Name, age, hometown: Rachel Traczyk, 21, Champlin, Minn.

Rachel Traczyk
What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? Blue Stars, drum major. ^Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I studied for two years of music education at the University of Minnesota, but I'm changing my degree to a different teaching degree or social service. I would love to be a music teacher, I've got a knack in that area! I feel like I would be more valuable in social service or more of a career where I need to solve problems or save people. I looked up superhero on a career site, there weren't any schools that offered that degree! Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I marched at Champlin Park High School from '99-'03 as a French horn player and soloist. In '02 and '03 I marched in the winter guard there, competing in WGI competition. In 2003 as well, I began my drum corps career in Minnesota Brass, Inc., and spun flag for them for a season. I received a call from Greg Struve in the fall of 2004 that inspired me to audition for the Blue Stars. I've marched here ever since, '04 on the mellophone, '05 and '06 as the drum major. What's your personal practice schedule like? 5:45 a.m.: Wake up, get ready for work. I'm on the road by 6:30 to be at Target at 7. I work eight-hour shifts five days a week. It's pretty sweet, after working part time for seven years! Mondays I teach private horn lessons, Wednesdays I coach drum majors at the school I teach at and Wednesday nights I spend time with my boyfriend (sometimes our only time to get together!). I go to the YMCA four or five times a week, usually about an hour and a half after I get off work. I swim, do cardio, and some weights. I'm a work in progress, though, I've only been doing that for about a month! What does your ideal free day consist of? On tour: As NOTHING as possible! However, bowling is fun (even though I'm awful) and of course eating out on area-specific food (pizza in Chicago, Southern comfort food, walleye in Minnesota, etc.) is great. Off-season: Watching the Food Network, volunteering, making a difference. I hate being idle. Favorite pig-out food: Broccoli. And If I'm really splurging, give it a few chunks of cheese melted over it. In the shower you can hear me singing: With my radio! I have a shower radio that I've got on a local station. I love Coldplay and U2, and will be going to a couple of those concerts. The last good book I read: "Lucky," or "Eragon" The last great film I saw: "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." I empathized and LAUGHED with a lot of that! Otherwise, "GI Jane" (on TV the other day), "The Green Mile" or "Harry Potter." Jobs I have/have had: Fast food, barista, waitress, electrician, lessons teacher, night rider, fast food manager, retail (Bath and Body Works), retail management (Target Corp.). I think that's it. My favorite TV show: "30 Minute Meals," with Rachael Ray! What has been your formative drum corps moment? Camp Decorah, any given year, Blue Stars. It's our everydays training camp. Every year something new and crazy and memorable happens. You can't possibly understand it unless you experience it! What would you be doing next summer if you were not marching? Working, going to school, getting married?, volunteering or training to be a firefighter. How did you decide to be a member of your corps? Greg Struve called me and suggested that I come out and try it out. I was tentative but gave it a shot and have found a home. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? 1999 Scouts. It was the first thing I ever saw that was drum corps-related, and it BLEW me away. I wanted to be a Scout, and then I found out it was an all-male corps. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? If you're going to give yourself to an activity, do it, heart and soul. Take every moment you have, and though I can bet you won't cherish it at the time as much as you will later, you'll remember it months away from the activity! Appreciate all of the corps around you. Every person out there is doing the exact same thing you are -- with all the same blood, sweat, tears and laughter. They may march differently, play with a different mouthpiece, spin with a different-sized pole or use a different brand of drum, but every person is working to achieve excellence. This activity is amazing, just do it! What I want to be when I "grow up": Someone who makes a difference. Favorite drum corps personality and why: The fans. Yeah, I know they're not a "personality." They don't get their names posted in the DCI history book, but we wouldn't be around without them. And what better feeling than turning around and seeing hundreds or thousands of people on their feet appreciating you? The year is 2030. What does a DCI show look like? Being a bit of a traditionalist, I hope something similar to today. However, I don't doubt the sound will be amplified and the challenge far greater. If it didn't change a bit, it wouldn't be a representation of the cultures it is a part of, and it wouldn't be attractive to the general public. Feel free to add anything else you'd like. Come see a show this year! Any show! I'd like you to come see the Blue Stars, but really, the activity is about the community. Bring two people who haven't been to a show before. There are amazing things happening everywhere in the drum corps world. Remember to always find the silver lining on cloudy days, and stop and smell the flowers (especially if you're marching!). And, I'm looking for sponsors, so feel free to contact me if you're interested!