Letters to the Editor

Drum corps kudos

The Drum Corps International Finals held in Indianapolis recently culminated months of hard work for the thousands of young musicians and color guard members who compete in drum corps each year. Kudos must be given to the fantastic young people who take part in over 50 various drum corps units across the country.

Three such young people from our area are with Phantom Regiment, based in Rockford. They are Rachel Herr and Sean Callahan, from Collinsville, and Joshua Johnson, an assistant conductor, from O’Fallon. Through months of rehearsals and subsequent traveling across the country to 60 cities from June to August, they compete in intricate choreography and wonderful music, and learn so much about themselves.

Indeed, Phantom Regiment was established in 1956 to form a marching unit dedicated to developing self-esteem and self-reliance. These kids set up and tear down all their equipment for each show, are responsible for their laundry, uniforms and instruments, and sleep mostly on buses. It is one of the toughest and yet most exhilarating things they may ever do.

Thanks to all those involved in Phantom Regiment as well as the other drum corps units. The parents and families who support them also deserve a huge shout out. These kids are building character which will remain long after the summer tour ends. It was a great summer, see you next year.

Mari Louise Wilmering

Fairview Heights