I think in every drum corps summer season there are incidents that are of note that will never be recorded in the corps yearbook or promotional material. This is one of them. I have changed the names of the principals to protect the mostly innocent.
I have often thought that this incident would make a nice addition to the Blast! show that the Star of Indiana morphed into some years ago.
First, some background: In 1983 the horn line of the Ambassadors used half-sized flags in the drum solo section of the show. It was suprisingly effective. (No offense to '83 vets but we weren't the strongest corps that year. The scores bear me out.)
This is a picture of a rehearsal at Summer's farm in Aurora. You can see the pale yellow flags in the horn players right hands if you look carefully.
It's hard to see what's going on here but this is a shot of the horn flags in action. This is a scan of a black and white photo from a 1984 program.
At any rate, I spent a great deal of time in my back yard practising with my flag. It was all straight-armed work and I found it difficult to get the flag into position in time at first. I am sure our neighbours in Aurora thought I was nuts.
A big challenge for a corps of our scale, (we would be considered Division III these days), was the logistics of getting the flags to all the horn players. It seem to take half the drum solo to get one in everyone's hands.
It was a tough sell for Janice Bouwer, our head guard instructor, to get the horn players to put the moves together but eventually the line was able to make it work if not perfect it. We implemented it mid-season so there was a rush to get the drum solo with horn flag work added presentable for the Provincial Championships.
Enough background, on to the story.
To be Continued (scroll up to get to the top of the entry)