Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Stephen Lyons, Boston Crusaders mellophone section leader

The DCI.org interview: Stephen Lyons, Boston Crusaders mellophone section leader

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: Stephen Lyons, 21, East Lyme, Conn. What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I am the mellophone section leader of the Boston Crusaders. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I began marching with the East Lyme High School marching band when I was 14, and the trumpet tech there recruited me into the Connecticut Hurricanes to play soprano bugle. The Hurricanes are a local DCA (all-age) corps, and rehearse and perform only on the weekends. I marched with that group from 1998 to 2000, then went to Boston in 2001 and have been there since.

Stephen Lyons
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? I wanted to march in a DCI corps ever since seeing my first drum corps show, the 1995 Madison Scouts. I'll admit that I was first attracted to the screaming sopranos, but since then I've been more appealed by the unique sounds each top-12 horn line brings to the fray. Boston's 2000 show made me decide that with such a crowd appealing corps in my backyard, I couldn't resist. The fact that the drum major was also from East Lyme didn't hurt either. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? I had no idea what drum corps was when I went to my first Hurricanes rehearsal, but the fact that the instrument was completely new to me and only had two valves presented itself as a great challenge to a 14-year-old. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? Watch a bunch of different corps on the road rehearse, and decide with the rehearsals what corps "personality" fits you best. Also, it's much easier to check out a smaller drum corps for a season or two before you make the three-month commitment that Division I corps require of you! Do you have any favorite road anecdotes? During my rookie year,0 we decided to take a shortcut through Canada to get to our destination in Michigan. Everything was copacetic until 'round midnight, when we hit the American border and a customs officer came on to our bus, and someone in the front had the bright idea of snapping a flash picture of him. He decided right away that everyone on all four of the corps buses needed an ID check, which was problematic for some of our members from overseas. We were there for a few hours, and the best part of the experience was when Southwind's buses came by at about 2 in the morning and just rolled right on through into the States. The last good book I read: "Breakfast of Champions" by Kurt Vonnegut! The last great film I saw: "Napoleon Dynamite." Heck, yes I did!

Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I'm a music major at Uconn. I study sheets of music until it hurts to look at them. Jobs I have/have had: I teach trumpet all over Connecticut, and I have 18 students at the moment. I also teach brass and marching and write drill for my alma mater, East Lyme High School. They're the Connecticut state champions in their class! Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island: Radiohead, "Kid A"; Miles Davis, "Kind of Blue"; The Beatles, "Rubber Soul" My favorite TV show: "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" - it's my only TV source for news. Favorite performers: I've been learning so much from all sorts of jazz players because I've only gotten into jazz recently, but the most influential trumpet players I've heard would have to be Ray Mase and Haaken Hardenberger. How do you "blow off steam?" I don't blow it off, I just allow all my stress to build up into a rock hard ball that I will someday release upon the world in an explosion of great vengeance and furious anger.

What has been your formative drum corps moment? There have been so many people that have influenced the way I am as a person now that it would be hard to pick a single one. The moments all go by so incredibly quickly that 999 out of 1000 of them are very hard to remember. Best drum corps show ever: 1991 Star of Indiana, though a nod has to go to the 2000 Boston Crusaders, coming soon to a theater near
you! What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Finals in Gillette Stadium! Home show, baby! Best thing about being in a drum corps: Babes Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Babes During tour, the best part of the day is: Hang time after a show.

During tour, the worst part of the day is: Waking up (especially if there's a cockroach staring at you). Favorite drum corps personality and why: Edrick Rhodes, our mellophone tech for the past couple years. He's an incredible educator and does so without too much intensity or ego. What I want to be when I "grow up": I don't want to grow up, so I guess I'll just be a musician for the rest of my life. Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. You know those visualizations you can get on Windows Media Player? Well, no one's going to march or spin in 2015. Everyone will play, and awesome visuals will be projected on a big screen to go along with the music in the background.

Related News

View all news

by Drum Corps International

January camp roundup
Read more

by Drum Corps International

Corps news and announcements
Read more