Josh Peterson, a 2006 Santa Clara Vanguard "age-out," embarked on a different journey this summer working as a journalist for Drum Corps International. Stepping out of the DCI Addison, Ill. headquarters, he returns to somewhat familiar territory while assigned to go on the road for four days with the Cavaliers and the Boston Crusaders to blog about his day-to-day experiences. Peterson currently studies broadcast journalism and film at San Jose University in California. Today Drum Corps International put on an event at Texas Tech University in very beautiful and very flat Lubbock, Texas. But before I give you a brief rundown of this specific show, I just want to say that going to drum corps events this year has been a completely different experience than my previous years of marching. It is very weird to be on the other side and see all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into putting on a show. When I marched, I just showed up and performed and that was that. I definitely have a new-found respect for everyone who works these events, and honestly nothing beats working from the press box at many of the stadiums. Anyway, back to tonight's show. There were 11 drum corps in Lubbock tonight, but due to the weather, only six and a half of them performed. We had been keeping an eye on the weather all night and it looked like we were in the clear. But halfway through the Boston Crusaders' performance, the weather got really bad and they cut their performance short. About an hour after that, the show was officially called off. I definitely feel bad for the corps that didn't get a chance to perform. From my own experience, it's the worst feeling to warm-up and get all psyched up for a performance only to have it rained out.
After we waited for the rain to die down a little bit, which took quite a while, we packed up all of our stuff and made our way down to the parking lot. By the way, I'm taking this four-day trip with Brandon Marion from DCI's video team. He's an eight-year veteran of Boston Crusaders and is also fresh to the drum corps behind-the-scenes "tour" like me this season. The two of us got on our bus with the Cavaliers, and our journey began. When I first got on the Cavaliers' bus (a bus I've never been on before in my life), I felt like I was home. That's pretty odd considering I haven't been on a drum corps bus since last year, but I guess after being on one for so long during the summer, it kind of becomes a natural home and a place that always feels comfortable to be at; at least for me. Even though I've never met the people I'm now riding with before, I feel like I belong on this bus and that this is where I'm supposed to be. I'm not sure how exactly to describe it, but it just felt right. I guess you never lose or forget your drum corps experiences; especially all those great memories you make on the bus.
From the Lubbock event. I took about a hundred photos before I got this one.
On our way to El Paso, Texas, which is where tomorrow's show is and about a six-hour drive from Lubbock, we stopped at a little mini-mart so the members could get some snacks since their food truck wasn't able to feed them tonight after the show. It definitely felt very familiar to be in a little store like that, completely packed with about 150 people who are trying to buy chips, candy and Gatorade. But I also felt a little out of place since I was the only one in there (besides the two cashiers) who wasn't sunburned. That will probably change tomorrow though. So far, everybody has been really welcoming of us, and it's interesting to talk to some of the Cavaliers members about my own marching experiences; it's as if we already have a common bond. I definitely can't wait until I get to check out one of their rehearsals tomorrow. When I was on tour, I always heard a lot of stories about how the Cavaliers rehearse, and tomorrow I'll get to see what's true and what's not. After being on this bus for only a couple hours, I've learned that no matter where you travel or what corps you're with, they're family. Even though I've never marched with these guys, we already have a close bond; that's what I love about this activity. Drum corps really has an amazing power to bring people together. Well, it's time for lights out on the bus now, so I'll write again soon. Goodnight.
My new "mobile home"