By Allison Owen This week's installment is going to be pretty sporadic, I'm including all of the thoughts and experiences I've had this week about auditions and drum corps in general.

Allison Owen
To start off a great week, my audition packet arrived last Monday. I came home from school and went out to get the mail; I was shocked when I saw a manila envelope for me. I opened it and looked through all the papers, just trying to take it all in. Once again I must say that it's hard for me to believe that I'm really auditioning. I found that there was more paperwork for me to fill out, as well as a list of things I had to send in copies of -- such as my birth certificate. Also included in the packet were driving directions to the camp, a letter from the Spirit guard caption head Stacey Flannery, and the open house camp schedule. As I'm sure many of you -- the readers -- have had this experience many times, this is the first drum corps audition packet I've ever received. It's all a new thing for me and I don't know what's going to happen next. The only thing I know is that I can keep practicing until auditions in three weeks. So if anyone has any advice I'd love to hear it. I've talked to many people who are just as excited as I am about auditions. I've received tips from Spirit vets, heard stories from vets of many different drum corps, and shared excitement with rookies. It's still hard to believe that in three weeks I will be going to my first drum corps audition camp, when exactly one year ago I had no idea that drum corps existed. This is an incredible opportunity which makes me think of a quote I've heard before: "This is the stuff dreams are made of." I was listening to Spirit's 2003 show that I got the other day, and I can't imagine how cool it must be to see and hear these shows in person. They are so cool to watch on TV and listen to on CD or computer, but how amazing are these shows live? I hope not only to see my first live drum corps show this summer, but to march in it as well. To end my week, I'll leave you with this final story. Yesterday at work my mom met a woman and her daughter and they somehow started talking about drum corps. To make a long story short, the daughter aged out of Carolina Crown a couple years ago. They talked for a while about drum corps and the one thing that stuck out to my mom the most was when the daughter said, "It's the best thing I've ever done." I hope that I'll be able to say that in a year, because there is nothing I'd rather do with my summer than march a drum corps and live my dreams.
Allison Owen is a sophomore at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., who plans to audition for a corps in November. "I'm in the SHHS guard and I like writing, dancing, performing, traveling, photography and having fun. As for after high school/college, I don't know what I want to do ... I just know I would like to do something dealing with color guard, computers or writing," Owen said.