This week in Arbella – 2014.07.14

arbella drum and bugle corps cardinal beanpot

This week in Arbella – 2014.07.14

Greetings all!

Well, this has been an exciting week!  The Drum Corps season is in full swing!

I am so glad many of you were able to get to the local drum corps shows in Lawrence and Lynn.  If you are new to the activity, I hope it excited you as much as it did us die-hard drum corps nuts!  There used to be shows like this all summer in the area “back in our day”, but now, we are down to these two/three shows.  There’s one more coming on July 31st, so let me know ASAP if you are interested in coming.  (ps: if anyone owes Joel $$ for the last batch of tickets can you please get that to him at next practice)



Lauren and Joel with Arbella Alumnus AL PORTER, who played typani in Arbella 1982-83 seasons.

At the Lynn Show we had a recruitment table.  We were well-placed – right next to the food! –  and we ran into many Arbella Alumni and other alumni from our generation – ALOT of people stopped by to say hello.  We got some terrific exposure and it was there we ran into Arbella Alumnus John Ditty, who came to rehearsal on Sunday with his son Nolan and a few musical friends!  If you didn’t meet him on Sunday, be sure to introduce yourself at the next rehearsal.  WELCOME JOHN AND NOLAN!  (sorry I didn’t get a photo! next week!)


The Bluecoats Contra line practicing at Ipswich high school.

Last week I also took Devin, Elodie and Kyle to watch the Bluecoats practice at Ipswich high school.  It was 92 degrees out and they were out there in the full sun, rehearsing the same 30 seconds of show, over and over and over.  Devin commented “you did this all…summer… long?”

Yes, yes we did.  And that’s what sets Drum Corps apart from marching bands.  The attention to detail is simply staggering. Even though we are not a competitive unit, we are still striving to produce a show that can stand on its own.  I hope that seeing first-hand the quality that is produced by dedication and commitment of these world class corps’ members has fueled a personal resolve for quality and self-improvement for everyone.  There is nothing stopping you from being a world-class performer.  You need to BELIEVE – and work at it!   We are always students.  Don’t get complacent and think “I’m good enough”.  Nobody ever is, even the very best musicians in the world practice!


This Sunday numbers were down, especially in the horn line.  When you are a small group it really is imperative that everybody be there for all rehearsals, especially in the run up to a performance.  Our next performance is AUGUST 9th in Beverly.  We have been invited to perform at Lynch Park during Beverly Homecoming.  What an amazing venue, too, at the pavilion right on the ocean!  After our performance they will be showing movies, so I encourage everyone to pack a cooler and hang out for the night afterwards, it’s going to be a great evening!  But we need to be prepared.  Please tell your employers about your Sunday rehearsals so that they don’t schedule you in.

PREPAREDNESS (some of this is a repeat, but we have some new people!)

  • Please get to rehearsals early to be set up and READY to play FOR 1:00.  We need every minute.
  • If you are new to reading and need helping with fingerings, be sure to do your homework and mark the music with fingerings BEFORE rehearsal.
  • MUSIC IS AVAILABLE ONLINE.  You are responsible for printing your music, marking it if needed, and practicing at home.  Rehearsal is not the time for sight-reading, unless we distribute there and then.  You should review and practice at home.
  • We are working on some new music – BRING A STAND.  Bring pencils for notations.
  • We are working outdoors – BRING CLIPS or CLOTHES PINS to secure your music.
  • If you are new, get yourself a 3-ring binder with sheet protectors for your music.  Print all of your parts from the DROPBOX, located here:  Pay particular attention to the “Arbella Brass Manual” folder – that has all of our important warm-ups.  Print everything.  Practice everything.
  • DROPBOX is where we store all of our music.  You can download the APP onto your smartphone which is incredibly convenient – you can listen to the wav files anywhere!  INSTALL IT TODAY.
  • We have a YOUTUBE Channel.  SUBSCRIBE to it.
  • Memorization.  You may have noticed, there are no lyres in Drum Corps!  When you are practicing at home, trying memorizing small bits at a time.  For those still learning how to read, it will be challenging, an extremely useful tool is to listen to your individual part on the dropbox over and over.  you can do this anytime from your smart phone, listening will make you a better player ANd you will get your part down in no time.
  • GET ONLINE!   We have an interesting mix of members, many of whom aren’t allowed a facebook account yet (go parents!!), and a few old geezers who hate social media. lol     Facebook is an EXTREMELY easy vehicle  for me to share information with the group.  I am posting all sorts of motivations, drum corps links, links to useful resources – it is a hundred times faster for me than writing, say, a weekly corps update.  I found some phenomenal articles today on BREATHING that EVERYONE has to watch (and watch and watch…) – please get connected 🙂
  • HOLD EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE. Exchange numbers, help each other get to rehearsals.  Reach out, practice together.  We are a team, we need every person to pull their weight, do their part, practice, commit.

more Welcomes

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Welcome JAMES! Arbella Alumni ’82-83

Please welcome to the trumpet section JAMES TREMBLAY!  Jim marched with Arbella for the 82 and 83 seasons as a soprano and picked up a horn on Sunday – and sounded FABULOUS!  I had complete faith in him!  Plus, you can’t beat drum corps training!  it never leaves you!  Please welcome him – and his family members who are also considering joining – to ARBELLA!!  We’re so glad you’re here!


When we say we not only finally have a proper percussion head, but he is literally in the trenches working with top 12 corps as we speak, you may think we’re joking, but it’s the truth!  Eric Lunde has been a force majeure in the drum corps percussion arena for decades.  His resume is so long, I can’t get into it all here, but he is a former Blue Devil, and has been working with many many drum corps over the years, closest to his heart being the Crossmen.  Just this week he worked with the famous Thom Hannum, tweeking some elements of Crown’s  percussion feature.  There is nobody in the drum corps and percussion arena that he doesn’t know or hasn’t worked with, it’s crazy.  This is a guy who is passionate about percussion and drum and bugle corps, we are damn lucky to have him.  He lives locally in Melrose, so give it up for ERIC LUNDE!!  Thank you Eric for working with us!!



People we need to step it up in the fundraising department.  We are trying to create a program that has no barriers to entry (iie MEMBERSHIP FEES}.  That means everyone MUST participate in fundraising activities.  In August we are doing our WINNER TAKES ALL gift card raffle.  The winner of the raffle is going to receive ALL of the gift cards we collect.  Last year we collected $600 in gift cards to cool local restaurants.  This year we want to make it $1000!  This is totally doable.  Next time you are in your favorite store ask if they donate gift cards to local organizations for fundraising.  We will feature them on our social media pages and website.  Bring them in every rehearsal.

Thank you for your attention, it was a long one.

See you THIS SUNDAY 1-4 SALEM COMMON.  Encourage friends to come and watch or sit in!

Have a great week!

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