Name, hometown, corps: Nicole Secula, Sunnyvale, Calif., Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets What is your role in the corps this summer? I'm the drum major. Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you involved with there? Wilcox High School, Sony Star (it's a scholarship program) and I have a job.

Nicole Secula
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 been in band since the 3rd grade, starting on clarinet, then I switched to the saxophone, then the trombone, and finally the trumpet. I joined marching band freshman year in high school, and have been in jazz band since the 6th grade, first as saxophone, then as a trumpet. I've been section leader of the trumpets, brass captain, assistant drum major (two years) and drum major at my high school marching band. I joined the Vanguard Cadets as a trumpet player in 2002 then switched to mellophone in 2003, and for the 2004 season coming up I'm the new drum major. I was also in the Tournament of Roses Parade this year with the Santa Clara Vanguard. The last good book I read: "Beloved" by Toni Morrison The last great film I saw: "Something's Gotta Give" Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: Ingrid Jensen's "Here on Earth," "The Best of Chuck Mangione," and Blast's "An Explosive Musical Celebration" My favorite TV show: "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Favorite performers: I don't have a favorite. How do you "blow off steam?" I listen to music or knit to blow off steam, or I talk to my friends. Why I march with the corps I am in: The Vanguard Cadet corps has one of the strongest tradition bases for any organization I've ever heard of. All of its participants are told the corps history, about Gail Royer, and are encouraged to continue the traditions started by those before them. It's truly inspiring to be a part of that history and tradition. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? I've always wanted to help others, to lead people to in something important. I get that feeling when I'm standing in front of the corps conducting for them. It's unlike any other feeling in the world. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? My best friends are in the corps brass line, I'm sure they'll keep me in line. And if not, then I'm pretty sure that I'll figure it out myself. I'm just another corps member with more responsibility. What has been your formative drum corps moment? The night after the quarterfinals performance my rookie year, four of the us in the brass line started playing our ballad in the parking lot. Then slowly, one by one, most of the brass line joined us. By the end of the song half of us were crying, and I remember this huge smile on my face as I looked at my friends and knew that all of the pain, the stress, the practicing ... it was all worth it. Best drum corps show ever: Picking a favorite is impossible for me, I love so many shows. The one that made the biggest impact on me was Vanguard in 2002 at finals. That show gave me the motivation to keep going with my music career and drum corps. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Being at retreat and calling, "Santa Clara ... Corps, ten hut!" I can't wait for that! Best thing about being a drum corps leader: You get to be a corps member and a leader, you get to help your friends. Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: Not being on the field playing a horn, I'm pretty sure that I'll miss it. During tour, the best part of the day is: Doing that last run-through, putting out all of the energy that's left in your body. During tour, the worst part of the day is: Getting back into rehearsal after lunch while your food is still digesting. Favorite drum corps personality and why: I'm assuming personality is referring to the same type of person as a TV personality. So in that case, the guy that says, "And now ... taking the field ... the Santa Clara Vanguard!" at DCI finals, he's so cool! (DCI field announcer Brandt Crocker) What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? I want to go into research as an astrophysicist.