Thank you everyone for all of your care and worry about my future. Again, I will not post about it here, but I can always use more e-mails.

Andy Dittrich
So many of you e-mailed me with a similar problem, a confusion of where to march. I don't really have that problem, I am pretty sure of where I want to be marching next summer, but it is a great topic nevertheless. Choosing a drum corps is difficult, and again, I'll refer back to Allison Owen's "High Release" column. She spent a few columns explaining to us how difficult it is to choose a drum corps.

Other columnists have gone through their decisionmaking processes before. I find it kind of unfortunate that decisions like this are so crucial, and that they even have to be made like they are. I've said it so many times, drum corps just isn't a local activity anymore. My parents marched in the corps that were closest to them, and that was it. Some people were lucky in that their local corps were a finalist corps, but I think people always felt comfortable and had great experiences where they were marching.

Now, drum corps have to create a comfort level. People are coming from all over the world to Rosemont, Ill., Concord, Calif., Madison, Wis., and New Jersey, and instead of having that instant comfort of being near your home, and with friends you have already known, now you have to search for a niche.

It definitely took me a year or two to find my niche in Capital Sound, and knowing that I am going to have to do that again is somewhat scary. I have spent years in that comfort zone, and I feel like, in a way, that I am contributing to that "decline of loyalty" facet of drum corps that I write about so much. I feel like I am leaving MY local corps. Yes, Madison is about 300 miles from Champaign, Ill., where I go to school, and 150 miles from Romeoville, Ill., where I live, but that is where I had developed my corps home, my locality.

Hypocrisy? Maybe, but I guess that is the new nature of our activity. I need more e-mails, I love seeing them! Andy Dittrich was the 2003 center snare drummer for Capital Sound. He attends the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is studying English.