This week, we'll be devoting some editorial attention to drum corps events and memories that happen and have happened in the Northern U.S. By Greg Newell It's been more than 15 years, but I still remember my first competition show with Phantom Regiment. We were at Whitewater, Wis., for the drum corps competition that was part of Bands of America's old summer marching band championships. Warhawk Stadium, now called Perkins Stadium, was the birthplace of DCI. Being a rookie, I had no idea how good we really were. It seemed like we were good, but I had no frame of reference. I remember being nervous that I would miss a drill move -- I moved in late because Michigan State's term went well into June at the time -- and wasn't sure that I was ready yet. That didn't turn out to be a problem, though. We lined up for retreat to wait for the announcement of scores. It was cold -- probably in the 50s -- and dew covered the field. My toes were cold and getting wet from the dew. I wondered what the heck I was doing standing on a field in the middle of Nowhere, Wis., when I could be relaxing on a couch watching the Tigers on TV. Then came the scores. Being a foolish rookie, I just assumed we would hear everyone else's scores first. In sixth place, with a score of 58.9, the Sky Ryders. In fifth place, with a score of 63.6, Phantom Regiment. Fifth? My toes are cold and wet, and we finished fifth. That's when I really wondered what I was doing in Wisconsin! We had been nearly 6-pointed by the Scouts in my first show. For the record, Scouts had a 69.4, Bluecoats 65.5, Cavaliers 64.8 and Star of Indiana 64.2. Also, for the record, I must point out that Regiment and Scouts tied two nights later in Normal, Ill., with a 66.9 and we went on to win 11 of our next 13 shows. The memory of standing in the cold getting fifth place is still etched in my mind, though. Greg Newell
Phantom Regiment
Baritone 1988-89
Board of Directors 2000-present
Vice President 2003-present