By Matthew Smith
Seattle Cascades
I'm not going to lie to you folks! I've been craving drum corps ever since the last performance and awards ceremony at DCI Championships. The whole bus ride home back to Seattle, I kept thinking about that last performance the corps had, the last visual block in the hot Target parking lot in Orlando, the last music ensemble rehearsal where we were "running back to our sets like wild freaks."

Matthew Smith
Just when you start really getting into it, it's already time to leave it! I can't wait until the winter months to start drum corps again. I want it NOW! And because I will be an age-out, I only have one more year left to really go all out! This craving I have will not go away. I am finding myself tapping drum rhythms in my Biology classes, singing the beginning of Phantom Regiment's 2003 production in my head in world literature class, and visualizing the Boston Crusaders' effects in U.S. History. Fortunately, no one has caught on to me ... yet! I find myself whistling shows in the shower, conducting other corps shows from previous years, writing spontaneous drill to random shows, and even starting to come up with my own shows. I'd say it's more than a craving I have. There are many others in my shoes right now, and they know who they are. The anticipation of it all is just so good and so bad at the same time. As for myself, I am going to go as far as saying that I am addicted to the whole activity! How could you march and not be? When I am running rehearsal blocks with high schools, I find myself kicking students out of their drill spots, just so I can show them how to march it; just to get my fix of marching in. A director even asked me to fill in for one of her students at a football game (as a joke). Something tells me I should have signed up for college marching band this fall -- even though it's not as intense, I could still get off on just the little amounts of intensity and perfection that come with it. As our brass caption head at Seattle Cascades told us, "C'mon -- get off on this! You gotta love it!" Another columnist mentioned, and I thought was a great analogy, how drum corps addiction is almost like nicotine, and how marchers, like smokers, need their fix. Well, this can be said about us in drum corps -- we need our fix of drum corps, and for some of us it's daily by listening to and (in my case) acting out various parts of shows by marching around the house doing visuals. Waiting until November to do drum corps is no fun! Until then, I will have to satisfy my cravings doing those bizarre things I mentioned earlier. Hopefully no one will think I am funny in my classes -- my neighbors at home already think I am a freak! But I love it; I can't get enough of drum corps! There is no stopping me now. I'll be the old guy in the stands someday with his two hot dogs, and soft drinks, just so I won't miss a single beat! I would like to know how everyone as crazy as I am deals with drum corps cravings! Please e-mail me at or instant message me on AIM (screen name: bandgeekmatt). I'll be interested in hearing your addiction and craving stories.