Okay, time to take a deep breath and exhale. Why, because Yes, the 2018 competitive season is over and the fleet has returned home, the corps members, instructional staff, and support staff have all gone their separate ways back home, to school, work, and marching band. And what a season it was.
In case you haven’t heard the Mandarins finished the 2018 competitive season in 10th place at the Drum Corps International World Championships Finals in Indianapolis on Saturday August 11th. Our first time ever making it to the Saturday night event!
What an accomplishment by the entire organization. It truly does take an entire village to put a drum corps on the field for 82 days ! The back side planning and execution of show design, food ordering and preparation, the transportation logistics, housing opportunities, daily on-site admin support, daily medical runs, teaching and reteaching of the competition show, uniforms, more food preparation, accounting (bill paying) logistics, member fees collection and just about 1,000 other items that I didn’t list but all go into the process of running a major league drum corps. And we did it!
The drum corps run up to Indy was nothing short of amazing – we had rained out shows (Allentown for example), less than ideal rehearsal facilities at times and yet the drum corps stayed focused – constant improvement every day regardless of what opportunities that were thrown at them. That is one of the signs of a true champion – do your job, do your job well, no questions asked, no complaining, no grief given out. Just Do It!
So, when Thursday night came and we walked onto the field at Lucas Oil I was confident that the corps will be successful. Now was I a tad bit worried about the judges and their reaction to the show? Of course I was, because you just never know. And, after a solid show I was feeling better about our chances. And then came Friday – and lets face it, this was going to be the do or die show – either we make it in or we are spectators Saturday night and, all I can say is Holy Smokes!!! The corps was well prepared, they were laser focused and they ABSOLUTELY came to play and they literally kicked the door in! What do I mean by that statement – kicked the door in? The drum corps had an amazing performance by every member – the power, the confidence, the excellence all combined for a show that not only placed them in finals but pushed them up into the 10th position. History was made at that moment when our score was announced. And what a relief, the tension, the stress and the pressure was off and the entire drum corps felt it.
Saturday was a gas – the rehearsal, the recognition of our age-outs, the Saturday night energy and yes, Brandt Crocker, the DCI announcer, giving us a special introduction and the audience giving us a standing ovation before we even played a single note. All special moments!
I couldn’t be more proud of our drum corps: the design team, the instructional staff, the drivers, the cooks, the admin team and other volunteers as well as well as the corps members themselves for everything they put into making this season so special.
For the organization and for the alumni – thank you for your support, we truly appreciate it.
And now, it is on to 2019. Yes, you heard me, no rest for us as there are year end reviews to complete – what worked, what didn’t, what do we change, what do we keep? What do we do next year ? What equipment, what props, oh no!!!, oh yes!!!