Summer tour

A journey from good to great


submitted photo

Senior Cayden “CJ” Jordan holds his tuba in front of Lucas Oil Stadium before marching with the Guardians. DCI Finals are held in Indianapolis, IN, and the Guardians placed 5th place, the highest rank they have ever recieved.

Story by Lourdes Quijas, Staff Writer

Most people understand the comparison to high school and professional football, but have you heard of Drum and Bugle Corps? Drum Corps International (DCI) is the professional version of a high school band.

Every year the Tiger band gets an opportunity to go to Mesquite, Texas to watch DCI groups perform. Fortunately, a lot of the band members peak interest in DCI and choose out their favorites. 

Senior Cayden “CJ” Jordan marched with DCI group Guardians and traveled to seven states all throughout the summer. He marched tuba and had a blast being with them. 

“Being on the field was just amazing. Especially in the Alamodome and Lucas Oil. Looking up and the full crowd watching you and cheering for you. It’s a very magical experience,” Jordan said. “Then just throwing down the best Guardians production by far and making history tops it off. The field is a place where you are able to be you, and have fun and perform.”

Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps, located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, is a DCI group founded in 2013 to participate as part of the Drum Corps International’s SoundSport performance initiative. They made their debut as part of DCI’s Open Class division in 2014. The corps provides their members with exceptional educational and performance experiences in the area of performing arts to help develop everyday skills. 

Members will learn together through teamwork, dedication, a good work ethic and so much more. As a non-profit organization, Guardians seeks to develop leadership and personal growth for people ages 14-21. Most of their members or alumni always say, “I am, and always will be.”

“Back in 2019, I was on YouTube, and a video popped up on my feed,— ‘Bluecoats 2017: Jagged line full run’—and after watching that video, my life was changed. I also went and saw DCI Mesquite live, and it increased my love for it even more,” Jordan said. “I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. It would increase my knowledge in music, and I would be around people who are just as passionate about marching as I am. After 2021 graduate Aaron Montaño came back from Guardians, I saw my window of oppurtunity.” 

Jordan has been in band since sixth grade and has loved it ever since. Jordan plays baritone, tuba, trombone, piano, guitar, trumpet, mello, bass guitar and dabbles in percussion.

Jordan practices everyday, and even when he’s not on the fields, he’s working at home. Ever since then, he’s worked hard just to be able to perform with a group. Jordan pushed himself everyday and every night to be the best for the best.

I thought it was fantastic because it’s a life changing experience for a young person, especially a musician I was thrilled for him.

— Arnie Lawson

“I was super proud. Seeing all the hard work paying off and dreams coming true was amazing. His dad and I couldn’t be prouder,” his mother, Liz Jordan, said.

Jordan’s parents are very supportive and extremely proud of him. They raised $1,000, using GoFundMe, to help Jordan get to where he wants to be. Jordan also raised $3,000 by himself. He has played in 14 different cities all throughout the Northeast United States.

“Being away from home felt so refreshing. Pre-DCI, I was under a lot of stress from work and packing for drum corps, and to finally be out of this town and away from everything was amazing. However, the refreshing moment only lasted about a week. By then the hot days were rolling their way in, and the turf was giving me carpet burn. Waking up and you’re already sore from the days before,” Jordan said. “Thirteen hour days consist of nothing but reps of the show and movement. There were days that I just wanted to go inside and take a shower, but I didn’t have that luxury anymore. I started missing my parents around week 2, and I was definitely missing my own bed by then too.”

Every night he would text or call his family and just talk about what they did that day or any events coming up. His sister, 2021 graduate Katarina Jordan, would watch him play when their mom would FaceTime. Everyone in his family was so proud of him.

“The difference is night and day. DCI is way more intense and professional. You’re marching up to 232 beats per minute, sometimes as a warm up. Drum corps is also organized and efficient. Everything you do is on a schedule. Whereas in band, you work off of a general time, except for games. Competitions are way more intense too,” Jordan said. “You also see a lot more of everything in Drum Corps. Band is just a little nibble.”