I had just sat down to write a review of Super Size Me, the documentary that I went to see yesterday with Mark and Aaron, when Kris Heath called. Turns out that he and Jamie happened upon the PBS broadcast of the 2004 DCI World Championship Finals, and he wanted to let me know it was on—which was good, because I hadn’t realized it would be broadcast so soon after Finals. Usually, it’s not broadcast until Thanksgiving weekend.
As always, watching Finals on PBS was an experience best shared with no one. If I can’t have fellow corps alumni with me, I’d rather not have anyone else watch me silently cheer the incredible drill moves, or tear up at the memory of aging out forever, or any of the other silly unexplainable things I do while watching the broadcast. Having been involved in the activity, these reactions make perfect sense; to someone looking from the outside in, I’m sure it seems… over the top?
Back when I was still marching Junior corps, I’d seen alumni from the 70’s bawl like babies when they saw the Troopers perform their signature starburst drill move, simply because no one does that anymore, and it was once a staple of drum corps repertoire. I only vaguely understood back then what they were feeling, even with the drum corps experience that I had. I can’t imagine what people with no drum corps experience whatsoever would make of this.
Even without the drum corps experience under your belt, though, the DCI PBS broadcast is a wonderful program. Back in high school, before I ever dreamed I could possibly age out of a Top 12 corps and play in The Night Show, I watched and admired the ability of these young people to perform with such intensity. All the corps put on a great show, and every last kid is giving it his or her best for that one final performance. Even without knowing it firsthand, you can see in their eyes their love for the activity and their corpsmates, and it can really move you if you let it. When I saw it back in high school, I wanted that feeling myself. I never thought I’d actually get it.
Even now, seven years later, it’s such a great memory.