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Aug. 31, 2018
By Grace Niemeyer, communication assistant
The Santa Clara Vanguard won the Drum Corps International World Championship this month, and it featured a Northwest Missouri State University student on timpani.
Kaleb Hascall, a senior instrumental music education major from Kansas City, Missouri, has performed with Drum Corps International (DCI) ensembles during the last three summers after learning about DCI from friends and his dad, who performed during the 1980s. The Santa Clara Vanguard drum and bugle corps is a highly selective, professional marching ensemble based in Santa Clara, California.
The Vanguard traveled the country this summer on tour and ended it by winning the DCI championship in Indianapolis, Indiana. It also won the Fred Sanford Trophy, an award for the best percussion ensemble.
“It’s taxing,” Hascall said. “During the summer, it’s 12-hour practices every day for almost three months. You have to be able to handle bad situations and you have to be mature enough.”
Musicians traveled to California to prepare for one month before departing for the tour. A typical day included early mornings, 12-hour rehearsals and driving through the night to the next location.
Hascall said winning the championship was an unexpected and surreal moment. “None of us went there to win, we all went there because, historically, the percussion section is the best and we wanted to be part of the best percussion section.”
In addition to winning, a highlight for Hascall was meeting and playing with musicians that quickly became close friends. “You’re with them everyday for so long that they become so close,” Hascall said.
Other highlights included traveling the country, specifically going to Virginia Beach on one of his free days.
“There were water spouts out in the distance because it was kind of a stormy day and we couldn’t be out on the beach, but it was really cool to see like three or four water spouts and it was like a scene from a movie,” Hascall said. “Being able to just not practice for a bit, those days were just so nice.”
Hascall, who is a captain with the Bearcat Marching Band this fall, credits his professors at Northwest for instilling the importance of preparation to perform well.
“When I came in as a freshman, one of the biggest things Dr. Katy Strickland (director of athletic bands at Northwest) taught me was how to prepare for things and how to be ready for an audition or for a concert,” Hascall said. “When it came time to audition for DCI, it was the same thing, like I felt like I knew how to prepare and I knew how to be ready.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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