Do You Even Drum Corp?

The following story was published in Issue 1 of The Paolite, 2017.

If you are a member of the band, the idea of spending two weeks in the hot summer sun at band camp might not be top of your list.

Imagine that two weeks lasting all summer.

Seniors Travis Mefford and Keegan Anderson spent their summers as members of the Madison Scouts, a Drum Corp out of Madison, Wisconsin, performing in the horn line and guard.

Drum Corps are different from traditional marching bands in that Drum Corps only consist of brass, guard and percussion and perform at a higher level of difficulty.

Mefford and Anderson gained skills and knowledge with the Scouts, which they plan to use to improve the Pride of Paoli. Anderson marched a mellophone, and Mefford was part of the guard.

There are many different Drum Corps that compete around the country. The Scouts were founded in 1937 by a group at the University of Wisconsin, but are now located in Madison, Wisconsin. The Scouts’ show this year was called The Last Man Standing. The Scouts traveled across the country to compete with different Corps.

“The reason I joined the Scouts specifically is because it’s been my favorite Corps ever since I found out what DCI was. It also has a sense of brotherhood I like,” said Anderson.

The two seniors traveled to many different states to compete in a total of 30 shows with some of the most competitive Corps. The practice was hot and difficult, but it paid off.

“The entire experience at times was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, but at other times, it was the greatest experience of my life,” said Anderson.

Mefford and Anderson’s experiences were alike in certain ways, but they also had a different point of view of the experience itself. Both said it was challenging and long, but turned out to be a helpful experience.

“It was a long experience, but ultimately worth it to gain more knowledge about color guard and become better at what I love to do,” said Mefford.

Mefford and Anderson faced new challenges while training with the Scouts, but they learned to face and overcome those challenges one day at a time.

“Along the way, it got hotter, and it was hotter than I’ve ever been in my entire life. The mental challenges are a big problem sometimes. You also have to learn to operate on the minimal amount of sleep,” said Anderson.

Mefford had an injury while he was working with the Scouts, causing him to have more challenges to overcome.

“Like many rookies their first year, I went through many challenges. The days were long, hard working, humid and hot, but manageable. Going into The Corps, I didn’t know how to do a lot of things compared to others. I had to learn a bunch of new things I have never done or heard of in high school color guard. Working past this factor was simple for me because I pushed hard and kept going. Most of this summer was a struggle because during spring training I tore my lateral meniscus in my right knee. In order for me to finish out the season with The Corps, I had to get a knee brace. Some days were pretty painful, but most were tolerable,” said Mefford.

Anderson hopes his experience serves as an example to the rest of the Pride members as a way to encourage great performances.

“With the leadership skills I learned at the Scouts, I plan to be an example and use the knowledge I’ve gained to help us be the best performers we can be,” said Anderson.

Mefford and Anderson plan to make the Pride of Paoli better in their own ways.

“I plan to help the guard reach a new level in show work and support the band to make them better at what they wish to become better at,” said Mefford.

These two band seniors traveled and competed around the country and earned awards and their hope is that their final season with the Pride reflects their busy summer.


Story by Angie Ceja

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