Technology (or lack there-of) has won out and Joe’s
Journal sadly looks to be dead in the water for this
season. So, indulge me as i give a humble but valiant
attempt to share a little of what’s been happening
these past few weeks and what we have in store for the
First off, let me say this has been the smoothest tour
I have been on in my 15 year management career. the
vehicles have been running great, our charter company
is wonderful to work with, and the new equipment truck
is a god-send. We run on a strict schedule, we wash
uniforms every 4th show, we bring in bulk-fuel to keep
buses fueled and drivers rested, we work hard and we
work smart to make sure the kids have a seamless
The support staff, as always, has been the heart and
soul of the corps. Better, more hard working and truly
generous adults could not be found. Many evenings ,
when time permits, we all gather late night around the
food truck…cooks, drivers, sewing crew, souvie crew,
corps nurses and/or doctors, (and a few teaching staff
too)and we have a few laughs. Best time of the day.
Your kids are in good hands, trust me. Tonight we have
one of our 2 or 3 annual summer “support
staff/teaching staff” socials planed. Makes for a
happy family and good memories.
Speaking of kids – I have said it often, and mean it
each time: this is the finest group of Regiment
members we have had since I have been here. they are
classy, hard working and have amazingly positive
attitudes. Touring is tough…life on the road is
spartan, and competing at the highest level can be
stressful. This group of 140 has handled it like true
pros. I cannot express enough that the character of
this seaon’s Phantom Regiment member is truly
I have also enjoyed seeing this staff team work. It’s
one of the larger teams we’ve had in a few years, by
the way. The vibe here is super…lot’s of good
bonding happening, great teamwork and a lot of just
plain old-fashioned “roll up your sleeves and get it
done” about these folks. Professionals all the way,
and they truly have the member’s experience at the
center of all they do.
Sounds all too good to be true, eh? Thankfully, it is
not. Your Phantom Regiment is running in top form and
as solid as ever. This season has been challenging
compeititvley. True, we’ve won 14 shows so far, and
placed no lower than 3rd in 8 others (and let’s not
forget those 3 rain-outs!), but the competition is
tough and our show even tougher. But more on that
later, Here’s a bit of where we’ve been and what we’ve
After Show of Shows in early July we headed toward our
other “home show”, the one we added at Marshall
University. But first a 2 -day stop at Jenison
(Mi)High School, with PR alum Dave Armbrsuter as host.
What a school! TWO astro-turf fields with lights! Two
good days to get ready for the first big show of the
year. Great run, good score and we’re back to feeling
good about ourselves (after a rather shocking finish
at Show of Shows).
Stayed right at the stadium, got lot’s done and dodged
the rain for a solid crowd (for a 1st year effort) and
a good run. I think we’ll run this show again…so
much potential, lot’s of fans asking for it and
Marshall University Bands are very helpful on the
local front. After the Marshall show, it was off to
the south-east. We prepared for hot weather, and got
it. Yes, rain too. 2004: Summer of…RAIN!
Three days in Chapin, SC, 2 in Baldwin, Florida (fun
clinic wih area band students) and 1 day in Orlando.
Rained at least once a day at each of those stops. All
great housing sites with extremley friendly band
directors. Good stadium time and we got in some major
changes. The plan is this: Changes in before
Allentown. Clean after Allentown. We’re doing that and
it seems to be working.
A peculier triat of this corps: we seem to be a “big
stadium” corps this year. In other words, the show
seems to click better in bigger venues. We have booked
a lot of stadium time for rehaersals all summer, so
the tie-in makes sense, and of course, there’s none
bigger the Mile High, so we’re on the right track.
Orlando was a good run, and the brass placed
exceptionally well. We then worked our way up the
coast towards Allentown, with a stop in Goose Creek SC
(rehaersal day, with the now expected evening rain!),
then 3 days in Virginia Beach. Made some good changes,
had a free day on the beach and squeeked out another
first place. Now..on to Giants Stadium and Allentown!
Great housing in New Jersey…stadium access, not much
rain. Giant’s stadium show is always a blast and we
did well. Allentown next day. Cue the rain! One hour
delay, but we get the show in at about 11 pm. We’re
pumped and show lot’s of energy but some ensemble
tears apear. We can fix those as we’re off to
Pitsburgh for a rehearsal day.
Pittsburgh..actually Elizabeth Forward High
School…hosted by alumni Dave Cornelius. An amazing
HS stadium! Sunny, 70 degrees and dry! One of our most
productive days ever and it’s the moment we truly
began cleaing this monster of a show. What a day…the
ending run through was superb! Local fans fed us a
wonderful chicken dinner and then we were off to ohio.
Canton, Ohio. Bluecoats run a great show. Cool, sunny
day, slight threat of rain. Pushed out a nice show and
stayed ahead of a strong Boston and Bluecoats. Back
east to Hornell for 2 rehaersal days at the show site.
Hornell, New York. Rain. 36 straight hours of rain. We
did, however, rehearse through much of it and added
the new ending. By 6 pm that night we were soaked.
What else to do? Easy! We loaded up the buses and went
to the movies! The 1 local theatre in this small town
had 3 screens. The owner basicly “sold” it to us for
the evening! Word is they typicly have about 8
customers on a Monday night. Well, this night he had
160! Fun for all, and the general concensus was that
Spiderman II was cheesy, and I, Robot was ubsurd. The
Matt Damon sequal to Bourne Identity was pretty good,
so I’ve been told. I watched the Robot movie.
Next day was show day. We shared the site with
Crossmen, and we played a run thru for each other at
the end of the day. Fun times, and I love their
closer! Rain stoped and the contest got underway. We
broke 90 for the first time all year (and 2 shows
before we did last year!).
In good spirits, with a cleaner show and more
confidence we head off to Ohio before the big push.
More cleaning, a good run, again against a tough
showing by Bluecoats and Boston. Another win and now
we’re sitting in Lebanon, Tennesse at a bueatiful high
school with lots of fields, good stadium time and 2
days to get ready for the MTSU show and Indy event.
Morale is high, the show really is clicking and we are
getting cleaner. It’s a demanding show, and we’re just
now getting our hands around it, but we are doing so
in a big way. All sections are working well togather.
Let me tell you, watch the guard…quite possibly the
most improved section this past week. i am very proud
of these ladies this year. Great attitudes and amazing
Yes, the competition is tough. The top 8 are very
good, and have great people working them. We’re being
pushed while chasing a few others. No shame in that at
all. The members are learning about being good
competitors, working hard, staying the course and
maximizing the things they can control. It’s good for
drum corps to see such a strong field out there this
We know we’re worthy of being in the top of that
field, and we’re definately on the right track.
Sitting in 5th, being pushed by a few solid corps
behind us, though no one has yet caught us aside from
being nipped by Madison twice on first tour. We’re now
finding our footing and even gaining on Cadets. Brass
and percussion playing in the top leagues, guard’s
getting better, GE scores moving up solidly. It’s a
good show and a strong corps and we’re up the the
Our goal now is to clean. We’ve booked same major
stadium time and some extended rehearsal days leading
into Denver. We haven’t done that in recent years, but
this year we’re determined. We want to make sure this
season’s corps is another great chapter in the corps
You see, each spring during move-in, we take a night
and watch vidoeos of the corps going back to the early
1970’s. We tell the history of the corps and the
people who have made the Regiment such a great place.
Now – 8 weeks later – we are focusing on how this
years chapter will be told to future Regiment members.
I for one couldn’t be more proud of this years corps
and am certain our showing on August 7 will make each
and every generation of Regiment members and fans
proud, and will stand the test of time against any
Phantom Regiment season.
Thanks for supporting us in the many ways you do, and
please cheer us on as we push through DCI Week. We’ll
let our hair down a bit on Tour Of Champions,
hopefully give the west coast fans a good showing
while making great friendships among the 5 other corps
on that tour.
But right now, we’ve got work to do.