Drum Corps International
Spring cleaning 2007

Spring cleaning 2007

by Drum Corps International

Well, we're well into 2007 and I missed an annual "Loose Ends" column that always comes at the end of the year. However, it's the perfect time of the year for a "Spring Cleaning" column which is a collection of smaller contributions. Incidentally, I would be delighted to hear from you regarding any junior corps-related stories you might have for future Fanfare columns. Please send your stories and ideas to boomike@dci.org. First off, here is an addition to the March 9 Fanfare "Love Connection: It takes two to tango" from Mark Graves of Jersey Surf. Here is Mark's submission about being paired up with corps member Meghan Vallies. -Michael Boo


Some people call the tango a dance of passion and desire. However, I call it the dance of matchmaking. In Jersey Surf's 2006 show, "The Moulin Rouge," three sets of dance partners ended up with a significant other. Like all drum corps, our show was announced to us. Then we found out there would be a dance feature with color guard and the trumpets. I was excited, but to be honest with you, I am not the best dancer. The funny thing about it was we were all a little nervous. Each partner tentatively held the other at an arms length which obviously is not exactly the best way to tango. What each person found was that after hours and hours of working on this dance that it became much easier. We were spending more time with our partners so getting to know them was pretty easy. For me it was Meghan. I had been marching with her since 2004, but she and I never really talked. As the days went by I found that she was more fun to be around with each passing day. I have found that she is one of the most fun, selfless and caring girls with whom I have ever been. I knew this was going to work out. We have been going out since the 2006 tour and even though she is a nursing major, we still find time to see each other. We may learn a lot through our seasons within our respective corps, but to quote the Moulin Rouge movie, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is to love and be loved in return."


Ray Schofield submitted this memory of an unusual show during a difficult time of American history. For those who don't remember post-season shows, it wasn't uncommon for drum corps shows to be held after the national championships that preceded the Drum Corps International era. In fact, for years after DCI was formed, there were contests held weeks after the Drum Corps International World Championships. I marched with the Lakeland Goldenaires from Pompton Lakes, N.J. Originally a parade corps, we were one of the charter members of the Garden State Circuit. We performed in a competition the weekend following the November 23, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The drum corps season began earlier and ended later then, but this late date was really an oddball. The Regimental Cadets from Staten Island had scheduled their competition in late November in an armory somewhere in the city. We had had our next-to-last competition around Labor Day, but there was this late November date on our schedule. And then a few days before the show came the tragic news of President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. The country was in shock...all businesses were closed and the nation was in mourning. Just about everything was cancelled—except our drum corps show. So just a few days after the assassination, we boarded our buses and headed into New York City for the competition. As I remember it, the armory floor wasn't 100 yards long, so the corps had to stop in the middle of its show and reposition itself so there would be room to finish the drill. Sounds kind of funny, but we were able to do it without any problem. Everyone remembers what they were doing when they learned JFK had been shot. I sure do. I was in my high school English class when Miss DiGrazia came into the room, crying, to tell us the news. But I also remember that a couple of days later my drum corps was performing in a drum corps show, indoors, in November. There was a moment of silence in memory of JFK, but after that, the show went on.


This submission came in about the 1992 Velvet Knights program, a show so popular; it was selected by a fan vote to be part of the first DCI Classic Countdown theatrical presentation in 2005. At the end of the show, you'll hear the "Fat Lady" character hit a high note. The note was actually sung by a guard member who had taken opera lessons. She sung the note standing around the back hash on the side, and it filled the stadium. The drum major uniforms at the Championships were not their normal uniforms. Anyone seeing the show might think they look a little "under dressed." Well, one of the drum majors forgot his pants back at the housing site! So our show coordinator, J. Gregory Clarke—being the genius that he is—went to the souvenir truck and grabbed two pair of the "baggies" and told the drum majors to put them on. It wasn't the look they had planned, but it's the look that everyone will remember. In 1963 a split occurred resulting in two drum corps, the Anaheim Kingsmen and the nearby Santa Ana Velvet Knights. Both corps were featured on the 2005 DCI Classic Countdown. I should point out that the VK style that most fans are familiar with did not evolve until the 1980s. Two more things about that 1992 show: First, during the drum solo when the corps members are doing Tai Chi, you'll see a guy in a sun hat getting a ride in a rickshaw. It's a subtle salute to DCI Hall of Fame member Bobby Hoffman. After passing away in January of 1991, he got one more time around the field. Second, when Elmer Fudd met the "Fat Lady" character and they ran off behind a backdrop, keep watching the backdrop. If you're not paying attention, you'll miss it.


Drum corps leaves one with lots of memories. While the people and the experiences are important, sometimes it's the places we visit that remain set in our consciousness. Patti Rogan is a parent with fond memories of Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. My son James just completed his fifth year as a member of the pit with the Citations of Burlington, Mass. Back in 1986, the Citations made the Divisions II & III World Championship Finals at Camp Randall. In 1999, my daughter marched with the Boston Crusaders, who made it into the Division I Finals for the very first time at Camp Randall. In 2002, it was my son's first year with the Citations, and my daughter's boyfriend aged out of Carolina Crown, again in Madison. And in 2006, the Citations made the Divisions II & III Semifinal for the first time in 20 years and the sister of my daughter's boyfriend aged out of Phantom Regiment at the same place. Camp Randall Stadium in Madison has special meaning for my family and I. Have any memories of someplace that holds special meaning for you? Send them to boomike@dci.org.


Editorial assistance by Michael Boo. Fanfare archives

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