This year has been another year of transition for the Phantom Regiment. In addition to the drastic changes in the staff as well as show programming, the corps also changed the setting for its spring training. We were all housed at the practice facilities (Rockford Christian High School in Rockford, Ill., and Beloit Memorial High School in Beloit, Wis.). It has been great for the corps, and we somehow avoided the inevitable rainy Midwestern June weather. Both facilities have given all members of the corps a great chance to get to know each other before tour starts. In past years, the Regiment has been housed in college dorms and volunteer family houses.So far this season, we are making great progress. Our annual dress rehearsal was held on June 9. It was our first time in uniform, as well as the first show performance open to the public. Dinner break and warmup were run just as they will be run during regular competitions. Shortly after we finished the first run, we lined it up for the second. Contrary to my prediction, the second one was exceptionally better than the first. Although the corps was much more fatigued, mentally we were much more on top and confident.By Monica SimonPhantom Regiment mellophone ---------------Monica Simon, 21, a fifth-year Phantom Regiment mellophone player from Milwaukee, Wis., will be submitting a weekly tour diary each Monday from the road this summer. Simon is a Mass Communications major at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she will begin her final semester this fall. She is the youngest of three siblings. This summer will be a bittersweet one for Simon, who will be aging out after this tour. "I'm going to miss the entire environment," Simon says of the drum corps experience. "You're never going to sleep amongst 128 people on a gym floor ever again." Simon will also miss "Having those experiences every day with so many people -- when you're at home you kind of go on your own way. That's the hardest thing -- waking up at home when you're by yourself."
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