Alumni News

60th Anniversary Information Central

by admin on April 9, 2016 No comments

The 60th Anniversary Celebration, includes the 60th Anniversary Party, lunch with the Phantom Regiment, the VIP Barbecue Dinner and a once in a lifetime alumni performance at the 41st Annual Show of Shows.  You won’t want to miss this very special weekend – July 8-9, 2016.

There have been a few different stories in a few different places.  Here are links to all of the 60th Anniversary Celebration info.

 

60th Anniversary Party & Performance

Includes schedule of events, fee information and registration.

PRAA Horn Rental

We have a limited number of brass instruments available for rental.

41st Annual Show of Shows

If all you want is information on the Show of Shows.

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admin60th Anniversary Information Central

Horns Available to Rent for Alumni Performance

by admin on April 6, 2016 No comments

King Hybrid EuphThanks to our partners at Conn-Selmer and KING, we have a limited number of brass instruments available for rental. The rental period would be from April 7 to July 9. First come – first served.

  • Bb Trumpet – $50 plus shipping
  • F Mellophone – $75 plus shipping
  • Bb Baritone – $100 plus shipping
  • Bb Tuba – $200 plus shipping

Shipments will be via FedEx, or you can pick the horn up in Rockford, free of shipping charge. Once payment is received, horn will be shipped (within 2 days).

This offer is only available to those who have already registered/paid for the alumni performance at the 2016 Show of Shows.



This button is only for those that have directed back to this page to pay for the horn rental AND shipping charges.




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adminHorns Available to Rent for Alumni Performance

PRAA gives special gift to age-outs

by admin on October 30, 2014 No comments

This past August, those that aged out of the 2014 Phantom Regiment received a very special gift from the Regiment, courtesy of the PRAA. Their helmet! Yes, each member learned at the end of the season that they would be allowed to keep their helmet (with plume) and those who did not actually wear a helmet as part of their uniform (color guard and front ensemble), would receive a brand new helmet.

The Helmet Project as its been called, has been in the works for some time, as those within the management structure of the organization have tried to come up with a parting gift for the members that would be truly special - something to be cherished for years to come. The PRAA board was brought in, both for their opinions and to help with funding. And the PRAA was happy to take on the project. ”This is a perfect fit for the Alumni Association” said Alumni Association president Ron Schulz. ”As former members we all know how important it is for members to be able to take a piece of their experience with them as they transition out of the corps.”

”This decision was not made lightly” said Dan Farrell, corps director and program coordinator. Questions were asked, such as: Does this devalue the helmet? Are we worried about someone disrespecting the helmet, once its out of our sight? What about all of those that have worn the helmet previously, but will not have this chance? And while those are all valid concerns, each was discussed and the decision was made that the project should move ahead. From Executive Director, Rick Valenzuela, ”Weve always wanted our age-outs to be able to walk away with some kind of tangible reminder of their days with Phantom Regiment. With the help of the Alumni Association, we can do that in a way that shows our great appreciation for their time and talent.”

The members were thrilled when they heard the news at the banquet on the Sunday morning after DCI Championships. Ron Schulz told all in atendance that not only would the brass and battery receive their helmets but also the guard and front ensemble, receiving great applause and cheering. What better memento to take away, than the iconic headgear that has symbolized the Phantom Regiment since 1975.

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adminPRAA gives special gift to age-outs

Project 35: Another Look Back

by admin on October 3, 2014 No comments

AlumniDMsThis summer on June 20, six generations of Phantom Regiment members presented Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral. Alongside my fellow conductors, Destiny Holt and Zach Gursky, and alumni conductors Curtis Matlin (1983), Greg Benson (2011), and Kyle Nijoka (2007-2009), we had the honor of conducting our Phamily. What an incredible experience; standing in front of the combined horn line. It was overwhelming, to say the least.

Phantom Regiment has impacted my life in many ways, and that evening I realized it originated with the amazing members standing in front of me.  They had inspired me to grow and reach for my dreams, and that was the reason I was standing there that evening as a member of the Phamily.

AlumniHornline14When the performance reached the impact moment of our beloved Elsa’s, the energy, passion, and love could be felt by everyone in the stadium. Former and current Regiment members, joining as one, creating beautiful music together, that was an unforgettable moment. The love for each other on the field that night was not just shared by corps members in attendance, but it was shared by Phamily members around the world.

SUTA!

David Warren
Asst. Conductor 2012, 2013
Conductor 2014

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adminProject 35: Another Look Back

Project 35 – A Brief Look Back

by admin on September 24, 2014 No comments

6 Generations! Almost 100 Strong! Phamily! So many faces and stories in such a short period of time. Old friends and new friends! Elsa’s! It was “Project 35: Elsa’s Return to the Cathedral.”

We relived a dream that warm summer evening on June 20th, 2014. We heard the cadence of the percussion line and felt the grass beneath our feet as we marched on to the field! Horns up, follow the baton and play! Unimaginable joy! A memory to never be forgotten for the rest of our lives! Standing ovation, tears in everyones eyes, the crowd screaming “one more time, one more time”! We marched off the field with our new Phantom phriends. Halt and silence at attention. We didn’t move, we didn’t flinch, we are proud Regiment horn line members!

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adminProject 35 – A Brief Look Back

20 Questions: Dan Farrell (1972-80)

by admin on April 5, 2014 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Dan Farrell (1972-80)


Current Occupation: Corps Director, Program Coordinator Phantom Regiment

Contact Information: dan@regiment.org

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1972-79, 1980 Baritone/Euphonium

1. When did you first see/hear the Regiment?:

1971 Veterans Day parade (Rockford)

2. What made you want to march in Regiment?
My Dad thought it would give my brother Tim and I something constructive to do, and we thought they looked pretty impressive in the parade. So we looked up Phantom Regiment in the phone book and went down to practice that very night. Red Christensen (personnel director) took one look at us and tried to talk us out of joining, by telling us we ‘d have to pay a dollar a week (we looked at my parents and they nodded), we ‘d have to practice long hours (we looked at each other and nodded), and that we ‘d have to get military haircuts for inspections (we looked at the floor and nodded). Sensing defeat, he said ok and walked us into the horn room , where two young, scraggly looking, hippie-wanna-be boys began what has turned out to be a rather long journey.

3. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
Realizing this covers a lot of years, I ‘ll go with Allentown 2008 (and the remaining shows that year), watching the audience react to the last minute or so of the show.

4. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
If I could go back and talk to the teen-aged me I would have plenty to tell him, but I doubt he ‘d listen.

5. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines.

6. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
So many of the people I am still friends with 40 years later (just vacationed with a few of them).

7. Who have you lost track of that you would like to reconnect with?
Chris Moncelli (does he still eat strange peanut butter combinations?)

8. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
The corps used to spend a lot more time in Rockford than it does now. There were many social events (some of which were even acceptable to the corps management). Among my favorites were the brat parties in Jim and Laura Wren ‘s backyard, where the hornline would practice for a while, then things would deteriorate steadily from there. I ‘m sure their neighbors loved them for it.

9. Did you audition, and if so, what was your audition like?
There were n’t really auditions back then, but I still managed to not have a spot for the first two shows of my first year. Thank you Chris Pease, for quitting. Dan Richardson was starting to have a tough time keeping me encouraged. (Some things never change.)

10. What is your drum corps history?
All with Phantom Regiment (except for brief stints teaching the Flying Dutchmen and the Geneseo Knights). 1972-78, Baritone; 1979, PR Cadets Staff; 1980, Euphonium; 1981-84, Brass Staff; 1987-1993, Brass Staff; 1993-1997, Program Coordinator; 2001-present, Program Coordinator; 2010-present, Corps Director.

11. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
Well, I give them plenty of advice, but most importantly, not to take this opportunity for granted. It ‘s an experience that will stay with them for the rest of their lives (if they work it right).

12. If you went on to instruct, what was it like instructing people you had marched with?
It was fun, and it went pretty well, but there was an adjustment period. I ‘m sure I could have handled it better, but I managed to keep the gig.

13. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
Jim Wren. I knew he had very high standards (still does) and he was no fun at all, when disappointed.

14. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
Um, yeah got a little Swan Lake bouncing around in my head right now.

15. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you, and why?
There were several, but if picking one, it would again have to be Jim Wren. With each year, I gained more appreciation for how he shaped the corps and the members he taught, both on and off the field. I felt absolutely honored, to handle his presentation to the DCI Hall of Fame in 1995.   

16. How much did it cost for you to march ‘back in the day ?
Dues my first year were $1 per week, plus we had to take some tour money with us, for eating in restaurants. I think my mom gave me $25.00 for first tour and $35 for second tour. Through the years, it s gone up a bit.

17. Have your children followed in your footsteps by marching?
I never had kids, other than the 150 I get to travel with each summer.

18. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?
Yes – it never goes well.

19. Did you have trouble adjusting back to civilian life after the season ended?
Nowadays it never really ends, but when I marched, I had the same love of bus fumes that many of us share.

20. Are you still involved in the music/performing arts field?
It s my honor to be invloved in the design and instruction of the Regiment ‘s performing and educational programs each year – a job made easier by having terrific people to do the real work. (I ‘m just that annoying bug in their ear.)

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admin20 Questions: Dan Farrell (1972-80)

20 Questions: Chris White (1991-92)

by admin on March 29, 2014 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Chris White (1991-92)


Current Occupation: Civil Engineer in Baton Rouge, LA

Contact Information: cwhite@wynnwhite.com

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1991 and 1992, drumline, 2nd bass

1. What made you want to march in Regiment?

The costumes, the black drums, and so many members in my college band (Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA) that marched Regiment. Most of our drumline exercises were from PR, so it just seemed the way to go.

2. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
First tour in 1991. It was my first tour during my first year, and we went to the East coast. We went to D.C., Philadelphia, Rhode Island, Gettysburg, and a bunch of other places. I d never been there before. I was a history major, and it couldn t have been a better area for us to visit. And the fans hadn t seen Regiment that much, so they were fired up, which really excited us.

3. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
Somehow change that 8th place finish in 1992. Getting dropped 2 spots on finals night when I aged out was like getting punched in the gut.

4. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
Although I was in the drumline, my favorites were Ave Maria and Amazing Grace. The hornline was amazing in both.

5. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
My fellow bass drummers. Other parts of the corps have their own chemistry, but I think the bass section is a little different since we re so dependent on each other while playing and marching. We had a lot of fun, and when we disagreed, it could get intense. We were pretty tight both my years.

6. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
Not really interesting, but I saw a lot of neat things for the first time through the windows of Bus 3, like the New York City skyline, Washington D.C, Arlington National Cemetery, and a lot of other places.

7. Did you have temporary housing in Rockford while you marched, and if so, do you still have contact with them?
In 1991 I lived with the Lindquist family, and with Pat Fiordelisi in 1992. I ‘m still in contact with them.

8. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
Parties at Al Dunn ‘s house, and I ‘ll leave it at that.

9. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Hard work and perseverance. Break tasks down into small, manageable parts, then add on. Next thing you know, you ‘ve got it down.

10. Did you audition and if so, what was your audition like?   
There were quite a few people who showed up in late 1990 to audition. So it wasn’t handed to any of us. The whole time I was worried I wasn’t getting enough time to play and beat out the others. To add to this, I started out on 3rd bass, where I was pretty comfortable. But then, because I ‘m so short, they moved me up the 2nd, which was great because I got more notes and was harder to play. The auditions went on until March, when they finally set the bass drum line.

11. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
Take time, look around, and soak in the experience. Don ‘t complain about the hard work – that ‘s why you ‘re there. Enjoy your fellow corps members. One day you ll be scattered all over the place, and you’ re really going to miss your days (and nights!) rehearsing and performing, and most importantly, each other.

12. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
The time we rehearsed at Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches, LA from 12 am – 4 am after having done a show. It was August, and of course it gets pretty hot in Louisiana. The staff wanted to get in some work, and not many of us were happy. But I remember being somewhat ok with it because that show was closest to home for me, and the only real chance I had to see friends from back in the real world. And I ‘d gone to school there, so I ‘d spent my fair share of time on that field. Home is home, no matter what time of day.

13. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
Easily the 1991 show in Natchitoches, LA. It was a home show for me since I ‘d gone to school there, as had a lot of other members that year. I think there were 9 of us. My Mom and Dad had crawfish etouffee for the corps. That was the best crawfish etouffee I ‘d eaten up until then. We won the show, then headed off to Dallas for finals. We beat the Cavies that night, who ‘d eventually come in 2nd. Kind of makes you think we could ‘ve pulled off 2nd instead of 3rd, but the rain all week kept us from cleaning up some things we needed to work on.

14. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
Jeff Prosperie or Marty Hurley. Great people, and great teachers. But man they could spot when you didn’ t play well, and you didn’t want a stern lecture from them. But when you played well and they recognized you for it, it was special.

15. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you?
The folks who worked in the food truck. And why? The food truck was the bass drummers job, so I spent the most time with them. They were up before everyone else, and were still up when everyone was shutting down. We were the last to pack up and leave places. I know everyone works hard, and were always working in their own way, but they stood out to me, I guess mainly because I saw it firsthand every day when we put stuff out and packed up.

16. What nicknames do you remember?
Not too many that are suitable for publication. We used to call Marty Hurley Erasmus because we knew his middle initial was E , but no one knew his middle name. He wouldn t tell us, but on the last day of the 1992 season he told us. Mine was Flash, because I had a Flash superhero T-shirt I wore one day, and the guys started calling me that, and the name stuck.

17. Did you have trouble adjusting back to civilian life after the season ended?
Yes! It was hard getting used to sleeping in a bed!

18. What would you like to see the Regiment do to increase alumni involvement?
I actually think they do a pretty good job already. I don ‘t get around much because I live so far away and don ‘t get a chance to see many shows because of work. But we ‘re in contact. Maybe more use of social media.

19. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1991, no doubt.

20. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?
initiation

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admin20 Questions: Chris White (1991-92)

20 Questions: Lora (Abegglen) Conrad (1969-72)

by admin on March 22, 2014 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Lora (Abegglen) Conrad (1969-72)


Current Occupation: Retired after working as a Job Coach for high school students with disabilities for 23 years. Most rewarding job I ve ever had.

Contact Information: loramconrad@gmail.com               

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1969 – soprano bugle, 1970-1972 mellophone   

1. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?

Oh my gosh! The Hurley Hilton! It was an old, unoccupied school building with no hot water for showers, so our very inventive chaperones hooked up a hose in the shower room and sprayed us down like cattle so we could bathe. Humiliating, but better than no shower at all – maybe!      

2. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
Most definitely I would march my age-out year. So many regrets about that, but there were circumstances involved I had no control over. I got married at 19 (not recommended!) to another PR member. We marched as the first married couple ever in 1972. He decided we couldn t do both, so 1972 was my last year.   

3. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
Even though Elsa ‘s Processional to the Cathedral was not during my marching years, one of the first times I heard it, shivers went up my spine. It was electrifying and just the most glorious, powerful music ever. Amazing Grace is another one and I am really disappointed that this fell to the wayside. I don t know why – it was powerful.   

4. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
Geez, my list is long! The one person who gave me more credit than anyone else was the late, David St. Angel. I have a treasured M & M Award (Marching and Maneuvering for those not familiar with this) given to me by Dave in 1972, my last year. It meant the world to me that someone noticed how much effort I put into marching well. The incomparable Jim Wren, who, at the time, I did not realize what a genius and gifted writer/arranger he is until years later. Dr. Dan Richardson – the man who was always there overseeing every facet of our performance. What I love most about Dr. Dan is he treats everyone equally. Except I get the best hugs and hi, sweetheart greeting from him because he likes me more than anyone else!! 😉   The wonderful Red Christiansen!! I ‘m so sorry the current kids did not get to know this unique and generous man. No one that I know of supported and defended the Phantom Regiment ‘s honor like Red did. He was one of a kind.   

5. Who have you lost track of that you would like to reconnect with?
Sam Watkins. I think every girl had a crush on him. He was just a very nice guy. Jo Marie Sparacino – I ‘ve heard she s in poor health, so I ‘d especially like to reconnect. She was a lot of fun. I ‘m sure there are many, but memory does not serve me well anymore.   

6. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
I got such a kick out of Bleb-alerts, of course, started by none other than those very funny Michigan kids!! OMGosh – out of the blue the bus lights would be flashing on and off, rapidly and one of them announcing a Bleb-alert! Also, a group of us spent considerable time making up corps songs using familiar tunes. A great way to pass the time and then we d sing them at the top of our lungs! Wish I could remember even one of them.   

7. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
I lived in Rockford so it was just home to me. But, I do remember, once again, those funny Michigan guys living with Mayor Bob McGaw of Rockford, but they called him Mayor Magoo. Sorry to call you out Bob & Mike, but it was just funny and I know they were not meaning any disrespect, because they really liked him and were appreciative of his devotion to Phantom Regiment – they just couldn t resist being their funny selves!

8. Did you have temporary housing in Rockford while you marched, and if so, do you still have contact with them?
I lived in Rockford so after I was done marching I housed three groups of kids. There were three kids from, I believe, New Mexico that I housed for a season. I m sorry to say I can t remember their names anymore, but they were so very nice and grateful to me. I have a lovely Southwest design ceramic trivet they gave me as a parting gift that I keep on my stove as a constant reminder of their time with me. The other kids I ve housed I still am connected with: My Michigan kids Bob Wittock and Mike Madden – I know where Mike is but he does not correspond with me – maybe some day again. I had to ask Katy (Isermann) Madden if she lived with me because she was at my house a lot, too, but she refreshed my memory that it was because she was dating Mike that she was here a lot. And my Chicago kids, Ed Collins and Dusten Rizzo-Wojak. Dusten finally accepted my friend request on FB, but I ve been in contact with his sister, Vanessa Diaz via FB, so I know some of what is going on in his life. All are super wonderful guys and I m so happy I had each of them in my care and custody. I treasure the memories very much!

9. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Probably to a fault, I m extremely disciplined, timely, detailed, organized, critical and still eat too fast! Said by Dave St. Angel: You ve got 10 minutes to eat and get on the starting line! Gulp – off we go!

10. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
What s an audition? Back then anyone could join. We were the beginning – the post-fire beginning. All hands on deck was the call back then. They taught us how to play instruments, read music, march – it was a school in its own. I was actually a snare drummer in band, first chair even, but they did not allow girls in the drum line back in 1969, so I had the choice of color guard or horn line. I chose the challenge of learning to play a horn. Now with the opportunity to play in the alumni horn line, I am ever so grateful I made this decision 45 years ago!      

11. What is your drum corps history?
I started in the Purple Knights in 1967 for one short year. Then The Valiants Color Guard was formed by the Johnson family, so several of us from Purple Knights joined them because sadly, Purple Knights was folding. I loved competing in color guard shows. Slowly, that same year, some of the girls joined Phantom Regiment because they missed the whole drum corps thing. I was convinced to go there by the person that would become my lifelong best friend, Sandy Rossato, RIP.      

12. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
Stay in touch with each other. Be a part of the Alumni group on FB, pay your membership to the PRAA and PR Booster Club. It s money well spent and you ll always feel connected. You have the luxury of social media to keep in close contact as your lives evolve in many ways. If you can, help out another drum corps or color guard in your area. Give back and share the love you received.   

13. If you went on to instruct, what was it like instructing people you had marched with?
Not much to brag about here. I did instruct color guard for PR Cadets. So, they were much younger than me. I had one girl who was so belligerent and clearly did not respect me that I made her in charge of lining up the flags and pointing out mistakes. It worked and she settled down. She also went on to be an excellent color guard instructor for many years. Dave St. Angel asked me to be part of the marching staff – I was honored, but once again, intimidated to work for him. It ended up where I wasn t given any assignments at all, just along for the ride, so not a good memory of that period. It did drive me crazy to sit on the sidelines, see so many things I could have corrected, but no authority to do so.      

14. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
Have I mentioned Dave St. Angel? LOL I don t believe any members intimidated me, at least none that I can remember – everyone was so nice and fun.      

15. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you, and why?
Jim Wren. I could n’t understand how he knew how to write music so it sounded good. When I looked at a sheet of music, it baffled me how he knew all this. And there were times I observed him writing music and I thought that was crazy, just to put notes on a paper and expect it to sound good. I was pretty naïve.      

16. If you could have marched any other year in Regiment what year would it have been?
2008- Spartacus! OMGosh – what a passionate show. Every picture that was posted of every person showed clearly how each was living the moment, being that character. It was stunning.      

17. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?   
I have many times. But the biggest thing is wishing I could march with them just one more time. I m realizing that dream June 20th, although not so much marching as I ll be playing in the Alumni Hornline Reunion. Please let us march onto the field and not just trudge out there like waddling cattle. Ugh!         

18. What nicknames do you remember?   
Jonesy for Kathy Jones Wight. Snag for Kathy Epperson Clinite. Door knob for _____ , not saying, because it was not nice why she got that nickname. Donna Beachy for Donna Engelsman McDaniel. Suds for Bob Suhina.   I had two. Bagley, which was given to me by Jo Marie Sparacino because she could not pronounce my last name Abegglen. The other nickname was from Dave St. Angel for my twin sister, Norma and I because we were so tall 5 11 and 5 10 (back then – shorter now, of course) compared to the five foot girls. But I m NOT revealing it because it haunted me for years – I hated it.   

19. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
I ‘m sure my final year, 1972. I had grown a lot as a member, been involved in everything and become a much better mellophone player at that point. Winning out first contest that same year would add to the splendor.      

20. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?
SUTA!!   

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admin20 Questions: Lora (Abegglen) Conrad (1969-72)

20 Questions: David Wendel (1978)

by admin on March 15, 2014 Comments Off on 20 Questions: David Wendel (1978)


Current Occupation: Registered nurse, home infusion

Contact Information: euph300@roadrunner.com

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: Baritone, 1978

1. When did you first see/hear the Regiment?

In 1976, I played in corps that was instructed by Bob Sudzy Suhina. He told stories of his time in phantom in 1974. and I saw phantom on tour that year. I especially remember the performance at Hollender stadium in Rochester NY 1977

2. What made you want to march in Regiment?
That classical music, and the reputation of the baritone line. It was actually my brother Mike that brought up the idea. He was close to aging out, and wanted to march with a top DCI corps

3. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
That’s impossible to choose. The entire season, from the first time we walked into regiment hall (the former auto repair shop) until getting in the car in Rockford for the drive back to NY

4. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
I would have a different GE M+M judge at finals. Shirley Whitcomb placed us 6th, she never liked our show. Of course we were second 91.45 to SCV’s 91.55 those numbers still haunt me.

5. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
There are a few. I thought Beethoven’s 9th was a perfect closer. We played a tuning chorale called Schubert serenade that always gave me chills. After my year, I loved The lord’s prayer and Elsa’s

6. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
The way the corps was run. The focus was totally on the members and the show. I may have been naive, but it seemed that there were no adult ego’s getting in the way of the operation of the corps. That being said WE had massive ego’s!

7. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
I can’t share too many in public. I’ll try to describe this the best I can. We were on the bus one morning on tour waiting to head off to a practice field. Everyone was half dead at this point, mentally and physically. Outside the buses one of the guys, I can’t remember who, got on someone’s shoulders. They ran in between the buses, with the person on top moving his arms like he was running. So on the buses we saw someone running by the windows from the waist up.

8. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
Getting free tacos by saying trickie’s Texas tacos 10 times in 5 seconds.

9. Did you have temporary housing in Rockford while you marched, and if so, do you still have contact with them?
I stayed with the Corrigans, Doc and Wendy were still marching. I also worked at Lyle Corrigan’s metal shop. Angel Bedencourt also stayed there. Unfortunately, I have not had any recent contact. But if they’ve found my beige member shirt, please send it to me.

10. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Confidence in taking on challenges, determination.

11. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
I had a very informal audition. We were in Rockford for a drum camp. Dennis Kolpek, and Phil Weiskercher came down to hear me play. I played from my corps’ book, which was mostly from phantom’s ’74 book.

12. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
Enjoy every minute, take it all in, take pictures, keep a scrap book. These will be valuable memories in 20-30 years

13. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
We were working on Scherzo ala russe, the baris were on the back sideline and the sopranos were up front. I believe it was Norm Wheeler said baritones you’re so far backfield your sound is phasing with the sopranos by the time it reaches the stands. You’ll have to play almost a half a beat ahead, and adjust as you come forward. Ok let’s try it I knew that I was in the big time. And can I say what we did to Jack Padewan at the rehearsal before finals? I guess not.

14. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
I was next to Phil Weiskercher’s girlfriend during the flip turn in the drum solo. He threatened to beat me up if I hit her with my horn. Does that count?

15. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
All the time, I wish that I had saved the sheet music so I could still play it

16. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you, and why?
Jim Wren – his arranging is the best that the activity has ever had.

17. If you could have marched any other year in Regiment what year would it have been?
1979, I went to the first camp, I loved the music. But college tuition made it impossible for me to stay.

18. Are you still involved in the music/performing arts field?
I m in the Ghost riders mini corps. Reigning DCA champs!

19. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?   
Not too often, but when it does it’s usually retreat at finals. I wake up screaming.

20. What nicknames do you remember?   
Moogie, Snake, Mother Moose, Big Hummer, Pugsly, Kiltie Joe, Burley. I was called Weeble partly because of my name, but mostly because of my shape, and the way I marched.

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admin20 Questions: David Wendel (1978)

20 Questions: Pat Butler (1979-81)

by admin on March 8, 2014 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Pat Butler (1979-81)


Current Occupation: Sales Manager – Stanbury Uniforms, Visual Designer/Judge, Visual Staff – Carolina Crown

Contact Information: patbutler-bmr@sbcglobal.net        

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1979-81 Brass – Baritone, 1982-85 Visual Staff

1. What made you want to march in Regiment?   

THE POWER OF THE HORNLINE and the overall impressive quality of the performances that I got to experience.

2. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
There are so many that ‘s because I got to spend time as a member and on staff. Probably the 1979 Finals Performance, the last Spartacus performance and the second time we won the Best Brass Ensemble with a 99.00 are about as good as it gets. Seeing some 15 yr old member of PR/pr cadets grow over that 6-7 year span from a kid to a mature member and leader is a great memory as well.

3. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?   
I would have documented my time there in pictures.   

4. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
ELSA ‘S (that ‘s an easy call)

5. What do you remember most from your marching days?
The camaraderie and what it meant to be a member of the Phantom Regiment.

6. Any interesting or funny bus stories?   
Yes, and I don ‘t think the stories are for public consumption! Although I will say that I did have to wash the buses a few times over that three year period.

7. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
Hanging out at the party house and getting my ear pierced one night in probably not the most hygienic way. Also being at a few events with Cheap Trick.

8. Did you have temporary housing in Rockford while you marched, and if so, do you still have contact with them?   
1979, the crew from Kendallville, John Stark, Kevin Savage, Jim Sprandel and I lived in the Rose s’ basement. They were great to us. The next couple of years Kevin Schuessler and I lived with the Hodges. Great times and great families!

9. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?   
Personal excellence and never take a moment for granted. You never know when another opportunity will present itself.

10. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?   
I was a trombone player who fortunately had decent enough chops to be able sound decent and learned how to play a two-valve bugle after the audtiton. Got to play baritone for about 5 minutes before they handed me this damn heavy chrome euphonium and said “you are playing this “.

11. What is your drum corps history?   
1979 -81 PR Member; 1982-85 PR Visual Staff; 1987-1993 Star of Indiana visual staff; 1994 Brass Theatre; 2010-13 Madison Scouts (2011 Visual Capt head); 2014 Carolina Crown visual staff

12. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?   
Savor the experience. Drum Corps today is an extremely challenging activity both physically/mentally at the highest levels.   Apply the lessons learned over the summer to the rest of your life and you will be a better person for it, both personally and professionally.

13. Any memorable rehearsal stories?   
I do remember we were supposed to do warm up half-dressed, so we all showed up wearing the uniform top and underwear/shorts. I know there are pics out there of it. Also I remember getting snowed in at camp in late December 1978 and we had quite the camp!

14. If you went on to instruct, what was it like instructing people you had marched with?   
At the time , it was just kind of a natural progression. I can t remember that were any problems – treat people with respect and the inverse will be true. I am sure that I was pretty hard core back then as between Ed Danek (side 1) and me on side 2. We won a couple field visual sheets at finals in 82/83.

15. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
Probably 1979 Finals because of all those who were still in the corps from 1978 and trying to bring a title home to Rockford, as we only lost a couple shows all year and It was only to the Blue Devils, so the emotions and intensity of finals week for me as a rookie was something I had never experienced.

16. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
As a rookie member, I would say that John Smith and John Brazale could take intimidation to a pretty high level.

17. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you?   
I would be remiss to just put one person s name here.   The list of DCI Hall of Fame Members that were part of my experience includes: Bob Lendman (finally), Dr. Dan Richardson, John Brazale, Jim Wren, Marty Hurley and Moe Latour. So the Phantom Regiment experience was shaping DCI for the future. I also have to mention Red Christiansen, for his passion and just for the quality person that he was. The other staff member to me would be Mark Glasscoe. He taught me so much about the nuances of marching, teaching, technical excellence, and he was just a great person to be around.

18. Are you still involved in the music/performing arts field?   
Yes – see Job Description – every day!

19. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?
No but I do get to do that occasionally during summer rehearsals. At 53, it s quite a different animal to do than at 21!

20. What nicknames do you remember?
Spanky, Lance Sterling, tine & topher   

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admin20 Questions: Pat Butler (1979-81)