By Allison Owen Each week something new and exciting happens in the drum corps world that keeps me thinking about how close this summer really is. For example, this past week a few of the show lineups have been posted. I love hearing these announcements -- especially when I see that Memphis Sound is on the lineup -- like at the DCI Central Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich.

For something that once seemed so far away, this summer is now really only a matter of a few months away. As each week passes by I'm reminded in some way or another that this is a summer I will never forget. ^This week I was pleasantly surprised to see all my membership papers arrive in the mail. I don't know about you, but there's just something great about opening the mailbox and finding a large envelope addressed to me. Naturally I opened it right away; I found a bunch of paperwork as well as the membership handbook. Being the eager person that I am, I read every single page right away. And I'm not just saying that either, I really read everything-including the parent survey form. Almost all of the forms are now complete; soon I will be official. Yet I still have to remind myself that this is actually happening. For instance, every Tuesday and Thursday we have a guard tech come in to help our guard class with weapons and movement. So this last week Amy and I somehow got onto the topic of drum corps -- kind of funny how often that happens to me now -- and someone said "Hey Allison, aren't you trying out for one of those?" My first reaction was to cringe at the way my drum corps -- my family -- was referred to as "one of those;" but I decided to let it go because some people just don't understand. "Yeah," I said, "I'm trying out for Memph ... I mean, I did try out at Memphis Sound and I'm now a member." No one really understood the odd grin on my face after I said that. I know that eventually this state of shock will pass and it will become a way of life for me. But for now I still have to remind myself that my dreams are really becoming a reality. This summer is going to be here sooner than you think.
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.