Beating the heat in drum corps for health and wellness


WAYNE, W.Va. (WOWK) – Football teams aren’t the only ones coping with tremendous heat during practices in the summer. Drum corps and marching bands do as well.

The recent tour stop in the region by units of Drum Corps International showcases how member corps are working hard to keep members safe while still getting the work in.

The Pacific Crest corps from Diamond Bar, California has armed themselves with some key information: a detailed weather briefing every day from an expert in event safety.

Pacific Crest has been receiving a daily briefing from Dr. Kevin Kloesel from Oklahoma University and that briefing goes over everything from expected temperatures during the day to the heat index and the heat stress level that is expected.

EXAMPLE: Detailed weather briefing provided to Pacific Crest Drum Corps by Dr. Kevin Kloesel. This example was for mid May, 2019.

Corps director Stuart Pompel says the briefings allow them to adjust everything from fluid intake for the marching members to menus to the best times to practice inside or outside and also how the wind might effect the placement of props and how the color guard will adjust when they perform with flags.

“Excellence in DCI and across the marching arts comes with repetition. But, weather can be a dangerous adversary during summer afternoons where heat, humidity and storms can combine to threaten both the performers and their expensive equipment,” remarks Kloesel.

“Pacific Crest D&B Corps has taken a leadership role in integrating weather intelligence for proactive planning and rehearsal design so as to keep their performers as safe as possible,” Kloesel added.

It’s part of a larger effort within drum corps circles to pay close attention to safety and wellness of the student members who perform every night.

StormTracker 13 chief meteorologist Spencer Adkins is an avid drum corps fan and often tweets forecasts for fellow fans and has spoken often to Kloesel about forecasts during the tour.

“What Dr. Kloesel is providing is what a lot of us would like to see in just about any activity or sport. We want fans to see a great event and members to have optimal conditions while staying healthy all summer. It’s a tough outdoor activity but if you know the weather, you can be safe and have as much fun as possible,” said Adkins.

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