Drum Corps International
A drum corps summer, in book form

A drum corps summer, in book form

by Drum Corps International

For those of you who have always thought that a summer on the practice field and on the bus with a drum corps would make for a great book or screenplay, GM Kuzma has just published the ultimate drum corps stocking stuffer. "On the Field from Denver, Colorado ... the Blue Knights" is Kuzma's nonfiction book sendup of the drum corps summer of 1994, from preparing for everydays to a flight home to the Boca Raton, Fla., airport following . Along the way you'll laugh at Kuzma's appreciation for good-looking Blue Knights staffers (Jennifer Oxelson) and share in his memories of allergies, peanut butter and jelly and the Blue Knights/Crossmen tie for seventh place in Foxboro, Mass., that year. GM Kuzma is currently the director of Texas' Revolution. He answered a couple questions for DCI.org here. DCI.org: What inspired you to write the book?

GM Kuzma
Kuzma: I'll be the first to admit that I'm no Stephen King. However, my intent was to tell my story so that the reader would feel as though they were right there with me. My first experience with drum corps was basically a series of misadventures and reminded me of Beverly Cleary's book "Dear Mr. Henshaw." After a few days with the Blue Knights, I knew I was going to have an interesting story to tell. From that point on, I wrote something down every day and I couldn't stop. DCI.org: The book reads like a tour diary. Is that how you assembled it? Kuzma: I really liked the format in which Beverly Cleary wrote "Dear Mr. Henshaw." It's about a sixth-grader who keeps a journal of his misadventures. "Dear Mr. Henshaw" is comprised solely of journal entries and letters. It was addicting -- I couldn't put the book down. I suppose that is why online journals are so popular. DCI.org: Who are your favorite authors? Kuzma: I also enjoy reading Orson Scott Card. I particularly liked his book "Ender's Game." DCI.org: Give us your full drum corps background. Kuzma: In DCI, I marched mellophone with Blue Knights (1994) and Madison Scouts (1996). I also marched mellophone in DCA with Heat Wave in 2000 and 2001. When Magic of Orlando went inactive in 2000, I helped take the reigns of the Micro Magic Performance Ensemble as the tour director. I was responsible for planning, coordinating and leading Micro Magic to several exhibition performances during our mini-tour to the Drum Corps International Summer Music Games in Washington, D.C.
I then volunteered seven weeks as equipment truck driver, cook, performer, visual tech and assistant to the tour director in 2001. I felt I played a key part during the transition of the new management that led to the successful return of Magic of Orlando in 2002. When I relocated to San Antonio, I helped out for about three weeks as van driver, cook and assistant to the director of Revolution in 2002. This past 2004 summer, I helped the Blue Knights support staff for four weeks as van driver and cook. In September, I was appointed as the new director of Revolution. DCI.org: Do you have plans to write any more books? Kuzma: Yes, I do. I am currently drafting a manuscript for my second book about my war-time experience during the opening days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the summer of 2003. It was a unique and positive experience that I look forward to sharing.
  • Read an excerpt from Kuzma's book
  • Read another excerpt from Kuzma's book
  • Purchase "On the field from Denver, Colorado, the Blue Knights!"
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