Saturday, January 20, 2018

HAL Rotterdam

I'm looking forward to my awesome 21-day cruise in the Caribbean.

Rotterdam is a medium ship, carrying 1404 passengers and 600 crew, and sails from Rotterdam, Netherlands and Tampa, Florida.
  • Crew to Passenger Ratio: 2.34
  • Built: Dec 1997
  • Refurbished: 8 yrs ago
  • Number of Decks: 10
  • Total Cabins: 702
  • Cabin Categories: 67
Day 1 Tampa, Florida 
Day 2 Key West, Florida  
Day 3 At Sea
Day 7 At Sea
Day 10 At Sea
Day 11 At Sea
Day 16 At Sea
Day 19 At Sea
Day 21 At Sea

Friday, January 19, 2018

Corps news and Announcements

Corps news and announcements: 19-01-2018 12:02
by: Drum Corps International

In This Edition …

• Jersey Surf reveals 2018 show title
• Heat Wave sets sights on inaugural trip to the DCI World Championships
• Latest looks inside audition camps

• Plus much more!

7th Regiment
7th Regiment added an audition camp for brass and percussion, January 19-21 in West Haven, Connecticut. Color guard auditions will be held on the 21st.

Blue Devils B
Blue Devils B’s educational audition clinic will take place January 19-21 in Concord, California.

Blue Knights
Meal prep volunteers are still needed across the three days of Blue Knights’ rehearsal camp January 19-21 in Englewood, Colorado. Those interested may sign up to help for one, two, or all three days.

The Bluecoats have an immediate opening for one lead trumpet player.

The Cadets
Cadets’ percussion caption head Tom Aungst is looking for one more snare drummer to fill the line this year.

Carolina Crown
Check out this gallery of more than 150 photos from Carolina Crown’s January audition camp weekend.

Gold’s first brass experience camp of 2018 will be held January 27-28 at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, California.

Guardians has open spots for prospective corps members in all sections.

Heat Wave
Heat Wave will be heading to Michigan City, Indiana and Indianapolis this summer to attend the Open Class DCI World Championships for the very first time. “We are excited to enter the next phase of our growth plan,” executive director Jon Otero said.

Impulse will host camps for prospective color guard members January 21, February 25, and March 11 in California, followed by auditions April 28 and 29.

Jersey Surf
Jersey Surf revealed the title of its 2018 production, “[mondo mondrian],” which will be based on the cubist primary colors of 20th Century abstractionist Piet Mondrian.

Legends has immediate openings for trumpets, mellophones, and color guard performers.

Louisiana Stars
From the looks of these photos from Louisiana Stars’ January audition camp, the corps is on the way to enjoying a banner season.

Madison Scouts
Meet the four drum majors who will lead the Madison Scouts during the corps’ 2018 summer season.

Mandarins’ corps director JW Koester and program director Ike Jackson discuss the highlights of the corps’ January callback audition camp in this recently-posted video.

Music City
More than 150 brass musicians and percussionists braved the abnormally cold Tennessee weather January 12-14 to attend Music City’s latest audition and rehearsal camp. Check out this video of the corps’ horn line.

Oregon Crusaders
Oregon Crusaders announced that some new names have been added to the corps’ color guard team, including choreographer Tim Coady and five other staff members.

Pacific Crest
Because of the great weather in southern California, Pacific Crest rehearsed outside under the lights during the corps’ January rehearsal camp.

Phantom Regiment
Due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Phantom Regiment had the opportunity to host a four-day callback audition camp this past weekend. Don’t miss this gigantic gallery of photos recapping the action.

What does a corps strongly associated with the Emerald Isle eat for a treat at its January audition and rehearsal camp?

Two New Jersey natives, Katie Beasley and Grace Robertson, have been named Raiders’ 2018 drum majors.

River City Rhythm
Three of the newest River City Rhythm staff appointments include Ben Harloff as brass supervisor, Jeffrey Crowell as percussion ensemble specialist, and Brian Veith as brass co-caption head.

Santa Clara Vanguard
Santa Clara Vanguard announced the date of its annual organization-wide birthday celebration. Join the corps for brunch on Saturday, March 17 in Santa Clara, California, to see special sneak-peek performances by Vanguard and the Vanguard Cadets.

Seattle Cascades
Next month’s rehearsal camp for Seattle Cascades has been changed to the weekend of February 23-25 to avoid a conflict with a music educators’ event. This camp is only for brass and percussion, with color guard starting up in April.

Shadow announced the 16 members of the corps’ 2018 percussion staff.

Southwind wrapped up its January rehearsal camp weekend with a show-and-tell performance giving each section of the corps the opportunity to step into the spotlight.

Drum major Emily Dawson spills the beans about the corps’ upcoming season in this debut episode of “Inside Spartans.”

Spirit of Atlanta
Get an inside look at Spirit of Atlanta in this video captured during the corps’ January callback audition camp.

Watchmen announced the members of its 2018 administrative staff, led by executive director David Becker.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year

WOW! Two and a half years since my last update. Guess Facebook and other social media has kept me out of touch from blogging. Besides, been busy working and enjoying some awesome vacations.

Not much really happened the end of 2015, 2016 was pretty much a blur, just lots of flying. However, 2017 I was able to do some great trips with family and friends, both in Alaska and the Caribbean.
HAL Eurodam
In August, I went on a weeks cruise on Holland America's Eurodam in Alaska. Saw tons of beautiful country that I have never witnessed before. Wildlife galore, and crystal blue waters. Bears, Bald Eagles, Mountain Goats, Whales, Sea Turtles, Otters, just to name a few of the animals we were able to see, along with a couple of Glaciers.
Stops in Juneau, Glacier Bary, Sitka, Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. All great places if you've never been.

In November, did another Eurodam cruise, this time in the Caribbean visiting, Grand Turks, St. Thomas, Half Moon Cay Bahamas. It was sad to see all the devastation from hurricanes that hit the Islands. Hope things get somewhat better in time for my next cruise in February.

HAL Rotterdam
Even though I'll still be visiting the Caribbean, it'll be different islands. Starting in Tampa, then to Key West, Mahogany Bay Roatan Honduras, Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala, Costa Maya, Mexico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, St. John's, Antigua, Castries, St. Lucia, Soufriere Bay, Willemstad, Curacao, Oranjestad, Aruba, George Town, Grand Cayman, and finally back to Tampa Florida. I so can't wait.

Temperatures have been bitterly cold the past month, and I'll be leaving right when people are coming up to Minneapolis, MN for the Super Bowl.

Can't think of anything else to update with. Hope all are good.

Until next time,

Monday, July 13, 2015

DCI Minnesota - July 11, 2015

Very hard to believe that it's been over seven months since my last blog...yet, here we are seven months later.

It has truly been a pretty busy seven months...Jan-Mar, I was down in Phoenix helping with my airlines Merger Integration training, then back to flying Apr-present.

It's been a very interesting summer for Drum Corps, as many corps are really pushing the envelope for new pageantry. It's nice to see some new corps reaching the top spot at different contest shows, and after the first regional, an undefeated corps had finally been de-throwned, albeit for a night.

I didn't take a lot of pictures this year, however it was great to run into some old friends I haven't seen in over 20 years. A friend who marched along side me who yelled out "Sluggo" in the middle of a crazy, busy mezzanine at TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.

We palled around, chatted, and caught up quickly, feeling like it hasn't been over 20 years since we last saw each other or marched next to one another.

After watching The Cavaliers horn-line warm up, and before settling into our respective seats for the rest of the evening,  we were walking again in the stadium mezzanine and I saw a gentleman whom I've followed since I started marching.

Mr. Steve Vickers, who is an editor and publisher since 1973 (first as editor and then owner and publisher since 1974) of Drum Corps World.  Steve Vickers led Drum Corps World to be a primary way of getting information disseminated throughout the drum corps activity. Through Vickers' leadership, every drum corps show - no matter how big or small - received coverage. It was truly an honor to chat with him for a brief moment, and for him to ask about my blog.

After I let him back roaming the mezzanine during the break, another familiar face came into view of whom I hadn't seen since my marching days.

Mr. Tim Salzman, who was our Brass Caption head, was running around and watching the different corps. So of course we just HAD to chat with Tim and catch up.

Unfortunately for this year, I wasn't as prepared as years past with a charged phone and/or camera as I had just flown in from London, England earlier in the day. As beautiful of a day it was, my heart was getting back to Chicago, then home to Minneapolis so I could watch as much of the drum corps contest I could. 

I really wasn't too late, as this was the first regional show, not all corps were performing. Since I was running around with my friend, I didn't get the chance to see some of the early corps, but I was able to go to the Cavalier buses as they were pulling into the truck lot, chat with some familiar faces, and meet my Cavalier initiate who I had the honor of talking to before the season started. Even though it was a brief he had to get going for warm-up, it was nice to finally put a face to the name. (sadly, I didn't get a picture of us...but he did get a picture of us after the show)

I was able to watch Phantom Regiment, The Cavaliers, Carolina Crown, Santa Clara Vanguard, The Cadets, and the Blue Devils. Each show was just as unique as the other.

As I said before, I didn't get many pictures of the corps as my phone and camera both died, however I was able to get The Cavaliers on the starting line.

It was an awesome show, and wonderful time to see what the corps has been producing. Each young man that I chatted with from the corps, was so gracious that I took the time and talked with them. I was more than honored that a few of them even knew who I was and called me by my name. (I know I didn't know many alumni when I marched, so it truly was an honor when the current drum major said hi to me)

Sorry there isn't more detail about the shows, or the corps. I felt I just had to get something in writing and let everyone know I'm still alive and well!

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ever wonder what happens during Turbulence?

This is why one should always wear their seat-belt during flight!

AA flight 280 ICN-DFW
American Airlines flight diverted due to severe turbulence

Business Class Carts tumble like nothing
(looking aft from First Class to Business Class)

Wine covering overhead bins

 Items strewn through-out cabin

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Roll credits: Blue Devils finish 2014 with record-setting score

Roll credits: Blue Devils finish 2014 with record-setting score

Blue Devils are presented the DCI Founders Trophy at the 2014 World Championship Finals.
History was made at the 2014 Drum Corps International World Championship Finals on Saturday, as the Blue Devils scored a record-breaking 99.650, shattering the previous high score (99.150, 2002 Cavaliers and 2005 Cadets) by half of a point.

For executive director David Gibbs, this year’s win is a testament to the tireless effort put in by both members and staff.

“The most important thing, is that these kids set out to perform and be the best Blue Devils they can be,” said Gibbs. “They work hard all the time, everyday, all day long. They were persistent, and they never gave up.”

In addition to their record breaking high score and newly claimed World Championship title, the corps from Concord also earned caption awards in visual performance, general effect, brass and color guard. This is the corps’ 16th title since 1976, also a record for the World Class corps.

“It’s all about continuing the legacy,” said drum major Kristen Lichtenthal when asked what comes next for the newly crowned World Champion. “It’s what we’ve done for years and what we hope to do in the future. We have to take another step up from here.”

After finishing third in Friday night’s Semifinals competition, the Bluecoats made a last minute surge that gave them the edge to finish in second place over the Cadets with a score of 97.175. That marks the highest placement and highest score the Bluecoats have ever received.

“Sometimes you don’t get the best run on Finals night. Sometimes you get it on Semis, or on Prelims, or sometimes even none of those,” said drum major Willie Veenstra. “But for your last performance to be your best performance, just as you’re on your way out the door, you can’t ask for anything better than that.”

The corps’ production, “Tilt,” is one that executive director David Glasgow says is at the top of the Bluecoats’ greatest.

“From the very first time that we started to see this show come to life we thought that it had a lot of potential,” Glasgow said. “When we really saw it start to come to life toward the end of spring training and during the first couple shows of the summer, we had an idea that this was definitely going to be the best thing we’ve ever done.”

The Cadets fell in the standings overnight from second to third (96.875), but are not discouraged. According to corps administrator Bruno Zuccala, the staff is still incredibly impressed with what the corps members have accomplished this season.

“This is my 47th year doing drum corps and I have to say this, by far, had to be the most spectacular performance I’ve ever seen any of my students perform. We’re all very, very proud,” Zuccala said.

Santa Clara Vanguard
Although Santa Clara Vanguard finished fourth overall (96.075), the California corps took home the Fred Sanford high percussion award with a score of 19.75 in the caption.

“To win a Fred Sanford award with [caption head] Paul Rennick is amazing. He’s been at Vanguard for four years now, and to be part of his legacy is incredible,” said front ensemble corps member AJ Covey. “You always hope that it gets better every night, and sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. I’d say we’ve hit our stride.”

This is the 10th high percussion award that Santa Clara Vanguard has won, coincidentally with the most recent being in 2004 with the corps’ first production of “Scheherazade.”

Carolina Crown
After an “Out of This World” performance, Carolina Crown secured fifth place with a score of 95.675. Last year’s World Class Champion may not have taken home a victory tonight, but horn sergeant Kevin Leboeuf believes the corps ended its season on a high note.

“This is a drum corps that woke up every morning and faced the challenge of trying new things,” said Leboeuf. “We had the responsibility to follow a championship-winning year and move the activity forward. It didn’t really come together until tonight, but it was an incredible way to end the season,”
The Cavaliers ended their season in sixth with a score of 93.675, one placement higher than they finished in 2013.

“Whether cruddy rehearsals or great performances like this, it’s always the memories that will stick out the most,” said assistant drum major Nick Hansberry. Performing for thousands of people feels wonderful, and I’m glad I get to do it with the guys.”

Phantom Regiment
In the Finals competition, Phantom Regiment (7th, 91.425) jumped ahead of the Blue Knights (8th, 91.150), a swap that Regiment music coordinator Jeremy Earnhart says is the result of a last minute push from the corps.

“Like most groups for most seasons, you walk before you can run. We walked a little longer, and these few weeks have been a sprint to the finish line,” said Earnhart. “The energy level was off the charts fantastic tonight, and I really feel like the members maxed out the program.”

According to Blue Knights color guard member Sarah Anderson, the 2014 season was everything she had hoped.

“This season and our show has taught me to live in every single moment, especially here this summer.” said Anderson. “I know I’ve got to do my best in everything, even outside of drum corps. Never sell yourself short.”

Blue Stars
Blue Stars finished ninth with a score of 89.600, jumping three placements from last year’s 12th-place finish. Drum major Jacob Carpenter looks forward to watching the corps build on this momentum.

“You can’t ask for much more than a high energy performance where everyone’s trying to get it right for the final time. When everyone’s putting in 100 percent, it really is a special feeling,” Carpenter said.

Boston Crusaders earned 10th place with a score of 88.950 after delivering one last provocative performance of their 2014 production, “Animal Farm.”

“There was a synergistic quality of both the heart and brain, making everything fire on all cylinders. It was the culmination. This is where they peaked for the season,” said corps director Andy Waldukat.

Madison Scouts
The Madison Scouts took home 11th place with a score of 87.575 after delivering their last performance of “Time Trip” for the crowd in Lucas Oil Stadium.

According to director Chris Komnick, the corps’ biggest takeaway this season has been learning to never let down all the way to the Finals, even with hardships along the way.

“We put something amazingly challenging in front of them,” said Komnick. “For us it was a way of pushing demand in a new level among the corps, and they responded very effectively for it.”

Crossmen (12th, 86.225) members relished their opportunity to perform as a finalist corps for the first time since 2012. 

“Back in 2012 we had a fairly young drum corps that somehow pushed into Finals, and this year we did it again,” said fourth-year snare drummer Brandon Fish ”There were tears going down our faces because we knew this was our best run of the season. It was an incredible moment of brotherhood and unity.”

Contributing to this report: Nelson Jimenez, Johnny Gilbert, Robert Kaczanowski, Christina Mavroudis, Katy Nowak, Linda & Sid Unser, Chris Weber

2014 DCI World Championship Finals recap

Recap Roundup: 2014 World 

Championship Finals

Here is a look at the scores awarded to the 12 corps competing at the 2014 Drum Corps International World Championship Finals, Saturday, Aug. 9.

There are two judges for GE 1, GE 2, and Percussion, with scores from each of those pairs of judges averaged together for the total caption score. The scores of the two Effect captions are counted for full value, but each of the scores of the three Visual captions (Visual Proficiency, Visual Analysis and Color Guard) and three Music captions (Brass, Music Analysis and Percussion) are first divided in half, with each of those half scores added together for the Total Visual and Total Music scores.

Blue Devils set a record high score at the Finals competition, despite their score being a tenth behind tying a record during Friday's Semifinals. Blue Devils' Finals score of 99.650 smashed the previous record by 0.50, previously shared by the 2002 Cavaliers and the 2005 Cadets.

View a complete recap of scores from this event.

Blue Devils (1st, 99.650) once again took 1st in every caption except Percussion, in which the corps placed 2nd by 0.15. The corps achieved perfect scores in both General Effect captions, from all four GE judges, and also received perfect scores in all three Visual captions; Visual Proficiency, Visual Analysis and Color Guard, after receiving 19.90 in each of those captions at the Semifinals. Brass received 19.80, Music Analysis 19.90, and Percussion 19.60.

Bluecoats (2nd, 97.175) achieved their highest placement ever by taking 2nd in both GE captions and Visual Analysis. Brass and Percussion each took 3rd, Visual Proficiency and Music Analysis 4th, and Color Guard 5th, down from 3rd in Semifinals. The corps’ overall score was 0.30 over the Cadets, the corps that had taken 2nd in both Prelims and Semifinals.

In Semifinals, Bluecoats’ spread over Cadets in GE was only a tenth. In Finals, the GE spread was 0.40, 0.10 more than the 0.30 total spread between the two corps. Bluecoats’ deficit to the Cadets in the total of all three Visual captions was 0.20, and the corps’ advantage in the three Music captions (Brass, Music Analysis and Percussion) was 0.10. Without GE, Bluecoats were 0.10 down to the Cadets. Add in the 0.40 advantage in GE, and the corps was 0.30 over the Cadets. Therefore, GE made all the difference in earning Bluecoats members their first silver medals.

The Cadets (3rd, 96.875) took 2nd in Visual Proficiency, Color Guard and Music Analysis, 3rd in both GE captions, and 4th in Visual Analysis, Brass and Percussion. The corps was just a tenth over SCV in both total GE and total Music, so it was the 0.60 advantage over SCV in total Visual that mostly put the corps 0.80 over SCV in the total score.

Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 96.075) won Percussion by 0.15 over the Blue Devils. The corps finished 3rd in Visual Analysis and 4th in both GE captions. Visual Proficiency, Brass and Music Analysis all finished 5th, and Color Guard placed 6th.

Carolina Crown (5th, 95.675) was second in Brass by a tenth under the Blue Devils. Visual Proficiency, Color Guard and Music Analysis placed 3rd. The corps took 5th in both GE captions and Visual Analysis, and 7th in Percussion.

The Cavaliers (6th, 93.675) took 5th in Percussion, 6th in GE 1, Visual Proficiency, Visual Analysis, Brass and Music Analysis, and 7th in GE 2 and Color Guard.

Phantom Regiment (7th, 91.425) was 7th in GE 1, Visual Proficiency, Visual Analysis and Brass, 8th in GE 2 and Music Analysis, and 9th in Color Guard and Percussion.
The corps passed up Blue Knights by closing a 0.75 deficit in Total GE during the Semifinals to just 0.10 in the Finals. They also opened a 0.20 advantage in Total Visual during the Semifinals to 0.65 in the Finals. The corps’ 0.275 advantage in Total Music during the Semifinals was cancelled out by Blue Knights’ exact same advantage in the Finals.

Blue Knights (8th, 91.150) was 6th in GE 2 and Percussion, 7th in Music Analysis, 8th in GE 1 and Brass, 9th in Visual Analysis, and 10th in Visual Proficiency and Color Guard.

Blue Stars (9th, 89.600) soared to 4th in Color Guard after placing 6th in that caption in Semifinals and 8th in Prelims. Percussion finished in 8th, GE 2, Visual Proficiency and Music Analysis in 9th, GE 1 and Visual Analysis 10th, and Brass 11th.

Boston Crusaders (10th, 88.950) was 8th in all three Visual captions (Visual Proficiency, Visual Analysis and Color Guard), 9th in GE 1, 10th in Brass and Percussion, and 11th in GE 2 and Music Analysis.

Madison Scouts (11th, 87.575) was 9th in Brass, 10th in GE 2 and Brass, 11th in GE 1, Visual Proficiency and Percussion, and 12th in Visual Analysis and Color Guard.

Crossmen (12th, 86.225) was 11th in Visual Analysis and Color Guard and 12th in all six other captions.