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

2013 Crossmen Protest Tour

Day 21 - Thursday, July 4th
- Niles, Skokie and Morton Grove
Housing- Devonshire Cultural Center

The Chicago area loves a parade! First stop for Crossmen Niles!
The day started bright and early for Crossmen on Independence Day. The wake up music started at 5:30 am and after only 6 and a half hours since our show departure. Everyone seemed in really good spirits and very animated this morning. Our Independence Day was to consist of three parades in Chicago in the communities of Niles, Skokie and Morton Grove. This marathon requires some pretty detailed logistics and cooperation by all. Our drivers, admin volunteers and staff really had their act together today. The members were into making this day special for everyone that they encountered along the routes. The last 6 years we were in New England for the fourth so this is my first experience making the rounds in Chicago. Like clock work we loaded up the Gotta Go Trailways motorcoaches. and headed for Niles from the Cultural Center in Devonshire. The convoy consisted of the Mobile Command Center, Volly Van and the 4 motorcoaches. The three trucks and trailers stayed behind. All of the brass and battery instruments, guard gear, parade banner and flags were loaded under the coaches. The convoy dropped off members, staff and equipment at the Niles staging area and then went to find the end of the route to park. The drivers discovered a haven like none other. Roxie and her friends that lived in and around the parade terminus started bringing out furniture, food, coffee and refreshments for our crew.  Little did we know but this is their tradition on Independence Day each year. They host a corps' drivers and provide a place for them to wait out the parade. Our Mobile Command Center pilot, Franklin, couldn't stop raving about the reception. As soon as the corps could set up to play after the parade the neighbors were treated to the Crossmen version of "She's Too Good For Me". Roxie and her neighbors were delighted and there were hugs and well wishes all around! They opened up their homes to the corps in order to use the facilities and sent us on our way with 200 home baked brownies after feeding them fruit crepes! We won't forget this stop. We have Roxie's contact information for next time we are in Niles!

After saying our goodbyes to Roxie the convoy made its way to Skokie. The parade staging area was near the carnival. After unloading the drivers found their way to the parade terminus and waited until the corps arrived to load and make our way to parade number three! The corps played almost the whole time in the first two parades. If they weren't playing the cadence they were playing "Some Nights." for the folks along the way. FB link to video 

In Morton Grove the Carnival was packed with all of the parade participants. We were to step off as group number 67 so we had some time to use the rest rooms and relax before step off. We were then given the 5 minute warning and everyone got it together in no time. We stepped off and away we went. It was over before you knew it. We hiked to the convoy and made our way back to the cultural center by 4:30. A relaxing EPL and off to the Michigan City HS by 7pm. Not a bad day at the office with lots of floor time on the other end of our short drive.

Roxie's front yard with Jordan conducting "She's Too good For Me". Creating special memories.

Posted by Fred Morrison on 4th July, 2013 | Comments | Trackbacks

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