By Dan Acheson
DCI executive director
Opportunities to interact with corps members are few and far between since my days as a corps director; thus, I cherish each brief encounter that may occur throughout a season in my role as DCI executive director. Eight years later, I still miss sharing in the day-to-day moments that occur on tour with what are typically some of the most incredible young people in the world. From the heartbreak of an injury, to the joy projecting from their faces when the crowd responds to a great performance, life on the road with drum corps is indeed a treasure. In my current role, I am ultimately responsible for making sure that the best stage possible is set when the corps arrive to an event. While significant hours and resources are spent to ensure that the arena and the audience is in place, there is not a field that exists that is truly worthy of the young people that march in drum corps today. Whether they are in a Division I, II or III corps, I am in awe of the quality of the young people who participate. I had the pleasure of speaking with two members of the Carolina Crown on Saturday evening after their performance in Allentown, Pa. I wanted to do an interview for but selfishly I wanted to simply hang with some cool drum corps kids. First, I met Seth Murphy from Rock Hill, S.C. He marched in Crown in 2000, took a break for a couple of years to catch up financially with college bills, and returned for the 2003 season. I asked Seth where Crown is headed next on tour; his reply was "No idea." Being an old corps director I knew I could have some fun with this at his expense. Corps members are so incredibly focused on the task at hand they do not concern themselves with such details. I also asked Seth what his goal was for the rest of the season; his reply was "Becoming better as an individual." This answer more than sums up the quality of todays drum corps members. He kept calling me sir, too. If only I could get my own three teen-agers to do that (sigh). Next, I met with Crown's color guard captain Peter Eichler, from Pigeon, Mich. He marched in the Glassmen in 1999 and then followed friends to what he considers to be his drum corps home at Crown in 2000 and has been there since. Peter made mention of the corps early season success both competitively and their preparedness. Peter said, "It has been amazing. The guard staff is great, and we are blending so well as a drum corps." It is apparent to me that Peter has a great passion for the drum corps experience, and cares deeply for serving the best interest of the members of the entire corps. I wish Seth and Peter a spectacular season, and extend that same wish to all participants in the 2003 SUMER MUSIC GAMES Tour. The season is just heating up and I have had the pleasure of chatting with Seth and Peter from Crown, shaking Crossmen drum major Carrie's hand in finale, throwing a Frisbee at Louisville with Sam from The Cadets, and serving breakfast to the members of the Boston Crusaders. I am indeed humbled whenever I am around the magnificence of the 2003 drum corps kids. Keep being GREAT!