It Takes a Village

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It's hot.

On a football field in the distance, the drum corps is repping a chunk of their show, working out the details until the instructional staff decides that it's been cleaned well enough to move on.

It's hot.

 The sound of running water comes from the food truck, and administrative staff members are scattered about: one sewing a member's uniform, a handful working to repair a malfunction on the equipment trailer, another pulling into the housing site from a grocery run. 

It's still hot. 

Every great production has a behind-the-scenes team that works around the clock to ensure that the process runs smoothly. For drum corps, that team comes in the form of the administrative team. 

 The nature of an administrative team is to be the invisible gears that help power the machine of the drum corps. With the Crossmen, that means working behind the scenes to ensure that the members have the best experience possible.

So, what exactly does "administrative team" entail? While it is consistently demanding, the admin position in drum corps isn't necessarily easily defined.

"On tour, it's a little bit of a catch-all, depending on what each day brings," said Assistant Director of Operations and Tour Director, Rico Gomez. "I make sure that we can get from place to place--that all of our vehicles are in check and that everybody is taken care of."

The Crossmen's administrative team is fueled in two parts: a front office team that works year-round to constantly power the drum corps, and a handful of rotating summer staff that work through the logistical bearings of Spring Training and tour.  Each member of the team brings their own skillset to the group and allows for the corps to function as smoothly as possible. 

"All of the front office team is the food-planning team, the marketing team--everything," Gomez said. "It can get pretty busy, but there's a lot of creativity involved. Each year we hire a team of people to be our summer administrative team. They help us with all of the duties we have to get through the day. Whenever things happen, it's great to have a team of people who are dedicated to the drum corps and up for anything."

And every day brings a new, unique challenge for the staff, ensuring that there is never a dull moment while on the road. From working on props to accompanying injured members to the doctor to making shuttling trip to and from the airport, the only consistent thing in drum corps is the inconsistency.

 "Day to day during the summer, I'm coordinating shuttles and making sure that our volunteers are in the right places," said Volunteer Coordinator, Chelsea Stamet Davis said. "It's my job to make sure that everything is covered so that others can do their jobs." 

The behind-the-scenes nature of the job is often so literal that it can feel like thankless position, but the reward comes as each person involved in the corps works toward the same goal: putting on a competitive show and growing stronger as a unit.

"It's definitely eye-opening to see everything that's involved in taking care of the drum corps," said Gomez. "The payoff really is to see the members perform at the end of the day. It's always cool to know that you helped make that happen." 

Today, as the Crossmen push onto their next show, the administrative team will continue to work behind the scenes, bringing the show to life in a different, yet essential way. 

Greatness is rarely achieved alone. It often takes a village, and the Crossmen have one strong village behind them.