Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Jake Drum, Carolina Crown lead mellophone

The DCI.org interview: Jake Drum, Carolina Crown lead mellophone

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: Jake Drum, 20 years old, Lincolnton, N.C.

What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I march lead mellophone for Carolina Crown.

Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I began marching saxophone in high school. After my junior year I started learned to play mellophone. After my first season of drum corps at crown on contra, I marched mellophone in my high school and have marched mello at crown since. I marched in my high school color guard, and plan to march again independently.

How did you decide to be a member of your corps? My band director and guard instructor are on the executive committee and the board of directors at Carolina Crown, and they both encouraged me to audition. I went to my first drum corps show in 2000 at NightBeat, Crown's home show. I was hooked.

What advice would you give to young people who want to march? My advice to anyone starting out in drum corps, is be prepared. It is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? Haha! Yes. Being the captain of the field lining crew, I start my day with an event -- waking up the crew! Sometimes things don't go as expected. One such incident involved not only my crew but all the male performers in the corps. We were in Cocke County, Tenn., for the Sevierville show. Apparently there had been some miscommunication with the high school kitchen staff and the school, because they didn't seem to know who we were, what we do, or better yet, why we were in "their" cafeteria. We were sleeping in a little, which was golden to us (doesn't happen too often). At about 8 a.m. the kitchen staff, soon to be dubbed the "lunch ladies," began cleaning. Later they started to open the metal grate doors that separated the kitchen from the cafeteria and started waking me up. In a deep, Southern-twanged voice, she informed me that we had to get out because they were getting ready for school (it was July?) and they had to move groceries into where we were sleeping. I knew something wasn't right, but instead of waking the admin for something that could be resolved between us, I instead went to our drum major and told him what was going on. We tried to explain what we were doing, and who we were, and WHY we were in their cafeteria. As hard as it is to do that with someone that is interested in the activity, has heard of drum corps, and doesn't want you to get out of their school, this was near impossible. We soon found out that this wasn't going to work because in the midst of our explaining, they turned on the lights to the cafeteria. After a long, very heated debate with not only the members but the administration about why we were there, we finally had the lights turned back out and we thought the issue was resolved. The loud banging of pots, and even banging against the metal grates, was their last resort in an attempt to get rid of us. This entire event came to rest after a very tired and annoyed drum major opened the grate, first asking what they are even doing, and to which he responded with "Ma'am, you do not want to play the noise game with us."

The last good book I read: "Leadership" by Rudy Giuliani

The last great film I saw: I saw "Ray" on a flight to Paris.

Where I go to school: I currently attend Catawba Valley Community College. I am transferring in the fall to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I am majoring in saxophone performance.

Jobs I have/have had: I have worked for Abercrombie and Fitch co., a movie theater, and as a carpenter for the construction firm my dad works as foreman/superintendent for. I currently work as a server for a BBQ restaurant.

Three albums I'd want on a deserted island: I would take Queen's greatest hits, Garden State soundtrack, and any CD my girlfriend makes.

My favorite TV show: "Everybody Loves Raymond," but I really enjoy this season's "Amazing Race" with the survivor couple and winners Rob and Amber.

Favorite performers: Queen

How do you "blow off steam?" I usually run or work out to blow off steam.

Favorite drum corps moment: Favorite drum corps moment would be making finals in 2003 after not making it in 2002.

Best drum corps show ever: There are too many great shows, I like Phantom 96 and SCV 89.

What are you most looking forward to about the summer? I am most looking forward to my section. It's the strongest mello line I've played in.

Best thing about being in a drum corps: The experience and the travel.

Worst thing about being in a drum corps: The amount of money it requires of the members and the corps (it's worth it).

During tour, the best part of the day is: The best part of the day is always the show.

During tour, the worst part of the day is: The worst part of the day is going to a rehearsal block on a full stomach after lunch.

Favorite drum corps personality and why: My favorite personality in drum corps has got to be Andre Feagin. When everyone is feeling down or worn out, he always has something to be completely animated and energetic about.

What I want to be when I "grow up": I want to earn my masters in music composition. Film scoring would be my dream job.

Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. I don't think I could imagine what it might be like in 15 years. I'm sure the same could be said about the members of 15 years ago about today's shows. I do think that it will be more musical, more visually demanding, overall more effective, and whether we all like it or not, include electronics and the unthinkable -- saxophones!

Feel free to add anything else you'd like. I want to remain involved in drum corps; even long after I've aged out. Someday I hope to put my own kids through the activity.

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