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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.


June 2014


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Crossmen Blog

Crossmen Tour 37 "renewal" Day 44- North Green HS, Greenville, TN-Sevierville, TN- Show Day

Monday, August 1st, 2011- Crossmen Tour 37 "renewal" Day 44- North Green HS - Sevierville Show Day

Today was a good day for catching up with friends and making some new ones. My friend Bill Clendenon has been making plans for our arrival since the spring. He has been in touch with North Green band director, Jessica Gass, since then. The end result was a great reception by the North Green Band, Band Boosters, Bill and Jessica. The band students were at our rehearsals throughout the day. The band boosters set up a tent and provided snowcones for the corps for free and sold them to the spectators at our ensemble rehearsal in order to raise money for their program. Bill stopped by the Mobile Command Center in the early afternoon for a chat. I had a surprise for him when he came by. We purchased 2 dozen tamales prior to our departure for tour from San Antonio and put them in the RV freezer for our friend Bill. Tamales are one of Bill's favorite foods. I am sure he his enjoying the treat.

 Bill and I became accquainted when his son Todd was in San Antonio last fall receiving experimental chemotherapy treatment. Bill didn't know me at the time but he knew the Crossmen were in San Antonio and a new little drum corps would cheer Todd during his treatment. Hecalled from Tennessee and asked me to go by and visit Todd. I gathered a pile of Crossmen videos and Crossmen swag and made the trip to the house that Todd and his family were staying at during his time in San Antonio.  Todd was a drummer and tech for a corps (the name escapes me now). We shared stories and found that we had some common drum corps friends in Tennessee and Virginia. The bottom line is even in spite of the condition he found his 20 something body in, Todd's mind and attitude were all about getting better and enjoying his time with friends and family. Todd lost his fight with cancer eventually but I will never forget that sunny Sunday in San Antonio telling drum corps stories with him. Our time that day has united his father and I with a mutual respect for our activity and the people bonds it creates. I am sure that Bill and I will remain friends forever thanks to Todd. 

We left the Green HS housing site with mixed emotions. I am sure we will return again.

The Sevierville show has a special significance for the Crossmen. Good and bad memories are part of the significance. In 1976 the Crossmen were a powerhouse and expected to make finals for the first time in their brief history. The short version is that the corps was disqualified for marching over age members at Sevierville. The corps was now relegated to either going home or marching as a exhibition corps for the balance of the season. The Crossmen rebounded and stuck together in spite of their fate. Unity was born as a result of this new found determination. Other corps had been disqualified for overage members but did not survive the trama it created. The Crossmen hornline since 1976 leaves the field in twos with a grip of hands held high in demonstration that this Unity cannot be broken. The tradition renews around Sevierville time each season. Taylor, Jenkins retold the Unity story and the history behind it tonight after our performance. 

The Crossmen had people on their feet again tonight. The performance was rewarded by the audience as has become the norm this summer. Binding the mmebership with the Unity tradition leaving the field added to the special feelings for the day.

Many thanks to Jess and her band for hosting us today. Thanks to Bill for making it extra special. On to West Virginia!

Posted by Fred Morrison on 1st August, 2011 | Comments | Trackbacks

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