By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Two Oklahoma State University Marching Band students can call themselves international champions following a grueling summer tour and competition.
Matt Register and Kyle Norris are two members of the Carolina Crown, winners of the Drum Corps International for 2013.
Register participated last year in DCI with the same team. He enlisted again in November.
“You then sign up to go to a camp and basically there is a series of camps that you go to every month,” Register said. “There’s an audition process and once you make it, you continue to go back. You rehearse the music throughout the school year and once summer hits, you continue to go with the corps that you chose.”
Eventually, a number of participants are given contracts, ensuring they will be with the group in the summer.
Register said he did not know of DCI until his senior year in high school. He chose to join the Carolina Crown in his junior year because it fit his interests.
“Every drum corps has brass, a drum corps and the guard,” he said. “Each subcategory can win and Crown is known for winning brass, so that’s why I chose them.”
Register has played the trumpet since the sixth grade. Norris has been involved in music since he was 3, learning piano and eventually trumpet and horns. He called the DCI experience something he will take with him forever.
“It was pretty crazy,” he said. “I didn’t go there expecting to win or anything like that, but it was a surprise and definitely a cherry on top for the end of the season.”
Both Register and Norris spent two and a half months traveling to 42 competitions including regionals — a necessary step to take part in the finals.
“We actually travel around on charter buses by night and rehearse throughout the day,” Register said. “Where we stay is any high school that is willing to take us in and we usually sleep on a band room or gym floor.”
But both agreed the journey outweighed the accommodations.
“I think, even though that was not ideal ... really, at the end of the day, the thing I’m going to remember from the season is the amazing performance we had on finals night and the fact that we got to do an encore run when we won and I’m going to remember things like that instead of one day where I wasn’t too happy to be sleeping on the floor,” Norris said. “The whole experience in the end is worth it.”