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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 50- Girard MS, Girard, PA-Erie Show Day

Sunday, August 7th, 2011- Crossmen Tour 37 "renewal" Day 50- Girard HS- Erie, Show Day

The ride to Erie though long was pretty uneventful. Those are the best type when it comes to tour. You want everything to go smooth, nothing to break and arrival to be early or on time in order to provide the best experience for the members and staff. The road is long and tough when you ply down it for 50 straight days and things can start to fall apart around you if you don't stay on top of them. We have had the fewest incidents of any summer so far and I attribute it to the team that gets us down the road each and every night. Even ithe few unexpected bumps have been handled with the utmost efficiency and minimum loss of time and sleep. We can see the end from here as we have two more rides till we reach our Championship housing.

The weather today is another chamber of commerce type of day. High 60's in the morning and low 80's at the peak of the day. Our original housing site for this event was to be the Corey HS in Cory, PA but we received word during the previous week that they had an electrical fire on the campus and we would be relocated to another site. The principal and superintendent at the Girard School District have been very gracious and made room for the Crossmen at the middle school that adjoins the high school property. The Seattle Cascades are at the high school. We have schedules that are different enough that when they are done with rehearsal in the stadium we are able to move in for our ensemble. The facilities have so much real estate that we hardly know that each other is there rehearsing.

We head to the stadium after EPL. The ride took 15 minutes less than expected. Early arrivals are always a relief for the admin team. The pressure is always on the tour director to control the uncontrollable. Building in extra time where traffic congestion or construction hassles is an art form and a best guess estimate. The goal is to appear as if we planned every move and that it is effortless. Behind the curtain it isn't always that way and requires some fast thinking and quick positive responses. Our team has been together for four years now and is getting growing in experience.

The performance tonight is a gem. The crowd response has become predictable. Clap, laugh, cry and stand! It has been the formula for 2011. We are loving it!

Each summer the Crossmen and Spirit hornlines find a place to get together and perform for each other and their perspective corps. The relationship started in the late seventies when the Crossmen came to the rescue of Spirit when they had an equipment truck accident as the corps were heading to one of the first shows of the 1979 season. The Crossmen under the leadership of Robbie Robinson were the only convoy to pull over and help Spirit get to the show. Robbie went into action immediately, no hesitation! The Spirit equipment truck was ripped open like a can opener was taken to it. Their instruments and gear were scattered all over the ground. Everything was loaded onto the Crossmen convoy so that Spirit could make it to the show to perform. The ties and how they developed can be read at  This esprit de corps exists and is rekindled every summer. The hornlines played each other's corps songs and selections from our 2011 shows to the delight of many. I had the pleasure of sitting on the ground along with our non hornline members and "feel the music". Afterwards the two corps informally introduced themselves and told stories of their summer. A monster storm appeared on the horizon causing us to break up the gathering in order to get all of our gear put up and everyone to the shelter of the Wynne motorcoaches. I had many of the hornline members come up to me and tell me "how cool it was". A member of of the Spirit hornline made a point of thanking me for the experience and relaying how great we sound. We will cherish moments like these for a lifetime. We got out of "Dodge" as soon as possible and made the trek back to Girard for a rehearsal day Monday. As Newell always says, "Giddy up go Crossmen..Giddy up and go".

Posted by Fred Morrison on 7th August, 2011 | Comments | Trackbacks

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