Name, hometown, corps: DeLynn Mull, Bolingbrook, Ill., Phantom Regiment What is your role in the Phantom Regiment this summer? I am one of the two section leaders in the trumpets and one of the five horn sergeants of the horn line. I am also the sewing ladies' entertainment, cook staff suck-up, volunteer staff gossiper, and hopefully my chore this year will be on dinner crew.
Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you involved with there? I go to Illinois State University as a music business major. Because I'm a music major, there's no such thing as extracurricular activities. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background, and how each position prepared you for the leadership role you're in this summer. I've been marching since 2000. Every year is always different due to the changing staff, changing styles, changing members, and changing ways of how the drum corps is run. I've learned something new every year I've marched, and that is what makes this activity exciting. It's always a different experience. When I was a rookie, the older vets told me and other young rookies that if we stuck with the corps and kept coming back, the corps would go far, and we would lead them to victory. They pointed out that we were the future of Phantom, and also to never let them down. I'd never felt the need to be loyal to something until they told us those words. It was our turn to take on the legacy of the Phantom Regiment and run with it. Every year since then I've hoped to make a lasting impression on those who came before, who will come after and those that came beside me. The last good book I read: "All the Things You Need to Know About the Music Business," by Donald Passman The last great film I saw: "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." An awesome movie I must say. Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: Phantom Regiment's "Ballads" CD, Tori Amos' "Boys for Pele," anything from the 1980s My favorite TV show: "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" Favorite performers: I'll be biased with this one and say my corpsmates. How do you "blow off steam?" I clean. I vacuum, dust, Windex ... and blast great music. I have no idea why. It's either that or I paint my nails. Why I march with the corps I am in: The people. Hands down. Everyone is friendly, honest, hardworking, loyal, dedicated and so much more. This can happen with any other corps, but I've made my home right here and I wouldn't want to spend my summers with anyone else. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? Honestly, yes. I felt it was my duty to carry this horn line all the way through, as far as I can go, and hopefully teach others to do the same as I was told. Being a leader is not a title given, but a role well-earned. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? I try to be as flexible as I can. I don't hang around the people I already know for the majority of free time. It's hard to balance this because you want to talk to all your friends you haven't seen in a long time, yet you've got others that need your attention too because they are fresh in the game. I communicate with the rookies as much as I can through phone, IM, and e-mail conversations. I feel it is a waste to not get to know people right away. You never know what you could have found out about them earlier on in the season. What has been your formative drum corps moment? I always felt that I belonged there, but I never felt the vets trusted me until my second year when I kicked it into high gear and was on top of my game all the time. That's when I realized I wanted to be a leader in years to come. Best drum corps show ever: 1989 Phantom Regiment -- "The New World Symphony" What are you most looking forward to about the summer? The friendship and unity that is forming earlier than ever before. Best thing about being a drum corps leader: You're in charge. Being able to take the mistakes of leaders before you and learn from them. Doing things your way. Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: You can't goof off. Every move I do is assumed OK to others looking up to me, so I have to choose my actions very carefully. During tour, the best part of the day is: Performance time through sleeping on the bus. Everything in between is great because the day is over, you have accomplished something outstanding, and it's time to kick off your shoes and relax with some ice cream. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Basics block. No matter how long, short, hard, easy -- it's just no fun. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Jessica Allen, that guard girl from Blue Devils with the long black hair who was on the DCI broadcast staff this summer. I've watched her since 1999 and I think she's an awesome performer and person in general. What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? I want to be a song doctor or producer. I would love teaching marching band, but recording and producing is what I really want to do. It'll be a tough road to get there, as you know --according to drum corps, you have to work hard in order for something to pay off in the end.