Drum Corps puts spin on coaching

Olga Archakov, Editor-at-Large

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GBN Color Guard performs with the Marching Band during their show “Gridlocked” at the football game on Sept. 8, 2017. Color Guard Coach Michael Tseitlin changed the team work ethic after his summer touring with the Bluecoats, a part of Drum Corps International. Photo by Chloe Carroll

Getting to perform in front of a crowd of 50,000 people and taking fifth place in what is said to be the biggest competition of marching arts are experiences Color Guard Coach Michael Tseitlin will never forget.

According to Band Director Andrew Zweibel, Tseitlin’s time traveling and performing this summer with the Bluecoats, a group based out of Drum Corps International, also known as DCI, culminating in a fifth place finish has had a significant impact on Glenbrook North Color Guard’s enthusiasm and performance quality.

Zweibel said Tseitlin brought back a significant amount of experience because DCI is “as close to the professional level as you can get in the marching band activity.” Tseitlin started assisting the Color Guard in 2015 and is officially the coach as of this school year.

“[The Bluecoats are] different [because they are] … rehearsing for 14 hours a day, seven days a week, for 93 days. And then compared to [GBN] where it’s six hours a week, instead of 14 hours a day.

“[The Bluecoats] have 1,000 people auditioning for 150 spots, and then [members] compete from May to August around the country as far north, south, east and west as the groups will travel, and near the end you’ll have finals in Lucas Oil Stadium, and you’ll compete, and you get placed and ranked,” Tseitlin said.

Junior Elizabeth Moshovitis, Color Guard member, said Tseitlin seems more serious about teaching Color Guard after his experience with the Bluecoats. 

Zweibel said one of his biggest regrets is not joining a DCI group, so he is happy that Tseitlin had the opportunity to do so.

“Drum Corps is what we all aspire to be like from a performance quality standpoint, and so he was learning and being instructed by some of the [world’s] greatest minds in color guard this summer,” said Zweibel. “And so to bring that wealth of information that he has taken as a student this summer back to GBN and being able to impart some of that on our kids, has made a really significant impact on our guard.”

Tseitlin said he hopes to bring the independence, higher expectations and competitiveness from the Bluecoats to GBN Color Guard.

“There’s only so much we can teach [about] color guard skills and instrumental skills, but we should be able to teach our kids how to be better people and want to strive to be the best they can be in all aspects of their lives,” Tseitlin said.

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Drum Corps puts spin on coaching