Drum Corps International
The ever-changing activity

The ever-changing activity

by Drum Corps International

By Krista Miller, kristam@vt.edu

Krista Miller
I'd like to start out this week by thanking the many of you who have e-mailed me to share your stories or to just thank me for rekindling your own memories and experiences with drum corps. I'm trying something new this week, and breaking my usual format, so I'll be looking for your feedback and ideas even more now!^ The beauty of drum corps is that it's never the same. Unfortunately, that's also a troubling attribute. Last year when I first started on my little (or so I thought) drum corps journey I had no idea what I was getting into. And while having no idea what you're doing is a scary feeing, sometimes knowing full well what you're getting into is even scarier. I've found over the past few months that my second year is proving to be a lot harder and more of a challenge than my first. I battled that whole, "That was a lot of hard work, can I really do it again?" issue. I guess being a rookie is a lot like walking into a cave without a flashlight. You can't really see where you're going, so you just walk blindly until you understand your purpose for being there. You let someone else guide you, and you trust them with everything you have. When I was a rookie I thought that being a vet would change me. And while I suppose it did, I still feel a little lost. I remember walking back into G-West (the Glassmen rehearsal space) for the first time. Me, the scared-out-of-my-mind rookie, just trying to hold my own with so many other excellent musicians and the vets. At first it seems like it's against some rule to speak to the vets. They have their memories, their jackets, their stories to share from the summer previous, and many of them can be found catching up on each others' lives since finals night. And that's just what happened to me when I went back to G-West in November. You see the rooms and fields and roads that you gave all you had on and it brings back lots of memories. But then, you go inside. And while you see the other vets and share stories and catch back up, inside things are different. There are lots of new people and the corps as you last knew it is gone. It's not that I dislike change. It's just that I believe there's a struggle somewhere for most second-year members. I think the hardest part is getting over the fact that it's different, and that it has to be. Different doesn't necessarily mean bad. In fact, it can potentially mean just the opposite. For me, the hardest part was getting over the changes. It's about adapting, making things work, and being better than you were last year, last month and yesterday. My only regret is that it has to happen that way. It's impossible to miss the corps the only way you've ever known it. Luckily, those are memories that only a certain group of people carry, and that makes it even more special and rare. I'd give anything to be able to play "October" just one last time, to run the crazy helix in "Fire," and to do the crazy back end of the opener again. But if you do just one thing for yourself and your corps this summer, don't give up because of how you remember it. Accept the new, and cherish the old. We all remember how it felt like the first camp we ever went to would never come, and now many of us are nearing our journey's end. I learned so much from last year's corps, but I can promise you that I'll learn even more from this years. Go out and do the same. Believe. Five things I cherish about drum corps Five things I've learned from drum corps Ten things to do on laundry day Ten reasons to love the bus Ten reasons to love drum corps

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