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Brassed Off:
Anne Bragstad, Mellophone

I am thoroughly excited to welcome you to the Renegades monthly newsletter. Even though everyone can't march with the Renegades, I love the opportunity to be able to send you random acts of evil every month!

The Renegades have switched to a camp schedule and have been getting together one weekend every month since November. So far, we have gotten through the opener, Russian Christmas Music (affectionately labeled RXM) and the drum solo from the movie The Matrix. With more music and drill on the way, this corps has turned things up 150% since the end of last season.

Horn instructors, Jim McFarland and Frank Dorittie, have been amazing. Since many of our members marched under Jims tutelage when he taught the Santa Clara Vanguard and the Concord Blue Devils, they are used to the yoga warm-ups in the morning and his diligence with tuners. The rest of us, however, have now made body parts move in ways that they have never moved before. Monday mornings after camps have been brutal, but theres still a smile on all of our faces as we dream of the outcome.

Jay Murphy is writing our drill this year. His expertise and trust in us shows through his first 14 pages, as we see lines, shapes and ideas never before attempted on a Renegades field. After getting through those pages Saturday and successfully completing our first full corps run-through on Sunday afternoon (at 200 beats per minute), the faces and smiles of the staff scream amazement.

There have been thoughts of starting a weigh-in competition for the corps. After learning the first part of this drill, the realization set in that the goals we have of getting in shape by the summer definitely have to become a reality. A prize should go to the section who loses the most collective pounds by DCA in September!

Having so many returning members of the horn line this year has been a definite bonus to the sound and camaraderie of the sections, although we do have some amazing new people joining the line this year. We have an extremely loud ex-BD mellophone player, two Navy kids stationed in Monterey learning to become super spies (definite Renegade material), and Jims wife, Mrs. Jim, who is playing third soprano. We also have a snare player (obviously not in the horn line but still worth mentioning) who flies in from Denver, Colorado, as well as many other supernatural beings that decided to grace our presence.

We are still in much need of contra personalities, however, so if you play anything and want to be a part of the defending Best Contra Line at DCA 2002, come to the next camp!!!

Thanks everyone for listening. If you have any comments about this article, please e-mail

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