By Andy Dittrich
Capital Sound First tour -- struggle, success, sleep, repeat ...

Andy Dittrich
First tour is an important one for Capital Sound. It allows us to gain the experience of waking up every day next to the same people, rehearsing and cleaning the same 11 minutes, and learning the triumphs and travails of life on the road. We made it. Tour began with a full day, 12 hours of rehearsal, in Menomonie, Wis. We used the time to our best advantage, making sure to learn and clean up our new drill for the second piece, and iron out some transitional problems in the middle of the show. The piece has become 100 times better with the new drill and staging, and we have taken a lot of time to iron out a majority of the timing problems due to the multiple tempo changes within the piece. It was a difficult day, but worthwhile as I look back on it. Second tune features some character work We headed to Hastings, Minn., the following morning, where we fit some rehearsal in before the show. Jones and Allan (techs) managed to fit in some crazy circle drill basics to attempt to blow our minds. I was proud that I made it through elimination basics that day, as I am usually not the greatest basics marcher. This show brought back numerous memories for me, one in particular being that you can see the "Bierstube" across the street from the field. I always got a kick out of that name. We stayed in Hastings that night, and the next day was our tour free day, in which we had five hours of rehearsal, then our free night at the Mall of America in Bloomington. Every other drum corps that was in the vicinity was there as well. Fortunately, in a building that huge, it is very difficult for it to be crowded, especially on a Monday evening. We left for Mankato that night. Staying at Mankato West H.S. brought back quite a few memories as well, not limited to playing the world's dirtiest rudiment breakdown as the Scouts drum line walked by in 2001. That was awfully embarrassing. The Mankato rehearsal day was a fateful one, that marked the beginning of a trend that would mark tour: Injuries. Asphalt rehearsal fields do not play well for drum corps. Betsy (bass 2) sprained her ankle on a direction change in sectionals. In run-through, Rob blew a direction change, fell on a grate in the parking lot, and was left with a bloody head wound. There was blood everywhere, and he didn't march the show that night. It was terrible and very scary. He was fortunate enough to pick up the nickname "Massive Head Wound Harry," from the '90s SNL skit. Rob marched the rest of the tour, and his head is doing better. Wednesday brought us to Holmen, Wis., for the Blue Stars' home show. We split rehearsal space with Southwind all day, and they were very nice and let us use their field for run-through, and watched and cheered for us. We watched theirs as well, and they are looking very sharp at this point. I was impressed. We had a nice show tonight. The horn line learned the new ballad drill in rehearsal, and we worked on second tune timing some more. We were in sectionals all day nearly, and our drum staff, that loves us, or so they say, brought us "tasty treats" from the grocery store across the street. The Cedarburg show was brought back in 2001 after being dormant for quite a few years. I am always surprised that the show didn't exist for so long, since they sell out the back stands. We rehearsed and slept at the show site, which makes things nice and easy for us. We did a very nice show tonight, but it seems like mental mistakes and focus problems are still holding us back from being as good as we could be, and even keeping myself from performing up to my full potential. We got our new undershirts for our uniforms today, called "under armour." If you are not familiar with such a shirt, it is a form-fitting (skin tight), mesh-type material shirt that breathes really easily, and pulls sweat off of your body. Unfortunately, I don't have a form, so the shirt fits nice and tight over my midsection, and awfully loose over my scrawny arms. It took me five minutes to get that thing on the first time, and another seven or eight to get it off. July 4th was possibly the most frustrating and difficult day of tour, with three parades, kicking off a set of five parades over three days. Those shirts were working hard today, as it was a long day anyway, and the last parade was straight uphill. We pulled some crazy stuff out today, including "Operation Scottie," in which we turned our top head snare units on for the parade tune, and played the entire song with them on. We headed out to Michigan City, Ind., after the last parade, and took some down time that night, in which I took some time to try and correct some problems in the line that arose over tour, and errantly let out my own frustrations. Apologies. The next day we started up again with a parade and a short rehearsal block in Michigan City. We rehearsed on the world's worst rehearsal field, only to get to play a show at the world's best show field. We had a decent show, a little out of control from overhype, but solid. Still too many focus problems. We went to Dixon that night, and had a very similar day the next day, minus the rehearsal time, due to a longer parade, and a late wake-up. We played the show for a smaller crowd, and again did a great job. Dixon ended first tour, and we feel that we are in great shape for the upcoming Midwest Championships in DeKalb. Great plug, eh? Think DCI can sneak me a little something for that ... NO! Oh well, keep reading, and keep going to shows! Quote of the week: "I like jimmies!" -- Neil Reitenbach, from "Teen Girl Squad." Project: It loves you!