DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Drum Corps members practicing for Thursday evening’s Drum Corps International North Texas are taking the competition and the intense heat seriously.
At Apogee Stadium at the University of North Texas in Denton, members of the defending champion Santa Clara Vanguard seemed to be holding up well as they practiced Wednesday afternoon.
They took multiple breaks for shade, water and drinks filled with electrolytes to keep them hydrated and able to perform at their best.
One member, Cameron Cavender said, “It’s hot and sometimes uncomfortable. It’s definitely a help to get out there and rehearse the hard show we’re doing and having water, shade, and time to rest is very helpful to perform at the level that we need to.”
The Drum Corps Director of the Santa Clara Vanguard, David Yunis said they’ve got two athletic trainers to keep an eye on the temperature of the practice field at all times and to make sure members are getting enough breaks.
“Along with our athletic trainers, we also have a chef who comes along with us that’s important for us for calorie intake as well as dietary nutrition that plays a key role.”
The uniforms have also changed over the years to keep members as cool as possible.
Yunis said, “There’s no longer a traditional uniform where you’d have a sheiko or a ozzy covering the head where most of the heat escapes as well as long-sleeves. We don’t have long-sleeves and that’s important for us so heat can escape from the body.”
They are now short-sleeves and have loose fabric.
Cavender said, “These uniforms are relatively cool. I know they design them with that in mind to make sure we’re comfortable. But it does get warm in there. We do sweat a lot. They’re making sure we have ample water after shows when we get done performing and we’re drenched in sweat.”
The Drum Corps International North Texas begins at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Apogee Stadium.
It’s all part of a summer tour that has competitions in 37 states.
The World Championships are in Indianapolis, August 10.