From a Magic of Orlando press release: Like most corps, Magic of Orlando has just completed the first week of "every-days" after moving into their camp location in Haines City, Fla. A 45-minute drive southwest of Orlando, Haines City High School seems like a perfect place for a corps to practice: It's located in a rural area surrounded by orange groves; it has ample practice fields; it has a gym with ice cold air-conditioning; and best of all, it has SHADE TREES! As a result, Magic is progressing ahead of everyone's expectations.
Magic's operations director Deb Rogerson is delighted with how smooth the first week of camp has been. "Move-in day went very well," she said. "All the kids and equipment made it here safely. We got moved in and began rehearsals the same day." "I have never worked with such an incredible bunch of kids -- they're unbelievable!" Rogerson said. "These kids are driven -- they want this so much. But I don't think they even realize what great things they're about to do." Brass caption head and staff coordinator Gino Cipriani is also pleased with the Corps' progress during this first week. "I'm so excited about the dedication and talent of our members," he said. "We have kids that would have easily been picked-up by any corps in the country, but they chose Magic." According to Cipriani, the corps' progress has far exceeded the staff's expectations. "In this first week alone," he explains, "the kids have already learned nearly all of the drill. That's awesome, not only because Jack Chambers writes a tough book, but we've also had some environmental challenges," a reference to the weather. While there's been no shortage of sunshine, the beautiful Florida weather can be a double-edged sword. Magic has had very little downtime because of inclement weather, but it's Amazon-hot, The old adage, "It's not the HEAT, it's the HUMIDITY!" certainly seems to be true. "There are days when the air is so thick you need GILLS to breathe," quipped a corps member. The staff is careful to take precautions -- frequent water breaks, lots of sunscreen and sectionals in shaded areas whenever possible. As a result, there have been no heat-related injuries. You would think that the heat and humidity would take its toll on the members' stamina and energy, but an amazing transition takes place during the evening meal break. Between instructional blocks, a beautiful sunset gives way to cooler, more breathable air. "This seems to rejuvenate the kids," Cipriani explained. "They return to the evening block with a renewed energy and intensity that they maintain right up to the end of a very long hard day. There's a fire within these kids, a determination to take Magic to the next level -- a determination to be a champion!" Cipriani is equally proud of the instructional staff. "This staff has really bonded as a team," he says. "My experience with other corps has been that the individual staff members tend to protect their 'off' time as their own. This staff is different. We enjoy spending time together, even after the instructional day is over." He emphasized, "We have top, trained professional people here that are committed to the success of Magic. Each and every one of them are willing to put their butts on the line and make personal sacrifices to make Magic a champion -- to me, that says it all!" "This is such a talented group," said Deb Rogerson, echoing Cipriani's praise of the staff, "and they're so focused on the kids." Of the staff's camaraderie, "We have so much fun and everyone gets along -- absolutely EVERYONE!" Rogerson also recognized the efforts of the parents and volunteers, exclaiming, "We LOVE our volunteers!" She continued, "We've got volunteers that will drop everything on a moments notice to attend to whatever we need. And so many of our volunteers don't even have kids in the corps, they just love drum corps -- it's unbelievable." Rogerson is further impressed with the relationship she has with the parents and volunteers. "I've never before worked for a drum corps where I've hung out with the parents, but I've made some wonderful friends here. I have just as much fun with the volunteers as I do with the staff and the kids!" Rogerson probably best sums up this first week this way: "It's like a drum corps dream world here, it truly is. If the rest of the camp progresses as well as this first week, I have no doubt that Magic is going to do something truly historic this year!" Editor's note: Eric Fox, a Magic front ensemble player, wrote another perspective of recent Magic camps.
Magic's instruction staff carefully watches a distant thunderstorm during a movement block.