Whenever you do something for the first time, it can be overwhelming. This can happen no matter what drew you to the activity in the first place, whether it was simple curiosity or a long-time love. Overwhelming emotions can be harder to control than the seemingly simple task of your body performing any action. Those who participate in drum corps have to push themselves on two fronts: the physical aspect of their bodies performing what is required of them, and the mental aspect that allows them to push their bodies to perform. After a while, it can get exhausting.
While spring training for the Jersey Surf is not the first time these young performers were working together, it was the first time for many to be put in a situation where they had to perform constantly with a high level of expectation. Gone are the weekend camps, instead, two weeks of intense rehearsal that does not stop for anything. It may seem impossible to some, but to many young musicians and performers, it is the chance to become the best performer they have ever been.
Spring training is no harder or easier than how it’s perceived by the individual. Everyone in the drum corps world has heard the horror stories of those weeks bringing physical and mental exhaustion, but few hear the stories of the good that comes from it. Friendships are forged deeper, new levels of work are achieved, and moments that were never thought possible were suddenly so. While this demands much determination and effort, realize that the trumpet player on the 50 yard line is whispering ‘I can do this,’ to himself. The color guard girl getting ready to dance off the front sideline is convincing herself that she’s ‘got this.’ The instructors all around them are offering advice.
So play more controlled, toss higher, perform with more agility. Give it your all, from yourself and each other. That, my friends, is what makes Jersey Surf a family.