Name, hometown, corps: Kevin Whalen, New Brighton, Minn., marching with the Blue Stars.

What is your role in the corps this summer? Drum major

Kevin Whalen
Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you
involved with there?
I go to Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minn. I'm in the marching band, jazz ensemble, show choir, National Honor Society, and I play varsity baseball.

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've marched for four years at Irondale, two as a trumpet and two as a drum major. I was fortunate to learn about conducting and leadership from some awesome music educators as a drum major there.

The last good book I read: "For Whom the Bell Tolls," by Ernest Hemingway The last great film I saw: "The Passion of the Christ"
Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue," Coldplay's "Parachutes," and Radiohead's "The Bends"
My favorite TV show: "Saturday Night Live" Favorite performers: Chris Martin from Coldplay and Roy Hargrove (awesome jazz trumpet player) How do you "blow off steam"? A nice long run. Why I march with the corps I am in: The Blue Stars have a pretty awesome tradition, and that was what brought me to the first camp. When I got there though, I found out that there's such a sense of family within the corps. It's different than anything I've ever experienced marching. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? No ... I guess I've always wanted to be wherever I am most useful to the group. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? I view the two as being one and the same. What has been your formative drum corps moment? The first time I witnessed drum corps live was in 2000 when I went to watch a Madison Scouts rehearsal. I was floored, and I knew that I would march drum corps some day.

Best drum corps show ever: Madison Scouts 1995 What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Performing. During tour, the best part of the day is: I never marched until now During tour, the worst part of the day is: I never marched until now Favorite drum corps personality and why: None yet! What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? I want to teach high school, hopefully English or history.