Meet Bill Malone; financial guy by day, musician by night and a Phantom Phan around the clock! Thanks for the kind words and great support these many years, Bill! Here’s his story:
I feel strange nominating myself for something like this, and normally would not consider doing so, but even though I really do consider myself perhaps the corps biggest “phan,” this message is more about letting the Phantom Regiment know how much they have enriched my life.
I work the Financial Services area of a home health provider, as a Payables Supervisor. I also post journal entries to the general ledger,
track employee productivity…things like that. I’m sure I do not sound like the typical Phantom Regiment “Phan” on the surface. But, ask any
of my friends and family and they would tell you that if you cut me I would bleed whatever colors that the corps is using in their show that
I am a musician, playing mainly piano and guitar and I compose piano solos. I do not play brass and only had minimal experience playing percussion in high school. I had music classes in
high school during the same hours that my high school’s band–McGavock High School–current state marching champion in Tennessee and 23 time
state champion–held their class. I found it hard to focus on my music because I was enthralled by what was going on in the next room.
My history as a Regiment addict goes back to 1977 when I began college at MTSU (the site of the DCI Masters show). My room-mate that first year in
college was a standout percussionist from Hopkinsville, KY named Mike Mann. He was also dating my sister at the time. Mike became a member of the Regiment drum line and later became drum captain and even went on to be on staff after he aged out. That’s when I first really checked out drum corps and specifically Phantom Regiment.
I was hooked! I have always favored classical music over other genres, but Phantom Regiment’s arrangements and performance of their musical selections have just amazed me year after year since 1977.
I attend at least a couple of shows a year, and
in the past have been known to drive 10 hours or more– often by myself–to places like Madison, Rockford or Michigan City just to see and hear the Regiment live.
I am known by all my friends and people in places like restaurants, the post office, Wal-Mart, etc in Hermitage, TN as “Mr. Phantom Regiment.”
I wear a PR t-shirt from my collection almost every evening after work and all weekend long. In the fall and winter I am almost always seen in my PR jacket. One friend in particular, when someone stops us and asks me about my shirt, prompts the other person to ask me anything they want to know about Phantom Regiment.
I have a friend from New York that meets us at various drum corps show and we always have a friendly running argument about who is better, Phantom Regiment or Santa Clara Vanguard. So many great people to meet in the drum corps arena!
Not one day goes by that I don’t “rock out” to a cd of the Regiment on my commute to and from work. That is all I listen to in my truck. This
has embarrassed me on more than one occasion as people passing by me stare in wonder as I drum on my steering wheel with the music blasting.
I have introduced many people to the activity and, yes, almost all of these converts claim that PR is their favorite.
I am not easily moved to tears, but PR’s show at Finals has brought me to tears several times. All of PR’s shows amaze and move me, but the
following specific performances affected me most: 1994 in Boston, 1996 in Charlotte the weekend before finals (where I proclaimed to all sitting
around me that PR would win at Finals), 2001 in Buffalo as “Festive Overture” came to an end, 2003 in Orlando, the list goes on. My 89-year-old father has me call him on my cell phone when I am at a show so he can hear PR.
The current design team could not be better and I know I will continue to love the corps as long as I live and drum corps survives. The 2005
production (that I was initially wary of) is absolutely one of the most well conceived, arranged and performed drum corps shows I have ever seen.
When looking back over this message I guess it really looks like I am making a case to be chosen “Phan of the Month,” but in reality that
doesn’t matter at all. As long as the corps I love and support knows how much they have added to my life and the lives of those around me,
I’ll be happy.
Can’t wait for 2006–the anniversary. I’ve already ordered my copy of the commemorative book!
With appreciation for many years of drum corps “elation”…..
Bill Malone, Hermitage, Tennessee
Past Phantom Phan winners have been:
Cody Richardson of Tennessee
Micheal Heiter of California
Phil Vermont of California
Scott Woodford of Illinois
Lynn Morehouse of Indiana