Casting Complete!

Another trip to Atlanta is in the books — this time around, for the final audition camp of the 40th Anniversary Season for Spirit of Atlanta. I’m incredibly excited to say I’ve solidified my contract and I’m so humbled to be included in this casting under our fantastic new staff. But that’s not all — this means that the next time I’m boarding a plane will be to Charlotte, South Carolina, to spend quality time with one of my best friends before we move in for the summer with the corps.

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Katie and I after rehearsal

Drum corps is a special activity. The entire trip up to O’Hare I couldn’t focus on anything besides texting my friends I was so close to being able to hug after so many months apart. I couldn’t picture anything besides how it would feel to be dancing and moving and spinning a flag with an ensemble again; and standing in the block, instead of in front of it.

Color guard is one of the biggest parts of my life. It’s given me my worth ethic, I think it’s helped me learn how to be patient, and it’s given me the most incredible group of people that I get to call my friends and family. The exciting part of these camps is that we’re welcoming more people into our family, and they my ultimate goal is to have everyone leave after spending a weekend with Spirit feeling like they’re a part of something. Even if it was only for the weekend, or if they do get to continue on with the corps, or hoping they want to come back and spend more time with our crazy group of band geeks. Because let’s be honest, that’s really what we are.

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Immediate reunion selfie in a gas station with Jack & Collin

This weekend was also another opportunity to get to know our new staff. Spirit went through a major turnover in staff, and every caption this year is new. Check out our pretty impressive rooster here.

But like I said before, this weekend meant that I got to give and receive countless hugs. I got to snap some awful pictures with some of my favorite people in the world. I kicked my own butt and (hopefully) the rest of the color guard’s butts because I got to lead our physical training (PT) sessions on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I got to chat a bit with the staff about the season and hear about their goals and hopes for the 2016 edition of the Delta Diamonds. I got to be myself and connect with people through this movement-based sport of the arts, and make jokes with people who I got to kill myself with all summer.

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Sleepy brass members

I’m leaving Atlanta a little sad and heartbroken that the trip came to an end so suddenly… but I’m still smiling. I’m leaving a little bit better at spinning, maybe a little bit better at moving, a laundry list of things to improve on before Spring Training starts, and with a pretty beat-up, sore, stronger body. And for that, I’m happy. 2016 is going to be a pretty neat thing in the drum corps world — keep an eye out for “Georgia” with Spirit of Atlanta.

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Surprise 2015 Diamond reunion at the airport with Rico!

Oh, also, thankfully, my friends are better at articulating why we all love this crazy thing so much. So I recorded a bunch of them talking about it, and then strung some of the audio together. This is the second of “many” projects that I’ll have coming up, so as always — stay with us.

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Nighttime selfies with my future seat partner, Courtney
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Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota, Interdisciplinary major in Radio and Business & Entrepreneurship at Columbia College Chicago. Enjoys long runs on the lakefront path at dawn, public radio, and lefse covered in butter w/ cinnamon sugar. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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