If there is any single thing that I've taken from my first week of working for a drum corps, it's that there are a million things to be taken from working for a drum corps. Every day, I find more and more little pieces that make up the intricacies of keeping a large organization going.
Truthfully, it's humbling. Every single person has a job, but every single person does every job. Working beside the director of a finals corps--pouring diesel into a refrigerator system, building shelving, and some other pretty gross jobs--has shown me the true family environment that allows this group to function. Even though the activity demands a high level of intensity, everyone cares for each other.
This perspective extends beyond the admin working logistics to keep the organization running. The teaching staff also work similarly with the members. I spoke Josh Brickey, percussion caption head, about the demand dynamic of spring training. He explained the staff's mentality,
"It's all about finding the balance between pushing them to be their best, but taking care of them."
He explained that the staff doesn't just look towards the easy decisions that may look good for the whole of the group. While a visual block may be in the best interest of the show, they can't risk people overheating or over-exerting muscularly. The staff wants to take care of the individuals so that the group can be strong. This is a difficult balancing act, as they also strive to create an environment where students can push through boundaries they've set for themselves. In the end, it all comes back to the focus on the overall best choice for the students.
I came into this internship expecting to learn how to run a business, but the organization operates equally as a family. It's never a perfect system, but conversations are constantly happening to create the best experience for every admin, staff, and marcher.
I will continue learning big lessons to take into my future teaching and life endeavors, but learning to create an environment that focusses on the small parts of the whole is something that has quickly become an integral part of my process.