Aug 8, 2009 6:16pm
Erica Shultz

First things first - CONGRATS B CORPS!!!!! To think that when I was marching B corps we didn't know if we would be fielding a corps and now they have their first championship! Not to mention they had an undefeated season! Tonight we hope to double the organizations' success!!!!

I can't believe it's finally here - the night we have all been waiting for. Everything we have done this season has led up to this moment. Everything I have experienced the past six years has prepared me for tonight. My last night to perform; the last time I will ever wear the super suit! I can't believe it is already here!

No matter what the outcome of tonight it has been an amazing ride. We are one show away from the perfect season - undefeated! It is so hard to think that tomorrow I will be saying goodbye to my parents as they travel home. It is so strange to think that by this time tomorrow I will be landing at the Reno-Tahoe airport with my boyfriend. It is crazy to think that in 2 weeks I will be starting my fall semester.

For so many people it is always an odd feeling going home after tour. Life at home has continued as normal - work, summer school, and the daily routines of family and friends have remained relatively unchanged. For the most part, when we return home after months of being away it is as though our real lives have been paused while we stepped into a dream world.

When we go home after championships we step back into our lives as though the entire summer never happened - and no one else could even come close to understanding this alternate reality. We alone will know what we have been through - what we have worked all summer for. We alone will know how many miles we traveled, how many times we ran the hardest chunk of our show in the draining heat, how many times we did push-ups or ran laps. We alone will know what it meant to put on our uniform, hear the roar of the crowd, and feel the racing of our adrenaline. When we return to school and work and all our mundane responsibilities we will wonder sometimes if it really was all a dream.

For now though, it is time to live the dream to the fullest. It is time to enter the arena and take what is ours -it is time to seal the deal and end our unfinished business. At the very beginning of the season the horn line sat down and made a promise to each other: That we would strive for perfection at every moment and that we would keep our focus on the end goal -Saturday, August 8th.

It has been a wonderful ride, from the moment I first picket up a horn at the Blue Devils B corps' January rehearsal until now. I will miss this activity but the memories that have been made throughout the years are ones that I will cherish forever. Thank you for enduring my random posts and thank you for your support. The corps that perform on every level would be nothing without the people that lift their hands to help and to support us.

Show Time!

Phrase of the Day: It's a great night to be a Blue Devil! The 2009 Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps
Aug 7, 2009 9:44am
Erica Shultz

WOW! With everything our corps has faced over the past week last night was a pleasant surprise. We left Buffalo a day early to avoid rain, only to arrive in Muncie, IN for a very soggy rehearsal block. Also, just like many corps this season, we have had people out early this week with colds and some flu bugs. Thankfully we are on the road to recovery and after last night there is no doubt about our strength as a corps.

Dave Gibbs had brought us all together after arriving in Indiana and told us that “Desire overcomes all doubts.” After last night there is no doubt in our minds…only hunger in our hearts. The end is just around the corner and the excitement is in the air.

Today is Semifinals as well as the age-out ceremony. I can’t believe it is already here! Looking back on the season is seems as though it has gone by in a flash, that just yesterday I was packing up the car to move to Concord for all-days. Now, here we are, one rehearsal block away from our Friday night performance followed closely by the event I have been waiting for for 6 years! Thus today is a day for age-outs and this is for them…

It’s August 8th, 2009 and the journey is finally over. The members have just stepped out of Lucas Oil Stadium and into the cool, humid night air of Indianapolis. They are greeted by family, friends and fans all welcoming them with open arms, proud of their seasons’ accomplishments. Some members’ faces sport beaming smiles, others’ gleam with joy, some glisten with tears, and still others’ show feelings of relief. There are those that look back through the tunnel to the bright green and white of the turf field; their minds and hearts are flooded with bitter-sweet emotion. They will miss the world they have known for so long. As they stepped off the field for the last time they walked into a scary unknown; a beautiful sense freedom. These are the age-outs of Drum Corps International’s 2009 season.

Age-outs leave behind them a life that, at times, feels like a dream; an alternate world they step into just for the summer. It has been compared to stepping into Never Never Land, the world of the lost boys and Peter Pan. They have spent the better part of twelve weeks, practicing countless hours to perform dozens of shows on a tour that will has taken them thousands of miles around the country and allow them to perform in front of hundreds of thousands of fans.

For many age-outs they are not just leaving behind an activity they have known for the past season. Rather, they are saying goodbye to a world they have lived in for the past several years. Since their early days of high school they have finished the spring semester and immediately moved away from their family and friends to begin camps, full day rehearsals, and touring with their drum and bugle corps. They have spent every fall reflecting on the summer before, every winter going to camps for the following season, and every spring training for the life they would begin in just a few short weeks.

Now they are taking off their uniforms for the last time; casing up their equipment for the long trek home. They hug their fellow corps members good-bye as they head home to return to their normal routines. Each age-out now sees a new life ahead of them; a new and exciting world waiting just beyond the horizon. They stepped off the field much like a lost boy leaving Never Never Land; they have journeyed out of the land of make believe and into the life of responsibility. They return home and it is just as none of their summers had ever existed.

The memories created through years of dedication to the activity, memories made both in and out of uniform, will be ones these age-outs carry with them through the rest of their lives. They will never forget the blood, sweat, and tears shed countless times during a season. They will never forget the people who have made them stronger and given them courage to push the limits. They will never forget the experiences they had in practice, while traveling, and with some of the closest friends they will ever have. The age-outs will never forget the feeling they had right before they stepped through the tunnel and out of Lucas Oil Stadium; the feeling they had as they walked off the green turf field…for the very last time.

Phrase of the Day: “I’ve gotta feelin’, that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night!” – Black Eyed Peas
Jul 28, 2009 10:49pm
Erica Shultz

Well a lot sure has happened since my last post! We are now out of the south and even though we really lucked out with weather everyone is quite relieved. We can see the end in sight and with the smell of our final regional in the air the corps is getting anxious.

While in the south we had some of the coolest experiences of my drum corps career. Here are some of the the highlights...

We ended up rehearsing in the rain for a good part of a morning block one show day. We never stay very focused when it's raining but everyone has more fun. Especially when we were all laughing as my friend David Coyner, a fellow euphonium from Reno, whipped out the outfit of the year. He had waited 4 years to use this flimsy little yellow poncho his mom bought him and by golly he finally got the chance. He looked ridiculous but it put a smile on all our faces. He even became one of our staff members' new "hero" for his preparedness.

That evening during show warm up we had the most beautiful location, one of my most memorable warm up sites to date. We were at the University of Louisiana, Monroe and set up our arc right next to the river that runs through the campus. The sunset was gorgeous and the reflection of the trees and sky on the water was just beautiful. On top of all of this we had little frogs jumping around our feet! I know it is easy to look at the Blue Devils in their uniforms and see "bad ass" performers...robots that march their drill, play their music, and do crazy things with their equipment. However, it is so easy to forget that we are all just a bunch of kids. I think even the members lose sight of this. We try and be "professionals" and treat this activity so seriously sometimes that we forget to act our age. I will never forget seeing the "child" inside the blue suit...the Blue Devils brass line, dressed in half uniform, chasing after frogs, picking them up, and laughing when they peed on our gloves. What a warm up!

But really, enough about frogs...our next amazing experience for this past week was our success in Atlanta. The corps is feeling strong coming off our win, however there is still an odd vibe in the air. We have been karma-capping left and right, almost afraid to be pleased with ourselves. Don't get me wrong the members are excited to be on top, especially since we all know we have so much more to clean, but after last season we are very reserved. John Meehan said it best today during warm up when he mentioned that we shouldn't let the outcome of last season affect how we approach this one. I know he's right...but it doesn't make the confidence come any easier. Only hard work and time will show us how this season will end. My goal is to have no regrets when I step off the field, my hope is...well I'm sure the world can guess.

Right now the corps is parked in the Dayton, OH area working on more cleaning and...let's just say a fantastic surprise. We have been making some changes that will be showing up in the next few shows going into finals. We are all very excited to see the crowd reaction when we put these changes into our show.

For now though, it is time to sleep. We have a long show day tomorrow and the possibility of more rain. Time to make that final push...TEN DAYS LEFT!


Phrase of the Day: I couldn't pick so you get two...
1) Positive proclamation made as the Euphs jazz run across the 50 at the end of our show: "Holy s*** Baritones!" - Person to remain anonymous
2) "I've never hit a cat." - Alex Mutz, Euphonium
Jul 21, 2009 11:08pm
Sean Smit

Hi there people of the interweb! First things first, I'm coming to you from an iPod accessing public wifi at the university of Louisiana at Monroe, so you'll have to excuse the length of this post.

Over the past few days we have added many minor changes to the show, with more to come daily. Today the euphonium section watched a video if our run thru with visual staff member BP. It was evident that what we had been working on had gotten better, and that we were taking to heart everything the staff does to help us become great. As we go into the Show day with the Blue Devils tomorrrow, I can only hope we continue our marathon to the winner's circle. Every member seems to have lite a flame in their hearts recently, leading to remarkable performances night after night.

2 and a half more weeks until the summer ends. Here's hoping it's a good one.
Jul 19, 2009 11:41am
Erica Shultz

Hello to all from a Laundromat in San Antonio! I am so excited because in about 20 minutes I will have clean, fresh smelling, and dry clothes. Yaaaay! When we are all done with laundry we are heading back to our housing site to get packed up and then it's off to the Riverwalk downtown. We will be going shopping, eating food (that didn't come off of a truck), and maybe seeing a movie. I'm kind of sad since it's my last free day but it promises to be a good one!

The corps is in a great mood coming off of last night’s success. We have been Karma-capping like crazy because this has been reminding us all of last year…very successful throughout the entire season. We have A LOT to do still to get the show even close to finals week-ready but it is definitely coming along. We probably won’t see many changes this next week but we have been promised more tweaks and alterations going into the week of the Allentown regional. It’s crazy to think there are just 3 short weeks left!!!

Recently I was talking to my boyfriend, an age out in Oregon Crusaders’ tenor line (side note: I’m missing him like crazy!!). Talking to him really made me realize just how much of the summer we so easily forget. When we return home to our real lives there will be many parts of the summer that disappear; the hot days, the push-ups, and the leftovers for snack. Really, the fondest memories are often times ones made off the field and ones that, at the time, seem like the most horrible of circumstances.

The happiest times will be the ones spent with your friends and the funniest memories will be the ones that…at the time probably made you hate life on tour. You will be laughing at all those times you lost precious hours of sleep because of a fire alarm or volley ball camp or swim meet. You will remember vividly the rained out rehearsal, being kicked out of the stadium by the football team or the hours spent on the side of the road because the bus had broken down. Us girls will vividly remember the power and water going out as we stand in the showers covered in soap with no hope of rinsing off until we regain power (and then rinsing our hair in the water fountain because we were tired of waiting). It’s those moments that make the season memorable.

Anyway…my clothes are finally finished drying. I’m off to fold clean clothes!

Phrase of the Day: “Color guard!!! Tonight we are wearing our ruby red, do it up in Kansas, click your heels three times to rock it, 13 inch stilettos! Stilettos on!! Pshhhhhhhhh” - Jaycee Willson
Jul 11, 2009 11:47pm
Erica Shultz

Well it’s been a while since my last post so here is the scoop from the past week or so…

We are off and running…finally out of California. Today is our Drums Along the Rockies regional in Denver, CO. Since the last update we have had a few days of rehearsal in Lemoore, CA where we worked on some changes and small rewrites. The changes were all very beneficial for the members and it’s always exciting to be adding choreography to our horn line. After that it was a very long and tiring weekend. I can’t believe we had 5 show days in a row! Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then a show and an extra “battle of the drum corps” type encore performance in Las Vegas on Monday. Talk about a long weekend…yeesh! Everyone in the corps was just dead tired and drained of all energy.

After this we were off to Utah. The elevation coupled with tall, thick grass really put the corps to the test. We made a few more changes to our show and got a lot stronger as a horn line. I also have to hand it to our color guard for battling through grass, elevation, AND huge gusts of wind! It was another couple of trying days for the corps. Thank goodness for our staff! When we arrived in Denver we slept, did a block of laundry, and got the evening off. Free day!

Yesterday was a full day of cleaning and just flat out getting better. Today we made even more improvements with the morning block focusing on getting that next layer of dirt off the show. This is the part of the season that starts to get really fun. We are making huge improvements every day whether it be throwing tenth-getter musical nuances in or getting a few inches closer to our dots and pretty forms in the drill. Someone get the soap…cleanliness here we come!

Right now we are on the buses heading towards Invesco Field. For some of us it is a bitter sweet show day as it is our last performance at Mile High Stadium. One thing is for sure…we are all ready and rearing to go; very excited to see the Cavies for the first time in head to head competition. Whether we win by a huge spread or our score simply reflects the changes that have been made the past few days, it promises to be a great night for the Blue Devils!

Phrase of the Day: “If you play trumpet, mellophone, or tuba then set your horns down…and clap for the euphoniums.” – John Meehan (a rare but satisfying moment indeed)
Jun 27, 2009 1:26pm
Erica Shultz

Wow I can't believe it is already here...the Standford show! We are all very excited for the day. We will be surrounded by family, friends, and alumni. We get to rehears in Stanford's stadium (always a treat) and take part in the Back 40 BBQ with SCV. All this on top of the performance tonight that promises a rockin' west coast crowd!

The members are all very excited to be performing our complete show...well complete for June 27th :) We have all been working very hard this past week getting the closer out. We had our first public showing last night and it was well received. Like Dave Gibbs said last night was a great run to prepare us for tonight. Now that we have the nerves of performing a new segment out of the way we can really let it fly tonight. It will be great to see the reaction from all those who haven't seen us since our family day.

Anyway..time to get ready to leave our housing site. SHOW DAY!!!

Phrase of the Day: "And in lane one..." - Swim Meet (during our sleep time)
Jun 21, 2009 11:06am
Erica Shultz

Hey all…this is Erica, a 3rd year age out in the Euph section.

Last night was our first judged show and overall the corps is very positive about our performance. The lots went well for both horns and still amazes me how many people show up to watch lines warm up…especially the battery section WOW! Once in the stadium the audience was great and we had a very good show overall. Of course there are still the early season bumps and shakes but the people I talked to afterward were all very happy with their shows coming off the field. I still can’t believe we have already had our first show

Maybe it’s because I’m an age out but this first part of the season has just flown right by. All days lasted about 4 weeks and it seems like it was barely one. I know we have quite a while until we get to Indi but once finals week is here these next 8 weeks will have disappeared at the blink of an eye. For now though the aim of the game is to take it one day at a time.

Today is another SHOW DAY!! We are all pumped for tonight. Riverside should be a great fan base for us… it’s the Blue Devils’ home away from home. The lots are huge and the audience should be loud. I can’t believe it’s my last one…after 6 years performing at this show!

Anywho, that’s all for now. Our visual instructor just came around and told us we were going to be doing some major conditioning today…yuck! At least it’s nice and cool and we have some cloud cover.

Phrase of the Day: “Who’s in the Box?” – The 04

Jun 16, 2009 2:46am
Cory Oliver
Color Guard

Hey ya'll,

I'm Cory Oliver! aka "white cory". This is my fifth year with the Blue Devils. It is also my age out year.:) :( I am the color guard captain this year too! I wanted to get a quick blog in before things get crazy this week with rehearsals! Lots of logistical things to do before friday. Helping get everything for the guard loaded, and taken care of to head out on the road.

The show is going well. It is a lot of fun. I can't wait to get more. Every chunk we get gets more and more energetic! This week... bring on the closer. oh. and hack fest of course. :) That should be interesting. lol

This past weekend was a lot of fun. Finally getting to test the waters with having an audience respond to the hard work we have all put in. It definitely helps motivate you to push harder, and is a great reminder of why we spend so much time and effort doing what we do. I can't wait for more! BRING IT ON.

Anyway.. I think I am going to head to bed! meeting at the hall in the morning! fun fun!



shout out to S!

~Cory O.
Jun 8, 2009 10:08pm
Heather Gavin
Color Guard

Hello everyone! My name is Heather Gavin and this is my second year marching with the Blue Devils colorguard. Thankfully I have one more summer after this :) I'm from Beaverton, OR and I'm 20 years old. This will be my sixth season marching drum corps. The season is getting off to a good start. We have more on the field than last year this time and I am much more out of breath. It is less than a week until BD Family Day, which everyone should go to, and anticipation is rising. We all can't wait to go out there and show everyone what we've been doing.

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