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Renegades Reloaded Rehearsal
Dennis Mancini, Snare

Imaginary music is echoing from an imaginary foggy Turkish steam room in one corner of my head. Meanwhile, random exits on the freeway whiz buy with no indication of our rehearsal site known as Foothill Jr. College. After an unintended excursion I arrive about an hour early in the parking lot behind the stadium. I quickly volunteer a small donation for the required parking pass and hobble out to the field to throw down some notes with our center snare and work out some cobwebs.

It's been a couple of weeks since the full corps has been together. Not that it is a bad thing, but it can take a few hours together before a good grove kicks in and the bar we have raised not so very long ago can be reached and raised yet again.

It's very obvious by now the corps' evil plans have begun to take shape. Several highly talented people have joined the corps during the time off. Some awesome stars that have performed with the corps last year, and others from the Sacramento area and Southern California. Now with all sections filled in the horn line, the low voices from our enlarged 10-man contra line can wail with confidence as the screams from the soprano line screech higher and louder. What a great sound people are producing. More on that later, maybe.

Before setting up we stretch on the field in a circle while a high stack of Krispy Kreme boxes wait to be devoured. The most hearty run a lap around the track earning first class service in the donut line.

Headed up by the legendary percussion man Dave Dilullo, the drum line set up on one corner of the track. Kent Cater stood nearby coaching the bass drum line while Lee Rudnicki bounced back and forth across the field between the horn line, pit and the battery. Most of his comments were repeated several times about the importance of playing clean and "this bar is now 8 counts instead of 4" and vice versa while he flipped his cell phone on, pressed it tightly to his ear and made random announcements to the horn staff.

One thing about having Dave working the line is you can really tell where the bar is set. He was making a lot of faces during the morning session but as the day unfolded he worked his magic on the line and he began to like what he was hearing.

The new evil ending was finally distilled and brought together combined with the horns and percussion. To put it mildly it rocks, but in a most evil way. Imagine all the Renegades walking into a San Francisco techno club and entering the dance floor. You know how people there don't dance...they just stand in place and feel the music while their heads sway up and down to the groove. Yup, something like that, but on evil steroids.

Lunch was off site at a popular sandwich franchise for once a couple miles away on one of the oldest highways on the West coast known as the El Camino Real. You can't find a more diverse conversation when four evil snare cats swap stories about Brazilian beachfront property, gymnastics judging, recent promotions and worthless stock options plus a lively tit-for-tat anti-spam comedy session.

After lunch more ensemble time was spent with the horns working the ending drill while we spent quality time cleaning 9r2.

During dinner while hanging out on the track more large amounts of red Gatorade was consumed. Only after a good gush was it possible to tune snares and hype on the past season and what's to come.

The truth why farm animals can't understand drum major commands? It's simply because they don't want to. For those who commute from the City the rooster crowing away in the early part of rehearsal is not imaginary, but a weak diversion planted by disgruntled local residents. They probably share a strong belief that evil is not good on Sundays. On a more positive note a local cheer leading squad practice on the back 50 had the corps even more distracted as they conspired to recruit a possible new member.

What's with the rubber duck squeaky toy masquerading as a Chihuahua or a very skinny Other Snapettes Miniature Pony Drill Team rookie member attempting to disrupt volunteer judges cassette tape recording for most of the afternoon? To be more clear, tied to the podium was as an unidentified small animal (I will refer to as 'Taxi') not more than 7 inches high making annoying sounds usually reserved for the bathtub.

(Evil clouds darken sky for a moment) LisaLisaMoMeesa, I'm pretty sure I heard you comment that you wanted to lick its face more than once. I can assure you that I saw it doing something with its tongue even a squeaky toy shouldn't try. Hrm? (Evil clouds clear to reveal good view of red sky)

The final run-through reached a whole new level by raising the bar even more and stunned the staff with our newfound level of performance. One small example the Contra line worked the field like a trampoline for the final moment in the show inspiring the entire corps to join in the cause. Not to mention our wonderful color guard introducing an eye catching rifle toss in front of the snare line while we smacked through the most difficult licks in the show during the war section in 9r2 also known to insiders as "letter X." Wow!

I was so tired at the end I could have ripped a sprinkler head from the ground in search of some form of H2O, for the lame duck of God. Luckily I was saved by more illusions of imaginary Turkish steam room music pumping between my ears as I gulped down what was left in my precious red Gatorade and spiked an unsuspecting school trash can with a four pack of empty plastic bottles.

If the corps keeps on making gains like this weekend until DCA the fans will be feeling very evil in a very good way.

Check out the Renegade website for the latest.


Dennis Mancini
AKA The Snapettes Mom
Renegades 03 Snare

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