Most students within the Northview High School Marching Knights program are preparing for the upcoming season this summer.
But some have taken it to another level.
This year, three alumni and a soon-to-be senior are all marching with national drum corps.
Taylor Hanson, a 2011 NHS graduate, is in his second year marching with the Madison Scouts. He plays the trombone.
Nick Jadvani, a 2008 Northview grad, also participates with the Scouts and is in his first year.
In addition, 2011 graduate Sydney Hayes is in her first year as a color guard member with the Carolina Crown, while soon-to-be senior Amy Cunningham is in her first year with the Santa Clara Vanguard. Cunningham is also a color guard member.
"These are wonderful opportunities for these students," Northview Band Director Bob Medworth said. "They are spending the summer with the top groups in the country, being taught by the top instructors and traveling the country.
"Not only are they receiving a great education, but they are all 'performers' and love the activity and each of them will be in at least 35 shows this summer."
Several NMK staff members are also working with drum corps this summer, including Medworth, who has been working with the Madison Scouts.
Jon Vanderkolff, Kaysey Thompson, Curt Koehler and Jim Moore are also working with the Scouts, while Vanderkolff and Moore are also helping out the Santa Clara Vanguard.
Other staff members working with drum corps this summer include Jeffrey Cash (Santa Clara), Frank Sullivan (Blue Stars), and Michael Townsend (Carolina Crown).
Whitney Medworth, a 2004 NHS graduate, is also working as the Event and Operations Manager in the Drum Corps International (DCI) office.
"She will travel the country this summer and has the responsibility that all the logistics inside the stadium at the 18 major DCI shows go off as planned," Bob said. "She started at DCI in May following her graduation from the Master's program at (Indiana State University) in Student Affairs and Higher Education."
Bob said while most of the national drum corps are already on the road for the 2011 summer tour, the Madison Scouts will hit the road this week.
"They rehearse seven days a week," he said. "On days they do not have shows, they will usually have three rehearsal blocks such as 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-5 p.m., and 6-10 p.m. Show days will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-5 p.m., and then head for the show.
"Most groups will only have two or three free days the entire summer. Once every 10 days, they get 'laundry time,' ... usually an evening off. Sleeping accommodations are 100 percent bus rides, then sleeping bags on gym floors and all their meals will come off the corps kitchen trucks that accompany the groups all over the country."
Bob said drum corps are much different than high school marching band. For example, he said a normal marching band show is seven-eight minutes long. But a corps show is "right at 11 (minutes) and 30 (seconds)."
There are two levels of competition involved in DCI, including World and Open Class.
World Class corps include The Academy, Blue Devils, Blue Knights, Blue Stars, Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders, The Cadets, Carolina Crown, Cascades, The Cavaliers, Colts, Crossmen, Glassmen, Jersey Surf, Madison Scouts, Mandarins, Pacific Crest, Phantom Regiment, Pioneer, Santa Clara Vanguard, Spirit of Atlanta, Teal Sound and Troopers.
Open Class corps include 7th Regiment, Blue Devils B, Blue Devils C, Blue Saints, City Sound, Colt Cadets, Forte, Genesis, Gold, Impulse, Legends, Les Stentors, Music City, Oregon Crusaders, Platinum, Racine Scouts, Raiders, Revolution, Spartans, Spirit of Newark, Spokane Thunder, Vanguard Cadets and Velvet Knights.
The DCI season officially began June 18 and will conclude Aug. 13. From Aug. 10-13, the DCI World Championships will take place in Indianapolis.
According to Bob and Ruth Ann Medworth, several NHS grads have participated in the past in drum corps, including Rochell Bullerdick, Sean Levy, Tim Brookshire, Brad Tribble, Mandy Stafford, Natalie Boyce, Whitney Medworth, Kala Ruddell, Trevor Hanson, Michael Alsop, Daniel Hayes, Larry Parvin, Michael Ball, Zeb Butts and Chris Jenkins.
More information and the entire DCI summer schedule may be accessed at www.dci.org.