2006 could possibly be the second most instrumental year in the history of the Blue Stars, the first being the year we were founded. That is tough to say, since the past few years have been essential to our success. This was our return to Division 1. Just when everyone had gone and counted out, or worse, forgot, about the little corps from LaCrosse, WI, we reminded them that we were back.
There were rumors pre-season that we would be fielding a Division 1 corps. No one really knew for sure. With a focus more towards business and less about numbers, DCI would make that decision for us. This rumor was exciting, and I am sure many people came to audition based upon that possibility. However, we all knew it was not true, yet. We were there to be Blue Stars, not to march Division 1.
With such a rapid growth the past few years, the dynamic of what being a Blue Star began to change. The fact will always remain that every Blue Star's integrity, work ethic, and overwhelming sense of passion and desire makes us all family in the end. If this was not evident going into the season, our first performance made it clearly so. Upon marching off the field and circling up Alumni surrounded us.
Finis Coronat Opus, a small saying that means so much to anyone who has ever marched with the Blue Stars. A small saying that embraces so much more than those tiny three words. No one truly understands what it means until s/he leaves the finals field, goes home and has the time to reflect. The Alumni, however, gave us the clearest picture of FCO that anyone could ever provide. They were crying, laughing, smiling, and glowing. They were so proud of us. Then, one by one, they took their turn speaking to us about their experiences, hopes, dreams, and desires. They embraced us with their words, and gave us a sense of family.
Our show, The Gift of Freedom, embraced the idea of the American Dream. More importantly, it embraced the ideals that allowed us to do what we love. We worked incredibly hard to get our show on the field in less than fourteen days. With the vast majority of the members being new to the activity, this was a feat and speaks to the incredible nature of this group of Blue Stars. For a long while we had much success in performance, we would come off the field and our staff would be beaming. We worked hard, and hung on every word they said.
Success cannot last forever. Sometimes you have to sit back and evaluate your approach and, more importantly, what is in your heart. This day came mid-season when we performed an okay show, but were capable of much more. Insert Eric Miller, a man so passionate about being a Blue Star, he is to be admired. Miller took this as an opportunity to speak to us about FCO. He admitted that we work hard, but said that we were lacking a few key elements of what it truly is. We lacked passion and desire. We lacked the heart, and with such an emotional show, it just did not work without it. He had our attention, and this would be on our minds and in our hearts for a long time to come.
No one really knows for sure where we found the passion and desire. Maybe it was in Miller's speech, on the field, on the bus, in the schools, the only thing I know for sure is we found it. The fewer shows we had, the more amazing each show seemed. The staff would sometimes cry out of happiness for what we were accomplishing. We would cry because we did not want it to end. Every drum corps strives to peak at the right moment and after our final performance we all knew that we had left everything on the field.
The impact of 2006 will ripple on for many years to come. The hard work, dedication, passion and desire that we exuded are something that every Blue Star can appreciate and embrace. Thank you to the 2006 staff, members, volunteers, parents, and age-outs for ensuring that the Blue Stars keep on keeping on. FCO - The end crowns the work, I could not have asked for a more beautiful crown.
Author: Miranda Soucie
2006 DCI Divison I Final Standings - Madison, WI
1. The Cavaliers
2. Phantom Regiment
3. Blue Devils
5. The Cadets
6. Santa Clara Vanguard
7. Blue Knights
8. Carolina Crown
9. Madison Scouts
10. Boston Crusaders
14. Blue Stars
16. Capital Regiment
19. Seattle Cascades
20. The Magic
21. Pacific Crest
"The Gift of Freedom"
O Come Emanuel
America The Beautiful