By Allison Owen I've lived in four different states during my lifetime, starting with California and ending up here in Tennessee, and I've learned to make new friends quickly and it's great that I still keep in touch with some of these friends. Nothing makes my day more than getting an e-mail, letter or phone call from someone I haven't spoken with in a while.
If there is one thing I have learned about drum corps, besides the fact that it is a life changing experience, it's the fact that I'm going to make tons of new and long-lasting friends -- in my drum corps as well as other corps.^ After being at just one camp with Memphis Sound I've made a lot of friends and I am in contact with at least one of them every day. For instance, a friend of mine from guard, Seth, is the person who came up with the idea for this article. (If Jessica Allen happens to reads this, can you please e-mail Seth? Thanks!) I have tons of other friends at Memphis, whether they be in guard like Michelle, percussionists like Gilbert or Cam, horn line members like Kyle or Chris, or the drum major, Matt. I talk to someone every day, and I'm reminded of the great time I've had at Memphis Sound after just one camp. I've also learned that it's great to have friends in other corps. Like when I see Spirit's show this season I will also get a chance to talk to some of my friends there -- like Matt, Jessica and Courtney. Since I've been writing these articles several people have sent in e-mails to DCI -- ultimately to me -- and I have already made friends in other corps that I look forward to seeing at shows this summer. Like when we meet up with the Cavaliers, I'll have the privilege to talk to my guard friend Joel afterwards. One thing I'm really looking forward to this summer is seeing the Madison Scouts show. I loved their show last year and I can't wait to see what they put on the field this summer. Also I'll get to see my friend who plays euphonium, Adam. In some cases I get to compete against some of my newly made friends. When we participate in Division II & III competitions with the Marion Glory Cadets, I will hopefully get to see my friend Sarah, who plays mellophone, for a few minutes after the show. I also keep in touch with some of the other frequent DCI.org contributors, like Andy Dittrich, Eric Fox, Joe Smith and Matt Smith. I look forward to reading their articles and I am honored to "work alongside them." This summer I also look forward to seeing them at shows and talking to each of them. Last, but most certainly not least, there are my friends at school -- and others that I know will not be marching this summer -- who want to come to a show and talk to me afterwards. These people aren't necessarily new friends, but since I've been into drum corps our friendships have changed in some ways. Some of my friends in color guard are starting to understand drum corps -- although they still think I'm crazy -- and are beginning to support me. As they say, "We still don't see why you want to spend your entire summer doing this, but we still love you. Even if you are a little crazy." I really appreciate them trying to understand -- so thanks to Katy, Andee, Jody and Rachel. There are my friends who are going to march -- just not this year -- like Jason, Brandon and John. Then there are the people who think it's really cool but would never do it themselves -- like Becca, Whit or Neil. This may have seemed like a bunch of random "shout-outs" to my friends, but it's just to prove that drum corps is an amazing activity in which you make tons of life-long friends. So as I've said before, some of my friends outside of the activity might not understand drum corps -- and some are trying -- but I know that I have plenty of friends who love drum corps as much as I do and are going through the same things I am. If there is one thing I'll never forget about drum corps, it's the great friendships that I will have because of my summers spent in corps. The majority of these friendships I've mentioned have been made just since September or even more recent than that; imagine how many more friends I'll have -- and how strong some of these friendships will be -- by August.
Allison Owen is a sophomore at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., who plans to audition for a corps in November. "I'm in the SHHS guard and I like writing, dancing, performing, traveling, photography and having fun. As for after high school/college, I don't know what I want to do ... I just know I would like to do something dealing with color guard, computers or writing," Owen said.