Drum Corps International
Interview with Ben Gervais, Colts drum major

Interview with Ben Gervais, Colts drum major

by Drum Corps International

From a Colts interview with Ben Gervais, 2005 drum major:

Ben Gervais
Where are you from? I am from a lot of places. Originally born in Chicago, I moved to Stillwater, Minn. Then to Fargo, N.D., then back to Minneapolis. I then moved to Lenexa, Kan., where I have been for the past seven years. Where are you attending school? Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. What is your major? I am a percussion major studying music education. How did you feel when you were selected the Colts drum major? Overwhelmed. I was a bit nervous after hearing everyone cheer. However, it was not 'til after I was announced that Lauren Paul, our cymbal tech, approached me for a hug. At that moment, I began to cry with the realization that I was never going to march cymbals again. She told me she was proud of me, which brought a smile to my face despite the tears. Ending on a happy note, I am very excited to be offered this position. What can we expect from the Colts this season? We have arrived. The Colts have been trying to define who they are and what they stand for. With a few changes and new additions, we are finally ready to unveil a legacy. More aggression and more intense emotional support will provide an exciting summer. I know for a fact that the other members and staff are excited about this summer. I feel it is a huge turning point for the Colts. Everyone is pumped up and ready to go out on fire. What will you bring to the Colts as the drum major? The staff is set, the show in place, and the members are ready to go. I plan on being intense and on fire from the very beginning. I plan on bringing into focus a high level of confidence for the Colts. Part of defining ourselves requires the confidence of the members portraying what it is they stand for. I will be there for every member when they need my help or encouragement. THIS is the year to be a Colt. Believe! Tell us about your experience in the Colts. My experience began in the summer of 2002 with the cymbal line. There were four rookies and one vet. It was a tough year, but we all came out on top as best friends. I had learned a lot from them, and most certainly a tons from Lauren Paul. My second summer (2003) was again with the cymbal line. We had three vets this time. This was the year we went to six in the cymbal line. I enjoyed my summer even more as a vet. I felt more aware of how to succeed individually and as a group. Lauren Paul again brought us to a brilliant success. Arriving into my third summer with the cymbal line was just amazing. We knew we were bringing back six out of six vets. That and a combination of Lauren "Frau" Pauls' mastery would make us real good. However, that summer provided different challenges than I expected. Toward the end of this summer, I had decided that I wanted to expand my marching experience. I had made the decision to audition for drum major. My reasoning did not go unjustified. It was a very hard decision for me to make, because I knew that if I made drum major, I would never march cymbals again. I have been through hard times and great times with the Colts. That organization and its contributors have made me who I am today. How has the Colts corps made an impact on your life? The Colts organization has made many impacts on my life. I have met some amazing people in the Colts. I met my best friend, the love of my life, and many influential individuals along the way. Jeremy Meyer only marched in 2002 on timpani, but that began something I had no idea could happen. He helped me pick out the college I was to attend. At Northwest Missouri State University, Jeremy helped me grow as a person outside of tour. For those of you that know, 'tour' is a completely different realm then that of 'anything else but tour.' Jeremy and I quickly became best friends at college, and I will be his best man in his wedding this upcoming May. Loren Berry has provided much support to me on and off tour. I never have met anyone as compassionate as her before. She provides me a lot of the strength when I am down at school or on tour. Greg Orwoll is just an amazing motivational supporter. He helps out the organization non-stop. The cymbal line, Lauren Paul, and Ryan Thomas especially, have helped me musically along the road. They are all amazing people that I will always cherish in my life. It makes a much more pleasurable marching experience if you trust the people that surround you, and I have had three amazing summers! Is there anything else you would like to add? "We were born ready!" I am looking forward to being on the podium this summer. Being offered this position is a huge honor. I thank all the Colts members, staff, alumni, and volunteers for there relentless support. Believe!