Gorgeous weather, opener drill and chocolate frosting

Pushing through rough grass is a little easier in picture-perfect spring weather

Today’s schedule looked the same (down to the minute) as the previous two days, but the weather couldn’t have been more different—bright blue sky, fluffy clouds and 75 degrees. Perfect for learning the first 13 pages of drill in the show.

The color guard headed down to the field house to learn more work, but the brass and drums stayed together all morning, piecing through the beginning of “Carol of the Bells” in marching rehearsal. Since high school is still in session, we don’t always have access to the turf stadium in the mornings, so today the corps (who has only marched on turf and gym floors thus far) was humbled by the coarse grass of the field adjacent to the stadium and across from the food truck.

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The opener currently kicks in at 192 beats per minute, and as I walked down the 25 yardline to the front sideline, I realized just how correct my vivid memory of this particular field is. Some years the grass is deader than others, but it’s always just as bumpy.

But tall grass and uneven ground happen, and it makes you a stronger Cadet. When tempos get fast and muscles get sore, the physical tendency is to bend your knees, but this only exhausts your quads even more. A big part of the marching side of Spring Training is learning how to lift up and straighten your legs.

Jarrod laid into the members a bit towards the end of rehearsal, as it was becoming increasingly obvious that the tempo and the extra resistance were wearing on their already-sore muscles. “Honestly guys, you look kind of like victims of your circumstances. Don’t look frantic,” he said just before they reset and ran the 13-page chunk one last time before lunch.

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We had chili dogs and fries at 1:30, and then the volunteers spent much of the afternoon concocting three different frosting recipes for the cakes they served with dinner—chocolate chip, chocolate buttercream and banana buttercream. So good.

The color guard stayed on their own all day, but after many hours of sectionals, the horns and drums combined in ensemble for the last hour of the day. Since today’s drill only spanned the front ensemble introduction to “Carol of the Bells,” there was no music to march through yet. So tonight, the focus was piecing together “Jingle Bells,” which continues to take noticeable steps forward. It’s fun, jazzy, and a great example of how this show takes a totally different approach to Christmas music.

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No meetings tonight, so lots of sleep for The Cadets. (They’re enjoying it while they can!)

 

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