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Mace & Crown | March 26, 2017

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Fuse Television's 'Clash of the Corps' stars Monarch Marshall Hallam

Fuse Television’s ‘Clash of the Corps’ stars Monarch Marshall Hallam
Larenz Johnson
Staff Writer

Imagine looking forward to an event in life and watching it be snatched away. In most cases that is the point of giving up, but not for Marshall Hallam.

Hallam is a junior at Old Dominion University and a rookie trumpeter for the Cadets, an elite drum corps team that will be featured in an upcoming Fuse television show entitled “Clash of the Corps.”

Hallam began playing trumpet at an early age, saying his inspiration stemmed from his want to attend the trips his school’s band went on.

That all changed when Hallam entered high school and the school’s band director encouraged him to join the marching band, which Hallam reluctantly agreed to.

“I really hated it for a while until I started finding all these clips about the drum corps, so that got me pretty excited,” Hallam said.

This led to Hallam’s decision to try his hand at joining the Cadets, beginning with a weekend group called Cadets 2 in 2012. For two years Hallam stuck with this group, and in his senior year of high school he went out for the Cadets.

He didn’t make the Cadets his first two attempts, describing the experience as leaving him “really bitter.”

“In order to make the group, you have to fully commit to the idea of marching for a season. When that reality doesn’t manifest it turns into a spiraling depression that leaves you wondering if you can do anything right,” Hallam said.

That didn’t stop Hallam, and after a lot of practice and perseverance, he made the Cadets first round this year due to a change in auditioning. Normally the audition consists of three parts, a visual component and two musical components.

This year instead of performing one of the musical components in a group it was one on one, which Hallam says he “blew out of the water.”

Following auditions, training begins towards the end of the school year. The team has 30 days to learn the show.

“The schedule works like this: you wake up at 8 a.m., you rehearse until about 10 p.m., and then you get about an hour to yourself. You do this for a total of 30 days, just to learn the show, and then we hit the road and kind of tour like rock stars,” Hallam said.

Touring consists of inconsistent sleeping arrangements, rehearsals, and finally show time. Being taken out of a comfortable situation doesn’t have an effect on Hallam or the performance, though.

“That’s part of the whole game, in order to be successful you need to be able to look past the unfortunate things that are happening. The circumstances aren’t ideal obviously, but what we pride ourselves in is being able to do all of that and put out a great performance,” Hallam said.

The ideology of the Cadets has found a place in Hallam’s life on and off the field. Hallam stresses the objective in life is to be a good person and to carry yourself a certain way.

“The objective leaving the organization is to just basically be the best version of yourself as possible,” said Hallam.

Hallam shared a few words of wisdom for anyone in a situation similar to his own before he made the Cadets.

“My number one recommendation would be to join an activity, surround yourself with a peer group, just don’t be consumed with that one thing. When I first started music that’s all I wanted to do and I closed a lot of doors because of it, so it’s important to not be so obsessive. Just get involved and attack it,” Hallam said.

Hallam urges people to check out information on the teams featured in the series in order to uncover the unknown world of the drum corps. “Clash of the Corps” premieres Oct. 5 at 11 p.m. on Fuse Television.