In Brasso continuo we'll explore the traditions, rituals, stories and folklore surrounding the drum corps activity. If you know of a ritual, bit of folklore or tradition associated with a corps, e-mail the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a picture of that particular ritual or tradition, e-mail that as well. Thanks! Mark Petrash, a DCI brass judge, got whacked with a Seattle Cascades guard member's "flex pole" back on July 27, 2002, at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. The incident quickly spread around the drum corps world. A year later, thousands of miles away from the RCA Dome, Petrash was presented with the photo below, taken seconds after impact. This is the drum corps version of the Zapruder film. "I was judging the DCE championships in the Netherlands this fall, and after the competition, one of the members of Jubal, Hans Kloppert (who is also a photographer for DCW), came up to me and asked if I was the judge who got bonked in the nose at the RCA Dome in 2002. Of course I said I was, and the next day, he stopped by the hotel and dropped off a photo that was taken immediately after I got hit. Believe it or not, I had never seen any photos of the incident, and it brought back vivid memories. I can't remember the guy's name who gave me the picture ... I'd like to give him credit for capturing the moment. Hope you like it!" Thanks Mark! Glad your nose has healed up. Here's how DCI.org covered Petrash's injury last summer: What's more dangerous, hockey or drum corps? Talk to Mark Petrash and you might get a surprising answer. Toward the end of the Seattle Cascades program this past Saturday night in Indianapolis, brass judge Mark Petrash headed off the sidelines and was whacked in the nose by a 10-foot-long "flex pole" being wielded by a guard member. Petrash thought the guard member was using a 6-foot pole, and therefore thought he was out of reach. "I wasn't even paying attention to her," Petrash said. Petrash's glasses flew off and he began bleeding profusely. "It was like a faucet turned on," Petrash said, although "it didn't really hurt." The wound probably needed stitches, but Petrash, who plays amateur hockey once a week near his home in Portola Hills, Calif., kept on judging, after bandaging the wound and making sure that he didn't bleed on his tape recorder. The show was delayed briefly while Petrash tended to his proboscis. "It's pretty dangerous being out there!" Petrash said. When he's not out on the ice or on the field, Petrash is the music director at Serrano Intermediate School in Lake Forest, Calif. He's been a judge since 1991, and has judged more than 100 drum corps contests. Prior to becoming a judge, he marched four years in Cavalier Cadets, one year with the Velvet Knights and three years with the Cavaliers. He and wife, Cheryl (who never marched), have a German Shepherd/Australian Kelpie-mix dog named Jackson. Petrash is back home healing this week. He's applying the herb arnica to his wounded schnozz – that's the same stuff he uses for hockey injuries. As for the similarities between hockey and drum corps, Petrash cites the relative intelligence of those involved with both activities. "Hockey is an intelligent sport – and drum corps is an intelligent activity," Petrash said.
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