Monday, June 30, 2014

Simple Gifts 06/30/14

Simple Gifts
Monday, June 30, 2014

Spending time at Bro's new house in So Cal

Now You've Got The Chills

Western Corps Connection
Riverside Community College / Wheelock Stadium
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Riverside, CA

Dodie and Bro picked me up and we drove to Riverside after stopping at Cost Plus to see if they had the kind of candy that I wanted.  They didn't.  The marketplace had moved back to where it used to be located due to some construction, but we didn't mind walking around because we arrived before the stadium gates opened anyway.  Well, maybe we did mind the heat, but we're used to that when it comes to this show.  I bought a CD from the Blue Knights table.  I wish they had tank tops with their signature dots (like they wear in the show, but less sparkly), because I would wear one of those.  I was also puzzled that they didn't have all of the color guard paraphernalia that they usually have, but didn't ask about that.  Dodie and I got hot dogs and I got a yummy watermelon agua frescas, and we picnicked on some stairs where we found some shade.

Dodie?  When did Dodie start going with you guys?  TODAY!  Yes, she was about to see her first drum corps show, and we were very excited for her.  She has been reading this blog regularly (Hi, Dodie!) and witnessed PC and SCV at the Hollywood Bowl last year, and thought that she might enjoy the real thing, so she decided to join us this year.  Bro briefed her on the way to my house, and we added more stuff all night long.  She seemed to appreciate it, so if any of you out there would like to go to your first drum corps show, go with us!  We'll give you the lowdown.

We went to our seats, then I received a text from Rudy, saying that he left his ticket at home.  Uh-oh.  So he did not arrive in time for the start of the show.  Our seats were on the left 40 yard line, row O, seats 7-10.  I overheard a couple of gentlemen in our row telling the gals in back of us that the gentlemen were old school Vanguard, and Gail Royer was their first horn instructor.  WOW.  I told Bro and we both tried not to freak out from our awe.

What is going on with the lack of Star-Spangled Banner at these shows?!  Dodie said that she thought it was a law.  I don't get how we're not at least acknowledging the roots of this activity by playing our national anthem.  WTF?

Aw, Rudy's missing the lemon cookies.  They sounded A LOT better than the day before.   Two people dropped their hats.  The marimba guy got all fierce-faced at the end.  I love the passion!
Lemon Cookie Clocks

I thought they wore hats.  I guess not.  How are you "incognito" if I can see your whole face?  Is that girl using a coffee can as her percussion instrument?  Center Snare young dude was really into it with his emotion.  I see a promising future for him.  They need a pas de deux if they're doing a Romeo and Juliet / Love theme.
Incognito Drumline

Intonation, intonation, intonation.  Yikes.  Those silver/black with purple accent flags are new, right?  I don't know because we didn't get to watch them yesterday.  Dodie and I think that the CG hair is fake.
Watchmen Drumline

Rudy's here!  Oh, the pit members dance throughout the program, not just one part of the show as I previously thought.  They sounded better today.  I think it's weird to see a guy with the feathered fan.  I asked my neighbors, and I am not alone in thinking that way.  

They sounded much, much better today.  Watch your feet, people!  I wonder how long that girl's arm has to be in a sling?  I asked Rudy if Mr. Turner announced the title of their program.  He said, "I think 'Sounds of Beethoven' or something."  OK, let's use that.  They play Beethoven's 5th, Moonlight Sonata, and Ode to Joy.
Impulse -- who is that man with the yellow pants?
  And where did he get them?

A lot of drops today from the CG.  Rudy really likes them, but says that they don't need those synthesized voices.  "There were four notes."  Yeah, you really could just have a horn player do a solo for that.  It's not like there were any lyrics.  The horns sounded great!
Gold: Rifle in an Oval

I bought Gatorade.  Then when I returned to my seat, Rudy showed me his new PC shirt, and demonstrated the DirecTV commercial for Dodie, which ended in tragedy as his drink spilled all over the ground and pissed off the people in front of him even though they didn't get wet and it never even dripped onto their row.  People are cranky.  The vintage Vanguard men returned and Rudy profusely apologized, but they were very very nice and said, "That's OK.  Mistakes happen so that you learn from them and they don't happen again."  Do you hear that, people in front of them?  

They did not have that diamond-on-a-stick before.  I voiced that like Jeff Dunham's Jose Jalapeno On A Stick, but nobody acknowledged how funny I think I am.  I'm just gonna chock that up to the fact that the diamond reflected some sunlight right into Dodie's field of vision, and she was too blind to hear me.  Somebody lost their shoe and I was worried and distracted whenever someone stepped on it.  If the field judges had actually been walking inside the perimeter, one of them would have picked it up, but I understand that it's too early in the season to be walking between drum corps members when their blocking might not be finished yet.
Shine Bright Like a Diamond, Mandarins!

The kid in back of us kept saying at the start of the show, "They're the walking dead."  No, they're just dead puppets.  Those big white flags from before are now brown and silver, which adds more to the color palette of the show, but I guess the judges still don't think there's enough GE, which irritates me. I think that a show doesn't need a lot of fancy screens in order to have a good general effect.  I also think that a show doesn't need narration to explain itself, so if that's what they're looking for, I hope PC doesn't add that in future shows to please them.  I almost pulled out of my financial support when they did some narration a few years ago.  Bro didn't notice that they were wearing hoods before, but they were there.  When they take off their hood, they use the scissors flags, which shows that they're free.  Dodie got the chills.  Yay!  She was telling us on the way there that when music hits her emotionally, she gets goosebumps like that.  I'm glad that PC did that for her!  
PC with Scissors Flags

Dodie says the CG uniforms are very renaissance-y.  I agree.  We also like the sparkly plumes.  Those red quilted-looking flags at the beginning are new and quite pretty.  I love seeing their tails flap in the wind, and when they spin and walk and...I just love those tails, I guess.  I also love the tail of the hat-scarf when it hangs in back.  They sounded much better tonight.  During the cool marimba portion, I like how they pull the last player to join them on the one marimba.  Rudy said that he saw someone fall, which was his first time seeing that.  I didn't catch it, though.
Academy in London Town

I really like those lightning flags.  Rudy: "That's so beautiful!"  Those orange rifles are new. Blech.  I wonder if the same guy still paints their flags, or maybe he still designs them, since they haven't been hand-painted for a few years now.
BK Drum Major Salute

Dodie cried.  She told me not to write that down, but it was too late, and you all need to know that she cried for my favorite corps' beautiful show.  She said that it just came on very suddenly at the end of the performance.  I had a tear in my eye, but tears streamed down her face.  It was great.  Those trombones today:  I felt like I was going to fall over backward from that huge sound.  Ooh, peacock flags!  I was wondering when I would see peacock feathers to match my new SCV shirt.  Bro said that he heard the staff yell "VANGUARD!" during the change between the peacock flags and the purple flags.  Way to go, Justin!  The show was GOR. GEOUS.  Also, all 4 cymbal players were on the field today.  Happiness.  And tears.
SCV Drumline

SCV Horns

They now have one of the gypsies already shaking her tambourine during set-up.  Rudy said some weird phrase instead of the program's name, which made me think of Mulligatawny.  The horns were really blasting tonight, improved since yesterday.
X Men

One of the snare drummers throws his stick high into the air before he gets on the stage toward the end.  Dodie had no tears for this one, because although the show is technically flawless, it didn't generate any emotion in her.  The film strip drums and the similar graphic on the back on the CG's shirts are cool.
BD Drums

BD Rifle Toss

Crossmen played their show, as well as their corps song: "Great Gate of Kiev", which was powerful and well done.  I like that the cymbal players do the sign of the cross.
X Men Encore


Open Class:
6) 38.9   Incognito
5) 42.55 City Sound
4) 43.45 Watchmen
3) 48.85 Impulse
2) 50.7  Golden Empire
1) 56.1  Gold

World Class:
7) 62.9   Pacific Crest
6) 63.75 The Academy
5) 63.95 Mandarins
4) 68.35 Crossmen
3) 71.05 Blue Knights
2) 79.3   Santa Clara Vanguard
1) 82.0   Blue Devils

I don't know what happened there.  The recaps showed that PC got slammed on GE and Visual, but their music was better than the 2 corps scoring above them.  (This is why I went on a bit of a rant above).  SCV won the percussion category, with all other categories going to BD. Gold won all of the categories in Open Class.  All category scores from tonight were top in the nation, although the overall scores were not.  I'm looking forward to seeing what all of the corps do by Finals week.

Dodie is looking forward to next year.  :)

Simple Gifts 06/29/14

Dodie's response to seeing Vanguard's 2014 Scheherazade program.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fell In, I Did

Corps at the Crest - Los Angeles
Citrus College Stadium
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Glendora, CA

Today was Bro's official move-in day, so we got a tiny bit of a late start.  We got to Citrus, and the directions told us to go to Gate 56.  Um, there are no numbers on the fences.  So we went into the first driveway, which had a sign that said "Spectator Parking".  As Bro was about to park the car, a volunteer walked up and informed us that it was VIP parking only.  Perhaps he should be telling that to you AT the gate.  Or maybe have a sign that says "VIP ONLY".  He told us that we should use either the 2nd or 3rd gate.  The 2nd gate was for disabled people.  So we went to the 3rd gate, which had no sign whatsoever.  OK then.  I know that the Corps at the Crest folks are used to dealing with Mt. SAC, but really, is a sign or 2 too much to ask for?  Craziness.  So we followed people to the entrance (again, no signs), and went to the marketplace, which was quite crowded.  

We got in line to enter the stadium (miraculously, we were on time or at least we were there before the show started), but it was taking too long for people to get in, and they stopped people from entering before the first corps started playing.  So we decided not to stand in the line for nothing.  I bought a tour shirt from the Crossmen, asking them, "What is wrong with people?  Don't they know that you came a long way?  Why are there no people here?"  They said, "Right?!"  The guy said, "What size?"  I said, "How's the medium?", realized what I was saying, and elaborated with, "How is it feeling today?"  They laughed.  It may have been a courtesy laugh, but I was about to give them my money, so they had to be nice to the crazy lady, I guess.  We then got in line again, and still didn't get in for the second corps. Instead, we watched through the slats that were covering the fence.

Again, no Star-Spangled Banner.  What the heck?

Could really only hear their drums while we were in the marketplace, so I guess their horns weren't as strong as they sounded to us yesterday.  Yesterday, though, we were up against the wall, so that probably helped the sound, and it was probably also helped by the stadium being smaller.  Citrus stands are high.

We watched them through the fence slats, and I wasn't really paying attention much because of that.  The intonation didn't sound as good as the previous day, though.  

Finally, we got to sit in our seats (after I kicked out some of the City Sound staff), which were on the left 40, Section C, Row V, Seats 29-34.  Nice and high, so we could see the formations better than the day before.

The color guard uniforms are incognito.  I wonder if they'll get them by the end of the season, which is 2 weeks away.  I forgot to write yesterday that Bro thinks that horn players should not play while lying down on the field....unless you're Crown, whom can play any way the hell they want because, well, they CAN.  So today I got a picture of I's horns laying down on the job.

Glenn's here now!  He asked what was the deal with the pre-show.  I told him that the show started at 5:30.  He had a confused look on his face.  I told him that my email and the attached document both stated that the new start time is 5:30, contrary to what was shown on the ticket.  Oh.  We all complained about the lack of signage and proper crowd control.  June also arrived, but her companions were still in the marketplace getting food and such.  All I cared about was that they wouldn't miss Vanguard, because their friend marches with them.

The marimbas have some hip action going on, and they do a little bit of shoulder shimmy during the dance-y part of their show.  The horns were a lot better today for the first few songs, especially when they were all on the stage.  The duet was much improved, too.
City Sound

OMG, SCV is already putting their set pieces on the sidelines, and they don't have to play for another 3 hours.  There's just so much of it that they need the head start.  Ben and Dene finally joined us at this point, I think.  Hi, guys!

Bro got all excited about the man in the bright yellow pants.  He needs to find out where the guy got those so he can give them to his best friend.  Their opener sounded a lot better today, but the rest of the tuning still needs work.  I told June that this is the corps with whom Justin used to play.  She said that must be why the uniforms look so familiar, because she's seen his pictures.

Those yard markers are sad and floppy.  Same ones as last year.  Same sadness.   

I asked Bro what I liked about this show, because I couldn't remember.  Neither could he.  Really, I could have just read my notes, but I think I was more looking for an answer regarding formations, since we had a good view.  Oh, yeah, the apparata.  They sounded good again today.  Also:  tuba lost his plume.  AGAIN.  I don't know if it was the same player, but perhaps they need to consider berets or something that doesn't involve a plume getting hit by your instrument on a constant basis.

Gold Xs and Os
Bro said that the big orange flag is his favorite part because he knows how much I hate it.  Well, it wasn't there today.  I plead the 5th on whether or not I stole it and kept it in my house so that it couldn't be used in the show.  After she saw the awesome marimba portion, June said that it was like watching cartoons.  Yeah, Bugs Bunny!  I don't think he's English, though.  I'm pretty sure he has a Brooklyn accent and might not fit very well into this show.  Their music was all over the place tonight, though.  Don't know what happened there, because that's usually their strong suit, but there were phasing issues or something.

Dear Dude Sitting In Back of Me:  The Mandarins are no longer an all-Asian corps. Oh, infinity!  Limitless!  I get it.  That crazy soprano solo really does come out of nowhere.  The "oh!"s from the people on our left made me giggle.  Glenn thinks that the screen I couldn't figure out is a prison, because of the building that looks like a guard shack.  OK, I'll go with that.  

<Intermission>  AGAIN.  Weird.

I asked June about hands feeling like paper.  She explained that when you get older, the skin on your hand loses its elasticity and doesn't bounce back when you pinch at it, and it's paper-thin. Oh, those flags are maple leaves!  How did I not see that before?Then the speaker lady mentioned balloons.  Sherry:  "Balloons?!  Oh, no!  It's the scary part!"  My companions laughed at me and my crazy balloon phobia.  So then the speaker talks about being outdoors, so the screens looked like pup tents to me, like they're going camping, and there's lightning  depicted on the flags.  Reminds me of a particular family camping trip, so that will make me giggle when I see it.  What is up with the guys at the table?  Are they having a seance?  June said she thought they were drinking.  Do people drink at a seance?
Blue Knights - start of show

Glenn saw the color guard in their brown uniforms holding their equipment, and thought, "Turkeys!"  We decided that it must be Thanksgiving.  Glenn likes the wagon wheel drum heads.  My fitbit matches their wagon covers.  Oh, the "40" formation is near the end!  I was a couple of seconds late to get a good picture of it.  I like the quartet, and the music sounded great.
Crossmen's Maltese Cross Logo

While we were waiting for the puppet show, June and Ben showed me a video on their phone of a cool marionette.  I like when the corps is marching to the right in their block, and individual corps members pop up like popcorn.  I like this music.  I also like the echo of the contras after the echoing duet.  
PC Puppeteer Control Bar

Repertoire:  "Felliniesque" -- Act 1 -- Fellini's Religion: Old Toys by D. Elfman; La Strada Theme by N. Rota; Act 2 --  Fellini's Circus: Circo Compagnia originally composed for the Blue Devils by G. Goodwin; Act 3 -- Fellini's Fantasy: Be Italian by M. Yeston; Movie Studio by D. Elfman

This is our first time to watch this show live.  Bro and I had seen the webcast of DCI West last weekend.  "I'm not wearing any pants."  "Good night everybody!" (If you know the reference, smile with me).  With all of the white stuff on the field, Bro can't tell if the goal posts are part of the show or not.  WOW!!!  Show opens with solo soprano at the front left corner of the field (or maybe that's still part of the pre-show), then the soprano ensemble....INCREDIBLE.  Their horn line is just frickin' relentless.  They're doing a seance, too.  I like the corps uniforms much more in person than I did when I saw them online.  They're throwing rifles like they think they're the Cavaliers.  They never did put on their pants, but what a great show!  No talking, either!  I love that I'm enjoying BD's show this year.

Their new red drums are preeeettttyyyyy!  OK, is the formation with the "2" in the middle supposed to be the book chapter number, or is it like "Scheherazade 2"?  Maybe it's because there were only 2 cymbals on the field.  What happened?  There were 4 the previous day.  Perhaps they finally killed each other while practicing their Viper.  Glenn likes the 2004 show better, but I don't because I try not to think about it.  This is probably not a good thing when I was supposed to be watching for the part where the drum line's riff is just like the one from 10 years ago.  I just love this show.  
Pretty Red Drums


Pacific Crest played their show music, as well as their corps song, Biebel's "Ave Maria".  I love that piece.
PC Cymbals at Encore

Mr. Turner, it's an *awards* ceremony, not a "rewards" ceremony.  I expect some kind of frequent drum corps attendance card if it's the latter.


Open Class:
6) 38.2  Incognito
5) 42.4  City Sound
4) 42.5  Watchmen
3) 48.8  Impulse
2) 49.2  Golden Empire
1) 55.35 Gold

World Class:
7) 62.6   Mandarins
6) 63.55 The Academy
5) 63.7   Pacific Crest
4) 67.35 Crossmen
3) 70.35 Blue Knights
2) 76.65 Santa Clara Vanguard
1) 79.5   Blue Devils

I thought for sure that BD was going to break 80, but maybe they will in Riverside.

Bro and I picked up something to eat on the way home, since we didn't leave our seats for the entire show.

Next up:  Western Corps Connection

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Simple Gifts 06/28/14

Simple Gifts
Saturday, June 28, 2014

A drum corps season wherein I like the Blue Devils show without reservation.  It's a good West Coast year, folks!

Kneel Before 'Zade

Corps at the Crest - San Diego
El Camino High School / Herb S Meyer Stadium
Friday, June 27, 2014
Oceanside, CA

We didn't go to DCI West at Stanford this year because there's a big change affoot:  Bro and family are moving back to So Cal!!!  Whoo HOOOO!!!  Bro and I watched some of today's corps via the DCI webcast last week.  Prior to that, Bro and I went to Pacific Crest's sneak preview.  We were therefore familiar with most of the shows that we would see this weekend, but the web and the movie theater are no match for what we get to see live!

I started my day by having a yummy lunch with best friend Mich and her daughter at Lucille's, then drove down to my parents' house to meet up with Bro.  He was excited to show me the license plate that he had renewed due to the big move.  He had really missed this license plate when he was living out of state, and we agreed that he would drive to all of the So Cal shows because of it.

We picked up Rudy on the way and caught up to the latest events in our regular lives.  On the freeway, we saw white charter buses, which didn't have any drum corps markings, but Bro knew that they had to be transporting drum corps members.  He was finally proven right when we saw the "drum corps parking" permit on the bus driver's windshield.  We parked at the high school and walked around to listen to some warm-ups, including some time watching marimbas rehearse, which had Rudy feeling very happy.  Bro eventually figured out that the white buses belonged to The Academy, whose members were walking around a bit while waiting for dinner.
Watchmen Marimbas

We tried to find the people that we know from Arcadia High School that are now involved with Pacific Crest, but couldn't find them.  So I shopped.  Because you know how I am.  Plus, I had forgotten my PC sweatshirt at home, and I needed something warm to wear.  Of course, I had to get a Scheherazade shirt from the SCV truck, which was not something warm to wear, and they had a REALLY cute tank top / dress for little girls, so I got one for Miss O.  It's in her favorite color, and she's going to love it!  My shirt has the same design (a single peacock feather), but the back of the shirt has the tour dates.  I saw a hoodie at the PC stand, but decided to wait and see if I'd actually need it later.

We got to the entry gate, and I was very happy that the lady didn't tear up my ticket because it's so very pretty.  I love that they used a picture of SCV from last year's show, even though they hadn't even toured to So Cal with their Les Miz show.  Our seats were on the right 40-yard line, section C, row S, seats 18-20, which was the top row, so we had a wall behind us, which was nice.  Hey, those are the same seat we had as last year!  I thought that we were in another section, but this works.  There was a girl a few rows in front of us that had a cool SCV Les Miz bow in her hair.  I should have taken a picture of it.  A couple of guys noticed Bro's shoes and he heard them talking about them asking each other to talk to him about it.  It was cute.  He ended up talking to them.  Bro and his famous shoes!

Pretty Ticket

I don't know why, but nobody played the Star-Spangled Banner.  That felt wrong.  Instead, Incognito took the field and did their thing.  So I have no idea what the program listing of "Opening Ceremonies" was supposed to be.

Repertoire:  "<3 - less than love" -- Romance; Struggle; Trust; Betrayal by Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, R. Barclay & T. T. Nguyen

The program says that they last competed 5 years ago.  Time flies.  Bro and I remember them performing with masks, then the next year, they'd be listed in the program, but we wouldn't see them at all.  Kind of fit the name.  Anyway, it turns out that these were the people that we were watching at warm-ups.  The center snare guy is very young-looking, but very good.  I expect to see him in Pacific Crest next year.  Bro says he's too short for them, but I think he's about to have a growth spurt.  Because I'm such an expert on that kind of stuff.  Not really.  I hope they can clean up this show, because I prefer to hear clean Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev.  I mean, hello, it's "Romeo and Juliet", so I'd like to be in love with the show. It was too windy for the color guard (CG) lead to catch the flag while on the guy's shoulder.

Repertoire: "Lost Souls" -- Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers; They Don't Care About Us by M. Jackson; Hallelujah by L. Cohen; Get Up! by Kom, Skrillex

When we were watching the marimbas earlier, they were practicing "True Colors".  Or not.  I guess we were actually hearing "Under the Bridge".  I'm just going to say that it's the same chord progression and leave it at that.  I smell Mash Up!  The Watchmen are in their first year of our drum corps, although we had seen them in exhibition last year as a brass and percussion ensemble.  They have a nice sound.  Bro was not sure if the last song was actually two songs.  So it was Charles Ives?  Wow, we were really wrong about the songs for this one.  I whispered to Rudy that "Hallelujah" reminds me of "Shrek".  He rolled his eyes at me.  Then a few minutes later, Bro said, "'Hallelujah' makes me think of 'Shrek'."  Sometimes our sibling bond scares me.

Repertoire:  "A Journey Begins" - Movement I: "A Journey Begins"; Movement II: "The Balloon Ride"; Movement III: "Thinking of Home"; Movement IV: "Uncharted Waters", derived from Al Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World", Op. 95, B. 178

Golden Empire is a brand new drum corps, and wow, they were impressive in their So Cal debut.  Nice, big sound!  Rudy saw the color guard and said that he wanted Thin Mints.  I didn't know what he was talking about.  He said that they looked like Girl Scouts.  Then when he tried to explain himself to Bro, he gave up.  I think Bro looked at him like he was a puzzle that couldn't be solved.  Then the CG brought out beautiful flags with a big yellow clock on them.  I whispered to Rudy, "Those are lemon cookies."  Rudy tried to hold back his laughter at our inside joke and then I started with the giggling, told Bro, and Rudy and I just shook with that silent laughter that we used to laugh when we sang together at St. James.  Ah, the good old days.  Rudy hoped that in the future, the corps would include a tapeworm in the show, and we'd know for sure that it was all written just for us.  (You're lost, aren't you?  See the description of this blog).  The purple sky flags were beautiful, too.  I pointed out to Bro that two of the trumpet players were short.  He answered, "Twins?"  I didn't think so, because one seemed to have darker hair.  "Wait," I said.   "Are you looking at the trumpets?"  Turns out that he was looking at Bass1 and Bass2 on the drumline.  The corps was standing in straight lines, which were NOT on the yard lines.  Great all around.
Golden Empire

Repertoire: "Big Easy Blues" -- Do Whatcha Wanna by Rebirth Brass Band; St. James Infirmary  by T. Andrews; Beale Street Blues by W. C. Handy; Brooklyn by Youngblood Brass Band

I'm still thinking that their drum major (DM) should be wearing a tight, short skirt.  Yes, even if he'll be in drag.  I'm traditional that way.  Rudy said that the stage must be their speakeasy.  I told him about the speakeasy door made of cymbals that Spirit of Atlanta made a year or two ago.  The trumpeter's shako is coming off.  It was still hanging on at the back of his neck due to the string, and it made him look like a drum corps mariachi player.  Rudy said that they had more CG than brass.  He told me that he counted, which saved me from counting them myself.  He's very helpful.  

Repertoire: "The Journey" -- Movement One: Every Journey Begins With a Single Step...; Movement Two: New Places, New People, New Things; Movement Three:  One Journey Ends and Another Begins by S. Director

The synthesizer at the beginning hurts my ears.  One of the tuba players lost his plume.  nice flag work with the white flags while they are in a triangle formation.  They have rifles in not-round hula hoops.  What is the plural of apparatus?  Apparati?  Apparata?  Whatever, they have different kinds of equipment.  CG does not have their uniforms yet.  Are they waiting for their Asian acrobats this time?  The drums match the DM uniform yellow stripe.  Great sound.

Repertoire: "Revenge of the Fifth" 
Yay, "Duel of the Fates"!  Not.  Actually, when Bro and I were at the sneak preview, that's what I thought I was hearing at warm ups.  It was actually Beethoven's 5th.  When I explained this to Rudy, and he heard the music today, he said, "Really?"  Like I'm a dumbass.  Yeah, he's probably right.  Anyway, Impulse still hasn't released their repertoire info, not even on their website or on  How is she gonna spin with that sling?  The gals a few rows in front of us yelled, "WAY TO GO, BROKEN ARM!"  The people of the pit bow at the end.  Their music needs tuning, especially because it's familiar to most people.

I was getting cold, so I went to the Impulse stand to get a black zip-up hoodie.  I think I'd been looking at it since last year's show, and I got an approval from Bro, so now I own it.  I also looked for a pen because mine was stubborn, but nobody was selling any.  The guys got food for us.  Back to the show: World Class!

Repertoire: "Vanity Fair" -- Rondeau - Theme from Masterpiece Theater by J. J. Mouret; Crown Imperial by W. Walton; What a Wonderful World by L. Armstrong; Dance of the Hours by A. Ponchielli; Jazz Suite No. 2 Waltz 2 by D. Shostakovich; Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by F. Liszt; Symphony No. 7, Mvmt. 2 by L. van Beethoven; Paris Sketches by M. Ellerby

Rudy was annoyed because the announcer said "Thuh" instead of "Thee" when introducing the corps.  Bro and I were ignoring the program and our memories, wondering what their show was when they marched on to the field with scarves on their top hats.  Bro figured, "Southern England" once we actually used our resources.  Nice entrance onto the field, like a fanfare.  Why orange, WHY?!  The blue is so beautiful!  Mirrors.  Get it?  Vanity!  The hippos are dancing!  OK, there weren't any hippos, but that's what I picture during the Ponchielli piece.  Nice touches of the different hand movements, because the white gloves stand out against their black uniforms.  I also like the contrast when the corps members are dancing with the guard: the guard is wearing predominantly white, so when they step out from their positions behind the corps, the white really pops out at you.  MARIMBAS!!!!  OMG, that was awesome, the way 4 of them were on one, and they moved over,  Music is YAY!  The Union Jack flags at the end were jarring to Rudy.  I like this show a lot.

Bro is calling an audience member "Ducky" because he's got his tag hanging off his hat like he's Minnie Pearl, and the tag says "Ducky".

Repertoire: "Unbreakable" -- Movement 1: Forged Steel; Movement 2: Diamonds Under Pressure; Movement 3: Struggle;  Movement 4: Courage and Inspiration by K. Poulan, T. Nunez, K. Shah

Unlike my experience watching this on the web, the narration wasn't bad except for that last soliloquy.  OY.  There was a lot of triple tonguing like crazy.  Crazy soprano solo, too.  Rudy really liked the show.  I need to not hear the narration.

Repertoire: "No Strings Attached" -- Shadowplay (from Cirque du Soleil's "Ka") by R. Dupere; Firefly by R. George; original music by J. M. Meehan; Overture (from "Orpheus in the Underworld") by J. Offenbach

Rudy:  "That's kinda jazzy".  Now Bro and I will always think of those stupid DirecTV commercials when we watch this show.  The CG got used to those big white flags, not wrapping them around them around their bodies like they had done at the preview.  The ending flags have scissors on them.  They have lots of fun little touches, little puppet-like moves that I enjoy.  I think they should add a can-can, though.  Bro said that the + on my hand represents their set pieces of marionette handles.
Pacific Crest

Repertoire: "Scheherazade: Words to Live By" -- Scheherazade by N. Rimsky-Korsakov

WOW!!!  A few months ago, when SCV announced their show, I went coco bananas.  I LOVE this music, and had just come off of the high of the Davis and White winning the Ice Dance competition in the Olympics to this piece.  Sigh!  Anyway, they had a twitter Q&A, and this is the exchange we had:

Yeah, I'm a fangirl.  I forgot to yell for Justin, a friend of a friend of mine.  She'll be with us at Glendora, so I know I won't forget then.  Bro and Rudy marveled at the double decrescendo.  Also at some diminished 7th chord or something that I didn't get, because I'm not a chord person.  I love everything about this show: the colors, the music, the uniforms, EVERYTHING!  I even liked the trombones.  They're shiny and LOUD.  The crowd went nuts.  The ending now is surely not going to be the same as the version at Finals, because this is SCV.  The guy with the scimitar was only there for like 10 seconds, and I'm sure there will be more to that.  I want that lamp!  It's shiny and gold, too.  There's a lot of gold against the white and it's gorgeous.  The shadow of the drum major in the backfield is really cool on the set.  Oh, there's a lot of set dressing, but I'm good with it because they're not moving it around all over the field.  This is nothing like the 2004 show, and I'm fine with that, though I did love it.  Bro said that one of the drum features is directly from that show, though.  I'll have to listen for it tonight.
SCV Backfield Drum Major

Repertoire: "Alma Gitana: A Gypsy Soul" -- Bulgaria by P. Erskine; Erghen Diado by the Bulgarian Women's Choir; Emmanuel by O. de Brujo; Habanera (from "Carmen") by G. Bizet, East Village Opera Company; Caravan by J. Tizol & D. Ellington

Gypsy wagons!  When the bass drums are marching in beside the wagons, their drums look like they're the wagon wheels.  At other times, the drums look like a cross-sectioned orange.  I couldn't see the "40" formation that I saw last week on the webcast.  I guess we're not up high enough to see it.  The snare drummer lost his aussie.  I like that whole tambourine/drum feature.  Welcome to California, XMen!!!

Repertoire: "That One Second" -- A Kaleidoscope of Mathematics by J. Horner; Brief Eternity by B. McFerrin, R. Treece, D. Roster; Hand of Fate - Part 1 (from "Signs") by J. N. Howard; To Build a Home by Swinscoe, France, Page, Watson, Smith

Bro finds their uniforms relaxing.  Rudy couldn't remember seeing this corps before, even when I told him about the knee-pop salute.  Welcome back to So Cal, BK!  How does her skin feel like paper?  I felt the skin on Bro's hand, and it was nothing like the paper in front of me.  Somehow he didn't slap me when I kept doing this.  I guess he really was relaxed.  Beauiful sound.  Way too much narration.  Rudy says it's from a movie, but he doesn't know which one.  Why didn't they use all of the screens that they put on the field?  The shadows were cool on them, but still.  Oh, that's a second hand for a clock!  I like the dots on the CG uniform.  Very BK, but subtle.  If they could take out the narration, I'd like this show a lot more, but they like their narration, so that ain't happening.


Open Class:
4) 40.9 City Sound
3) 46.4 Impulse
2) 48.0 Golden Empire
1) 53.45 Gold

Hey, what happened to Incognito?  Were they only performing in exhibition?

World Class:
6) 62.2    Mandarins
5) 62.85 Pacific Crest
4) 63.35 The Academy
3) 66.4   Crossmen
2) 69.15 Blue Knights
1) 74.3  Santa Clara Vanguard

YES!  Kneel Before Zade!  

The drum majors were doing a meet and greet afterward, but we didn't stick around.  Instead, we listened to more drum corps on the way home, so that I could hear 2004 SCV.

Next up:  Citrus College

Friday, June 27, 2014

Simple Gifts 06/27/14

Simple Gifts
Friday, June 27, 2014

Santa Clara Vanguard back in So Cal this year with "Scheherazade: Words to Live By"

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Simple Gifts 06/26/14

Simple Gifts
Thursday, June 26, 2014

Going shopping for something specific and finding out that there's a sale

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Simple Gifts 06/25/14

Simple Gifts
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Making carpool plans to be in the 1SCVFAN car for drum corps weekend

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Simple Gifts 06/24/14

Simple Gifts
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A refreshing shower after a good walk

Monday, June 23, 2014

Drum Corps in a Darkened Theater

I went to the movie theater tonight to see Drum Corps at the Cinema by Fathom Events.  The show was from Saturday night in Akron, OH. 


  • Cavaliers:  MARIMBAS!!!! Also, vampires.  Yay! 
  • Madison Scouts:  Trombones.  Sigh.
  • Boston Crusaders:  Masks.  All summer.  At least they're contoured to the guard members' faces.
  • Phregiment:  The tuba player they interviewed is a music major, and his main instrument is the violin.  :)
  • Cadets:  OMG, stop talking!  You are ruining "Appalachian Spring"!  This is going to drive me nuts at Finals.
  • Crown:  Somebody is going to fall off of those trampolines.
  • Bloo:  Dude said that several of their drum line members are from California.  REPRESENT!  They won drums, BTW.
  • Steve Rondinaro has lost his mind:  First, he says that he's actually OK with the trombones.  Then he says that he's not sure about Boston's show.  Then he says that the narration really adds to the Cadets' show.  I responded to him vocally, probably scaring the woman sitting next to me.
  • Theater wasn't very full today, which is too bad.  
  • Hoppy was the only corps director to do the interview.  Doesn't he have any staff that can speak instead?  I liked hearing from the other folks.
  • "There is a death.  Well, this is Phantom Regiment, and this is what we've come to expect from them."  .
  • It should be no surprise that the corps that I'm most looking forward to seeing in August do not use narration:  Cavaliers and Phregiment.
Four more days until LIVE drum corps.  Whoo HOOO!!!

Simple Gifts 06/23/14

Simple Gifts
Monday, June 23, 2014

Hearing Vanguard's Les Miz show during the trailers for Fathom Events'  Big, Loud, Live presentation

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Simple Gifts 06/22/14

Simple Gifts
Sunday, June 22, 2014


Hello, South Park!

Yeah, I kind of totally love this.  Brilliant work from a fan.

The Smoothest, Hippest, Grooviest Frankenstein in all of Japan

OK, it's time.  Drum corps time?  Well, yes.  Which means that I need to make sure I give my proper send-off to George Baldi III, bass man for Rockapella for these last 12 years.  

Ordinarily, I'd have a show to talk about here, but since we weren't privy to knowing that Geo was leaving Rockapella until after the fact, I wasn't able to give him anything like the books I gave to Kevin and John at his last meet and greet.  It's too bad, because I have a lot of great pictures of George that I'd love for him to have in some form other than on Facebook.  I'll post some of them here, too.
11/15/04  Lufkin, TX

The day I met George, I was sitting outside the theater at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino on October 16, 2002, back in the days where they didn't usually have reserved seats, and we wanted to be first in line.  Scott walked up with this handsome guy, and we said hi to Scott.  I said to Geo, "Hi!  I'm Sherry!" and Scott said, "Oh, you haven't met Sherry yet?  George, this is Sherry."  George had just joined the group that summer, so he was still learning a lot of the songs and choreography.  I was amazed by the new sound to the group, and we talked later about Angela and me grooving with him during "Summertime Blues".  He was easy to talk to right from the very beginning.  
Geo's second CA gig: 10/17/02 - Montalvo

The next day, Kevin chose me to be "Pretty Woman", and he said from the house, "How's Sherry, George?", and George smiled, nodded, and started the intro to "My Girl".  He was so new that he hadn't mastered his "Hey, Baby, what's goin' on?" when being introduced to the lucky woman on stage.  Scott asked me to sing "Stand By Me" with them, and I jumped a couple of bars on Geo's intro, but since he's such a pro, he caught on right away and changed the chord at the right time.  That was the first night that he did the spoken introduction to "Zombie Jamboree", and since he didn't know the choreography, Elliott told him, "Now, SPIN!"  during the song.  He did so.  No, this was NOT part of the choreo.  It was hilarious.

I have many memories of meets and greets with Geo, mostly having to do with Joe being not-actually-related-to Geo, but them acting like they were.  Geo would make fun of us staying in the back of the line to talk to them because we didn't want to take up too much time in front of people that just wanted to get CDs signed and say a quick hello.  At one point, he met my parents and teased me, telling them that I was a stalker.  Another time, he thanked me and Angela for his personalized Christmas goodies, saying that nobody had ever done that for him before.  When he told us what his first full-song solo would be, MJ went crazy.  He said, "One day, you'll be screaming, 'Papa, Papa!'", so yes, of course, I shouted that sometimes when I saw him on the stage by himself.  I LOVE the vocal percussion  break during that song. Oh, yeah, and the time he sang Stevie Wonder's "Happy Birthday" to me on my birthday, then later thanked ME for sharing my special day with them. 
Carmel 11/04/05 - Now with JKB

We also had a great time getting to know Geo while we were on the Rockapella Cruise.  He was the first member of Rockapella to sit at the cool table with us, and we got to meet Sandra and told her why we love Rockapella so much.   
Formal Night on the Cruise - January 2011

The music.  Oh, the talent this man has!  He brought the smoothest grooves to Rockapella.  He brought the major vocal sexiness.  He loved to sing that wicked, wicked bass line in "Paper Doll" that had us in awe every single night.  He loved to show us his range when singing a falsetto line of "I Will Always Love You" in the same paragraph as he would sing "Old Man River".  Thank you, Chocolate Milk!  He is the reason that Liz and I told Scott that, yes, Scott can now arrange a Stevie Wonder song for this group.  I hope that they continue with this sound.  I'll also miss little show moments, like his "NBC" and "Yum Yum" during their Commercials medley.  I'll miss his Hula Hoop during the Chipmunks song.  I'll miss every groovy moment that I can't articulate here.

November 2013 - Rrrrrancho Cucamonga
My greatest memories of Geo, though, would have to be the moments of Stage Love:

  • Napa: Geo singing to me during "Smile in My Heart", and getting Scott to sing to me, too
  • Montalvo:  Geo kissing my hand during "Please Come Home For Christmas" to thank me for his Christmas goodies.  At BOTH shows that night.  AND at the meet and greet.
  • Napa: Geo SINGING OUR NAMES during "Babygirl"
  • Coach House:  Geo saying to me at the end of "Grinch":  "No cookies for you!"
    The Ultimate Stage Love
There were many, many more moments than these, mostly heavy sighs and sexy stares.  I will miss all of it.  Sigh.  I have swooned many a swoon because of this man.

12/05/14 - Napa: Geo's last Pella incarnation

I wish that I could go to Colorado to see Geo's replacement in his first show, but I'll need to wait, for several reasons.  Maybe it will give me more time to heal.  

I hope that I get to see Geo someday again, and I hope that he's performing at that time, because his voice is still at the top of its form, and he needs to share that with the world.

I'll miss you lots, George.  You're Awesome.  You're the Man.  :)

01/29/12: Napa -- the site of many favorite Geo moments