Lanah Kopplin will be contributing columns to each Tuesday. Here's her 11th installment. I will never audition for another drum corps ever again, and I've never felt better about it.

Lanah Kopplin
This weekend was Phantom Regiment's audition camp, and I was lucky enough to be asked back for my fourth and final season with the corps. Like I've said in a previous article, all spots are truly open at the beginning of each season. Each and every person, veteran or newcomer, must prove to the staff why he or she should be allowed to wear the white uniform. My work during the summer, as well as my continued efforts during the off-season, has presented me with the opportunity to spend one last year with the corps I love. With the beginning of audition camp came the official start of my age-out year. But honestly, the finality of it all still has yet to hit me. Camp was camp, and nothing else. I've always looked up to the age outs, and thought of them as a special group of people. Now that I'm the age out, it doesn't seem like anything special. In fact, when corps director Pat Seidling asked all of the age outs to raise their hands, I nearly forgot to! I think that the "age-out" mentality is one that develops over time. Maybe it's because I'm still only 20, but somehow I don't think that my view of drum corps is going to change dramatically come January 6. Maybe it's because I have a whole season of drum corps ahead of me. Tour is still nearly seven months away, after all. Or maybe it's because I still have the same challenges presented to me as I have had every other year of drum corps. I'm still a political science major competing with music majors, and my euphonium is still heavy. Right now, my challenge is to be on the field when Phantom Regiment opens up its 2005 competitive season. Age out or not, I have a mountain to climb before I can get there. As for audition camp, everything was amazing. Our entire staff is top-notch and professional. This was by far the most-talented pool of auditionees that I've ever seen. Everyone was willing to go the extra mile and give the extra effort, in order to make this the best Phantom Regiment possible. Our show is still very much in the construction stage. This weekend we played through a skeleton of the show, so that the design staff could hear the major themes as played by a real horn line. For those of you who have never had the opportunity to play a piece arranged by JD Shaw, you are missing out. The man is a genius! The first time that I heard the trumpets come out with the main theme from "Rhapsody in Blue" brought a huge smile to my face. Get ready for something really exciting to come out of Rockford this summer! Now that my final audition camp is over, Thanksgiving will never be the same again. But, that's the way life is; you can't get too comfortable with anything, because as soon as you do, things change. At least from now on, I can enjoy all of the tryptophan that I want! Oh, and for those of you who received the Rockford Register Star newspaper on Sunday, that was yours truly, along with good friends Read Pope and Rachel Heim, gracing the front page! Lanah Kopplin is a third-year euphonium player in the Phantom Regiment, and previously spent a year with the Pioneer. Lanah is a political science major at the University of Wisconsin (she's a Milwaukee native), and will age out in 2005. Past columns by Lanah Kopplin: Turkey-induced tryptophan Rhapsody in the chat room Amazing grace Are you ready? Get out there and vote Reflections from Whitewater Methodical hard work and passion Here's to the behind-the-scenes people Drum corps friendships A new column by the Phantom Regiment's Lanah Kopplin