Huge Turnout at November Camp
The march towards 2013 has begun for the Boston Crusaders!
To kick off Round One auditions, nearly 250 prospective members came out to Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, FL this past weekend to audition for one of the coveted performance spots available for 2013. ¬†The other half of the 2013 candidates will continue Round One auditions at other locations over the next month, leading to the Dec 21-23 Round Two camp where a majority of performance positions will be awarded to brass and percussion musicians.
Friday night found the main hallway of the high school campus filled with the hustle and bustle of anxious young men and women, finding a place to put their gear down, and begin their journey with this year's edition of the 73-year old corps.
Executive Director Tom Spataro and Asst. Director Justin Heimbecker began the weekend with the first official corps meeting of the new year. Here, the auditionees were given the specifics of the weekend, from schedules to "house rules" to audition processes. From there, the large crowd was broken into sectionals. As the sections met and began their introductory exercises, the admin team was busy sorting the mountain of paperwork that had just come in, as the volunteers were setting up the food for the weekend. The electricity in the air was as exciting as everyone began looking forward to the weekend and the year ahead.
The color guard took over the cafeteria, where nearly 70 guard hopefuls began with a movement block, lead by returning staff members Sarah Cole and Anthony Scudero - then went on to begin flag technique. Vets and new members alike were treated to a hearty round of their favorite "Pull Hit Exercise" and with some heavy breathing, they made it through!
The sound of low brass was heard off in the distance and we soon realized that 22 tubas makes a whole lot of noise! This record number of musicians was certainly a welcome sight to Chad Pence, Brass Caption Head. "With the significant number of people who plan to attend the next camp (due to football games and other excused absences) we should be able to fill an excellent brass section this year."
Ellis Hampton and his percussion staff brought the potential drum line members into the band room and started with an informal "meet & greet" as the front ensemble went to finish unloading the truck and move into their temporary home, the Media Center at Lakewood Ranch. "I always love auditions weekend. You really get to see how badly some of these kids want to be a part of it. It makes me proud to be associated with such a fine group." said Andy Fillipiak, front ensemble instructor.
Just around midnight, the team broke for some much needed rest. Snack was served and off to their first night's sleep in "drumcorpsland," anticipating a full day of rehearsal blocks and individual auditions to follow the next day.
Saturday morning brought with it a flurry of activity. Individual auditions for the brass section were to be held throughout the day as another round of sectionals, and more technqiue in brass, guard and percussion followed. After lunch, the brass line spent some time in a visual block starting with the basics of good posture, and by dinner the sound of horns and drums in the distance brought Lakewood Ranch to life!
By nightfall, the entire hornline had gathered for the very first time, and those in attendance were floored by the massive sound coming from the cafeteria. The color guard was in the gym learning phrases in flag, weapon and movement. "The components of an awesome drum corps could very well be right here in front of us. I am looking forward to what 2013 brings!" said Lainey Drummond, Tour Director for the Crusaders.
'Breakfast for snack' (pancakes) was prepared by the volunteer crew at 11:30pm, with a chilly 49 degree temperature looming as the day drew to a close. After a long, challenging day, the corps was certainly ready for a quality night of shut-eye.
Sunday brought much of the same: The color guard was broken into small groups who presented phrases for the staff in a rotated session lasting most of the day. The drums worked together on some musical balancing and continued building their technique. Brass auditions finished up, with the potential members each having been assigned a number "1, 2, or 3."
During the camp wrap up, Caption Heads communicated with applicants on their status and the process moving forward. Justin Heimbecker spoke about how the road to success for next summer begins with the fundamentals of how they approach their journey NOW. Tom Spataro thanked everyone for coming, spoke of the traditions and pride that are felt at the Boston Crusaders and how each one of them is a part of that. Program Coordinator Eric Kitcheman reminded those in attendance that their part of the program is an integral part of the process and that he personally was "very much looking forward to the RISE of the program." With that camp was dismissed, the school cleaned up, and all were on their way towards the NEXT CAMP - December 21-23 in Bradenton, FL. December 21-23 will have brass and percussion callbacks from all Round One auditions (FL, TX, MA, and video submissions) in addition to any newcomers between now and then.
Keep in mind that this was not the only chance to audition for the 2013 edition of the Boston Crusaders. Round One auditions continue for ALL SECTIONS with upcoming workshop auditions being held in two locations from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Saturday, December 8th:
BOSTON, MA AUDITIONS: Boston University
DENTON, TX AUDITIONS: John H Guyer HS
Please visit www.bostoncrusaders.com/join or email
Article Submitted By: Darren Delaney
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