Former DCI.org columnist Emily Tannert, who won a prestigious Society of Professional Journalists' regional Mark of Excellence Award (honoring the best of student journalism) for her series of columns that ran on DCI.org from late 2002 to late 2003, is returning to the fold today. She'll write a weekly column for DCI.org. The last time I wrote for DCI, I was 21, freshly aged out of the Glassmen, and a senior in journalism school at Northwestern University. Now I'm 23, freshly off my second summer working for the Glassmen, and a sophomore music major at Louisiana State University. Saying something about how the more things change, the more they stay the same seems apropos here. But let me start back at the beginning. When I wrote that last column, I proclaimed (somewhat ostentatiously) that I was going to cease writing for DCI, since, as an ageout, my responsibility was to help new members in the activity. And I did make good on my word: I was hired by Glassmen in the fall of 2003 as the corps' assistant tour director, a summer position that involves, well, just about everything under the sun. Mostly it involves supporting the members, being a nurse and counselor and big sister and cook and information clearinghouse, and about 50 other things, all rolled into one exhausted package. Like most positions that involve working with youth, it's a lot of work and very, very rewarding -- especially when you used to be one of those youth. In between aging out in August 2003 and joining the staff at the Glassmen for the 2004 season, I finished my journalism degree at Northwestern, graduating in December 2003. I also played in the pit at Music City Mystique, an independent indoor drum line based in Nashville, and taught a high school indoor drum line near Knoxville, Tenn., where I grew up. Having realized the previous year that as much as I enjoy writing, I love teaching and playing music, I applied to various music schools. I ended up at LSU in Baton Rouge, and following the summer of 2004, I moved down here to start my second freshman year. Most people can't wait to get out of school; for me, once just wasn't enough! (That was sarcasm, folks.) Actually, as much as I'm tired of being in school (and since I'm on my seventh year as a undergrad, with two still to go, I get to be tired of it!), I love spending my days playing and studying music. I'm a music education/percussion performance double major, which keeps me very busy, and in between stints in the practice room I teach at two area high schools. I came back to Glassmen last summer, for the 2005 season, doing the same job. At the end of the season, I ran into Dave Wilson, the DCI's Web content manager, in the marketplace at championships. He asked me whether I might be willing to write for DCI again, and I jumped at the chance. I love bringing new people to drum corps, and sharing what little I've learned in my five brief years in the activity, and this space gives me one more way to reach out. What you'll find here every week will be information for those of you preparing for your initial drum corps auditions and first seasons, along with interviews with instructors, writers and designers in the activity, and of course my occasional reminiscences and ramblings. While I'm no longer on staff at the Glassmen -- it was simply too difficult to be a performance major and take three months off from practicing every summer -- I loved getting to help people figure out how to do drum corps, and hope to continue to pass on a bit of what I learned as a member and administrator. Emily Tannert's past columns Emily Tannert is a sophomore music education/percussion performance major at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., and holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University. Emily aged out of the Glassmen in 2003 and was assistant tour manager for the corps in 2004 and 2005. You can contact Emily at email@example.com.