Rachel Waggoner and John Evarts
Rachel Waggoner, 21, and John Evarts, 21, after six and three years respectively with the Blue Stars, have had hundreds of performance opportunities between the two of them. DCI.org's Christina Mavroudis caught up with these two when they came off the Rose Bowl Stadium field after the 2007 DCI World Championship Semifinals to get some candid thoughts on their drum corps performance experiences. Waggoner is a member of the color guard and Evarts the percussion section. Christina Mavroudis: How was your performance tonight? Are there any moments that stuck in your head after coming off the field? Rachel Waggoner: Our show is called "Power and Grace," and it's one of the most amazing shows I've ever been able to perform. The energy out on the field tonight was amazing. You always have those little moments during a performance when you get to look at somebody else on the field. During those moments this feeling passes between you and you can feel the energy and really feed off of it. John Evarts: The show itself is an amazing package. We go out every night to do our best. CM: During this past season was there a moment that really defined the season for you or that was a major turning point? RW: Before we left for our tour after every day rehearsals in June, we had what we called a "faux show." It was a performance just for some of the locals around the LaCrosse (Wis.) area. That was the defining moment for me. It was our first performance, and everyone clicked when we realized at that moment why we hadv been working so hard during a month of pre-season rehearsals. JE: For me it was our performance when we were in New Mexico. It was really windy at the show, and because of that the conditions called for us to perform without our helmets on. We were out there on the football field front and center in front of the entire crowd exposing our face and our emotions. It was an intimate show and there was certainly a connection with everyone in the audience. They gave it up for us. They really enjoyed the performance, and we ending up having one of our best shows of the season. That will always stick with me and be a part of me as one of those amazing experiences performing to that many people up close. CM: What do your futures hold? RW: I'm currently a student at Iowa State University studying mechanical engineering. I plan on teaching high school color guards for the rest of my life to help out and give something back to this activity that has been so important to me. JE: I'm currently a student at the University of North Texas studying music. If things shape out how I would like them to, maybe I'll be teaching a drum corps in a couple of years. CM: Is there anything that people might be surprised to know about what you do outside of your time with the Blue Stars? JE: Something that nobody really knows about me is that I enjoy singing. RW: With my degree, I plan on designing sets for theatrical productions. I worked as an intern for Cirque du Soleil this past spring, and that's kind of what I want to do with my life. CM: What do advice do you have for future Blue Stars members? RW: Keep pushing. This is an amazing organization. It's such a family atmosphere. As our corps motto says, "The end crowns the work." JE: Live strong and make as many connections as you can, because your time in the drum corps activity will fly by really fast. You will learn so much, so try to soak up as much as you can and just love to the fullest. It'll reward you in the end.