The Santa Clara Vanguard lead a clinic for several hundred enthusiastic and curious students on the field late this afternoon at the Alamodome. Drum corps clinician Michael Cesario acted as emcee for the event, injecting a healthy mix of humor and pertinent information to the proceedings. Cesario interviewed key members of the Vanguard during the clinic, asking them questions ranging from instrumentation to corps' "familial" relationships to on-field psychology. The Vanguard's clinic this afternoon is not an unusual event. To the casual fan, the day of a drum corps contest might seem like an obvious one to relax and mentally prepare for the evening's intensity. But for some corps, part of the afternoon before a contest is often spent with a group of enthusiastic high school and grade school students who watch the corps rehearse, and glean valuable behind-the-scenes information from corps directors and other staffers who openly address exactly what the corps is working on. At a Cavaliers clinic in Normal, Ill., on the hot, sunny day of June 27, corps director Jeff Fiedler took a microphone and explained the elements of the Cavaliers' 2002 show to an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 200 band directors attending a Bands of America camp at Illinois State University. The Cavaliers, many shirtless in the heat, marched through several of their show segments while Fiedler and other Cavalier staff members tweaked the program. Sometimes clinics are forced to adapt to the elements. A temperamental, day-long Florida rainstorm drove the Blue Devils under the stands of the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on June 22. A hyperenthusiastic crowd of several thousand students didn't seem to mind, however, as the Blue Devils ran through a loud "Channel One Suite" that echoed off the walls under the stadium. "Student workshops are an opportunity to showcase the amazing aspects of a drum corps performance from a grassroots point of view. Take off the uniform and we see the corps members are just like the band students watching the clinic, but trained and polished after countless hours of rehearsal and an outstanding commitment to excellence in marching music. Drum Corps International is very proud to work with the corps and band directors in each area to bring the drum corps experience closer to the students," said Drum Corps International Executive Director Dan Acheson.
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