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Drummer's Dream Come True

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Making it into a Drum and Bugle Corps takes a lot more skill than just playing for your high school marching band. It's a sport all its own.

For one Kamiakin High School graduate, making the corps is a dream come true.

The first time Mike Girard saw the Santa Clara Vanguard perform, he said he was blown away.

"How awesome must you be to be able to do that? There's no way I'll be able to do that. I walked away from that thinking that was cool, I can't wait to watch that for the next five years and never be in it," said Girard.   

Performers play every note in unison, and every step in sync.

When Mike got the call to join Vanguard's snareline he knew he shouldn't let this opportunity pass him by.

"Hello, Alaska Air? Yah, could you change that flight from Pasco to San Jose?"

The Vanguard are six-time Drum Corps International World Champions. Mike's family realized his obsession with the corps when they were doing some spring cleaning, and found his first practice pad.

"In our cleaning, we noticed there it was: a Santa Clara Vanguard logo right on there. That was first corps he had fallen in love with, and we had forgotten that," said Kevin Girard, Mike's Father.    

Mike has only played the drums since 2002. But Vanguard realized his hands had a gift - in fact, they call Mike a "Glory Boy". Mike also plays the viola, saxophone, bassoon, bass guitar, bass trombone, baritone, and the tuba.

"Usually we don't come across that kind of breed of musician, but him in particular he's one of those guys who accepts info very quickly, processes it and spits it right back out in a really awesome fashion," said Chris Cyr, Santa Clara Vanguard Staff Member.  

But Mike said he still can't believe Vanguard picked him.