This weekend completely thwarted the old saying “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”
It was more “we fell in a pile of shit and came out with a pony.”
I’m not gonna lie– I was absolutely dreading this weekend.
This was my drum corps weekend from hell… (hell…hell….). Camp 8am-6pm on Saturday, then my concert band concert at 7:30 pm. The camp 9:30am-5pm Sunday.
Since I’m Horn Sergeant again, my job is to wrangle the horns and get things off to a smooth start. But routines aren’t set yet and folks are rusty, so things are always a bit of a goatfuck the first big camp.
This was also our first *major* 2-day drill camp, which is always pushes folks to the breaking point. 54 charts of fast-paced drill with body movement responsibilities is enough to cause meltdowns in the most seasoned vets, let alone rookies.
But what made it “extra challenging” this year was the weather.
Saturday morning it was 33F and raining steadily at 8 am. And we had to paint/line fields in it.
Most of us couldn’t feel our hands afterward.
Luckily the rain stopped before 10. Then it was just cold and windy. I think the temp topped out at 44 degrees that day.
Being cold and wet is never fun, but when you add marching on wet grass at 180 bpm with crazy body/horn movements, fast direction changes and lots of drill sets that you have to remember precisely or risk collision….
Well, you can understand that people’s heads were basically exploding like a scene from the movie Scanners.
And THEN after a full day of that, I had to dash right to my concert band concert (no shower- just dressing in a bathroom) and play for 1.5 more hours.
I kept it together through the concert, and the concert as a whole actually went really well (we had a guest trumpet artist– Charles Lazarus. google him).
But after? I was basically shattered. I don’t remember much after getting home and showering.
Then it was Sunday and time for more drill. The weather forecast was much better– starting in the 40’s but getting into the 60’s by afternoon. And the goal for the end of Sunday was to be marching and playing the first 4 minutes of our show.
We achieved that goal– and then some.
For a weekend that started off so shitty, it ended beautifully. By the end of Sunday, it was clear and 68F and we were fully playing and marching and actually performing the show so far.
And the show design is pretty freakin’ cool so far.
When Sunday camp was over, I felt… buoyant. I was extremely pleased and proud of the corps. And more encouraged than I have been all season so far.
Silk purse, indeed.