The snow came down pretty hard in Champaign, Ill., on Sunday afternoon. Neil, Todd, and I, the three Illinois Southwind snare drummers, were finishing our camp videotapes in the Harding Band Building during the early afternoon.

Andy Dittrich
We wrapped up our last runs of cadence segments, technique demonstrations and exercises, folded up the tripod that wasn't ours, and left, only to find 3 inches of snow on the ground, and a nearly insurmountable headwind. Then we would turn a sharp right, and still have an incredible wind in our faces.^ Yes, drum corps is coming. Can't you tell from the snow, the bitter cold, and those depressing gray skies? In a mere four months, everydays will have started, and we'll be dreaming of those cold winter afternoons when we had to put coats on. Now whether you think this is a complaint about the erratic, temperate climate of the Midwest, or a reflection on the almost frightening realization that in four and a half months, we will have to perform an 11-minute show, either way, soon enough there is going to be a drum corps on the field. Yes, it is early, in terms of calendar months, but the amount of rehearsals that corps have left until move in doesn't seem like many. At Southwind, we have four more rehearsal camps until move-in. So I will go to Lexington four more times. On the fifth, and I'm counting on one hand, I won't be coming back 2 days later. Then we just speed through the fastest 66 days of our lives, and end up in Denver. Corps directors, show sponsors, and DCI staff are all just returning from Denver. I'm sure a few are thinking that it's not very long before they have to come back.