Inside the Circle

On semi finals day show warmups, against the backdrop of Lucas Oil Stadium, Harrison invited the ageouts to sit (or rather, squat because we were in uniform) in the middle of the brass circle. Our hornline played for us the hit from the ballad.  The defining moment of the entire show, where the entire stage is set to give the final member of the hornline a plume.

This was my first time being inside any drum corps warmup circle at all. This was on purpose. For the four years I’ve been around drum corps, I knew this moment would happen on my ageout day. I refrained from watching other hornlines warm up, no matter how much I was told I should. I wanted my first time being in the center of a circle to be in my own circle.

I never knew how brilliant…how dazzlingly, frighteningly alive a hornline sounds when it’s completely surrounding you and shoving its life through your ears. I never knew this is what our teachers, our audiences experienced on the other side. There isn’t language to express such striking brilliance.

No longer will I contribute to the sound of a junior corps hornline. But now, on the inside of the circle as opposed to the outside, I am allowed to be let in on the secret.

The secret is this: That all those impossible hours of rehearsing and the tears I shed, all the bad shows and good shows and the moments that broke my heart, all the sweaty run-throughs on late humid nights and the push-ups and the jelly feeling in my legs have led up to what we create in the end, this insurmountable wall of sound that drives everything forward and glues everything together. It’s the wall that stops people in their tracks and changes their direction, makes them listen. And the number of people over the seasons that I have impacted with the wall of sound I have helped build is greater than I will ever know.

I am old (and deceased now according to ageout law) but my job will be to make sure these walls never crumble, that hornlines and drum corps always exist, that more and more people are supported in their dreams to make a difference. In every way I can, from my rebirth on the other side, I will make this happen.

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