Drum Corps International
The drum line that lives together plays together

The drum line that lives together plays together

by Drum Corps International

From the Santa Clara Vanguard Web site:
By Chris Turner
Santa Clara Vanguard cymbal line, 2002 and 2003 For most of us, drum corps takes a back seat at this point in time to more pressing and current obligations in our lives. Many have school, work, family and various other types of responsibilities to tend to. Most times, these responsibilities are put on hold for one weekend out of each month in order for the young men and women to attend their corps' camp to keep the pace up in hopes of hitting the ground running come Memorial Day weekend (the annual "move in" date for most drum corps around the country). The majority of us here at the Santa Clara Vanguard fly, drive or bus hundreds (or sometimes even thousands) of miles each month in order to better ourselves and prepare for the long, tedious and grueling summer that lies ahead of us. However, here in the Santa Clara Vanguard percussion section, the sacrifice is a little different.

Chris Turner is on the far right (white hat) here.
This year the SCV percussion section is beginning to re-instate the "move-out" policy to all its marching members. Basically, since around the beginning of February, SCV's drum line has been living strictly around the town of Santa Clara. Many in the section (including all its new members and a few of its veterans) have made the ultimate sacrifice of putting their lives back home on hold in order to, pretty much, drum full time. Coming from the likes of Southern California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee and even Canada, this goes for all marching sections of the battery, which include snares, tenors, basses and cymbals. Each section meets two to three times a week in what are called sectionals (where it is only the one section practicing on their own) in order to work on music, technique, marching, stamina or strength.

In keeping with the saying of "The family that plays together stays together," the SCV percussionists who have had to move hundreds of miles here to Santa Clara also live with each other. Sharing small, cramped apartments in order to cut the cost of living in the ridiculously overpriced Bay Area, it is common practice to find the SCV percussion section (when not practicing at the corps hall) doing laundry, washing dishes, making dinner, or simply kicking back and hanging out on a Friday night all together. "You will always be able to go to school, or work, or do whatever. You won't always be able to do this, and this experience will be more intense, as you know, than pretty much anything else you will do for a long time," says caption head and former marching member (1988-1992) Murray Gusseck. "It's something specific and special to Santa Clara alone." This is all part of our coming together, building the bonds and friendships, in order to put a great product out on the field come summertime. But in the meantime, we will keep practicing our tails off and counting down the days until "Pathways" is complete.