Drum Corp, DCI, Marching Band, etc

I’m just curious if any of you guys were in a DCI member drum corp as a youth.

I personally never was, but I’ve been a huge fan ever since I was in a competitive marching band all four years of high school. Back then a few friends and I tried to attend the Midwest DCI competition each year in the RCA dome.

If you hopped into this thread and have no idea what the fuck I’m talking, this should clear things up.

I am here to declare myself a member of the dork club. I was never in corps (never played a brass instrument, never a good enough drummer), but I marched either sax or drums all the way through high school and then sax at Auburn for three years.

I was a moderate DCI fan. Phantom Regiment was my fave.

Okay, is anything gayer than the beginning of this 2008 Regiment show?

That is awesome, Jerri. :) I also marched saxophone (alto) in high school.

Heh, yeah that beginning isn’t the best. I usually like Phantom’s shows though. My favorite corp is The Cadets, but I also really enjoy The Cavaliers. I visited one of their practices once, and was blown away by how good their brass was.

High five to the fellow alto player! (I marched bari one season. Passed out in the stands during a particularly spirited rendition of our fight song.)

YES! Oh my God I loved DCI. I didn’t find out about it until it was too late otherwise I would have joined.

—skip if you don’t want to read more crap about me—

My senior year of High School I won first chair in both the State Symphonic and Jazz Orchestras. So I think I would have had a good chance to make the cut in DCI. Our High School was pretty awesome. Wonderful director who fought cancer and crippling arthritus (he had pretty much all the joints replaced that you can replace). We won all of our Marching competitions my Junior and Senior year and wow was it fun.
Back to DCI. Didn’t find out about it until my senior year and by then I was already headed to college and had to work to make enough money to go. I haven’t watched DCI in a long time because it’s hard without getting mad at myself and my body.

-----start reading again-----

I should start watching it again. My favorites were The Cadets, Madison Scouts, and Phantom Regiment. I disliked the Blue Devils since they (but this was back n early 90’s) were always wiggling around, fist-pumping, when they should have been at attention. I kind of thought it was like cheating in a way.

I sure would like to go to a competition!

What instrument did you play, Jeff?

The Blue Devils are among my least favorite corps too, because they usually play jazz songs/arrangements for their shows. I don’t care for that style as much on the field.

No, but damn I wish I had. I played snare for 2 years and quints for 2 years in high school. Going to the Atlantic Coast Championship was the highlight of high school for me.

I still consider hitting up one of the senior corps in the area but “in the area” is a relative term. It’s about 45 minutes to the closest senior corp around here.

I hear ya, Fuzzy. There’s a senior corps here in Nashville, but I wouldn’t be able to contribute much other than as a groupie.

<===== tuba player. High school and University. 34 lbs of nasty metal on your shoulder for many hours a week. I have a permanent dip in my shoulder from it.

Hehehe, good minds think alike.

I played Trumpet.

True story: about 5 years ago I tried to put together a small community marching band. Even though Nashville’s a music town, it was harder than you might think. I couldn’t find a single drummer or tuba/sousa player, so it was pretty much doomed.

I’d still love to do something like that.

People who follow marching bands as adults who are not band parents < Warhammer figure painters < model train enthusiasts < people who dress up for Renn Fest < people who game on the PC < people who game on a PS3 or 360 < people who only own Rock Band for it < football players

Which is funny, because it’s on the same field. I have a friend who is always trying to get me to go to these. Note I’ve dabbled in all of the above and played trumpet in high school. I know what the word embasure means (but not how to spell it).


I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t take my cues on worthwhile ways to spend my time from you.

I was a rifle for like ten seconds in color guard, which is the lead in to drum corp. I was like seven and they wanted me to be a saber but I insisted on being a rifle even though I could barely hold it never mind flip it. I can still twirl shit around in a menacing way. My cousin was in drum corp and went to competitions and things, but I was so young I barely remember anything except I always thought her outfits were cool.

Especially since everyone knows it’s band groupies < RenFesters < model train geeks < Warhammer figure painters < PC gamers < console gamers < Rock Band console gamers < football players.

I thought it was: People who think it’s cool to brag about their alleged sexual exploits on the internet < band groupies < LARPers < model train geeks < Warhammer figure painters < football players < PC gamers < console gamers

But football players were a joke in my high school and apparently aren’t elsewhere. So I could be wrong on that one.

I played trumpet in marching band all through high school save my senior year, where I was drum major. I played trumpet in symphonic all four years as well, French horn my junior and senior year, trumpet in jazz junior and senior year, 10th chair District in trumpet my senior year, and skipped out of French class 47 out of 90 days in my senior year to go hang out in jazz instead (someone else in the class kept track).

Was I a music dork? No. I was their KING.

I won’t go as far as to say “Music saved my life” or anything corny like that, but music was my passion all through school and kept me out of trouble. No one cares about family drama here, myself included, but I was able to ignore most of it and focus on being in every band that let me play a trumpet in high school. I got about as far as natural talent could take me, which wasn’t very far, and got everywhere else through sheer grit and determination.

Music also gave me an attitude. When I started marching band, I was a mousy stick who was intimidated by anyone remotely near me. Derrick, the head of the trumpet section, took me aside one day.

“Now, if you’re going to play trumpet in the marching band, you have to have a trumpet player’s personality. You don’t right now, so I’m going to help you. See all those people out there marching?”
“None of them are as good as we are. Not even close. Trumpets are the best instrument in music, and we’re the best players in music. Never be afraid to let anyone know that.”
“But that’s not all. Do you know why we’re the best?”
“Because we WORK DAMN HARD AT IT. Saturday all of you guys are coming over for about five hours, and we’re going to learn the music and I’m going to help you be a better trumpet player. Now go own the field!”

Thanks to Derrick I went from a scared and timid freshman to a raging asshole sophomore. Then I found a happy medium to spend my junior and senior year as a fairly typical confident teenager.

I also learned how important it was to actually work at something. When I started in band my freshman year, I was absolutely awful. By the time my senior year rolled around, I was hardly our best trumpet player, but I was a solid third out of twenty or so. Our director told me that I probably made the most dramatic improvement anyone had during high school as long as he’d been teaching, and that was all because I never stopped working. It also justified my cockiness, so that may have been a bad thing to tell me.

Making drum major was essentially a foregone conclusion; everyone knew I was going to make it, the only question was who would be the secondary drum major. I’m just glad we were able to convince the director that the drum majors should wear tuxedo vests instead of those horrible blocky uniforms. You can’t get respect from your band if you don’t look good, and we looked good. We looked damn good.

While marching band gave me my attitude, jazz band gave me my love of music. While I was a good trumpet player, I was never the best one in the room thanks to having two freaking prodigies ahead of me at all times, but I learned a ton from both of them. We learned some music theory, the mathematics of soloing, and a ton of other things that I’m sure by now I’ve forgotten. The main thing I took away from jazz was the complete ruining of other types of music for me - I can’t stand replaceable pop music now.

Band was the best thing to happen to me in high school, and I still love watching marching bands.

P.S. I liked being in band it was fun. That was a joke. :)

Nice. Finally I get a chance to out-dork people on QT3!

I marched with Chopstix Percussion in '94-'95, which was back before they tried to turn themselves into a ‘real’ Sr. Corps. They were mostly a parade corps then, and did a few exhibition field shows.

I was in the Blue Devil’s pit section for the '95 season… for a weekend. I was living in Fargo, ND at the time. I had auditioned by videotape and was accepted. I flew out there for the January camp and had a good time. But when I got back I took a good look at the situation. I was in college, and would be needing to fly to California at least more times for camps, plus pay dues (around $1,000), plus figure out my summer living situation, AND have enough money for the summer tour.

At that time, I had about $16 in my checking account.

It wasn’t gonna happen. Parents weren’t terribly supportive of it, and I didn’t have any sources for the extra cash. I was already working my ass off just to afford tuition an food. I quit the corps a few days later.

I still consider going back to march in a Sr. Corps someday, but I probably won’t. Honestly, I hate marching – I just like to play. I’d totally join a group a folks that just wanted to get together every few weeks to practice & play, but no such thing exists.