Drum Corps International
Carpe diem -- an essay

Carpe diem -- an essay

by Drum Corps International

From the Santa Clara Vanguard Web site: By Mackenzie Arnold
Santa Clara Vanguard
2001 – 2002 Trumpet
2003 Mellophone
There are many times when I think back to when I was auditioning for the drum major spot at SCV. The audition process included a short interview where some of the upper level staff asked me some questions. One of the questions asked was this: "Is there any part about drum corps that you don't like?" That evening I really could not think of one thing I disliked about corps. It wasn't until the next day that it came to me. The funny part was that I had always thought this before, and for some reason it never occurred to me during my interview. No, it's not waking up the next morning with sore muscles. It's not the sunburns and the sweat. It isn't even the long bus trips. The part that I least enjoy about drum corps is leaving it after the season is over. To really understand this, one would have to march for at least one year of corps. Towards the end of my first season marching drum corps, I never thought that leaving would have been so hard. I honestly cried almost every day the week after finals in '99. You'd think that after going through this experience once, the next time would be easier. Well it wasn't. As the next season was coming to an end, I already knew how bad it was going to be. And again, I cried. To think that I would never march with this same group of people ever again. It was hard to realize that it was all over. Then I began my first season with the Vanguard. The thought off the top of my head about that season was that I had never worked so hard ever in my life. I believe that the harder one works for this activity, the closer you are to that activity. Being with the Vanguard is a feeling that I never wanted to let go when finals came around. Just ask my friend Amanda Noland about it. She'll tell you that I was up half of the night sobbing with tears in my eyes because I knew I would have to leave the very next day. I know this may sound a tad redundant. I march a season, I have to leave after finals and I cry about it. Call me a crier, so what? While I am excited to finally have my own shower when I get home after tour, it still feels strange not having anyone to talk to while I'm shampooing my hair. And after sleeping on the floor and on the bus all summer, sleeping in my own (real) bed for the first few nights is difficult. And what about the silence? During tour, you are constantly surrounded by your brothers and sisters in corps. There is no time that you will ever be alone. So when you get home and when you're more than a four-step interval from any human being, you tend to feel a bit lonesome. The quietness is almost too much to bear. I know that those of you who have marched agree with me in at least one of these things. If there is any point I'm trying to get to,it is that we should value every moment of every day. Even when you are annoyed with your bus partner and even if all you have to drink for lunch is that same Kool-Aid-colored water again, cherish every moment; because a day will come when all of that is gone. It is hard enough having to leave your brothers and sisters, but it is even harder to look in the mirror and wish that you could've done more. And this doesn't only apply to corps, but to life as well. A former director of mine, Pat Seidling, used to always tell us to "seize the day." In this he meant that we should make the most of every moment. If there was only one thing I learned in drum corps, this would be it -- carpe diem.