Attending 20 drum corps shows (in locations as geographically spread out as California, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) in one year would be a tremendous undertaking for even the most die-hard drum corps veteran. But to superfans John and Rhonda Garman, it's all part of an unquenchable drum corps obsession.And despite racking up the frequent-flyer miles getting to and from all these shows, neither Garman ever marched with a drum corps. "When I was a clarinet player in the junior high school band, I think we marched at one high school football game. That was the closest I ever came to marching drum corps," John Garman said. Rhonda has never marched anywhere."I was introduced to the activity at the DCI South show at Vanderbilt University in 1994," John said. "A friend, Nashville artist Jeff Hand, had an extra ticket to the show and offered it to me. I was instantly hooked on the activity, and that same season traveled to shows in Huntington, W.V., Madison, Wis., and Allentown, Pa.," John continued.Back in 1996, John introduced his then-girlfriend Rhonda to drum corps at a show in Streator, Ill. "She has been a fan ever since," John said.John is an assistant professor of law at Faulkner University's Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, Ala. Rhonda is an employment law and litigation attorney, also in Montgomery."We were initially blown away by the pure sound of the horn lines and the precision of the corps," John said of the couple's attraction to drum corps. "As we have learned more about the activity over the years, we have become big color guard fans -- in fact, in addition to hitting as many DCI shows as we can, we have attended the WGI finals for the last four years," John said."The best thing about the activity has been the friends we have made over the years," said John, who also noted that he and Rhonda are becoming Friends of DCI this year. The Garmans are celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary this Friday in Murfreesboro, Tenn., at the Masters of the Summer Music Games – a location that also served an integral part of their wedding ceremony. Last year, their entire wedding party attended a nearby Blue Devils rehearsal immediately after the ceremony. As part of the reception (an event which also included a cake decorated with the DCI logo), the entire party attended the Murfreesboro event.
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