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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 47- Harper Park Middle School, Leesburg, VA- Warrenton Show Day

Thursday, August 4th, 2011- Crossmen Tour 37 "renewal" Day 47- Harper Park MS - Warrenton, VA- Show Day

   Things started off today with a sense of normalcy. A two night stay has a way of doing that. No issues, just rehearsal, EPL and an hour drive with 90 minutes plugged in in case the rush hour traffic is more unbearable than expected. The rehearsal energy of the corps is very good. I had to crack up when I saw the hornline running in a block around the campus with "drill sergeant" Joe Burrell calling out the cadence. Joe is a college ROTC guy and he is applying his military skills to the hornline. It is a beautiful upbeat thing to witness this late in the season. With a little over a week to go things usually tend to fade as people start to feel the fatigue a little more with each passing day. Not this class of Crossmen. They are on a sugar high supplied by the audience each and every night we perform. They are going to end strong no matter what the numbers say. They don't know how proud I am of them. This is the environment we have been looking for since the move. No drama, just unbridled enthusiasm and hard work. This is the best class of member leaders we have had in five years. Solid, humble, respectful, conscientious and proud of their responsibilities to their team mates. No fanfare or special recognition required. I love these young folks like they are my own flesh and blood.

 On the drive to the show we had a couple of motorcoach gremlins creep in. The traffic was heavy and the ensuing bumper to bumper mess tends to create problems with the environmental controls on these sophistcated machines. They have an emissions circuit that requires manual regeneration of the cat converter if they get too loaded up with particulate due to stop and go traffic. John's bus has the warning light go on. The only solution is driving 55 for an extended time to clear the error code and relieve the problem. Duke's coach has decided it wants to stay in first gear and not shift, requiring him to shut it off and "reboot" the system so to say. The manual regeneration process takes 30 minutes. Needless to say this is cramping our style as we are already going to be 15 minutes later that scheduled arrival due to the traffic load. This is in spite of allowing 35 minutes more for travel than the google predicted 1 hour commute with rush hour traffic. John persists after a shortened 10 minute regen. We make it to the show site with 90 minutes of warm-up instead of our usual 2 hours. Everyone is calm and goes about their business of getting ready.

 At the gate, I overheard Justin warning the tubas that it appeared that the audience was not very energetic tonight based on those going on before us and the crowd reaction they received. Boy, did that turn out to be wrong. The crowd was all about the Crossmen and our performance from the first hit in the opener till the end when the entire bunch stood up and showed how energetic with their response they could be! The Crossmen "steamroller" just shifter a up gear. After the show, we started to roll out together when the Command Center stalled and would not restart. We went into pit crew mode with Joe holding the flashlight and bringing tools. Seems that the diesel lost prime even though the fuel level was over half a tank. I loosened the fuel filter vent and pumped the priming pump on top of the filter housing, closed the vent as the fuel bubbled through the vent, soaked up the excess fuel on top of the housing, jumped behind the wheel and fired her up. Success! We roll in less that ten minutes after the convoy departure. Debbie makes up the time pretty quickly and we rejoin everyone. On to Jersey!

Posted by Fred Morrison on 4th August, 2011 | Comments | Trackbacks

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