Drum Corp international contest being held at McKendree University

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LEBANON, IL (KPLR) – On the McKendree campus there's water water everywhere and lots of breaks to drink, especially for rehearsals for tonight's drum corps international show.

'I feel like we all become better people because of it,' says Tanner Cooper, a McKendree Student and tuba player with Music City Drum Corp. 'We go through the mental aspects of it. If you can get through this, you can pretty much get through anything.'

Under the midday sun, marchers kept pace while perspiring.

Seven drum and bugle corps are in town for tonight's competition at Leemon Athletic Field.

'All brass, no woodwinds yet at this point,' says David Boggs, McKendree Director of Athletic Bands. 'Don`t forget trumpets, melophones, baritones and contras and tubas.'

Don't forget the percussion and the precision with these performers.

'You have to be able to think through the music but you also have to know your notes and be able to emote through that music, because nobody is going to buy it if they don't,' says Sue Kuehnhold, the DCI International Director of Events. 'Then put on top of that you're running about 160 beats per minute which is running about an eight minute mile.'

It takes a village to house tonight's competition, and a semi food truck, equipment truck and two buses.

'We can sleep here during the night drive sometimes 10 to 17 hours and then we can get there and rehearse,' says Jessica Palmer, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

The seven drum corps from across America will be marching to the beats of a lot of different drummers, but they'll all be in sync when it comes to this summer experience.

'Learning how to be responsible and be an individual and express myself and being the drum major I get to lead people,' says Palmer. 'It's the regimented lifestyle and I love it and that's what I learn from it.'

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