Drum Corps: Great Sights And Sounds... And Memories - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

07/14/04

Drum Corps: Great Sights And Sounds... And Memories

Eight Drum Corps groups compete in Pascagoula

Most fans come for the entertainment, but for one spectator the event took him down memory lane. Drum Corps groups from all over the nation battled it out Tuesday night at the "Blast on the Beach" competition in Pascagoula.

More than 3,000 people attended the show. Most fans came to see extreme sights and sounds. But not everyone.

Three summers ago, Chris Walsh was one of the kids marching on the field.

Walsh played baritone and marched with the Phantom Regimen. He spent the entire summer of 2001 touring the U.S., eating, sleeping, and living for the band.

"You all sleep together on the gym floor. You all shower together. You all eat together. You do everything together." Walsh says.

They also practice in the summer heat together, but Walsh says the finished product is worth all of the sweat and of the hard work.

"They stay all summer long. They work their butts off and they turn out these wonderful shows, Olympic style. What they're doing out there is amazing." Walsh adds.

Amazing, but not everything. Since Walsh was once an insider, he says he can point out problems most spectators wouldn't hear.

"I guess they have a lot of cleaning to do. Some of the releases are a little off. But for the most part they hit it dead on," says Walsh.

Instruments aside, Walsh says for him it was a summer of fun and friendship. Walsh says he left the Corps with so many great memories, he didn't mind sharing this one with us.

"Our bus broke down around 3:00 in the morning in the middle of nowhere. We all had to sleep on the floor of a gas station where people pump gas," Walsh laughs.

He says they ended up performing for everyone who stopped in to fill up.

As the music plays, Walsh says he's reminded of those great times he once had.

By:Jaimee Goad

Click here for the final scores from Tuesday night's competition!

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