Alumni News

20 Questions: Dan Wood (2010-2012)

by admin on December 7, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Dan Wood (2010-2012)


Current Occupation: Actuary

Contact Information: shadowrulessa2b@yahoo.com

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: Euphonium 2010-2012

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

It was youtube video of the 2003 show that I watched in 2008. I never saw the corps live before I marched.

2.   What made you want to march in Regiment?
The moment towards the end of the 2003 show where the euphoniums play the Canon reprise. I knew that nobody else was playing music like that the instant I heard it and needed to be a part of it.

3. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
Marching Finals in 2010. They say that your rookie season is usually the most impactful, and that was the case for me. I loved the show throughout the season, but on Finals night it was different, as it always is. On this night, when we turned around towards the audience in the chevron set, the crowd roared. As we marched our 8 count forward unison, you could see section upon section standing up and applauding. And when we landed that kick halt, a rush of emotion hit me unlike anything I’ ve ever felt. It was pure passion and love for this activity.

4. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
This is a tough one to admit… It s kind of a sore subject for current members. Perhaps I should wait 10 years and then answer… But since I am among alums, I will say. I loved the 2010 staff to death. I would have kept JD and Paul for 2011 and 2012. I loved all 3 of the years I marched, and the staff members who put those shows together.

5. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
Wow… This is’n t fair. It s Elsa’ s, I think, with Ballet Suite an extremely close 2nd.

6. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
A specific event that comes to mind was Shohei’ s bus interview (he’ s from Japan) in 2011. The bus captain had to help him understand the questions, and he had the most ridiculous answers.

7. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Too many to list. Certainly, attention to detail and perseverance.

8. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
Yes (when did the corps not audition?) It was an etude, an articulation exercise, and a chromatic scale, I think. Visually, it was a basics block with the euphonium section.

9. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?   
Lots of things. Practice holding your horn before the summer, dammit! That way you don t show up to spring training and have your ass handed to you by the euphonium. And show up to spring training with all of your music memorized!

10. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
I could write a book about Jay Emmert rehearsal stories. There was one time in 2011 where he was upset that the euphoniums couldn’ t keep a particular diag straight, so he took the place of the angle setter and he and the point marched the move by themselves. See? It s as easy as that! he was screaming.

11. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?   
Finals in 2010 was amazing, but the Edmond, OK show in 2010 was a great performance as well.

12. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
I’ m not sure. As a rookie, I was intimidated by JD, Dwight, and Jay. In 2011 and 2012, that quickly changed to some of the vets with more years than me.

13. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
Absolutely. Most often, it s Nessun Dorma.

14. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you? And why?
Dwight. All of the stories and wisdom he’ s shared with the corps over the years have taught me so much.

15. If you could have marched any other year in Regiment what year would it have been?
EASY. 1989. I know it’ s very tempting to choose a year in which we won, but 1989 was out of this world. It constantly amazes me how good that corps was.

16. Are you still involved in the music/performing arts field?
I am in 2 (going on 3) community bands right now in Overland Park, KS, where I live.

17. What nicknames do you remember? Did you have a nickname?
The Gremlin (my personal favorite), Pumpkin, Scuba Steve, Kool Aid, Moon Duck, Bork Laser. I was called Dan Wood, to differentiate me from the other Dan s in the corps

18. Did you have trouble adjusting back to civilian life after the season ended?
The first week back, yes. I felt like I was doing nothing, and I missed my Phamily. It was really boring.

19. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
Too close to call. Each of my three years was special in its own way. 2010 for the show, 2011 for the corps unity, and 2012 for my group of close friends.

20. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?   
Playing music from past shows. Both encore tunes and history bits. I loved playing the great music this corps has performed through the years. History bits were such a huge hype for me before shows.

read more
admin20 Questions: Dan Wood (2010-2012)

20 Questions: Connie Carlson (1977-1978, 1981-19

by admin on November 29, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Connie Carlson (1977-1978, 1981-19


Current Occupation: Transportation Security Officer – Rockford Airport

Contact Information: suta1982@comcast.net

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1977&1978 – 2 years PRC drumline (bass drum and tenor) 1981, 1982 & 1984 Regiment – Soprano

1.   What made you want to march in Regiment?

My cousins (Collen, Danny, John, Ann, Teresa Cook) all marched in the Regiment. I saw the show in 1976 and fell in love with the music and the uniforms….tartans!!!

2. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
1981 DCI Finals in Montreal. Turning the corner and seeing an absolute wall of people in the stands…over 30,000+! Then ovation we received from the crowd was literally deafening…really. We couldn’t hear the commands after the flag toss going into closer. Also having the opportunity to house Regiment members and staff at my parents house. My Mom and Dad LOVED having that extended Phamily. We had a pool party at my house June-ish in 1984… I had invited about 20 of my phriends….well word got out and I believe the count was closer to half the corps showing up. I m pretty sure we were at capacity for the pool. We fired up the TV and watched DCI videos…complete with our commentary.

3. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
I would have taken more photos of the members. I took a lot of scenery photos since that was my hobby. Why I didn’ t point the camera at us I will never know. I would also have loved to march my age out year. My cousin and best friend was diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t bear the thought of not being at his side that summer. Seeing the corps in 1985 wearing the tartans and knowing that was also the age out year for a lot of my friends was very difficult for me…but it was the right decision.

4. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
Ty Huffman, Pat Garey, Don Fortner, the Big E (Elliott), Sue Krause, Shawn Stockman, Kim & Lynn Blade, all the Kistings, Dave Barlow, Dave Ledman, Neely, and all my 3rd soprano pals.

5. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
The 1982 Bus 3 toga party vs Bus 4. So Bus 3 decided to have a toga party in honor of Spartacus. They were having beverages as we were on the road and pleaded over the bus radio system of a extreme need for the next rest stop. So we nominated Terry Hammond to LOCK the door on Bus 3 once we pulled into the rest stop. Funny to those of us not bladder challenged. Terry bounded out of our bus and padlocked bus 3 s door shut. Well, almost immediately the toga clad members started to pour out of the windows. They chased Terry down in the nearby grass knoll. A single light lit up the scene as the guys stripped Terry of his clothing which came flying vertically out of the sea of toga clad members. (Perhaps how the Kabookie toss came to be.) I was standing next to Mark Glascoe who had this look on his face and just shook his head.

6. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Before drum corps I was very shy. Being a part of the Regiment instilled confidence in me. I base a lot of my positive attitude on my years spent in the Regiment. My new job requires us to project a sort of command presence….minus the kick halt of course. That would freak people out.

7. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
I did in 1984. Since all of my horn skills were from my Spartacus years…that s what I played. I only knew my Regiment music.

8. What is your drum corps history?
I joined the Phantom Regiment Cadets 1977 as a member of the bass drum line. In 1978, I was moved to tenor which I loved to play. The summer of 1980, I learned how to play a horn and then joined the Soprano line in 1981. I was in the soprano line in 1981, 1982 & 1984. I was on staff with the Regiment Cadets for a couple of years, then came back to work in the Regiment office in 2008 & 2009. I also designed t-shirts for the Regiment for over 12 years as a way to pay back the corps for the life skills it had given me.

9.    Any memorable rehearsal stories?
Not really a rehearsal….about 8 of us were in the equipment truck getting our horns when the parking break slipped and the truck began to roll.

10. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
In 1984, everyone knew we were gonna throw kabookies at the end of 1812. What we (members) didn’t realize is our fans had brought their own colorful streamers and the rest of the crowd had accumulated every roll of toilet paper from the stadium. I wish someone would have captured that moment from our perspective. It was just an explosion of streamers from the crowd followed by a huge standing ovation.

11. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
Staff – Steve Suslik, John Brazle / Member – Dave Kisting. Dave, because he was the lead soprano and had been in the corps so long.

12. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
All the time…I also still unintentionally drum…even the old street beat from 1978.

13. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you? And why?
Staff – Mark Glascoe….he was just great. He would simply give you the look…and you knew you did something wrong. Ted Konstant & Steve Erbe from my PRC days. Then there was Red….he was a good friend, fellow golfer and a GREAT man.

14. If you could have marched any other year in Regiment what year would it have been?
1989!!!!! Awesome music and a great show! And of course 1985…my age out year.

15. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?
Yes. I m on the starting line in uniform and thinking…wow…I m over 21 and the corps is going to get penalized because of me. Weird!

16. What nicknames do you remember? Did you have a nickname? If so, what was it?
Big E, Budda, Richard, Chaptak. Yes – Conehead

17. Did you have trouble adjusting back to civilian life after the season ended?
It was strange going from the 24 hours a day Regiment routine to a regular civilian. Your drum corps life is on such a tight schedule.

18. What would you like to see the Regiment do to increase alumni involvement?
Create events where the alumni can be involved with the current members. Create a living history booth at SOS where people can see photos and talk to people who are alumni of the Regiment. Maybe even have them in their years marched uniform.

19. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1982 – Spartacus didn’t t have to be explained to the crowd and it was harder for the judges to say they didn’t understand the show. The wall of sound that hornline produced was controlled power. A famous Dan Farrell quote from that year; I don t want them to say…Wow, they are loud!…I want them only to say…SH*T!!! .

20. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?
SUTA and the kick halt

read more
admin20 Questions: Connie Carlson (1977-1978, 1981-19

20 Questions: Tim Farrell (1972-1975)

by admin on November 23, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Tim Farrell (1972-1975)


Current Occupation: Admin, PG Display

Contact Information: Tim@Regiment.org

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 72, 73, 74, 75 (Baritone)

1. What made you want to march in Regiment?

My brother Dan badgered me into joining.

2. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
Making DCI finals for the first time in 74.

3. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
I would have driven John Mattocks to Monroe Cheese Days in 74.

4. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
Shostakovich 5th.

5. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
Pete Bond.

6. Who have you lost track of that you would like to reconnect with?
Russ Libby

7. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
I was horrified to see a suitcase fall from the rack above the seats to hit Lester in the face while sleeping on the floor, but I laughed quite a lot when one of our soprano players (recovering from a hangover) vomited in John Baumgartner s bushy hair. It was a large target and apparently difficult to miss.

8. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
Marching the Rockford parades, having Regiment members continually joining our formation wearing their school band uniforms after having already completed the parade with their band.

9. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Drum corps best teaching tool: Constant critique and evaluation immediately applied toward rehearsal and higher personal achievement.

10. What is your drum corps history?
Four year member (baritone) of PR, one year with Chicago Connection Sr. corps (baritone), 3 years with PR Cadet staff (brass, program coordinator), 15 years with Shrine drum corps, twenty-three years on PR Alumni Board, & twenty-seven years with PR Board (18 years as President).

11. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
Take pictures and videos, but avoid posting for at least 20 years.

12. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
I recall the caption heads promising beer at the end of a hot rehearsal. When they made good on their promise I gave mine away. (It was three years later before I could stand the taste enough to drink it voluntarily.) It was later that week when we were allowed to end rehearsal early so we could watch Nixon resign on national TV. We hoped for important political announcements every day following that….but luck such as this comes only once.

13. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
Mayville 73, a friend of mine had an unfortunate suspender failure midway through the show. When the crowd roared their approval in an odd moment of our show, I was confused momentarily. Only when I saw first-hand the bright boxer shorts did I understand our sudden popularity.

14. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
Dave St.Angel yelled at me most, but I think I was intimidated more by Jim Wren.

15. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
I use the opening phrase of the 75 show to measure my bicycling pedal-tempo.

16. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you? And why?
Jim Wren was thoughtful, with unwavering commitment, determination and confidence.

17. Have your children followed in your footsteps by marching?
Yes. My daughter Stacey, has the insignificant distinction of being the first Phantom Regiment member to march DCI finals whose parents also marched DCI finals.

18. What nicknames do you remember?
Wally, Harold #43, Lester, Beak, RIAF, Spock.

19. What would you like to see the Regiment do to increase alumni involvement?
In today s dollars, members pay roughly $3000 to participate, but the cost to the corps to provide instruction, transportation, food and admin is $7,400. This means that every member accrues $4,400 per year in costs that are covered by volunteers and donors (and the events that they produce). I would like to see the Regiment reach an agreement with its alum, stating that beginning 20 years after they participate, they return the favor to the best of their ability.

20. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1974

read more
admin20 Questions: Tim Farrell (1972-1975)

20 Questions: Dave Barlow (1971-1977)

by admin on November 16, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Dave Barlow (1971-1977)

Current Occupation: Senior Sourcing Specialist AT&T

Contact Information: ruebernard@ameritech.net

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1971-77 , Pachyderm….er….Contra

1. What made you want to march in Regiment?   

It looked a whole lot better than my lame marching band!!!!!!!

2.   What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
John Brazale s pep talks. He rarely minced words and ALWAYS spoke his heart. We miss you John.

3. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
Not one thing!!!!!

4. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
I have to pick one??? The ostinato from Harmonic Journey (2003) gives me goose bumps every time!

5. Who have you lost track of that you would like to reconnect with?
Linda Havaneth aka Lydia!!!

6. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
The O bus vs the D bus. We got a lotta mileage out of that whole rivalry. We became much closer as a unit because of those antics which involved the letters O & D retrieved from various marquees on tour.

7. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Discipline and the group mentality have served me well in my professional life.

8. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
Heck, we needed bodies to put on the field so it wasn t so much auditioning for a spot as much as you were auditioning for a horn. I started on baritone and went to Contra.

9. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
Give it your all and you will not be disappointed!!!!! It s hard, hard work but what a reward! Wow!

10. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
Rehearsals at Beyer Stadium were always interesting. From the dust bowl days to the days we had fans in the stands, eh, derilicts.

11. If you went on to instruct, what was it like instructing people you had marched with?
I taught M&M or what we called in the day Marching and Maneuvering. I believe I even taught Bob Smith many moons ago. It took focus, on both parties, marchers and instructors to get the job done. I couldn t have been prouder of the people I worked with. They achieved on a very high level.

12. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
Somewhere in Wisconsin I think it was around Sheboygan. We were on the starting line in pea soup fog. We heard Norm Wheeler give us the Resume March but we didn t see the stands until halfway through the opener. We truly were Phantoms that night! Second runner up would be watching the 1988 Regiment from the press box at DCI with my mom, Dr. Dan, the DCI nurse. By the time the guard pulled out those beautiful blue flags the whole lot of us were in tears of joy! God, they were beautiful!!!!!

13. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
Gotta be a toss up between Dave St. Angel and John Brazale. Both men were forceful and opinionated and I loved working with them that much more because of it.

14. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you?
Dr. Dan and Jim Wren And why? Because they loved each and every one of us and they were always there for us! Who do you think fostered the whole phamily sentiment that we have today?

15. If you could have marched any other year in Regiment what year would it have been?
1993 What an incredible program both musically but stylistically as well.

16. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams? Of course!!!
And I m thrilled that they would have me fill in!!!!! And the uniform fit!

17. What nicknames do you remember?
Snag, Snake, Suds, Mad Dog, Emma to name a few.

18. Did you have trouble adjusting back to civilian life after the season ended?
It was hard that first season out, but the Regiment couldn t have had bigger fan in the stadium! I yelled my lungs out. Still do!

19. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1977 We really pushed for the title that year! We put it all out there at Finals.

20. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?
Meeting in the block after our performance to hear what our instructors had to say about our performance. Both the good and the not so good.

read more
admin20 Questions: Dave Barlow (1971-1977)

20 Questions: Mark Swaile (1985)

by admin on November 9, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Mark Swaile (1985)

Current Occupation: Self-employed: music teacher, arranger, custom drum builder.

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1985 N.A.A.T.D.

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

I first saw Phantom on the 1977 DCI broadcast on PBS. This was my first drum corps experience period. My first live performance was at DCI North in 1979.

2. What made you want to march in Regiment?
1979 Elsa’s closer. First time I saw it live, I was hooked. I decided right then that I would march there someday.

3. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
Some of my favorite memories were traveling back and forth to camps with Gary Ryan and Linda Haveneth. I believe we made it across Indiana when the toll road was closed. We were traveling a whopping 25 MPH. Another time we were on Gary’s uncle Dan’s expressway through Chicago. We had 1812 blaring on the radio and there was a lane change with every cannon shot.

4. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
I would have been shorter so I could play the little tenors.

5. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
It would be hard to pin it down to just one. Kind of like asking what your favorite piece of bacon you ever ate was.

6. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
Surprisingly enough, I have great memories of several people. Social networking has been awesome to get reconnected with those that I can find.

7. Who have you lost track of that you would like to reconnect with?
I would be interested to see how everyone I was associated with has progressed through life. I am intrigued by the whole nature of such a diverse group coming together for a very concentrated amount of time and then departing their separate ways. If we marched together, How you doin’?

8. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
Not all for public discussion. I do remember having a pool on our bus. I had a sign in my window that asked please don’t pee in our pool, we don’t swim in your toilet. When friends from other corps saw they ask why. I just brought them on board to see our pool. I believe David Cole in the seat behind me had pool toys for rent.

9. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
I am constantly using all of my drum corps experience in everyday life. I used the teamwork concepts from drum corps in my management practices. I would use the work ethic, and quest perfection in my climb of the corporate ladder. I learned that if you are going to work hard and put forth all that effort, it should be for what you love to do, not what you need to make a boss happy.   

10. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
We did have an audition. It was a lot less pressure than I had expected. I had met the guys from the tenor line the year before so I knew some folks when I got there. I remember having a few speed and endurance matches with Lief Marwede that weekend. We made up by adding visuals to the audition piece.

11. What is your drum corps history?
I had marched 6 years with the Glassmen prior to heading to Rockford. Started when I was 12 years old.

12. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
I had the pleasure of working with the Glassmen organization for the past two seasons. This is the time of your lives to take full advantage of the opportunities you have before you. Make good connections, make good friends, Enjoy the long hot days, the bus breakdowns, and the cold showers, someday, you will actually miss them.

13. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
I heard Symphony Fantistiqe on the drive home the other night. I was actually playing some old drum parts on the steering wheel at a light.

14. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you?   
Mrs. Beard was a saint to me And why? I had developed blood sugar issues while on tour. She was like a mother to me by making sure I was checked on a regular basis and had the right snacks at the right time.

15. How much did it cost for you to march ‘back in the day?
I believe tour fees for 1985 were $480

16. Did you meet your future spouse in Regiment?
Nope, good things come to those who wait.

17. Are you still involved in the music/performing arts field?
I teach 20 or so private students per week, and work with 2 local school music programs. I some occasional clinics and master classes. I have worked on the support staff for the Glassmen for the past 2 seasons.

18. Have your children followed in your footsteps by marching?
Not yet, they aren’t old enough.

19. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?
About once a month I find myself getting into uniform, and walking into a stadium with no clue what I’m doing. I have the dreams too.

20. Did you have trouble adjusting back to civilian life after the season ended?
Transition was pretty smooth. I started college that year, so everything was new anyway.

read more
admin20 Questions: Mark Swaile (1985)

20 Questions: Robert Pacheco (1983)

by admin on November 2, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Robert Pacheco (1983)


Current Occupation: Entertainment Management

Contact Information: robertpacheco.1963@yahoo.com

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1983/Hornline: Soprano

1. What made you want to march in Regiment?   

The music and the cool helmets!!!!

2.   What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
The people I met

3. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
Not a one

4. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
Elsa ‘s Procession

5. Any interesting or funny bus stories ?
Someone stole my Boom box, I think Garfield kid did it lol

6. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
The awesome Frew family and experiencing farm life for the first time EVER!!!

7. Did you have temporary housing in Rockford while you marched, and if so, do you still have contact with them?
The Awesome Frew family, Marian & Cathy, on 411 King Street!!!

8. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Extremely organized and impeccable attention to detail,

9. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
Yes! Excellent! I was dubbed the NYC kid by Dan Farrell! lol

10. What is your drum corps history?
Local corps in New York City & Winterguard

11. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
Go for it! You’ll never regret it!!

12. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
Steve Suslick calling a member an idiot! Didn t think that was cool!

13. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
Finals Miami!

14. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
Dan Farrell

15. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
Always, ELSA’ S

16. Would you like to see the corps do some kind of alumni horn/drum/guard performance at Show of Shows? If yes, would you be willing to pay a fee to help make it happen?
Sure

17. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you? And why?
Dan Farrell. He told me don’ t worry you ‘ll be fine and it’s cool! My dealing with being away from home for the first time ever.

18. How much did it cost for you to march ‘back in the day ?
I think a little over 300!!??

19. What nicknames do you remember? Did you have a nickname? If so, what was it?
Beaker! Yes, Roberto of New York City!!!!

20. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1983 was my only year

read more
admin20 Questions: Robert Pacheco (1983)

20 Questions: Kevin Schuessler (1980-1981)

by admin on October 19, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Kevin Schuessler (1980-1981)


Current Occupation: Director of Bands Center Grove School Corporation

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 80-81 French Horn 82-85 Staff

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

1976

2. What made you want to march in Regiment?   
Quality and friend that had marched in 79

3. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
Age out performance in Montreal

4. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
Not judge others.

5. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?   
Spartacus

6. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
Refining a piece of art and being with some pretty incredible people.

7. Who have you lost track of that you would like to reconnect with?
With facebook it is pretty easy to keep up with friends from the past.

8. Any favorite stories about Rockford?   
The Hodge s were a great family to open their home and hearts to us. What a blessing!

9. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Detailing and the ability to sleep anywhere.

10. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?   
No, just got a horn and set in on a sectional.

11. What is your drum corps history?
Phantom marched 80-81 and instructed 82-85, Northern Aurora staff 86-88, Star of Indiana 89-93.      

12. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?   
Enjoy and value it. It s not about winning it s about developing yourself on many fronts.

13. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
The night that I forgot my tennis shoes for rehearsal and I had to march all night in my steal toed boots (I worked delivering appliances during the day!).

14. If you went on to instruct, what was it like instructing people you had marched with?
Fine, I had done some sectional work while marching that helped the transition

15. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?   
81 Montreal DCI Championships

16. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?   
John Brazale

17. Have your children followed in your footsteps by marching?   
Not old enough yet, late bloomer!!

18. When was the last time you saw a live show?
2011 DCI Finals

19. What nicknames do you remember?
Tine and Topher (Chris Fiedler and Chris Jenkins)   

20. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1981

read more
admin20 Questions: Kevin Schuessler (1980-1981)

20 Questions: Scott Snynder (1980-1982)

by admin on October 12, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Scott Snynder (1980-1982)

Current Occupation: Marketing & Advertising

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: Years in Phantom Regiment and Section:1980-1982 Solo Soprano

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

1978 DCI Finals on TV

2. What made you want to march in Regiment?
Pure awe after watching 1978 DCI and realizing that such an opportunity and challenge was only 45 miles away from Dixon, IL

3. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
Growing up in Drum Corps. Learning from others older than me. Learning how to be a better trumpet player by learning from others that were better than me. Bus 3!

4. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
Not getting Mono 3 weeks before finals in 1981 (and missing it!)

5. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
Toss up between Hall of the Mountain King & Spartacus

6. Who do you remember most from your marching days?
Watching my baby sister, earn the respect of an all-male drum line and prove her tuffness by toting a bass drum around at the age of 14 and kicking ass the following year under Marty Hurley s wing to be the first female bad ass snare drummer. ALSO David Kisting. Marching next to him as a 14-year-old solo soprano in my first year ever was a both a challenge and inspiration.

7. Any interesting or funny bus stories?   
The infamous Bus 3 toga party in 1981. Photos are widely available on Facebook.

8. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
The original bus barn rehearsals were awesome because you would leave the week night rehearsal (winter) not knowing if you were going to die on the drive back to Dixon from carbon monoxide poisoning. The smell of oil, gas and exhaust made for an interesting backdrop.

9. Did you have temporary housing in Rockford while you marched, and if so, do you still have contact with them?
Nope. Drove back and forth 45 miles from Dixon, IL with Kelly Anderson….just reconnected with her recently on Facebook. While not formal temporary housing, spent many overnights with Tim Morning (under the watch of Mrs. Morning!), and Julie Webster s house. Just reconnected with Tim and have remained in contact with Julie since we marched.

10. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Organization, discipline, perfection.

11. Did you audition?
And if so, what was your audition like? Auditions were a little less formal back then. I remember talking with Bob Lendman who lived in Sterling (just 10 miles from Dixon) who encouraged me to come up and sit in on a week night winter rehearsal at the bus barn. I had no idea how I ranked with other soprano players and was convinced that I would have a better shot at making the horn line as an Alto (which is how I met Julie Webster&the first person I sat next to in my first rehearsal). Martin asked me after rehearsal what I played in High School and I said Trumpet. He asked me if I was any good….I said I was first chair. He gave me a soprano bugle and some 2nd Soprano charts and told me to come back the next week ready to play 2nd Soprano. At the end of the next week, he gave me 1st Soprano Charts and told me to come back ready to play that part. The following weekend was a music only thanksgiving camp at the new school the regiment just purchased. Martin and Jim Wren pulled me out the horn line, took me into another class room and had me sight read a solo soprano chart for El Capitan and Russian Easter Overture. They took me back into the room with the rest of the horn line and had me stand next to Greg Grubb who scared the shit out of me. He never said a word the entire first day, and kept looking at me between playing with a look like Who in the hell is this little squirt? . He was 20. I was 14. Best and scariest day of my life in Drum Corps!

12. What is your drum corps history?
Was introduced to it in 1978 watching the Regiment compete at DCI on TV. Attended my first drum corps show at DCM in Dekalb in 1979. Stayed the entire day watched EVERY corps from 7:30 in the morning till the finals finished late that night. By the end of that season, had every recording from every corps from 1973 through 1978 and was CONSUMED. Marched 1980-1982. Regretfully, had 4 or 5 years left of eligibility, but was not allowed to march anymore as I had changed my college major from Music to marketing. Wanted to come back in 1983 and continue playing, but was not supported by my parents to do so. Even more regret in that the same decision also affected the decision to allow my younger sister Peggy to continue marching. She had 5 or 6 years of eligibility left.

13. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?
There are more life lessons in drum corps than any other element of my childhood. Embrace them. Appreciate them. They will serve you well.

14. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
DCM 1981 in Dekalb. A first place tie at finals with Madison Scouts. Mark Glascoe and Ron Schultz came out on the field while we were standing in formation to receive scores and told David Kisting and I that we were to march the hornline off the field. At first, we thought they were pissed at the scores yet to be announced and that we were boycotting our results, only to find out that we had tied the Scouts and were going to do a third Sudden Death performance. I remember the crowd booing us a poor sports as we left the field….only to finally hear the announcer explain that the Scouts and Regiment to perform one more time. Everyone was toast from a long day of prelims and a late night of finals. It was hot, humid, and we were exhausted…..but the corps was so PISSED, we came out played with more intensity and emotion than I had ever experienced. We were mad, intense and unbelievably LOUD for the last performance. I don t remember what the FINAL score was, but we beat the scouts by a few tenths. Regiment had not lost DCM at that point since 1975 and we were not about to lose that night. We just wanted it more than they did.

15. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
John Brazale

16. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you? And why?
Al Redford. He taught me a lot about how to be a better trumpet player, challenged me to be better technically, mentored me on how to do that and treated me with a mutual respect balanced with discipline and authority.

17. When was the last time you saw a live show?
DCI in Bloomington, IN watching Regiment win with Spartcus.

18. What nicknames do you remember?
Did you have a nickname? Curious George If so, what was it? Given because I was (by far) the youngest member on Bus 3. At night, I would spiderman my way to the front of the bus (by hanging between the luggage racks since the floor was full of coolers and I didn t want to disturb anyone in their seats) to talk with Mrs. Morning and learned a lot about drinking, sex education and other older activities as crawled forward. I couldn’t help but stare a few times and earned the nickname, Curious George my first year.

19. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1981

20. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?
SUTA!

read more
admin20 Questions: Scott Snynder (1980-1982)

20 Questions: Leigh (Payne) Apple (1985-1986)

by admin on October 5, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Leigh (Payne) Apple (1985-1986)


Current Occupation: Jr. High Social Studies Teacher

Contact Information: teachingapple@gmail.com

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: 1985-1986 French Horn        

1. What made you want to march in Regiment?   

Listening to the corps play Dance Neapolitan I was so excited to hear middle horn voices featured. Most corps you wouldn’t ever notice the middle voice at all, with Regiment you definitely did. It was then I decided I HAD to march with the Phantom Regiment.

2. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?
As cliche as it may sound there really are too many to list, but one that I really remember was getting Bus 3 ready for 86 tour. Several of us went to the bus barn and completely scrubbed down the bus. Then we laid carpet in the aisle so we could always have floor time sleep. That carpet was really nasty by seasons end, but we didn’t care; we laid on it anyway.

3. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
I would have started earlier. I would have loved to have marched in 1984. My husband, before we were married, was marching in Vanguard that year; that certainly would have made the season interesting .

4. What is your all- time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?
From the first time I heard it played at dress rehearsal June 2003 the Canon Opener has been my favorite. I also really love Journey through the Snow and of course, Elsa’ s.

5. Who have you lost track of that you would like to reconnect with?
? I am connected with most people I hung out with through Facebook, but it would be nice to sit and chat with Slick and Neeley sometime.

6. Any interesting or funny bus stories?
Angie Silberhorn and I shared a Walkman with a headphone adapter. We would lie down on the carpeted bus floor with the Walkman between our heads and listen to Howard Jones and enjoy A LOT of floor sleep.

7. Any favorite stories about Rockford?
I remember the terrible crime spree in Rockford in 1986, where citizens yard ornaments mysteriously disappeared and somehow ended up on the 50 yd. line at Boylan on the day of Show of Shows. Although I ‘m pretty sure statute of limitations has long passed, I ‘m not going to say anything else about that strange yard ornament mystery.

8. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?   
There are very few experiences in life like drum corps, but yet drum corps teaches you all about life. Drum corps teaches you how to make and try to meet goals in spite of many obstacles, to push through even when you don t feel like it because others are depending on you. Marching in a corps teaches you how to work with people from different backgrounds and how to work with people who you really may not like all that much because you have a common goal. Most importantly, even if things don t work out as you have envisioned, if you have worked hard than it really is worth it, because of the character you have developed and the lessons that were learned from the experience. These are all lessons that I use in my profession as an educator and in all my interpersonal relationships whether family, friends or colleagues.

9. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?
I hadn’t prepared a formal audition piece, but during one of the first rehearsals, Kevin Schusler and someone else, I don ‘t remember who, pulled me out and asked me to play a bunch of different things. Scales and I remember one of them asked me if I could hit a G . I said sure and they asked me just to hold a high G for as long as I could. When I was done they said thanks, you can go back to rehearsal. Since no one told me to leave, I assumed it was ok.

10. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?   
Enjoy it! No matter how the corps places, you are creating a life time of experiences and memories that you won t realize for years. I marched in 2 of the lowest placing, least memorable shows in the corps history and yet I wouldn’t trade the years I marched. I would have loved to marched more years, but I wouldn’t trade the ones I did march.

11. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
Finals week of 1986 and no one s head was in rehearsal. A staff member, I don t remember who, told everyone to put their horns down and take a lap around that yellow truck . He saw a yellow truck parked in someone s driveway. We saw a yellow truck heading down the road, the entire horn line was chasing a moving vehicle for quite a while until the staff realized we were looking at the wrong yellow truck and called us back.

12. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?
Unfortunately, 1986 finals is the show that sticks out in my memory. I was somewhat the center of pitch for the corps. I would pull my slide out as far as it could go tape it and then tune to calibrate the tuner. For some reason, I didn’t have to pull my slide out as far on finals night (or afternoon as the case was) so I didn’t tape my slide. The show started with quick horns up fake out into a sixteen count silent Rockford File. You guessed it- unknown to me when I put my horn up my main tuning slide flew out and when I played the 1st note on count 17 of the show I had an awesome kazoo sound come out of my horn. I looked around in a panic to see one of the field judges tossing my slide off the field. You can see him on the video. The rest of the show I marched and balled my eyes out. On the bright side it has made a great story to tell my students through the years.

13. What instructor or member intimidated you the most?
John Brazzale scared everyone didn’t he???

14. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?
Every once in a while parts of the Berlioz creep into my head. The 2013 closer has a snippet of Mahler from 1986.

15. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you? And why?
Dr. Dan. He has such a heart for not only the organization, but for the members of the organization. He was Corps director in 1985, and comparing how he related to the corps members of Regiment, with how other directors related to their corps members… let s just say I was glad I marched where I did.

16. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?   
Doesn’t everyone have that dream sometime? If I had it now I think it would be more of a nightmare.

17. What nicknames do you remember?
Spanky, Ducky, Waldo, Lynnard, Jailbait, and Slick even though that technically wasn’t a nickname.   

18. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?
1986. Although the corps had an off year show and performance wise, there were many fun times off the field. We knew pretty early on that we were never going to be in the thick of it, so it allowed us to be a little more relaxed than most years.

19. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?
3rd position. I m a bit knocked-kneed, so 3rd position is awesome!!! Every group I’ve taught if allowed to I changed their attention position to 3rd. Way more comfortable for everyone.

read more
admin20 Questions: Leigh (Payne) Apple (1985-1986)

20 Questions: Kyle Nijoka (2007-2009)

by admin on September 28, 2013 Comments Off on 20 Questions: Kyle Nijoka (2007-2009)


Current Occupation: /Project Controls Analyst at Turner Industries, LLC

Contact Information: Zachary, LA

Years in Phantom Regiment and Section: Conductor 2007-09

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

I first saw Phantom Regiment when they rehearsed at my high school in 2001. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school. I had heard a small amount about drum corps and didn’t really know what to expect. I was really shocked on how they ran rehearsal and how disciplined they were, though I didn’t know much about what they were doing, since I had never done marching band at that point in my life. I was even more surprised to see how much they were running during their visual block that day and how much the visual caption head was yelling that day. It was definitely eye opening for me.

2. What made you want to march in Regiment?   
I had been a fan of Phantom since 2001. I m a fan of many drum corps because they do so many different things so well. I just knew I wanted to march somewhere. I remember sitting in the movie theater during quarterfinals in 2006. It was the first time seeing a bunch of the corps shows since not very many were at the Baton Rouge show that year. I was really looking forward to Phantom s show that season since I had a friend from college marching euphonium that year and it was getting a lot of hype at that point in the season. I was completely moved by how well they played, how well they moved, and how well they portrayed the story of Faust. I remember this like it were yesterday because this moment changed my life and made my decision of where I wanted to march. It was the first time I had ever heard the Biebl version of Ave Maria. It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard in my life. When they were playing the final chord and let it resolve, I had a tear in my eye. After the show, I turned to the guy next to me and told him that s where I m marching next year.

3. What is your favorite memory of your time in Regiment?   
Trying to narrow down a single favorite memory is far too difficult. There are way too many favorites in their own way. Finals night 08 is definitely one of my favorites. It wasn t just a victory for Spartacus, it was a victory for the entire Phantom Regiment organization to me. We changed the activity that night and will forever be one of the all time great shows in DCI History. Words weren’t spoken after we were announced in first that night, only tears. The entire staff, corps, and fans were all in tears. We had a sense of accomplishment we had never felt before. A World Championship to ourselves. For me, I was most excited about being able to perform the show one more time. Listening to Brandt Crocker’s announcement on all the YouTube videos never gets old, and neither does the roar of the crowd. Definitely the most memorable moments of my life.

4. If you could go back and change one thing about your time in the corps what would it be?
This is a question you try to avoid when you think back on your time at Regiment. You want to think that you did everything you could and that you did your best while doing it. If I had to go back and change something, I would have helped more people that stayed after rehearsal to practice more, whether it was their marching or playing. A few euphonium players stick out in my mind that stayed after rehearsal 50% of the time to practice more to make sure they were better at marching their drill. It may have not helped them very much with me being there, but at the same time, it may have made all the difference in the world to those people as well. Its something I always think about that I could’ve been better at myself. If anything else, I would say getting to know more people on a more personal level. It s always a challenge since there are so many people, but it s definitely worth it.

5. What is your all time favorite piece of music that Regiment has played?   
Ave Maria, hands down. Ave Maria brought me to Phantom Regiment after 06, I understood the piece on an entirely new emotional level after 08 (recording it for JD s niece who had passed away), and I aged out conducting it in 09. It sends a chill down my spine every time I hear it. After that, I would have to say Fire of Eternal Glory, Canon in D, Lord s Prayer, and Fourth Ballet Suite (96 opener).

6. Any interesting or funny bus stories?   
I think any night on Bus 2 was an interesting night. We always had something going on, whether it was a bus war, Friday night Horror night (we would watch one of those really bad horror movies), or jamming to some awesome music. Bus interviews were always awesome too, especially question #1.

7. Any favorite stories about Rockford?   
The three drum majors and Rick V. were going from Winnebago High School to Rockford College for a night with the drum major camp students in 2008. I was driving Rick s Saturn Vue with Koji and Rick was driving the box truck with Will. I wasn’t used to the vehicle and I assumed that the lights came on automatically and since we were driving through some well-lit areas, I honestly didn’t notice that they weren’t on. Well, I ended up getting pulled over and I was freaking out because I didn’t know why. Luckily the female cop was really nice about it and let us on our way. For about the next week, I had to hear some sort of joke about it from the staff and members.

8. What skills/experiences from your time in Regiment have you utilized in your current job or life today?
Time management you will learn very quickly if you don t already have that skill. I work well with others extremely well, and most importantly, I listen to what others have to say and absorb that information.

9. Did you audition? And if so, what was your audition like?   
I did audition on euphonium in 07, conductor 08 and 09. It was really weird during my rookie audition. I was surrounded by all these people I had seen on the Finals DVDs and such, and was kind of star struck to be a part of this. I didn’t think I was going to make it past that weekend, but I did get a callback and I was stoked to say the very least. My first friend at drum corps was Lea Conrad and I met her at snack one night. We introduced ourselves, and both said we didn’t think we were going to make it, but it was still nice to make a new friend. Who would’ve known that we would make the hornline together and march together for 3 years. Let me explain what happened later on at spring training. About 2 weeks before spring training, I found out I had tendinitis in both knees. After about a week or so of trying to march and talking with Dr. Dan, it was decided that it wasn’t in my best interest to march. I got lucky though. The 3rd conductor had quit in February earlier in the season and they needed someone to fill that spot. It was a great opportunity and I was fortunate enough to be able to march for 3 years in that position, having to re-audition the next two years of course.

10. What advice would you give to the kids marching today?   
Start early, don t be afraid to audition and get the experience. Enjoy every minute of it while you re there because it s only there for a short time and you miss it like crazy after you age out. Since we do have the technology age, I would def say to turn the cell phones and laptops off and enjoy each other s company while you have that as well. Get to know as many people as you can, both with your corps and other corps. It makes the experience that much more special.

11. Any memorable rehearsal stories?
Where do I begin? Yes Day always made for an interesting rehearsal. I remember one rehearsal day in 07 in Iowa where we were having visual rehearsal and severe weather was heading our way. We were working on a backfield section and could see the guard field that was behind us. The winds began to pick up and we saw the scaffolding on the guard field fall over (luckily no one was hurt). We were honestly pretty scared, but ended up doing another rep before we went inside. I’ve never seen so many people running so quickly to get inside in my life. I think we had two tornado sirens go off that day, if I remember correctly. We had a few in 08 as well that were very memorable. One during spring training that the corps needed to come together as one to survive it. It was probably the toughest day of the summer, but well worth it. Finals week in 08 was all pretty special. Phantom Regiment doesn’t look at finals as anything special, its just another show to us. You could tell by the performance level in rehearsal though that we wanted it and so did the staff. We had a lot of heart on that field during those last few rehearsal days. Hearing Jay Emmert from about a half mile away screaming at the color guard is something I ll never forget. There are many more that I could talk about, but it would be easier for me to publish a book on them all.

12. Is there one show/performance that sticks out in your memory?   
08 Finals of course sticks out because it was the best show I’ve ever been a part of. Another one sticks out that s kind of funny. It was the 08 Hattiesburg show and I had my family come visit me before the show so I was kind of pushed for time to get everything done. I got to the equipment truck to change and I noticed I forgot to change into my black underwear from the tan ones I was wearing from earlier. Because I didn’t have time to go back to the sleeping area, I just kept the tan ones on. Since I was in a black uniform and I was conducting, I didn’t think it would matter. Well, earlier in that day, the sewing ladies had taken in my pants a little bit to make them a little tighter fitting. After I killed Kelly in the ballad, I bent down to pick up my dagger and the seat of my pants ripped. Now when I say I ripped my pants, there was about an 8-10 inch rip exposing my tan underwear. I was really just kind of shocked it happened and wondering what to do, since I had to go to the front sideline and conduct the last 3 minutes of the show. I made it work, but man, I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life. It was a tough lesson learned that you need to follow all the rules yourself if you re a leader. Oh, and since this was the closest show to Baton Rouge that year, I not only had my family come to see me, but I also had 20 friends and fraternity brothers from KKPsi come to see the show. And they were the first ones to let me know how nice of a butt I had for the audience to see. Another one was our Sinnissippi Concert in the Park in 2009. Our guest artist for the concert was Boston Brass and it was a memorable one because it was JD s last performance as a member of Boston Brass. A few months earlier before spring training started, I had talked to Dan and Rick about doing something cool for him, like a presentation of some sort. We decided to recreate his 1991 age-out performance with Phantom Regiment and play Nessun Dorma with him playing the solo. I talked to the audience for a few seconds before inviting JD back on stage and let him know what was going on (he didn’t have a clue that he was going to be hearing us play Nessun Dorma nor did he know that he was going to be playing his solo). It was so special for us to play Nessun Dorma with JD. Definitely something that none of us that were there will ever forget.

13. Do you still find yourself humming parts from a show?   
All the time, singing, humming, conducting, I do it all.

14. What staff/support person made the biggest impression on you?
Too many to name. All those people give up so much of their time, and put their lives on hold at home to come help make us better people. The organization cannot exist without each and every one of these people. They deserve more thanks than I can ever give in words.

15. Are you still involved in the music/performing arts field?
I’ve taught a few marching bands since I’ve been back from tour, but not as involved as I would like to be. My current job keeps me very busy. I hope in the future I can make more time to teach/perform on the side.

16. Do you ever have drum corps filling a spot dreams?
I definitely did when I was 16 and 17. I kept seeing late season openings in top tier corps and thought that was my shot, but never actually auditioned for those spots.

17. What nicknames do you remember? Did you have a nickname?   
I remember tons. Some of them more appropriate than others to say in public. I did, it was 3, since I was the 3rd conductor in 07 and 08. I thought that the nickname would go away when I was 2nd conductor in 09, but it didn’t. I actually got the award for being the best 3rd conductor in 09, completely a joke of course. My award was a pack of 9-volt batteries so the metronome would never die in the middle of rehearsal again.

18. Did you have trouble adjusting back to civilian life after the season ended?
I think I slept for 2 straight days when I got back home all 3 years. Things went back to normal after that. I started working again and started school the next week as well. It s always difficult, but you make the adjustments as you need to.

19. Of your years in Regiment, what year was your favorite?   
Everyone always asks me this question. Every year is different. Of course 08 was my favorite, not because we won, but because we changed the activity forever.

20. What was your favorite Regiment tradition?   
History Night and screaming SUTA with the Phamily

read more
admin20 Questions: Kyle Nijoka (2007-2009)