Aug 14, 2006 10:19am
Mandi Kinder

So I know the season is over but I didn't feel quite complete without a last blog. As I sit here alone in front of my computer screen, I reflect on my last incredible 2006 season with the Blue Devils. It's hard to describe the feeling finals night. One word: surreal. The entire day I was on the verge of tears. Even at practice...where I eventually did cry at the end of our run through. Warm up was really hard. I cried multiple time-after humming F tuning for the last time-which went into the first part of visual warm up. Then after my last space chords. And after our segment of the show. John brought us in to chat and I lost it when he started to get teary eyed. Call me a baby but I loved the Blue Devils with every ounce of me. It was my one passion and dream I had. I worked hard and achieved it. There were endless amounts of ups and downs through the last 3 summers that kept me spinning but nothing brought me back down like performing. A rush and connection I can't ever replace. Finals night was the peak of all performances, all emotions, all of myself. Everything I had worked for was put out on that field the night of the 12th. I held nothing back, played and marched perfectly and put more emotion into it than I knew I had. Scoring doesn't matter one bit because we all knew in our hearts that we were champions. That show was absolutely amazing and we performed the you know what out of it. Can't wait to see the dvd. Thank you to everyone who rooted for me finals night. And thank you for taking time to read my blogs. I've enjoyed sharing my last Blue Devil experience with you all.

Mandi Kinder
#7 lower lead soprano
Aug 10, 2006 9:50pm
Rob Stein

Hey all! I know its been a while since my last blog, but drum corps season can be pretty hectic.
So tonight was quarters. We've been working really hard this week, and tonights show felt pretty good. Its hard to believe that I only have two days left in my drum corps career after 8 years. When we got to the field tonight I remembered being there in 02, and even further back to my first finals in 99. Madison is definitely a very special place for me, and I'm glad its where ill age out.
The real world is starting to creep up. Drum corps is kind of weird because you totally forget about everything else outside of it. But as the end of the season looms over me, thoughts of school and all that stuff start to become more realistic. BUT, I will continue to stay focused on my show and push my limits these last two days.
Well, I'm gonna try to get some sleep for tomorrow. As always, thanks for reading!
Aug 7, 2006 12:15am
Brandyn Bettencourt
Drum Major

Good morning~ hope that you have been well. Here we go, we are currently leaving one of the few rest stops that me make on our trip to our Madison housing. The drive is around nine to ten hours.
We feel good about our last performance in Columbus, Ohio. From when we stepped off to take the field through when we walked off, we were all commited to leaving the crowd something to remember of the 06 Devs. Even more so, during bflat tuning, the fair that was going on next to the stadium put on their fireworks show which accented the chords of the hornline and the beats of the battery during the sixty second warm up. It was all fantastic.
Well, time for some sleep. We still have a lot of road to cover before we reach Beloit(finals housing) and I want some shut eye. So, till the next time.
Aug 5, 2006 3:38pm
Mandi Kinder

We're back and ready to throw down. We've been cleaning for the past 4 days-full 3 block days-in an incredible college stadium with turf. I can't wait for tonight. We practiced at a field next to the stadium (same one for the past few years) which had awful grass and no podium for our staff to be on. But it was cool to see all the people that came to watch us. During warm up, I had a reminder float through my head-"my last allentown practice"-then making me think how we only have 1 week left. No more of this ever...still hard to believe sometimes. Finals night is gonna be hard. It's sad, but I won't have anyone in the stands for me my age out finals night. There's reasons why but all seem silly to me being how important this night is to me-pratically like a graduation in my eyes. But I'm a strong person-at least I like to tell myself that :). Plus, ever since I started playing trumpet I've been doing it for myself. Because I love it. Because there's a part of me I can express when I play that isn't possible to do otherwise.
Anyways, I should start getting ready for the show. I'll blog again finals week...right around the corner. Until then...


Aug 4, 2006 10:44pm
Brandyn Bettencourt
Drum Major

Hey all~ hope you have been well. Well, here I am on the bus traveling to Allentown watching "The Godfather Part II." Over these past few days we have accomplished much. We spent our time cleaning and tweaking the show in slight ways. The ending is slightly different and very emotionally moving. With every passing day the show continues to gain power and emotional appeal.
On a different strain, I can hardly belive that there is one week left of the season. The summer has certainly flown by.
Well, time to get to sleep. Till the next time.
Jul 27, 2006 10:53pm
Mandi Kinder

Hey everyone! So the South has been treating us well...besides Louisiana with the crazy heat, fire ants followed with a rained out show (we did a stand still for the crowd). But I did get to see a good friend and alumnus, Gavin who brought his family to watch too. Troy, Alabama was (I can't believe I'm gonna say this) great. The "mad scientist" did his job quite well and brought some massive clouds and breeze. We had a productive practice/clinic on some sweet turf in the huge stadium we ended up performing in that night. Plus everything was way close (the food truck next the air conditioned dorms with the buses in the near parking lot and then the truck next to the stadium right down the hill). This last place had cloud cover and a great stadium too. But it was kinda funny cause we stayed in this little rec room that had turf and a batting cage in it.
We've made some great changes...people are gonna love our ending. I really love performing. It's hard to believe we only have 2 weeks until quarter finals. Part of me is glad cause this has been a long season but at the same time I'm really gonna miss it. I don't want to go back to the real world. My home life has been a little rough lately so it's nice to have drum corps to distract me from it for the moment. I really have no idea what's gonna happen when I get back-where to live, job, school. But right now, I'm focusing on my gig. Perfection is what I strive for. Excellence is the standard. Blue Devils pushes every limit in the activity and makes the most difficult simultaneous demand seem like a piece of cake. That's why I love it here. I've learned so much about myself and am able to apply my experiences the past 3 years to every day life. Anyways, I should get back to the movie. Until next time...

Jul 27, 2006 9:09pm
Eric Martin

So it has been a really really long time since I posted. But who cares, I've been busy rehearsing and performing and getting all the fans on their feet again and again every time I perform. At least that's what I try to do at evey show. It seems really weird that there's only a couple weeks left, and it doesn't feel like the season it starting to close, rather it feels just like mid season only the corrections that are being given are very detailed and the errors are getting smaller and less frequent. But emotionally there's no burnout happening and I find tons of things to hype on to get my butt up in the morning and rehearse. And the people are great, my section has their stuff together all the time and are always on top of changes and corrections.

With the Masters of the Summer Music Games show coming up, we finally got our new ending. It's really cool and that's all I'm going to say about it hehe. The south has also been really nice to us weather wise. The only really hot days were in Tupelo and the days in Texas. But even texas wasn't even that bad it was the rehearsing on the turf that got to 120+ degrees that made it a just a bit hot. So it's all been good and fun, but I can't wait to get to finals. The one thing I do miss is my scuba diving and going water skiing with my friends in the evening. Today the sunset reminded of the days I'd go skiing at don pedro in the evening, and how we'd ski until dark having the lake to ourselves in the last hour of dusk. Those were fun days. But I can do all that again after tour since I have six weeks until school starts. Alright talk to you all later.
Jul 27, 2006 4:49pm
Brandyn Bettencourt
Drum Major

Hey all ~ hope you have been well. These past few days have been a blur. From San Antonio to Hoover AL, we have been going full speed ahead. After a free day this past Sunday in San Antonio, we made streight for Baton Rouge where we had to do a standstill performance because the field was rain soaked. We then went to Troy AL, where we implimented a few changes in the show tempo wise and then put on a clinic. Due to some confusion, we were unable to stay at the housing site we were planning on in Tennessee. So we are currently in the city of Hoover, AL learning changes and cleaning the show (and adding a new ending). After ensemble tonight, we will be leaving for Tennessee. We are all excited for the upcoming show in which we will present a slightly different show than the show we presented in San Antonio (ala new ending). Well, dinner is coming to a close, and I must go. Till next time ~ Brandyn
Jul 25, 2006 4:12pm
Carl Zepecki

So I haven't written in a while, but Ill try to catch you up at what's happening. We just had the Texas tour and I was thrilled to see my mother and sister suprise me for the San Antonio show. The weather in Texas was hot, but we got plenty of water breaks which really helped. After the San Antonio show we had a free day. I got a chance to spend some time with my mom and sis and we spent the day at the mall and the river walk. A lot of other corps had free days also, so it was cool seeing my friends not smelly or in uniform. We did a clinic today in Troy and the weather wasn't too hot. It also is my 22nd birthday today so it was awesome to have a good rehearsal. I hope the show goes because we got rained out last night. That's all for now, but Ill write again before we get to Madison.
Jul 16, 2006 3:23pm
Mandi Kinder

Its definately been a while hasn't it? I've been attempting to blog many times but there either hasn't been service or the sidekick refuses to let me log in. Anyways...let me go back in time for a sec...I finally had a home show. It was crazy being able to recognize the areas-even the street names. My family came to watch practice and my dad even got me new shoes (thank God-my other ones were so tore up!) Thanks Dad, Anne, Bekka, Steph and Aaron for coming out to cheer me on. The RCC show was after that and was of course ridiculous cause of the amount of people that watch us warm up. The whole stadium were fans. I'm sure you all have heard about our cow town experience...literally marching right next to a cow pastuer. Oh, and not to mention the cow birth that took place. =) Drum corps is full of surprises. Precision West was great with all the alumni cheering us on. Crazy to think I will never march at DVC again. The train ride was an experience. I was bored almost immediately. =) Played a lot of cards, listened to a lot of music, ate..even if I wasn't hungry, and looked out the window to the countless amount of trees rolling by. The mid west treated us well. Lots of changes with music and drill, making a lot of improvements and continuing to climb with scores. This corps is clicking well and I'm enjoying the time...besides being a little sick (congestion)...then again, half the corps is sick in one way or another. Now we're in the south headed down into Texas. Ya know what that means? 2 words-hot & humid. Can you feel my excitement?! =) I sweat just walking really is amazing. Makes me thankful for the nice cool 70 degree San Diego weather I have at home. However, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger right? Or no pain, no gain. Both work. =) Hope you all are enjoying the real world. All I know and live is Blue Devils. My one and only passion and dream I'm experiencing one last year. Until next time...
Your browser is out-of-date.

Please update your browser to view this website correctly. Show Me Where To Get The Update