Ready for Drum Corps

For most young adults, summertime means lounging in the pool, indulging in barbecues and ice-cold lemonade, and possibly roasting marshmallows while camping with their family or best friends.

But for thousands of drum corps members, summertime is a totally different experience. Instead of getting cool in the pool, they’re sweating in the sun; instead of sipping lemonade, they’re downing gallons of Gatorade just to stay hydrated; and instead of sleeping peacefully under the stars, they’re cohabitating in high school gymnasiums.

And they love every minute of it.

Drum corps members would probably tell you that they wouldn’t trade any part of their harrowing ordeal. They’re doing what they love—performing, making lifelong friends, and challenging themselves in musical, physical, mental and emotional ways. They take these lessons into their future lives, regardless of whether they continue to march.

In this issue, we salute the past, present and future of the drum corps activity by looking back at the “Top 5 Legendary Drum Corps Shows”:

  • 1993 Star of Indiana “The Music of Barber and Bartok”
  • 1984 Garfi eld Cadets “West Side Story”
  • 2008 Phantom Regiment “Spartacus”
  • 1989 Santa Clara Vanguard “Phantom of the Opera”
  • 1988 Madison Scouts “Malaguena”

Learning about these shows helps us all understand how the activity has evolved into the elaborate theatrical performances we see today. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think we got it right, or are there others that should have made the cut? An even better question would be: Where do you think the future of drum corps is headed, and who will take the lead?

We also have an exclusive Q&A with Fred Morris, director of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. In just three short years, he was able to revive a dying corps, build upon its rich history and turn it around to be a championship finalist. Find out how he accomplished that goal and how his journey with the Troopers also fulfilled a lifelong dream.

So if you’re already part of drum corps, we wish you the best of luck this season. If you’re not, then check out our Regionals calendar to find a show near you. You won’t be disappointed.

Who knows? You might even be inspired to trade in your pool floatie for your spot on the field next summer.

Musically Yours,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

About the author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman has played the flute since the age of 8. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the publishing industry as a writer and editor and helped launch Play Music, a magazine for recreational musicians, sponsored by American Music Group (now Music and Arts Center). In the summer of 2006, Christine worked at Yamaha where she interacted with staff and students in various marching bands and drum corps. Christine earned her MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in May 2007.

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