the show in high school,” Ocasio says. “At North Texas, though, the atmosphere was more relaxing as you don’t have competitions, and the style of music was more contemporary. [In high school] the music was more intellectual while the football crowd at North Texas wanted something that they could relate to, so we did video game music and Michael Jackson tunes.” Taylor Mitchell, a music education major at the University of New Mexico, had a similar experience. “At New Mexico, the band was about having fun and playing tunes in the stands to support the school, so
there wasn’t as much pressure when compared to a competitive high school marching band,” he says. Like Ocasio, Mitchell routinely participated in field competitions with his high school group, the Manzano Royal Guard Band from Albuquerque.
Making Friends College can be a scary place for incoming freshmen, but with marching band, Mitchell managed to meet many people—including upperclassmen— to help ease his overall transition. “In the New Mexico band, they accept anyone who’s willing to put in the commitment, regardless of their playing experience, so it allowed me to meet other fellow
By J e r e my C h e n
July/August 2011 23
Continuing to Compete For those people who still itch for competition at a college level, drum corps provides an outlet. Mitchell participated in both drum corps and college band in the same year, marching baritone for the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. “College band from a drum corps person’s perspective could get very boring and unchallenging. … For me though, it was an experience where I felt relaxed, so that college could be the focus when drum corps wasn’t around and to take a break from the activity but still be playing music.” Graves tells potential musicians not to compare drum corps with college band as they are two distinctly different activities. “You have to understand that something like the USC Band and The Blue Devils cannot be compared together, as one band is meant to entertain the crowd with contemporary music while the other has performers doing extremely precise movements and choreography.”
musicians who come from very different and diverse backgrounds,” he says. Ocasio says that his bandmates have even helped him with academics. “The band was incredibly important in starting to make friends in college as we were all tied together under one organization, and that creates a sense of comfort,” he says. “These friends are in my classes, and at times they can help me if I’m having trouble with schoolwork. The band had a wide variety of majors from engineering to English, which makes for an assortment of help outlets.”
Enjoying Perks With the rising cost of participating in high school bands around the nation, many entering college musicians may worry about band dues on top of having to pay for college tuition. Incoming freshmen, though, should have no fear about the cost of college band as most members pay little to no money to participate and at times could find themselves earning money. “We are given a stipend during the band season, and it increases the longer you stay in band,” Mitchell says. “Everything was paid for, so it was great.” The band trips that many have become familiar with are covered as well. Stephanie Graves, a 2010 USC graduate and current Fox Sports West web reporter, traveled with the band to Brazil as well as to bowl games and away games. “The meals, hotel, the buses and the trip itself are paid for by the band,” she says. “The only thing that needs to be paid by a member is a spirit pack that has your band shirts, hats, bag and other accessories. Pretty much it’s everything you need for the next four years.” 24
All three of these college marchers made the transition from high school to college as seamless as possible. Ocasio advises college band members to really listen to the instructors as they are very experienced at their craft, and you can get a lot of useful information. Mitchell suggests that incoming freshmen make new friends on the first day, know your music well when it’s time to perform, and most importantly, to relax and have fun as the stress of competition no longer exists. “Go out and enjoy your time with the people you like, and your college experience won’t feel weird as long as you just relax.” Most important of all, Graves stresses that self-motivation will be key for new members to be successful. “You should motivate yourself to get better at playing your music and knowing your stuff in order to present the most entertaining show possible to tens of thousands of people; and in turn, you will feel great and have a greater appreciation for the college you go to.” As for me, the experience I have gained in performing with a band like USC has been overwhelmingly enriching to my college life. Never have I learned so much about school spirit and sacred traditions that define the institution. While I may not be a professional musician in the future, at least for the remainder of my college years, I have a relaxing musical outlet to use as an escape from schoolwork. I encourage anyone who is thinking about joining college band to do it, as they will likely appreciate the pride and camaraderie they can gain from the activity.
About the Author Jeremy Chen is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern California (USC). He marched cymbals for two years at Rancho Cucamonga High School before playing bass drum and snare at Upland High School. He is currently a cymbal player and office staff member for the USC Trojan Marching Band. He aspires to one day become a correspondent for the BBC.
: r a d n e l a c r Mark you 1 1 0 2 a c i r e Bands of Am Bands of America Grand National Championships presented by November 9-12, 2011 • Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN Featuring 100 of America’s finest marching bands. Order MFA Club Experience Finals tickets for exclusive access and prime reserved seat locations. Enjoy the stadium concourse level Expo and Student Leadership Workshop with Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser. Join us for Grand Nationals and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) running simultaneously in Indianapolis.
Bands of America Regional Championships presented by September 24, 2011 Richmond, KY Eastern Kentucky University
October 8, 2011 Jacksonville, AL Jacksonville State University
September 24, 2011 North Huntingdon, PA Norwin H.S. Stadium
October 8, 2011 Pontiac, MI Silverdome
October 29, 2011 St. George, UT Dixie State College
October 14-15, 2011 October 1, 2011 SUPER REGIONAL Arlington, TX University of Texas at Arlington St. Louis, MO Edward Jones Dome October 1, 2011 Mason, OH William Mason H.S. Stadium October 8, 2011 Conroe, TX Woodforest Bank Stadium
October 29, 2011 SUPER REGIONAL Atlanta, GA Georgia Dome
November 4-5, 2011 SUPER REGIONAL San Antonio, TX Alamodome
October 15, 2011 Akron, OH University of Akron
November 5, 2011 SUPER REGIONAL Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium
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By Lydia Ness
Photo by Ken Martinson/Marching.com
Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps With 50 years in the drum corps activity, Pioneer has gone through many changes. Roman Blenski, executive director and one of the corps’ founders, discusses the corps’ history, present and future.
n 1961, Roman Blenski and one of his colleagues were approached at a solo and ensemble contest by a couple of nuns who said they wanted to start a drum and bugle corps at St. Patrick’s school. Blenski and his colleague agreed to teach, forming The Imperials of St. Patrick in Milwaukee. After merging with a nearby corps in the 1970’s, the corps changed its name to the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps. Pioneer is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Halftime: You have been with the corps for 50 years. What keeps you coming back? Blenski: Dealing with the students … and helping them meet challenges. The corps activity has a way of stretching you out like a rubber band. It teaches you to be creative, and you have to come up 26
with alternate ways of doing things when the way you want to doesn’t work. Halftime: How is the corps celebrating its 50th anniversary? Blenski: The name of the show this year is “Celebrate,” and we picked out various selections from the last five decades. We’re [also] having a big celebration. It’s a two-day event in Milwaukee. Saturday we have a picnic, and we have a procession of the different five decades of the corps and then all of the alumni from the 60’s and the 70’s are going to pose for a picture and march around the field. Then the corps is going to perform a couple of times and feature some of our solos. We’re going to have a combined dinner, … and then in the evening, there will be activities and games, and then we have a mass bonfire.
… Then on Sunday, … we’re all going to St. Patrick’s church and tour the school in which we started. Halftime: How did the corps evolve from a church-sponsored group to an independent group? Blenski: The Catholic church was going through changes with the Vatican, and a lot of the main supporters of the corps left the order, so the pastor advised me to incorporate the corps since I seemed to have the most interest in it, and that’s how we became an independent entity. Halftime: What are some of the challenges you face running the corps? Blenski: The current challenge is Bingo. Last year, Congress passed the no smoking law in public buildings, and since then it has been a big challenge. Our profits
almost plunged down to zero, and we lost money there for a while. We got that under control to the point that we’re not losing money now, but we’re not making it, and of course since it is a big part of our budget, it’s a significant challenge, ... and it is taking time away from … recruiting and other things. Halftime: How has the corps overcome this financial setback? Blenski: We’ve made significant cutbacks in things that we want, staff that we’ve hired. Our equipment was in pretty good shape. … This year we just didn’t buy anything. Halftime: Do you have any advice on how to sustain a corps for 50 years with the economic swings? Blenski: You have to be persistent, and you have to be committed to making it happen for the benefit of others. ... The one crisis that we’re all anticipating in the corps activity is you’re seeing different focuses between the corps that are notfor-profit volunteer-based youth groups as opposed to some of them which are very successful businesses, and that might be causing some significant differences within the activity.
Featuring Classes by: Carol Abohatab Scott Chandler Curtis Costanza Mykail Costner T.J. Doucette Jennifer Hinshaw Karl Lowe Rosie Queen Michael Raiford Michael Rosales Joe Sowders Andy Toth Michael Townsend
Halftime: What other changes have you seen in the corps activity? Blenski: I’ve been 50 years in the corps, and I’ve marched six or seven years, so it has come a long way in that period of time. ... I think in the nature of the activity, a lot of times we forget that we used to [only] be weekends, then that expanded a little bit to doing short little tours each month; now it’s to the point that we’re on the road for 80 straight days, and that is definitely pushing it because it narrows down the percentage of students interested in doing this. … It adds benefits, but it costs a lot of money per day. You have food [and] instructional costs, and it’s putting quite a stretch on the organization. It’s been good growth. Halftime: What are the corps’ future goals? Blenski: Our particular goal is to stay
evenly balanced, keep our finances under control and to continue to perform at a very high level. … We push really hard on our motto to “be better every day.” … We pound on that pretty hard because some days everything seems to go wrong or not as planned, but you can’t give up on it; you have to work on it. Young students sometimes tend to want to give up pretty quickly. Halftime: What advice would you give to aspiring corps members? Blenski: If you love your instrument and love to perform for people and want to experience something that you will probably never do again in your life, being on tour with the Pioneer for the summer is great. … You’ll never work harder in your life except if you join the service or if you get married.
About the Author Lydia Ness is a visual journalism student at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. She has performed in the Glassmen, the Bluecoats, and The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps as well as the Riverside Community College indoor percussion ensemble. She teaches the front ensemble at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, Calif. Lydia plans to go to law school and focus on international and global justice.
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Behind the Baton By Megan Spicer Photo by Frank Posillico
Growing Up As one of the first drum majors (and, so far, the only female leader) at Stony Brook University, Megan Spicer helps shape the future of one the fastest growing collegiate bands in the country—and finds herself maturing in the process.
t was young, but so was I. My predecessors were tough, but I knew I had what was needed to join the ranks of the previously all-male list of drum majors. The Spirit of Stony Brook Marching Band was only 2 years old when I registered for MUS 268 at my freshman orientation, and from what I gathered—small. From the stories we’ve heard and the one that is announced before every halftime show, “In 2006, 17 intrepid students took the field …” We all knew the band’s history. It’s what makes The Spirit of Stony Brook. It sets us
apart from almost all other programs, which have all been in existence for decades. When I joined the band in its third year, we were putting almost 100 members out onto the field, and that number only went up during my time here. We are currently one of the fastest growing collegiate marching bands in the country. Our summer recruiting staff played a major part in that. They were at every freshman orientation held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays throughout the month of July. The appeal of a marching band on Long Island could also be a part; the state of New York only has five
other college marching bands, and most are upstate.
Putting Fears Aside I showed up to my first college-level band camp in August of 2008, and I was terrified. I was coming from another state to a school that had no familiar faces. With a quick make of my bed, a hug, a kiss and a “Just be you, and they‘ll love you for that,” my parents were gone, and I was being thrown to the fish. Marching season came and went as did pep band. All that was left were drum major tryouts. I had tossed the
idea around of trying out, but I wasn’t sure if I really had what it took to be at the forefront of a college-level band. I put the fears aside in hopes that they wouldn’t resurface in the future. I practiced my salute and marching patterns in the reflection of my dorm’s sliding glass door for weeks before the auditions. My hard work paid off, and I was appointed as the first female drum major of The Spirit of Stony Brook. The honor I felt was incredible. Because of the age of the organization, those who were the leaders of the young band would set a precedent for the future. We were the ones who would determine the future of this band. Not only that, but on the drum major plaque that lists every year’s drum majors, I would be the first female.
All Thought Through I learned a lot that first year as drum major: How to lead a band that was comprised of a myriad of different-aged members. How to earn the respect of the members. And how to make sure I didn’t lose my cool. I’m not entirely sure how it appeared to the band members and staff, but it was
difficult. Every command I called, every pattern I conducted, every drop spin I did with the mace was thought through. I didn’t want to do anything wrong. The season wasn’t perfect. There were times I was so excited by a touchdown that the tempo for our first down tag— the last four measures of our victory song—was faster than the band members and I would have liked; it’s hard not to get caught up in it all.
Back to High School Spring semester ended just in time for me to attend my old high school’s drum major tryouts. I had once been a leader of this band and was now looking at the potential candidates with a different approach. I knew what was expected for the position. During the tryouts, I spoke with some of the candidates on ways that they could improve, such as how to call commands
from deep within their bellies and how to avoid a sloppy conducting pattern just by the way they position their hands and fingertips. I provided some insight to the selection committee and helped determine who the next drum major of my high school was going to be.
Shaping the Person Now the final season of The Spirit of Stony Brook’s first and currently only female drum major is quickly approaching; I have been appointed associate drum major. The Spirit of Stony Brook has shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve taken concepts that I learned about leadership, communication and empathy and applied them in every other crevice of my life. I have grown as the band has grown. After three years we have both turned into the strong and confident beings that the world sees today.
About the Author Megan Spicer is a senior journalism major with a print concentration at Stony Brook (N.Y.) University. She has been a member of the marching band since fall 2008 and has served as the assistant drum major since spring 2009. This year she will be the associate drum major. She has played the saxophone since fifth grade.
Fitness to the MAx
By Haley Greenwald-Gonella
From Your Neck Up The neck is one of the places within the body where people typically carry the most tension. As marching musicians, the neck is especially important (it helps keep your chip up), and your body’s correct alignment is key to maintaining a healthy neck.
Everyday stress and physical activity tend to build up tension in your neck. Try these tips to reduce the pains in your neck. Pillow Talk After dancing since the age of 3, Haley Greenwald-Gonella thought it was time to try a new art. In elementary school, she began playing the flute and was in the marching band in middle school and for the first two years of high school. She also played the bassoon during concert season. Dance drew Haley back while in high school. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in dance and English. She recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts). Haley is also a certified registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She draws upon her dance and yoga training when it comes to all things fitness and the arts.
One of the first things to check is the pillow you are using when you sleep to ensure that it is helping your neck stay in line with your spine. When sleeping on your side, your pillow should make up the difference between your shoulder and the bottom of your jaw. You want to be able to prevent as much tension buildup as possible.
Over Your Shoulder To stretch your neck, sit up tall on the ground, turn your head to look over your left shoulder and stay there for two to three breaths. Keeping your chin over your left shoulder, turn your face up and lift your head back. Make sure to keep your shoulders down. Return your chin parallel to the ground once again and then move your face back to center. Repeat on the other side.
Arm Involvement Some good stretches to prevent and work through neck pain and tension involve use of the arms. Standing with your feet hip distance apart, position your right hand just above your left ear and relax your head over to your right shoulder. Make sure to keep your right shoulder down and away from your ear. Hold for three to five breaths, and breathe into the hollow between your head and your shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
Standing tall with your feet hip distance apart, interlace your hands behind your head. Point your elbows in front of you. Allow your head to be heavy and relax your neck more. Draw your head down using the strength of your arms. Make sure to keep your shoulders back and your shoulder blades moving down your back. Take eight to 10 breaths. For an exercise to try while sitting at your desk, take your arms up and over your shoulders. Place the palms of your hands on your shoulder blades. Your elbows should try to point toward the ceiling. Make sure not to pinch your shoulder blades and move your shoulders away from your ears. This stretch helps you remember to relax through the neck.
Back Bend Last, here’s a more advanced stretch. Sitting sideways on a chair without arms, allow yourself to move backwards slowly. Your mid to low back should be supported by the bottom of the chair, and your shoulder blades and neck should hang off the side of the chair. Allow your arms to dangle above your head. Make sure to move slowly and do not breathe too deeply if you have low blood pressure. This stretch is a very mild back bend. Use your arms to assist yourself in and out of the posture. Stay in position for six to 10 breaths.
CAKE joins forces with the USSBA for
“The Federal Funding March” Contest
A Virtual Band Competition Between High School and College Marching Bands Performing CAKE’s “Federal Funding March” Submit Videos of Your Band Performing “The Federal Funding March” beginning September 1 Grand Prize Winning Band will Appear in the Video for “Federal Funding” Plus plenty of other CAKE-related prizes for the Winning and Runner-up Bands. Download Rules, Musical Arrangements and Charts at www.yea.org/cake
www.yea.org/cake • www.cakemusic.com
Check for Details and Updates
By Matt Jones
DCI Events of 2011 1
Across 1. Massachusetts city home to The Beanpot Invitational on 7/2/11 5. Meal in a pot 9. Metallica drummer Ulrich 13. Hawaii state capital locale 14. Klum who married Seal 15. Like some power utilities (abbrev.) 16. Actor Feore of 2011’s “Thor” 17. Made of wood, like some furniture or buckets 18. “On top of that ...” 19. Ohio city home to the Glassmen All Star Review on 7/8/11 (2 words) 22. Jack Bauer’s organization, on “24” (abbrev.) 25. Oregon’s home school of the Vikings (abbrev.)
26. Get snarled up, like hair 27. Minnesota city home to DCI Minnesota on 7/16/11 31. PGA pro Ernie 32. How some travel takes place (as opposed to by water or by air) (2 words) 33. Frank in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 35. Language from “Avatar” 36. Talk nonstop 37. Opening prefix for “physics” 41. Not now 44. “Toxic” singer Britney 46. Chicago Law School (abbrev.) 49. Oklahoma city home to Drums of Summer on 7/20/11 (2 words) 51. “___ a fool not to!” (2 words) 53. “Me,” in French 54. 180 degrees from SSW
55. Tennessee city home to The Masters of the Summer Music Games on 7/29/11 59. Jessica of “7th Heaven” 60. Like many San Francisco streets 61. MasterCard competitor 65. Beijing’s continent 66. ___ Birds (popular game app) 67. Of grand proportions 68. “___ we forget” (a common phrase in war memorials) 69. Easter egg dye company
70. New York city home to Drums Along the Mohawk on 8/4/11 Down 1. “Funky Cold Medina” rapper Tone ___ 2. Basketball star Ming 3. Sports league that awards the Conn Smythe Trophy 4. Without feeling 5. Make airtight (2 words) 6. Type of torch for an outdoor party 7. Early paradise 8. Leather dress shoe variety 9. Take a class on 10. Accuse without proof 11. Put up on eBay, perhaps 12. Baked goods in a tea shop 14. “What a downer ...” (2 words) 20. Neon sign word 21. “I don’t believe it!” noise 22. “Get moving!” 23. Singer Turner 24. Home of the Runnin’ Rebels (abbrev.) 28. Manicurist’s target 29. ___ National Forest (Arkansas area named for a mountain range) 30. Mad scientist’s place 34. Part of ASL (abbrev.) 36. Milli’s brother, on “Team Umizoomi” 38. Make, like money 39. Disney computer movie with a 2010 sequel 40. “It’s the End of the World ___ Know It” (REM song) (2 words)
42. Shortened, like this answer? 43. Unprocessed maple syrup, really (2 words) 44. He slept on top of his doghouse 45. Socks quantity 46. Source of a crash in the band? 47. Madonna’s real middle name 48. Response to “It’s hot outside,” perhaps (2 words) 50. Glowing bits in a campfire 52. Note whose enharmonic is C# (2 words) 56. Active Sicilian volcano 57. Sonic the Hedgehog’s former home 58. Finished 62. NASDAQ opener (abbrev.) 63. ___ card (removable mobile phone storage unit) 64. Blackjack card
Solution For the solution go to Halftime Magazine’s website at www.halftimemag.com. Click on “Current Issue,” then “For Fun.”
About the Author Matt Jones is a 1998 graduate of Willamette University in Salem, Ore., where he majored in music education. Since 1994, he has also written crosswords for venues such as The New York Times, Games Magazine and Stagebill. He currently writes a syndicated weekly puzzle for more than 50 alternative newspapers across the country.
• A Drum Corps at the Movies Event •
Experience the world’s most elite marching music ensembles from the air-conditioned comfort of a movie theater near you! Live and larger-than-life from the 50-yard line of Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
Thursday, August 11 For participating theaters and tickets visit FathomEvents.com. For event information visit DCI.org/cinema.
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Published on Jul 19, 2011
Halftime Magazine presents the sights, sounds and spirit of the marching arts. The September/October 2011 issue features the 2011 Drum Corps...