Name, age, hometown: Nina Franco, 16, Wheaton, Ill. What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I'll be joining Pioneer again for my third season playing baritone. Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I go to Wheaton Warrenville South High School, working on my high school education. Hopefully after that, I'll be attending DePaul University in Chicago studying philosophy.
Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. In 8th grade, my sister invited me to fill a hole in my high school's marching band playing flute. That year, I took up playing baritone. My freshman year, I decided to march Pioneer, so my first summer was the summer of 2004 when I was just 14 years old. Now I play trombone, and I've been marching in my high school's band and with Pioneer ever since. What's your personal practice schedule like? I try to practice my trombone a lot, but I still find time to play my G baritone for Pioneer. As with most people, I don't practice nearly as much as I should. What does your ideal free day consist of? A nice long day spent with my best friends, with good food and good times. Favorite pig-out food: On tour, I pig out on pineapple and peanut butter. At home, anything chocolate. In the shower you can hear me singing: We sing a variety of songs in the Pioneer showers. On any given day, we'll sing anything ranging from our corps song, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." The last good book I read: "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers. The last great film I saw: "Munich" Jobs I have/have had: I'm a part-time customer service employee at Old Navy. My favorite TV show: "Friends." I also like to watch the TV Guide channel. What has been your formative drum corps moment? In Allentown in 2004. We were doing a final run-through after a long day of rehearsal and it was pitch black, and at Valley Forge Military Academy there is only one light for the whole field. During our ballad, when we did a horn raise at the big hit, it started to rain. During the drum solo, the rain bounced off the timpani and you could see it falling through the light of that one light. It was the moment I realized that drum corps was so much more than just a hobby. What would you be doing next summer if you were not marching? I'd be spending time with my friends in Spain. How did you decide to be a member of your corps? I had a good friend who marched Pioneer in 2002 and 2003. She told me a little bit about it, and I went to a camp to check it out. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? I didn't know much about it, so curiosity drew me to the activity. I really had no idea what the whole thing was about, but I knew it was something that was worth my time. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? You are never too young or too unskilled to march. As long as you think you can do it, you can. What I want to be when I "grow up": I'd like to be a public interests lawyer, or a philosophy teacher. Favorite drum corps personality and why: My best friend Hannah Sikula. Also, Cristina Fedorchak, my baritone sister, and Matt Bibb. Best drum corps show ever and why: I'm a big fan of Blue Devils 2003. They had so much energy on the field, and you just know that they were performing for the thrill of performing. Winning was just an added bonus. The year is 2030. What does a DCI show look like? The talent will be through the roof, but the same rules of 2006 drum corps will still apply -- passion, energy and devotion.