Wednesday, November 14 , 2018, 12:09 am | Fair 54º


Elite Drum Corps Marches Into San Marcos High for Tour Rehearsal

School band director Michael Kiyoi welcomes the large Illinois-based Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps — 18-wheelers, buses and all

The Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps stopped at San Marcos High School on Wednesday for a practice session, a rare West Coast visit for the Illinois-based group.

Phantom Regiment embarks on a 60-day national tour every summer, with rigorous rehearsals to prepare. That’s what brought them to Santa Barbara this week on their way to a Riverside show.

San Marcos was invaded by about 150 members, 18-wheeler trucks, transport buses and a coach bus that cooks food for the group.

San Marcos band director Michael Kiyoi organized the visit so that the high school’s band could watch. He said the group, made up of young adults ages 18 to 21, probably won’t come to California again for a few years.

The corps practiced in Warkentin Stadium and the soccer fields, with its front ensemble, battery (drum line), color guard with flags and batons, and horn line.

“It was a lot of work (to organize), but it’s going to be worth it,” Kiyoi said.

The drums and horns could be heard Wednesday from Turnpike Road, even over the noise of the freeway.

“Nothing is louder than drum corps,” Kiyoi said. “It’s amazing how musical it can be, all while they’re moving around.”

San Marcos band and color guard members watched the rehearsal and a midday run-through of the Phantom Regiment’s show.

“I have a couple connections and heard they were interested in stopping somewhere before the show down south. I said, well, I’ll try to get them here,” Kiyoi said.

The group was going to take a rest day in Murrieta, but Kiyoi convinced them — probably pretty easily — that they would much rather spend their time here. They planned to wander around downtown Santa Barbara after rehearsals ended at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

While they tour, the members stay at high school gyms, and they slept at San Marcos for about four hours after arriving around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Kiyoi said. They’ll move on south Wednesday night.

Click here for more information, and click here to connect with Phantom Regiment on Facebook.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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