Like that wasn't obvious!! The 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps is an Open Class drum corps based out of New London, CT. They were founded in 2004 and continue to push their way to the top every season since.
Now, I'm not biased or anything like that, but I absolutely love drum corps as an activity. It combines the best of... everything! It has music and arts and dance and athleticism and pure entertainment! Not to mention the family and friends and memories and jokes and everything else involved with living/ working with people for an absurdly long time. I myself have been with the corps for the past four years, and this season, 2012, will be my fifth and final year with the corps as I am aging out. As per DCI rules, anyone ages 12-21 can march, and I have finally reached the magical age of 21 and will thus be ending this chapter of my life at the end of the season. Yes, this is upsetting, it's been the majority of my life for five years now, but it's also a little freeing. I can now go on and explore other interests. Of course I will miss it, but there's not much I can do, so I'll make the best of it.
For those of you who don't know, drum and bugle corps is a performing arts ensemble consisting of only bell-front brass, percussion, and colorguard. They are independent organizations dedicated to developing strong leadership, character, and integrity in young adults. During the summer they travel across the country, competing against each other and performing for thousands of fans. I like to describe them as marching bands on steroids. But whatever you do, don't call them a band. They are corps, plain and simple.
Now, don’t think about drum corps as another music group filled with band geeks that can’t possibly be a sport. Oh no. Think about it this way. Professional sports; all of those men out there being the best in the world at what they do? Well, we are the best in the world at what we do. And we do it at a world level, just like they do. The real difference? They get paid a lot while we actually have to pay a lot. And we are as much athletes as they are. Check out the following video if you don't believe me...
Do you understand the athleticism now? Because it is most certainly there. But back to 7th. I joined 7th for the 2008 season and have marched with them ever since. There is something special about the activity that leads everyone to form some really deeps bonds with people. Maybe it has to do with the 12 hour rehearsal days under the blazing hot sun or sleeping on gym floors or living on a coach bus for weeks on end. I don’t really know. Out of all the intense situations that this activity puts people through, we still push until we’re ready to break, we still make lifetime bonds, and we still have fun. This activity, in the five years that I have been involved, has led me to add over 120 people to a group that I would consider family. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a lot.
I highly recommend this activity to anybody out there within the age bracket. This is a truly wonderful (and highly addictive) activity. It is healthy, fun, and a life-changing experience. What people have to realize, however, is that it is not easy. You can't go into the activity thinking it will be, because it won't. My advice to any rookies out there, take it one camp at a time. Things will get better. You will adapt to the corps, you will get used to the way things operate, and it will get easier. Take it from someone who has seen rookies come and go, it takes a very special person to hang on to the activity. Try your hardest because you will be rewarded in the end.
And after all that I will leave you with this final video. It is a montage of all the drum corps from last seasons Championships in Lucas Oil Stadium. If you keep a weathered eye you might even spot the 7th Regiment (if you're awesome you'll see us three times). I don't know about other corps, but the 7th Regiment is, as of April 23, 2012, still accepting members for the 2012 season. Feel free to message me for any further information. And to purchase tickets for a show near you and to support the 7th Regiment in their 2012 season, check out this great opportunity- Operation: GrowDrumCorps.