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.
All in all today was a pretty chill and nostalgic day. We got to our housing site in the very hot (hotter than El Paso, Texas) Tucson, Arizona around 5 a.m. and Brandon and I unloaded all of our stuff in a big room that the staff was staying in. I set up my air mattress (which I bought specifically for this trip) and went straight to bed.
Filling up my bed half awake, hearing the loud sounds of air pumps filling up mattresses and seeing electrical outlets being used to their fullest, definitely brought back some familiar memories and made me think I was on tour again (but I guess I am). I really don't think I'll ever lose those feelings or memories I made from when I was on tour, and many of them have helped me become who I am today. After we woke up, the Boston Crusaders started rehearsing and I started working on a couple things for Drum Corps International. And just like yesterday, it felt really weird to be on a drum corps tour and be able to do what I wanted to do. I kind of felt like I was breaking the rules since I was making my own schedule for the day, but I think I'm getting used to it. Then Howard Weinstein, the director of the corps, took me and Brandon out to eat lunch at a Chinese buffet. The food there wasn't bad and I'm a big fan of orange chicken so I was set. It was nice to sit down with Howard and just talk about different things not all relating to drum corps. After having the opportunity to talk with a lot of drum corps directors this summer, I've come to see that they're pretty down-to-earth people and that they have the same love for drum corps that I have. The fortune cookie at the end of the meal said: "Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." I think that's very true in the drum corps activity as all members must have a strong passion for what they're doing and what they're trying to accomplish. The corps' night rehearsal block was by far my favorite block of the day since the sun was gone - even though that doesn't really mean it was any cooler. Before the Boston Crusaders started rehearsing, the high school marching band from the school we stayed at performed on the field for all of us and their parents as part of the end of their band camp. It was really cool to watch all of the high school students perform and it kind of rejuvenated my love for music and made me glad that I'm able to help teach a high school group in California. The corps members also gave them great support during their performance. Hear the Tucson High Magnet School band playing a song for their families and the Boston Crusaders. The Boston Crusaders then performed their show for the high school students and you could tell that they really loved the performance. About every 10 seconds, someone in the stands was clapping and awed in amazement. I think we sometimes forget how powerful an influence a drum corps can be. Truly, an 11 and a half minute performance has the power to change lives. Who knows how many of these high school students will now pursue a drum corps career because of this one night. As such a positive and inspirational activity, sometimes we need take a step back and realize the power that we possess.
My home for the day.
Watching the Boston Crusaders rehearse for a while really made me miss marching. I don't think that I've missed it so much until tonight. Even though there were so many times while I was marching when I couldn't wait until the season was over so I could go back home and sleep in my own bed or go swimming, as I look back at my drum corps experience now, I really miss it. It was no doubt one of the best times of my life. Once that trip down memory lane ended, we packed up our gear and got on the buses a little before midnight and began traveling to Tempe for the big regional show tomorrow (it's one of the last ones before the World Championships). We arrived at our new high school in Mesa, Ariz. around 3 a.m. and Brandon and I set up in our new sleeping quarters and now it's time to finally crash. Tomorrow is my last day on this tour, so I've got to rest up for it. Goodnight.
The Boston Crusaders before the night block.