A ‘Borg and a Baritone #2: “The Journey Begins!”

I am a member of the Cincinnati Tradition Drum and Bugle Corps!!

After a stop at a Circle K to buy lunch, I Ubered to the rehearsal site, a few miles from my hotel. I checked in, paid Camp Fees, signed paperwork… and ran into a familiar face in Assistant Corps Director, Andrea Meyer. She was also the Color Guard Coordinator at UofL in either 2005 or 2006, both of them years that I was there. A nice surprise!

At 9 AM, all returning vets and new prospective members met in the gym of the rehearsal site. We were introduced to the Instructional Staff, the Volunteer Staff, and after a brief, physical warmup, went into Sectionals.

I realized, after that “brief” warm up, that I need to work on stretching again.

In Sectionals, the Brass met Andrew, our Caption Head. He spent about 2 1/2 hours with us, teaching us the way Tradition warms up, breathes, begin (and end) notes, and general expectations. One particular thing I noticed – not gonna give away too many “state secrets”! 😉 – was the focus on not just taking in maximum air, but expelling all of your air. That was an experience!

After lunch, we went back to the gym, where CT’s Show Designer laid out what he had in mind for the show this year. I am very intrigued!

We then had another 2 hours with Andrew. This time, we focused on playing, breathing, and tying the two together. We worked on the Corps Hymn, which also doubled as an audition(?), as Andrew walked in front of each player to listen to us, the Drum Major (Jordan) directed things, and the Corps Director and Administrative Staff watched on. I improved my breath endurance but there’s still some work to be done, especially with just the mouthpiece. At the end of Sectionals, I ended up on the 2nd Baritone part, playing the Euphonium!

At the end of the day, each section – Color Guard, Percussion (specifically, the Battery), and the Brass – did a Show ‘N Tell for the others. The Guard did a couple of dance numbers, including some cool flag work; the Percussion did a few warm ups that showcased accents and intact playing; and we (Brass) played the Corps Hymn. All in all, it was a good ending to a great Opening Day!

So, I’m on another journey with Drum and Bugle Corps. I’m pretty stiff and sore, right now (11:30 AM) but it’s a ‘good’ stiff and sore. The next rehearsal is December 2nd… but that is right before Finals. I’m going to see if I can take my Final later or skip that rehearsal. There’s a Camp in January, then we are off and running. I’m looking forward to it!

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