Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Jason Heaton, Bluecoats drum line section leader

The DCI.org interview: Jason Heaton, Bluecoats drum line section leader

by Drum Corps International

Name, age: Jason William Heaton, 21 years old What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I am a Bluecoat. I'm in the quad line and I am the 2005 section leader of the Bluecoats drum line.

Jason Heaton
Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I started playing quads in 8th grade. After two seasons of that, I switched to snare drum because my high school didn't want to march quads that year (I didn't understand either). So then I thought I was a snare drummer. After I got cut from the 2001 Bluecoats snare line, I snapped out of it and realized that quads have always been my gig, so I put away that silly traditional grip and started playing quads again and joined the 2002 Bluecoats quad line. I've also spent the past three fall seasons marching for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Marching Band, where I'm in the quad line and also section leader of the drum line as well. How did you decide to be a member of your corps? My high school instructor marched there, I had a few friends who marched in the 2000-2002 era, and I just kind of knew that the Bluecoats was where I was destined to be. It was also the closest to home, so my parents wouldn't let me drive anywhere else. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? Watching drum corps videos in high school. The first show I remember seeing was Vanguard '89, so naturally I thought it would have been awesome to do something like that. Then after watching my friends do it and love every aspect of it, I had to get a taste. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? Don't give up and don't be afraid of anything. People who march drum corps are the best at what they do, but they all started somewhere. I started by getting cut. But I didn't quit. I went back the next year, relaxed and ready to throw, and it worked. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? In 2002, we had a really cool housing site in Bristol, R.I. Our practice field was right on the harbor and we looked out into the water as we practiced. The drum line also had a warm-up session in the water. Since it was about 900 degrees around July 4 in 2002 (you old-heads remember), some random cool guy bought everyone in the corps ice cream. It was totally sweet. The last good book I read: "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History" by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D. The last great film I saw: "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" Where I go to school and what I'm studying: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, business management and human resources. Jobs I have/have had: None worth mentioning. Three albums I'd want on a deserted island: 311, "Soundsystem"
Avenged Sevenfold, "Waking the Fallen"
Jimmy Eat World, "Clarity" or "Futures" (it's a toss up) My favorite TV show: TV is trash, but I like "Family Guy." Favorite performers: Vinny Colaiuta is pretty entertaining. I liked Tony Royster, Jr. before he hit puberty, just because it was so cool to see such a little person with that much talent. They're both really fun to watch. How do you "blow off steam"? Play the guitar. What has been your formative drum corps moment? It's not so much a "moment" as it was an experience. As soon as I got back to school for the fall semester of 2003, my house burned to the ground. One of the first people to contact me was Dan Delong, Bluecoats director of percussion from 2000-2003, who offered anything that I needed. Several other Bluecoat affiliates got ahold of me after that to check up on me, and numerous donations and consolation letters were received in the months following. I figured out that no matter where I was or what was happening, my drum corps family was beside me no matter what. I then realized that marching and playing is only a miniscule aspect of the drum corps activity, and it allowed me to fully understand what I've done for two summers. I only wanted more after that. Best drum corps show ever: Bridgemen '82 What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Seeing how awesome the Bluecoats drum line can get. We've been on an uphill climb since '99 and we're not even thinking about peaking yet. Best thing about being in a drum corps: The entire experience is the best thing. Musician and rapper 50 Cent says, "Joy wouldn't feel so good if it wasn't for pain." Whether or not you're a thug, he's right. The good times don't come without the bad times, so it's really the entire journey that's the best thing. Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Putting life on a temporary hold. But I know it's temporary, so it's not that bad. During tour, the best part of the day is: Run-through. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Getting out of bed. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Dennis DeLucia. The summer before I marched, he was doing a clinic for band directors before a show in Massillon, Ohio. My band director introduced me to him at the show after the clinic and we spoke for a few minutes. He was instantly my hero. What I want to be when I "grow up": Satisfied Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. Probably similar to what it is today, but we'll have to see how many rules they change. Feel free to add anything else you'd like. Drum corps is a journey. It might be a one-year rook-out, or in some cases, a lifetime career. But do whatever you can to experience it as much as you can, start to finish. No matter the cost, it's worth it.

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