Impulse 2018: Recruiting Video Narration

We have a great collection of pictures, thousands and thousands of pictures, and weeks of video! Impulse is, Tom is :D, putting together a video we are posting to all social media accounts,  and suitable for sharing and using to help recruit.
To that end, here is a “script” to be used as is, for narration to accompany the video, or the script can be modified, or used as inspiration for someone to video and/or audio record their own thoughts and memories of these four moments in a season: Memorial Camp, Life on the Road, Tour, and Show Day!

Send your recordings to me at and I will send them along to Tom. Reason to send to me first is, number one, Tom would share with me anyway 😛 Other reasons may apply, on a case by case basis.

Read. Enjoy. Get motivated. Make Impulse Great!

Memorial Camp

The drive feels long at night and almost too much time for me to think of what’s to come.

It also feels like its going to be the start of something I’m really beginning to understand.

Discovering my potential as a performer. Learning how to push myself past pain and fatigue.

Making lots new friends, and becoming better friends with others.

The start of true bonding as a corps, and a taste of what’s to come in the summer.

I’ve been  using more Sunscreen than I’ve ever used in my life and I feel a soreness in my muscles and bones I didn’t know could hurt that much.

Sunburn is one of many new skin colors I’m discovering.

This is not a holiday. Its better!

Life on the road

An endless feeling of, “are we there yet”.

When my butt can fall asleep even though I’m wide awake.

Walmart at 3AM!, Sorry for kicking you, aisle-dweller.

Learning lots of new things, some I’m glad for, some I wish I never had to know.

Exploring, lots and lots of exploring.

Bug bites in places I don’t even know a bug could reach.

Striving for consistency in my performance and the corps performance, when everything around me is consistent and inconsistent, at the same time!

Pushing my limits, until there are no limits!

Never stop moving; get on a bus, get off a bus, get on a field, get off a field, get in a gym, get out of a gym, get on a bus, get off a bus, get on a field, etc.

Mind numbing exhaustion. What’s today? Where are we?

Sleep where, when you can. Asphalt mattress

This has been an amazing experience that is full of learning, everyday, all day.

Finding new ways to use old words; luxury – washing clothes.

These are memories for a lifetime.


Finding out what you love, and what you hate, in the best, and worst ways.

Finding out the greatest possibilities of what a group can become.

Being with the best people.

Traveling to Lucas Oil stadium. The Mecca of Drum Corps.

So much adventure and excitement that it goes beyond words.

Its a life changing experience.

Laughs and good times with people I truly love.

The hours and hours, and days and days preparing, now seem like time very well spent.

I’ve found a new family.

Definitely the best time of my life.

Show day



Focus on my performance.

Entertaining the crowd.

Time to show off all our hard work.

All the Hype, payoff of all the pain and sacrifice, the reward the audience gets from our performance.

Awesome performance, painful return to the truck.

Pride of sharing great moments with great people. 

The ultimate and most unforgettable experience, ever.


Thank you all 

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Impulse 2018: November Director’s Report

We are scheduled to use Bell Gardens high school for our Vet-Alumni meeting and Open House. Morningside high – Lynwood, Burroughs high – Burbank, and Duarte high are also possible sites for events/rehearsals/everydays this season. I’ve asked Moses to reserve Excelsior high – Norwalk for everydays, as the facility worked well last season (stadium, ice machine) Cypress College? 

We need Audition dates scheduled, and as much of this season’s calendar as possible, ASAP, and post it!

Design Team:
Had our first face to face meeting this past weekend (Minus Matt Menaged). 6 show concepts were discussed. Timeline, November 26th concepts for consideration narrowed down to two. December 3rd a single concept will begin show construction.

Very high compatibility in personalities, communication style, artistic process approach. They accomplished in 2 hours, in rapport development, something beyond comparison. My opinion, based on my phone conversation with Matt, he will provide the technical mechanics, in the most simple way, to help bind this creative team.

Katie has been in contact, and maintained contact with tech staff. Most will be present for a pre-Vet meeting, meeting 8AM-10AM down the street from BGHS.

Savanna tournament marked our 7th of 11 band tournament recruitment booths this season, in relation to the past, the 4th of 4. Aaron has done on-campus recruitment, I have done on-campus recruitment, Alexis has done an on-campus recruitment. Recruiting is on going, to the point that I’ve made plans to establish recruitment booths at two guard shows in the spring.

Promo Video:
Tom has made two promo videos. One, a short, about a minute and a half. The other much longer, about 15 minutes. We mutually agreed the longer video needed more work, from a content stand point (added narration) I’ve been gathering input to script some of the narration. The short video has been posted online, FB and Twitter.

Fleet manager:
I affirmed with Jason his commitment to be available to assess vehicles and recommend any necessary maintainance.

Equipment Inventory:
Part of the design team meeting time was spent discussing the urgent need to get this done before open house. Critical that this work begin Saturday, November 18th. Jen and Marc have committed to do that, with assistance from staff.

I have a phone chat scheduled for Thursday from their rep to discuss current and future needs, brass, battery, front ensemble.

Lester works Saturdays, but is still committed to helping out on Sundays. He is prepared to bring the equipment truck to the Open House.

Food Trailer:
Moses and I spoke about getting this done. Needing a driver for a Saturday, I asked Steve to be available to do this, on a date to be determined soon. I need to give him the tractor address, and promised him a firm date his services are needed, by the end of the week.

New Uniform:
Met with Marti today. In the recent past, we’ve gone over design sketches, fabrics, and preliminary costume “drafts”. Today we looked at a one step closer garment and discussed a few more details in design. Progress is being made. Open House debut for the new uniform prototype is still on schedule.

I’ve not done any fundraising, personally, as I have hoped. I did get some new, very promising, information from someone I spoke to in the hospitality tent at the Savanna tournament. I need to follow up on that very soon. It was regarding a group that assists non-profits in fundraising. More information on that, as soon as I am able. An idea; since we are getting new uniforms,  we could offer alumni the opportunity to purchase the out going uniform jackets.

Open House:
Two primary focuses, question and answer session for all parents present, following a brief parent focused presentation. But first – get kids busy!

Not discussed at the design team meeting was an idea used in past Open House events that helped create a lot of excitement for participants. Brass, percussion, and guard will all work on a short show segment from a past Impulse show, and “ensemble” after brief sectionals. Maribel and Ruben have agreed to providing lunch at the end for all Open House participants. 

Drum Major:
David and I have exchanged several messages the last month. He plans on returning. All reports from current staff present last season, this is a very good thing. Aaron has been in development with caption heads on a process for adding at least one assistant to our DM rank.

Out reach continues and is on going. With Aaron as assistant director, Marc on as percussion caption head, Luke as assistant visual caption head, other alumni on staff, Impulse is fulfilling, my understanding, one of the organization’s original goals. I am continuing to work with Ruben on further developing more alumni outreach efforts.

Vet meeting:
I’ve reached out to vets, staff, parents about agenda items for the coming meeting. I’m also interested in listening to and answering any and all questions from those present this Sunday that I have not previously heard from. Corps necklace…

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Impulse 2018: Design Team 1st Meeting

Live! In person! Face to face!

2018 Impulse design team.

Not gonna lie, there was a little bit of magic. It started out like an awkward blind date and ended up with us all laughing and joking like long time friends. We all felt great because we got basic logistical stuff done, we talked about immediate plans and structures to start the season, and started our relationship in the most positive way we could have hoped for, as creative partners in a difficult process.

I think the team shares a definite similarity in their creative process approach and a similarity in basic communication style. Also, personality-wise I think there is genuine compatibility. There seemed to be an interpersonal comfort uncommon in these kinds of situations, that bodes very well for the short term and long term future.

I told Danny, almost 3 hours after our gathering had started, this first meeting went almost exactly the way I had imagined it two months ago.

Among my opening remarks was an apology to the team. I only recently, last couple of days, really appreciated that what I was asking them to do, initially, as artists, was essentially, get naked and post to strangers.

I have to respect their creative and artistic sensibility. We want honesty, we need honesty. Honesty in words, honesty in what we create, and honesty in what and how we express ourselves.

Naked ☺ essentially

No pretentions. Professionally direct, open communication, and doing so in a safe environment. Just because I’ve imagined this creative space, in my head, for the team, it in no way was a reality. Until last night.

After my awkward introductory remarks, and we got into the nitty gritty of show concepts, ideas, structures. Marc started out with…(redacted) Aldo made some really smart, simple, direct proposals about… (redacted) Then Danny jumped in with… (redacted) Jen stirred the Kool-Aid and added her ideas of… (redacted) The discussion came back around to Marc, and (redacted)…

Then we got kicked out Starbucks 😝 Too much naked. J/K it was closing time.

We stood together in the parking lot for another 45 minutes, Ruben pitched his idea about… (redacted) Then Danny pulled out an inflatable ********, threw it at Ruben. Jen and Aldo simultaneously launched ***’****s at Ruben, but some flew my way, and I batted them away with my ***’****. Marc and Aaron had already taken cover behind layers of props, backdrops, and barbed wire.

J/K, no barbed wire.

We had a great time. Reality of midnight and needing to get home to rest and be ready for a new week forced us to get in our cars and agree we will continue our discussion next week.

Aaron took great notes throughout the meeting. He also brought me a few of the new, general purpose, promotional posters for Impulse, and our new business cards. Our media people have really stepped up this season.

Part of the discussion last night, brought up by all, but summed up by Aldo, on what we want, what a baseline standard of behavior for Impulse will be. Non-negotiable. A driving principle behind everything said and done as an organization, and by all involved with the organization, at anything level.


Respect for self
Respect for others
Inside, outside the organization

That said, in private, people will say and do whatever people want to say and do. Publicly, in or out of a drum corps, pageantry environment, anyone associated with Impulse is always an ambassador of Impulse.


Like a long conversation I had with a couple of parents the other day at the Savanna tournament.

Parents are parents. They are never not parents. Their primary interest is the well being of their children. There needs to be a basic respect and understanding of that fact.

Impulse asks for, and frankly, demands a lot from those we ask to be a part of the organization, starting with, but not limited to, the idea of trust.

Impulse needs to demonstrate an unshakable reason to trust us to always do the right things in the right way, being done by the right people. Always.

Parents need to believe that, the members need to know that, the staff needs to always be mindful of that. Trust in each other, respect for each will be the foundations that we build this season, and all future seasons from

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Impulse 2018: Savanna Tournament Recruiting+

Mrs and Mr Baba had everything in the booth set up and settled by the time I arrived. Just in time! There was a band director waiting to speak with me. Timing is everything! That impromptu meeting went very well. We agreed to continue our discussion next week.

Katie was there with Bean, helping out. I met Libby. I enjoyed my conversation with her as much, maybe a little more, than any of the other conversations I’ve had with new vets I’ve met this season. Her experiences and perspectives are unique and something I hope to share in ways that benefit everyone. We will talk more. Libby also helped recruit throughout the evening, and helped with clean up and packing; as did Tim and Trevor. Just for Tim: chit’lins (chitterlings) and urethral bronchitis. Adventures in midnight Korean BBQ

The Babas ALWAYS appreciate any and all help during these events. I highly recommend it, next season. 

Skyler was there, and there, and there. She came by the booth three times; with a new friend she recruited. She later returned to talk about some ideas to be employed every season, beneficial to many members. And later returned to say bye. Libby, Skyler, Bean, and new girl (Ariana) were there and to me that was an appreciable moment I embraced, figuratively, and surprisingly, with a few words.

Katie brought up an idea I’ve marinated on for years. David (DM) brought it up to me earlier this week, as well. (He and I have messaged several times over the past couple of months about other topics, general and otherwise) Libby had some solid, specific suggestions for the idea, too. Another idea, a collaboration with Katie and Libby, an every season corps-wide idea, was presented. Another on again, off again idea over the years. Libby and I will begin work, maybe next week, on it. ALL will be included, at some point.

This used to be the final event of the year for Impulse recruitment, the Savanna Tournament, and #4 of 4 recruitment booth events, not #7 of 11!!!!!

This year… Aldo is getting Impulse up at LAUSD Championships, first week of December. Mrs Baba got Impulse connected to BandFest during Rose Parade, December 29, 30. Impulse also has a booth next Saturday at Colony high school, November 18th, 3A championships.


I was asked by the show coordinator, yesterday, of two Winter guard shows this coming season if I wanted to have Impulse present at those events.

Yes! #glitterbus

Alexis sent me names of contacts she collected at her Impulse recruitment. We’ve gathered over 200 contacts, so far, and we’re still recruiting. Aaron has had direct recruitments with band directors and their programs, I have pending  on-campus recruitments with band directors.

I need to coordinate with Mr Mac Tavish this week and get our postcard flyer mailings out to local band directors. Also, Impulse was able to distribute to band directors at yesterday’s show, about a dozen 12″x18″ color posters, advertising the Open House.

I’ve passed out over 300 business cards the past two months and am getting several emails/texts a day the past week inquiring about Impulse.

Our social media presence is slowly coming into shape. I was able to meet with Katie yesterday and move a few things forward there. Much, much more still needs to be done.

I still plan on coordinating with the caption heads on how, when we contact those that gave us their information, but this week I will start my outreach effort, and give the appropriate caption feedback on those efforts.

Frankly, my concerns now are space and equipment. Should we move our initial gathering at open house to the stadium? What about equipment?

On the equipment side. Good news and not so good news. I contacted Yamaha about a month ago. A week later a received back an automated message that a rep would soon contact me. Late last Thursday a received an email from a rep, asking me to schedule a time next week to call and discuss Impulse’s current and future needs, but that he would be out of the office all weekend.

Not easily dissuaded, I responded immediately, and got an automated voice and email message the rep is out of the office and will return Monday morning. Blah. THEN, apparently, this HUGE corporation has an automated system that monitors rep contacts with customers, and I received an automated email from YAMAHA, indicating they “see” I’ve had several recent contacts with one of their reps, and would I like to comment on the service I’ve received…



Getting back to space concerns, and also to the idea of plans for all contingencies, a two bus drum corps will be the beginning point for our tour planning and budgeting, but what are the numbers and deadlines to allow logical planning for consideration of a third bus?

The, at this point, unimaginable number of mathematical formulas to consider that scenario must include, AT LEAST: equipment, tour parent support staff, support vehicles, the level of tangible will and demonstrable commitment of those who want a third bus on making that happen (that is ANOTHER whole set of variables to consider on this point)

A driving element of the decision making process are deadlines. Honestly, the design process is paramount to the on field success of Impulse. The serious construction of show will begin December 3rd. By April, drill writing, in process, will have absolute numbers. That’s still Winter guard and Winter drum line season. So, completely thinking out loud, the number for bus #3 will hinge on brass and guard Commitments (not bodies at events, or names on a list) BEFORE April.

As with all Impulse endeavors this season, and all future seasons, for the purposes of public consumption, let us discuss and share all that we are absolutely certain of: we have an amazing group of committed young people to being THE most entertaining drum corps, we have a staff that will ceasely strive to work together, and be better, the management is dedicated and diligent in providing a vision and direction for all efforts towards a single goal, and a support staff of parents that reinforces and propagates those community values and standards that sets and establishes Impulse apart as among the best in youth organizations.


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Impulse 2018: Another Step Forward

Today left me feeling like I’m walking up an E. C. Escher staircase. Or am I walking down. Or is it both? As long as I keep walking, we will all be fine.

There was the now usual round, or rounds, of emails, texts, messages, and quick phone calls in the AM. Aaron, Alexis, Jen come to mind.

Aaron was recruiting, Alexis was recruiting as well (and she’s buying me lunch!) and Jen was sharing her vision of the corps, this season and beyond.

I’ve not told her yet, but I’m totally plagiarizing her when we gather as a staff, and as a corps, and some of things she said today will probably end up in a lasting document of some kind, or another. Jen has always articulated very well the shared vision we all have of the organization.

Did my first on campus recruitment today, as well. A school about 25 min, 17 miles, west of Bell Gardens HS off the 105. The director gave me 45 minutes to present. I really had no intention of speaking that long. I actually didn’t. As hard as it might seem to believe, I’m quite the sage on stage, but I spent a good 15-20 minutes of repartee with the students before getting into recruitment nitty gritty.

Honestly, I started out rough. I went into my bag of Ray, pulled out my falling out of an airplane visual, tossed out my new routine, the origin of the accordion story (not factual, but it could be), which coincides with the invention of the polka (another not factual story)

Pretty soon they were all engaged, asking questions, just in time too. That’s when the director came back in the room. The sell came more from him at this point than me. He really wants his students involved with Impulse. I hadn’t passed out my card yet, gave the director about 30, that’s his band’s size. They reached for them with an eagerness that actually surprised me, considering where I started.with them.

In the end, he gave them some transition time to get ready for their rehearsal and 3 approached me, all brass players, really enthusiastic, wanting me to know they will get to the open house. The director promised them to arrange a carpool. I was really impressed myself, with them, and told them I looked forward to seeing them in December, and promised to return before auditions. 

I had an email earlier from the Duarte band director. Apparently he really enjoyed our conversation at the West Covina tournament last night and wants to nail down a time for me see his program next week. I replied, thanking him for his time and interest, and asked him to give me a time and date to go over to his school. I’ll make it happen.

Missed Lester’s call. Called Lester back. He shared some logistical info with me about one of the trailer yards, on site logistics I didn’t know. Told him I’ll do some homework and get back to him.

Called Mr Hetrick, fleet manager. Told him what I didn’t know. I talked at some length with him, so I could learn more about things I don’t know. Told him as well, I’ll do some homework and get back to him.

Had a long chat with Moses. He’s also another good person to tell me things I don’t know.

So, no secrets, right? As a first year director I said before; I’ll figure it out. Step one: know what I don’t know. The way I operated in the past, as a part of Impulse, what I didn’t know didn’t matter to me. I most cases it wasn’t relevant. Make it happen. Get it done. Whatever it was.

Now, it matters. Now everything matters.

Small steps forward. Every day. Forward, move as much as I can. We all get a little better, every day.

Carol asked me for some assistance with the Savanna tournament. She’s a main booster there. That was one of the many things Moses and talked about, helping Carol. We are all Impulse. That’s what we do, help each other.

I feel like today was a great day, and a not so great day. Perspective. At this point, my evaluation of my efforts don’t matter. Stuff got done. I was a little better. The organization moved forward. We moved forward. We got better.

In the end, that’s all we can hope for.

Amen ❤

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Impulse 2018: Recruitment – West Covina High School

West Covina high school
Wow. Met the Hetricks. They were great show hosts. Look forward to following up with Mrs and Mr Hetrick tomorrow. Hannah helped out at the booth. We had some interesting conversation. She shared some insights about her thoughts for the coming season. I’ll probably remember the guard stuff we talked about later. Probably. I write stuff down so people can remind me. Hannah. 

Savanna high school was at the tournament tonight, meaning Tom, Carol, V were there as well, and Lori! Had a good chat with Tom about the short recruiting video, and things I need to assist him on with the longer recruitment video. Chatted with Carol about food truck stuff and more. Lori, higher and with a little more.intensity, that’s all I’m saying.

Rafael, Duarte HS staff, Impulse vet (’01-’05) gave me lots of info I need to share with Charlie and the board. His director and I also had a long conversation about the director’s interest in hosting Impulse in a variety of ways. Turns out this director and I have crossed paths many times in the drum corps past. Much, much, more to follow up on here.

Heads up Design Team. This Duarte HS director is a published music writer/arranger and is offering his services for FREE. Because I asked.

Met a rep for Walnut high school. Asked me to follow up with him in a few days. That band director is also interested in having Impulse come do an on campus recruitment visit.

Some potential members I signed up at a previous tournament for future contacts came by several times, one even gave me several small bags of Fritos. Talked with a few other potential members but tonight seemed to be more about networking and establishing new relationships with current recent members and parents.

Also met Skyler tonight, Carol introduced us. Had a good conversation with Skyler. She’s looking forward to a new season also, and is bringing her friends too!

As all good vets should! No pressure.

Mrs Baba was great support for Impulse again throughout the night. Glad she was there and witnesses to the new director in action. It’ll be good for her to remind me and see if I follow up on all the things and people I said I would follow up with.

Also had a really good conversation with a former Impulse staff member, who is on another drum corps staff now. He came by the booth, and gave me a hug! Good people, good heart.

Danny,…Danny, Danny, Danny, Danny, Danny. Life as a color guard coach is beyond my emotional capacity. Lots of communication with Danny this morning. Open House, Auditions, show ideas, staff meeting calendar. Good stuff. Glad to get his thoughts and energies back in the mix.

Marti is working away on the new uniform. She shared her fabric selections the other day and this morning had a mock up for me to see and give feedback on. Things are moving along well with Impulse’s new look.

Aaron has been working away on lots of things as well. Today he shared with the caps part of our drum major audition packet. He got feedback on that as well, and we’ll have more info on that soon.

Aaron also brought to my attention potential conflicts with our calendar and that of another local drum corps. My thoughts on this are: Impulse will do what we need to do, when we need to do it. We are not changing our calendar because another corps changes theirs and puts an event where none was before. We are Impulse. We say what it is we will do, and do it. Aaron agreed.

Really good conversation with Moses this morning about the food truck renovation, and a variety of other items. There is always a plan!

Called Lester this morning about scheduling some future dates for vehicle movement. He texted me back and we will phone chat mañana.

Got a PM from a last year vet. He’s coming back, bringing friends too. He had some questions I answered and told him any and all questions are always welcome.

Been handing out cards at every recruiting event and now emails are starting to come in. People interested in Impulse and wanting more info.

So many more conversations to have and continue.

Aaron has a recruitment visit tomorrow throughout the morning. I am meeting a band director, his students, and their parents tomorrow as well.

Still feel like we are just scratching the surface of what this season is going to be.

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Impulse 2018: Moving Forward, LARGE & small

But first, recruitment talk, kind of.

Looking forward to tomorrow night’s presence at the West Covina tournament because I’ll finally get to meet the Hetrick’s. Impulse has an amazing list of amazing parents that have been a part of the organization over the years. Tomorrow will be our first opportunity to have face time. Last season the Hetrick’s were among a handful of parents that helped make the experience enjoyable for all involved. I am hoping for the same and more from them this season. No pressure ☺

Aaron and I had many, many, many communications today. Mostly in the areas of our organizational communications within and outside Impulse, through our social media presence and our website. And of course, we talked about recruiting and equipment needs for Open House.

Aaron has been working with Katie and the website, attending to some of the fundamental mechanics of making the site work as well as we think it should. If not, if it continues to be less than what it should be, I’ve asked them to be prepared to move on.

In one of our early meetings, Aaron brought up a fun, practical idea that I think everyone can get on board with. Although its practical, it is also very large and very visual. Rather than speak of it any more, know that we are proceeding, now, with the idea, with an assist from Mr Mac Tavish. It’ll be something everyone will see at every Impulse event, and you’ll probably see it in lots of social media posts 😂

We also talked about the on campus recruiting he will be doing this week and our efforts to get enough equipment for the Open House. I’d like to be over prepared than the opposite. 

I have still yet to make it out the equipment truck and do inventory. In the next week, or so, I will definitely be turning my full attention into doing all I’m able to make that happen.

And…today I got an update from Mrs Sneddon that she has our official Impulse’s Twitter account up!

Tonight, the design team added it’s final member. After a brief phone conversation, we both were more than satisfied with our shared perspective. My pleasure to announce, Matt Menaged will provide his expertise in weaving the various captions into a single visual package. Besides Jen, Marc, Danny, and Matt, Aldo will provide his music, and other, expertise, and Ruben will be another voice in the construction of the show.

Look for some significant announcements at the November 19th vet meeting.

Tom has been working on a recruitment video and today I gave him some feedback. And…I better get back to him soon, since he sent me a revised version after my morning critique. Tom has made some outstanding videos for the corps in the past, and I’ve watched him spend hours and hours on his productions.   (literally, sitting on his and Carol’s couch, stuffing my face, watching the Tom DVR mix) Definitely a labor of love.

Also, agendas for the various meetings are taking shape. I’ll probably post drafts for critique and improvements.

I will get better with your help. I will, in return, create more and better opportunities for everyone to excel. It’s a reciprocal relationship.

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