Looking back through drum corps and indoor percussion.

I’m sitting on the deck outside my parents’ house in northern California, while my brother and sister-in-law read. It’s another clear, beautiful day in the bay area.  The coffee is the perfect flavor for company on this lazy morning, and I’m drinking in the last of my three day break between summer school sessions, a break much needed and absorbed.

It’s hard to believe that it takes so much coordination to get all of us in one place these days.  Joey and Sally flew out from Indiana, and I flew up from L.A., thankfully during a time when I didn’t have that much school to worry about and when I could make use of doing work from home.

As life moves forward it’s always interesting to see how all of the details get more complex and the simple things, like seeing your only brother, can become months of planning and hoping for the stars to align.  Nevertheless, I am very thankful that we do have the resources to be able to make visits like this happen.  I know how lucky I am.

Normally at this time I would be sweating up a storm, getting a great tan, loading a semi, pushing equipment, riding a charter bus, passing out on my seat partner (miss you!) and playing music all over the country.  It’s weird that I am not there, but I know that I needed to focus elsewhere this summer.

I miss playing music terribly and often think about how unlikely it is that I will be able to play again.  I am very thankful for the years of instruction I have recieved and all of the hardwork that I put into the craft of playing the marimba.

I have learned what it means to work hard.
I have learned that the hours spent perfecting each detail on my own, is noticed and that the labor is worth it.
I have learned how to always be prepared.
I have learned how to always be early.
I have learned the importance of communication.
I have learned how to find joy in the little things.
I have learned that it is important to remember that it is just band:)
I have learned how to perform and give the audiences an enjoyable performance.
I have learned the importance of priorities.
I have learned the best techniques for getting the most seamless, solid tan ;).
I have learned the importance of sunscreen.
I have learned how to shower and get ready in 13 minutes.
I have learned how to completely change wardrobe without getting naked.
I have learned how to love people more uniquely while spending every hour of every day with them.
I’ll add to this list as I think of them:)

Thank you Kelsey and Jason for pouring so much into me during high school and driving me to my very first drum corps camp :).  Thank you for the staffs of Glassmen, Bluecoats, RCC and the Blue Devils, for continuing to shape and mold me into the performer I became.  I love all of you very much.

High school

Glassmen 2007

Bluecoats 2008

RCC 2009

RCC 2010

The Blue Devils 2010

RCC 2011

Reflecting on The Red Plane.

For those of you who do not know, RCC’s show this year was entitled “Hope, Dream, Fly.” I have never been a part of a drumline show that was this emotional, this beautiful.

The floor was white with a single red path leading off the floor. The props were large, white “paper” airplanes and one red airplane attached to long poles.  At the beginning of the show, the audience did not know why there was a single red plane.  As the show progressed, the members showed a longing for the red plane, reaching for it, desiring it. At the end, all of the white planes flew off the red path and only the red plane was left:

Photo by: Jenny Jackson

As the title implies, the red plane represented our hopes, dreams, what we are reaching towards, what we are longing to obtain.

After WGI prelims, the entire ensemble sat in the hotel conference room and talked about what the red plane symbolizes to us. Forty college-aged members talked about their dreams, their passions. I didn’t speak but listened as almost everyone in the ensemble spoke through tears about their “red planes.” I had so much I wanted to say, but I couldn’t form sentences at the time.

Our show was based on Adam Watts‘ song “Fly, Fall, Fly,” and as we drove to our last performance, WGI finals, we played this song on the bus speakers.  We all sang… I will never forget that moment.

“Fly, Fall, Fly, fall.
Air flees from beneath me.
Fly, fall, I don’t care at all,
As long as your hand catches me.”

This show was so much more than notes on a page, fast drill, and gimmicks.  It was musical artistry packaged in 7 minutes of raw emotion.


So, what is my red plane?

I am an extremely passionate person, and sometimes I can barely contain myself. I have such a strong desire to change the world, to truly make a difference, and I want to now. I love people so deeply, genuinely. My dream is to act on this love through international justice.  I want to go to law school and be able to take action against human trafficking, slavery, etc. Seeking God’s justice is my biggest dream. “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly?” (Micah 6:8)

I have become especially sensitive to children born into these situations (brothels especially), children who are trapped with no hope of getting out.  I would love to not only bring justice to their situation, prosecuting offenders, but to help find education for these kids and ensure a future for them.

Sometimes I forget just how lucky I am, just by virtue of where I was born.  I want to continue to humble myself through my interactions with others. I hope that I never forget how blessed I am, and I hope that I seek to bless others daily.

[Every time I performed this show, I thought about the next chapter in my life.  Finishing up my undergrad degree, moving away again to a new state, new school, new friends, pursuing a dream.]

I owe my life and my hope to Jesus Christ. Without him, I would be nothing. As each year passes I realize just how finite I am, and how infinite he is. I realize how broken I am and how great his mercy is. I realize that each day is a gift, and that he can carry me home at any moment. My hope is in him, completely, and I can honestly say I would not be here today,  if it were not for his unconditional love.  My joy is rooted in this relationship.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11

What is YOUR red plane?

RCC Featurette.

If you haven’t seen it already, check out this fantastic feature.

Those of you from Biola probably still have a very little idea what I mean when I talk about the percussion stuff I spend so much time doing…well maybe this will clear it up a little bit. Enjoy.