DAY THREE: Monday, May 30, 1994
It feels like I only closed my eyes for a second when the alarm goes off. I get up, take a shower, and go upstairs for toast and pancakes. I'm still half asleep as I strain to wipe the cobwebs from my eyes. I sit with Dave, Randy, Don, and someone I thought was Don's sister until she gave him a big kiss on the lips! Man, I didn't know he and his sister were so close. I thought there were laws against that kind of thing. Boy, am I tired. We have to be at rehearsal at 9:30 a.m., so we decide to get there early. The only problem is the VW won't start. Don quickly fills the engine with motor oil and tries to start his VW again. This time it starts, but his steering column begins to smoke on the way to practice. We have our water bottles ready in case flames break out.
We arrive at rehearsal just in time and in one piece with two minutes to spare. We do horn ensemble rehearsal for a few hours. This is where we warm up for about an hour and play through some music on our horns. My playing chops -- lip muscles to create the buzz to play a brass instrument -- go "dead" again during the warmups, but doing this will make for a stronger player. Well, that's what Greg says. However, I can't play much when my chops decide to take a nap.
Our rehearsal is interrupted for a potluck lunch with the drum corps parents and alumni. I meet Don's girlfriend Christina, she's a long-haired brunette in the color guard. She seems to be really happy and smiles a lot. Ah, she's the one who kissed Don earlier in the morning during breakfast -- it wasn't his sister! I'm glad we got that cleared up. Lots of food, but unfortunately, we only have 45 minutes to scarf it down. Waiting in line for more than 30 minutes and finding a place to sit and eat in less than 10 minutes is apparently the norm here!
We play in horn arc for a more few hours. I'm late to practice so Falzarano tells me that I get the pleasure of running two laps after practice. No problem. I'll just quickly run two laps and be done with it.
We finish our ensemble rehearsal block and get a 15-minute break. We get some water and Mark Arnold says a few things to the parents while we form up again. We go through an actual show sequence where the announcer calls out the next corps to perform. Greg acts as the show announcer for today's exhibition.
"On the field from Denver, Colorado ... The Blue Knights!"
Staff and parents cheer loudly.
"Drum Major Markie Dubois is your corps ready?"
Markie turns around and commands us to attention. He then faces the audience and salutes smartly.
"Blue Knights, you may now take the field in exhibition performance!"
On the drum major's cue, we stand and play -- also known as park and blow -- the opener “Trittico: Varition I,” and half of the ballad “Trittico: Variation II.” It probably isn't the best-sounding run through, but it sure was one of the loudest. The parents must have seen something behind us, because they take a few steps back when we begin playing. I'm too busy to see if the Jolly Green Giant came to stand behind us or maybe we're just playing really, really loud!
We finally break for dinner. Jason Guidry (baritone player) invites Dave and me to his house for dinner. We watch him perform on video at his high school's spring concert. This kid is amazing! He plays a variety of solos and features during the concert. Dave says he is a child prodigy like Doogie Howser, M.D. Guidry is pretty cool, funny, and smart, too. I'm glad I met him. After we get something to eat, Guidry drives Dave and I back to rehearsal for more drill and music practice on the field. We get the ballad pretty much finished up as far as learning where to go on the field.
Practice is over so I run my two laps around the football field for being late today, and it's probably the toughest two laps I have ever had to run. I'm still not used to the altitude yet. Mark Arnold talks about how we are improving by leaps and bounds. He says today the temperature hit a record high of 92 degrees Fahrenheit. We have 20 percent humidity and it is just ninety-two degrees? That's it? It's hot, but it didn't feel that hot. I guess coming from Florida this is nothing compared to nearly ninety percent humidity. He also mentions there are three more spots in the baritone section and one in the soprano section available and if we know anyone who would be interested in joining to be sure and let him know. He says that members don't need to be brass players (or percussion or color guard) to join. In fact, we have several members in nearly section that perform on a woodwind or other type of percussion instrument at their school. Right now, the only people I know are already members, so not much help on the recruiting effort. Afterward, I talk to Mark Arnold about trying for the mellophone solo and he gives me the music to learn.
I am going to practice every chance I get--I want that solo!