Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2009 Tour Schedule Is Up!!

So I was checking my e-mail a few minutes ago, and I open up the weekly DCI (Drum Corps International) newsletter. The first thing in it is the news about the full tour schedule being up, with a link to the schedule. Obviously, I went right there and began looking to see who was going where, particularly, where I would be going over the summer and what other corps we would see along the way. Here is the schedule:

June 25: Toledo, OH (this has been our first show both years I've already marched, and looks like it will be the same again, this year. The only drawback (maybe?) is that this year, like in '07, it is a week into the competitive season)
June 28: Decatur, IN
June 29: Erie, PA
July 1: Ft Edwards, NY (Mom and Dad saw me here last year, and we did Retreat/Encore here. It is a unique and special show. It is practically in the middle of nowhere, NY, and is at a baseball field instead of a football stadium. Its unique, but fun.)
July 2: Beverly, MA (This is the home show for our Brass Caption Head who is from the Boston area)
July 3: Bristol, RI (I can't see myself anywhere else on July 3/4 than in Bristol. Its a great place to be for the July 4 festivities)
July 4: Bristol, RI parade, and maybe another 1 or 2? Not on the actual competition schedule
July 7: Chesapeake, VA
July 9: Columbia, SC (this show was rained out last year, it started raining in the middle of the corps after us was performing)
July 11: Orlando, FL
July 14: Ocean Springs, MS
July 16: Houston, TX
July 17: Dallas, TX
July 18: San Antonio, TX (Whats different this year, is that there is no longer an Afternoon/Night show. What they are doing is dividing the corps up between Dallas and Houston, and every corps goes to both on the 16/17, half going Houston/Dallas, the other half going Dallas/Houston. They are then going to use the scores from those two shows for all the corps and place them in performance order for a long full 21 corps show. I'm interested to see how this change will affect attendance. They're doing something similar for the Atlanta show, as well)
July 21: Monroe, LA
July 22: Hattiesburg, MS
July 24: Murfreesboro, TN
July 25: Atlanta, GA
July 26: Charlotte, NC
July 27: Salem, VA
July 30: West Chester, VA (this is the corps original home. It is one of our multiple "home" shows. San Antonio and Allentown being the others. Clifton, somewhat.)
July 31: Lawrence, MA
August 1: Allentown, PA
August 2: Clifton, NJ
August 6-8: DCI World Championships, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN

I am very excited for this summer and this schedule. My only complaint is that I don't have any personal home shows. We won't be at the Warrenton show. There isn't a Westminster show (not that I don't mind, I really don't like that field). We aren't going to the Lafayette, LA show, either. Lafayette is about an hour or so west of Baton Rouge, and a number of people from southern LA go to that show. Monroe is in the northern part of the state. Oh well.

Good things are that we see Spirit 8 times. Spirit and Crossmen have a special connection that dates back to 1979. Also, one of my friends who is on the drumline here at LSU and is also a music major, is auditioning at Spirit this weekend. Also, here there are people who march at Glassmen, Bluecoats, Cadets, and Crown, as well as someone who marched at Madison in 06.

This summer is going to be an exciting one, and with the entire brass staff being back from last year, I'm certain it will be a very educational and productive summer. Only about 6 months until move-in!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tiger Band Photos

Since my parents asked for a picture of me in my LSU Tiger Band uniform, here is one as well as some other pictures of the band. For pre-game, I am in the bottom of the S. When we are in the straight lines, I am in the 4th line.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Moment to Breathe!

As the title suggests, I have been incredibly busy as of late. Last weekend wasn't much of a weekend at all. Really, this week has been two weeks, essentially.

Last week (week of the 10-15), I had an Intro exam (music theory/music history combined class) in the middle of the week, so the first part of the week was spent studying...a lot...for that exam. I also had a couple assignments due at the end of the week for my music ed class. Then on the Saturday it was our 4th home football game in a row. It was the Troy game which was rescheduled from September 6, thanks to Gustav. It was also the homecoming game. Because there was not a football game originally scheduled for that day, it was also the first game of the season for the men's basketball team. Normally, a 60 person pep band, the Bengal Brass, would play for this game. However, since there was a football game as well that day, the band directors decided it would be nice if the full 325 member Tiger Band play for the game. So that day began with an EARLY practice at 8AM followed by a meal. Then the basketball game. All 325 of us in the PMAC, a domed basketball arena with a capacity of 10,000. After the basketball game, we ate again, and then went to do our usual football gameday routine, which involved a short concert in the PMAC, followed by the march to the stadium and then the football game. Needless to say, that was a very long day.

Sunday wasn't much better. It would've been nice to get some time to relax, however, I did not get this opportunity. My Sunday began with a dress rehearsal for the Trombone Choir concert. This was followed by a required recital, the Percussion Ensemble concert. That was a very enjoyable concert. After the concert, I had a short period of time where I did get to relax a little and get something to eat. But I didn't have much time, because I also had another dress rehearsal on Sunday, this time for Tiger band and our "Tigerama" concert. Tigerama is a concert that the Tiger Band and the top two concert bands, the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Winds, put on as a fundraiser. The Tiger Band plays all of its show music from its various shows from throughout football season, as well as the numerous school songs that LSU has.

After the long days of Saturday and Sunday, I had to return to my normal class schedule on Monday, which is probably my busiest day of the week this semester. That evening was the Tigerama concert. Then Tuesday, my second busiest day, was the Trombone Choir concert. After that you think I would have gotten a chance to relax the rest of the week, right? After all, my two busiest class days of the week are done, and it only gets easier throughout the week. Nope. I had another round of math homework and quizzes due at the end of the week, as well as ANOTHER Intro test coming up this Monday, just over a week after our last one. Oh, and today was our 5th straight home game in a row. Unfortunatley, it was also our 3rd conference loss in a row. Georgia on Oct 25, Alabama on November 8, and Ole Miss today. At least we came back from a 31-3 deficit to beat Troy 40-31 last week!

Next week, I also have a dress rehearsal for the Symphonic band concert on Monday, the concert being Tuesday. At least next week is Thanksgiving and I'll finally get a real chance to really relax for some time! Too bad the week after that is "dead week" which is the week before finals where basically nothing is allowed to happen. Followed by finals. After finals, I go to San Antonio for the December camp for the Crossmen and the 2008 season banquet, then I get to go home for at most two weeks, depending on our bowl selection.

Now that Ole Miss beat us today, the Cotton bowl is looking very unlikely, as it will probably choose Ole Miss over us. Our best realistic hope now is the Chick Fil'a Peach Bowl against an ACC team, which at this point could be any team, because they are all about even this year as the ACC has no dominant team. At least with us probably not going to the Cotton bowl, that means we won't have to worry about being slaughtered by either Texas, Oklahoma, or Texas Tech, whichever one gets left out of the BCS.

It will be interesting to see which teams go where, especially if Oregon State wins the Pac-10, forcing USC to have an at-large bid to a BCS bowl. If that were to happen, then there is a good chance that Ohio State will be left out of the BCS and play in the Capitol One bowl, most likely against Georgia, who, if the trend continues, should beat Ohio State pretty easily, as Ohio State is now what? 0-8? 0-9? against SEC teams in bowl games? It'll be interesting to see how things play out over the next two weeks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This is from Aunt Barbara's blog just with my answers, instead.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (well, Disney Wrold)
8. Climbed a mountain (I didn't climb really, rode up on an underground train, really)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (It's really small and kinda far back from where you can stand to see it)
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (I'm counting this as getting rides from people who offered after I started walking home in HS)
23. Taken a sick day when youʼre not ill (Mom, Dad, I'll admit, I did this once or twice in 6th grade, but not in middle school or high school)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (Didn't want to spend all the time haggling to get the price down only to be cheated by them anyways when I was there. They do that, you know)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (both)
31. Hit a home run (in kickball)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (They're everywhere up by Grandma and Grandpa in PA)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangeloʼs David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (Story that fits here, on our free day at a beach in New Jersey, about 8 or 9 of us were eating at this restaurant and we see on of the alumni who does a bunch for the Crossmen and started talking to her. Then she decided she would pay for all our food, so we all got a free meal during that free day. It was very kind of her.)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (Ok, not the VERY top, but I went up onto it partway and it was still a very good view all around)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Only bought)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp (Visited Dachau when I was in Europe 3 summers ago)
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (It would be kind of sad if I hadn't and I've lived 12 miles away for 7 years now)
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades (I drove through them - does that count?)
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (I got a really cool picture of a trombone slide during this! I'll post it in a few days if I remember to.)
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House (Havn't been inside yet, though)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someoneʼs life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person (I honestly still havn't, even after having had two free nights at the Riverwalk. Something I'm gonna have to try to do this summer, I guess)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Friday, November 7, 2008

Growing Excitment for the Alabama Game

Tomorrow is finally the day. The day that the whole LSU football nation has been waiting for since January 3, 2007. The day that Nick Saban, former LSU head coach, announced his return to college football as the head coach of Alabama. Here is a brief overview of how this came to be.

In 1999? (maybe 2000), Nick Saban was in his first year as head coach here at LSU. He took over a program that was struggling, and began turning the program around. Fast. In 2003, he took the team to the BCS National Championship game and won. This gave LSU our first football National Championship since 1958. The championship game was held on January 4, 2004. On January 4, 2005, exactly one year after that game, Nick Saban was announced as the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. While Tiger fans were disappointed at his departure, many understood that he was moving to a different level. When the Dolphins played the Saints during the 2005 season, the game was held in Tiger Stadium due to Hurricane Katrina. Saban was warmly recieved back "home." During the 2006 season, Alabama fired their head coach and began looking for a highly qualified coach who could win championships. Many rumors were circulating all over the place that Nick Saban was at the top of the list. In a mid-December press conference, Saban denied all rumors that he was considering the coaching job at Alabama. He said he was not going to leave the Dolphins. However, on January 3, 2007, the day that LSU played Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl, Nick Saban was announced as the new head coach at Alabama. Thats when the whole of the Tiger Nation turned on Saban. He lied about leaving LSU for the Dolphins, and then he lied about returning to Alabama. Alabama is another SEC school, and not only that, they are also an SEC West school, meaning LSU plays them every single year. This game has been highly anticipated since that day. Tomorrow will be his first time back in Tiger Stadium "Death Valley" since becoming head coach at Alabama.

This game and the return of Nick Saban has been one of the, if not THE most talked about sports story this week. Every day there are articles about the game, tv stories about the game, everything. More than anything else in the sports world. Also, College Gameday, the Saturday morning college sports show on ESPN is being broadcast from the LSU Campus. Also, to make it even better, Alabama is ranked #1 in all the polls for the first time (this is the first week they're ranked #1) in a long time. They are 9-0 and looking towards and SEC championship and a possible BCS National Championship. Tiger fans here at LSU would love nothing more than to see all that go by the wayside thanks to a loss to our beloved Fighting Tigers in Death Valley.

I have been looking forward to this game for such a long time. This is the single game that I have been anticipating this season. The atmosphere is going to be incredibly electric. Record attendance is expected as a possibility. There is going to be additional securty around the Alabama team (for obvious reasons, fans hatred of Saban). My only gripe is that thanks to CBS the game is at 2:30. In the afternoon. This is going to be an extremely eciting game. I can't wait until kickoff in 23 hours and 37 minutes. It's going to be fun...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day is FINALLY Here!

Today is the day. Tonight millions of Americans nationwide will be watching election returns coming in all night long, late into the night, waiting to see who our next President will be. After two long years of campaigning, almost a full 24 months, over 700 days, we will FINALLY be able to stop watching campaign ads and the back and forth between all the candidates who have attempted their bid to become the nations next President. Its been a long two years. And it only seems longer when you look at it in months or days. Thats a long election process! Canada is what? 37 days? That's about 5% of what this national election cycle has been! Unfortunately, as things go in America, very soon we're probably gonna start hearing about Senate races in two years. At least we can hopefully go two years without thinking about the next Presidential cycle.

No matter what the result, this years election is seeming to be an accomplishment for the US. The voter turnout in some areas is expected to be as high as 80%. Compare that to the past few Presidential elections where turnout has been less than 50%. Maybe people are starting to realize after how close the last two elections that every vote counts. And that is why it is so important to vote. You never know if your vote is the one that could change your state from being tied to going one way or the other. You'll never know unless you actually vote and make your voice heard.