Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Jay Mendoza, Cavaliers third baritone

The DCI.org interview: Jay Mendoza, Cavaliers third baritone

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: Jay Mendoza, 21, Mesquite, Texas What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? The Cavaliers, third baritone

Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. Mesquite Poteet HS '97-'01 -- saxophone
Southwest Texas State Univ. '01 -- mellophone
Univ. of Texas at Arlington '02-'04 -- mellophone
The Cavaliers '03-'05 -- baritone

Jay Mendoza
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? The Cavaliers shows from 2000 and beyond changed my perspective on what drum corps is supposed to look and sound like. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? ^What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? I'd been exposed to various videos and CD recordings of drum corps before, but I didn't fully understand it until the summer of '99 when I attended my first drum corps show. I got to see the Cavaliers, the Blue Devils, and Madison perform that night. It was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before, and since then I've been hooked. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? Don't be intimidated into thinking that you'll never be able to do drum corps. There's a place for you somewhere. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? Nothing that I'm allowed to mention here. The last good book I read: I read the Dan Brown books this past summer, just like the rest of the guys in the corps did, but I'd have to say I enjoyed reading the fifth Harry Potter book back in '03. The last great film I saw: It's been a while, so – "Garden State"?

Where I go to school and what I'm studying University of Texas at Arlington, marketing

Jobs I have/have had: Other than the usual grocery store/fast food jobs, I had a pretty neat job working for a video game/multimedia company called Fountainhead Entertainment. I had a great time and got a free trip to London out of it. Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: Radiohead, "OK Computer"; Alice in Chains, "Jar of Flies"; Nine Days, "The Madding Crowd" My favorite TV show: "Scrubs" Favorite performers: *Shrug* I have no clue. How do you "blow off steam?" I usually just go for a drive and listen to some loud music while drumming on my steering wheel or something. It's not something I do often, however. What has been your formative drum corps moment? Watching a Cavaliers encore at the Dallas show in 2001. It was the first time I'd seen a live Cavaliers encore, and I was amazed. Best drum corps show ever: The Cavaliers, "Niagara Falls" What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Finishing my drum corps career with a bang. I've had a good run. Best thing about being in a drum corps: Getting to be a rock star all summer long.

Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Being away from those you love. We don't have cell phones with us on tour so there are sometimes weeks at a time where I don't have any contact with family or friends.

During tour, the best part of the day is: Right after we finish our run-through for the day. We get to warm down, then we'll usually have a quick meeting, and from there it's off to eat and shower, etc. Shows are a blast and the bus ride afterward is always a nice break from everyday drum corps life. I always try to enjoy that moment right after the run-through because I always feel so accomplished and excited for what's to come.

During tour, the worst part of the day is: Waking up. The clicking of the switches and the buzzing of the lights. Once I finally make my way out of bed things get better, but it's hard to convince myself to do that sometimes.

Favorite drum corps personality and why: Brandt Crocker. "From Rosemont, Illinois, the Cavaliers." There's just something magical about that. What I want to be when I "grow up": I'm not completely sure yet, but working for an advertising agency sounds fun to me. I'd somehow like to use my degree to promote music somehow.

Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. I have no idea, honestly, but it'll be neat to see how our generation's shows influence the future.

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