Drum Corps International
A state untouched by drum corps

A state untouched by drum corps

by Josh Peterson

When she started working at the Hidden Falls Salmon Hatchery in Southeast Alaska last February, Rebecca Moser shoveled snow around her work site all day for weeks. This was a far cry from life in her college town in St. Petersburg, Fla. At the Hidden Falls facility, she'd help hatch salmon eggs in darkrooms for eight hours a day. Sharing close quarters with one other person, Moser was required to live on a "floathouse" for four days a week with no showers. Reflecting on her current situation, Moser is grateful for her years as a member of a drum corps.

Former drum corps member Rebecca Moser has gone
from football fields to Alaskan floathouses.
Although Alaska is one of the few states untouched by drum corps during the course of the annual Drum Corps International Summer Tour, those who live and work in the remote locations of the state are no strangers to the hard work and long hours like those experienced by corps members every summer. As a 2005 "age-out" member of the Phantom Regiment color guard, Moser believes the many skills she learned in drum corps allowed her to complete the difficult tasks of her new job in the land of the midnight sun. "It helped me become a really flexible person," Moser said about her drum corps experiences. "That's helped me while adapting to these remote Alaskan conditions; when a lot of people might go completely crazy!"

Rebecca Moser
Originally from Michigan, Moser marched for three years as a member of the Kiwanis Kavaliers color guard from 2002 through 2004, before completing her junior corps career with the Phantom Regiment in 2005. "I found out about drum corps during high school after watching a few PBS broadcasts of the DCI World Championships, and the corps always impressed me. When I chose to attend college in Florida, I looked into it more and decided to join one." Moser believes her experience on several – sometimes grueling but rewarding – summer tours helped to prepare her for her new lifestyle in Alaska. Being around the same few people every day and not having much control over obtaining necessary items and conveniences when she wants them, is not new to her. "The hatchery is remote so I don't have direct access to a town in which to shop, for example. I live on-site and basically only see the same 12 people who work here. We have to e-mail our grocery list to the store ... and the deliveries get flown over here via floatplane along with our mail and any other personal orders. If the weather conditions are bad, there is no flight and thus no groceries!" Although the work Moser does is tough, drum corps has more than prepared her for the demanding work ethic. "Mentally, there are some similarities. A lot of those physical things you deal with in drum corps; you are able to achieve by pushing through them mentally. That's similar to being up here."

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