In December of 2011, I auditioned for and was selected to join an up-and-coming corps called Teal Sound from Jacksonville, Florida. Teal Sound was a very young corps and very new to the World Class performance circuit. For 2012, we had a promising group of young musicians and wonderful show. For six months we worked hard on building our show. No, that is an understatement. For six months we dedicated ourselves to making this show a success. We went on the road in late June, and after only a few performances, Teal Sound’s tour was terminated due to transportation and financial difficulties.
We learned of our fate after a show in Centerville, Ohio on July 10th 2012. We held a corps meeting, and Dan Acheson, Chief Executive Officer of DCI was visiting our corps. I knew something was awry. It was announced that Teal Sound had run out of money and that the tour was over. One of the staff members later likened it to losing a limb or a family member. I felt as if someone tore my heart out. For the next three hours the gym floor was a mass of sobbing people, a group of people, once strangers, and now the closest of family, ripped apart.
Luckily, most of the corps members managed to find a new corps with which to march. I was lucky enough to join the Glassmen, a corps from Toledo, Ohio, one that had a legacy of greatness, and I finished the summer with them. I was one of the lucky ones, because others went home broken hearted and emotionally drained. The saddest part is that we were good, getting better, had a chance for real success, and were ready to work as hard as we needed to do be a world class corps. We never had that opportunity. We never had the opportunity to dedicate ourselves to something bigger than ourselves. We missed that opportunity. It was taken away from us, and we never even saw it coming.
I learned from this experience that you cannot wait to change, to improve, and to be better. You cannot wait for tomorrow to try again or to do better the next time; you have to do it today. I learned that today could be the last day of your life, the last day to see, or hear, or to walk, or in my case, to perform with the people I love. This experience gave personal mean meaning to the phrase “Carpe diem,” and I have lived in the spirit of that phrase since July 10th 2012, and I plan to live it for the rest of my life. Seize the day, and make the best of it, because it might be your last.
Teal Sound/Glassmen 2012