Name, age, hometown: Katherine Burdick, 20, Columbia, S.C. What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I'm in my third year playing baritone with the Cadets. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background: I started marching when I was in 8th grade with the Irmo High School marching band, and I did that until I graduated in 2003. I started marching with Carolina Crown in the summer of 2001 and stayed through until 2002. I then began my marching career at the Cadets in 2003. As the result a freak accident during rehearsal a few weeks before finals, I broke my foot and had to go home and have surgery and was not able to finish the 2003 season. I came back for 2004 and am still a member.
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? During the summer of 1999, when I was 14, I went to a clinic with the Cadets at Batesburg-Leesville High School in South Carolina, a little ways from my home in Columbia. I watched them rehearse that day and perform that night. The intensity and the brilliance (though it was early season, and of course as a 14-year-old, I didn't really know much else of drum corps) just completely blew me away. I was mesmerized. I told myself that one day, I'd be doing it. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? My older sister who was also in marching band, dragged me to a drum corps show in 1996 because "The Blue Devils are going to be there!" Of course I had no idea what she was talking about -- I'm sure something along the lines of "Wow, that band is really good!" came out of my mouth that night, though I'd never admit to such an utterance. Oh -- wait. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? I would say just do it. Just go and audition. You'll never know if you don't. I hear a lot of "woulda, coulda, shoulda" stories from now aged-out people -- people that were too scared to put themselves out there and actually do try. I would suggest this to young people who want to march: Practice. Fill out that form. Buy that plane ticket. That's the first step, and the hardest. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? It isn't really a humorous anecdote, but it is definitely something I will never, ever forget. We got off of the bus in West Chester, Pa., around 8 a.m. and basically went straight into rehearsal. We had a four-and-a-half hour marching block and we then ate, showered, and headed to a clinic we were supposed to do for a drum major camp at West Chester University. We walked in and began playing -- the kids went absolutely CRAZY. The noise was deafening. I cannot even begin to describe what I felt that evening. My heart was jumping out of my chest and the kids were screaming for more. During our encore run of "Bouree," we charged the aisles and kids were trying to high five us and they were screaming their heads off. Jay Bocook conducted "Cadillac \of the Skies" and we were all in tears. I can't even begin to tell you what went on there. If you were there, you felt it. We reached out to the audience, and they in turn reached out to us. Those kids, that audience -- they reinforced why I love this activity. I know that I (as a part of the Cadets) was inspiring those kids. And you know what? They inspired me. In more ways than I could begin to say. Incredible. That performance -- that one, singular performance -- was better than a million world championship rings. It literally took my breath away. I will remember that night for the rest of my life. The last good book I read: Well, considering that I'm an English major, I'm reading about four books right now. For pleasure, I last re-read James Joyce's "Ulysses" and "High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton" by Ann Coulter. The last great film I saw: "The Incredibles." I'll argue and say it was the funniest movie of the year. Yes -- I'll even pit it against the collegiate favorite, "Napoleon Dynamite." Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I'm a sophomore at the University of South Carolina. I'm an English major, pre-law, and am minoring in political science. Jobs I have/have had: I work in admissions at the USC School of Law. The connections are great, even if the pay isn't. I relinquished a very good clerking job with a prominent law firm here in Columbia to march this summer -- but the Cadets were the obvious choice of the two. Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: Ooh, tough. How about I burn all of my favorite music onto three EXTREMELY long discs and those instead? If I HAD to choose, I would say "Live at Luther College" by Dave Matthews Band, "The Best of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong," and the "Road to Perdition" soundtrack. My favorite TV show: Eh -- it's a tie between "Hannity & Colmes" and "Family Guy." Favorite performers: The Chicago Symphony and Dane Cook. How do you "blow off steam?" I have a blowing-off-steam routine, one I'm sure most women have a variation of. I work out, take a hot bath, and indulge in a pint of H?¤agen-Dazs(r) Fat-free Mango Sorbet while watching a movie -- most likely a romantic comedy (female tendency, I think). I'm better than normal after that. What has been your formative drum corps moment? The one that sticks in my head (other than West Chester this past year) was World Championships in 2001. It was my first year and on finals night, we (Carolina Crown) made a surge from 11th to 10th place, putting us ahead of the Madison Scouts. I remember playing "America/O'Canada" with tears in my eyes when my caption head, Larry Markiewicz, looked at me and said "I'm so proud of you." I felt like I could do no wrong. That still sticks in my head to this day. Best drum corps show ever: I'll ignore bias and say Cadets 2000. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Being with my friends again, performing what looks to be a really great show, and working under Gino Cipriani. Best thing about being in a drum corps: Shows. Hands down. I live for show days. Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Waking up at 7 a.m. when you know you've got a 14-hour rehearsal day ahead of you. And your hamstrings are already starting to hurt. During tour, the best part of the day is: Sectionals. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Waking up with cankles (also known as calf-ankles: The swelling of your ankles to the size of grapefruit. They are a result poor circulation combined with sitting up on a bus all night. The first hour of visual is ALWAYS interesting with cankles). Favorite drum corps personality and why: George Hopkins. Why? The 2004 Indianapolis Regional. It sounds cryptic, I know, but it cannot be explained in these few lines. What I want to be when I "grow up": Secretary of State. Ha, in all seriousness, a lawyer (a non-bottom feeding, morally rooted lawyer). Perhaps and advocate for pro-life causes -- is there a title for that? Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. It'll be different. To what degree, I cannot imagine. If I had it my way, tempos would all be 180 bpm and higher. Members would run. And play loud. And in tune. And -- I would clap and scream until my hands hurt and my voice was gone.