While I proclaimed myself to be the 40 year-old WGI virgin, I’m really not new to the whole scene. I’ve been a member of several marching organizations, both winter and summer, since 1991. I’ve also had the privilege of working on the instructional staff of a few groups. One thing a new instructor can do correctly out-of-the-gate is being prepared. Here is what is in my bag that I bring to every rehearsal. There are some extras that you can include for summer drum corps & marching band as well.

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After graduating from Irondale High School in 1995 I went on my first tour with the Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps. I wasn’t just a band geek I was an audio geek as well. I purchased a MiniDisc recorder in 1994 and I brought it on tour in 1995. Even though I was playing Euphonium with the corps, my friend and Irondale alumnus Aaron Fisher (who was on staff) was able to set things up and record a couple rehearsals and performances.
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I just got back from my first WGI Color Guard finals ever. Not sure how I avoided it, considering I’ve been married to a guard girl for over 15 years. But it finally happened – squeee!

Because of my competitive side (which is sometimes hard to suppress), I always want to just go see the best of the best. In this case it means Independent World Class. But Jessi always chided me, saying there’s more to WGI than Independent World. Indeed she was right, but let’s work backwards from IW.
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A friend I met while living in Las Vegas would say something is “Life Changing” when it’s better than good. It’s the best thing you’ve ever experienced in that realm. So much that it would cause you to mend your life, and alter your ways.

It can apply to anything. Caribou Coffee’s hot chocolate is good, but you can get life-changing hot chocolate at Angelina’s in Paris near the Louvre.

Since the 2017 WGI season is kicking off, it’s fitting I share a story about a drumline show that for me was life changing. It all coincides with my first trip to WGI. I’ve loved winter guard and winter drumline since I first saw them both in 1993. But strangely, my first pilgrimage to Dayton for WGI finals was in 2016 for percussion and winds finals.

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Jessi got me a GoPro for Christmas a year or so back. I think it was one of those “what do you get for the guy that has everything?” moments. It was quite a surprise and I asked myself what I would use it for at that moment. So I thought I’d reflect on what I have used it for, and what I have yet to use it for.

Jessi got me the entry level “White” GoPro 3. Anything more than this would have been overkill for me. Wi-Fi? Check. 1080p? Check. Even as one of the least expensive models, the GoPro model quickly became clear to me: you’ll almost spend as much on accessories as you did on the camera.
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