What's the best way to celebrate Valentines Day? Normally I would answer this question with someone of the opposite sex, but not this year. Spending Valentine's Day with 134 of your brothers is much better. Well, more like 100 this past weekend (no guard), and what a cold V-day it was.

Eric Fox
My weekend started off with disaster at the airport. I checked in at the front desk, and then as they were scanning my luggage, it of course beeped. There happened to be a plastic bag with a couple 6-inch pieces of steel pipe in my luggage. It was part of something that we built for the pit, and I forgot to put it in the box with everything else that I shipped up to Madison. So after 10 minutes of pleading my case to the airport security, they let me keep everything and let me go to my gate. Everything from then on went pretty smoothly. I was fortunate enough to catch a ride from the Milwaukee airport to Madison by one of the horn line vets, Matt Stoner. There were a few other horn line members in the car ride as well. It was really nice to finally get to meet a bunch of guys in the corps who weren't in the percussion section for once. We spend so much time with just our sections during camp and don't really get many opportunities to hang with the other guys, besides meal breaks and nighttime. Speaking of nighttime, that was probably one of the most interesting things about the weekend. All the members of the pit crammed into one living room at one of the local member's houses. It was a little taste of tour (except I slept on a futon). We did the typical viewing of drum corps DVDs for a few hours every night, and usually passed out watching them as well. Camp itself was an exciting time as usual, unloading and loading our equipment in freezing cold weather. We actually found snow inside the back of the truck (I guess it was from the January camp?). There's nothing like carrying frozen instruments from place to place when it's like 10 degrees outside. I came prepared this camp at least, no flip-flops for me this time. Another highlight of camp were the fun rides to and from restaurants on our meal breaks. There's nothing like cramming nine people into one vehicle for a 10-minute drive. I managed to get stuck in the trunk of an SUV the majority of the rides, making faces and waving to cars behind us never got old. Uniform fitting continued at this camp, and I was finally sized for my uniform. It's sad how many uniforms I've put on in the last few years, this marked my fifth uniform. It's gonna be rough getting used to white pants and shoes again, since they're so hard to keep clean. I love the sewing ladies who helped size me for my uniform, a bunch of them sized me for my uniform a few years back when I was with another corps, and now they help out with the Scouts. Sizing me was easy for them, since I've pretty much been the same uniform size all five years I've been doing drum corps. Rehearsals went the same as usual for the pit. We start out with our typical warmup block then go straight into show music. We were handed a pretty big chunk of music this weekend and a few changes in some of the older music. Everyone definitely had their hands full with the amount of new material to learn, but we managed to get everything done. The marimba and vibraphone parts I'm playing this year are definitely some of the best parts I've ever played in drum corps and they keep getting better and better each camp. I just hate having such long amounts of time between rehearsal weekends; the summer needs to get here sooner. Summer is beginning VERY early for me this year, since I'll be moving to Madison the first week of May, and staying with some friends of mine while commuting to rehearsals and such. I'm starting to miss the pain in my hands from playing marimba so much; luckily I've got a very very long summer ahead of me.