Phantom Regiment Alumnus Ryan Tysdal has agreed to match the first $10,000 raised during our 2019 Year End Campaign. We asked him to share  a little about why he decided to support the corps with such a generous donation.

I grew up in Sioux Falls, SD, and still reside there today. I remember it was around this time in 1995 that I was getting ready to get in a car and drive halfway across the Midwest to the audition camp for the 1996 Phantom Regiment. That weekend trip to Rockford would change my life forever.

My audition score was a ‘3’ and I was barely invited back after the audition camp.  In truth, I had only been playing baritone for about 6 months prior to auditions. But I kept practicing – and kept driving to Rockford to the monthly camps – in the hopes to earn a spot. I went on to march 5 summers with the Phantom Regiment, aging out in 2000. 

I feel the advantage I had marching in the late-1990’s was that I got to be a part of the organization in both the good times and the challenging times.  I witnessed first-hand that when things were good, they were great.  And when things were challenging, we all had to pitch in a little extra, work harder and give more.

During my marching years, I went from a 16-year-old ‘kid’ in 1996 to aging out as a disciplined and dedicated young adult 5 summers later.

Phantom Regiment taught me many lessons I have carried with me throughout my life.  I entered a career as a commercial real estate broker. I frequently joke with clients that “my secret weapon is hard work.”  It was Phantom Regiment that taught me how to work hard to achieve what I wanted. Something tells me there are many, many other alumni that can relate to that feeling.

As an alumnus of the Phantom Regiment, I chose to make a donation this year, because – quite frankly – I feel there has never been a more important time to contribute to the drum corps than right now.

Simply put, the modern drum corps need funding to be successful. I’m not local to the Rockford area, so I feel the best thing I can do right now for the success of the corps is to donate money. The week after finals this past summer, the first thing I wanted to do was donate money.  And I reached out to several alumni friends asking them to give alongside me.

Although I’ve donated to Phantom Regiment many times in the past for various fundraising campaigns, I chose to make my largest donation this year.  I invite everyone reading this to make their biggest donation right now.  Or if you’ve never given, make your first donation.  Join me in giving back to the organization that gave so much to all of us.

Ryan Tysdal

Are you ready to join Ryan and DOUBLE your donation with his matching gift? Make a donation TODAY at or click the button below.