Oh what fun it is

"Jingle" changes, cheeseburger day and Pat's lemonade


This was the first day that pleasant, spring heat started to turn a little sweltering by afternoon, as The Cadets cleaned drill in the stadium. Cheeks and chests are a little rosier this evening. The food crew spent the morning and early afternoon flipping hundreds of sizzling hamburger patties. When they gradually realize what’s for lunch, “Yes!” always ripples through the long line of sweaty, hungry Cadets on cheeseburger day as they hurriedly line up their equipment and jump in the food line.

Pat Croissant, a faithful Cadet volunteer for decades, took the opportunity to make her famous lemonade. She always stands at the end of the food line, scooping lemonade and lemon slices out of a giant, plastic bin by the pitcher-full and filling each person’s glass as they walk by.

After lunch, the hornline warmed up in full arc in the parking lot with Gino before making their way to the stadium. Meanwhile, the admin team put on Santa hats and decided to get some sun, thoroughly washing our huge, white pick-up truck inside and out. Then I volunteered to run out to Wal-Mart for the ingredients we need for lunch tomorrow. “Are you having a grilled cheese party?” the awed cashier asked me as she gaped at the 34 packages of cheese (800 slices) and 15 loaves of bread in my cart. Yes. Yes we are.

Since the design staff has been tweaking “Jingle Bells,” the percussion section learned some pretty major rewrites to their parts today, and the whole ensemble cut out a chunk of the music that just wasn’t working (from letter B to letter C). The goal was to make the jam-out section livelier, and (at least in the opinion of the admin and medical staff) it worked. The piece is so much more fun; we were rocking out in the press box during ensemble tonight.

Maybe it’s just grown on me, but “Jingle Bells” has gone from being my least favorite piece in the show to one of the best parts. The song is designed into two parts, “Jingle One” and “Jingle Two,” with the second designed to feel somewhat like an encore of the first. The hornline wails in part one, ends the tune, and then a loud, swing-style drum beat in the pit starts up the party again. George still seems to have more ideas to make the tune even better, but he told the corps that it’s definitely headed in the right direction.

In other interesting news, George just returned from meetings in Indianapolis, finalizing DCI’s plan to put corps up in hotels the Wednesday and Thursday of championships week in August. Indiana schools are starting as early as August 2 this year, which doesn’t mix well with the biggest drum corps week of the year. We’ll be able to sleep in the gyms on the weekend, but for the weeknights, it looks like we have no choice but to sleep in hotels. George explained this to the corps after they brought it in by the drum major podium tonight, and the members are pretty excited about their hotel accommodations at the end of a summer of bus seats and gym floors.

“We won’t be doing the free continental breakfast,” Hop assured them. And after a unison, “Awww…” from the kids, he said, “I can see it now: 200 of you standing there pouring your waffle batter into the waffle maker while the buses are waiting.” Haha.

George didn’t schedule a Hop meeting tonight, so the evening flowed the same as always, and hopefully the corps got some good rest before an even warmer day tomorrow.


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