Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Andrew Clark, San Diego Alliance drum major

The DCI.org interview: Andrew Clark, San Diego Alliance drum major

by Drum Corps International

Name, hometown, corps: My name is Andrew Clark, I live in Escondido, Calif., and am currently marching with the San Diego Alliance. I am 16 years old.

Andrew Clark
What is your role in the corps this summer? This summer, I am the drum major.^ Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you involved with there? I am a junior at San Pasqual High School and am in the band, as well as the drama program. I was in the fall/winter play and am currently on the improv team. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background, and how each position prepared you for the leadership role you're in this summer. Aside from three years on marching saxophone during middle school, I have marched three years of high school marching band and two years on mellophone at the San Diego Alliance. My band program these past few years has gone through various directors, so the constant switching has kept me on my toes. I have always taken interest in the leaders of the different organizations I affiliate myself with, and keep watch on how they get certain things done. Having been under only two drum corps drum majors, I have not had a wide variety of people to "look up to," but in looking at members of the staff, and the leaders of other organizations and drum corps, I am confident that I know exactly what it takes to be a leader. The last good book I read: "Survivor: A Novel," by Chuck Palahniuk The last great film I saw: "The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King" My favorite TV show: "24" Favorite performers: Anthony Hopkins, Jet Lee and Jackie Chan. How do you "blow off steam?" I write stories and poetry that I post online on a Web site one of my friends made. Sometimes I walk or ride my bike around town. Why I march with the corps I am in: The staff is awesome, the corps is local, and the size of the corps is very intimate. The people who write the show are there at every rehearsal, so the original concept of the show is preserved throughout the season. It's the kind of organization where there are no exclusive smaller groups. It's just one big, (if you can say that) happy family. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? Not at all. 2002, my rookie year, Darrell Griffin (the corps director) had serious doubts I would even last the season. I was brand new on a brass instrument and switching from saxophone did not help at all. I was very "to myself" those first few months, but that changed quickly, as did I. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? As the season progresses and tour draws near, my role will change drastically. Now, I am fairly buddy-buddy with my corpsmates, but as things grow more and more pressed for time, I will need to become more focused on getting things laid down in a certain timeframe. Whatever things are necessary to add or abandon to my role to achieve this, will be done. What has been your formative drum corps moment? In Chattanooga, Tenn., during free time, two other horn line members and I just started running around this football field track. We kept saying, "Alright, after this lap, we'll stop" That didn't happen. We ran 12 laps. The staff bought us ice cream sandwiches from a nearby store. Best drum corps show ever: Quite honestly, I'm not a very big drum corps fan! The first drum corps show I ever saw, I was in. I really liked Phantom Regiment's 2003 show, though. Awesome. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? The best seats in the house to see my corps: On the DM stand, right there. Best thing about being a drum corps leader: The best thing about it is that I can apply my improving leadership skills to every other area of life. We constantly work with other people throughout our lives, so in learning how to be both a part of a small group as well as the leader of one, I can better understand how people work together. Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: Sometimes when all the others are marching and working hard, my only job is to hold the metronome. It's frustrating to stand around and do basically nothing, while everybody else is working their tails off. Now the way I see it is they're doing their job, and I'm doing mine. During tour, the best part of the day is: That would have to be right after a good shower. The grime of sweat and sunscreen is all gone, and it feels great to walk out in the cold and feel the air on your skin. During tour, the worst part of the day is: The most awful thing during tour is sleeping on a bus. The morning after, it seems like whatever sleep you DID manage to get just made matters worse. Favorite drum corps personality and why: There was a guy on staff in 2002, named Alfredo Heraldo. He was awesome. What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? For the most part, that is still undecided. "When your drum corps career is over," eh? I have six years left of this stuff!