Band at VMI?

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by mcduffiea, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. mcduffiea

    mcduffiea Member

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    I've been appointed to VMI and will be attending this Fall. I'm really excited and cannot wait to get out of high school and meet this next challenge. In the meantime, does anyone have any insight into what the band is like at VMI? Particularly for a drummer? I searched through the forum and couldn't find much specific.
     
  2. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    CONGRATS!! I can not tell you anything right off about band, think that even the RATS have band members - they are a seperate company - have you reached out to band department? are you going to STP? I would think at STP you would have ample opportunity to investigate - meanwhile Bruno should be coming along to give his excellent and wise advice -
    enjoy these last weeks of HS - keep up the PT - those august days are grueling, but manageable if you arrive in as good a shape as you can be!
    larrys mom
     
  3. HMQ

    HMQ Member

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    If you indicated on your application forms that you participated in your high school band, you will probably receive more than one phone call over the summer by cadets hoping to recruit you into Band Company. They have a great Pipe & Drum corps, in addition to the marching band.

    Congratulations on your appointment, and best of luck to you!
     
  4. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    Band rocks. :smile:

    The VMI Corps of Cadets is formed as a regiment with two battalions, broken down into nine companies: 8 rifle monkey companies, and Band Co. As a rat, you'll go through the Ratline just like everyone else, with your own Band Co. Cadre. There's a long-standing tradition of professionalism within the Cadre of Band Co.

    Band Co. does require an extra time commitment that is often overlooked by the rest of the Corps. For whatever reason, there's always a bit of a rift between Band and the rest of the Corps. If the Corps looks like crap at parade, everyone likes to blame the Band for the fact that the rifle monkeys can't stay in step. :wink: But when it rains and the rest of the Corps gets to go sleep when they would otherwise have practice parade, Band Co. simply forms up in the band room for practice.

    You'll have some of the best times of your cadetship on band trips, and that makes up for the rest of the annoyance of extra practices. I marched with the Corps in both the governor's and president's innaugurals, but I marched in the Rose Bowl parade and went to Mobile, AL for Mardi Gras with the band.

    There are some drumline-specific things that the rest of the Corps (even the rest of the band) doesn't have to deal with. First of all, the Corps marches down to the mess hall for both breakfast and supper. The drumline is out there for every meal formation to provide the cadence. Second, during parades, the drumline gets very few breaks. Even when the rest of the band isn't playing, somebody has to provide the cadence for the rifle monkeys.

    Have you been in touch with COL Brodie, the Band Director? If not, feel free to PM me and I'll hook you up with his information. I can also get you in touch with next year's Band Co. Commander, if you want. I know all of the rising First Classmen in Band Co., since they were rats when I was a First.

    Hope this helps.

    Jackie M. Briski '09
    First Class PVT (Ret.)
    Bloodthirsty Band Co.
     
  5. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Rifle monkeys? Better than being in Blow Co.

    :shake:

    I'm kidding. If I had to do it over, I might have been in Band. You guys get awesome trips. I was in a "rifle monkey" company, and we never went to Mardi Gras or the NYC St. Patrick's parade.

    That said, I was in Glee Club all four years and was President my senior year. That is the epitome of cool.
     
  6. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Don't forget the lucky few who have to play for the bongo furloughs in the wee hours.
     
  7. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Hmmm- I don't recall it being the epitome of cool but it might definitely be cooler these days- or at least singing is: Search on Facebook for the "Men in Grey" - (the VMI acappella group)- I don't know much about them this year but the last couple of years they really were good and were really pretty cool. As far as the Band- well: they do get some very cool trips compared to the rest of the corps- I'm never quite sure what to make of the music- it all sounds pretty much the same when the bass drum starts booming away. (When I was a Cadet- just before Christmas we marched down to meals to Christmas carols. Who knew that "Silent Night" had a bass drum part in it?:eek: ) And sorry RVM- it is their fault that the Corps is out of step- the Band troops the line then parks itself in a spot where the beat is echoed off the walls of barracks and the Nichols Engineering building so that there are always two conflicting beats as the Line companies do their flanking movements and pass in review. By the time the 2d Battalion gets to the reviewing officer it's like doing the hokey pokey as everybody is trying to get in step:rolleyes:

    The drummers especially do seem to have to suck up a lot of extra time as everything needs a beat. but Mardi Gras- way more fun trip than going to march in the Inaugural Parade (Jimmy Carter's in my case- Obama's inaugural for my son)
     
  8. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Tounge was firmly in cheek with that one.

    Although, I think it was cool. :shake:
     
  9. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    Men in Grey rocks.

    I was in the Glee Club for 2.5 years, but then my responsibilities with the Cadet Equity Association kept me so busy that I had to cut something, and unfortunately it was the Glee Club. We had some awesome times, though.

    By the way, the Glee Club recently returned from a trip to Puerto Rico.

    First of all... pay attention to the music next time you watch your rifle monkey son in a parade. :wink:

    The cadences were all pretty similar until my First Class year, when the drumline turned a couple of jam sessions into new cadences for Mardi Gras. It's all the same for marchdown to meals (other than when they try to get the whole drumline out there for Friday night SRC on Open House weekends), but it's awesome when they get the quads out there.

    Well, one way of fixing the combination of (VMI Tradition™) + (Army parade stuff) + (whatever the Commandant tells COL Brodie to do) is for the Corps to do everything facing the Supe's house, instead of the reviewing stand. That's one way of saluting the General.

    Especially for the classic almost all-male school First Class PVT's traditional response to the command "RECEIVE THE REPORT"! :shake:

    President Obama's inaugural was all right. It was a little chilly at roughly 27°, if memory serves, but it was a lot warmer than the practice parades leading up to it, where the standard uniform for the Corps was class dyke w/duty jacket, overcoat, and watch cap! There was one practice parade in particular that was cut short because the brass section was literally freezing. I think that was the practice with the windchill of -4°F. It wasn't until the powers-that-be realized that we wouldn't have any trumpets or trombones for the real deal that they decided it was about time to let the Corps go back inside. I'm sure Bruno Jr. (ha!) has fond memories.

    (Holy crap. I truly am an Alum now, telling stories about how hard we had it. :rolleyes:)
     

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