By Allison Owen Well, it's now safe to say that it's drum corps time! This weekend, indoor shows were performed for the last time. Tears were shed, laughs were had, and there was definitely a lot of amazing stuff taking place.

Being in the WGI lot on Friday and Saturday took me back to the summer, when I would see different drum lines warming up before the show. Corps jackets -- as well as indoor lines -- could be seen everywhere I looked. It was a great feeling to see drum corps members and fans. Even though there are so many of us around the world, at times there seems like there are so few of us. Needless to say, it was great to see corps people everywhere. Taylor saw a lot of Crown people and I saw my boys -- a few guys from the Memphis Sound bass line.

Allison Owen at 2004 World Championships
I can honestly say that this was the most intense and best championship yet. Since I was dreading the "spectator" role, I think I subconsciously avoided that as much as possible. I spent most of my time with Surround Sound -- either in the lot, watching their performance, or just hanging out. After spending almost all of Friday in the lot, my nose is now a lovely shade of pink. Note to self: Wear sunscreen next time. But it was worth it because after a stellar run in prelims, we soon found out that Surround Sound was in first place by almost three points. I was a very excited girlfriend.

Later that evening they rehearsed some more, so I went over to the World site to see some other friends. Taylor and I met up with Deanie, Camaron and Amanda before they went out to eat. Jordan and I went over to watch Surround Sound rehearse in the dark parking lot before we all called it a night. In case you didn't know, drum corps people are the best to hang out with, by the way.

Finals day was one of those weird days. The ageouts are all dreading the end of the day, those who had already won were wearing their medals proudly, and those who were there to support the efforts of the ensembles just enjoyed the end of another great year.

Since I spent a good majority of my Saturday in the lot, it really brought back the feeling of the summer because it was so hot out there! Before open class retreat, I was going to go outside to watch Rhythm X's sectionals. However, when I started to go outside, an interesting booth caught my eye, and I never made it out. I journeyed around the expo I stopped by the DCI booth and then stumbled upon my brother drumming with Scott Johnson. Now that is something I don't exactly see everyday.

I hurried back to sit down for retreat. Obviously retreat is different in indoor than at a DCI event. For those of you who haven't ever been, let me take a moment to explain how it works: The lights go off and a spotlight follows each line as they are announced and as they come out from behind a curtain. Some techno music plays throughout that part, and the crowd -- as well as members -- seem to enjoy it. Maybe we should look into that for drum corps? Nah, I'm only kidding. As a little side note, last year Surround Sound missed making finals by a very close margin. That's always rough, so coming into retreat in first was a huge deal. When they won, it was another one of those great moments. As soon as retreat was over, they all gathered around the proud staff -- who were absolutely elated. I hurried down there to snap some pictures and just enjoy the moment. It's not every day Jonathan becomes a world champion. Just like any other marching arts retreat, winning ensembles took their pictures with sponsors banners, people cried and hugged, etc, etc. Their season was over. These shows would never be performed again. That's always a weird feeling for me, to know that exact group of people will never be together again to play that music and do that show. My thoughts went back to Finals day in August. Putting all that effort into something for so long, and then just one day it's over. That's just a weird thing for me to think about. It's one of those bittersweet times, where you're glad to be done but you aren't. I know I probably sound like I'm babbling right now, but if you've marched you know what I mean. So after open class was done Jonathan, Camaron, and I watched Jordan warm up and then headed inside. Even though I had a ticket, I sat with them in the general admission area with the other performers. Basically, that's pretty much like sitting on the back sideline at a corps show. It was really fun, though, because it was just like being surrounded by corps members. I was sitting in a section surrounded by people who had just finished a chapter of their lives. Some of them had medals around their necks, some didn't make it past prelims; but they were all having a blast watching the world class ensembles.

As the night grew to a close I remembered that feeling at Division I Finals retreat. I felt almost the same way as that night back in August. I thought of how I sat there not wanting that night to end, and here I was wishing for the same things. I had a slice of heaven this weekend by getting to be around people who have the same interests as I do. I got to see people who mean the world to me.

This weekend I truly realized just how much I need these activities. The people I meet through indoor and drum corps are the ones I can't live without. I have changed so much in the past few years because of the opportunities I've been blessed with. I absolutely love the performing arts and I'm afraid to even think of what I would be like without them. I have had so many awesome opportunities because of the things I've been involved in, and I am so blessed to be a part of such an amazing activity. Thanks to those of you who read this, it really means a lot to me. I feel very thankful to have had this opportunity and I'm glad to have been a part of the programs I'm in. I truly enjoy meeting people because of what I've been involved in. In honor of this weekend, when indoor season rolls around again, go check out a show. I highly recommend it. But for now, let the drum corps begin! Allison Owen, 16, is a junior at Sullivan Central HS in Blountville, Tenn. She's in her second year in the Memphis Sound guard and enjoys dancing, writing, English, guard, photography, having fun and performing. For college she would love to attend the University of Oklahoma and major in journalism or English; however, she'll probably end up at the University of Memphis for in-state tuition's sake.