Several Tradition members were asked to respond to the question, "Why Tradition?" Here is the response from Ryan - a 2013 color guard member and 2014 drum major. Keep an eye out for more responses every week!
The thought of being a performer again had been in the back of my mind for a couple of years. I had officially “retired” from performing in the winter of 2007. Even though I’ve been teaching and designing for several years…the itch to perform was hitting me pretty hard again.
My schedule for the summer of 2013 suddenly became a little more open so I sent an email to the assistant director of Cincinnati Tradition to see if, initially, there were any mellophone positions open. I also mentioned I had color guard experience and as it turned out….I became the newest member of the Tradition Color Guard!
The next three weeks I spent trying to catch up on all the corps had previously learned. Thankfully, I had great support from the rest of the color guard. They were all extremely helpful and patient with getting me into the show. With spending most of my summer catching up and learning the rest of the show I didn't really get to know many other corps members until DCA Finals weekend in Annapolis, MD.
Finals weekend was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a member of Tradition. From participating in the I&E competition, the corps prelims performance, to getting to know some of the best and most passionate people in the activity, I knew I wanted to return for the next season. Even after a disappointing finish in prelims, I (along with many other members) were determined to make a big push in 2014.
I remember some of the planning taking place on the way home from Annapolis. My excitement and determination was only enhanced by the enthusiasm and drive that many of the members and staff had as we built towards 2014. As things evolved towards my second season with the corps not only was I asked to be part of an excellent design team, but I eventually took on the role as drum major. HUGE shoes to fill considering our previous leader was second to none! Little did I know how emotional the summer was going to be…even if not everyone saw it. By the end of the season it was one of the most rewarding. No matter the experience and background one may have in this activity…you can’t truly understand the DM role until you are actually up there on the podium. I can thank all the great people who supported me (and even those who didn’t) as I transitioned and grew into such a humbling yet rewarding… frustrating yet amazing position with the corps. To say it is an honor to lead this corps as drum major doesn't seem to do it justice. Needless to say 2014 was a big year for Tradition and I’m excited to continue the journey for seasons to come.
So…Why Tradition? Well, why not? One could say that logistics were the reason that I chose Cincinnati Tradition due to its proximity to my home in Indianapolis. But if one looks closer to the timing of events and how everything fell together and the people I’ve been lucky enough to have part of my life over the last two years…I’d say everything happens for a reason and it was meant to be!