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September/October 2012

Volume 6, Issue 5 $4.95

Middle School Bands Lighting Effects

2012 DCI Champions BD Wins 15th, Oregon Crusaders 1st

$4.95 U.S.

$5.95 Canada

ISSN 1939-6171


People always ask about your summer job. We know it’s hard to explain. Maybe it’s better that way...

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Volume 6, Issue 5 September/October 2012 ISSN 1939-6171 ®

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Christine Ngeo Katzman (310) 594-0050

Art Director Jana Rade, impact studios

Assistant Editor Elizabeth Geli

Editorial Interns Samantha Berley, Jeremy Chen, Katie Finlon, Lydia Ness, Carolyn Shaffer

Marketing Intern Paige Berling

COVER PHOTO Ken Martinson/

Contributing Writers Lane Armey, Chris Casteel, Mary Karen Clardy, Haley Greenwald-Gonella, Sara Hodon, Matt Jones, Ken Martinson/, Chase Sanborn, Kyle Trader

Contributing Photographers Ryan Cain/, David Gwyn, Ken Martinson/, Sid and Linda Unser, Jan Williams

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 person per year with a minimum of 25 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: Printed by Royle Printing Company in Sun Prairie, Wis. 2


everal years ago, I saw an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York about what makes us human. The ability to make music came up as one of the elements that distinguish us from other primates. Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Art Museum. Recently, scientists “This brass horn terminates in the have stated that the oldest discovered painted, metal head of a sea dragon,” instruments—flutes made from bird signage said. “The creature’s tongue is bone and mammoth ivory—date back mounted on a spring, allowing it to move more than 40,000 years. while the instrument is played. This head In August, I had the privilege of (or bell) is from a buccin, a relative of the attending “The Art of Sound: Four trombone that was made in Belgium and Centuries of Musical Instruments” at was popular among European military the Cincinnati Art Museum. The exhibit bands in the second quarter of the 19th showcased more than 125 instruments, century. The remainder of this horn was selected for their artistic qualities. “Their constructed at a later date in order to give makers designed, crafted and embelnew life to a very entertaining buccin head.” lished them to look as intriguing and I was amazed to see the evolution of beautiful as the sounds that they produce,” the various instruments and thought that explained museum signage. “These you would be interested to learn about instruments demonstrate both the shared this little piece of history, too. human need to express oneself creatively Visit and the importance of the arts (visual as for more information about “The Art of well as performing) to the strength and Sound” exhibit. traditions of communities across the world.” Intricate carvings, paintings, feathers Have a Musical Day! and gems adorned the instruments. Some Christine Ngeo Katzman of them had been designed to resemble Publisher & Editor-in-Chief animals. There was a rattle shaped like a raven, a zither carved as an alligator and Correction: In our July/August 2012 a mayuri stringed instrument designed issue, we incorrectly stated that Blaise like a peacock. Castaldo had served as a co-director of Two instruments stood out in particular the Hawthorne (N.J.) Caballeros. Rather, to be important to the marching world: a he had held that role with the Kingston 19th century “serpent,” the bass member (N.Y.) Indians in the mid-‘70s. Also, only of the cornet family, with a meandering one of his three children had marched body and six finger holes; and a 19th with the Caballeros. We regret the errors. century horn (pictured). Halftime Magazine is proud to partner with the following organizations:





Features Lights! Camera! March!. . . . . . . . . 14 2012 DCI Champions. . . . . . . . . . . . 18 The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps claimed its 15th World Championship out of 40 years in Drum Corps International competition while Oregon Crusaders captured gold in Open Class for the first time. Read about gold and silver medalists in both classes. By Carolyn Shaffer

Marchers in the Middle. . . . . . . 26 Learning to march in middle school has both benefits and challenges. While it does make more work for students, directors and parents, junior high band can provide an unforgettable experience and a marching foundation to last a lifetime. By Elizabeth Geli


Success: The Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps win 1st place in Drum Corps International Open Class for the first time. © 2012. Ken Martinson/ All rights reserved.

Lighting effects in marching shows can add a visual “wow” factor as well as a lot of logistical concerns. By Sara Hodon


Web Exclusives

Publisher’s Letter. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Need more marching band Noteworthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 material? Kentucky Christian Takes the Field; Las Vegas Percusion Camp; Buccaneers Reclaim DCA Gold; Calgary Stampede Centennial; Fred J. Miller in Memoriam

Sectionals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Ins & Outs of Trills; How Much Should You Practice? (Part 2); Taking It Slowly; Counts vs. Musicality

Read more articles online at

Next Issue

Gear Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Aluphone; Kitchens To Go; iDrumTune

Regionals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Calendar of events organized by region

Direct From. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps

Behind the Baton. . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Paying It Forward

Fitness to the Max. . . . . . . . . . . 34 Food for Thought

For Fun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Crossword: Middle Schooled

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• Unique Instrumentation • Role of Graduate Assistants • Auditioning for Drum Corps • And More ...……

By Elizabeth Geli

Kentucky Christian Takes the Field While marching in a storied band program with years of history and tradition can be a great experience, being a founding member of a new marching band can be equally exciting and special. The students marching this fall in the Kentucky Christian University (KCU) Marching Knights will have the chance to build a program in its inaugural year. KCU, a small university in Grayson, Ky., started its football team in 2008 and is now following up with a marching band. “This year for the band, my goals are to develop that we’re an entertainment band that is fun for the students,” says director Tracy Schumann. “I want to make it so that students find it pleasant and exciting, not to say that we don’t work hard. I want to develop a level of excellence that will increase throughout the years.” Schumann travelled to area high schools to recruit interested students. “We’re able to scholarship our players and offer the same amounts that our football team gets,” he says. “Up to $40,000 over 4 years—even for players who are not majoring in music.” This year the band includes a full battery and pit and limited winds—for a total of 22 students. They will perform five shows this season, including two in conjunction with local high school bands, using both a chair and a glide step. During the band’s nine-day band camp, members learned both marching styles, and four flutists learned completely new instruments. Within the next few years, the band hopes to grow in numbers, add a color guard and hire a full-time band director. In the spring they plan to have some small ensembles, a basketball pep band and a concert band including members of the community. “I have just been really pleased to see how well my students play,” Schumann says. “I didn’t know if we had critical mass to actually do an adequate performance, but as the students got here for band camp and really applied themselves, I’ve been tickled to see that they’re doing an excellent job.” 4

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Las Vegas Percussion Camp Pearl Corporation joined forces with percussion instructor Brian Howerton and sponsored the Las Vegas Student Leadership Clinics and Percussion Camp. “The kids were willing to give up an entire week of their summer to come in and drum for 10 hours a day,” says Howerton, a Pearl Artist. “It makes me feel good to give back to these kids and give them something I never had growing up.” This is Howerton’s third year running the drum line camp, which he integrated with the previously existing leadership clinics, led by C-D. Young. “We try to keep both of the camps a little integrated,” Howerton says. “We go over the basics, technique, posture, etc., and work our way up, getting up to par, marching basics, listening responsibilities. I try to go over everything they might need to be a great percussionist. We touch a little on everything, and it keeps them energized about the activity.” Students from three states and 15 different high schools attended this summer, making it the largest year for the camp. “[The most important thing we teach] is how to listen and process,” Howerton says. “I make sure they understand what we’re asking them and that they know how to apply it. It can be applied to anything in life, especially percussion.” Howerton works with the University of Nevada Las Vegas Drumline, the Vegas Vanguard and the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. He hopes to expand the percussion camp even more in the future. “I hope it gets bigger and better,” he says. “And I hope we get so many kids that I’m forced to break it up into different levels, so the talented players won’t be bored, but we can help beginners as well.”

Buccaneers Reclaim DCA Gold toll free: 1-800-666-7565 Teaching Aids - Awards - Gifts

© 2012. David Gwyn/Reading Buccaneers. All rights reserved.

In Drum Corps Associates competition, the Reading Buccaneers reclaimed the Open Class championship this year with a vengeance, earning a 99.03, the highest score in the organization’s history. Its show, “The Black Symphony,” begins with “warm” modern music and gradually transitions into complex and moody classical overtures, according to the corps website Minnesota Brass, which ended the Buccaneers six-year winning streak last year, came in second at 96.23. “It was very satisfying,” says James Gruber, director of the Buccaneers. “We lost in 2011 … and wanted the championship back.” A Class also crowned a new winner as Carolina Gold took the gold with a score of 82.60, followed by last year’s champions, the Governaires. The Labor Day weekend championship event moved to Annapolis, Md., this year. Eleven-time champions, including seven of the last eight years, the Buccaneers hope this will be the beginning of a new winning streak for the corps. Executives have already announced that their design team and coordinators will return next summer. “We don’t know what next year’s going to bring, but we will continue doing exactly what we’re doing and teaching the young kids,” Gruber says. “Nothing will change, and hopefully it will be just as rewarding as the 2012 season.” Gruber says the secret to his corps’ success is respect. “We treat everyone in the organization with the utmost respect,” he says. “When the kids come in, they are very young and immature, and when they leave, they leave with respect and a sense of responsibility. They’re very successful when they go out into the teaching arena of this activity, and that’s very rewarding for us and gives us the idea that we’re doing our job the right way.”

Calgary Stampede Centennial By Ken Martinson/ Marching bands played a prominent role in the 100th anniversary celebration of the Calgary Stampede, held July 6 to 15, 2012, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Calgary Stampede highlights the Canadian Old West with rodeos, country music concerts and a variety of other shows. In addition to the annual Stampede Parade and Showbands Live indoor event, this year Calgary also hosted the World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) World Championships. The combination of events drew a fantastic slate of bands from eight countries (Canada, United States, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Thailand and Taiwan). The international lineup provided a variety of marching and musical styles. The all-female Helsingør Pigegarde from Denmark paid homage to its homeland with nautical-themed costumes and music. The hometown Calgary Stampede Showband performed a powerful and flashy tribute to Stampede’s history. One unit that was especially well received was Fanfarenzug Potsdam, a band from Germany that marches with valveless bugles and displays impeccable precision. At the field preliminary, the 62-member band generated cheers when the drill evolved into recognizable shapes such as a music note and a treble clef sign. But when the band gave a nod to the host country by forming Canada’s signature maple leaf symbol, the crowd was whipped into a cheering frenzy. Potsdam band director Bettina Bels was visibly elated while waiting for the announcement of scores. She agreed that regardless of the outcome, the trip was already worthwhile because of the connection the band made with the audience. “We were overwhelmed by the viewers because they stood up,” Bels says. “I cried because of the great reaction.” Drum major Robert Fobe adds, “The crowd response was so great! They really helped draw the performance out of us.” For complete results and to view images of all the bands from Stampede and WAMSB events, visit September/October 2012 5

Fred J. Miller in Memoriam

Let us all celebrate the life, and mark the pa Fred was a visionary of the pageantry arts.

of thousands through his unique talent and of Centerville, Ohio, he was born on March

Orville and Betty Miller. He passed away Au

age of 80. He is survived by his wife, Marlen

children, Mary Lynn Dorow, Mark Miller and The founder and Chairman of the Board of

considered the “master showman” of the p

From baton champion and instructor, to hig

director, to drum corps/winter guard direct

Fred did it all. But to those who knew him

with people and his fatherly presence that t from the crowd.

A life-long resident of the Dayton area, Fred

Chaminade High School in 1952 and attend

Dayton. He was the Director of Bands at Fa

from 1957 to 1968, eventually serving as Mu

the district. Fred was a founding member o

Twirling Association and founded the Miller

Twirling Corps that established a record tha

Marching arts pioneer and businessman Fred J. Miller passed the twirling world by winning National Cha away on Aug. 3, 2012, at the age of 80. A resident of Center- year from 1956 th ville, Ohio, Miller was founder and chairman of his self-titled the driving force i company, known for designing and manufacturing color guard Guard Internation and band uniforms. He served as treas “He was the type of guy that always had a smile on his face and was inducted and found the good in everything,” says his son Mark Miller. Fame in 1995. “His whole life was dedicated to educating young people and proFred’s smile said it moting music, color guard and marching band and all aspects of an idea come to li the performance pageantry. He lived life every day like that.” unfolds to tell a st Miller attended the University of Dayton and became the man prouder of h director of bands at Fairborn (Ohio) High School from 1957 to dedication. We all 1968, followed by a position as music supervisor for the district. the loss of this gre He was a founding member of the United States Twirling Asso- his positive attitud ciation and founder of the Miller’s Blackhawks Twirling Corps, which won national championships every year from 1956 through 1968, a record that remains unmatched. The driving force in bringing Winter Guard International to his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, Miller also served as treasurer for many years and was inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame in 1995. “Someone said to me, ‘Your family’s business is really the American dream,’” Mark says. “It started in the basement of our house, and now we have 125 employees and manufacture band and color guard uniforms nationally and internationally. It has gone beyond what he even thought it would be.” The family-owned business expects a seamless transition as Mark has been running the company together with his mother and two siblings for many years already. In memoriam, the family has established the “Fred J. Miller Memorial Music Education Fund.” “That is still a work in process, but it’s going to be used to give to an individual or individuals who are going into the music field in regards to higher education,” Mark says. Fred J. Miller is survived by his wife, Marlene, his three children and eight grandchildren. “He was just a great man and everybody’s best friend, and we’ve just got to make him proud now, continue and move forward,” Mark says. In Remembrance Fred.indd 1

Ins & Outs of Trills By Mary Karen Clardy

Accurate use of trill keys is essential for speed, intonation and technical confidence. Choosing which key(s) to use can be confusing, particularly when sight reading or learning a new chart, so here are a few simple guidelines. Definition. A trill is defined as the rapid alternation between adjacent notes, beginning on the written note and alternating with the next note in the key; for example in the key of F Major, a trill on A alternates with Bb. Trills are indicated by placing a trill sign (tr) or a long wavy line ( ) over the note to be trilled. Before playing trills, practice the phrase without the trill. Be sure to check the key signature, identify the scale name, then practice the scale to confirm the correct pitch for the trills. Trill Keys. Located between the long rods and the main keys on the flute body, the trill keys are the small, oblong keys on the right side key work. It’s important to become comfortable with the keys, so visually locate both and practice pressing them while holding the flute with your left hand. For Trill Key 1, use the middle finger; for Trill Key 2, use the ring finger in order to maintain good hand position and build technical skill.



Usage Rules Follow these simple rules for correct trills: 1. Key 1 for the lower octave C-D trill 2. Key 2 for the higher octave C-D trill 3. Key 2 for the lower octave C#-D# (Db-Eb) trill 4. Both Keys 1 and 2 for the higher octave C#-D# (Db-Eb) trill 5. Key 1 in the higher octave B-C# trill Note: B-C# trill in the lower octave is fingered regularly Trills add sparkle to technique, so practice daily to develop skill and speed as well as build confidence.

About the Author Mary Karen Clardy, professor of flute at the University of North Texas in Denton, appears as a soloist, chamber artist and teacher throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia and South America. A renowned author, Mary has published more than 10 books from European American Music, Leduc, Schott and Universal Edition. Her students are consistent prizewinners in international competitions and occupy prominent orchestral and faculty positions throughout the world. Visit




Leading instructors provide practical tips for each section of the band.

How Much Should You Practice? (Part 2) By Chase Sanborn

In my last column I calculated that by the time I graduated from high school, having played the trumpet for eight years, I had practiced 2,500 hours, 25% of the 10,000 hours said to be required to achieve expertise. University and Beyond. As a student at the Berklee College of Music and for the first few years of my professional career, I practiced up to five hours a day and rarely missed a day. I’ll average that out to four hours a day, six days a week. 4 hours X 6 days X 50 weeks X 6 years = 7,200 hours Total after 14 years: 9,700 hours

The 10,000 Mark. It would appear that I hit the 10,000 mark somewhere around age 25. Was I an expert at that point? It could be argued that I was—I was working as a professional. But I know a lot more and play a lot better now than I did then. How many hours has it taken to get to where I am today? Professional Playing Career. As a professional player, I generally practice two hours a day and rarely miss a day, so I base my calculations for this period on six days a week. 2 hours X 6 days X 50 weeks for 30 years = 18,000 hours. Total practice hours to date: 27,700 hours After all this time, I will state with confidence that I am an expert on playing the trumpet. But I am a long way from mastery. Fortunately, playing music is not about being the “best.” We are each unique human beings with the ability to make a musical statement that reflects our individuality. It just takes a little time and effort to acquire the tools to do so.

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 Questions about all things brassrelated can be sent to

By Lane Armey

I was at a rehearsal this past week working on a paradiddle passage that was sounding very … average. Not great, not bad. All the notes and rhythms were there, but it lacked real clarity and sound quality. That’s when I turned the metronome down several clicks, and the truth was out – we couldn’t play the music slow! Drumming slowly is absolutely essential to drumming well at faster tempos. And it’s much easier to start slow and build up, then the reverse. Develop Accuracy. Today’s drummers are exposed to so many amazing drum lines. Drum corps, winter percussion, colleges and high school drum lines are playing at extremely high levels. It is so easy to get your hands on exercises, cadences and music—and also so easy to get into the habit of drumming everything fast, fast and faster. That’s a lot of fun and shouldn’t be dismissed. But it is very important to take a different approach when working on rudiments, exercises and music with your own drum line. The techniques that you need to play with quality and high tempos can only be developed at slower tempos. If you cannot play paradiddle-diddles at 140, then I guarantee you cannot play them with quality at 170. Playing slowly lets you master how much arm, wrists and fingers you need to use. It helps develop your rhythmic accuracy. You can ensure you are playing the drum strongly and producing a great sound. And you can build the muscles and chops you’ll need to really reef the tempo. Liven It Up. Now of course it can also be quite boring! So do it with a friend and do it with a metronome to keep yourself honest. Make it a game…20 good reps at 130 before you turn the met up to 135. Chart your progress and reward yourself. But mainly remember that hard work at lower tempos will pay off.

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.



Taking It Slowly

Counts vs. Musicality By Chris Casteel

We are at the point in field season where the counts that were once a foundation of choreography must now be enhanced to take the next step toward maximizing performance. This step is called “musicality.” Counts. We learn by counts in an effort to be precise. They help us understand the musical structure as well as give us the ability to control and maneuver our bodies and equipment together as a guard. Counting is the only way in which to begin the process of learning and owning choreography. Musicality. As the season progresses, counting while performing through the musical phrase is simply not enough to ensure success because the counted beat only contains a portion of the total rhythm. What happens between the counts is where musicality is explored and accomplished. Performers fill the spaces between the counts with energy and expression. Musicality also consists of creating dynamics in your performance. Dynamic moments are something that your staff should be defining for the entire guard. It is unwise for every individual on a guard to arbitrarily place their own dynamics within a tune; this only creates a mishmash of performance confusion. Dynamics allow the audience to experience crescendos or decrescendos that are very much a part of the musical experience. Without these built into performance, the choreography will begin to have sameness to it. Consider that each tune in a field show is chosen to inspire mood and diversity. In guard, we achieve this in part by virtue of equipment/color changes. But the accomplished guard also explores diversity through enhanced musicality. Lastly, being musical requires thinking, feeling and hearing every tiny detail of a tune. This takes some time and doesn’t happen within the confines of a rehearsal. It will require you living, breathing and being your field show music! The best way to become in synch with the music is to listen to it before you go to bed. As the last thing you hear, it sinks into your thoughts overnight. The audience hears the music, and their eyes see you being that music. Dance is the music made visible.

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.

September/October 2012 9

Photo courtesy of Marching USA.

The Aluphone

By Samantha Berley


new type of mallet instrument has made its way to the field and floor. In less than a year, the Aluphone has become an integral part of multiple marching ensembles and drum corps. The instrument’s “whole new sound,” similar to Japanese temple bells, provides versatility for use in a variety of music genres, says Matthew Lunsford from Marching USA, distributor for the Aluphone as

Kitchens To Go


verything is mobile today, and kitchens are no different. From fast food to food trucks, it’s easy enough to get your grub on. But when it’s the dead of summer and you’re practicing a drill, chances are you may not get the chance to experience either. Luckily, there is a product that caters to the needs of marching ensembles and other touring groups. Winner of the Kitchen Innovations Award in 2012, Kitchens To Go brings you “temporary, stateof-the-art, high-volume commercial kitchens.”




Check out the following cool products before your next practice, show or competition.

well as Premier marching, concert and educational percussion. The Aluphone, created by renowned marimba player Kai Stensgaard of Denmark, is made of cast aluminum and comes available in a variety of configurations—from something as simple as a solo bell, hand bell or bell tree to a complex set of concert bells mounted on a frame. The Aluphone is virtually indestructible by any blunt object and can be played with a variety of mallets, drumsticks or triangle sticks. Plus, the Aluphone can be played underwater or even with a violin bow. “Being able to play with so many mallets, beaters, bows and various other techniques, the Aluphone can give you a very mellow and graceful

sound that sits on top of an ensemble [or] a piercing tone that can cut through the largest of performing units,” Lunsford says. This innovative instrument was performed in the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremonies as well as used by indoor percussion groups and more than a handful of top drum corps including The Blue Devils, which won its 15th World title this year. For Lunsford, the success is not surprising. “The instrument provides a texture and timbre like no other. … The Aluphone gave birth to a whole new level of sound and enabled writing like never before.” Visit or html for more information.

The kitchen can hook up to an on-board generator (available with some units) and has the ability to attach to other mobile facilities or permanent structures for utilities. With diamond plate floors and wall surfaces made of either aluminum or stainless steel, the unit is built for easy cleaning. Kitchens can come ready-made or can be custom-made to fit the needs of any group. The University of California, Santa Barbara, marching band and The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps both have custom-

made units. The Cavaliers even have a clothes washer and dryer, according to Julie Jones, marketing coordinator for Kitchens To Go. Visit to learn more.

ave you ever wanted to tune your drum but don’t have the ear for it? Well now there’s an app for that. iDrumTune analyzes the pitch of the drum—from snares to toms— and gives a readout of the drumhead vibration frequency. In the simplest words, iDrumTune is “like a guitar tuner, but for drums,” says Rob Toulson, the app’s creator. Plus, as Toulson puts it, “if you hit the drum at the edge, you can also analyze the drum’s overtones. This is really useful for checking that the drum has an even tuning around the perimeter of the drumhead.”

Toulson completed his Ph.D. in digital signal processing in 2003. Since then he combined his education with his passion for music, researching music production techniques and drum tuning. “Drums are not so simple, so a number of years of laboratory research has been undertaken in order to fully understand the drum acoustics,” Toulson says. This app is more than for changing drumheads; it also includes text on the science of drum tuning. “The app encourages musicians to be more inquisitive about their instrument,” Toulson says. “By experimenting with iDrumTune, you can start to get a more thorough understanding of why and how the drum makes the sound it does, so it acts as an educational tool too, allowing people to learn the art of drum tuning faster.” The app is available for $0.99. For tutorial videos and more information, visit

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Music that inspires the country Service that protects it

Music Enlistment Option Program..There are few truly great career options; serving as a Marine Corps Musician is one of them. If you have what it takes to become both a Marine and a Marine musician, you will play at some of the world’s most honored events. Precision, discipline, and honor will be represented in every note you play. And as a Marine, you will distinguish yourself from the rest. To schedule an audition, call 1 800 MARINES or visit MARINES.COM.

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Major Events by Region West Bands of America Oct 27—Glendora, CA—Citrus College Nov 3—St. George, UT—Desert Hills HS

USBands Sep 24—Jerome, ID—Jerome HS Sep 29—Caldwell, ID—Caldwell HS Oct 20—Peoria, AZ—Arizona Regional

Miscellaneous Oct 6—Pasco, WA—Southeastern Washington Cavalcade of Bands Oct 20—Eugene, OR—Festival of Bands Nov 3—Hillsboro, OR—NWAPA Championships Nov 17—Fresno and Clovis, CA—WBA Championships Nov 17—Menifee, CA—California State Band Championships Nov 23—Honolulu, HI—Waikiki Holiday Parade Dec 1—Oakland, CA—2013 America’s Children’s Holiday Parade

Midwest Bands of America Sep 29—Kettering, OH—Kettering Fairmont HS Oct 6—Pontiac, MI—Silverdome Oct 13—Akron, OH—University of Akron Oct 19-20—Indianapolis, IN—Lucas Oil Stadium Oct 19-20—St. Louis, MO—Edward Jones Dome Nov 7-10—Indianapolis, IN—Lucas Oil Stadium

Mid-States Band Association Sep 22—Fishers, IN—Hamilton Southeastern HS Sep 22—Miamisburg, OH—Miamisburg HS Sep 29—Wilmington, OH—Wilmington College Sep 29—Piqua, OH—Piqua HS Oct 6—Cincinnati, OH—La Salle HS Oct 6—Bellbrook, OH—Bellbrook HS Oct 13—Mason, OH—Mason HS Oct 13—Mt. Orab, OH—Western Brown HS Oct 20—Lebanon, OH—Lebanon HS Oct 20—Westerville, OH—Westerville North HS Oct 27—Centerville, OH—Centerville HS Oct 27—Cincinnati, OH—Colerain HS Nov 3—Various Locations, OH—MSBA Championships

Miscellaneous Sep 22—Waseca, MN—Waseca Marching Classic Sep 29—Luverne, MN—Tri-State Band Festival Oct 6—Champlin, MN—Champlin Park Rebel Classic Oct 6—Sioux Falls, SD—Festival of Bands USA Oct 13—Vermillion, SD—USD Quad State Marching Competition Oct 13—Ankeny, IA—Mid-Iowa Band Championship 12

Oct 13—Minneapolis, MN—Youth in Music Championships Oct 29—Indianapolis, IN— ISSMA Marching Band State Finals Nov 3—Detroit, MI—MCBA Championship Contests

Northeast Bands of America Sep 22—Monroeville, PA—Gateway HS

Cavalcade of Bands Sep 22— Manheim Township, PA—Manheim Township HS Sep 22— Folsom, PA—Ridley HS Sep 22— Greencastle, PA—Greencastle Antrim HS Sep 29— Lancaster, PA—Lancaster Catholic HS Sep 29— Boyertown, PA—Boyertown HS Sep 29— West Chester, PA—West Chester East HS Sep 29—Woodstown, NJ—Woodstown HS Oct 6— Pottstown, PA—OJ Roberts HS Oct 6—Somerdale, NJ—Sterling HS Oct 6— Plymouth Meeting, PA—Plymouth Whitemarsh HS Oct 6—Spring Grove, PA—Spring Grove HS Oct 6— Millville, NJ—Millville HS Oct 6— Lititz, PA—Warwick HS Oct 13—West Chester, PA—Rustin HS Oct 13— Broomall, PA—Marple Newton HS Oct 13— Franklinville, NJ—Delsea Regional HS Oct 13—Willow Grove, PA—Upper Moreland HS Oct 20— Ephrata, PA—Ephrata HS Oct 20— Springfield, PA—Springfield HS Oct 20— Kennett Square, PA—Unionville HS Oct 20— Robesonia, PA—Conrad Weiser HS Oct 20— Egg Harbor Township, NJ—Egg Harbor Township HS Oct 20— Littlestown, PA—Littlestown HS Oct 20— Bensalem, PA—Bensalem HS Oct 27— Doylestown, PA—Central Bucks West HS Oct 27— Coatesville, PA—Coatesville HS Oct 27— Hanover, PA—South Western HS Oct 27— Manheim, PA—Manheim Central HS Oct 27— Pittston, PA—Pittston Area HS Oct 27— Manahawkin, NJ—Southern Regional HS Nov 3— Mountain Top, PA—Crestwood HS Nov 3— Horsham, PA—Hatboro Horsham HS Nov 3— Shillington, PA—Governor Mifflin HS Nov 3— Red Lion, PA—Red Lion HS Nov 3— Berwyn, PA—Conestoga HS Nov 3— Strasburg, PA—Lampeter Strasburg HS Nov 10-11—Hershey and Millersville, PA— Championships

Tournament of Bands Sep 22—Bushkill, PA—East Stroudsburg HS North Sep 22—Oak Ridge, NJ—Jefferson Township HS Sep 22—Pitman, NJ—Pitman HS Sep 22—Camp Hill, PA—Red Land HS at West Shore Stadium

Sep 22—Schuylkill Haven, PA—Schuylkill Haven HS Sep 22—Cairnbrook, PA—Shade-Central City HS Sep 22—Blossburg, PA—Southern Tioga HS Sep 22—Royersford, PA—Spring-Ford HS Sep 22—St. Marys, PA—St. Marys HS Sep 22—Munhall, PA—Steel Valley HS Sep 22—Runnemede, NJ—Triton HS Sep 29—Collingswood, NJ—Collingswood HS Sep 29—Bridgeton, NJ—Cumberland Regional HS Sep 29—DuBois, PA—DuBois Sep 29—Factoryville, PA—Lackawanna Trail HS Sep 29—Aberdeen, NJ—Matawan HS Sep 29—Mechanicsburg, PA—Mechanicsburg HS Sep 29—Sunbury, PA—Shikellamy HS Sep 29—West Lawn, PA—Wilson HS Sep 29—Warren, PA—Youngsville HS Oct 6—Pitttsburgh, PA—Baldwin HS Oct 6—Mullica Hill, NJ—Clearview HS Oct 6—Mechanicsburg, PA—Cumberland Valley Oct 6—Reading, PA—Daniel Boone HS Oct 6—Swiftwater, PA—Pocono Mountain East Oct 6—Roselle Park, NJ—Roselle Park HS Oct 6—Runnemede, NJ—Triton HS Oct 6—Tyrone, PA—Tyrone HS Oct 6—Williamsport, PA—Williamsport HS Oct 7—Madison, NJ—Madison HS Oct 13—Carlisle, PA—Carlisle HS Oct 13—Johnstown, PA—Greater Johnstown HS Oct 13—McKeesport, PA—McKeesport HS Oct 13—New Tripoli, PA—Northwestern Lehigh Oct 13—Parlin, NJ—Sayreville HS Oct 13—Shamokin, PA—Shamokin Area HS Oct 13—West Deptford, NJ—West Deptford HS Oct 14—Schuylkill Haven, PA—Blue Mountain HS Oct 14—Deptford, NJ—Deptford HS Oct 14—Berkeley Heights, NJ—Governor Livingston HS Oct 20—Indiana, PA—Allegheny Mountain Regional Championships Oct 20—Mechanicsburg, PA—Greater Harrisburg Region Championships Oct 20—Whitehall, PA—Greater Lehigh/Berks Region Championships Oct 20—Bloomsburg, PA—Greater Susquehanna Valley Regional Championships Oct 20—North Caldwell, NJ—New Jersey State Championships Oct 20—Elizabeth, PA—Western Expansion Region Championship Oct 21—North Caldwell, NJ—Greater New York/New Jersey Metro Region Championships Oct 21— East Stroudsburg, PA—Pocono Region Championships Oct 21—Mullica Hill, NJ—South Jersey Championships Oct 21—TBD, PA—Southeastern Pennsylvania Region Championships Oct 27—Harrisburg, PA—Atlantic Coast Championship Class A Championship Oct 28 and Nov 4—Hershey, PA—Atlantic Coast Championship

USBands Sep 22—Brick, NJ—Brick Memorial HS Sep 22—Norwalk, CT—Brien McMahon HS Sep 22—Burlington, NJ—Burlington City HS Sep 22—Meriden, CT—Francis T. Maloney HS Sep 22—Flemington, NJ—Hunterdon Central Regional HS Sep 22—Collegeville, PA—Perkiomen Valley HS Sep 22—Scotch Plains, NJ—Scotch Plains Fanwood HS Sep 29—Newville, PA—Big Spring HS Sep 29—Blackstone, MA—Blackstone Millville Regional HS Sep 29—Lindenhurst, NY—Lindenhurst HS Sep 29—Linwood, NJ—Mainland Regional HS Sep 29—New Milford, CT—New Milford HS Sep 29—Lansdale, PA—North Penn HS Sep 29—Pompton Plains, NJ—Pequannock HS Sep 29—Piscataway, NJ—Piscataway HS Sep 29—Rocky Hill, CT—Rocky Hill HS Sep 29—Tabernacle, NJ—Seneca HS Sep 29—Wallingford, CT—Sheehan HS Sep 29—Toms River, NJ—Toms River HS East Oct 6—LaGrangeville, NY—Arlington HS Oct 6—Jackson, NJ—Jackson Memorial HS Oct 6—North Easton, MA—King Phillip/Oliver Ames HS Oct 6—Medford, NJ—Lenape Regional HS Oct 6—Wallingford, CT—Lyman Hall HS Oct 6—Oakdale, CT—Montville HS Oct 6—Rockaway, NJ—Morris Knolls HS Oct 6—Blairstown, NJ—North Warren Regional HS Oct 6—Monmouth Junction, NJ—South Brunswick HS Oct 6—Verona, NJ—Verona HS Oct 7—Bergenfield, NJ—Bergenfield HS Oct 7—North Edison, NJ—JP Stevens HS Oct 13—Brick, NJ—Brick Township HS Oct 13—Warrington, PA—Central Bucks South HS Oct 13—Cheshire, CT—Cheshire HS Oct 13—Dartmouth, MA—Dartmouth HS Oct 13—Hillsborough, NJ—Hillsborough HS Oct 13—Nazareth, PA—Nazareth Area HS Oct 13—North Brunswick, NJ—North Brunswick Township HS Oct 13—Norwich, CT—Norwich Free Academy HS Oct 13—East Rutherford, NJ—Yamaha Cup Oct 14—Manhasset, NY—Manhasset HS Oct 14—Allendale, NJ—Northern Highlands Regional HS Oct 14—Liverpool, NY—Central New York Regional Oct 20—Abington, PA—Abington Senior HS Oct 20—Cranston, RI—Cranston HS East Oct 20—Delran, NJ—Delran HS Oct 20—Hamilton, NJ—Hamilton HS West Oct 20—Manchester, NJ—Manchester Township HS Oct 20-—Monroe Township, NJ—Monroe Township HS Oct 20—Montville, NJ—Montville Township HS Oct 20—Flanders, NJ—Mount Olive HS Oct 20—Northampton, PA—Northampton Area HS Oct 20—Groton, CT—Robert E. Fitch HS Oct 20—Vernon, CT—Rockville HS Oct 20—Medford, NJ—Shawnee HS Oct 20—Somerville, NJ—Somerville HS Oct 20—South Plainfield, NJ—South Plainfield HS Oct 20—Stamford, CT—Stamford HS Oct 21—Fair Lawn, NJ—Fair Lawn HS Oct 21—North Plainfield, NJ—North Plainfield HS Oct 21—Hempstead, NY—New York State Championship Oct 27—Galloway, NJ—Absegami HS Oct 27—Stratford, CT—Bunnell HS Oct 27—Camp Hill, PA—Cedar Cliff HS Oct 27—Marlton, NJ—Cherokee HS Oct 27—Allentown, PA—DeMoulin Challenge Allentown

Oct 27—East Brunswick, NJ—East Brunswick HS Oct 27—Basking Ridge, NJ—Ridge HS Oct 27—Robbinsville, NJ—Robbinsville HS Oct 27—Southington, CT—Southington HS Oct 27—Vernon, NJ—Vernon Township HS Oct 28—Union, NJ—Preview to Championships— Union HS Oct 28—Sewell, NJ—Preview to Championships— Washington Township HS Oct 28—Old Bridge, NJ—Preview to Championships—Old Bridge HS Nov 3—Bridgeport, CT—New England State Championship Nov 3—West Chester, PA—Pennsylvania State Championship Nov 3-4—New Brunswick, NJ—New Jersey State Championship Nov 10—Allentown, PA—National Festival (NonCompetitive) Nov 10-11—East Rutherford, NJ—Open Class National Championship

Miscellaneous Oct 27—Erie, PA—Lakeshore Marching Band Association Championships Oct 27—Lawrence, MA—New England Marching Band Championships Oct 28—Syracuse, NY—New York State Field Band Conference Championships Nov 10—Bridgeport, CT—Musical Arts Conference Championships Nov 22—New York, NY—Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

South Bands of America Sep 22—Louisville, KY—University of Louisville Sep 29—Denton, TX—University of North Texas Oct 6—Conroe, TX—Woodforest Bank Stadium Oct 13—Jacksonville, AL—Jacksonville State University Oct 27—Atlanta, GA—Super Regional—Georgia Dome Oct 27—Towson, MD—Towson University Nov 2-3—San Antonio, TX—Super Regional— Alamodome

Cavalcade of Bands Oct 13—Williamsport, MD—Williamsport HS Nov 3— Wilmington, DE—Mt. Pleasant HS

Mid-States Band Association Sep 22—Hebron, KY—Conner HS Sep 29—Louisville, KY—Ballard HS Sep 29—Hoover, AL—Spain Park

Tournament of Bands Sep 22—Middetown, DE—Middletown HS Sep 22—Keyser, WV—Keyser HS Sep 22—Felton, MD—Lake Forest HS Sep 22—Eldersburg, MD—Liberty HS Sep 29—Cumberland, MD—Allegany HS Sep 29—Lewisburg, WV—Greenbrier East HS Sep 29—Wilmington, DE—William Penn HS Oct 6—Middletown, DE—Appoquinimink HS Oct 6—Elkins, WV—Mountain Forest Festival Oct 6—Hagerstown, MD—North Hagerstown HS Oct 13—Inwood, WV—Musselman HS Oct 13—Salisbury, MD—Parkside HS

Oct 13—Oakland, MD—Southern Garrett HS Oct 20—Hagerstown, MD—Central-Western Maryland/Northwestern Virginia Region Championships Oct 20—Middletown, DE—Delaware/Southern Maryland/Chesapeake Region Championships Oct 20—Martinsburg, WV—West Virginia State Championships

USBands Sep 22—Chesapeake City, MD—North East HS Sep 22—Owings, MD—Northern HS Sep 22— Germantown, MD—Northwest HS Sep 29—Gambrills, MD—Arundel HS Sep 29—Morganza, MD—Chopticon HS Sep 29—Kingsport, TN—Dobyns-Bennett HS Sep 29—Lynchburg, VA—Central Virginia Regional Sep 29—Midlothian, TX—Midlothian Showcase Sep 29—Herndon, VA—Northern Virginia Regional Sep 29—Pflugerville, TX—Pflugerville Preview Sep 29—Charles Town, WV—Washington HS Oct 6—Arlington, TN—Arlington HS Oct 6—Annapolis, MD—Marine Corps Invitational Oct 6—Orange Park, FL—Oakleaf HS Oct 6—Burleson, TX—Burleson Showcase Oct 6—Spring, TX—Dekaney Showcase Oct 6—Johns Creek, GA—Georgia Regional Oct 6—Goliad, TX—Goliad Showcase Oct 6—New Braunfels, TX—New Braunfels Showcase Oct 13—Annapolis, MD—Broadneck HS Oct 13—Cordova, TN—Cordova HS Oct13—Winston-Salem, NC—DeMoulin Challenge Wake Forest Oct 13—Winchester, VA—James Wood HS Oct 13—Groveland, FL—South Lake HS Oct 13—Kyle, TX—Central TX Regional at Lehman HS Oct 13—Houston, TX—Cypress Showcase Oct 13—Groesbeck, TX—Groesbeck Showcase Oct 13—North Augusta, SC—South Carolina Regional Oct 13—Virginia Beach, VA—Southeast Virginia Regional Oct 13—Laredo, TX—Southwest Texas Regional Oct 13—Gaithersburg, MD—Watkins Mill HS Oct 13—Westminster, MD—Westminster HS Oct 20—Sykesville, MD—Century HS Oct 20—Elkton, MD—Elkton HS Oct 20—Virginia Beach, VA—Landstown HS Oct 20—Fulton, MD—Reservoir HS Oct 20—Dallas, TX—Adamson Showcase Oct 20—Conroe, TX—Conroe Showcase Oct 20—Scooba, MS—Mississippi Regional Oct 20—Sterling, VA—Northern Virginia Showcase Oct 27—Severna Park, MD—Severna Park HS Oct 27—Cookeville, TN—Tennessee State Championship Oct 28—Dover, DE—Remo Invitational Nov 3—Towson, MD—Maryland State Championship Nov 3—Chattanooga, TN—Southern States Championship Nov 3—TBD, TX—Texas State Championship Nov 3—Glen Allen, VA—Virginia State Championship Nov 10-11—Annapolis, MD—A Class National Championship

Miscellaneous Oct 20, Oct 27 and Nov 3—Various Locations, SC— SCBDA Marching Band Festival/Championships Oct 27—Bowling Green, KY—Kentucky State Marching Band Championships Nov 17—St. Petersburg, FL—Florida Marching Band Coalition State Finals September/October 2012 13

Ghostly Drummers: LED lights sewn into performers’ uniforms and secured to their instruments created a supernatural effect and resulted in one of the most memorable scenes in the stage show of “DRUMLine Live.” Photo courtesy of “DRUMLine Live.”

Lights! Cam March! By Sara Hodon


oltergeist” TV screens. Concertquality lights. And LED. These are only some of the lighting effects being used by marching units across the country. While music and choreography work together to create a seamless and competitive performance, directors are starting to add lighting effects to boost their unit’s overall visual “wow” factor. And with WGI Sport of the Arts’ approval of lighting effects in competition—for guard in 2011 and percussion in 2012—


more directors are experimenting with everything from strobes to televisions as a creative way to enhance the mood of their programs. Directors agree that while lighting can add a whole new dimension to a show, it’s important to have realistic expectations for what you may be able to use. As a few groups have learned, sometimes the reality of space or a shortage of manpower dictates how elaborate visual effects can be.

Lighting effects in marching shows can add a visual “wow” factor as well as a lot of logistical concerns.

mera! Bright Lights, Big Plans When Music City Mystique decided to use lighting for its WGI performance, it proved to be a true learning experience for everyone. “When we started off, we were going to use it as a kind of background ‘mood lighting,’” says Josh Nelson, executive director. “Once we got the lights and got them going, we realized that they had more potential. We could change them into any color in the light spectrum. When we saw what we could do, we customized it to our performances as much as possible.” The group invested in top-of-the-line, professional-grade effects. “The same kind of lights that you’d find in a concert like Metallica,” Nelson says. “Big produc-

tions use these quality lights. We spent quite a bit of time putting it together and customizing it to what our needs were.” Once the group saw the potential of its system, the plan for humble “mood lighting” almost took on a life of its own. “We utilized different-sized columns as well as geodesic domes across the back and right side of our performance area; I believe there were 17 different columns all varying in height from 6 to 15 feet tall,” Nelson says. “All had high-powered light that we controlled in the front of the arena.” Although the lights added a new dimension to their performance, Nelson says that the members and staff were careful not to shift the focus from their playing. “We set out to make sure that our performance would stand alone,” he says. “We didn’t want the lights to be the focal point, but we felt that it added another layer. It provided an aesthetic; we could change the mood just with the lighting.” The performance space was one of the group’s biggest challenges at WGI. “They don’t turn out the house lights in our arena, so you have to get everything in daylight. We also can’t use spotlights, which makes it more challenging.” United Percussion (UP) decided to use lighting to add a more personal element by connecting the theme of its show, called “NOW,” with the members’ personalities. “In life when we experience a special moment, we try to capture that moment by taking a photo or recording it,” explains Chad Moore, director of UP as well as its design and program coordinator. The group projected a slideshow of meaningful moments comprised of photos or recordings submitted by ensemble members. Toward the end of the pre-recorded segments, they used several cameras around the performance space to capture a live feed of what was happening “NOW.” By making the audience part of the show, UP created a more personal, interactive experience. “We always knew we wanted to incorporate lighting in some way, and with so many lighting options, we wanted to use it in a way that was unique,” Moore

says. “The concept of the program really allowed us to explore the multimedia side of lighting.” The use of creative lighting extends beyond WGI. In the fall of 2011, William Mason High School from Mason, Ohio, projected snowflakes during its fall field show, “A Winter’s Solstice.” In the stage production of “DRUMLine Live,” musicians were their own light show, in a sense. During its 2010 season, LED lighting tubes were sewn into the performers’ uniforms and attached to their instruments, creating an almost supernatural effect. “We called it ‘Ghostly Drummers’; the lights went out, then the lights on different parts of the musicians and instruments lit up,” explains Reginald Brayon, DRUMLine Live’s company manager/ producer. “Each musician’s tube had its own power source that we created, sewn right into the uniforms. It was an effort to get the lights sewn in, so we had to double up on spare uniforms. Because we’re traveling doing so many shows, the power sources would get disconnected or the lights would go out at the most inappropriate times, so reliability was a problem.” While the result was impressive, Brayon says he and his technicians are “going back to the drawing board to find a more reliable connection” and revamp the effect.

Effective Design Depending on the scale you envision for your lighting effects, as well as your budget, directors recommend consulting with a professional lighting designer. A designer can help you choose the best lights for your physical performance space, the atmosphere you want to create, and teach your crew members about operating the control board and the other technical aspects of lighting. Incorporating effects into a field show or indoor guard/ percussion performance adds a new list of logistical challenges, and consulting with a professional as early as possible can help September/October 2012 15

Reflective Moments: United Percussion projected member photos, then live video feed, for its show, “NOW.” Photo by Sid and Linda Unser, courtesy of WGI Sport of the Arts.

Pillars of Light: Music City Mystique lit up various columns in a spectrum of colors to match the changing moods of its 2012 show. Photo by Sid and Linda Unser, courtesy of WGI Sport of the Arts.


you prepare for any troubleshooting over the course of the season. Garrett Griffin, director of the West Johnston High School Band in Benson, N.C., collaborated with fellow band director and the group’s creative designer David Duffy for its winter guard show. Duffy conceptualized the visuals to tie into the band’s “Poltergeist” program. Taking a cue from the popular film, where a ghost invades a suburban home and terrorizes the family via their television, several flat screen TVs were set up around the performance floor. “The TVs all played during the preshow, then they played the old ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ sign-off and went to static,” Griffin explains. “We had 10 consoles with 16 TVs, and some were the actual old floor model TVs from the ’80s. Then we toyed with the effect of taking some of the guard members’ faces and putting them in the static. A lot of other units used more interactive stuff, but we went with the theme.” Griffin says that he has seen more units incorporate different lighting. “Last year a lot of the percussion world used the lighting effect to enhance the package,” he says. “The groups that did them well, they

They’re Back: WGI guard groups had access to lights for the second year. West Johnston from Benson, N.C., used TV screens as an integral part of its 2012 “Poltergeist” show. Photo by Sid and Linda Unser, courtesy of WGI Sport of the Arts.

A New wAy to Achieve

enhanced the visual package, but also the musical package.” Lighting effects are not always foolproof, as even the most experienced directors and lighting experts will agree. One of the most failsafe ways to prevent outages or technical difficulties is to simply work within your means and be very familiar with your performance space. “There’s always a risk when you rely on technology,” says Brayon, who works with a professional designer for DRUMLine Live’s shows. “One of the best things I can advise is to understand your environment and what’s going to work well in it. I’ve seen bands do all kinds of things on a football field, and you have to understand how it’s going to work. There are some things you’d love to do in a stadium, and you just can’t do them. If you can’t control your environment, you have less flexibility with what you can do with lights. It increases your costs tremendously if you try to control things you can’t control.” Brayon has his own stories of lighting mishaps. “We’ve had lighting boards go out,” he says. “Then while we were trying to get the board back up, we had a different lighting person from ours try to create the same effects we had programmed into the board. Anything can happen!”

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About the Author Sara Hodon is a freelance writer and proud alumni of her high school band’s front silks squad. Her writing has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Match. com’s Happen Magazine, History, Lehigh Valley Marketplace, Pennsylvania and Young Money, among others. She is also a copywriter for corporate clients. She lives, writes and relives her band memories in northeast Pennsylvania.

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Professional units may have the advantage of a few technical folks who can handle load-in and tear down, but high school groups must often rely on their parents’ muscle power. In many cases, parents may be called on to run the lights as well, calling for careful planning and communication since most parents are likely not lighting experts. “Our load-in time was planned very carefully per gymnasium, depending on how much space we had,” Griffin explains. “At WGI we had two main power sources—front and back. We had a ‘roadie crew’ that went with us; their job was to make sure the guard wasn’t stressing or worrying about the TVs. Parents and other crew got the TVs working. We daisy chained the TVs together. To load out we said, ‘Unplug, grab as much as you can, and push!’” Flexibility and a “ready-for-anything” attitude help when working with lighting. “It’s very delicate and requires a lot of attention, but I think people will continue to use it to see what the possibilities are,” Nelson says. “As we develop our show for the coming year, we’ll [analyze] the need for it and act accordingly. We learned a lot of lessons. Learn as you go until you get it the way you want it, but it is nice to have that extra element available to your design palette.”

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A n A f f i l i At e o f t h e n At i o n A l U n i v e r s i t y s y s t e m

By Carolyn Shaffer

Photos by Ken Martinson and and Ryan Cain,

The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps claims its 15th World Championship out of 40 years in Drum Corps International competition while Oregon Crusaders captures gold in Open Class for the first time. Read about gold and silver medalists in both classes.

About the Author Carolyn Shaffer played trumpet in the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps for a year and the Purdue All-American Marching Band for four years. She has bachelor’s degrees in professional writing and English literature from Purdue University. 18

Blue Devils Clinch 15th Show: “Cabaret Voltaire” Score: 98.700 Director: David Gibbs Though sometimes misunderstood by audiences, the 2012 performance— “Cabaret Voltaire”—by The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps received critical acclaim from judges. Winning an unprecedented 15th Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championship in an undefeated season, The Blue Devils also took home caption awards in General Effect, Percussion, Color Guard and Visual Performance, which was tied with Carolina Crown.

and for the audience, and let them decide if they like it. If they do, fantastic! And if they don’t, then I hope they can at least respect the performance level and content that is being performed.” However, even the perfect season is not without its challenges. “There were a lot of challenges facing this year’s corps, and one of those was the corps being more than half rookies,” Reid says. “And in true Blue Devil fashion, both the rookies and returning members stepped up to the challenge, and the corps will be stronger in years to come because of their efforts and achievement in 2012.”

The Show

The Business Side

Named after a nightclub in Zurich, Switzerland, “Cabaret Voltaire” is about the Dada movement, conceived from Europe’s negative response toward World War 1. “The show is based upon a movement of art and performing art that is actually picking normal up and turning it on its ear, making it surprising, unique, different and exciting in its own way,” says Executive Director David Gibbs. Perry Reid, upper lead trumpet soloist, says that the style of the show sets it apart. “It’s not a story, but more of the exploration of a theme, which differentiates The Blue Devils from many other corps,” he says. Because of the unique subject matter, the show received mixed reviews from different audiences around the country. “The crowds’ reaction to Blue Devils’ shows is always a topic of debate,” Reid says. “There are some people that don’t like what we do, and other people that love our approach to show design and execution. As a member, I perform to

Along with its long tradition of competitive excellence, The Blue Devils organization upholds its reputation off the field, running its business operations with several profit centers. “We have 500 to 600 kids involved in our program every year, so we have a lot of programs to fund,” Gibbs says. “We do the System Blue Initiative, which is basically three elements: products, the educational line and the delivery of our music online.” In addition, members and alums of The Blue Devils take part in paid entertainment. “We are the drumline of the Colts [football team] now,” Gibbs says. “We’ve done a lot of NBA teams. We do corporate and special events. We have a lot of people who have aged out of The Blue Devils that we employ to go out to all these events on a professional level. We are very proud of the diversity we have.” Last but not least, The Blue Devils strive to make an impact through music in the lives of kids not only at home but

internationally as well. “We have responsibilities to people around the world, and even for groups like the Field Band Foundation in South Africa who are really in horrible conditions and terrible plights,” Gibbs says. “They have a great organization that uses music and marching and drumming to help kids out of oppression. We’re involved there; we’re sending staff and instruments there … helping bring them corporate sponsors any way we can.”

The Team Gibbs recognizes the importance of everyone that made it possible for The Blue Devils to take home its 15th World Championship in 40 years of DCI. “We are proud of our success as an organization—our staff, our members, all the people it takes to do this from the volunteers, to the board of directors, the cooks, the drivers and all the staff for all the programs,” Gibbs says. “We’re really proud of the consistent level of excellence that we have maintained. Beyond what the world championships are, I am proud that we can retain a level of excellence that challenges the kids, that excites the fans, and that we can deliver it at that high level. I’m extremely proud of that.” September/October 2012 19

Nothing “Common” About Crown For the second time in its history, Carolina Crown received its highest finish in second place. Its show, “For the Common Good,” is based on Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and Bertrand Moren’s “Dreams.”

Working Together

World Class Scores 1. Blue Devils 2. Carolina Crown 3. Phantom Regiment 4. The Cadets 5. Santa Clara Vanguard 6. Bluecoats 7. Boston Crusaders 8. The Cavaliers 9. Madison Scouts 10. Blue Knights 11. Spirit of Atlanta 12. Crossmen

98.700 97.650 96.550 95.050 94.450 92.550 89.100 88.850 88.000 86.700 84.400 84.000

“The theme was to show the incredible things people can do, both individually and united together,” says Christopher Martin, a member of the trumpet section. “My favorite part of our show was ‘Fanfare for the Common Man.’ It was basically the turning point of the performance. Beforehand, a lot of the show was fast-paced and focused on quick bursts of energy. When we start playing ‘Fanfare,’ however, everything is directed toward working together to create something greater than any of us could have done on our own. In a way, that piece is very reflective of drum corps, sacrificing your personal agenda to work together for a better whole.” The message of the show connected not only with the current members who preformed it but also with past members who admire the high level of proficiency within the 2012 corps. “The content of the show and the performers’ level of execution truly brought out one message for me: With a unified, common focus, any goal is achievable,” says Jordan Walker, former Carolina Crown brass member. “All facets of the drum corps were very, very strong, and only thanks to many hours on the practice field and a high level of effort on the part of everyone involved.”

High Brass Crown’s high level of excellence was recognized when they were presented with caption awards for Brass and

Show: “For the Common Good” Score: 97.650 Director: Jim Coates tying with The Blue Devils for Best Visual Performance. The coveted Jim Ott Best Brass Performance Award is a source of great pride for the brass caption, both for current and past members as Crown received the award for the third time in four years. “I think winning the Jim Ott award this year was a testament to how hard the brass line worked all summer,” Martin says. “Since day one we were told that all 80 of us had to be in the same boat, working as a team. It was a great feeling walking away from finals knowing that our determination and perseverance paid off.” As a Crown alumnus, Walker takes pride in the success of Crown’s brass as well. “I consider the Jim Ott the icing on the cake to what has been a great group of performers to listen to for the three summers since I aged out,” Walker says. “It is great to see a tradition of excellence in the caption that I was involved with and to see that the years of work put in continue to reward the members. The brass program’s excellence could not have been possible without nearly a decade’s worth of work by hundreds of individuals dating back to 2003 when the current brass staff took over.” After scores were announced following finals, members of Carolina Crown and the Blue Devils congratulated one another on their successful seasons. “It felt great to congratulate the other corps on their season and to hear how much respect they have for us and us for them,” Martin says.

World Class Caption Awards Donald Angelica Best General Effect Award: Blue Devils Fred Sanford Best Percussion Performance Award: Blue Devils John Brazale Best Visual Performance Award: Blue Devils and Carolina Crown George Zingali Best Color Guard Award: Blue Devils Jim Ott Best Brass Performance Award: Carolina Crown 20






















Oregon Crusaders Dream Big

Open Class Scores 1. Oregon Crusaders 95.250 2. Blue Devils B 93.850 3. Vanguard Cadets 93.800 4. Spartans 91.150 5. 7th Regiment 86.350 6. Genesis 85.500 7. Gold 84.300 8. Legends 83.950 9. Music City 83.850 10. Raiders 82.000 11. Revolution 78.500 12. Colt Cadets 75.400

Open Class Caption Awards Best Brass Performance: Oregon Crusaders Best General Effect: Oregon Crusaders Best Visual Performance: Oregon Crusaders Best Percussion Performance: Blue Devils B Best Color Guard: Spartans Most Improved: Legends


For the first time in corps history, the Oregon Crusaders stepped off the field as DCI Open Class Champions. After winning the silver medal behind Blue Devils B for the past two years, the Crusaders finally came out on top. Winning Best Brass Performance, Best Visual Performance and Best General Effect, the corps stopped Blue Devils B from earning its fourth championship title in a row.

In Living Color The show, “Dreaming in Color” explores the interpretation of dreams through colors. “We wanted to do something unique and accessible,” says director Michael Quillen. “The dreaming part was definitely a key factor and how colors are used for interpreting your dreams. We went through different styles and emotions … such as angry, happy and a little bit of sexy.” Overall, the show proved to be intellectual as well as fun. “The show is brilliantly designed, and aside from being fun for us as performers and being fun for audiences to watch, the intellectual aspect of the show is just fantastic,” says Elizabeth Veldhuisen, a member of the mellophone section. “I think our show is really representative of the Oregon Crusaders as performers. It was quirky and silly at times, but it had a lot of heart, which is definitely how I would describe the members and staff here.”

Show: “Dreaming in Color” Score: 95.250 Director: Michael Quillen

Special Season The Crusaders earned a final score of 95.25, the corps’ highest score ever. On top of the pride of reaching a new high score, Quillen also had a personal connection with the number. “The first thing that came to my mind, honestly, was the score as 95.25, and that was the same score 30 years earlier when I aged out with The Blue Devils in 1982,” he says. “That was our final score and the highest they had ever achieved until then.” The corps experienced another emotional highlight off the field. “During our ‘traditions,’ one of our age-outs proposed to his girlfriend in front of the whole corps!” exclaims color guard member Hannah Davidson. Center snare and battery section leader, Josh Smith, expresses how special this season was to him, not just because they won, but also because of the effort they put forth and trials they surged through. “This summer was the best summer of my life, and I loved every second of it,” Smith says. “Knowing that everyday we got up with a fire and a passion for excellence, pushing each other to become more consistent, is special in itself. We had quite a few curve balls thrown at us throughout the season. Whether it be the bus breaking down, having to stop in the middle of a run-through because of lightning and tornado warnings, or the equipment truck being stuck in a ditch 10 miles from the housing site, we never stopped pushing through.” With only eight age-outs this year, the Crusaders plan to excel into the 2013 season. What kind of impact has winning their first championship had on the members? “It taught me that championships are not won on finals night,” Veldhuisen says. “They are won in everything we do leading up to it: at camps, at all-days, during shows, at rehearsals, everything. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t know that already, but more that I finally got to experience it.”

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Blue Devils B Take Silver Blue Devils B’s second-place finish behind the Oregon Crusaders broke the corps’ three-year winning streak; however, the members are not any less proud of what they accomplished this season. “We felt great about the performance we put out and felt proud of what we took on to get it there,” says John Shoemaker, euphonium co-section leader. “Breaking a streak isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t change how we felt about ourselves and our show.” BDB received the Best Percussion caption. In addition, corps director Rick Odello received the Open Class Director of the Year award for the third time in five years.

Flowing Together BDB’s show, “Ecstatic Waters,” depicts “water in various states you would encounter on a journey down a river,” explains brass co-caption head Eric Weingartner. “From a calm, stoic opening, to an exhilarating rush of the rapids, followed by the tumultuous descent over the edge of the falls, and finally ending with the ecstasy of surviving the journey after splashdown.” The corps used the theme of water to bond throughout the season. Weingartner recalls how the brass section came together one day in the middle

of a rainstorm. “We could see some dark clouds quickly approaching, then it started to drizzle in the middle of an exercise, but we continued playing. By the end of the exercise, it was pouring rain, but I decided to have the brass play through our tuning progression before we ran inside. The power of sound the brass played with was very intense. That afternoon was when I felt that the brass section finally figured out how to rehearse like a mature ensemble.” Along with adverse weather conditions, the corps faced the challenge of fielding a young corps this season. “We had a young corps with lots of rookies this year; we couldn’t just assume everyone knew their role like in years past,” drum major Eddie Pineda explains. “By the end of the season, we had a completely different corps. They grew up to become not only great performers, but fine individuals as well.” Pineda gave some insight into what we can expect for the future of the corps. “Blue Devils B will continue to grow as an organization,” Pineda says. “They raise their own expectations each season, and it’s amazing to see them achieve their goals year after year. I am honored to have aged out of Blue Devils B.”

Show: “Ecstatic Waters” Score: 93.850 Director: Rick Odello

September/October 2012 25


igh school and college marching bands are a widespread American tradition; however, junior high or middle school marching band is much less common. Some communities have always had marching band for 7th and 8th graders while other programs are rare or just emerging. So what do middle school marching bands do? Much like high school bands, they march in the fall and focus on concert band in the spring. But instead of a halftime field show, they usually stick to community parades and sometimes parade competition.

On Parade

School band in Portland, Ore. “The middle school band had a tradition of performing in [Portland Rose Festival’s Junior Parade], and watching that kind of influenced my ideas of what band was,” Lasfetto says. In 2012, Portland’s Junior Parade is still going strong, with almost 30 middle school bands. Independence (Iowa) Jr./Sr. High School has grades 7 to 12. The 7th and 8th grade musicians form the Jr. High Band, which performs in the Homecoming Parade and does a field show at one football game per year. “We just do some basic steps; it’s nothing extravagant, but

we do teach them a lot of things that they’re going to need to know in high school,” says co-director David Lang. “If they didn’t have that, they’d be lost and feel very apprehensive. I think they’re pretty proud of their performances.”

Mini Camp Just like in high school, it all starts at band camp, albeit a shorter version. At Alvarado, band camp lasts for four days and includes proper posture, marching fundamentals, music rehearsal, and breathing exercises. “Trying to get the students to know their left from their right is one of the biggest issues we

At Alvarado Intermediate School in Rowland Heights, Calif., band director Steve Krumbine takes his marching band to four or five competitive parades, a local community parade and a performance at Disneyland each year. “The competition and trophies are all secondary; it’s about what the students get out of it, not what we walk away with,” Krumbine says. “I want to make it enjoyable for the students and the parents, so that when they leave the school, they understand a lot about music and walk away with a lot of good memories.” For Michael Lasfetto, who is now an elementary band teacher in Scottsdale, Ariz., parades were what first inspired him to join the Centennial Middle

Learning to march in middle school has both benefits and challenges. While it does make more work for students, directors and parents, junior high band can provide an unforgettable experience and a marching foundation to last a lifetime.

Well-Rounded: Alvarado Intermediate School in Rowland Heights, Calif., has a marching band, winter guard and indoor percussion. Photo courtesy of Alvarado Intermediate School. 26

By Elizabeth Geli

have,” Krumbine says. “Discipline plays a big role in it, learning how to work as a group. Everybody matters and must be in the correct rank and file and diagonal and contributing 100 percent. When they finish and see what they’ve done, it boosts their self-esteem and helps them to be more confident.” Independence begins with a two-day band camp of marching fundamentals. “It’s all about discipline and getting kids to do things the same, and at that age group, you’re doing pretty good if you can just get them to move together down the street,” Lang says. “It’s a struggle. They start out being awkward and

having a difficult time, but the more repetitions we do, they seem to respond and get things learned.” Lang’s band performs in jeans and a printed T-shirt to fit each year’s show theme, but Krumbine’s has a full-fledged traditional uniform with jackets, bibbers and shakos. “One of the biggest reasons we started band camp was the uniforms,” Krumbine says. “It took us so long to fit the uniforms that we lost a lot of class time. During the marching part of band camp, the boosters grab 10 kids at a time and fit them top to bottom. Even in the four days, you never get through everybody.”

Teaching younger students to march can be challenging but has proved to be very beneficial for both concert season and high school. “The marching aspect has its quirks and downfalls,” Krumbine says. “The first time you see the band go out on a street after band camp, you just want to giggle because it looks so bad. But the upside to that is the reward at the end of the year when you can see that they actually can walk in step.”

Growing Up Sometimes the younger middle school students are less mature, but the skills required for marching band can help them grow up. “It’s really hard for a 7th grader to focus for a long time, and when you’re asking them to stand still, it doesn’t come easy,” Lang says. “The biggest struggle is getting them to grasp the discipline necessary and getting everyone to do things together and be quiet when they’re supposed to. It transfers into concert band season, too; they have that discipline to sit quietly.” While school budget hardships have led to cuts in many middle school and junior high music programs, those that are able to stay afloat are thriving. Approximately one hundred of the 200 middle school students at Independence are in the marching band, and in Krumbine’s seven years at Alvarado, the band has steadily grown.

A Chance to Shine: The Independence (Iowa) Jr. High Band performs in the Homecoming Parade and does a field show at one football game per year. Photo courtesy of the Independence Jr. High Band.

September/October 2012 27

“Because of marching, my program has grown just because it gives the kids something else to do; I think they come away with a better experience,” Krumbine says. “A lot of students transfer in from other schools as 8th graders, and they said they got bored in 7th grade of just sitting and playing. I think it’s another tool to keep school music programs growing and thriving with both students and parents.” Marching can give middle school students a taste of what’s to come in high school, inspiring them and ensuring they stay involved in music. Lang and Krumbine report that nearly 100 and 80 percent of their students, respectively, continue to high school band. “If they’ve never marched before and saw the high school band, they’d be fairly scared to be a part of it, so we want them to come in exposed to the activity and all the things that go with it,” Lang says. “It helps make a smooth transition into high school and the high school band. They have friends already, and it’s a big family situation that we try to create here.” When advancing to high school, those who marched in junior high start off more prepared—but that’s not to say that others are at a disadvantage. “When I go and work with the high school that I feed into, I can see the difference in marching with freshmen students,” Krumbine says. “My students typically know about posture and carriage and how to march at correct intervals and the basic commands. After freshman year, though, everything levels out.”

Combined Forces Marching band also gives junior high and high school students a chance to interact and assume leadership roles. “You do have a lot of opportunities to teach student leadership,” Lasfetto says. “Having high school volunteers come to help is a good way to expose them to teaching.” Independence marches a combined junior/senior band in the city’s annual Fourth of July parade and provides additional opportunities to work together. “We have Jr. High ‘Band-Aids’ to help us move props and move the pit in and out of the shows and football games,” Lang says. “They’re around the band a lot, and they get excited about the shows that we do and go on excursions to the competitions. They are excited and can’t wait to see what the show’s going to be when they become a freshman.” Alvarado also has junior high indoor percussion and winter guard. The smaller groups and the full marching band have taken out-of-state trips to Walt Disney World or other festivals. Students don’t need to be an existing member of the marching band to participate. “Drum line and color guard benefit the overall program; … both groups are a beast that feeds the bigger beast,” Krumbine says. “We get a lot of students who aren’t in the band and aren’t doing well in school, but they change their attitude after joining drum line or band, and then it’s nice to see them go to the high school and compete there as well.” Even if adding marching to a middle school program isn’t logistically or financially possible, it may be wise to introduce students to marching by going to shows or viewing performance DVDs. “Marching doesn’t diminish the need for a strong concert band program because if they can’t sit and play, there’s no way they can stand up and move,” Lasfetto says. “But if you’re teaching your kids strong fundamentals, then having them go outside is a good thing. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. You can have a strong concert band and still expose students to drum 28




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corps and marching band to tell your students that that’s a legitimate form of expression even if that’s not the focus of your program.” While it may take some sacrifice, adding marching to a middle school or junior high band is a risk worth taking, according to Krumbine. “I know it’s expensive, but it’s such a fun time to put the kids out there,” he says. “As long as the kids have good memories, then I’m doing my job the best I can do it. The kids learn a lot from you and each other; they learn about leadership and discipline. If you have a middle school, and you’re wanting to try something different, put ‘em on the street and have fun with them.” Recalling from personal experience, Lasfetto knows how pivotal middle school band can be for a student. “I think that regardless of whether you have a marching band, middle school band is a make-or-break point in a student’s band career,” Lasfetto says. “If they have a great experience, it can really set them on fire, even if they don’t realize until later.”

About the Author Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor for Halftime Magazine and a freelance journalist and communications professional in Los Angeles. She marched flute at Valencia High School in Placentia, Calif., and in the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band, where she now works as a teaching assistant. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and a Master’s in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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Photo courtesy of Drum Corps International.

Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps Placing 9th in Drum Corps International World Championships and beating The Cavaliers in a show for the first time in more than 10 years, The Madison Scouts have made a major breakthrough in its corps history. Chris Komnick, executive director, tells us how.


hris Komnick, executive director of the Madison Scouts and this year’s Dr. Bernard Baggs Leadership Award winner (Director of the Year), has been working on the Scouts comeback for several years—assuming the top role in 2008 and a board position for several years prior. He was a Scouts mellophone player in 1984 and 1985 as well as in the 2006 Alumni Reunion Project. After a career in high-tech startups, Komnick devotes his full attention to this position and has agreed to an additional five-year contract.


Halftime: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What does your job title entail? Komnick: When I performed in the Alumni Project, my love for drum corps was rekindled, and it was a good time in my life to give back to the organization that did so much for me personally. As executive director, I am responsible for all matters in regards to the Scouts organization. This includes financial viability, brand development, programming, instructional team, membership, recruiting and vendor relationship.

Halftime: Next year is the Madison Scouts’ 75th anniversary. How did the Madison Scouts come to be a corps? Komnick: Started in 1938 as a Boy Scouts drum corps in the Madison, Wis., area, the Scouts have evolved into one of the most recognized drum corps throughout the world and now has a membership that stretches across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Because of our Boy Scouts roots, the corps remains one of two remaining all-male entities. Since the formation of Drum Corps Interna-

Halftime: Tell us about the shows from the past few years. Komnick: 2010, Untitled—This was the first show designed by James Mason, and we decided to get back to our roots and restore our brand. The show was very much within the capabilities of the members, and it delighted fans. Mission accomplished; the corps was well-received and finished in 10th place that year. 2011, New York Morning—This show was a dedication to the people involved in the event of Sept. 11, 2001 ... something that was very personal to James Mason and the members of “Blast!” The show introduced Robert W. Smith as our new brass arranger. The show demand was increased quite a bit that season, and the membership responded very well. The closing number, “Empire State of Mind,” became an incredible fan favorite and was greeted with standing ovations night after night. 2012, Reframed—This past year’s show took several more steps forward in design sophistication with an incredible job by Robert Smith layering iconic Madison moments (“Malaga,” “The Way We Were,” “Malaguena”) into “Pictures at an Exhibition.” The corps’ visual and percussion programs took major steps forward, and the brass section continued to grow in its maturity. The final minute of the show featured a full-corps rotating gate and again had the fans on their feet night after night. Halftime: What are your thoughts on being named as this year’s Dr. Bernard Baggs Leadership Award recipient? Komnick: I am honored to have been selected for the Director of the Year award by my fellow directors in the activity. But I have a very good team around me, and I think this award is more of a reflection of the successes of the whole organization than any one individual. Halftime: Would you also comment on Sean Phelan receiving the Jim Jones Leadership Award as drum major of the year? Komnick: Sean is the quintessential example of a Madison Scout. A humble leader, he represents all the characteristics we

© 2012. Ryan Cain/ All rights reserved.

tional, the Scouts have won two World Championships and have been a DCI Finalist 37 times. Halftime: Describe how the Madison Scouts climbed back to the top 12. Komnick: After the 2006 season, the Scouts experienced some internal and financial challenges that resulted in a completely new management and instructional team going into 2007. Quite honestly, we’re lucky we were even able to successfully complete the season that year. No doubt we faced some major challenges, and the competitive results reflected that as we finished the season in 15th place. We tweaked the instructional team in 2008 and found ourselves back in finals in 12th place, but 2009 continued to expose both instructional methodology issues and programmatic problems that resulted in the corps finishing in 15th place yet again. After the 2009 season, I opted to make a major overhaul to our operations, both on the administrative side and with our instructional staff. I reached out to alumnus James Mason [Star of Indiana, “Blast!”] and convinced him to serve as the Scouts’ artistic director. With some smart programming choices, we were able to put the corps back on the right track and finished in 10th place in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, we continued to improve the capabilities of the corps while asking them to perform even more demanding and sophisticated programs. All the while, we were careful to assure that we respected and preserved the brand qualities of the Madison Scouts by delivering high-energy, entertaining and accessible shows that got fans on their feet night after night. … Today’s drum corps activity has become a very sophisticated business, and you need to approach it as such if you want to achieve success at it. Halftime: So did your years in the corporate world help you with the Scouts turnaround? Komnick: My business background has been invaluable in running the Madison Scouts. Whether a non-profit or for-profit organization, the underlying principles are still the same. The Madison Scouts are a brand, and we produce a product (an on-field production) and a service (a member experience). It’s important that we are diligent to the business concerns of our organization to assure that we can stay viable and adjust to changing dynamics of the marketplace.

try to develop in all our members. He’s a gentleman, a scholar, a musician, a performer, a leader and a trusted friend to many. One aspect of our program at the Madison Scouts is to provide opportunities for our members to develop and hone various life skills. Sean is a great example of that work, and his selection is a wonderful acknowledgement of his success. Halftime: What is your future plan for the Madison Scouts? Komnick: The Scouts will continue to program and develop exciting shows for our fans, and we will continue to develop the character of the young men who participate in the corps. We’ve been doing it for 75 years, and we expect to continue that for at least another 75.

About the Author Katie Finlon is a journalism major at Northern Illinois University (NIU). She has participated in color guard within NIU’s Huskie Marching Band and has also marched snare in its drum line. During her time at NIU, she has been awarded “Rookie of the Year” for guard and “Most Improved Member” for drum line. Katie is also a freelance entertainment writer for NIU’s newspaper, the “Northern Star.” September/October 2012 31

Behind the Baton By Kyle Trader

Paying It Forward In Command: Kyle Trader took the podium with the Troopers in the summer of 2008. © 2008. Jan Williams. All rights reserved.

Words of wisdom about leadership … from being a drum major to teaching drum majors.


s a teacher of upcoming leadership and drum majors in a Drum Corps International (DCI) group, I have to thank the amount of leadership and mentoring I had myself as a drum major in high school and in corps. If it weren’t for the amazing leadership, I wouldn’t have made it through, let alone have aspirations to become an individual like them. Since 2003 I have been a drum major twice, once in my senior year of high school and then in 2008 with the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyo. Being in that leadership role with two completely different groups really shaped how I went about the job. Both


times I could only be drum major for one season, so I knew I needed to learn the job quickly. When I first started my drum corps career in 2004, my drum major Michael Gough was such a great leader and friend; it made me want to become that person. It wasn’t so much the “drum major” title but more about being a great leader. When I was offered the role, I was very excited and nervous about the challenge because I wanted to be the best person who has held that title. I approached the position as a job and saw it as something that would be hard if I didn’t know what I was doing and where I could be

replaced if my performance wasn’t great.

Continuing the Tradition In 2009 I joined the visual staff for the Troopers and have seen four drum majors in those years. These leaders have been very good at what they do, and they have been great people off the field. At the Troopers these individuals have an added sense of pressure because the iconic uniform of the drum major is known throughout the activity. I know that these drum majors hear the same stories every summer from fans walking through show sites reminiscing of when

Top Tips The first advice and words of wisdom I give to these leaders is to be very aware that they are in this position for a reason, and that they need to work very hard to enforce the decision to put them in that role. Yes, it may be a lot of stress to initially give a person, but it really gets them thinking more for the group and how they can contribute to better the group. The fact that I have been in their shoes and that they always have someone to talk to makes it easier for them to ask questions about situations or problems that they might not know how to deal with. I also tell the drum major to find a system of operation on a day-to-day level and keep it consistent. It will build predictability and expectation each day

for the members. If others know what to expect, then it is easier to focus on other aspects of the drum major role, such as music study and conducting. The hardest piece of advice I give is to remember the fact that the title comes before friends in the group. The drum major will have to give information and instructions that some might not be happy with, so the best plan of attack is to obtain the members’ trust and become respected. You will have friends, but know that it shouldn’t be their excuse not to complete a task or job. It definitely is hard on days when you think you might be alone without friends, but that isn’t the case. The group dynamic is more fluid, and everything is running smoother, and that is because the leadership is strong.

Passing It On: Kyle Trader (right) has been on the visual staff of the Troopers since 2009 and coaches young drum majors like this year’s Alex Lackey. Photo courtesy of Kyle Trader.

they first saw the Troopers and how they were impressed with who the drum major was that year. That recognition is special to them, and not many organizations have that kind of history. I enjoy being able to help the new drum major of the drum corps because he or she is joining in a special group of individuals that have held that role.

About the Author Kyle Trader was drum major at Niwot (Colo.) High School in 2003. He was a member of the Troopers Drum and Bugle corps as a trumpet player in 2004 and 2005. In 2006 he was a trumpet player for the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and returned to the Troopers in 2007. He became drum major in 2008 and joined the visual staff in 2009. Since then he has been helping the leadership and drum majors and has been involved on the leadership committees. Kyle graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in business administration focusing on management and will be starting a master’s degree in not-for-profit management at Regis University in Denver in August.

^ Take a lesson from Carol Abohatab, choreographer for the Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Guard and modern dance teacher for more than twenty years. < Scan this for a full list of WGI Educational DVDs

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Fitness to the MAx

By Haley Greenwald-Gonella

Food for Thought 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.

More and more people are eliminating certain foods— such as gluten and dairy—from their diet to feel fit. Is it right for you?


luten-free. Lactose intolerant. Celiac Disease. Crohn’s Disease. These now buzzworthy dietary issues have been cropping up all over the place. Know what your body needs as well as what makes you feel less than performance worthy or what makes you feel like a rock star.

Not a Glutton for Gluten? Does eating pasta make you sick to your stomach? Have you tried eliminating gluten from your diet? There are entire gluten-free sections in grocery stores, and more and more people are touting the benefits of being gluten-free. Just think back to the Olympics! Many competing athletes at the games had gluten-free diets. However, carbohydrates are an important source of energy, so if you do not need to be gluten-free, keep it in your diet.

Dairy Deduction The same line of thinking goes for possible dairy intolerances. However, for some people, having yogurt—because of the active cultures—can actually lessen the difficulties of eating other types of lactose-laden foods. Drinking 34

kefir—a type of yogurt drink—also has the reputation of helping with lactose intolerance. Also if you have a cold, decrease or eliminate your dairy because it can inflame your symptoms. Playing an instrument while being sick is never fun, so boost your immune system by increasing vitamin C instead. Red peppers, parsley, and broccoli have several times more vitamin C than an orange!

Personal Experimentation When dealing with intolerances, eliminating foods from your diet and seeing how you feel is generally the best thing to do. It is important to be aware of how you feel as you keep them out or gradually add them back in. As you remove categories of food, make sure to get all the necessary vitamins, minerals and energy to sustain you throughout your day. Talk to your doctor, or even sometimes an allergy specialist, to ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients. Taking a daily vitamin or other supplements can be beneficial as well. Ask your doctor which ones are best for you.

Marching Band has a New Standard

Register for the 2012 USBands National Championships November 8-11, 2012 MetLife Stadium I E. Rutherford, N.J. U.S. Naval Academy I Annapolis, Md.


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By Matt Jones

“Middle Schooled”

What happens when you change the middle letter ... 1





5 14




34 41






50 56


58 61






47 52



Across 1. It’s “all you need,” in a Beatles song 5. “I’ve figured it out!” 8. Some marching instruments 13. Opera highlights 15. Minor 16. Anticipate 17. Impudent marching group? (2 words) 19. Designer Oscar de la ______ 20. The one looking at this puzzle 21. Monopoly card 23. Jeremy Piven’s “Entourage” role 24. Diesel on the big screen 27. Competition judge that looks like that actress from “The Wizard of Oz” (changing I to Y)?






43 45















19 21













20 24




30. Wedding vow response (2 words) 31. NYC airport relatively close to JFK (abbrev.) 32. Knack for music 33. Band ______ 35. Birds on a ranch Down Under 38. Air quality problem 41. Mid-game performances that make the crowd sorta sleepy (changing M to R)? (3 words) 44. Unwritten type of exam 45. One type of power utility (abbrev.) 46. Enlist for another tour (hyph.) 48. “That’s neither here ___ there” 50. “Am ___!” (“Are not!” retort)




72 75

52. Zero, in European soccer games 53. Severe marching teachers (changing U to I)? 58. Place for pigs 59. Body art, slangily 60. Auction site that owns PayPal 61. “The Raven” initials 63. Blot on a shirt 65. Instrument full of witty comebacks (changing E to K)? (2 words) 70. Orlando NBA team 71. Brownish M&M color

72. Blazing 73. Cow on the Borden label 74. Button on some cell phones 75. Best Original ___ (Golden Globe category) Down 1. Place for experimenting 2. Hockey legend Bobby 3. By means of 4. “No sweat!” 5. Abbreviation on a “Wanted” poster 6. Native resident of India, maybe 7. Augmented 8. Actual dollar bills, as opposed to credit (2 words) 9. Come up short 10. Sprinted toward (2 words) 11. Prefix before “glycerin” 12. Escalator part 14. Low sandbar 18. Yearly expenses for band gear, for example 22. Hurricane center 24. ___ Firth (maker of cymbals and sticks) 25. Oregon’s neighbor 26. Former Dodgers player Garciaparra 28. Kennedy of “Malibu’s Most Wanted” 29. Knight wear? 34. It may use chlorophyll 36. It usually starts with www.

37. Take care of (2 words) 39. Part of the NFL initials T.O. 40. What an astronaut wears while floating around (hyph.) 42. Singer backed by The Machine 43. Point earner in a game 47. Paper towel layer 49. Bone that allows expansion as you breathe in 51. Site of Japan’s first 24hour airport 53. “Who’s there?” response (2 words) 54. Birth-related 55. Male deer 56. Social division 57. Irish Tenor Ronan 62. Some printable files (abbrev.) 64. 3, in Roman numerals 66. Furthermore 67. Setting for the 2016 Summer Olympics 68. Decorative vase 69. “Family Guy” daughter

Solution For the solution go to Click on the magazine issue or “Archives,” then scroll down to “Crossword.”

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.

Drum Corps International and Yamaha 29 Years in Partnership to Support Music Education 2012 Highlights • Carolina Crown wins the Jim Ott High Brass Award - 2nd year in a row and 3 of the last 4 years • Six of Top 12 use Yamaha Percussion • Eight of Top 12 use Yamaha Brass • Ten of Top 12 use Yamaha Pro Audio • For the first time since 2004, The Crossmen return to the Top 12 • The Madison Scouts and the Cavaliers have both been with Yamaha over 27 years • Spirit of Atlanta is back using Yamaha Brass • The Sacramento Mandarins switch to Yamaha Percussion • DCI Open Class Finalists include - Blue Saints, Colt Cadets, Gold, Legends, Les Stentors and the Vanguard Cadets








Halftime Magazine September/October 2012  

Halftime Magazine presents the sights, sounds and spirit of the marching arts. The September/October 2012 issue features the 2012 Drum Corps...

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