Technology takes the drum corps experience to a new level.In recent years, diehard drum corps fans and staff have relied on their laptop computers to keep in touch with the latest scores, family and friends while on the road. Now even smaller hand-held devices (such as a "Palm Pilot") make staying connected even more portable. Dave Gilday, a Phantom Regiment soprano, has taken advantage of this convenience to write an on-line journal, "Dave's Diary.""I was talking with my former boss, Greg Newell [Phantom Regiment Board Member] and I mentioned that I had just bought a 'Palm Pilot' to keep in contact with people over the summer. A few days later he brought up the idea and I jumped on it. I would write the entry every night, Email it to him, and he posted it on the website around 2:00 am every night.Originally from Jacksonville, FL, Dave began marching in seventh grade, joined Phantom Regiment in 1998 and is aging out in 2001. Writing his journal each day has brought a heightened awareness to his final marching season. In particular, his diary reflects the ever-changing dynamics of the daily grind. "I have been in the corps for four very different years. Not one compares to another. But the one thing that stays the same is the way the day affects the attitude of the members. Everyone on the field knows when we are having an off day, and they know when we have a great show. It seems like the whole aura can change on a daily basis depending on how well we are performing."Needless to say, keeping a written record of his summer's passion has also had a positive affect on Dave's own performance. "It has definitely made me a better performer. Anytime you can evaluate your personal performance on a daily basis, it makes you strive for bigger and better things. No matter how good things are, it can always be better."The reaction to Dave's Diary has been overwhelming. With an excess of 40-50 Emails per day, he does his best to respond to as many as possible. "It's always interesting every night to read the emails for the day. Some thought I was too positive, others thought I was too negative. I tried to be as honest as possible without affecting the corps, or the perception for those that have yet to see the show. All in all, the emails I received were very insightful and fun to read. Alumni, High School Students, Parents, Grandparents, Fans, Friends, you name it, I got them all." Dave's target audience is the younger fans who are perhaps toying with the idea of marching. "So many Emails I received this summer were from high school students that have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. This would at least give them some kind of idea of how much work goes into it, how much fun I have, and how much it becomes a part of your life after you start!"Dave will be returning to work and school after aging out Saturday night. "I wish I could say that I will be travelling with a drum corps next summer, but honestly I have no idea. No matter what happens, this activity is always going to be a part of my life." Writing his diary and sharing it with the world is one way to guarantee the longevity of his memories. "I think the real reward will be in about 10 years when I just happen to come across a copy of it in a storage box in my house. That's when all of the memories will come back and I will be even more thankful I was able to do this."To read "Dave's Diary", log onto the Phantom Regiment homepage at www.regiment.org.
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