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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:14 pm
Posts: 19
Although I never marched in a drum corp, I have a deep appreciation for those that have done it or are doing it now. I can't imagine the physical and mental toughness that it takes and the stress it puts on one's body... the amount of practice and the shows night in and night out. I'm curious to know what , if anything a corps staff does along with the performers to keep it fresh and fun without the show getting monotonous. Is there any downtime or is it constant practice to keep the performance sharp?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:17 pm
Posts: 4831
Location: Princeton Tx
When I marched, way back in the stone age of the early 80's, there were usually planned off days during a tour. Members knowing they had a scheduled free day at some theme park, or Niagra Falls, or wherever, for an upcoming tour went a long way into relieving the physical and mental stress of a one or 2 week tour. This is not to mention that sometimes free time was allowed based on circumstances, a swim in the pool after practice (if one was available), a few hours to walk around town, or whatever else came up during tour that was spontaneous.

"If rudimental drumming were easy..."

PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:18 pm
Posts: 587
Location: Columbia, TN

Like Rick stated, we usually had a couple of "off days" during tour. They usually started with us doing laundry after getting up a little later to sleep, and getting to go some where that night. If I remember correctly:

Memphis Blues 81
1. Laundry day in, I think, Dallas. I think they took the corps to a Mall and let us out to eat at a restaurant and movie etc.
Funny story, I had never learned how to do laundry. I was a southern boy, I learned to work outside, I didn't know how to do anything inside a house, i.e., laundry, cook. The family I lived with before tour, the Mom did our laundry. So in Dallas I learned the hard way. I didn't know how much detergent to put in a wash. I put too much in, so when the load had finished running it was still soapy. I ran it again. Then I put it in the dryer, well they came for us before it was dry, so I had to put my clothes in my duffel, damp. Well I learned what mildew was, had to throw away half my clothes.

2. After laundry, they took the corps somewhere. I was wore out and didn't go, after eating I just stayed at the school and practiced, and went to sleep. I struggled so much early on, it just took so much out of me.

3. After laundry, Boston, they just let us out down town, etc.. I remember eating in a seafood restaurant called "No Names" next to a pier.
Another interesting story, I wasn't there. But several of our corps members , wearing their corps jackets, wound up somewhere, where the local game thought they were a rival gang because of the jackets. I think we had something like 4 members? Anyway two other corps saw what was happening and came to our corps members aid. The gang backed down, before guns, I guess. One of the corps that came was the Cavaliers' the other I think was Blue Stars but I'm not sure.

Memphis Blues 82
1. New York City. After laundry, they took us to New York City and let us out. Those who wanted to had already purchased tickets to a Broadway Musical (A Chorus Line). I did go to see the musical.
2. Montreal, Canada. I can't remember what we did other than laundry and eat.

Spirit of Atlanta 83
The only thing I can remember, was that one of the days was in Kentucky. Don't remember where. Other than that I'm drawing a blank.
Spirit was ran different, in that things were much more "relaxed". We kind of partied more,etc. in general, also, the drumline pretty much ran as a separate entity.

I do remember the corps taking a day off from "all days" in Atlanta, because the staff thought we were fried and needed a break. They were correct, we went to a Braves game, etc.

As a general rule, we worked incredibly hard each year I marched. I personally struggled my first year in Memphis, not just because I was a rookie, but I had so little foundation for drum corps, I had so much ground to make up on. My second year in Memphis the whole corps was pretty much worked into the ground. In Spirit, the winter program was much stronger, and the entire corps was more experienced, members, staff, etc., and that made a difference. I don't think Spirit had more talent than Memphis, but experience made a huge difference.

Memphis Blues 1981-82 *Snare*
Spirit of Atlanta 1983 *Snare*
Private Teacher - High School Lines 1982-97, 2011-13

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