Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Mike Freelend, Troopers second mellophone

The DCI.org interview: Mike Freelend, Troopers second mellophone

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: Mike Freelend, 18, Grand Island, Neb. What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? Second year as a Trooper, and I will be playing second mellophone again.

Mike Freeland
Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. Four years of high school marching band with the Marching Islanders ("West Side Story," "Sounds of Spain," "The Mummy" and "The Rise and Fall of Rome") and entering another season with the Troopers.^ How did you decide to be a member of your corps? I went to a camp and the atmosphere hit me like a brick to the face. Everything was very disciplined but you still had the feeling that everyone was having fun. It just felt like the place for me. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? My brother marched with the Troopers in 1999 and I liked the concept of being able to go around the country melting peoples faces with sound and motion. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? Do it! Drum corps will change your life. The people, the music, and the life lessons are unlike any others you will ever find. In just one summer I made friends from around the world (from Ohio, California, and even Japan), learned how to better myself as a musician, and learned great lessons such as Mexican food and visual block don't mix. Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? We had he chance to play at a Phillies/Cubs game last season and while we were performing the Phanatic (Phillies mascot) came up behind our drum major (Mike Gough) and started waving his arms around, mocking Mike. I couldn't believe Mike was able to keep a good tempo while laughing like that. The last good book I read: "Life, and How to Survive It" by John Cleese and A.C. Robin Skynner The last great film I saw: "This Is Spinal Tap" Where I go to school and what I'm studying: Central Community College, music education Jobs I have/have had: Amusement park train operator (Stolley Park), and Runza (a Nebraska fast food chain) Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island:
1.) "Stranger than Fiction," Bad Religion
2.) "Boston's Greatest Hits," Boston
3.) "Artistry in Brass," DCI My favorite TV show: "Red Dwarf" or "Family Guy" Favorite performers: Nathan Lane, Mel Brooks How do you "blow off steam?" Well, lately it's been getting a hold of my friend Jerrad and playing "Star Wards Battlefront." Nothing soothes the nerves like taking over a galaxy. What has been your formative drum corps moment?Going to Schuylkill Haven, Pa. That town had the most amazing reception I saw all summer. They welcomed us with banners, let us use the pool in the school, and even held a dinner for us at their church. Either that, or meeting my friends in Capital Regiment, Julie and Steph. It made the summer a lot easier meeting people who were just as tired as you were. Best drum corps show ever: It had to be SCV's show last year, "Scheherazade." It gave me chills every time. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Hearing the crowds again, nothing compares to that rush. Best thing about being in a drum corps: The feeling you get after pulling off a really good show. The sweat, the sound of the crowd, and the euphoric feeling of "holy cow"-ness is unmatched in anything else I've ever done. Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Having it end. It kind of takes a part of you each season as you have to say goodbye to your friends. During tour, the best part of the day is: The parking lot after the show. Getting to meet people from other corps is the best. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Waking up. Some of those mornings it would feel easier to armwrestle Vlad the Impaler than get up for stretches. Favorite drum corps personality and why: The fans. It takes a special breed to stay at a show through some of those conditions, and they do. Not to mention the cheering. That is the best feeling in the world when you walk on the field and people go crazy just at the sight of the uniform. What I want to be when I "grow up":High school band teacher and after I retire, professional balloon artist (I really wish I was joking here). Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. Maybe a little louder, but I doubt there will be too much different from what there is now. It would be nice to see a few more corps out there though. Who knows? Maybe a corps might come out of Nebraska again. "Moo-Cows, the field is yours in competition." Feel free to add anything else you'd like. I know this may come off as a little weird, but I just want to thank everyone out there who marches or supports those who do. If you take a step back and look at it, what we do is pretty amazing. It doesn't really matter if you're on the field or in the stands, we all make drum corps what it is -- magic. It can all be summed up by a quote I heard last summer: "Drum corps is amazing. Nobody cares what you look like or how much you have in the bank. All they care about is 'can you bring it?', because when the day is over, the next show is just beginning."