I knew that there were corps marching across the world, but never really dawned on me how every corps around the world is somehow connected.
Recently I received a frantic e-mail from a friend in Holland, Menno, who had a friend who was coming to the states. His friend, Coen, is auditioning this weekend for the Crusaders bass line. He had no place to stay until the auditions. Menno asked if it would be OK for him to stay here until the auditions. Of course my family and I said yes! Having the opportunity to help a person fulfill their drum corps dream is something my family and I cannot take away from a person. I received an e-mail from Coen a day after I told Menno it was OK for Coen to stay here. Then I got Coen's flight plans and learned a little bit about him. After pcking up Coen from the airport, I had learned a lot about drum corps in Europe and Holland. Coen marched with Jubal in Holland. He asked questions about what corps is like over here in America, and we spent some time discussing some similarities and differences between corps here in the states and in Europe. Marching in a drum corps in Europe takes a lot of time compared to here in the states. They practice just about every weekend and even do a winter stage production. Here in the states, we only have monthly rehearsals and a full-out tour during the summer. While we are on tour here in the states, back in Europe they have a month off. Having Coen here for about a week has been quite an experience. We have learned so much about each other's ways of life during these past few days. Coen has gotten use to eating "American" food and the use of slang words. I have learned what life is like in Holland and I have learned a few simple Dutch phrases. I asked Coen how he felt about being here in the states and going to the audition. "Being here is a strange experience. The surroundings here are like Europe and you don't get the idea that you're far from home. I know drum corps in America only by videotapes and (from watching World Championship) finals. I have no clue what to expect at the audition camp. I am trying my hardest to earn a spot in the corps." Coen will be leaving shortly after the Crusaders' camp. I will be saddened by his departure, but I know I have made another friend and we both can share our drum corps experiences whenever and wherever. People may look at us weird as we recollect on a particular memory or a certain moment we had while on tour, but all corps people share a simple love for marching and for music. It does not matter where you live or what experiences you have had marching -- the love of this activity goes far. I leave you with this phrase: "Ik hoop dat jullie allemaal door de audities van jullie favoriete Corps zijn gekomen! Fijne feestdagen!" Translation: I hope all of you made the corps you auditioned for and happy holidays!