Magic of Orlando practices a parade block during last weekend's camp.
By Eric Fox
Magic of Orlando
This is the second installment of Scherzo, a column by Eric Fox, a front ensemble player with the Magic of Orlando. Fox will report back from each spring camp, and continue his reports through the summer. The majority of corps out there usually have many of the same rules, such as no food or drink in the gym, no using the bathroom on the bus, etc. But this weekend, a new rule emerged for Magic of Orlando members at their camp in New Port Richey, Fla. The administrative staff preached, "Don't drink the water!" A water main burst in Pinellas County, causing all the county's water to be deemed unsafe to drink. Members managed to make it through the weekend with bottled water and assorted juices. Beautiful and sunny weather was in attendance as the brass line and drum line gave their first public performance of the year by participating in the annual Chasco Fiesta parade in New Port Richey. 2003 marked the sixth year the corps had participated in this parade. The front ensemble took advantage of the corps' absence and found a nice shady area in the grass next to the gym. Fortunately, the front ensemble didn't get stuck with water duty during the parade. At the corps' return from the parade, all the members were treated to a BBQ lunch provided by the parade sponsors. It was so tempting for us to just pack up our equipment and take it to the beach while the corps was away. There was a local beach only about 15 or 20 minutes away from the campus, so I asked, but the idea was quickly turned down. I'm pretty sure the folks out on the beach wouldn't have mind to hear a little Holsinger while they were out getting tans, it would certainly drain out the noise from pesky seagulls. Music ensemble rehearsals were also a treat this weekend, as they were directed by the corps' brass arranger, Wayne Downey. Wayne brings all new perspectives on the music and gives the corps a different approach to things. He really motivates the corps to excel. I still feel awkward being around the likes of so many drum corps icons such as Downey and Thom Hannum. Just getting called out by them in a rehearsal scares me.
Sunday morning I had the luxury of listening to the horn line doing warmups while the pit was moving their equipment out of the gym to go set up. I don't know what it is, but I can listen to that stuff for hours and not get bored. Just simple chord progressions get me going. My morning was made when they warmed up with an arrangement of "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber. Unfortunately I had to leave halfway through the piece, but I could still hear the beauty of that piece coming through the walls of the gym. With only two more camps left until move-in, the excitement around the corps keeps growing. The entire corps will finally be together for the first time since December, as the guard will be making its return. So now food lines will grow even longer, gyms will be more crowded, and the lovely stench of drum corps will be even more noticeable. Now I'm not saying that color guards smell, but come on now, everyone smells after working themselves to death out in the sun, so the more people working, the worse the smell. The drum corps stench comes in handy, though, because it motivates you to get outside and practice! Eric Fox, 19, is sophomore at Florida State University. He played in the front ensemble of the Tampa Bay Thunder 2000 and 2001, and with the Phantom Regiment 2002, and will play with the Magic of Orlando in 2003. Send him e-mail at, or instant message him at friceox.