Spinning Into The Future: Madeline Partin Receives DCI Callbacks

Leigh Berry, Reporter

      When MHS Senior Madeline Partin, a four year Trojan Marching Band veteranand flag captain for the Mililani color guard, decided to audition for a DrumCorps International (DCI) group, her top choices were Santa Clara Vanguard (SCV) and the Phantom Regiment. This past December, Partin flew to Orlando, Fl. to finish her final DCI audition for SCV. She had already submitted multiple video auditions for the Phantom Regiment and was just two performances away from completing the first step in her journey to join a DCI group. 

      “I was definitely worried that I would be so nervous that I wouldn’t do my best. I was also scared that I would be way over my head and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the other people at the audition,” said Partin.

       Self-described as “Marching Music’s Major League,” DCI hosts multiple world-renowned teams including SCV, the Phantom Regiment and the Cavaliers. Class of 2017 MHS alumnus and former DCI Cavalier Akoni Pasoquen-Castillo described DCI as a professional marching band, with each season lasting one summer. Pasoquen-Castillo said Partin’s passion for guard and her drive to achieve her goals have shown that she is capable of performing at this high level. 

      “It means a lot to be a part of a color guard member in Mililani or in the marching band in general. You spend so much time with them that they truly become your second family. You develop relationships that can last for a lifetime after high school and that in itself means a lot,” said Pasoquen-Castillo, who has been helping to train and coach the MHS guard for three years and is a former captain of Partin’s.

      Partin was inspired to audition for a DCI group by coaches and friends after expressing an interest in continuing color guard after high school. “Of course there were things that I could’ve done better (during the auditions), but overall I thought it went way better than Iever thought and I was proud of myself,” said Partin.

      The Phantom Regiment required Partin to send several videos demonstrating basic across the floors (coordinated steps done in a series, usually across the floor) and flag tosses as well as two pieces of choreography: one with a flag and one without. For her SCV audition, Partin performed two pieces of flag choreography as well as one piece with no flag.

      “I was so happy and thankful when I found out I got a callback (from) both groups I auditioned for. It meant a lot to me, but the support I got from my friends and guard staff made my heart really happy,” said Partin. Partin’s guard career has not been without hardships. During field season, color guard members practice three times per week — Tuesdays and Thursdays from5-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to the time commitment,many of Partin’s friends had left the program or graduated throughout her years in guard.

      “But my junior year especially was when I ‘popped off’ because Alex Pai, a guard member who graduated when I was a sophomore — she was a big inspiration to me and was the main source of motivation to improve because I wanted to fill her shoes after she graduated,” said Partin. 

      Because Partin received callbacks from both SCV and the Phantom Regiment,it was up to her to choose which group to follow through with on her journey to joining a DCI. It was a difficult decision for Partin, as both were her dream DCI groups. In the end, with the help of guidance from friends and loved ones, she chose the Phantom Regiment.

      Partin will perform in the Winter Guard International competition from April1 to April 4. She will attend the Phantom Regiment’s callback camp from April 24 to 26.