Drum Corps International
Alfred, N.Y.: My favorite place

Alfred, N.Y.: My favorite place

by Drum Corps International

Last week, we paid some editorial attention to drum corps events that happened in the Eastern U.S. By Joe Smith For my advanced composition class we recently had to write an essay on the most memorable place we've ever been. Thinking about what to write about was extremely difficult for me, and I finally came to the conclusion that the best place to write about would only be Alfred, N.Y. After brainstorming and outlining I started my drafts. I found I wanted to change many things in the paper so that it would bring the reader even closer to realizing why it is that I loved Alfred so much. This is the paper that I finally finished. My summers are spent with 134 of my closest friends traveling the country, and performing for thousands of people. During the summer we travel by bus and sleep almost always on the gym floors of schools. We get to experience some of the best and worst schools and towns in the country during our 70 days on the road. During this last summer the most memorable place that we stayed just happened to be in Alfred, N.Y. We arrived in Alfred around 4 a.m., and everyone was half asleep. We found out that we had lost our housing site, so the mayor arranged for us to stay in a dorm hall. It would be the first time all summer that the corps had the chance to sleep in beds. The downside, though, was that we had to carry our stuff up several flights of stairs. Once we had carried our stuff up the stairs it was up to us to choose who we shared a room with. After walking through most of the halls, I found an empty bed and ended up sharing a room with Steve Beatty, one of my best friends. The beds were comfortable and made falling asleep and staying asleep very easy.

After our morning calisthenics it was decided we would spend an hour packing and loading, because of the distance between the housing site and the field. This gave me a chance to take an extra shower. The showers in the dorm were extremely nice and we had hot water for a change.

Once we had arrived at the field house, we were given the opportunity to eat and unload our equipment. The field could not be seen from the field house. To get to the field we had to walk over a small bridge that spanned across a small creek, and down a sidewalk to where the field was located. Because of the trees all around the field, it seemed as though the field was secluded from the rest of the world. Once we got to the field we found out that we had the great fortune of using a turfed field for the day. So before the rehearsal started, several of the horn line members (including myself) sat down on the field to relax and take in the surroundings. During the hour that the corps had for lunch several of my friends and I decided to check out the creek that ran under the bridge. We found an opening in the fence that led down to the creek. On both sides of the creek there were trees hanging over and covering the water, making the creek shaded and refreshingly cool. On the edge of the creek, the top of a cable spool embedded in the dirt partially covered some large rocks. The table top-like surface was perfect to sit on, and so several of us sat down and took our shoes off and put our feet in the water. The water was very crisp and cool, and also surprisingly clear. After a while we decided that we would explore even more, and we started to wade down the river to see what there was. Eventually everyone headed back to eat except Matt Asleesen and myself. We decided to try and build a dam with rocks. This really helped us to relax and gave us a chance to get to know each other better. After dinner that night we had our full ensemble block, where the entire corps comes together on one field to work on cleaning the show. Once it started to get dark outside, the stadium staff turned the stadium lights on for us. This is always a great feeling for me, because I love to perform under the lights at night. After the lights were turned on and it became dark outside, the humidity finally paid off with a light rain. The rain really helped to give the corps enough energy to finish out the rehearsal. We finished off the night with a final run-through, which the staff thought was a very strong finish for the evening. It was one of my favorite rehearsals of the season.

Alfred was one of the nicest places we rehearsed and stayed at all season. The chance to sleep in beds and rehearse on a turf field really made everything seem just that much better.

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