Traveling bands stop in the Wiregrass

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REHOBETH, Ala. (WTVY) -- 14 through 21-year-old musicians auditioned for DCI Drum Corps back in November.

Those chosen for the Atlanta Spirit met in Atlanta for a month in May for spring training.

“So we have three blocks a day and each block is four hours which are divided into visual music and full ensemble,” says Ally Lyons a baritone player.

After that, a tour across the country begins.

“On the way to the schools, we usually sleep on the charter buses. That's sort of our home away from home,” says Gian Campanon a trumpet player.

When they make it to host sites like Rehoboth High School they sleep and shower in school gyms.

Corp members say that the hardest part is handling the tour monster... the unexpected.

“Like it just starts raining out of nowhere or someone in the stands passes out and just crazy things like that where something happens unexpectedly and we just find a way to work through it,” says Lyons.

Working in changing weather conditions can be tough too, but they say it’s all worth it.

“The most rewarding part is definitely going to a show performing and right when you finish and you cut off the last note you just see people stand up and cheering and you're like wow I made them do that,” says JT Whetson a baritone player.

After the tour ends, all teams meet for a three-day competition.

Only the top 12 make it to the final stage.... the world championships.

“We all work just as hard as each other. It's just the level of commit and focus that separates the top drum corps,” says Campanon.

Although the corp members come from all over the world they play as one team.

“At the end of our spring training the staff they told us you guys are a different group of kids then we've ever had here before. Like you guys are so kind and caring and it really changes the way we rehearse and perform together,” says Lyon.

For most, it’s more than just practicing and performing.

“This means everything to me. Spirit of Atlanta has given me so much and taught me so many things that I will take for the rest of my life,” says Campanon.

The teams will be headed to Georgia for the Atlanta regional next.



 
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