A lot was accomplished this weekend, both individually and as a group. Now, the real season begins! More details after the Break!
Saturday, June 8th
This weekend was the last full weekend before our first public performance. With the threat of rain looming all weekend, the Staff decided that Saturday would be a full day of music cleaning.
We started with our usual Stretch/PT block, where me and my arch-nemesis, Running, had another battle; it won. After that, it was Full Brass in the morning, Sectionals and Full Brass in the afternoon, and Full Brass and Full Ensemble in the evening.
The morning session went well. The Bari-Euphs only had 5 members in the morning (we normally have 11-12), so parts – and people – were a little more exposed. The Full Brass rehashed some of the exercises that we learned last week, as part of a long, good warm up. We then focuses on “Without Warning”, as the rain started spitting from the skies. It started raining just heavy enough to send us to some shelter, about 20 minutes before lunch. The Baritones and Euphoniums spent that time buzzing (on our mouthpieces) rhythms from “Sanctuary”.
After lunch, it was more work on “Without Warning”, some work on our closer, “Wind River”, and a touch on “Sanctuary”. I liked that we finally a few moments to touch on the closer: it’s taken a back seat to the other 3 tunes and I think a lot of us had forgotten what we learned from a month ago. “Without Warning” really started gelling by the end of the afternoon block.
Evening block’s main focus was the Full Ensemble runs of “Without Warning” and “Sanctuary”. We were sounding pretty nice but started fading just a little bit by the end of the night; I think it might have been mental fatigue, more than physical fatigue. We had a lot to process and did a pretty good job of handling it. PRO: For me, personally, it was perhaps the best musical rehearsal of the season! I felt great about the memorization of the first 3 tunes (and ok with what we worked on in “Wind River”) and did fairly well with playing, minus CON: a boneheaded playing during a rest.
Sunday, June 9th
Saturday’s focus was music; Sunday’s focus was marching and production. We started an hour early, to avoid what looked like a potentially nasty weather afternoon. After a short physical warm-up – I eked out a stalemate with Running! – Andrew took the Brass to ‘Air Force One’ (a warm-up spot) for an hour of warm-ups, technique work, and playing/memorizing the first half of “Wind River”. It greatly helped that Andrew and Jacob (Section Leader) pointed out some patterns with the center section of music; PRO: it makes memorizing it much easier and quicker.
The rest of Sunday was on the move, on the field. The main focus was to get people that missed last week’s rehearsal into the drill for our ballad, “Sanctuary”; a close 2nd was to integrate our new (and very nice!) props into the drill. Kendra (our Visual Caption Head) worked with the Percussion and Guard on the props, while Andrew repped the drill sets involving the movement of the props. From all reports, it looked fine. We’ll smooth out that section at the next rehearsal; this rehearsal chunk was to get everything on the field.
The final hour or so was Full Ensemble with Nick (Show Coordinator). We continued some work on “Sanctuary”, plus worked on “Without Warning”. “Without Warning” is CON: the piece that has given me the most problems, mainly with marching, mainly with a 4-5 set chunk in the late-middle portion. CON: I missed a step-off once, skipped a set once, and just butchered 2 sets because I tried to go to wherever it was I was going to; I averted disaster in that one only because there were holes around me and I ended up in the correct spot at the end of that rep. Let’s not repeat those moments on Saturday. 😉
Other than those problem sets, Sunday was a decent rehearsal. We managed to miss the rain that tried to drown Louisville. Nick and Andrew liked where we stood at the end of Sunday with “Without Warning” and “Sanctuary”, compared to 2 or 3 weeks ago. Kendra appreciated the work we put in on the field but challenged us to be prepared before every rehearsal – don’t show up to the rehearsal after you missed time and ask what’s going on; use Facebook and your phone or email and get the materials from someone (Section Leaders, Drum majors, Caption Heads).
Physically, I’m doing ok. PRO: There was no shoulder pain and very little stiffness on Monday; even during rehearsal blocks, there weren’t too many moments of of discomfort, outside of Saturday morning. Hooray! The main issues continue to be the Plantar Plate on the left foot, the left arch (which might just be a flare-up), and the right big toe. I might have to get Cortisone shots if the pain continues at the levels they were on Sunday. We’ll see.
The pre-season rehearsals are now over. It’s the Summer Performance season! We have a Preview Show on June 16th (in Blue Ash, Ohio), then it’s 2 competitions in June:
June 23rd – Zionsville, Ohio; on the DCI (Drum Corps International) circuit
June 25th – Hamilton, Ohio (DCI performance)
We make our 2019 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) debut on July 20th, in Columbus, Ohio.
I have a list to work on, between now and Saturday, so that I’m not a liability on the field (in “Without Warning”) on the 16th and especially on the 23rd and 25th. Work and reps – I’ve got this!!
Oh, Greyhound wasn’t a hindrance, this trip! PRO!