Tag Archives: drum corps

September 3, 2012 – Travel Home from Guatemala

This photo probably sums up how we all felt the entire day today. Up at 3am to be on the bus at 3:45, check in for our flights that didn’t depart until about 8:30…

Somehow Kevin and I, the only staff members on our flight, ended up with the center seats in the back row. Sure we could have made someone switch with us, but we’re nice guys like that.

Special thanks to Monica for sewing up my shorts’ second rip before our flight. I’ll post a video about all that later…

After landing in Dallas I had another few hours until my flight to Denver. We arrived in Terminal D and my next flight was in Terminal E. For those not familiar with DFW, those are almost as far apart as you can get, especially if you end up outside of security. (Okay, it would be further from B to E…)

You have to take a bus between the terminals if you’re outside of security, and Spirit’s check-in gates are only at Terminal E. If I could get inside security I would be able to use the Skylink train system. I remembered from Friday that there were self check-in computers that asked you what airline you were flying on the home screen. As luck would have it, Spirit was one of the partners for this universal check in deal. Brilliant.

I went through security and the guy asked “You’re flying Spirit?” as if to say “Do you have any idea where you are?” I responded, “Yeah, I figured it would be easier to take the Skylink instead.” His opinion seemed to change to “This guy knows his stuff!” and gave me a nod.

I ended up walking around Terminal D for a while since its restaurants and stores are much nicer than Terminal E. I decided to try the pedestrian walkway across to Terminal C but it turns out you can’t walk from C to E so I had to take Skylink anyway.

This post is getting pretty long without any pictures to spice it up, so I’ll just say I made it to Denver safely, thank you to Erin for picking me up, and thank you to Kirbie for the birthday present I picked up from the post office on the way home! (Falling Skies season 1 on Blu-ray!)

It was a truly memorable weekend and I am extremely thankful and honored to have such an awesome job with the Blue Devils!

September 2, 2012 – Guatemala Clinic and Antigua

Luckily this morning’s clinic was held at the hotel. The local students who came seemed to enjoy themselves, as did the corps members interacting with them. It seemed like most of the students were from Patria, but there were quite a few from other groups as well.

It helped that several members are fluent in Spanish, as they could communicate directly with the students and teach the other members important phrases as well.

The pit met up with some of the pit from Patria and talked for quite a while, everyone was very excited to spend time talking about performing and music.

Honestly, I was pretty tired by the time lunch rolled around since I went up and down the gigantic hill a few times going between the guard, brass and battery. I helped pack up our equipment and spent some time trying to play with Volt before we headed out to Antigua for an evening of tourism!

We were dropped off at the Jade Museum where a few of us stayed for a presentation about jade (the mineral) and the Mayans. Monica was excited about the jade marimba and had to try playing it. I found out that my birth animal or whatever is the K’at which is Mayan for Spider. No thank you!

The rest of the night was filled with walking, fending off street vendors, buying coffee and chocolate, and eating nachos.

Oh, and Egg McFucking Muffins. I ended up in a group of 20 people and we all made it back to the buses safely. Great success.

Overall it was a fantastic day, but unfortunately those of us on the earlier flights have to be on the bus at 3:45am…

To be continued!

September 1, 2012 – Guatemala Rehearsal and Show

If I remember correctly, breakfast was at 6am with departure for the stadium at 7am. So. Tired. All. Day.

But it went reasonably well. The show was assembled in on rehearsal block and we headed back to the hotel for a few hours to rest and get ready for the show. Also, we found a new furry friend.

Eventually we named her Voltaire, or Volt for short.

Spencer pointed out that I had a huge rip in my shorts. Luckily Brandon in the guard had a sewing kit that he let me borrow, I spent most of our down time sewing my shorts. That’s what I get for only having one pair of shorts with me for the trip.

We headed back to the show, ready to rock.

Unfortunately things were running late, so instead of performing at 7 the corps performed at 9 or so. That was alright though, because we got to watch a few of the other groups perform. I was especially impressed with Patria Drum and Bugle Corps from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Their show was a love story with a wedding, jealousy, and violence. It was awesome!

Finally the Blue Devils took the field and put on a great show. All of the soloists were phenomenal, and the ensemble stuff was great too.

I felt awkward being the only non-corps member anywhere even close to the “stage” so I kind of hid behind a nearby speaker tower. Unfortunately that meant I couldn’t get as many close shots as I would have like.

Afterwards there were fireworks.

What seemed like days later we got back to the hotel where I spotted bigfoot.

Why are photos of bigfoot never in focus?!

The day came to a close with the hope of a bit more sleep in preparation for the System Blue clinic in the morning.

To be continued!

August 31, 2012 – Travel to Guatemala

2 hours of sleep, flight to Dallas, several hours of hanging out, met up with the rest of the Dallas crew, 3 hour flight to Guatemala City, redirected from customs into a room in the airport where these authentic marimbas were set up with several percussionists playing. I can’t really describe how they sound, before I saw what was making the music I thought it was electronic. They have this wirey sound to them.

They decked out our buses for us which was pretty cool.

Eventually the rest of the Guatemala cast and staff arrived. We loaded up the trucks and buses, then were taken to one of Casa Instrumental’s stores for a welcome reception.

Inside was a dj playing all kinds of American music, and tables set up for us to eat the hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and pastries they provided. At his point we were all exhausted, so it was great to finally go to the hotel, find our rooms, and get some sleep.

Key word: “some”

To be continued…