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I really messed up this time

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  • I really messed up this time

    Hey all, I'm a returning regular here with a story and some advice to give to the younger DCI hopefuls. Read on:
    About 3 years ago, when I was 16, I decided to go to my first DCI audition. I went to the Bluecoats, expecting nothing, with only the intent to gain experience and see what it was like. To my surprise, rather than shutting me down entirely, they suggested I try Div2 and come back the next year. I went ahead to make a Div2 corps, which, as they are wont to do, folded. That didn't destroy my morale, but the time came for college applications and I had to put the sticks down for a bit in the hopes of getting admitted to the USAFA. That application turned into a 2 year battle to rebut a misdiagnosis I had received when I was 12 which made me ineligible for service. Throughout the next 3 years after that first set of auditions, I became so focused on the USAFA, as well as ROTC and Air National Guard, that I completely forgot where I was and what was happening around me. I am now 19 and, having been to the last Bluecoats and Cap Reg auditions, realize that I am worse now even than when I was 16! I have 2 seasons left to get past where I used to be and destroy bad habits in order to make it into a top 6 corps. Unfortunately, given my college career and Basic Training coming up, the amount of attention I can devote to drumming is much lower than what I need. The jig is not up, as I do have 2 seasons left, but there's a very slim chance that I will make it as far as I determined I would 3 years ago. I do have a promising career coming up, but I can't get back what I left behind.

    I age out of DCI when I'm 21 - that's 2 years. I age out of USAF pilot training 10 years later. I became so focused on an AF career that could wait, and lost what potential I had with drum corps. I'm kicking myself endlessly for that now.

    The purpose of this is not to vent or get your pity. But a message to you younger prospects, regardless of what I end up doing:
    No matter what, WHATEVER comes up, if you have a goal in DCI, do not forget it. Do not put it aside. That's not to say college and career paths are unimportant. But there are, for the most part, no time limits for either which are as critical as those which drum corps imposes. I learned this lesson too late, and now am unsure whether or not I can correct it. Don't make the same mistake I did - pursue your goal with all the energy you can afford.

    This may seem like common sense, like something you don't need to be told. Indeed, you probably already know this. But I wish that, while I was fixated on the end of the tunnel, somebody had told me to look around.
    That's what I'm trying to do for you.

    Live long and prosper,
    Pearl | Promark | Meinl | Remo

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing your story/advice.
    I'm not sure if I want to do corps.
    Paiste Cymbals Artist | Innovative Percussion Artist


    • #3
      I really feel for you dude. I am 22 (23 this year) and started doing Drum Corps here in the UK at 18.

      I had previously only played kit and I joined a local D&DC playing in the pit. I had no experience whatsoever in rudimental drumming or marching which is why I didn't go into the drumline (this is 2005 season).

      In ' 06 I went into the drumline on 4th bass and loved every minute of it and really got the hang of playing bass. That season we won High Drums in DCUK and it was an awesome feeling. I'd seen DCI DVD's and thought it would be amazing to march, but I just didn't have the cash to march the 2007 season. The problem was that my birthday is on May 29th, and DCI rules state that if your 22nd Birthday falls before the 4th June you cannot march that season. Had my birthday been 6/7 days later I would have saved my cash and gone out to audition for the 2008 season.

      I'm so gutted that I didn't find out about Drum Corps earlier; I love doing it and being part of an amazing bunch of people. My girlfriend has been marching this Corps for 8+ years and she marched Glassmen Colour Guard last season, I was so jealous lol.

      I marched 4th Bass in 2007, 2nd Bass in 2008 and now I am marching Tenors for the '09 summer season and also marching Tenors for a winter percussion ensemble. We've got our first show on Saturday in Holland (doing the CGN circuit).

      Money pending I am hoping to march WGI and audtion for Gateway Bassline for the 2010 season. I would consider myself pretty good on bass and would love to march in the States!

      If you can, do it. I'm kicking myself for not doing it.
      Tama Starclassic Performer B/B in Crystal Blue Burst - 10x6.5, 12x7, 14x12, 16x14, 22x20 & 13x6 snare
      WorldMax Black Brass snare w/chrome hardware 14x6.5
      Sabian Cymbals - AAX/HH/HHX
      Evans Heads
      All Tama H/W inc Double Tama Iron Cobra Powerglide
      Vic Firth Sticks - Thomas Lang Signature


      • #4
        Do DCI if you can swing it but your USAF career MUST take the front seat at this point! If you are now an academy cadet you know it's unlikely you will ever have the time to keep your chops up to DCI standards. Are you marching in the USAFA Drum & Bugle corps? Did you decide on ROTC?
        I'm not trying to discourage you but at 19 you need to decide now. If your goal is to be a USAF pilot then you know how much dedication that will take. Even more than marching DCI. I'm a 13 year USAF vet, and as much as marching meant to me, the USAF was a much bigger influence on my life. I became a better person from both activities but I'd credit the USAF for making me a success.... Just my 2 cents
        Last edited by Jazzycat1; 02-28-2009, 05:12 PM.
        My Rogers Kit:

        My Tama Kit:


        • #5
          Yeah dude dont give up. Im in the USAF and been playing my entire life. There are plenty of opportunities to play, every base has a Beat and Blow corp. I played with the Blue Knights for a year until I had to transfer. Keep your chin up brother. Set your goal and dont stop driving.
          MMX #148 emerald fade 8x7,10x8,12x9,14x12,16x16f,22x18(2).
          BZ1450 limited edition 10ply master studio snare
          UCA1465 ultracast snare*
          DR 503 rack
          Eliminator double pedal and hi hat
          Zildjian A Custom 8 10 14 16 17 cymbals
          sound hi hats and etc. Pics


          • #6
            I feel you man. I've lost most of my corps ambition since I've been in college; my focuses have gone elsewhere, which isn't a bad thing at all, and to an extent is something I cannot control. I figure if I've lost interest and drive, then while doing corps, where focus and intensity is needed every minute, I would probably have a not so fun summer. Don't get me wrong, I love drumming and love the drum corps activity, but when it comes to actually marching, eh, I'm not so sure right now. I'm trying not to let myself get burned out.

            Just make sure you haven't lost your passion for drumming, only have focused your attention elsewhere. You can always refocus on drumming if you have passion for it; if you don't, no biggie man. You also wouldn't want corps to hinder your AF career, if that's what you really want (might as well make sure of that too).

            I will say this, I have two friends at the Academy now, and after hearing their $.02 I would do corps over going there, without any thought.
            GWAR ARMY


            • #7
              I know how you feel man because after marching one year in college, I put down the marching sticks for awhile, ended up working 3rd shift where my hands were pretty much destroyed... not literally. But waking up and not being able to make a fist ugh. I was layed off from there. missed my chance to go back, being i'm 21 now.

              (this part doesn't really have much to do with your issue)
              But I noticed marching season was coming up so i started to practice and with in 3 days my skills have improved from when i was in high school, marched DCA and college for one year. So I went up to my old high school had a talk with my old band director
              and i am now this season Drumline instructor.

              But if you don't get to do DCI there is ALWAYS DCA! Plus their schedule is alot more flexible than DCI's and it's cheaper!