Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Phil Snyder, Colts' soprano section leader, horn sergeant

The DCI.org interview: Phil Snyder, Colts' soprano section leader, horn sergeant

by Drum Corps International

Name, hometown, corps: Phil Snyder, Hastings, Minn., Colts What is your role in the corps this summer? I am the soprano section leader and horn sergeant.

Phil Snyder
Where do you go to school, and what extracurricular activities are you involved with there? I go to school at the University of Wisconsin -- Eau Claire, majoring in music education. Currently I am very active with the jazz and concert band programs, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. 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 marched four years of high marching band, three years in the trumpet section and one year as the drum major.
After high schooI I went to South Dakota State University, where I marched for two seasons, first as a member of the trumpet section and then in 2002 as the drum major. On Jan. 1 2003, I had the privilege of standing in front of this group in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. I then transferred to Eau Claire, where I am currently a member of the marching band and also the drill designer. All the while I have been marching with the Colts. This summer will be my fourth season with the Colts and also my age out. The last good book I read: "Oh the things I know" by Al Franken -- it's a pretty cynical read, but I recommend it. The last great film I saw: I am gonna have to go with "Dumb and Dumber." This movie is just flat-out a classic and should be a staple in every film library. Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: It would take about a week of thinking to do this question any justice. I'll get back to you on this one. My favorite TV show: "The Simpsons." Pretty sure I have seen them all, but they really don't get old. Favorite performers: Anyone that can hold down a principle trumpet position in a major orchestra. To me that is such an amazing job. How do you "blow off steam?" I like to go for a nice long run. Why I march with the corps I am in: The Colts offer what I feel is most important in any performing ensemble -- that is the strongest possible relationship between its members. How the members and staff get along with each other is truly what makes or breaks a drum corps season. The Colts offer an environment that lets its members grow together on uncountable levels. That is why I came to the Colts and why I stay there. Was it always your goal to be in a leadership role? Not at all. When I entered the corps my goal was to simply survive the summer. After I kinda got the hang of that, my goals were to get to know my corpsmates and get really good at marching and playing. Now my goals are whole corps-oriented. I want the Colts to become closer as a group than we ever have, I also want our pursuit of excellence to intensify. How will you go about balancing the roles of leader and corpsmate? I really only have one role. Whether I like it or not, all the positions I hold or will ever hold are 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Off the field I am defiantly more candid then during rehearsal, but it is important to be aware that people might still be looking for an example. It has been my experience that when you are a leader you are a leader all of the time. What has been your formative drum corps moment? My first show in 1996 got me hooked for life. I can remember not being able to fathom how good the performers on the field were. From that moment and on I knew that I had to be a part of this. Best drum corps show ever: That's just not a fair question. What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Right now I am looking forward to that first day of everydays, and of course that first show can't get here fast enough. Best thing about being a drum corps leader: Being able to see the progress of the corps from a slightly different angle than a majority of the members will ever see. Worst thing about being a drum corps leader: Always having an answer. During tour, the best part of the day is: The run-through before we get ready for a show, or as we like to call it the "fun-through." As I sit here and really think about it I really do enjoy about every second that a drum corps summer can dish out. No matter how surreal or for real it gets. During tour, the worst part of the day is: The first ten minutes of every day. The act of getting out of my sleeping bag is truly the hardest thing I will do all day. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Steve Rondinaro. That guy is simply a class act. I always enjoy his comments on the PBS telecast. What do you want to be when your drum corps career is over? Eventfully I want to be a band director. Also I want to stay very active in the marching arts any way that I can.

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