With every Drum Corps season comes another set of shows and iconic moments added to the history books. 2017 had no shortage of memorable performances, including one of the most unforgettable show endings in recent history.
The Boston Crusaders 2017 Program "Wicked Games" turned out to be a monumental success for the corps. Between the new design and instructional staff, along with the hard work put in my the members of the corps, Boston placed in 6th on finals night. The Crusaders earned a 93.40 the night of semi-finals, an all-time high in the Corps 77 year history.
Ask an audience member what made this show memorable and you'll hear a variety of answers from the improved music ensemble to the incredible colorguard, but just about everyone can agree that the ending is what sealed "Wicked Games" as one of the best shows in Boston Crusaders History.
The Sunday following DCI's World Championship Finals at the Indianapolis Airport, we sat down with one of the performers at the center of this moment, Drum Major Kaitlin Oresky, to hear about her experience performing with the corps over the last 5 seasons.
"I was actually a Clarinet player in high school" Oresky explained. "I went to a Carolina Crown rehearsal in Orlando in 2012, and as soon as I got out of my car and heard them playing I said to myself 'I have to do this.'" Like many woodwind players before her, Kaitlin decided to pick up a Baritone and learn the instrument on her own, hoping to audition for a DCI Hornline in the coming years.
"I saw my first drum corps show the summer before my sophomore year of high school, and that August I started to learn Baritone. I had never played a brass instrument before, so I just picked up some beginners method books. I practiced every single day - and that was the key, just not giving up even though I didn't sound great at first."
As soon as she attended her first camp with the Crusaders, Oresky knew it was where she wanted to be. "Honestly what made me realize that I wanted to be there was just walking up to the registration table at the first camp. I saw this swarm of corps jackets, everyone was hugging, and I knew it was a family I wanted to be a part of."
Going into her rookie season with the Boston Crusaders in 2013, Kaitlin was contracted as an alternate. By the time the first show of the season rolled around, she had earned a spot, and even earned the "Most Improved" award from the corps that summer.
"I would've never told you that in my 3 years on baritone that I was ever going to be a drum major. I loved being a hornline vet." Kaitlin explained. "It just sort of fell into place, and I realized I was going to help out the corps in a different way."
No stranger to change, by the time Oreseky had graduated from high school she'd made the switch completely from Clarinet to Euphonium. But Michael Townsend, The Boston Crusaders Colorguard Director, had one more surprise for Kaitlin this summer.
"Kaitlin get off the ladder." she remembers Townsend saying to her mid rehearsal. Her initial thought was "Oh no what did I do wrong." She quickly realized that she was not in trouble, but would instead be learning choreography for the corps new ending.
The first time the now iconic "Fire Ending" went in was the Orlando show, a home show for Kaitlin. "In rehearsal it just becomes such a regular thing, but at shows hearing the crowd reaction every night was so exciting. "
The ending was further enhanced for championships, when Anna Eberhart of the Front Ensemble threw another witch into the fire, resulting in one of the most gruesome show endings since Spartacus.
ON AGING OUT
2018 will be Kaitlin's 6th and final season with The Boston Crusaders. "There were plenty of times that I didn't think I was going to be able to do it anymore. My 3rd year I was struggling a lot" Oresky admitted. "But at least I never had to wonder "what if?" Thats one thing thats driven me. I'll always have the memories I've made with this Corps.
"I'm looking forward to closure on my Drum Corps career. I'm excited for one last run, and one more group of Crusaders to welcome into the family."