Marching block bookends

No ensemble tonight, so The Cadets started cleaning drill

After the Day Meeting and some stretching, Joe Roche coached the entire drum corps through PT this morning. He designed a combined endurance- and team-building work-out in which sections did exercises together. One section was always running around the track while others raced each other from the goal line to the 50 and back and did partner-carry relays. It was hard, but the members loved it.

After PT, The Cadets learned the next seven or so pages of drill in the opener, once again bringing them through everything they have. The rest of the morning was spent reviewing drill they already know.

The food crew served an impressive array of leftovers for lunch, which is a welcome luxury if you were around at all last year! Our refrigerator is holding up great so far.

After lunch, the hornline warmed up in sub-sections in the stadium and then put music to the new sets they learned in “Carol of the Bells Part Three.” Unfortunately, the high school’s powder puff football team came out to use the turf field, so the brass took an unexpected journey down the Trail of Tears to the lower grass field.


IMAG0737.jpgGino was out for the day, so Steve Bentley (affectionately called Stevie B.) ran the brass rehearsal. “I can hear the feet in your air,” Steve said from his perch on the scaffolding. Grass fields highlight the need to lift up and get as much separation between upper and lower body as possible. Steve patiently hit the hornline’s problem spots two sets at a time. To mix things up and hear the sections more clearly, he occasionally sent the high brass to the sideline to get some water while the low brass marched and played; then they switched.

Although we did have the stadium this evening, there was no ensemble rehearsal tonight. Instead, the full corps worked on cleaning the first several sets of the show in a second marching rehearsal. Every time The Cadets set up a shape on the field, instructor Jarrod Huntley tells them to “focalize,” or turn and face into the curve. Once they smooth it out, they turn back to the front and go to stand-by.

“Take a look at the yard lines. Look at the hashes. Check out your relationship to the people around you. Memorize exactly what it feels like to stand in this shape,” Jarrod reminded them from the press box. The only way to clean drill is to remember exactly what the correct shape looks like in context through repetition and muscle memory.

“Look at the numbers on the field, too,” Jarrod continued. “They’re 11 and a half steps from the front sideline and 14 and a half from the back. You’ll notice that, as we go from stadium to stadium, some numbers tend to be a little bigger than others, but in general we can use those as another checkpoint.”


As a side note, it continues to amaze me how together the first unison flag feature is already. This color guard spins really well together.

No meetings tonight, so The Cadets have another evening to make sure they’re caught up on their dot books and sleep. Wake up is at 8:00 a.m. again tomorrow, and don’t forget to look for a new video tomorrow afternoon!


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