Being a Part of the Sacred “Circle”

Being a Part of the Sacred “Circle”

Written by Matt Mackowiak
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Every year our Marching Band Division campers have the opportunity to march side-by-side with our drum corps in residence. This week our campers have the experience of a lifetime as they got to rehearse and perform with Carolina Crown during a small section of their 2015 show “Inferno”. 

Yes, some of these kids might go on and march with Carolina Crown or another drum corps in the future; however, for a high school student to learn from some of the best in their activity is something they will always hold close to their hearts.

This part of camp is always special for both Crown members and campers. As I overheard Matt Harloff talk to Crown staff members, it was easy to see that this week was not about cleaning their show, adding on choreography or progressing along the summer tour season, but connecting with these high school students.

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Students timidly walked into Scheumann Stadium as they saw Crown members and staff talking on the front sideline. Students quickly put on gigantic grins and their eye grew big, as they knew they were about to do what most high school marching band members only dream of doing.

These talented campers quickly caught on to Crown’s rehearsal etiquette and morphed into mini drum corps member. These skills and techniques they learned in such a short rehearsal will translate immensely to their programs back home. The seed was planted in their heads and now it will be the students’ responsibility to make it grow.

After running the show portion they will be performing after the DCI Central Indiana show the kids were introduced to the sacred circle. The “Inside the Circle” tradition at Crown started in 2003 and this is where the corps creates a circle instead of the traditional arch. To sit inside this circle is a top honor and only open to Crown staff members, Crown age-outs and special guests. Today, our marching band track had that special honor. The students were even allowed to play with Crown in the circle. 

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Then the magic truly started to happen as Matt Harloff addressed both students and corps. He said that today we aren’t two separate groups, but one. The kids melted as they received this special honor. 

It got even better as Crown was asked to sit in the circle as the students played their show portion of “Inferno”. Once completed all of corps, both members and staff, erupted with applaud and hi-fives. Then it was Crown’s turn to return the favor. Instead of playing their opener from “Inferno” they played their ever so emotional ballad. You could tell in the campers’ eyes that this was something they never would forget. I overheard students after and they almost looked like they were about to cry and they said that this is the reason why they come back, why they love band, why they have their passion in music.

A huge thanks to Carolina Crown not only for involving our the Marching Band Division, but also for all the other involvement here at the 2015 Summer Symposium. The members, staff and administration truly embody what this activity is about. At the end of the day, it is just marching, spinning and drumming. 

Matt Mackowiak

Matt Mackowiak

Matt Mackowiak is the Marketing Assistant at Music for All. Matt has been involved in the performing arts since a young age as a percussionist, and throughout his life has performed on the field as a snare drummer, at the podium as a drum major and in the gym as a winter guard member. He graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations. Before Music for All, Matt worked as a staff member for several marching band and color guard programs across Indiana.

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