Humans of SCSU: Dylan Mazzarella

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

Southern is a school where students can walk from building to building, and pass hundreds of people on their way. However, every single student at Southern has their own story, their own history, their own level of interests and experiences that are undeniably unique from anyone else. Sometimes even, a student will be a part of an Open-Class competitive Drum Corps’ Color Guard.

Dylan Mazzarella of Enfield, a freshman in the honors college, is a member of the 7th Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. According to their website, the 7th Regiment Corps is a, “non-profit organization formed to provide youth a unique and comprehensive educational program in music, marching & performing.”

However, while the 7th Regiment is a professional drum corps, Mazzarella did not begin his career in Color Guard until he was a senior in high school.

“In Senior year of high school I joined the marching band, and what was called Winter Guard in my high school,” said Mazzarella, “Not to be confused with WGI, which is a separate organization, my school’s program was just Color Guard activities on a stage set to music.”

In discussing how he first actually began with his passion for Color Guard, Mazzarella attributes it to an interaction with high school friends.

“How I really got into it was when I ran into a few friends who were practicing flag maneuvers and they couldn’t get the hang of it,” said Mazzarella. “I asked if I could try, and after they showed me the general points of it, I  was able to get the hang of the maneuver fairly easily; it turned out I had a knack for it.”

From then, through mutual friends, Mazzarella was introduced to the 7th Regiment at an open house, and then in December of 2014 Mazzarella attended auditions without much knowledge of what the outcome would be. As it turned out, Mazzarella was recruited and began practicing with the 7 th since.

“Every practice we would run about a mile, do physical training, and then we would go into sectionals where Color Guard, Hornline, and Percussion would work on something like basics,” said Mazzarella. “Then we would have ensemble when all of the sections would come together and practice and perform what we worked on.”

In regards to what this training and practice was like, Mazzarella sees both the strain and benefit of it. Over the summer, Mazzarella toured the country with the Regiment, but spent eight months preparing for the show they prepared which was inspired by “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “The Matrix,” “The Hunger Games,” and “The Maze Runner.”

“Starting in December there were eight full-weekend trainings and practices, where we sleep over and rehearse non-stop,” said Mazzarella. “Then before we left in June we had a full week of practices. Then, when it was time to go, we packed up everything we needed for Tour and did not leave one another for nearly the whole summer.”

When it came down to the practice though, there were many stressors that Mazzarella found. However, at the same time, there was also a major sense of accomplishment in achieving the finished show after so many months of work.

“It would be really stressful at times. It would be emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing to an unprecedented degree,” said Mazzarella. “But when we are able to pull the show together, and were touring and performing, there was nothing like it. Every minute of stress and struggle that I had, tireless days and exhaustion, all paid off. It was worth every minute.”

Photo Credit: Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter


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