Trying to put your Drum Corps experience into words is a task that’s much easier said than done. For me, it truly was a roller coaster ride the five years that I was a member of the Drum Corps activity. I gained a better understanding about many things: tolerance, patience, the value of teamwork, co-operation, making sacrifices and getting along with others. Of all the groups I had the fortune of being a part of there is one that stands out. My favorite and most memorable time was when I had the privilege of being a member of the Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps; an organization that truly became my family away from my family.
Many people who age out from Drum Corps reminisce about the last time they marched and performed. It wasn’t hard for me to recall my most memorable time. It was when I marched off the field after our Final performance the summer of 1997. That performance put my entire Drum Corps experience into perspective. The feeling I had sought for so long to experience was no longer a dream: the feeling of knowing you have put all your will, drive and energy into a performance, laying it on the line and walking away with no regrets. That was the feeling of a lifetime. Cold showers, long bus rides, gym floors, hot & humid summer days, “Cut!”, “Reset!”, running blocks, mile long runs, running laps backwards, crunches, Horns bopping this time, Drum Line full out. These are some of the things that I will miss doing and hearing on those looooong summer days.
Even now, it’s so weird to be working at a job during the summer and you can’t help but feel like you should be somewhere else. A place where the grass is green, the yard lines are white, the horns shine in the sun and the drums roll away. That’s where I should be — it’s where I had some of the greatest times of my life. If I had the opportunity to march one more season, I would never turn it down. I will always have a special place in my heart for the Mandarins organization. Thank you for the chance of a lifetime and for accepting me as a part of the Mandarins’ family. Thanks to everyone in the organization. You’ve all touched my life and I am thankful to have met each and every one of you. Take care and good luck to all of you in all your future endeavors.