Finals Night

December 14, 2008
By Jordan Kenny, Destrehan, LA

Can you think of something that you spent lots of time with and became successful at? For me, one major part of my life, mainly in these past four years, has been band. I have been in band since I was in fifth grade. But the practice and the devotion that I had for band in elementary and middle school was much different than what it is now and what is has been since I got to high school. To be a part of the Pride of Destrehan Marching Band and the Destrehan Indoor Percussion, I had to put numerous amounts of hours into practice. The time and effort put into these programs are rewarded because both groups compete and both have been successful in the years that I was here. My favorite part about these groups is the competition. Unfortunately, I recently participated in my last marching band competition. I still have the indoor season to look forward to, but I will never again step on a competition field being a part of the Pride of Destrehan Marching Band. If there is one thing that I will miss about high school, it will be that, and one thing that I can do to continue with music is DCI.

DCI, which stand for Drum Corps International, is very similar to high school marching bands. It is an organization that has a circuit of competitions in which different drum corps compete. A drum corps is like a marching band except that no woodwinds are involved in it. A corps consists of an all-brass horn line, a percussion section, and a color guard. Every corps spends half of their summer learning their ten to twelve minute show, and the rest of their summer traveling across the country performing at many competitions. They end their journey with the DCI championships held every year to determine who is the best of the best. Some may think that it is crazy to devote a whole summer to something like this, but for me, it is definitely something that I will try very soon.

I first learned about DCI when I was a freshman. I was told about a competition in Baton Rouge to which I should go. But I didn’t think too much of it so I didn’t go. I didn’t really know much about DCI at first, but over the years I became exposed to what it was all about. I saw videos of corps warming up, and even saw some performances on the internet. Then the summer before my junior year, I attended a percussion clinic held by one of the corps, the Cavaliers, and all of us who went to the clinic attended a competition that the corps was in. This was the first time that I had ever seen a show live, and I was pretty impressed. Over the next year, I became more interested in it and began to understand it. Then this past summer a couple of my friends and I traveled up to Indianapolis, Indiana, to attend the DCI championships. The night of semi-final performances we went to watch the corps warm up, but we did not see any of the shows. We all decided that we were going to see them on finals night, when they were at their best. The next night was finals, and I was ready to see the shows. When the first corps stepped on the field, I was absolutely blown away, and it was the twelfth place group that performed first. So as the night went on, the shows got better, and I continued to be more blown away. Not only were the shows incredible, but the whole atmosphere of the night was awesome.

It was after the night that I attended the DCI finals that I decided that I wanted to do a drum corps. After seeing that I knew that was something just for me and I knew that I would enjoy nothing more than spending an entire summer playing my snare drum. This is a way for me to continue to participate in marching music which is what I want to do because I enjoyed marching band so much. But DCI is the best of the best when it comes to marching music, so in order to make a corps, one has to audition for a limited number of spots. I know that I am not as good as some of the people who audition for spots even in the lower corps, so I have to continue to practice hard so I can participate in this before I age out at twenty-three. After that night at finals I realized that one goal in my life is to play my snare drum on the field at finals night in front of thousands of people. So I will continue to work very hard so that I can audition and receive a spot in one of the top corps and perform at finals because on the twelve best perform at finals. I hope to make a lower corps next year and get used to the activity and continue to improve, and then hopefully make one of the top corps in the next few years.

I have devoted so much time to band in the last few years that I have grown passionate about it. So to continue on with doing what I love, I have to audition and be offered a spot one of these corps. It must be a great experience to do this. One of my friends, who is now too old to participate in DCI, says that the one thing that he regrets in his life is not taking the spot that was offered to him for one of the corps. He unfortunately needed money, but he says that he wishes he would have done it. He advised me to join a corps, so I will take his words and make sure that I march at least one year. I thought that watching finals was exhilarating, so I know that being the one who is watched will be so much better than sitting in the stands. I cannot try out this year because I have so much with school, but next year I will definitely try out, and I cannot wait. I have a feeling that this will be an unforgettable experience. I cannot see myself giving up on something that was so major in my life. The biggest mistake I could make right now would be to not try my best to make a drum corps and fulfill my dream, and I would regret it for the rest of my life.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Jan. 21 2011 at 9:43 pm
Taylor Kitchens, Gilbert, South Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
very well written! I am a sophomore in high school now and I to are a memeber of om schools marching band but I am in colorguard, I cant wait to graduate so I can go to college and audition for a DCI corps!

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