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Open House (Censored)
Dennis Mancinni, Snare

It’s early Sunday morning while I’m zooming on the freeway towards the Renegades 2004 open house. Music on the radio is rapidly switched off then on then off again as I exercise my radio antenna telescoping it up and down for the #### of it. It’s too early for music or talk show banter I rather hear my antenna slide up and down from my trunk making an usual squeaking sound as I contemplate whether or not it’s time to apply some WD40 or not.

Today is one of the more important days that I have been really excited about. The corps has taken a short break off from a very impressive 2003 season last summer. Now, with momentum reaching a fever pitch, I believe today’s turnout for the Renegades 2004 open house should not disappoint.

I’m a little early today it’s around 9:00 am. I have already done a walk through the school grounds and found a fine warm up area surrounded by brand new incredibly abstract buildings. The weather is cold for California, cold enough to make my hands more stiff than usual and I waste no time getting into the more challenging warm ups to get my hands moving at full throttle. My only company for a while is a small flock of crows perched evenly spaced above, watching me glide effortlessly through Electric Wheelchair. The alpha crow keeps trying to play ‘doctor beat’ while I lay down the SCV cadence but the poor bird can’t seem to hang for more than a few counts. Kind of reminds me about where I was a year ago. LOL.

Around 11:00, as expected, fellow snare Scott from Sacramento has arrived early also and is ready to throw down. It’s great to see him again and we talk about last year and what our expectations are for this year. One topic on both of our minds is the recent announcement that the legendary Scott Johnson percussion caption head for the Concord Blue Devils has joined our percussion staff along with fellow SCV percussion caption head Murray Gusseck. (What a combo!) We trade ideas speculating what could be the net effect on the chops in the line and the eventual results next September at DCA. We take turns tapping off for each other while we rammed through exercises and even did a run through of the show just for fun. We are soon joined by super snare Jerry who has the scoop on the rest of the senior corps percussion scene in California.

Around 12:30 after filling out a new application I squeezed into a packed auditorium filled with familiar faces and new one’s which will soon become part of our evil family. I don’t have exact numbers, but I would estimate there were close to 150 people gathered (minus several who were attending band camps and could not be here today, exactly like last year) to find out what the corps would be up too for 2004. A couple of folks even drove from as far away as Arizona and one dude flew in from Japan. Yikes!

And here is what Chris and Lee had to say about the coming year. Drum roll please…

We will be more Evil plus (censored) play more Matrix plus (censored) be the best corps on the (censored) even bingo is getting started plus (censored). Culminating his speech he played the highly anticipated bonus midi file of the first 7 minutes of the 2004 show. Somehow Lee’s math came out on this to equal an 18 as compared to an 11 last year. I personally thought he was sandbagging and believe that number was low. After announcements each respective section broke off to their assigned area of the campus and tryouts began in earnest. The pit will be a lot more (censored) as well the playing will be a lot more (censored). What does this mean to those members and staff in the know? It’s all good. Oh yah, did I say this would be censored?

On a personal note I want to personally thank the staff and members who marched VK, Kingsmen, Phantom Regiment and the 27th Lancers for giving the chops too one of our newest members in the snare line, Scott from LA. That man can play. He is probably already back in LA with an evil snare drum strapped on working the hands for our next camp in a couple of weeks at Treasure Island.

As well I was especially excited to see more fellow SCV alumni who have been standing on the fence join our ranks. Welcome!!!

Dennis Mancini

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