The story originally ran as part of DCI.org's live coverage Saturday night. As a drum corps tour starts, members will often find themselves forced into their own little bubble. They are shut out from the outside world focused solely on rehearsals. Monday is the same as Tuesday and the weekend seems to disappear as day-to-day rehearsals become the main task for the tour. David Adler, longtime Glassmen volunteer, tours with the corps to give members the opportunity to not forget about the weekend, especially Sunday.
Why Sunday? His day job is as university chaplain of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., which is affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. "There are any number of students that from Memorial Day move-in up through the middle of August that don't have an opportunity to go to church and wish they did," said Adler. "So I tour with the Glassmen to help out in any way I can but specifically to serve as a sort of spiritual guide for those that want that kind of service." Ever since his son starting marching with the Glassmen in 1997, Adler has been a regular tour volunteer. "I just fell in love with the activity. Officially I am president of the board of directors with the Glassmen, but that's another side of what I do. I am mainly on tour for the kids, and to give some moral support to the instructional and support staff of the corps." Every morning that he is on tour, Adler holds morning devotions where corps members are able to sit down together at breakfast for a short type of spiritual service. "They grab their breakfast, come sit down and we chat for awhile before we read a section of scripture and pray," said Adler. "It's no more than 10 minutes and we pray for our health for our families and all of the other corps' safety. We try to stay together that way, supporting each other and giving encouragement." Adler said that if 12 or more corps members show up in the morning it is a good number. "The numbers aren't important though. It's that the faces change day to day. Some kids take advantage of it every day while some just take advantage of it when they can. Either way it is great to have them there," he said. For Adler, experiencing tour with the Glassmen is the perfect way to supplement his priorities in life. "My priorities in life are in this order: faith, family, kids and then music. I can have music without kids, and I can have kids without music, but when I have both it's awesome," he said. "I've been in youth ministry all my life and I still think of myself as a kid. Watching these people grow and excel and learning what's inside of them and applying that faith in terms of entertainment and inspiration for others, that's just awesome for me." When asked if he'll be around for many years to come, Adler jokingly replied, "Oh absolutely! I'll probably be a lot fatter and with a lot less hair but I'll be there!"
David Adler, Glassmen volunteer