By Allison Owen In less than a month I will be heading down to Jacksonville, Ala., to audition for a top-12 Division I drum and bugle corps. Needless to say I am incredibly nervous, but at the same time I am very excited. This is an amazing experience that some live through only in dreams. I am getting the chance to live this dream.

Allison Owen
So many questions are racing through my head as the day draws closer. Do I have what it takes? How many people are auditioning and how many make the corps? Will my practicing pay off? What happens if I don't make it? Now, this last question is the one that brings up the most issues. I know I want to march next summer even if I don't make Spirit, but where do I go from there? Spirit seems like the best place for me to go, so which corps seems like the next best for me? Ever since I found out about drum corps I've had some mixed thoughts on auditioning for more than one corps. On one side I feel like I'd just be "settling" for wherever I could march; while on the other hand I feel like I should march wherever I can. There are some people who don't like the "corps shopping" method, while there are others who do. My parents and I have come to the decision that I should march next summer wherever I get the opportunity. One of the drum corps that is within reasonable distance from where I live has practical fees, and is an overall great organization, is Memphis Sound. I know that it's a Division II corps, and my dreams are to march with a top-12 Division I corps, but this would be a wonderful drum corps experience for me if I am not ready for the top of Division I yet, and I would most certainly march with Memphis -- given the chance -- and be a proud member, just as I would with Spirit. See, as many have said, "It's not where you march, it's that you march." I agree with these people and I would feel honored to be accepted into any drum corps across the United States. One of the reasons that Memphis Sound has become a new option for me is their recruiting staff in Tennessee. This weekend at a band competition I met Pat and Kimberly Bohannan of the Memphis Sound staff. They are wonderful people who have inspired me to keep my enthusiasm for drum corps. I was able to talk with them for a while about differences in marching band and drum corps, as well as so many more things that gave me a better understanding of marching this summer. My mom's eyes were opened, as well, to the great experience drum corps has to offer to people across the country -- and even the world. Needless to say, I'd personally like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Bohannan for their encouragement this weekend. Thanks to them I have realized what a fine organization Memphis Sound is, and I feel privileged that they have invited me to come to Memphis if things don't work out for me with Spirit. I am still determined to reach my goal of marching with a top-12 Division I drum corps, but I can feel a little at ease when I think of all the other amazing drum corps that are out there. I'm still going to Jacksonville in less than a month, but no matter what happens there I know that I want to march wherever I am given the opportunity. Check back next week to see how things go as my audition day comes closer.
Allison Owen is a sophomore at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn., who plans to audition for a corps in November. "I'm in the SHHS guard and I like writing, dancing, performing, traveling, photography and having fun. As for after high school/college, I don't know what I want to do ... I just know I would like to do something dealing with color guard, computers or writing," Owen said.