Drum Corps International
Please Lord, let the weather be good on Sunday

Please Lord, let the weather be good on Sunday

by Drum Corps International

Ever wonder about what it takes to be a DCI Tour and Event Partner? Marilyn Tye is one among many who knows what it takes firsthand. She's one of the people that make Drums Along the Red Cedar in Menomonie, Wis., a reality. The third annual competition was held June 15, 2003, at Don and Nona Williams Stadium, at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wis. Here's her story, in her own words. It's been many years -- oh, good grief, in 2004 it will be 20 years -- since our firstborn son, Steve, went off to Star of Indiana as a rookie contra player in the brand new first-year corps. He was a junior in high school and a darned good tuba player. In fact, he played with the National Honors Band that spring. His two brothers followed him into Star: Andy played euphonium in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and Matt played contra bass in 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1992. All in all, our three sons played in the low brass section for Star at one time or another from its inaugural year in 1985 until Matt aged out in 1992. Even now, in 2003, all are involved in music in one way or another, whether singing in a gospel quartet, designing drill and arranging music for marching band and working with a corps brass line, or as minister of music in a church in the upper Midwest. We spent a lot of hours volunteering with Star, cooking for camps and helping write the early newsletter and yearbook. We drove the 200 miles from our home in Tipton County to Bloomington, Indiana and back monthly during camps. We went to as many shows as we could. We had caught the "Drum Corps Fever." Now we're deeply involved with the Drums Along the Red Cedar steering committee, bringing drum corps to our new town in the upper Midwest, (Menomonie, Wis.), more than 600 miles from Bloomington, Ind. Why do we do it? In a way, our involvement with the activity is a kind of "giving back" to drum and bugle corps for giving so much experience to our sons so many years ago. They came back focused, physically fit, tanned and missing their friends. They became leaders in their high school and college bands. Giving back: It's all about giving back to the drum and bugle corps activity in thanks for what it's given our family. Today's corps members are the ones we're supporting by helping bring Drums Along the Red Cedar to Menomonie. This is for Bill Cook, Jim Mason, Moe, Dave, Nancy, Donnie, Jimmer, Steve, and George Z (who called us "the Tye Producers"). For everyone who touched our sons' lives, coached, praised, pushed to the limits, and for everyone in the activity today who loves these young ones who strive for excellence ... this is our way of saying "thank you." To all of you who make drum and bugle corps happen across the world, nurturing and disciplining the next generation, thank you! When our sons were marching, our eyes followed them on the field. Sometimes it took several viewings of a given show to see the "whole picture" and appreciate everyone's hard work. Today, we happily watch other people's sons and daughters on the field, marching and playing for all its worth! And we remember. Being involved in putting on a show is a lot of hard work, involving fund-raising, promotion, meetings, Web site, promotion, fund-raising and more meetings. Details, details, details. Do we have enough money raised? Do we have enough volunteers? Is parking adequate? Are there enough quality school facilities in the vicinity to house the corps and staffs? How many tickets have we sold? Will we break even? WooHoo! And yet, it's worth all the blood, sweat and tears to bring a competition to our community. The University of Wisconsin-Stout has a new stadium with a turf field and concrete stands that rival any stadium in the upper Midwest for drum corps competition. Our community is behind the effort, both from a volunteer and fund-raising standpoint. This is just a sample of a week before a show in the life of a drum corps nuts couple that has (foolishly or not) decided to step into a steering committee and bring a competition to their city. There are some corps nuts here. Rod and Kathy, Chris, Barb, Andy, Jerry and Jane, Bob and Beverly, Paul and Stephanie, John -- I know I'll forget someone -- volunteers all, who in 2000 had a fledgling show that brought about 350 fans and got one heck of a thunderstorm when the big boomers hit and wouldn't go away. The judges and Roman Blenski called the show just after intermission. Understanding the disappointment of those who stayed to the bitter end, Minnesota Brass did a standstill performance on a side street next to the field house and stadium after the lightning and thunder stopped. "Make my ears bleed," called one young man in the sparse group who stayed. They did. To add to the drama of hosting Drums Along the Red Cedar, in 2001 there was no stadium in which to have a competition. The University of Wisconsin-Stout was in the process of building a new stadium, made for football. Nelson Field, where the 2000 competition was held, was under demolition. OK. Wait a year. In late fall of 2001, the beautiful Don and Nona Williams Stadium on the campus opened. Wow! Concrete and brick, no track, corps up close to the fans, in-your-face pure drum corps sound, and the same turf as Camp Randall Stadium. Corps directors very pleased with the venue, as were a lot of very happy drum corps fans, new and old. It was a good year, with good weather and a heck of a drum corps show, featuring Madison Scouts and Minnesota Brass. Segue to 2003. Fund-raising, public relations, talking to service clubs fund-raising, working with community groups, fund-raising ... one on one with the big guys in banking and industry. Yay! Title sponsor. Yay! Another title sponsor ... fund-raising ... fund-raising. The community is becoming more attuned to drum corps. The Menomonie High School Marching Band uses corps techniques in music and marching and not only did very well in the Wisconsin State Marching Band Contest, but went to Indianapolis for the BOA Grand Nationals. I just finally figured the final budget dollars ... Oh, my gosh ... $34,000. Fund-raising ... get sponsors! Yes ... some new sponsors are coming in. Is it enough? "Oh, dear Lord, please." I'm going to keep a diary for the Fanfare article, and believe me, at age 60, I haven't kept one since forever. It will (try to) detail the week in the life of a sponsor(s) of a DCI Midwest show. My name is Marilyn Tye. My husband of 39 years is Dan. He's the genius behind the Web site and much of the marketing of Drums Along the Red Cedar. This will be a glimpse into the life of two drum corps nuts that have decided (foolishly or not) to step into a steering committee and bring a competition to town. Well ... here we go. May it be a smooth ride. Ha! Sunday: June 8 One week to showtime. My dear one of almost 39 years (actually, our wedding anniversary is Friday, June 13, just two days before the show) whispered this sweet nothing in my ear at 6 a.m. "THE WEB SITE IS DOWN!" Oh, my! How many ticket orders have we lost? OK, keep trying. I'll keep trying. Nothing. OK, let's go to the early service at church and pray like crazy. It'll be up before we get home. Worry, worry, worry. How in the heck does one pace in the shower? But I do. We've had a wonderful response to buying show tickets on the Web. Worry, worry, worry. It's Pentecost, the birth of the church. "Oh, Dear Lord, please restore our server," I pray during the service. "Please." Dan ran home to check the Web right after the 8:15 a.m. service. "Still nothing," he reported at 10 a.m., when he came back to drive me home. "Brunch, let's go to brunch," I said. "Let's just get away from the computer." Fidget, fidget, fidget. I pick at my eggs, he picks at his sausage. Fidget, fidget, fidget. "Let's go home, check the server," Dan said. OK. We get in the door and turn on the computer. "This web site cannot be found." Arghhh! It's 11:20 a.m. and we're back on the Web! OK, calm down. Deep breath. Whew! "Please, let nothing else go wrong today. And, please Lord, let the weather be good next Sunday. Please. Amen." Monday, June 9 My Microsoft Outlook froze up last night when my computer went off during a mail delivery. Luckily, we've got other e-mail I can tap into. Spam, spam. Ah, here's one from a fan who wants to know where the Colts will be staying. Dan is getting ticket orders on his laptop. The dining room table and my adjacent office is taking on the look of Drum Corps Central with stacks of posters, programs, notes ... stuff is everywhere. Let's get organized. Just saw one of our TV spots on CNN. "Please Lord, let the weather be good next Sunday. Please. Amen." Tuesday, June 10 Awoke to thunder, lightning and heavy rain early this morning. OK, get it out of your system. After a very dry winter (think of west central Wisconsin with less than a foot of snow all winter) and a dry spring, we've been getting rain lately. More ticket orders are coming in on the computer. Got our show information from DCI today, judges' schedules should arrive by e-mail later today. By golly, it's getting real. Really real. We'll sell show tickets tonight at the outdoor band concert in the park. TV and radio spots are running, all print publicity is out and being read, the trunk of our car is weighed down with 3,000 programs. I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something. Oh, yes. "And, please Lord, let the weather be good on Sunday. Please. Amen." Wednesday, June11 Contact the judges today and let them know where the donated hotel rooms are located. Make arrangements to pick up one at the shuttle service from the airport on Sunday and another from Eau Claire. Found volunteers to do the airport runs. There's just one more news article to write for the local paper for Sunday's edition. They've given us great coverage. Thanks! The sports editor, Joel Becker, marched with the Colts in 1989 and 1990. He did a great column for today's paper about drum corps and his experience. Dan is processing web orders to our ticket chair and they're coming in steadily. We sold some tickets at the band concert last night. The phone keeps ringing with people asking for directions to the stadium. It's Drum Corps Central around here. I love it! Things are going more smoothly than last year when we first took on the show. Yes, the big stuff like fundraising, finding insurance, corps housing, and getting volunteers goes on and on. But, we don't feel the sense of uncontrolled chaos. Controlled chaos is more like it. But Sunday's comin'! Just looked at The Weather Channel after I told myself not to. Not bad, but its only Wednesday. Our crawl and spot just ran. "Please Lord, let the weather be good on Sunday. Please. Amen." Thursday, June 12 Looked at the DCI and DCP Web sites just now. Wow! "We're on the Road Again." I miss that segment on the PBS Broadcast. All judges' room arrangements were made yesterday and today. The phone keeps ringing with questions about tickets and directions. How in the heck did they get our phone number? It's buried so far on the Web, I had trouble finding it. Story and photo for Sunday's paper is in to the editor. Ticket orders are coming in on the Web. Just heard myself in a prerecorded interview on Wisconsin Public Radio. Why did I say "uuum" so much? Hard to hear yourself on the radio or watch yourself on TV. "I should have said this, I should have said that, why did I say that?" Today's the deadline for ordering VIP tickets on the Web so that our volunteers can get them processed before Sunday. SUNDAY! Sheesh. "Please Lord, let the weather be good on Sunday. Please. Amen." Friday, June 13 Happy Anniversary, Honey! Oh, sorry, I didn't know you were on the phone. Two days to SHOWTIME! Sunny, hot and humid today. Quiet day so far, few phone calls. But hey, it's only 10 a.m. Looked at the scores from Middleton, Wis., last night. Lookin' good. Beverly, our volunteer chair just called ... 75 volunteers for Sunday. Wow! Nice job. It takes many, many volunteers to pull off an event, whether it's for a Chamber of Commerce picnic, high school activities ... you name it. If it weren't for our steering committee volunteers and show day folks, something of this magnitude couldn't happen. OK, it's no longer quiet. Con Agra Foods, one of our corporate sponsors (and local manufacturer of Swiss Miss chocolate), just called to offer 13 cases of pudding sticks for the corps members. Well, sure. Thanks. Send Dan to get them. Another sponsor donation has to be picked up for the Corporate Sponsor reception. I'll do that one. Phone's ringing. Directions to the stadium? OK. "Please Lord, let the weather be good on Sunday. Please. Amen." Saturday, June 14 It's a warm, sunny day in west central Wisconsin. Lots going on in town this weekend besides Drums Along the Red Cedar. The Tinman Triathlon kicked off this morning at Wakanda Park ... runners, swimmers and bicycles everywhere! Farmer's Market and the Flag Day ceremonies are being held downtown! Lots of people in town. Hopefully, some will stay over and come join us tomorrow. Now the committee is down to last minute stuff. We still have ticket orders coming in on the Web. We have to shut those off at midnight so our ticket committee can get everything processed before the Will Call windows open at 4 p.m. tomorrow. Just read scores and reviews from Friday night's shows on DCI and DCP Web sites. I can't wait to get those corps here. Can you believe we even miss the smell of diesel fuel from the corps buses? We stood beside many a Star of Indiana bus over the years. I keep thinking I'm forgetting something, but for the life of me, I can't think of what it might be. We're going to the Saturday night service at church so we'll be available all day tomorrow (or the wee hours of Sunday morning when the corps caravans begin to arrive). OK, let's get this show on the road! "And, please Lord, let the weather be good on Sunday. Please. Amen." Sunday, June 15 "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', Oh What a Beautiful Day." "Thank you, Lord." Just looked at The Weather Channel. Sunny and 81 degrees, with a light breeze. Wow! Took my three-mile walk this morning by the school where Pioneer is staying. It's 8:15 a.m. and not a creature is stirring. Everything seems to be ready. Are you ready for some drum corps? We got to the stadium about noon. Minnesota Brass was rehearsing. Wow ... drums, bugles, flags ... it's been a year and this sounds great. People began arriving early, well before the ticket window opened at 4 p.m. We're finishing last minute details and getting ready for the arrival of the volunteers. Fans with tickets in hand are waiting for the gates to open. Souvie stands are being set up. The concession stand is open and ready. OK, here we go. Fans are beginning to fill the stadium. Looks like more people this year! A brass choir from Capital Sound, made up of students from our local high school, played the National Anthem. Kilties are ready. Here we go. Parts of the evening are a blur. I tried to see at least a part of each show. One of the guard gals from Minnesota Brass got clocked on the eyebrow when her rifle hit the turf and bounced back. Ouch. Retreat was just beautiful ... nine corps between the end zones under the lights. What a sight ... what a sound. Scouts win. Colts second. Time to pack up. I'll finish this in the morning. Monday June 16 All in all, it was a great experience to host Drums Along the Red Cedar again this year. We had great volunteers and a very appreciative crowd ... maybe twice as many as last year. Staff at the university and stadium were great, very helpful and on top of things. Today feels like the clean up after a great party. We're tired, but very gratified that things went smoothly. Let's gear up for the 2004 Drums Along the Red Cedar party ... in a week or so...when we've had some rest. Marilyn Tye is co-chairperson of the Drums Along the Red Cedar Steering Committee along with another drum corps nut, Rod Bailey. Rod and his wife, Kathy, were very involved with their childrens' band in Illinois and have been corps nuts for many years. In addition to working with drum and bugle corps, Marilyn is a church choir director, minister of worship and music and a community volunteer. Dan is a retired educator and researcher and is a computer and Web design consultant and community volunteer. Fanfare archives Michael Boo has been involved with drum and bugle corps since 1975, when he marched his first of three seasons with the Cavaliers.

He has a bachelor's degree in music education and a masters degree in music theory and composition.
   
He has written about the drum corps activity for over a quarter century for publications such as Drum Corps World, and presently is involved in a variety of projects for Drum Corps International, including souvenir program books, CD liner notes, DCI Update and Web articles, and other endeavors. Michael currently writes music for a variety of idioms, is a church handbell and vocal choir director, an assistant director of a community band, and a licensed Realtor in the state of Indiana. His other writing projects are for numerous publications, and he has published an honors-winning book on the history of figure skating. His hobbies include TaeKwonDo and hiking the Indiana Dunes. But more than anything, Michael is proud to love drum corps and to be a part of the activity in some small way, chronicling various facets of each season for the enjoyment of others.

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