The Renegades sports a younger look this season, with a whopping 14 members under 18, who we lovingly dub the Rene-Babies. We asked several of them to share with us how they joined the Renegades. Here are a few of their responses:
My freshman year of high school I was at a band competition at Del Mar High School and at the awards ceremony the Renegades played part of their show standstill. I had never heard of drum corps before but once I saw them play I was hooked. I started looking up videos of drum corps on YouTube right when I got home that Sunday night.
My sophomore year, I had convinced my mom to buy tickets to go the Stanford show. After watching thousands of videos of drum lines in the lot I was excited to be able to finally go see a show in person. My first lot I had ever watched in person was the Renegades. My first drum corps show was an awesome experience but I had never thought that I would be doing it as early as I did.
The beginning of my junior year, I was approached by a former drum corps guy who had marched Buccaneers, Crossmen, and aged out with the Cadets. He offered to help me get better because he knew I was into drum corps. We had lessons every couple of weeks and in November he suggested that I go try out for the Renegades for the experience of doing an audition. We printed off the audition packet and we worked on it along with other basics. I went to Open House in January, very timid, not expecting to make it to the second day. Imagine my surprise when I was told to come back for the second day. That first few camps I was waiting to be asked not to come back, but no one ever told me not to. Last Sunday, it finally set in that I am a Renegade and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My interest in Drum Corps started back in 2007. I remember watching the Blue Devils win a championship with the killer body movement during their drum feature. After attending DCI West at Stanford in 2008, I was amazed at how complex some of the writing was. That had led me to attend the Blue Devils B clinic, it gave me an insight about what Drum Corps was all about. Unfortunately, I didn’t try out that year due to my lack of overall skill of the instrument– snare.
I decided to practice and tryout for the 2009 line. Again, watching Drum Corps shows and knowing many talented individuals from various schools that had gotten involved into this activity, it gave me the motivation to march next to my fellow friends in the Blue Devils B snare line. In 2010, I was simply amazed at how far the Blue Devils B and A corps had molded into such an amazing organization I would want to be a part of somewhere in the near future. After auditioning again, I had gotten a lot closer to my goal, while also sparking a new interest– marching cymbals in the B corps. I had grew closer bonds to the snares and it had gave me an opportunity to drum with them during off days. Unfortunately, I had made it to the last cuts on cymbals and was surprisingly disappointed, but it gave me more motivation to continue with this activity.
I began getting lessons from the famous Roger Carter, and I was even given the opportunity to march in a High School Scholastic World level in WGI, but unfortunately, it was not able to fall through due to liability issues.
Thankfully, it had drawn me in a lot more than I had expected it to.
This past year, I had tried my luck again at auditioning for the Blue Devils B snare line along with the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets. I had to miss part of the auditions with SCVC due to obligations with school and a community band concert, so unfortunately, I didn’t make the callbacks. I talked to Casey Brohard, and he explained that the San Francisco Renegades would be a great stepping stone to make an open class Drum Corp. I was still auditioning for the Blue Devils B snare line, making cut after cut, but in the end, when there was only a total of 13 people left on snare, including the veterans, I was cut. I was then in the running for making the cymbal line.
By that time, I had to make a decision whether to audition for the Renegades or to pursue my interest in cymbals. I had then emailed Dan, the caption head of the Renegades, and he explained to me that by marching snare, I would learn a lot more than marching in a cymbal line, regardless of where it was.
I then had called my former teacher, Roger, and he told me it would be a wise decision to play snare somewhere else. After thinking about it, I had decided to give the Renegades a shot. I began to get strongly interested in the activity and decided to stick with it, even through me switching from snare to tenors. As of now, I still think I had made a wise decision, and I am now happy to call myself a Renegade.
My mom had been in the Renegades a number of months before I was, since I was pursuing the option of playing with the Blue Knights. I had initially auditioned at the camps for quads at BK, but I didn’t make the cut. Later on, I found out that they didn’t have a synth player. I thought, “Hey, I can kinda play piano, maybe I could do that for them.” I went to two or three camps and was never told with a straight answer whether or not I had the spot. I decided I just couldn’t do it, considering the experiences I had there and the lack of experience I had playing synthesizer, and that I wanted to play quads anyway. I’m sad that I didn’t get to be with BK this year, and I’m hoping that I didn’t burn any bridges with them, so that I may be able to march with them in the future. They’re an awesome corps, one of my favorites. I’m really excited to see their show this year.
While all of this was happening, my mom was always talking about how much fun she was having in the Renegades. Renegades this, Renegades that, blah blah blah. She also mentioned that there was a lack of tenor players, and said that I could come to a camp if I liked. So I did. And now I’m on the tenor line. I’m really glad and lucky to be in this level of ensemble, and although it’s challenging, I’m giving it all I’ve got.
It’s not to late to join late to join The San Francisco Renegades! We are currently seeking 3 contras, 4 baritones, 2 mellophones, and 2 sopranos. Must have some marching experience. Go to www.renegades.org/join/ and fill out the signup form at the bottom of the page. There are carpools from LA and Bakersfield. Come join us so you can have a story to tell.