Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Julie Randall, Southwind color guard

The DCI.org interview: Julie Randall, Southwind color guard

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: My name is Julie Randall. I am 21 years old. I grew up in Tifton, Ga., but I have been living in Charlotte, N.C., for the past four years. What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I will be a color guard veteran at Southwind. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. In high school, I marched in the Tift Co. H.S. Blue Devil Brigade. I was a clarinet player my freshman year, and did color guard my last three years. I was color guard co-captain my senior year. I was a color guard alternate at Southwind in 2000. The staff offered me a spot for the summer at February camp, but I had already made summer commitments. I marched my first season at Southwind in 2001. Then, I took two years off (school had to be the priority), but I returned to Southwind in '04. This will be my third full summer and I will age-out this year.

Julie Randall (left) and Linsey Logan.
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? My boyfriend at the time was going up to audition, and he asked if I wanted to come with him. Somehow I convinced my mom to let me go, and the rest is history! What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? The amount of dedication the members, staff and volunteers have; it's awesome! What advice would you give to young people who want to march? Don't wait! And if your mother thinks you're too young to go off for the whole summer alone, have her call my mother and let them chat for a little while! Seriously, drum corps will make you grow up real quick, and you'll come back from the summer with so much more maturity than when you left. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? The 23-hour bus ride from Cedarburg, Wis., to Cameron, Mich., last summer was definitely one to be remembered. It was a blast when Southwind and the Scouts did the show in Montreal in '01. And free days are always fun: Chicago and Montreal in '01, New Orleans in '04. The last good book I read: "Hard News: The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media" by Seth Mnookin The last great film I saw: "Motorcycle Diaries" Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I recently graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with B.A. in journalism. Jobs I have/have had: I start my fifth year teaching color guard at Weddington H.S. in the fall. I also worked as a hostess for three years at a local restaurant. Three albums I'd want on a deserted island:
Dave Matthews Band, "Live at the Gorge"
Kelly Clarkson, "Breakaway"
John Mayer, "Heavier Things" My favorite TV show: "The O.C.," "Survivor," "ER," "America's Top Model" Favorite performers: I get a real kick out of watching my kids perform. As soon as they feel comfortable with the equipment in their hands, some of them will really start to work the crowd, even if it's just in rehearsal. How do you "blow off steam?" I'll go outside and spin my rifle. Just take all of that energy and put it into nailing the catch of a six. What has been your formative drum corps moment? In 2000, some of the band kids traveled to see Southwind perform at a show in Alabama. I watched the drum line warm up for about five minutes, but then I followed the guard to their warm-ups. Before they got dressed and lined up to go the the gate, they circled up, and Jimmy pulled me into the circle with them. Even though I was only an alternate and I only got to know the girls through the winter and spring camps, I was still a part of the family. To this day, nothing means more to me than to be a member of the yellow team family. Best drum corps show ever: SCV '89, Madison '95, Madison '97, Southwind 2000. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? I'm ready to be pushed farther than I ever have been as far as my weapon skills and my level of performance. I can't wait to give it all to the crowd! Best thing about being in a drum corps: All the friends you make all over the country. I sent my Christmas cards to people in 26 different states last year, and whenever I travel anywhere, chances are I know somebody everywhere I go. Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Having to go home at the end of the summer. Once that first week of August rolls around, you start to realize that the summer will soon be over. That was the saddest, hardest day of my life when I had to say good-bye to all these incredible people. And since I'm aging out, it will be a final farewell. There is no "next summer" to look forward to. Wow, I'm going to start crying. During tour, the best part of the day is: Shower! Washing off all the sunscreen and the dirt and smelling good again! During tour, the worst part of the day is: Waking up, definitely. I'm not a morning person, although I try my hardest to fake it. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Sarah Lenn, Southwind's cook for the past three years. She came to the corps because she called up and wanted to volunteer. She didn't know anyone; she just knew she wanted to help out somehow. This woman takes such good care of us on the road. I'll be the one to argue that we eat better than most corps out there. Sarah rocks! What I want to be when I "grow up": Hahaha. I'm not ready to grow up! I think for the next couple of years I'm going to continue to teach high school color guard and march winter guard, maybe do some traveling. But, once the time comes, I figure I'll get a 9-to-5 somewhere at a newspaper designing their pages. Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. All I can hope for is that corps are still entertaining the crowds. Our tastes will probably change in the next ten years as far as musical selections, show concepts and costuming, but I really hope that in 2015 I can still hear some horn lines maxing it out! Feel free to add anything else you'd like. Southwind has put me on the road that I'm on now. My caption head in '01 hooked me up with the teaching job that I still have today. Without that job, I wouldn't have known about winter guard, and I never would have marched with Carolina Visual Productions and found that family of people as well. Winter guard gave me the bug for marching again, and that's why I came back to Southwind. SW is my family. I can't imagine life without all these wonderful people. Aaron, thank you for bringing me here and leading me down such an amazing road. You are the reason I am who I am today. Thank you. Also, we think that I am the oldest person in DCI this summer. My birthday is June 1, 1983 at 2:10 am. People in the corps call me Granny or Mama J. I squeaked by the cutoff by two hours and ten minutes! Talk about a bonus year!

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