The Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps has ​been performing ​their 2014 production “That One Second” ​for thousands nationwide​. The show and its concept that “life is a gift” is continuing to create waves in the drum corps community as people begin to reflect on their own personal “one second”. The following story was submitted to us by Joseph Preiser, a drum corps ​veteran, who was inspired to tell us about ​his “one second” …

“That One Second For Me”

I wanted to take a moment to mention how excited I am for the Blue Knights’ 2014 show. I am intrigued by the idea of how “One Second” can have such a lasting impact on life so I’d like to tell you about my “One Second” that changed my life at the Drum Corps International semi-finals show in 1991 at the Cotton Bowl.

Back when I was a student at the University of North Texas, I eagerly made my way to the stadium to watch DCI semi-finals to cheer on my old drum corps the Star of Indiana (I played contra bass bugle with Star in 1987). During the show, I was particularly pleased to see the Blue Knights in a position to make finals for the first time. During Aspen Jubilee, I remember watching the sopranos march along the front sidelines when I noticed one young lady who was quite a bit shorter than the rest of the section. My father and I chuckled over “the short chick” in the soprano section during their performance. Later, we found out the Blue Knights made history by making DCI Finals for the first time ever.

Fast forward a year where I was a young Private First Class in the United States Marine Corps stationed at the Armed Forces School of Music at the Naval Air Base Little Creek in Virginia. As it was a predominately male school, word traveled fast when a female checks-in. So it was one day that I caught word of a new girl checking in who played trumpet with the Navy.

As young men are known to do, I struck up a conversation with this new sailor named Melissa Harman. It wasn’t long before the topic of drum corps came up. She mentioned that she had been in the 1991 Blue Knights. I told her that I really enjoyed that show and how I could remember a a short girl in the soprano section.

Her demeanor changed as she said she had played soprano bugle.

I thought I’d be cool and brush it off by saying that I was sure it wasn’t her. Then, I was further embarrassed when she told me she was the ONLY girl on the soprano section that year.

I thought to myself, “you blew it Preiser.” Thankfully, I was wrong and not only did we start dating from That One Second, we have been married for 21 years (this July).

This has become a favorite story of ours to tell. Even people who are not drum corps fans get a laugh with how we managed to cross paths before we ever actually met. What I think is even more odd is that I came very close to signing a contract to go into the intelligence field in the Marine Corps rather than the band field. The intelligence school was located in Dam Neck, Virginia. And as students, Melissa and I played a change of command ceremony at that same school. It seemed fate had a contingency plan for us if we had not meet at Little Creek-we would have most likely met there instead.

Anyways, that’s my “One Second” story. Melissa and I look forward to seeing you when you come to Seattle, WA this summer. We had a blast volunteering at your food truck in 2012 when you were in town. We’d love to help out again.

Best wishes for the upcoming season,

Joe Preiser
Proud Husband to a Blue Knights Alum

If you would like to share a story about “that One Second” that has changed your life in some way, please contact us at [email protected].

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