Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Kristen "KK" Richard, Crossmen mellophone

The DCI.org interview: Kristen "KK" Richard, Crossmen mellophone

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: Kristen "KK" Richard, 17 years old, Big Spring, Texas What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I march with the Crossmen in the rockin' mellophone line! Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I marched French horn in my high school marching band my ninth and 10th grade years and drum major this past year. In 2003, I marched in one corps as lead mellophone; in 2004, Crossmen as second mello.

Paddy Driscoll (left) and Kristen Richard relax during a laundry day on July 21, 2004 in Warrenton, Va.
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? I didn't really get to decide the first time around -- it was a do or don't march situation. In 2004, I was marching lead mellophone again with a corps. When that corps went inactive, I was lucky enough to fill a second mello hole at the Crossmen just a couple of days later. I loved being at Crossmen so much because of all the great people I met and the wonderful home I have here! So I decided that Crossmen is where I wanted to stay and where I wanted my loyalties to be. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? I was doing a research project for my history class on music. I fell upon the DCI
Web site and saw the Cadets in the member corps bar. I remembered that my first and only horn instructor (up to that point) had 'cadet' in her
e-mail address, so I took a shot in the dark. I looked at the alumni directory and saw her name under the Cadets '94 mello line. I asked her about it and within 24 hours (without seeing a show or knowing much about it), my parents agreed to let me march. After Thanksgiving, I saw my first show on the Legacy DVDs, which was Blue Devils 1999. I absolutely loved everything that 1999 drum corps showed me! It was awesome music and some sweet looking drill -- I knew I had to do this. Even better, I would get to see the country and experience life on my own. Two months later, I was auditioning for a mello line. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? One problem you might experience is people assuming your abilities based on your age. Don't let others decide how good you are going to be. If you are humble and you give it your all -- heart, soul, and body -- nothing and no one can stop you and you will surprise them all. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? When we stayed at the high school in Ohio where one of our very own Evan Woods (euphonium field liner) had graduated from. That morning, after we finished lining all the fields, Evan took us to one of the science rooms far away from the gym. When we saw what Evan had arranged, the Crossmen field liners were the happiest of all that day. Evan's family brought us breakfast casseroles, pancakes, biscuits, orange juice, cereals, toasts -- all on
REAL dishes and bowls with SILVERware. It's amazing what makes drum corps kids happy. Another morning, at Faquier High School in Virgina, we were field lining and it took us guite a bit of time to walk over to the area. When we got there, it was inhabited by a flock of geese. They were vicious, but the skeleton crew busied themselves cautiously. As the rope crew was waiting, Dips (mello also from Texas) started making a lasso and Joe Musicke teased him about roping geese. Dips (a skinny, 6-foot 16-year-old) jumped up and started chasing the geese and all the field liners started yelling, "Rope them geese, Dips!" He chased those geese all the way across three hills as they honked desperately. Ironically, this situation happened at two or three other locations after that. Yay for us Texans!
The last good book I read: "The Good Earth" (and I'm currently reading "The Purpose-Driven Life" -- I highly recommend it.) The last great film I saw: "The Devils" -- It's a really old movie from France. Where I go to school: Big Spring High School – yes, high school. Jobs I have/have had: Student visual tech this past year with my
marching band, a couple of music gigs, work at my church's nursery when
I'm needed, and I'm trying to get a job at the local hospital. Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: Can I just take an MP3
player? OK, OK: 1. Switchfoot's "Beautiful Letdown"
2. DC Talk's "Supernatural"
3. A mix of my favorite instrumental pieces (Ticheli,
Mozart, Mahler, jazz, AHQ...) and drum corps stuff including originals of our show music.
4. If I had an alternate CD, I'd say a mix of Matthew West, By the Tree, Jeremy Camp, Bethany Dillon, Dave Matthews, Falling
Up, Building 429, David Crowder Band, the list goes on. My favorite TV show: I'm too busy to watch TV. I don't even know
what's on anymore. Favorite performers: American Horn Quartet -- enough said. What has been your formative drum corps moment? There's never been just one moment. I think the most influential event was when I moved into Crossmen Spring Training about two weeks after everyone had already arrived in '04. I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to perform my job to my full potential or learn the show very quickly -- I didn't want to be mediocre. My actions as well as others taught me a lot about drum corps and working hard. Best drum corps show ever: Too many -- I really do love Crossmen '93 and '99, though. SCV '99. Keep in mind I haven't seen too many shows. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? I look forward to being with my 150 friends all day outside (in a natural state -- sun, breeze, etc.), out of the cares of the world, focusing on doing what I love with the people I love. Best thing about being in a drum corps: You have a friend no matter where you go -- friends who have endured every kind of emotion with you. Worst thing about being in a drum corps: I don't like when I let someone down. That's worst than any fatigue or heat. During tour, the best part of the day is: Ensemble! And bus time! During tour, the worst part of the day is: Right after lunch, when everyone is ready to take a nap. Favorite drum corps personality and why: I'd really have to give a shoutout to Pat McGee (horn sergeant '04) and Mik Gus (ageout '04) who were in my section last year. I looked up to them for their dedication and hard work. Gus was interested in what I had to say and how I was feeling. Pat's words were encouraging and he was funny in a blunt sort of way. They are awesome guys and they inspire me to no end. What I want to be when I "grow up": If I had my way, I'd be a professional horn player and I'd rock the concert halls every day. My dream is to play in Carnegie Hall. However, I'm looking into music therapy or missionary work. I really don't have a for-sure plan. Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. Hmmm. There will be tons of new stuff like hovercrafts for color guards and featherweight horns made of ultralight metal. Battery will have ultralight electronic drums. The members will roller skate and the drum major will be suspended in air due to a new anti-gravity drink. Summer
wouldn't exist because all the high schools in the nation would already be on a year-round school schedule -- so drum corps competitive seasons will be year-round.

Related News

View all news

by Drum Corps International

Corps news and announcements
Read more

by Dan Potter

2018 DCI season preview
Read more

by Drum Corps International

2018 schedule of live streaming events
Read more