Woo hoo! CNY is Saturday!

Woo hoo! CNY is Saturday!

Renegades and friends,

Woo hoo! Our biggest winter event is finally here — the infamous Chinese New Year parade! The stage is set for an amazing weekend as numerous friends from across the nation are on their way to SF to join us in the parade. This is going to be a good one!

Below is a summary of all the necessary details needed to have a great day. As usual, this parade might get wet so come prepared, especially at practice on windy Treasure Island. Remember…. Renegades pride ourselves on being an all-weather drum corps.

Finally, I heartily encourage everyone to join us at Chevy’s after the parade for a good old-fashioned party. This is one of those rare times when we don’t have practice the next day, so it gets rowdy. A good chance to eat some yummy food, drink frosty beverages and bond with your drum corps friends. Good times.

See you on Treasure Island,

Greg Gilman

In This Posting
- Memorize All Night Long
- Treasure Island (noon)
- Chevy’s For Lunch (3:30pm)
- Parade Warm Up (6:00pm)
- Chevy’s For Dinner (8:00pm)
- Parade Attire Reminder
- Hotel Info
- Additional Parade Info
- Renegades Heros
- Have Fun!

Memorize All Night Long
It’s important everyone have their gig memorized by the time they get to Treasure Island at noon. Do yourself a favor, and brush up on things in the next couple of days:


Guard Work:

Treasure Island (noon)
Saturday, Feb 23, 2008
12:00 – 3:00pm

We will be having a short rehearsal on Treasure Island beginning at noon. Everyone marching in the parade must be there to set the parade block. Expect a short warmup, followed by a relaxed music/marching rehearsal.

For those who have never been to Treasure Island, you can get exact directions here:

Note: Be careful of that first off-ramp from the bay bridge — it’s a doozy!

Chevy’s For Lunch (3:30pm)
In the break between rehearsal and the parade, everyone is encouraged to have lunch at the Chevy’s in Embarcadero 2, which is a couple of blocks away from our warm up area:

Chevy’s Fresh Mex
2 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA

Note: Be sure to get a flyer from us at rehearsal — lunch (and dinner) are Renegades fundraisers!

Parade Warm Up (6:00pm)
We will be meeting near the corner of Battery and Market at 6:00pm. It is important everyone is on-time, as we’re leaving as little “standing around time” as possible before the parade begins at 6:30.

Chevy’s For Dinner (8:00pm)
After the parade, it’s party time back at Chevy’s! This is when things get crazy… enjoy!

Chevy’s Fresh Mex
2 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, CA

Note: Be sure to get a flyer — your Margarita is a Renegades fundraiser!

Parade Attire Reminder
Horns, Drums and Banner: Red, long-sleeved shirt, black slacks, all black dress shoes or sneakers.

Color Guard: Black shoes, black pants, black tops and green, orange, or red accessories of any kind. In the hair, scarf, and etc. Please make the accessories noticeable.

Hotel Information
Sir Francis Drake
450 Powell St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Reminder: When checking into the hotel on Saturday afternoon, be sure to return to the east side of the parade route before they start closing down streets (for instance, Chevy’s). We’ve had instances of members being “stuck” on the wrong side of the parade at warmup time. Not fun.

See this interactive map of the day’s locations for details:

Additional Parade Info
Official Parade Site:

Renegades CNY Site:

CNY Interactive Map:

Renegades Heros
- Al and Robin: A big thanks to both Al and Robin for taking care of the many details involved with getting us in the parade. Meetings, paperwork, phone calls… it’s a lot more work than most folks realize. Additionally, don’t miss the amazing drum major costumes they found for us.

- Tiffany: Additionally, a big thanks to Tiffany for setting up our Treasure Island rehearsal (including porta-potty) and our all-day fund-raiser at Chevy’s (including flyers). Great job!

- Anne: Everyone marching in the CNY will get a special, limited-edition patch featuring a very cool stylized Rat. A big thanks to Anne for making these happen — they came out great!

Have Fun!
The Chinese New Year parade is historically one of our wildest, craziest, most exciting events — even in the rain! Every year we wow the crowd. Every year something wacky happens. Every year we have a GREAT time bonding with our drum corps friends from across the country. Have fun — this is going to be a blast!

Meet the Cymbals

Once upon a time, the Renegades had one cymbal player.

His name was Ben.

Ben had no friends …

in the Renegades cymbal line.

He was all alone.

As the season progressed, the Renegades staff, members and alumni grew concerned about Ben.

So did Hammy, one of the founders of the Renegades.

“Ben needs friends” they thought.

Or the Renegades might not have a cymbal line anymore.

Then one day, evil cymbal instructor Stuart put down his music, and did a flying ninja lunging throat kick, aimed at no one in particular.

Then, he stunned the Renegades when he demonstrated the ninja art of illusion, using only drum sticks to instantly become nearly indistinguishable from a goal post.

“We will teach ninja skills … as part of the cymbal program!” Stuart yelled.

At first, Ben was not sure about this strategy.

The Heckmans were also skeptical.

But it was their birthday, which they celebrated with a Pepsi.

Othew Renegades, however, thought that teaching ninja skills was a great idea.

They demonstrated their approval of Stuart’s idea not with applause, but with displays of great aerodynamic stealth.

Within minutes of the announcement, the Renegades had another cymbal player. Her name was Ashley.

Ashley knew that she could help the ninja program, as she spoke 14 languages, including Apache and Serbo-Croatian … both of which could be helpful if DCA ever gets moved to Montana or Serbia.

Below, is cymbal player #2, Miles Davis.

Yes, that’s his real name.

Under that hat, lies 14 oz of MOSAD-grade plastic explosive, which can be deployed to help the cymbals escape from drill rehearsal at any moment.

Below, Cymbal player #3 is Harry Potter.

No, that is not his real last name. I just made that up.

Harry’s special skill is underwater ninja techique. Harry can hold his breath for up to 3 hours at a time, and once followed a dolphin to Catalina Island.

Below, cymbal player #4, aka “Ninja X,” … a former NFL player, who played 2 seasons with the Bengals. Ninja X’s special skills include the ability to run as fast as the kid from the Incredibles, and to ruin the playoff hopes of the Steelers once in a while.

Suddenly, Ben had friends.

with ninja skills.

Ben was happy.

So was Hammy.

Drill + Music = Downbeats to Midnight

Renegades Camp Feb. 2nd-3rd, 2008
Dark City Chronicle

While not quite “Gestalt on Asphalt,” this past Sunday the all-weather 2008 Renegade’s Drum and Horn lines marched and played this year’s opener. This early February marching miracle arrived thanks to the hard work and cooperation of all present.

Saturday found Dave Watrous, along with the Renegades marching staff
and drill legend Jay Murphy lifting the 2008 opening drill off graph paper in using live marchers for testing drill options and visual concepts. The dividends of this process were fresh revisions for Sunday morning’s silent drill practice. Invoking a comparison with industrious shoemaker elves (the evil yet ironically helpful kind), having completed revisions so quickly has the obvious pointed earmarks of late night efforts by the marching staff working to maximize everyone’s time and effort. Sunday’s camp culminated in several runthroughs of the opener, each improving over the last.

Ascending the podium for the first time, 2008 Renegades Drum Major Lolita Tabujara displayed intrepid resolve in directing the typical roughness accompanying early season runthroughs. She clearly possesses a talent destined to place her amongst the ranks of great Renegade Drum Majors of years past.

Equally adept at marching on rain-covered asphalt as they are turf, the Drumline continued to add snares (7+1), pit members and cymbal players this past weekend. Any potential tenor players and pit members are encouraged to dial in now as the Renegades fields one of its biggest and best Drumlines in recent years.

The Hornline made great strides while practicing two new Renegade flavored jazz numbers, “Space Shuttle” and “At Midnight Everything Changes.” The second sports a brief musical valentine to the great New York Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps. The only obstacle separating the 2008 Renegade Hornline from greatness lies in the question of which of its two budding personas will emerge dominant. The very talented Hornline occasionally dropping its focus and simultaneously biting the hand trying to feed it and ultimately itself in the rear; OR the very talented Hornline capable of quietly focusing as needed and
subsequently taking care of business. If Sunday’s practice is any indication, the latter will be appearing this summer to the greater enjoyment of fans nationwide.

In all, another excellent camp in which all present should feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. The March camp heralds the return of the Renegades Colorguard who are a pivotal point in elevating the evolving 2008 show to new heights. Spots are still available in all sections and Renegades alumni are encouraged, as always, to jump in for what is going to be a great year.

The 2008 Renegades will spend the rest of February preparing for the traditional Chinese New Year Parade and the arrival of their “Renegade for a Day” brothers and sisters from near and far. The Renegades are especially looking forward to having a large contingent of Anaheim Kingsmen making the one-day Renegade transformation as we perform and celebrate at this year’s parade. On behalf of the 2008 Renegades to those unable to join us this year, to our loved ones, alumni family, our friends everywhere and our many secret enemies befitting an organization as Evil as ours:

“Gong Hay Fat Choy!”

We Need New Drums!

The Renegades need new drums, and YOU can help make it happen!

The Renegades drum line is larger at this point in the season than any line in recent memory. With sectionals being held outside normal corps rehearsals, the 2008 Renegades drum line is quickly proving to be a driving force behind what is sure to be a successful season.

However, as often happens in drum corps, the elements take their toll on the equipment a drum corps uses. For drummers, this is especially true. The wear and tear on our battery percussion instruments has been great, and we are in desperate need of a new set of drums. Unlike most junior corps, the Renegades aren’t fortunate enough to have a corporate sponsor who provides a new set of drums every year.

That’s where you come in.

Your tax-deductible donation to the Renegades will help us ensure another great season with the equipment needed to pull it all off. You can mail your donation to:

SF Renegades
660 4th Street, #237
San Francisco, CA 94107

or donate online at www.renegades.org/donate using Paypal (be sure to specify “drum fund” in the Papyal notes field).

Thanks for your help. We promise we’ll make it worth your investment.

At Midnight, Everything Changes

San Francisco Renegades Announce New President


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (Jan. 15, 2008) – The San Francisco Renegades Drum & Bugle Corps, the official drum & bugle corps of the city of San Francisco and a 6-time Drum Corps Associates finalist, announced the appointment of Anne Bragstad to the position of President of the corps. She will oversee the Board of Directors as well as the various committees within the Renegades organization.

“I am excited about taking over the position of President,” Bragstad said. “I have been with the organization for the past 6 years, and served many different roles on the Board of Directors. The presidency was just the right position at the right time for me, and I look forward to helping everyone make great things happen for this corps this year.”

Bragstad steps in for Steve Proud, a member of the Renegades since 2000 who stepped down from the position due to work commitments. Speaking of her predecessor, Bragstad said, “Unfortunately, as it sometimes does in drum corps, life gets in the way. This is what happened with Steve.” The Renegades remain hopeful that Proud will be back with the corps at some point in the future.

About the Renegades

The San Francisco Renegades were founded in 1996 by a small group of people that got together simply for the love of the drum corps activity. The mission of the Renegade organization is to bring an unprecedented awareness and appreciation of the drum corps activity to the public through a comprehensive marketing and financial plan. In 2002, the Renegades have became the first California all-age corps to compete at the Drum Corps Associates Championships, becoming both Finalist and Member in their first year. Since then, the Renegades have been a finalist every year at the DCA Championships.

Renegades January Camp In Review

Dark City Chronicle
January 17th, 2008

“I am sore, tired, achy, strained, and basically mush. But I haven’t felt this excited in years! The demand of the staff is at such an intense pace, that you know by the time the summer hits, we’ll not only be able to do what they’re training us to do, but exceed anything we’ve ever done! I feel like a dork for just wanting to thank everyone who’s helped design this show! Across the board, this is just so much fun!”

- Incredibly concise summation of the January 12-13th Renegade Camp submitted by actual participant.

Thank you for this report, we know just how you feel and you’re not a “dork…”
[And even if you WERE, you’d be “OUR dork!”]

With roughly an hour of sunlight left on Sunday afternoon, the Renegades concluded the season’s second weekend practice by running through three pieces from our 2008 show; “Dark City: Every Night at Midnight, Reality Changes.” This marked the first time the entire corps played together outdoors. The three selections “Prologue to Evil” followed by the drum feature “Metamorphosis” and “Dust in The Wind” were each conducted in turn by five highly talented Drum Major candidates – [“Almost as difficult as choosing a new Pope.” relates Selection Committee.]

This years #7+1 Renegades are clearly from the same mold of the past and already several bright spots are emerging in the 2008 casting.

A larger, more powerful, cymbal-charged Renegades Drumline is approaching capacity numbers. This Drumline personifies the corps wide example to excel, aka “Don’t Suck,” in their playing and in having already held several additional out-of-camp sectionals. Their collective force, emerging cohesion and early season focus is undeniable. Their demonstrated ability to energize the overall corps has many in this organization silently smiling at what awaits audiences (and judges) this summer. How is it even possible that there are still openings in the Pit and who is the yet unknown tympani player destined to become a front line star?

The ReneGuard continues flowering as Mr. Al Yeh, Esq. relates: “Colorguard Caption Mark Metzger & Vince Velasquez have the Renegade’s guard running full throttle. The focus continues on setting the season’s foundations early: the integration of movement, equipment technique and expressive presentation. “The movement block stretched our minds and bodies to understand space and time within the marching field. Providing the visual portion to the music, this year’s equipment work is best described as FAST, INTENSE and AGGRESSIVE – a cool blend of a tiny bit of old school technique interspersed in lots of modern dance/equipment work. This year’s guard show has already been choreographed through the Percussion Break and is coming alive before our eyes as we spin, dance & leap! you loved our 2007 show, we’re charging even harder to be among the best. Don’t wait until spring to join — join us now at the February camp!”

Dark City’s musical foundation will clearly be built upon the Renegade’s Contra section. Since the inception of the Renegades, this group is consistently one of, if not always, THE BEST in DCA. Lacking a more eloquent metaphor, Soprano soloist/instructor Roland Garceau is to the Renegade hornline what James Caan’s fictional character “Jonathan E” is in the 1975 film “Rollerball” – the games’s Champion. Renegades hornline veterans, Staff and section leaders are successfully mentoring the new players into the system. This is an added reason for Renegade veterans to show up early in 2008.

Shaking early morning cobwebs off their charges and occasionally Silly String off himself, Marching Guru Dave Watrus and Staff continue doing something most could only imagine if trapped in Sartre’s “No Exit.” Teaching mostly grown adults, many in varying degrees of “out of marching shape” (for now) and carrying heavy equipment, how to move as a group in time: uniformly, gracefully and efficiently. “And we’ve got two hours to do it.” Somehow they make the group better, every time, without fail. Special recognition goes to Daniel Day, veteran SCV/Renegade marcher and Baritone player, for his unassuming suggestion to the horn and cymbals group concerning the “horn’s up” motion: “Breath in during the counts you’re bringing your instrument up. It establishes a natural rhythm to the motion and ensures you’re ready to play once your horn is up.” The hornline, somewhat stunned by the simplistic logic of this sage advice, managed to smooth out and improve subsequent executions of the “horns up” motion. Champions are built on details and once again, Renegade veterans are invaluable.

Why the heck is everyone openly excited and optimistic as things appear to be going well this year? Is it just early season hype? A secret weapon? Has someone added something to the Kool-Aid? Any explanation behind this positive outlook is for each Renegade to validate or discover individually. Personally, I ask myself two simple questions. “How many seconds, not minutes, during the January camp were the staff member(s) in front of me without a set agenda for what was suppose to be happening and/or I wasn’t engaged, couldn’t be doing something productive?” Answer – “ZERO.” Second question. “How many organizations, career settings, classrooms, et al… have I been in, outside of this year’s Renegades, where I felt the same degree of staff preparedness and deliberate approach to the management of time?” Again, “ZERO.”

I suspect planning the 2008 Renegades began around September 3rd last year during a long plane ride West. I further suspect there is a cocktail glass stained napkin from that flight with something like the following scribbled on the back:
“ ’08 HAVE FUN! – an incredible Staff, ready, efficiently using time to maximize the efforts of a very gifted pool of Talent – RESULT – great start, even better finish. HAVE FUN!” [Napkins are extra big on long flights]. I believe we’re seeing the fruits of that planning already.

Of course, I’m just guessing and as the season moves on, the Kool-Aid thing is always an option.