Our Favorite Pageantry and Arts Websites
- Arts USA
- Atlantic Indoor Association
- Color Guard Educators
- Council on Youth Sports
- Drum Corps International
- Ethics and Risk Management For Guard Instructors
- Florida Federation Colorguards Circuit
- Geena Davis Institute for Women in Media
- Marching Mentor
- Marching Roundtable
- Marching Roundtable Diversity Committee
- South Florida Winterguard Association
- The Women of Colorguard
- Winter Guard International
- Youth protection for change
Monday, August 3, 2015
It's coming up on the end of summer and for those of us who live our lives by the seasons of the marching arts, we know that our seasons don't follow the traditional norms of the Gregorian calendar. Our winter ends in April and our summer ends in August. Winter starts in October and Fall begins in July. We are forever beginning one season, before the current one has ended. For me, summer always begins the weekend of the running of the Kentucky Derby. It's the start of a new season that cycles us through the Triple Crown, Memorial Day, and hockey playoffs. It's the signal to a new season and the questioning of what lies ahead. The end of summer for most us reading this, culminates on a Saturday night in August, when the new drum corps champion is crowned. Not long after that, we will be looking toward a new school year, football, marching band, and winter guard. It all cycles through and just like that, summer fades to autumn and it is season's that dictate the meaning of time in our souls. It's DCI week and it's the week we start to say goodbye to another year of drum corps, as we change our profile pics on Facebook as a tribute to an activity that has meant so much to so many.
I was thinking today about the kids who have worked so hard this summer to bring us the next phase of drum corps. They are achieving feats on the field that most of us could only imagine. I often wonder if Nadia Comaneci feels as I do when she watches gymnastics and how her sport has developed into a world she couldn't have imagined when she stood on the podium accepting her gold in 1976. I had the privilege to see not just one, but two DCI shows this summer. Living in Florida doesn't afford me the pleasure to view drum corps without significant travel and money, but this year I made a point to see two shows. I relished in the music, talents, pageantry, and friendship. I spent time visiting the past as I greeted old friends in bars and coffee shops for long felt hugs and conversations of times gone by and present day struggles. The beautiful thing about drum corps is that time stands still during those moments. I've noticed...and I'm not the only one this happens to...that during a weekend of drum corps, you feel as if you have been lifted into an alternate universe that can only be described as a gigantic bubble that wraps you up in laughter and music. It's our own world and it allows us to time travel while we tell old war stories as if by telling them, we can connect with a piece of ourselves that got lost somewhere in the concept of the "real world." In the weekends lost to drum corps we forget about the bills, the madness of politics, our careers, and the struggles daily living brings to each of us. Returning on Monday is like a cruel time warp awakening you to a dystopian society.
When the summer began for me back on May 2nd, during the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, as I watched the first of three races that would guide the nation towards hope as American Pharoah raced to toward the roses, I knew this summer would be more than any normal summer for me. Life as it always does, can catch up with us and sometimes we have to stop and pay attention to the crazy and dirty details, whether we want to or not. It was important to me this summer to connect with a part of me that has so much. Saturday, August 8, is our activity's run for the roses while characteristically and notably ending what we know as the summer of 2015.
Dan Folgerberg once wrote a song about the infamous race called, Run for the Roses. In his typical eloquent fashion of writing songs, he describes a horse that is born into the sport as if the universe told him upon birth, "This is your calling. This is your time." When I hear the song, I always think about the kids starting their season in their time and how this song perfectly encapsulates growing into the champion they become by August.
"They never can prepare you for what lies ahead" he says. What an understatement that is. You can't possibly prepare for the emotional roller coaster that leads you from May to August. The internal struggle as you fight to become better than you could have imagined. Your sore boyd and exhausted mind makes you feel that you can't do another day, but you do and you wake to enjoy one more day in the sun of a mid western football field.
I have almost a quarter century behind me since I stood on a football field with a flag in my hand and I can't help, but acquiesce to the love that I carry inside me to this day for the people and the moments they helped me create. As I look at the profile pictures on Facebook as they change from our daily lives to the lives we lead during the Summer Music Games of the past, I look at them with longing for times gone by, the connection we have to each other because of this silly activity, and love for a life we have been so lucky to have lived.