I remember the first time I stepped on to the field to perform my first show. There was a slight murmur in the crowd as they discussed previous shows and what to expect from the shows to come. It was a rather humid night under the lights but the crowd was excited and very responsive to everyone. As we stood in our opening set, I could feel myself feeling shaky and nervous. I had never performed with a drum corps before and never performed in front of such a big crowd. The announcer had finished making his comments and I heard the first drumbeats of our show. I knew I could not back out now. Still to do this day, I don't know how I managed to move my feet in time, play the music, and mentally and physically get through the show.
The ballad was played so well that we could look up into the audience and know they felt the music and what we were trying to get across to them. A few had tears in their eyes. After we had completed our show, we knew we had accomplished what we needed to. The audience was on its feet, aplauding for us. We marched off the field satisfied and content for a day's rehearsal and for a night's performance. The whole corps knew that we had to raise the bar and our standards the next day at practice. We had to continue to improve and to become better. We couldn't look back. We could only push forward. That night I knew the corps had clicked as one, like a family. There was a good vibe that night you can only crave while on tour. When you get home, it hurts because you can't perform again to get that feeling. All you can do is sit and think about the feelings, the memories, and the new friends and family you spent three months with. Having a great performance is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have on tour. Soak up the feelings and the crowd responses. They are one of the things you live off of while on tour. Piosfloridian@aol.com.