From a very considerate boyfriend:
Hi, my name is Michael Brence and I am nominating my girlfriend, Veronica Lanier, for Phantom Phan of the Month. She and I attend Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR where she just finished her 4th year as drum major. Her conducting career actually began her 8th grade year and she went on to become student conductor many years and eventually drum major in
high school. She’s also been the principle bassoonist at our college for several years.
When Veronica was about 11 or 12 yrs old (she just turned 25), her dad told her to turn on the TV because there was something on that she may be interested in. What was on was DCI finals! From that moment, her heart belonged to Phantom Regiment.
Now what makes this interesting is the fact that I am an alumn of the Madison Scouts (’03-’04). So you see, her loyalty isn’t to me and my corps, it’s to Phantom Regiment!
Veronica has listened to and watched drum corps since then. Phantom’s rendition of “Amazing Grace” has always been a personal favorite of
hers. However, it wasn’t until I showed her the 2003 DCI Finals video of Phantom’s performance did it all come back – within the first 15
seconds of the show, she was in tears and remained that way until the climactic end where she cried even more profusely and was speechless for a few minutes. “Canon in D” is one of her most favorite songs. To this day, that remains her favorite DCI show of all time.
This season, she followed Regiment’s schedule religiously – always checking their scores, seeing where they were off to, and trying to find a feasible way to see them in person. As luck would have it, Phantom Regiment was coming to Little Rock – she COULD NOT contain her excitement!
She counted down the days until “Phantom Day” and when it was finally here, she was amazed and awestruck – she was finally able to see her
Phantom Regiment live and in person. We spent ALL DAY (2pm-10:30pm!) watching Phantom Regiment. No one could take her eyes off of them, she was so in tune with what they were doing. I knew not to bother her so long
as Phantom Regiment was in front of her! She was able to hear a glimpse of the ’03 show with their warm-up chorale. Tears were abundant that day.
I can’t personally tell you how she feels about Phantom Regiment, but I do know it’s very special to her. She lights up at the mention of
Phantom Regiment. She loves their sound, their visual choreography, and ESPECIALLY their conductors. She would’ve loved nothing more than to be a Phantom Regiment conductor! Unfortunately for her, that dream will
never come true because she realized too late that auditions were open to anyone, regardless of previous corps experience. She has, however,
bought every Phantom Regiment DVD she could get her hands on so that she could get some insight as to what it would be like to be in Phantom
Regiment. The 2005 season was all about Phantom Regiment for her – nothing made her prouder than seeing them medal with her second favorite show
of all time! I’m pretty sure she knows both of her favorite shows inside and out!
The “Summer of Phantom” helped her realize that her true calling was music, so she decided to prolong her stay at college and return to a
music major and continue to get her masters in conducting. She loves Phantom Regiment more than anyone else I know or have heard about.
Veronica is a true Phantom Phan at heart and with her birthday – and Christmas – this month, she could not receive a better gift than being selected as December’s Phantom Phan of the Month!
Thanks Micheal, thank you for sharing this story, and happy belated birthday to Veronica!
Past Phantom Phan of the Month’s:
Zach Boughton of Colorado
Bill Malone of Tennessee
Cody Richardson of Tennessee
Micheal Heiter of California
Phil Vermont of California
Scott Woodford of Illinois
Lynn Morehouse of Indiana