This week's featured member of the corps is Shelby Huffman. Shelby is a second-year marimba player for the Crossmen and the co-section leader of the front ensemble. He took some time outside of his morning to answer a few questions about the front ensemble and his experiences in drum corps.
How did you get started playing mallets?
I wanted to play four mallets, but couldn't find a teacher. I ended up watching youtube videos until I got the basics and then joined a local circuit group.
How many years have you been playing?
This is my tenth year of being a percussionist.
What's your favorite thing about the front ensemble?
The coolest thing that I don't think most people realize is that we're actually pretty visual. Dancing is one of the most fun things you do in the front ensemble because you're jamming out to your own music. Even if the audience doesn't hear what you're playing over the brass, it's still an awesome time to dance around. I love it.
What's your favorite thing about being on tour with the Crossmen?
Everybody here is friendly. I like the people I work with and we work well together. That's something you need on your home team.
What would you say to someone who wants to march in the future?
Don't have self-doubt. Even if you think you're bad, it doesn't matter. Drum corps isn't about your skill level, it's about your self-growth and how much you choose to grow.
What is the most important lesson that drum corps has taught you?
The coolest thing I've ever gotten from drum corps is how I've grown as a person. Before drum corps I was pretty introverted and now I'm pretty extroverted. Drum corps is a great place change yourself to become a better person.
White or wheat bread for PB&Js?
Best bus snack?
Sour patch watermelons
Best Sqwincher flavor?
I like mixing the green and blue. Visually and taste-wise, it's a solid choice.
With shows for the next three days, the Crossmen have a busy competitive schedule ahead. Check back on Monday to keep up with the corps in the next installment of Letters from The In Between.