By Joe Smith
To go along with last week's interview with Colts cymbal player Chris Tanner, I interviewed two people that will be auditioning for the Colts in December. These two people are Walter Baumann and Brian Schuster. I am hoping to follow up with these two after the December camp so that everyone knows how things went for them. Walter Baumann, an 18-year-old senior at Iola-Scandinavia High School in Iola, Wis., will be auditioning for the Colts front ensemble. Baumann marched with the Americanos in the 2002 and 2003 seasons (cymbals and front ensemble respectively). Walter explained to me why he comes back to the drum corps activity every summer: "There are multiple reasons that have kept me coming back to drum corps. When I started, I was significantly overweight, and afterwards I felt and looked much better, which helped to boost my self-esteem. Also, over the summer, I love the musical and rhythmic precision that is learned while on tour. When it all starts you think that you're doing well enough, but when you look back over the summer, and see the leaps and bounds that you've made in cleaning your music, you know how far you've come. "Another key element is working hard. Feeling exhausted at the end of every day, and knowing that you tried hard and really improved over that day is an extremely rewarding feeling, and it's a feeling that I've only experienced in drum corps."
Also auditioning in December is Brian Schuster from Hopkinton, Iowa, who plays trumpet in his school band. Michael is a 16-year-old junior at Maquoketa Valley High School in Delhi, Iowa, and will be auditioning on soprano. I talked to Brian about how he is preparing for the auditions in December. "In preparation for auditions next month I have been working with my band director, Mr. Smith, on scales, Clarke studies, and other music pieces." I asked Schuster what he expects to get out of the upcoming December audition. "When I go to the December audition camp, I am hoping to establish a better understanding of what the Colts organization is all about. I also am looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends, and I'm hoping for a contract or a recall to a second audition camp. Several weeks before the first audition most people are very excited, and nervous for the upcoming event. I asked Schuster how he is feeling with just about Five weeks left until the first Colts camp, and I remember feeling the same way he does today. "I'm having pretty good feelings about the upcoming auditions. I'm excited about it, and I think that I will do pretty well. I need to get more practice with Mr. Smith, and then I think I'll be completely ready. I am very excited about this chance of a lifetime." I am proud to know a calendar model. I never thought I would. Not only do I know this model, but I have marched beside him. The Colts' very own mellophone player Adam Nelson is featured on the 2004 DCI calendar. "Stuck valves make me furioso!"