Under sweltering conditions today on Brockton, Mass., East Coast Jazz topped the Spartans by 97.475 to 97.150. Yamato: Two cultures, two trumpets, one corps By Christina Mavroudis-Dempsey Masako Inoguchi, 19, horn sergeant, (Kyoto, Japan), two years; Eddie Linnett, 20, horn soloist/sergeant (San Gabriel, Calif.,), two years. How did you get interested in Yamato? Eddie: I started marching Pacific Crest in 2001 and a friend's brother brought me in. In 2004 my friend the Yamato drum major brought me in here and I liked it so much that I stayed. Masako: Japanese director Bobbie Oskee was teaching my high school marching band. Bobbie was interesting and fun. When I found out he was involved with Yamato I decided to join. I go to university -- we only have a one-month break but I had to take two weeks off and missed a finals test. There were a lot of things to deal with. The parents were worried but said 'Let her go.' I really appreciate that they let me go with Yamato. How was the show this morning? Masako:Good. Most emotionally this was a short tour only two and a half week. I made lots of friends. Tried to make friends in a short time. It helped me to play well to do the best show today. Eddie: Emotional. So much more energy. Everything we had we left on the field. Best moment of the show? Eddie: Just now, the tag ending. The first time we did it – we totally fooled everyone. To know we faked them out – the energy was amazing. Masako: The trumpet has a sixtuplet and it's a very difficult run for us. It's hard to keep together. We have to listen to each other in the section. So the best moment in the show was that. Today it worked well. Best moment this season? Masako: Yesterday we had an awesome performance. The day before was not good. No one was focused – everyone was pretty down. Yesterday, we stepped up and had a great rehearsal. Even thought there is a language barrier, everyone was helping each other. They still communicated and made it a great rehearsal and then a great show today. Eddie: The best moment on tour was when we met up in Chicago. I got to see all the Japanese members and all my friends from the year before. Tell us about how it is working with the Japanese members? Eddie – Really, the 'other half' American rookies in our corps do not expect the level of excellence that the Japanese bring to the first week of rehearsal. Until they realize we all mean business we're not here to goof around. During the season, when US members get lazy – they just have to look around and see the Japanese drum corps work ethic. It motiviates them to achieve the same level of excellence. Tell us about how is is working with American members? Masako – For Japanese members, the Americans are family. First day of tour, they were interested in us and talked to us. There wasn't a barrier. They really try to understand our culture and our people. For example, there is an American joke – we can't laugh at because the culture is different. We didn't get it. But they actually realize this is not funny, but tried ways to make us happy to make us smile. That was a cooll thing. Through that they are trying to communicate with us. Taipei Yuehfu By Christina Mavroudis-Dempsey Hsin-Yu Chiu, 22 age-out, pit five year vet, Taipei City The last time we were here was in 2001. The difference last time was that we were division II now we're division III. The second this is Brockton – we were in Buffalo. This year I am playing with different members. It's a very happy spirit because the pit is very funny. Most of them are younger than me but always do well at practice which is great fun. When I was in high school my family was against this . A person who joins it nuts or crazy. But when I go to the university – I now have the freedom to choose which way to go – and I chose drum corps. Heat? We came here right on a school bus and so hot and no air conditioning. Drove one hour and three people on a seat. SO HOT! I am really can't bare any more – the sun shines and I wear black. Fun moment on tour was when we practice kung fu! The postures during the show were all created during tour. At the beginning of the tour, we didn't do it. But in the middle of the season, we needed more visuals. Audience is excited about is in the third song when we do martial arts. Huge applause and the fourth song ending – they love the colorguard fans. The song is Taiwanese song that is very touching. We always cry to hear the trumpet solo. In 2002 we only had one boy in the battery. Now there is more and this year three in the pit. They help with the heavy instruments. In Taiwan, the boy high school doesn't have many marching bands. There more with the girls schools. Most of our boys came from the same boy high school. I think the show this year shows the Taiwan spirit. That's the most important thing we want the audience to know. I am really proud of our corps and very happy to graduate from this corps. Chiu will graduate this year with a degree in International relations but will be going back for a master's degree in Mass Communications. Raiders By Christina Mavroudis-Dempsey Phil Melius is the Raiders executive director. My son marched and came to the corps in 1997 – I love what I saw in their program and stayed ever since. He marched until 2002 but my wife and I stayed with it. I love this job and wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. The corps this year is amazing. They have gone through so many trials and tribulations to get to this level. It's really a testament to the kids and the organization. We lost our drum major in 'death camp' and the day we left on tour we lost our timp – he was with us all season. Luckily we were able to recruit someone fast. We've gone through the whole competitive season without a drum major on the podium. Another testament to the staff and members. Our basic philosophy is one of excellence, education, and performance. And we want the kids to have a good time – because if they don't, they don't come back. DJ Schmertz, 20, pit, fourth year, from Caldwell, N.J. I discovered Raiders from their Web site online. I went to their open house and I stayed on. It was a lot of fun – people made me want to come back year after year. Today was one of our best shows if not the best of the season. Lost of energy. I felt it from the fans. Overall an excellent show. Usually the end of the show, we have the best energy. It's the most intense part of our show. Everyone is all amped up. Today, I felt after the lead trumpet solo, we heard the crowd. We knew they were with us and that it was going to be a great show. Without a doubt my best moment of the season was Thursday when we were crowned Division III champions. In my entire career, all four years, that was the best showing. It showed all the hard work we put in all season. There were challenges but all the hard work and problems that we overcame were worth it. Theree was the drum major issue. Then we didn't have a full drumline until June. We really didn't come together until then. The corps' youngest members is fourteen and I feel a leadership role and try to lead by example. I do what is best for the corps and help out. Try to make it enjoyable for the vets and the rookies equally. What helps is my family. Ironically, my entire family is with me on tour and involved with Raiders. My brother, Kenny, is also in the pit. My dad drives our food bus and mom is on the support staff. The corps has been great this season. We've had the best bond this year. Everything was just there. Oregon Crusaders By Christina Mavroudis-Dempsey Robert Moyer, 19, co-guard captain, rookie (2 seasons with Century HS); Kendra Jenkins, 15, co-guard captain, 2nd year (last year was first for the corps at DCI) 2 seasons with Glencoe HS). Robert – It was so hot on the Astroturf , and our shoes were not meant for outdoor performing. It just got worse as the show went on. I had holes in my shoes and ended up burning my feet. I got involved in drum corps because a lot of people in my high school were from the Oregon Crusaders -- and after I graduated they were beggin me to join. I had been thinking about it, so I joined. It's been a great experience, lot of hard work and worth my time. I lost weight – a lot. I was a 36 waist and now I fit in a 30. From Boise to Virginia I lost 10 pounds. Kendra – The show was amazing the best. It was finals so we went for it. Nothing to lose so we had fun. A snare drummer approached about a position in the corps. Now I'm absolutely addicted to drum corps. What makes the Crusaders special? Kendra: It's the only one in the area and camps are at my high school Funny thing is I had never heard of drum corps until the drummer approached me. Actually other than Division I finals – that was the only show I've ever seen. What has been your experience as a rookie? Robert – I came here not knowing what to expect and left it open to what came at me. There were surprises both good and bad. I've been amazed that the attitudes in this activity. Kendra – I don't have a best part of the season – it's all been great. We have a great guard and they've all come really far. What were the challenges this season? Kendra: Actually three of our guard members have never spun before. One guard girl we were able to teach her. But two at all-days had never spun before. Robert - We we've had a lot of sickness and injuries all season. One of our horns on crutches there was a case of mono earlier. But everyone has pushed through. Final thoughts on the season? Kendra – I'm really part of them. I've loved being their captain. I'm planning to stick it out – I'll try. Robert – This year has been a training session for me. I'm hoping to tryout for an independent world color guard. And next year – who knows. Impulse Sean Samaranayake, 18 (Aug 6th), snare, two years in the corps (no drum corps experience); Nikhil Murthy, 18, snare. How was your show? Sean – It was very emotional. It sums up the whole year. You put all you got into it – blood sweat and tears. When you put it all together – it's amazing the energy you can get out of it. It's a bond with everyone and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Heat is a factor but something you have to get over. It's been a problem all season. But when you come down to the end – heat plays no roll. It's all inside you. Nikhil – It was good because it was the end. I expressed everything in that show. I held nothing back. I'm sad it's over and I have to go back to real life. The heat was a factor but easly to get over. Sean – The season has been unbelievable. We started and everyone knew each other. Everything fell together. The bond was strong. Hard to let go. I cried coming over here. A feeling I don't want to give up. Nikhil – I have to agree with that. Tell me about your I&E show on Wednesday. Sean – I&E – this year we wanted to top last year. We wanted to come up with crazy stuff. We had nothing the night before and managed to pull it off that day. I'm the crazy stiff guy who tries to copy him, Nikhil. Nikhil – I'm the laid-back, cool cat. As the section leader to the snare line, how did you guys do this year? Nikhil – I think it was amazing. I came in late because of school. But right when I came everything was jamming. Usually there's something but we could hang out after the rehearsal. Everyone's really talented on top of it. I really like the ending – it's loud and a lot of effort into what we play. We get to release all the emotions on that spot – just in four measures. Tell me a story that exemplifies what Impulse is all about. Sean – There's a cymbal player in the corps who couldn't come up with the money. He's from Hawaii. His father died in his arms and didn't think he couldn't continue. The corps raised the money for him through donations. He got to march with us and everyone loves the guy. It really summed up the corps this year. Tell us about your unique cymbals Those are special new cymbals from Sabian. They're called O-zones. What it is the cymbals have holes in them. We use it for the drum solo and it really cuts through. We have a great cymbal line – all five. Favorite bits of the show? Nikhil – I like running through the corps. Tenors and basses groovin' Sean – I have to say the scatter drill before the ballad. Everyone gets to do their own thing. Us being crazy kids -- people taking pictures. Impulse thoughts? Sean -- It's been a great season – and I thank this corps for the experience. Nikhil – I think it's different from last year – but it's the same impulse. It's our home now. We've grown with it. Sean – yeah we live near each other and hang out -- way too much. Blue Stars Von Saunders, 21, is drum major just this year but marched three years with Pioneer, Colts and Minnesota Brass. Rachel Traczyk, 20, is also a drum major. Rachel -- I marched Minnesota brass guard and last year with Blue Stars as a mellophone soloist. This year I started off as contra and ended up as drum major. Von – Age out ceremony after waiting outside for a while, got to watch Caballeros so that was cool. Once we got on the field, everyone wanted pictures. Pose. Move five feet. Pose. Move. The ceremony was great. Watched the video clip. And then really slowly got off the field. It felt good – I put in my time and all the hard work was finished. Today's show we didn't have too much rehearsal. We had a fun day. The corps was ready to crown their work. And we did just that – they had a great show. I'm the backfield drum major, so I get to see the show. She, Rachel Traczyk, conducts from the front and gets to see feet. Rachel – I have to watch the drummers' feet. Frist of all you have 64 horns blowing a lot of sound at you and behind you are screaming fans. And then you get individual comments pushing through. It makes you feel squeezed. It drives the energy on the field. And when I get a chance to see the guard spinning – it just heightens the experience. Once it almost threw me off cause they were all together and it was the coolest thing. Von – More than anything I'm going to miss the friendships I made. I'm gonna miss having free days with individuals with people in the corps. Looking forward to the end of the season and all the fun the championships week holds. It's time to age out. Good to sit and watch the shows. Memphis Sound By Dave Wilson Matt Souther, 21, is Memphis Sound's drum major. He's from Acworth, Ga. What have you learned this summer? As drum major, you learn how to motivate, and a lot of leadership skills. Encouragement and positive motivation is how we do it at Memphis. We don't like people yelling at them, that kind of stuff. We just tell them how to improve, and they do it themselves. Let's say it's the 29th of July, it's 120 degrees out, and everybody's down and withered. What do you do? That happened a lot to us – us being from Memphis, and just about during our whole everydays the heat index was about 120. So we kind of got used to that pretty quick. You just have to push through it. Lots of water helps -- but they're doing a very good job of pushing through it themselves. What would you say in that situation? "Keep pushing" is really all you can say. You've just got to beat the heat. Don't let it get in your head -- everything's in your head. If you had to summarize your summer, what would it be? Awesome. We've made so many improvements this year, it's amazing. If you look at our first performance from Oswego (Ill.) this summer, June 17, compared to what we did today, it is amazing how much we've improved. Spartans By Dave Wilson David Andrews, 18, of Methulet, Mass., is the Spartans' drum major. He attends Embory-Riddle University, and he plans to be an air traffic controller. We interviewed him before his show this afternoon. What's going through your mind right now? I'm just hoping for a great show. We've had a great season so far, and we're ready to put one last product out there. If somebody came up to you with a last-minute problem, a breakdown, what would you say to them at this point? If someone said, "I can's do it – I can't go out there," what would you say to them? No one in this corps would say that. We're just raring to go. How's the summer been for you? The summer's been excellent. We've had some wins, we've had some losses, we've pulled through and we're here now. What's been the highlight for you so far? Any particular show? A show in Connecticut a couple weeks ago was probably the most energetic show we've had. It was one of those things where you get off the field, and you just know you did a great job. The feeling afterwards is just so overwhelming. Describe the season in one word. Emotional. How so? It's been a tight competition this year, we've had some breaking points, we've done good jobs, bad jobs, we've all been through so much, and we're finally here. We've pulled through it all, and we're just ready to do one last show. What are you looking forward to about going home? A bed. East Coast Jazz By Dave Wilson James Foulis, 21, is aging out of the East Coast Jazz as drum major. If you learned one thing this summer, what did you learn? I've learned to cherish every moment in your life, no matter what you're doing. Every time that you do something, it could be your last, and this is my last summer doing drum corps, and I've enjoyed every moment of it. Can you give me an example of how you've enacted that this week? I've just treated every show as if it were the last one. I know that each day there is one less show to do, and I want this one to be the best ever. When you're up there on the podium, how do you go about enacting that? Do you you look at the audience and say to yourself, "This is the last time"? I just try and stay calm, relaxed, and really just enjoy the entire experience. Every beat that is played, really taking it all in so that I have something to remember. Is there one portion of the show that you have enjoyed this summer more than others? I enjoy the very beginning of our show when the entire corps comes in with "Amazing Grace." It's a beautiful moment, and when we hit it together, I know it's going to be a great show. Are you going to do anything differently this afternoon? I'm not going to do anything different – I'm going to do the same thing I've always done – I'm just going to enjoy it. What instructor this summer has taught you the most? Jeff Bolduc, the past two summers, has taught me more than anyone I've ever met. He's our horn caption head, and I've never played a horn. He taught me to enjoy everything in life, and cherish every moment that I'm with the drum corps. What are your thought on aging out? I'm happy to be moving on with my life, but I'll be sad to see it go. I look forward to starting a new phase in my life, but I'll never forget what I've experienced. Fever By Alessandra Souers Joseph Avery, 17, is a first year snare drummer with Fever. Tell me about your last show for the 2005 season. How did it go? Our show was awesome. I put my heart into it, gave it all I got, and got good results. Musically speaking, what have you gained this summer? I've gained snare chops. I used to play more Blue Devils style, and now I'm playing more like Vanguard, musicality wise. What have you learned about the physicality of drum corps? It takes a lot of strength and discipline. You have to be strong getting up every day and practice every day all summer. It's hard. Being in good cardiovascular shape is pretty important. If you don't have it, you can't march the show. What have you learned from people outside of the percussion caption in the corps? I've learned that sometimes you just need to take the information given to you. Don't argue back -- just do it. I've learned that from Louis Wilhelm, corps director. Knowing what you know now, what would you have said to your corps at the beginning of the season? I would have said give it all you have at the beginning instead of at the end of the season, because then you'll be that much better by then end. Have you picked up on any new musical styles, artists, composers, or genres while on tour? I like Gershwin now a lot because of Phantom Regiment's show. Their show is awesome. What was the hardest part of your show, and how did you overcome those difficulties? The hardest part of my show was the end of the closer, because it's large strides and very fast. I just gave it what I got and I worked at it. Eventually, it wasn't that hard anymore. Any other thoughts? Drum corps rocks, and I'm definitely going to do it again. Jersey Surf By Alessandra Souers Jason Krumenaker, 19, just completed his fourth season with Jersey Surf on mellophone. Tell me about your last show of the 2005 season. How did it go? I had a great show. I was really happy with my performance -- it was probably the best of the year. It was a good one to end the season with. Musically speaking, what have you learned this summer? As a whole, almost everything I know musically I owe to Surf, I guess. This year, we had a really good brass section and the focus was on raising the bar. One of the details we focused on was breathing and articulation, and that helped me grow a lot. What have you learned about physical fitness and drum corps? We had a more demanding visual show this year so it really pushed me physically and it pushed my endurance. Cardiovascular activity is extremely important to the activity. What's the most challenging part of Jersey Surf's show this year? The opener has a lot of visual demands that we haven't seen before. It's probably the most challenging on top of musical demands. A lot of conquering it was through practice to get over the fatigue and focus on the finer details of the show. Knowing what you know now, what you have said to your corps at the beginning of the summer? We are going to get closer than any corps before us, and you are about to experience one of the best summers of your life. What is something that you learned from people outside of your caption this summer? I learned what it means to push yourself farther. A lot of our color guard staff was a little harder on the color guard this season and really pushed them through what they would have given up on. Through that, I saw things I could improve on. What did you think about the heat this summer? When the heat is up, you just have to fight through it. Teal Sound By Alessandra Souers Jenny Finn, 17, just finished her third year with Teal Sound on mellophone. You just performed your last show. How did it go? The show was amazing. It was the best show of the season, definitely. The energy level was high, and everything just clicked. We finally felt like one corps. Physically, what have you gained or learned this summer in drum corps? I've gained a lot more ability to breathe during the show. I have really bad asthma. It's made it a lot easier for me. Physically, always push yourself and never let down. It just takes a lot of training and you can never give up. It gets easier during the season. What is something that you have learned from somebody outside of your caption? Cleanliness is the key. You have to keep trying and never give up. Sloth, the percussion section leader, has taught me to push myself. He's a good inspiration and brings me up when I feel down. Knowing what you know now, what would have said to your corps at the beginning of the season? Never give up. It may not come together until the end, but when it does, it'll feel good. No matter how rough it gets, you'll feel a lot better at the end of the season and you'll know why you did it. What kind of music would you like to look into when you get home? This season, we sang a lot of Goo Goo Dolls and Queen, so maybe I'll get into that. Tell me about the hardest part of your show. How did you master it? The heardest part of the show was the end of the 2nd movement. It's really fast-paced—hard to push through it. I learned to conquer it by remembering what the staff has told me and push myself every time we got to that section.
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