By Andy Dittrich
Capital Sound Reflections on tour and drum corps from the members of Capital Sound

Andy Dittrich
"We were sleeping in the gym in Jacksonville, and along with those huge cockroaches, that mangy dog wandered into our gym in the middle of the night, and the corps didn't sleep at all. We had Todd (snare) the gunslinger with his cowboy hat on taking care of the bugs for us with his rehearsal shoes." -- Matt Rice, tenors '02, '03 "We were the first corps on in Tarboro, and our gate got pushed back. Not due to rain, like in Florida, and not due to prelims going over time. No, the judges were still finishing up dinner. Not that they don't need dinner, but it was still a funny moment. At least they were conciliatory and gave us what we needed to get ready for the show again." -- Theresa Soules, baritone '02, drum major '03 "In Erie, Pa., we arrived to housing site with enough time to just relax before we had to hit the floor. Four members of the corps (myself included) proceeded to go behind the school where there was some basketball courts lit up enough to play. Andy Hummel (3rd bass), Kevin Crouch (tenor), my brother Arik (soprano) and myself (soprano) just tried to get our shots back before we started any type of game. As soon as we started to play four guys came in a couple of cars that caught the attention of anybody they passed by. They came out and we were all ready for them to jump us because we thought we were on their turf. Well it turns out that they wanted to play. That scared us too, because two kids were bigger than all of us and they looked like they had mad skills. We did beat them though, because these kids came in a little cocky and tried moves they couldn't handle. So that night Capital Sound ballers played local kids after thinking they were going to get jumped. We beat them and they wanted to play again. I don't know if they understand that we pummeled them like we did but let me tell you, the Midwestern kids sure showed the Eastern kid how to play some ball." -- Adam King, soprano/mellophone '98-'00, '02-'03 "Nine years ago (1995) I joined the Madison Jr. Scouts for their annual holiday parade. I suited up and marched that parade. I was very excited to know that I was journeying down the road of drum corps. That spring the MDBCA held their annual Open House and announced the formation of Capital Sound, and that is how I became an inaugural season member. Since then I have marched every year with Capital Sound and experienced all of the ups and downs of the corps. Some memories seem to blur together and is hard to distinguish which year it happened, but one thing I will always remember is that I shared that memory with people I care about. One distinct memory that will always stand out in my mind is a situation involving a pine cone and my forehead. Although it was a situation that I would like to forget at times, looking back on it helps me remember just how much Capital Sound has changed me. Throughout my nine years of corps I have had a few people tell me that someday I could accomplish something big. Thinking about what those people told me made me realize that I did accomplished something big. I aged out. It is going to be hard come winter knowing that I will never be able to see drum corps the same way I did as a marching member. However, with the lessons learned from Capital Sound I will overcome. I will stand tall and know that I did it, I marched drum corps." -- Nik Schumacher, front ensemble '95-'03 I will never forget this season. For the first time, I was able to walk back to the truck for the last time on Saturday, rather than Monday. But I won't so much remember that I got a medal, as I was able to wear it proudly, and walk back with the 18 other members of the battery that I was so fortunate and honored to lead. For the first time, I feel that this drum corps peaked on August 9, no earlier. More so, I will remember the work we did to get there, and our determination to improve. I will always remember those cockroaches in Hilliard, Fla., but more so I will remember the 92 kids that fell asleep that night with their sandals on their hands. I may not remember exactly how we did the four-part circle drill in drum line basics in Orlando, but I will remember coming off out of that session proud that we were able to do something that difficult. Maybe I've said this before, but it rings as true today as it ever has. Drum corps means something different to everyone who marches. For me, it is that incredible blend of perfection, dedication and love. Perfection on the field, dedication to a show, a corps, and a family, and love for the people who you see every day, and together build not just a show, not just a performance, but a drum corps. To rip off our finals pre-show talk, we became not just 92 people, but one single entity. A being, with a pulse, a breath and a soul. One of the more interesting stories about our season was that of a contra player that we picked up before tour, who learned the show over the Reedsburg rehearsal weekend, and marched the shows over tour with us. She was a member of a couple Division I finalist corps, and had to be let go this summer due to some physical constraints. While we were obviously not a Division I finalist-caliber drum corps, I hope that she was able to learn something about a very different drum corps experience. Maybe it was a learning experience, or maybe it wasn't, but I can only pray that being on tour with a Division II drum corps has at least given her a new perspective on the activity. Whether she likes it or not, she will now always be a part of a family of former members, current members, alumni, staff, and support staff that we call Capital Sound.    I wrote for them. They deserved to be read about, and known, and followed. "Project" is and always will be for Capital Sound. I hope that all of you who have been reading continue to follow drum corps, and support the thousands of youth that strive for perfection and form interminable bonds with 134, 29 or 91 other people. Thank you to all of you who have followed "Project" this summer. It has been my pleasure and honor to be the voice of a drum corps, and at times, the voice of a nation of Division II and III corps. To everyone who has supported me and complimented me, from the guys in East Coast Jazz at Erie, Pa., to whoever it was that bought a Capital Sound T-shirt in my name in Orlando, and all of my supporters across the country, or just at home, thank you. I hope and pray that "Project" will continue, or at least I can continue being a voice in drum corps for these next four years. -- Andy Dittrich, front ensemble '99, snare '00-'03... Quote of tour: "Quick to the muff!" -- Capital Sound drum line 2003 Yah, it's "Project,"...well ... yeah! Andy Dittrich is the center snare drummer for Capital Sound, and is a fifth-year member of the corps. In the fall, he will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying English. He'll be contributing weekly reports to through the summer.