It's Texas Tour week! The first week of #DCI2019 in which all the tops corps finally gather together. This Saturday, corps will gather for the first of 4 regionals leading up to the 2019 Drum Corps International World Championships. They've caravanned across the country, worked tirelessly since May to create their product, and now, the groups will join up to perform together, many for the first time.
Although the first #TexasTour events do not take place until Thursday, July 18 (Denton, TX and Belton, TX), many of the corps will be arriving earlier. Typically, the days leading up to Texas Tour are spent in rehearsals. These necessary days solidify the skills, choreography, and music members have worked hard on in these last months. Additionally, the Sunday following the DCI Southwestern Classic in San Antonio, TX is more often than not a "free day" for the members. This is a much needed rest and recovery day before corps continue touring across the southern US.
So let's talk about heat. For anyone who has ever traveled to Texas, you know that the environment is dramatically different depending on the region of Texas you are in. Some areas are hot and extremely dry, whereas others make a person feel like they're swimming in the air around them. The week following Texas, leading up to the DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta, GA (affectionately known as "Hotlanta") is typically extremely hot and humid as well.
No matter if you are an elite level drum corps performer, a high school student attending his/her first band camp, or a staff member facilitating rehearsal, heat is a serious risk. In order to maintain peak performance, members and staff need to understand excessive heat and it's risks.
The NFHS Band Safety course outlines guidelines and tools needed to understand heat risk and how to mitigate that risk.
Yes, you do need it. In order to maintain optimal performance, every member of the marching ensemble needs to hydrate properly. Additionally, any leader facilitating these rehearsals needs to ensure adequate opportunities to hydrate are budgeted into the rehearsal time. Everyone from parents, to students, to staff needs to ensure that weather conditions are properly heeded.
The best ways to handle rehearsal in hot conditions is to (1) ensure you are properly hydrated, (2) rest your body with adequate sleep or down time, (3) replenish salt stores in the body, and (4) limit the amount of exposure your body has to the sun and heat. But most importantly, be accountable of your role in these conditions! Here are some tips:
Staff Members & Directors
Parents, Leaders, & Volunteers
Make your band camp and summer tour seasons as efficient as possible. If you take care of your body properly and proactively, it will pay dividends in the end. For more information on this topic or for additional resources regarding heat illness, excessive heat, and more, enroll in the free NFHS Band Safety Course!
Danielle Lavrenz lives for pageantry and the marching arts. Passionate about colorguard, she has marched since she was in 7th grade. She marched with the Morton High School band program for a total of 6 years, including 3 years in their circuit-level winterguard. She was a 4 year camper at the Music for All Summer Symposium and marched in the 2009 Bands of America Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band. She went on to attend Murray State University, where she studied English Education, was an active member in the MSU Racer Band, and was devoted to her sisters in the Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity. She marched with The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps in 2010, 2011, and 2014 as well, earning a bronze and gold metal during her tenure. She has teched, choreographed, and directed for Marshall County High School, Calloway County High School, Bethel University, Morton High School, Waukesha North High School, and Greendale High School. Geier is a member of the DSI Marketing Team and currently resides in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she teaches at Greendale High School. She is also a staff member at the Music For All Summer Symposium.