Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Karl Stein, Southwind drum major

The DCI.org interview: Karl Stein, Southwind drum major

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: My name is Karl Stein, I'm 21 years old, and I'm from Traverse City, Mich. What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? This summer I am the drum major for Southwind. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I marched three years in my high school marching band, two years in the Eastern Michigan University marching band, and this is my second and final year with Southwind.

Karl Stein
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? I auditioned in March of 2004, which is a little late in the season, but even after only one weekend I instantly felt like part of the family. I knew this just was where I belonged. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? When I first transferred to EMU from my other college, I met a bunch of people in the marching band who talked about drum corps ALL THE TIME, and most of the them were former Southwind members. They convinced me to come down for a weekend and check it out, and I was hooked immediately. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? It's very easy to be short-sighted. You can't start a sectional in March thinking about lunch break -- you have to be thinking about Saturday night in August. Everything you do has to work towards that ultimate goal, not the end of rehearsal.
Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? One morning during everydays in 2004 we were in visual rehearsal on a parking lot at Rowan County High School in Kentucky. The weather was a little overcast, but there was some sun every once in a while. Then, for what seemed like no reason whatsoever, Mark Palise says between sets, "Listen everyone, in about half an hour it's going to rain, but only for about five minutes, so don't lose focus," or something like that. None of us thought to check, but I'm sure you could have timed it: In about a half hour it rained, but only for five minutes, then stopped. After that we were ready to testify in court that Mark had weather control powers or something. The last good book I read: "Paradise Lost," by John Milton The last great film I saw: "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I am majoring in instrumental music education and minoring in religious studies at Eastern Michigan University. Jobs I have/have had: During holidays I work at a coffee shop in Traverse City called "Espresso Bay" Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island:
1.        Songs About Jane (Maroon 5)
2.        2. Michael Buble' (Michael Buble')
3. How To Make a CD Player Out Of Things You'd Find on a Deserted Island (Audiobook) My favorite TV show: "Futurama" Favorite performers: I once saw Paul Stanley from KISS perform as the phantom in "The Phantom of the Opera" when it was still playing at the Pantages Theater in Toronto and it was incredible. I was utterly stunned. Talk about musical versatility. How do you "blow off steam?" Running or practicing, depending on the steam. What has been your formative drum corps moment? After a night of one logistical nightmare after another that ended in a missed rehearsal day in Cameron, Mo., I was beginning to wonder what I was thinking when I signed up for this. Everyone was tired, distracted, and restless from spending an afternoon stranded on the side of a highway in Wisconsin when our bus broke down, and then spending the night in a truck stop when the other bus ran out of gas. We didn't get to rehearse all day, so I was worried about what our next show would look and sound like the following day. Before we lined up to take the field at the show, our brass caption head,
Steve Vento, gave a speech about what it means to be a family, and how at one point the corps was spread out over two states, but in some metaphysical way we were still together, and there is nothing that can take Southwind apart. That, of course, was heavily paraphrased, but I remember that night was one of my personal best performances of the season, and that speech changed my attitude for the rest of the summer. Before that moment I was a part of Southwind, but after that moment, Southwind was a part of me. Best drum corps show ever: Either 1995 Madison Scouts or 1992 Vanguard. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Spending every waking minute with 135 of the greatest human beings I know. Best thing about being in a drum corps: Knowing that everyone is working just as hard as you are. Worst thing about being in a drum corps: At some point there will be a day when you're too old to do it. During tour, the best part of the day is: The final run-through at the end of coordination block. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Basics. Yuck. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Our visual caption head, Mark Palise. Off the field, he's great to talk to, witty, helpful and outgoing. On the field, he's scarier than the devil. What I want to be when I "grow up": When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Power Ranger. Later, I learned I needed a more realistic goal, so in high school I decided I wanted to be a band director. But now that I'm older and wiser, I don't really see any reason why I can't be a Power Ranger after all. Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. Two words: Zero gravity.