For a number of different reasons I didn’t keep an old school, hand-written journal on tour as I have in the past. At the end of the 2013 season, I wrote letters to each section and I was going to give them the letters at banquet. By the time the 2013 banquet came, I had only gotten half way through the drum corps; so nobody got any letters. (For the record, those letters that were written are in some file/folder somewhere in the piles of folders/notebooks/files I have of my personal writings that I’ve kept through the years 🙂 )
The 2014 cymbal line was without any vets, but they definitely had a leader. From the Open House and through the entire season, two members were present for the whole crazy ride. It wasn’t until the Memorial Weekend Camp that the cymbal line was finally set. The original drill design was for 5 cymbals spots, but the line settled into a 4 person section: two guys and two gals (yes, I said gals 🙂 )
To say that one of the girls had a lot of hair would be an understatement. Her flaxen hair was very long, thick, and in between very wavy and very large curled. I didn’t get a chance to speak to her individually much, but I did notice she has a quiet, calm, confident spirit. When I did listen to her speak, she did so in a very relaxed, peaceful, and easy to listen to manner. Even though she was one of the corps youngest members, she has an old soul.
Another one of the corps youngest members in 2014 was also in the cymbal line. He’s a very intelligent, quiet young man, and quite tall for his age. What I noticed about him right away was that he learned his drill and music quickly. Also, when I would work with him on the field I would only have to give him an instruction one time and he would immediately apply that instruction. He carries himself with a maturation beyond his years, most noted by me in his high awareness level while around others.
Cymbal #3 was one of the two people there from the beginning of the season. I liked this guy from day one, but sometimes he would drive me crazy. He rarely made little errors. When he messed up, it would be an absolute brainfart. I know there was one time after a particularly horrible error, I asked him if he could explain what happened. He was at a complete loss for words. Mistakes like that happen to every one, on occasion. It just seemed to happen to him more often than it did to other people; but he is still one of my favorites.
Finally, the leader. I designated this person as the cymbal section leader because, in my opinion, every section needs a designated leader; and the earlier you designate section leaders, the better. During the 1st or 2nd workshop I noticed she had good technique and that she was very consistent in applying it. She also consistently applied good focus and energy throughout the rehearsal block. When I found out who her band director was and who her high school techs had been, that explained a lot (Impulse alumni)
As a section, the cymbals and the bass drums were tied for second, in my estimation, in their overall visual proficiency.
On that note: Part 2 – Impulse Bass Drums 2014 😀