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For 40 years, the Crossmen have enriched and shaped the lives of young musicians through music education and the performing arts. The 2014 Drum Corps International summer tour represents Crossmen's 40th competitive season. Follow along as Crossmen Executive Director and Corps Director, Fred Morrison, records the daily highlights of the Crossmen Alma Gitana Tour.


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Crossmen Blog

Crossmen Tour 37 "renewal" Day 25-Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Crossmen Tour 37 "renewal" Day 25
Tuesday, July 12th-El Paso Gridley HS, El Paso, IL - Metamora, IL Show Day

This morning started off a little cool but as the day progressed the humidity and temperature climbed to the uncomfortable level. Everyone is hard at their daily task with a renewed purpose. The setting of our rehearsal fields here in El Paso......Illinois that is......reminds us of the movie "Field of Dreams". The crops are standing tall in the fields and those cornfields surround us on three sides. The words "If you build it they will come...." are playing in the back of my mind. I bet to a large chunk of our membership seeing giant green crops and lush green fields in July is a new experience. Some are taking photos on their phones of the 7 foot tall stalks and sending them home electronically.

Rehearsal and ensemble go pretty well. Every member I visit with knows we must bring the intensity tonight that was lacking last night. We EPL and head for the stadium with new found vigor. An on time arrival and smooth warm up are suddenly shanghaied by rain and lightning off in the distance. We were approaching the gate when we receive word that the show is delayed 30 minutes. We stack the horns and find shelter from the drizzle. It looks like the sky is clearing when the next snafu happens. The static alarm goes off. This is the lightning warning system and we need to find shelter on the buses and wait for the all clear signal. The stadium lights and power to the stadium experience a failure. This will play out later in the evening.

The all clear sounds and we warm up near the truck for a couple of minutes. The schedule is adjusted for the delay. The intermission is shortened so overall the delay adds 33 minute to our scheduled departure. The lights in the stadium are still out but it isn't dark yet. Crossmen perform to a great receptive audience. The applause is constant throughout the performance. You can feel the energy in the air. I am surprised we didn't set off the warning system again! An extended standing ovation is our reward.

More fun! It is getting progressively darker and still no stadium lights! We loan our trusty Yamaha generator to the corps that are scheduled to go on after us. The conversation with contest coordinator, Pat Flynn, and the remaining corps directors was how to stage a standstill and how the temporary light banks should be placed to illuminate the performers. Bummer! it looks like this is going to be a "no show". Then magically the stadium lights begin their slow progression to life! We have lights. The show must go on. After a brief scramble by the corps that were braced for a stand still things are completed to a moon lit clear sky.

We split the convoy in order to recover from the delay. The Staff Coach, Volly Van and the Mobile Command Center await the return of our drum major from retreat and the staff from critique. Whew what a night! Onward to Wisconsin!

Posted by Fred Morrison on 12th July, 2011 | Comments | Trackbacks

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