Senior Spends Summer with Drum Corps

Anna Zeek and Katie Franklin

Senior Andrew Meyers marched through the United States this summer. He logged hundreds of hours on a bus, as he traveled from stadium to stadium performing with a local Bugle and Drum Corps. His journey began in November  2013, when he auditioned for the Blue Knights, a band that was established in Denver in 1958.  After earning a spot in the Blue Knights’ world-class drum corps, Meyers traveled across the country to a total of 33 college and high school stadiums.

The Pride of Arapahoe High School Marching Band played a key role in preparing Meyers for his Blue Knights audition in November 2013. Arapahoe Marching Band brass coach and Concert BAndrew Meyersand trumpet coach Missy Steinbeck helped him practice his audition song on the mellophone and several technical techniques for three hours. In addition, after Meyers was accepted into Blue Knights, Steinbeck helped him convert from a high school level to a college level marching band by helping him learn music for an hour a week.

“What was cool about Arapahoe was that we have a lot more complicated things in our shows [than other high schools] which helped transition into drum corps,” Meyers said.

Once Meyers was selected for the Blue Knights, he attended camps from December to May in order to prepare himself as well as other members of the drum corps for their show, titled “That One Second.” Beginning June 20, he traveled across the United States averaging three band competitions in three different cities per week until the last performance in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 8.

“Touring around the country was cool because you got to see a lot of stadiums, but the problem was that you were not able to see anything else,” Meyers said. “You were at a high school, then you got on a bus, you tried to sleep or listen to music, get to the show, get off the bus and perform and then repeat the process. It was interesting to see all of the stadiums because we went from a public park and a tiny stadium, which was really fun, to stadiums like Invesco Field, Lucas Oil Stadium, Stanford, the Alamodome and the Georgia Dome, all of those different, big stadiums. Then, we also traveled to all of the high school stadiums. It was cool to see how they set up their stadiums as some of them were grass and some were turf.”

Meyers said he recognizes that the title ‘Blue Knights Drum Corps’ can be misleading to someone with little knowledge about marching band. In a typical marching band, there is a brass section, a marching percussion, woodwinds, and sometimes there will be a front ensemble with xylophones and a timpani. Unlike Arapahoe’s marching band, which includes saxophones and other woodwind instruments, the Blue Knights does not include a woodwind section.

“When people think of ‘Drum Corps,’ they think drums; however, it is really all of marching band except woodwinds,” Meyers said.

Although Meyers admits that traveling and competing for the Blue Knights was a tiring experience, he found it worthwhile. Over the course of the summer, he found sentimental meaning in the show, “That One Second.”

“The inspiration behind the show is basically that in some moments, your life will flash before your eyes and it is said to last one second, and we [the Blue Knights] make a point that it lasts longer than that,” Meyers said. “In that second, all of these different moments flash before your eyes, and it is all of the good moments such as happiness, maybe like winning a state championship, getting married or having a baby. Then come all of the bad moments, like [the moments] we regret, but in the end, [we have] to be thankful for our lives. It got a lot more personal as the season went on because of how it affected people as they started living through the show. We would get messages after the show about how touched people were and how they had never seen a drum corps be so emotional. They sent us glowing recommendations about our show and how much they loved it.”

With this in mind, Meyers continues to march to the beat of a different drum knowing that he, as well as the audience, can find meaning in aAndrew Meyers band performance. Now as a senior starting his last year in marching band, Meyers puts on his band attire and is excited to share his passion with the community. His journey was worth it.