It has been an extremely turbulent nine days for the Phantom Regiment. Beginning last Tuesday night on our way from Columbus, Ohio, to Cleveland, the horn bus (#2) broke down at 4 a.m., about 10 miles from our housing. So all 45 members had to collect everything we had on the bus - blankets, bus food, etc. - and sit on the side of the freeway for more than an hour until another bus could come get us. In the meantime, we all sang songs and made jokes. We only got about two hrs of down time until we had to wake up and go perform a concert for the UMI factory, where all our new horns are being custom-made for us next year. We have an artist-in-residence with the corps right now. Zorro, an R&B drummer who has performed with Lenny Kravitz, Bobby Brown, New Edition, among others. He performs "Children of Sanchez" and Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" with the percussion and a small group of horns, and Earth Wind and Fire's "In the Stone." It's a great experience to play such diverse music and take a break from our demanding show. The next evening after rehearsal, we packed up and headed to the beach. We gathered in a circle in the sand talked and had a loud SUTA. It was the best thing for the corps to do to ease the tension of the first week of tour.The competition between Regiment and the Glassmen continues, as we've closed down the point spread to as close as two-tenths.On Monday and Tuesday last week, we were at NIU Stadium, where DCM finals are, to shorten and rewrite our opener. The drill and music flows much more and has more impact. On Wednesday we gave the BOA clinic at Illinois State University, including another concert and stadium rehearsal under the lights to prepare us for the BOA show. Our show was energetic, but at moments uncontrolled. It can be difficult not to feed off a crowd like at BOA, especially when we've made huge changes. Today we are in St. Cloud, Minn., following a ten-hour bus ride.
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