Hello everyone. It has been quite awhile since I have written an issue of "Seven," but thought I would use this opportunity to check in with all of you, say hello, and voice a few random drum corps related thoughts.
Music: The SpongeBob Squarepants Theme
I would like to start of by saying that it is amazing that we are on the verge of having four West Coast senior corps take the field this year -- San Francisco Renegades, Northwest Venture, River City Regiment and the So. Cal. Dream. It was only three years ago that the twenty-five or so members of the Renegades had to beg, borrow, steal, cajole, harass and stealthily sneak their way onto a football field in Stockton, California to do their only standstill performance ... which just might represent the only eleven-minute season in the entire history of drum and bugle corps! I can still remember the glowing looks on our member's faces when they came off the field that night ... it was incredible! Things certainly have changed since then. These days, the Renegades don't just have twenty-five members ... they have twenty-five baritone players showing up rehearsal!!! (for 22 spots :-) Frankly, the Renegades would never have got this far without the belief, dedication and assistance of many individuals outside the corps, and the list of thank-yous would far exceed the length of this column ... up to and including the woman who recently gave the corps a substantial corporate donation.
To be sure, senior corps has a great deal to offer the entire drum corps activity and the community at large, but perhaps first on the list is the element of putting music back into people's lives. Music should not stop when you turn twenty-two years old. Of course, it is relatively easy for a violin or piano player to continue practicing or performing after they turn twenty-two, and barring your occasional child prodigy, most symphonic musicians are not even taken seriously until they are well beyond that age. Ditto for professional athletes, lawyers, doctors, pilots, police officers and just about every other occupation you can imagine (except for painters, who no one takes seriously until they are deceased).
However, your average rudimental snare drummer, for example, faces a dilemma when he or she ages-out -- (a) give up music; or (b) find another instrument to learn. With the advent of senior corps, these musicians can continue their love of musical performance, and don't have to find another hobby such as watching television for hours on end, after working hard at their jobs all week. Not to mention the fact that they can get a great deal of exercise in the process (which is a very good thing, as my thirty-something body will attest to :)
So, on behalf of all of its participants, I would like to thank everyone who has supported the growth of senior corps over the last few years. As for the Renegades, we are on a mission, along with our other drum corps pals, to help bring an awareness of the drum corps activity to people who have never experienced drum corps before. [Not to mention the fact that we have a few things up our sleeves for 2002 that will delightfully surprise drum corps fans everywhere ... shhh]. It is our belief that drum corps is not destined to be a small, little-known activity that exists on the fringe of the public's consciousness. The drum corps activity on all levels -- from c-corps to senior corps -- can, and deserves to be, a mainstream activity that is well recognized and well rewarded for the great contributions it makes towards enriching people's lives.
I encourage everyone, to please do what you can to support your local drum corps this winter. Thanks for reading Seven this year, and I will see you on the other side of January 1.
Music: Should not go off when you turn twenty-two.
Volume 1 Issue 8, Mon, Dec 24, 2001