Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Julie Jenkins, Spartans' drum major

The DCI.org interview: Julie Jenkins, Spartans' drum major

by Drum Corps International

Name, hometown, corps: My name is Julie Jenkins, I am from Southbridge, Mass., and I march with the Spartans from Nashua, N.H.

What is your role in the corps this summer? I am the drum major.

Julie Jenkins
Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you involved with there? I am a junior at the University of Massachusetts -- Amherst, where I am majoring in operations management and music. I play clarinet in music department ensembles, and euphonium in the marching band. 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 started in my high school marching band where I was in the battery, then drum major my junior and senior years and am currently a member of the Umass Marching Band. The summer of 2000 was my first season with Spartans. I marched baritone for two summers and have been drum major since 2002. Each group that I have marched with has provided me with valuable experiences and excellent teachers. I have tried to take what they have taught me and lead by example while continuing to be myself. The last good book I read: "Naked in Baghdad -- The Iraq War as Seen by NPR's Correspondent" by Anne Garreles. I highly recommend this book because it gave a very interesting perspective of the war. The last great film I saw: I most recently rented "Under The Tuscan Sun." I enjoyed it; it was just a good story. My Favorite TV shows: "JAG" and "Law & Order" Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: I would have a hard time choosing only three, but I would have to say a recording of Tchaikovsky's 5th symphony, Elton John and Evanescence. How do you blow off steam? I blow off steam by running. I love to take the time for myself to go for a long run and just think things over. Why I march with the corps I am in: I march with Spartans because it is a wonderful organization. I felt welcome and part of the family the minute I walked in the door as a rookie. I am proud to have marched there for my entire drum corps career and to be a part of their tradition of excellence. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? I was not looking for such a visual leadership role. I was very happy playing baritone and leading from within in the line. However, when I was presented with the opportunity to be drum major, I decided that I was up for the challenge. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? I will balance the two roles by maintaining my friendships with corps members and knowing when it is OK to joke around, and when I need to be serious. What has been your formative drum corps moment? It is really hard to choose one moment that stands out from all the rest. Throughout my time marching I have made life-long friends, have had amazing experiences, and learned lessons about myself and life that I will take with me forever. It is the way a song on the radio, a picture, or the smell of sunblock can stir memories. It is how we can spend hours practicing in the rain; the value of a cool breeze on a hot day; and the excitement over taco salad served from the truck. All of these experiences and feelings are what has defined and formed my drum corps career. Best drum corps show ever: Well, I would have to say that I have loved all of the shows I have performed. Every show has had its moments that you could perform or watch over and over again. As far as other corps' shows, I have enjoyed many and would be hard pressed to choose a favorite, but I enjoy it any time Phantom Regiment plays Shostakovich. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? I am looking forward to getting on the road and having nothing else to worry about other than making this corps and this show the best it can be (and seeing the mountains on the way to Denver). Best thing about being a drum corps leader: The responsibility and being able to help people with their concerns and issues Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: I would say the feeling you get walking into a situation where you know it has to be done and you are doing the right thing, yet you know it will not go over well with the other members. During tour, the best part of the day is: Coming off the field knowing you and those around just performed their best. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Anytime it rains and everything smells like wet sneakers What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? I will age-out this summer, so I plan on finishing my last year at Umass and working either in operations for a performing arts organization, or doing logistical consulting.

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