Phantom Regiment earned the top spot at the Alton, Ill., show yesterday, June 28. Scoring their highest mark of the season, 79.65, the corps continues to grow as the summer progresses. Phantom Regiment has inconspicuously been perfecting their show, rehearsing and working hard to prepare for more DCI events as they move into July. The following is an interview with Pat Seidling, Phantom Regiment director, on the Alton performance and the general standing of the corps at this juncture of the season. What are your thoughts on last night's show? Seidling: I think it was our best performance to date. The guard was really clean and the horn line had a lot of energy. The venue had a very big, full crowd. The fans were alive and the members fed off of that energy. It was a fun show last night. Where is the corps right now from a rehearsal standpoint? Seidling: Our first tour was kind of an evaluation of how the show design is working and also of course making the corps comfortable with the show we have. That was really the goal of our first two weeks out here to see what's working, what's not and how much the kids can get under their skin so to speak. How closely does the corps follow the competition? Seidling: On this particular tour run there were few corps from the top five with us, so it was an opportunity for us to figure out our show, our strengths, our weaknesses and then to focus on them. There really wasn't a competitive aspect. We'll probably look at more competitive goals as we start running into the other top five corps and see if we can still stay in that league or even move up a bit. What is the general feel like from a membership perspective right now? Seidling: It's a really energetic corps this summer. We have a lot of veterans and they and the section leaders have really taken leadership this year. It's a drive like I haven't seen in the four years I've been here. The members are really driven to have a successful corps, and they are a lot of fun too. The vibe right now with them is really positive and fun. The members are determined and are working a lot harder than they have in the past. I really think that's a reflection of the age and leadership we have this year. We are lucky to have a group like that. What are the main goals from now until the end of the season? Seidling: The immediate goal is making changes to the show. During the next couple weeks when we are against stiffer competition, we want to see if those changes are going to pay off. What doesn't work we'll fix. What does work, great, and hopefully that will push us to the end of the season. We've been slowly moving up the competitive ladder and we hope to continue that this year, whatever that means. It's a tough league out there, and I also realize it's not going to be that easy. What should people know about Phantom Regiment at this point in the season? Seidling: Keep an eye out for an exciting new ending to the show. We realize the show this year is a bit of a departure from the usual Regiment design. Right now the audience is slowly and surely starting to really buy into it. I'd tell the crowd to look forward to a cool ending and to see if they like this new look and sound that we are throwing at them.