Name, age, hometown: Zach Walz, 20, Matteson, Ill. What corps are you in and what is your role this summer? I will be marching in the Madison Scouts color guard. Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I'm attending Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill., triple majoring in music, business and women's studies. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I played in the pit for four years in high school and am marching my second season of winter guard. This will be my fourth season with the Madison Scouts color guard.
What's your practice schedule like? Well, it's pretty hard to practice guard in the winter. You can't toss much, just spin basics indoors. I march winter guard, which really helps, and I stretch a lot. What does your ideal free day consist of? Wandering State Street in Madison, eating at Noodles and Coldstone and checking out Ragstock. Favorite pig-out food: Cheez-its. In the shower you can hear me singing: Nothing. The last good book I read: "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" by Barbara Ehrenreich. The last great film I saw: "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (amazing!). Jobs I have/have had: Wow, so many -- busboy, coffee shop barista, sub preparer, catering deliverer, burger flipper, IT support at a library, desk aide in a dorm -- you have to pay for corps somehow. But my favorite is teaching my kids at Normal West H.S., in good ole' Normal, Ill. My favorite TV show: "Desperate Housewives" What has been your formative drum corps moment? Our first full run-through in 2003. I couldn't believe I was actually doing what I had been watching so long. What would you be doing next summer if you were not marching? Interning somewhere. How did you decide to be a member of your corps? I actually auditioned at the Cavaliers in 2003. They were the most local and I didn't know where else to go. I had never spun before, so I got cut and referred to the Scouts. I almost didn't make it in there, but I worked my butt off in the off season and ended up being offered a spot in April. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I wasn't marching. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? The loudness and the precision. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? Do it! It doesn't matter where. Do what you know you love, even if you have to sacrifice things in your life. Drum corps will teach you so much more about life than staying home with your friends will. And you have all your life to pay off the debt you'll rack up. What I want to be when I "grow up": Good question. All I know is I want to teach color guard. Who knows how I'll pay the bills. Favorite drum corps personality and why: Jennifer Leseth. She taught me everything I have ever needed to know about color guard, and drum corps and gave me great tools to succeed in life. Not only did she give me a chance, but she encouraged me and pushed me when I needed it. I still hear myself using her sayings all the time. Best drum corps show ever and why: Scouts '99. It's just so full of emotion, I love it. The year is 2030. What does a DCI show look like? Well, if you showed me corps 20 years ago, I would have never guessed it would look like it does today. Perhaps we'll venture into some three-dimensional drill by use of levitation we've developed through science. Who knows?