Two Pittsburg State students, seniors in music education Jonathan Rohr and Denton Bodine, marched in the Colts drum and bugle corps this past summer. Drum Corps was described by both as ‘the best marchers in the world.’
“Drum Corp is a marching band that takes it to a whole different level, some people refer to it as the major league,” Rohr said.
The two students spent 75-85 days on the road, traveling across the country performing with their corps groups.
“We make bonds with people that will last forever,” Bodine said. “If you’re in any sports like that, you can relate. It’s just different because we live with these people the entire time. It’s not like going home, coming back, and practicing it’s different. I will always cherish the people I spent time with and the journey entirely. Being on a bus for 6 hours at a time and then getting up at 3 a.m. to unload all my stuff, then go to sleep, get up at 8. It’s something that people don’t even understand, it’s crazy to think about just when you think about it. But we do it every day and we get used to it.”
Summer drum corps feature people from across the country. People aged 16-21 are eligible to participate in World Class, although both Rohr and Bodine age out this year. Students can audition online, or in person throughout the winter months.
“There’s so much improvement that can be made just from marching from others who are just good marchers. You can learn better and higher skills in that environment. It’s a high-level learning environment, that not all people could do,” Bodine said.
Bodine and Rohr both attended a camp in Iowa this past January to prepare. People from all over the world attended the weekend camp.
“We just go over basics, we go over extra drills to test how fast people can learn and test their playing because we play at a very high level, and we have very difficult literature as well,” Bodine said.
Comparing drum corps to Pittsburg State University’s marching band, Bodine described many differences between the two.
“Technique is different, we do roll-step here, with a slightly bent leg and at drum corps we do straight leg and that’s like the biggest difference. It’s much more relaxed from a protocol standpoint. Our tempo is like 210, which is very fast to march to. Which here we’ve been doing 110 beats per minute which is very different. It’s a completely different environment, so I try not to compare it, it’ll drive you crazy,” Bodine said.
This is both Rohr and Bodine’s last season in the Pittsburg State University marching band.
“Enjoying my time here, as it’s the last semester that I’ll be marching and especially after losing my professor (Doug Whitten), it’ll be quite different for me. So, I’m going to finish it for him,” Bodine said.