Now that we've reached the month of May, tour is just barely around the corner. I can't think of a better way to prepare for the coming summer than to share one of my favorite tour stories from last season. I'm sure that everyone in the drum corps world knows of a gentleman by the name of Brandt Crocker. For those who don't, he is none other than "The Voice" of DCI. However, he also moonlights as a DCI contest coordinator. Each year, Mr. Crocker finds a corps that shares a tour schedule similar to his contest schedule, and hops along for the ride. Last year, we were lucky enough to share his company. Of course, he was kind enough to entertain our requests to announce our run-throughs: "Phantom Regiment, you may take the field in run-through exhibition!"

Brandt Crocker and Pat Seidling fix a bus window.
Part of his stint with us saw the corps traveling from Texas to Arkansas. Usually, I pass out the moment I hit my bus seat, but for some reason, I was awake on this night. I spent my time staring out the window, listening to the multitude of snores emanating from the back of the bus. I almost couldn't believe my ears when I heard over the CB radio: "Hey, uh, did you guys see a window fly by?" What? A window? Sure enough, one of the windows on bus two had fallen off. How it happened, and where the window ended up, nobody really knows. I, for one, hadn't noticed anything as we were driving down the road. There was nothing that anyone could do at that hour, so everyone on bus two just had to bundle up and ride it out. The next day was business as usual, with a normal rehearsal schedule and everything that came along with it. Normal, of course, until our lunch break, when we found both our corps director and the "Voice of DCI" trying to duct tape plastic bags over the gaping hole in the bus! We already knew that Brandt Crocker was a man, a myth, a legend. But a bus repairman? Is there anything that he can't do? Lanah Kopplin is a third-year euphonium player in the Phantom Regiment, and previously spent a year with the Pioneer. Lanah recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin (she's a Milwaukee native) with a political science degree, and will age out in 2005.