Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Basic training set to music

Brooke spins a flag on the Wiregrass High School campus.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Brooke spins a flag on the Wiregrass High School campus.

WESLEY CHAPEL

The training was grueling. Drum Corps International's exclusive World Class Corps was a boot camp of sorts this summer that had Brooke Wallace working the hardest she ever had in her life. Sure, Wiregrass High band director George Deguzman and guard director Linzy Brown had told her it was going to be tough. They warned her that practice with the color guard at Wiregrass High was nothing like this. Not even close.

That's why they call DCI "Marching Music's Major League." Those who make it are the best of the best in brass, percussion and color guard. Musician athletes.

Practice included a month of physical conditioning at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Tossing and spinning flags. Learning the drill and pounding it out from 7 a.m. till midnight most days.

"Sometimes we started at 6," Brooke, 17, said. "One night we got 15 minutes of sleep."

Really.

"You get tired but you have to push through," she said. "Focusing is the hardest part. You have to make it look easy — like you could do it in your sleep."

Then, the tour with the World Class Drum Corps called Spirit. Brooke took part in about 35 performances over two months in states including Texas, Louisiana, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Ohio and New York. She slept on high school gym floors. She rode the bus. And she learned what true friendship means when a guard mate ran the extra laps Brooke earned for messing up even though she didn't have to.

Brooke called her parents often during the first two months. "Mom and Dad, get me a plane ticket," she would say. "I'm coming home."

But the last few weeks it really clicked. So she stuck it out.

And she's glad she did.

The 2008 World Championships in Bloomington, Ind., ended up being a blast.

"It's kind of like the Super Bowl, but for marching band," Brooke said.

They showed it on ESPN and in the movie theater in Westfield Citrus Park. Brooke had a close-up.

Now back at home, Brooke's still spinning as captain of the color guard at Wiregrass High.

And she's planning on another stint with DCI.

"It was amazing," she said. "The hardest thing I've ever done and the most fun.

"Auditions are in November."

On the Web For information about Drum Corps International go to www.dci.org.



Basic training set to music 09/16/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 7:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.