Name, age, hometown: My name is Laura Koester. I am 16 years old, and I live in San Jose, Calif.
What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I am a member of the Sacramento Mandarins, and I am in the color guard.
Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I go to Leigh High School. After high school, I am thinking about studying dance/performing arts.

Laura Koester
Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. This is my seventh year involved in winter guard, and I am currently a member of my school's winter guard. The 2005 season was my first season of drum corps. What's your practice schedule like? During the winter guard season, we practice three to four times a week. I don't have a lot of time to practice outside of rehearsal because of school. What does your ideal free day consist of? My ideal free day would consist of spending time with some of my closest friends, going shopping, eating lots of food, and then going to see a good movie. Favorite pig-out food: My favorite pig-out food would have to be leftovers and anything else I can find in the kitchen. In the shower you can hear me singing: Kelley Clarkson songs. The last good book I read: "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks. The last great film I saw: "The Family Stone." Jobs I have/have had: I don't really have time for one, but it would be nice to have one. My favorite TV show: "Gilmore Girls," "Wildfire" and "ER." What has been your formative drum corps moment? I decided that I wanted to march while watching championships in 2004 and I saw how emotional the performers were and how much fun they seemed to be having while performing in front of thousands of people. While walking off the field after my first show and hearing the crowd scream, I knew I had made one of the best decisions of my life. What would you be doing next summer if you were not marching? I would probably be working. How did you decide to be a member of your corps? When I finally decided that I wanted to march, I wasn't sure where I wanted to go. My parents have always been fans of the Mandarins and knew some instructors from there and suggested that I go check it out. I did, and I loved it. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? I have been around the activity my whole life. My parents both marched drum corps, and my dad (J.W. JKoester, currently DCI's Division II & III coordinator) was deeply involved with the Santa Clara Vanguard for many, many years until 1999. I had always enjoyed watching it and being around the activity, but I never thought that I would ever end up marching. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? Be prepared for anything, and don't expect it to be easy all the time. You have to really want to be there and be willing to work hard, or else you're not going to enjoy it. What I want to be when I "grow up": I don't know what I want to be when I "grow up". I would love to be involved in some sort of performing art, though. Favorite drum corps personality and why: There are many personalities in the drum corps world in which I admire. There are my instructors, fellow performers, and my friends that work for DCI, but there is one that rises above all the rest. This person is my dad. He has such an amazing love and devotion to this activity, and it so incredibly talented in many ways. He's very supportive and always helps me to push myself to be the best I can be. Best drum corps show ever and why: Santa Clara Vanguard 1999, because I knew a lot of the performers; Cavaliers 2004, because it was amazing; and Mandarins 2005, because it was my first show! The year is 2030. What does a DCI show look like? When I think of drum corps in the future, I see elaborate costumes, crazy complicated drill, music that has a kind of techno style to it, and guards with HUGE props and 7-foot flag poles.