Name, age, hometown: My names is James Jeffrey Charrette, I'm 20 years old, and I'm from Yorba Linda, Calif . What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I am currently a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard, playing timpani in the pit (front ensemble, if you will). Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I played mallets in Yamato during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, and at Esperanza last year (2004 in case you can't count). I have also performed in the UCLA Marching Band 2003-2004, playing snare.
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? I knew that the Santa Clara Vanguard has one of the best pits in the country and their tradition of musical intensity and excellence is something that I definitely want to be a part of. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? Originally the pit instructor at my high school, Susan Willmering, recruited me for Yamato since she was also the instructor there. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? I would say to never doubt your abilities and always challenge yourself. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? Not really, I have a really bad memory when it comes to these things. The last good book I read: I haven't had much time to read books lately -- being a music major means a lot of practice. The last great film I saw: The last good one I saw was "Million Dollar Baby," but my all time favorites include "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Dumb and Dumber." Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I am a percussion performance major at the UCLA school of Arts and Architecture. I have the privilege of studying with Mitchell Peters, the timpanist of the Los Angeles philharmonic orchestra. Jobs I have/have had: I've never had a real job, but right now I am volunteering at Beverly Hills High School with some friends. Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: I have a weird CD collection, but: DCI finals '04, Blue Man Group's "Audio," and Tenacious D. My favorite TV show: "South Park" is still the bomb. Favorite performers: I'm not sure what this question means, but I like Keiko Abe and Evelyn Glennie (marimba soloists). How do you "blow off steam?" I listen to music, which mainly consists of movie soundtracks -- John Williams anyone? What has been your formative drum corps moment? So far my favorite experience has been my first finals with Yamato in 2002 in Madison. That was a really fun performance. Best drum corps show ever: Santa Clara Vanguard 2004 tops my list. I auditioned for SCV last year and was so disappointed that I wasn't going to play Scheherazade. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? I am most looking forward to my awesome timpani parts. I have this rockin' solo -- and I don't even have all the music yet. Best thing about being in a drum corps: Learning how to be a better performer and making friends. Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Dealing with bad attitudes and bad personalities. During tour, the best part of the day is: Dinner -- mmmmm. Both Yamato and SCV have the best food. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Waking up and cold showers. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Ralph Hardimon is definitely the most fun instructor I've been around, even though I haven't dealt with him much at all. What I want to be when I "grow up": I really don't know, but I hope to be performing in a city philharmonic or something -- we'll have to wait and find out. Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. Undoubtedly, drum corps will still have the same dedication and intensity that has lured in so many fans. Feel free to add anything else you'd like. I have never played timpani in drum corps before -- I have always been a mallet player! It feels strange, but it's definitely going to be fun!
James Jeffrey Charrette