Working Vacation

Elite Drum Corp delivers win for Brinkman



Second and finally first.

It can take a long time to nab a first place, and band director Chad Brinkman knows that better than anyone.

A drum corp is considered the “very best” of marching music’s major league. Carolina Crown is a group that Brinkman has become very familiar with.

“My role is to serve as the ‘full-time’ trumpet instructor. This includes monitoring off-season workouts, working on the music and helping them play while moving around the field,” said Brinkman.

Striving to be the best of the best can take some time. If you’re Brinkman, this could be five to six weeks of your summer.

“I usually fly to South Carolina four or five weekends between December and May for weekend ‘camps’. We rehearse Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday morning. After we have graduation at Paoli, I usually spend as much time with Crown that I can that doesn’t interfere with Paoli band or family time,” said Brinkman.

Brinkman has been a part of the marching band life since 2000, where he marched with Avon High School’s marching band. After graduation, Brinkman started out with mellophone in 2004, later switching to trumpet in 2005 – 2008. He has been an instructor with Crown since 2008.

Winning isn’t everything. As true as that might be, that doesn’t change the rush someone gets when reality sets in that they are the winners.

“The moment that they announced second place, and it wasn’t us, was such a rush of excitement and relief to finally see the organization through a title. There was about five minutes where I felt like everyone was running around looking for someone to hug. It was very special to see all the Crown alumni in the stands at Lucas Oil Stadium that were responsible for us getting where we were in a position to win this year,” said Brinkman.

Coming from firsthand experience, Brinkman knows that if someone really wants to accomplish a goal, you have to work for it. Nothing in life comes easy.

“When you want something, YOU have to take it. Don’t wait for it to be given to you. Ten years ago, our goal at Carolina Crown was to become a world champion caliber organization. It definitely didn’t happen overnight,” said Brinkman.

“I love Kevin Costner’s quote at the end of the movie, The Untouchables. ‘Never stop fighting till the fighting is done.’ Many people get frustrated or beaten down and believe they will never achieve what they set out to do. Never stop fighting,” said Brinkman.

Brinkman says being a part of this organization has helped his teaching – from an administrator and teacher standpoint – greatly. He plans to be going back to work with Crown, for his eleventh season, in 2014.

Story by Brooklyn Dotts