PMK braves long days

By Miranda Holloway
Executive Online Editor

Senior drum major Jessica Kreidler stands with her fellow drum majors,   senior Michael Grippo and junior Destiny Duraj,  at the end of the Red and Black Fall Classic marching band competition at Northern Illinois University on Oct. 1  waiting for the awards to be presented.
Kreidler waits with nerves in her stomach to hear the judge’s verdict on this year’s Prospect Marching Knights’, or PMK, show Leonardo’s Dream.
I feel like people get a little nervous during awards. I’m always not quite sure how it will turn out,” Kreidler said.
At the end of the night,  the band received first place and boarded the bus home to DeKalb at around 11 p.m.,  and not expecting to return until 12:30 a.m.
PMK’s day started about 14 hours earlier when they began rehearsal for the competition at 10 a.m. This rehearsal stretches  until 1:30 p.m.
The rehearsals on competition days are not like the ones that can be heard coming from the parking lot through out the week. According to the band’s director Chris Barnum, these mornings are spent fine tuning parts of the show.

“That rehearsal is about continuity and all of those last minute things you are trying to do to get ready,” Barnum said.

While this rehearsal starts in mid-morning, as the season goes on the start time stretches earlier and earlier, approaching five a.m., for their competition and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“This year has been pretty chill,” senior saxophone leader John Desai said.

These rehearsals, however early they are, tend to set the tone for the rest of the day.

“I know it’s a little hard to get going in the morning because you are just expected to go and march and play at a very high level,” Kreidler said. “But we always tend to have very good rehearsals in the mornings,  and that really brings up our energy,  and shows us the potential that we have for that evening.”

From these rehearsals,  the band must pack the larger instruments and equipment onto a van, eat lunch, board the buses and travel to the competition site, which, in the case of the DeKalb competition,  is about an hour and a half  both ways.
Once at the site, the band needs to unpack, rehearse again and dress before going and delivering their show to the judges.
The drum majors and the rest of the band try to keep each other motivated and moving through out the long days by playing techno and dance music before the performances. Kreidler does say, however, that the motivation of going out and performing is good enough reason for many of the members to keep going throughout the day.

I think that rehearsal and prep time and getting on the bus and knowing that we are going to deliver a great show always keeps out energy building up,” Kreidler said.

Barnum also believes the adrenaline brought on by the excitement of competition also keeps the musicians and dancers going through the long competitions and practices.

“Those are such exciting days. We work all of this time and everyone knows that we rehearse a lot and that is the culmination of that, that is what we do it for,” Barnum said. “On those days,  they have a lot of energy because they know what’s coming up.”
Kreidler also sees that the band is more energetic than nervous before they set out to compete. She does say, however, that she and her fellow drum majors do feel a few nerves before they perform and after,  during the awards.

“I know we get very nervous just because we know there are those little spots where there are some tempo issues,  and it is our job to keep those going through …  I feel like people are just more excited about the show versus being biting your nails, butterflies in your stomach nervous,” Kreidler said.

So,  when all the nerves and competing are done the band once again needs to board their buses and take the long ride home, but they’re  not complaining.

“The bus ride home is really fun. Everyone is just going crazy,  and it is like hopeful were successful. It’s a really nice feeling. — relaxing, and going crazy the time,” Desai said.