Instead of cooking in this North Texas heat, most of us try to stay inside where the air condition blasting. That’s not an option for hundreds of drum corps members rehearsing for a big competition coming to Denton this week.
To achieve perfection, it takes practice.
“They spend so much time on their own working through it,” said Ryan Little of Dallas. “Hashing through every beat by beat by beat."
The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps is from Rosemont, Illinois. Little is an assistant drum major. The corps spent Wednesday at Denton High School, practicing for a Drum Corps International competition Thursday night at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton.
“We do a whole lot of work for a twelve minute show, which we take around the country,” said Joe Roach, director of programs for The Cavaliers. “When you think about it, it's a lot of work for a twelve minute show."
Practice – means doing so in the Texas heat. And Wednesday, it was hot.
“Just a little bit,” said Little.
100-plus degrees hot.
“Ugh, we have to be very careful,” he said. “Treat our bodies right. Drink a lot of water."
Some parts of the drum corps practiced in the shade. Scattered across school grounds were several coolers full of water. Participants took frequent breaks. Others had no choice but to rehearse on a football field with artificial turf – which only makes it feel hotter.
“Not too many clouds in sight, so the sun's coming down,” said Roach. “It's a hot one."
Dangerous heat also means planning ahead. Wednesday, that meant a morning rehearsal -- before temperatures really went up.
“It can be quite a shock to the body,” said Little. “Going through all this, twelve hours of rehearsal out here in the sun if you're not ready for it."
The goal is to be ready. To see the pursuit of perfection -- pay off.
“Especially on a day like today where it's pretty hot,” said Roach. “To get to the last rep of the day which is the whole show, it's definitely gratifying."