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A king is crowned

Senior chosen to perform with national marching band

Senior+Devin+Fink+stands+with+his+instrument%2C+the+baritone+trombone%2C+in+a+performance+with+Vandegrift+High+School+Band+and+Vision+Dance+Company.++
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A king is crowned

Senior Devin Fink stands with his instrument, the baritone trombone, in a performance with Vandegrift High School Band and Vision Dance Company.

Senior Devin Fink stands with his instrument, the baritone trombone, in a performance with Vandegrift High School Band and Vision Dance Company.

Photo submitted by Devin Fink

Senior Devin Fink stands with his instrument, the baritone trombone, in a performance with Vandegrift High School Band and Vision Dance Company.

Photo submitted by Devin Fink

Photo submitted by Devin Fink

Senior Devin Fink stands with his instrument, the baritone trombone, in a performance with Vandegrift High School Band and Vision Dance Company.

Claire Lawrence, Staff Reporter

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Fingers ache after the endless hours of non-stop rehearsals. Sweat drips from his forehead as he squints at the bright sun above, remaining focused on his instrument. After a while, he hears his name called from a distance and races over, hoping to receive the news he’s been anticipating for months.

On Jan. 20, senior Devin Fink got the news that he would be joining Carolina Crown, a world class drum and bugle corps that is based in South Carolina. In May after graduation, Fink will move to South Carolina to fully immerse himself in spring training

“I’m excited to be able to have this opportunity,” Fink said. “If you are doing this you have to be pretty invested in band. It’ll be cool to meet all the people in this activity and spend an entire summer with kids who are devoted to the arts.”

Your first reaction isn’t really to cheer for yourself, because you are surrounded by all these people who were either sent home or didn’t make it. But Sunday night, after all the rehearsals were done, I was ecstatic. I was able to finally let my emotions run.”

— Devin Fink

As one of the top 12 corps in the world, Carolina Crown is a collection of 16 to 21-year-olds that train and tour with the band nationally. Students who wish to participate sign up online, receive auditions packets and attend training camps every weekend. If a student is accepted, they are notified in person and get to join the band on tour the following summer.

“You get there Friday, you have rehearsals all night with the corp and then you sleepover in their school,” Fink said. “Then, they have rehearsals all day Saturday for about 12 hours. You also have another 4 hour rehearsal Sunday. Once they tell you where you are, they send you home and prepare you for the next camp.”

When receiving acceptance from Carolina Crown, students are pulled out of a rehearsal and told immediately. They are then expected to return to the rehearsal and continue with the weekend camp normally, regardless of the news.

“No matter what your results were, you had to continue to keep working hard during the rehearsal,” Fink said. “Your first reaction isn’t really to cheer for yourself, because you are surrounded by all these people who were either sent home or didn’t make it. But Sunday night, after all the rehearsals were done, I was ecstatic. I was able to finally let my emotions run.”

Devin flew to South Carolina to attend three camps since November. He said his parents don’t usually fly with him, even though they can tag along and watch the auditions, but sometimes his sister, Korynn Fink, will join and meet him there for her auditions as well.

It’s been fun to have my best friend go through it with me this second time, and to share all these treasured experiences with him,” Korynn said. “We have always been really close growing up, and even when I moved away to college, we have been able to maintain our relationship.”

Korynn was a big influencer for Devin and inspired him to initially try out. She was first a part of Carolina Crown her senior year after being encouraged by a band director to audition, and Devin watched her go through the task of training and touring.

Having been through the process myself, I know how hard it is, and the sacrifices it takes,” Korynn said. “To see him willingly go for it, and put everything into it, and to receive the reward at the end, has been one of the biggest joy’s in my life. It just makes me so proud of him!”

Toward the end of June, he will start touring around the Eastern half of the U.S., with his sister also by his side, until August. He said he’s nervous because the training tends to be a hard experience, with 12 hour days spent marching outside in the heat, but is looking forward to their performances with the tour.

“It can get very physical very quickly, especially when you’re marching at tempos up to 200, which is like 3 steps a second, for hours on end,” Fink said, “I know that one of my most prominent memories from marching band was just after every performance the rush you get and the pride you feel. Doing that on an even bigger level, basically a professional level, is going to be really cool.”

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About the Writer
Claire Lawrence, Staff Reporter

Claire Lawrence is a junior and this is her second year on the Vandegrift Voice staff. She loves writing and performing a little bit of theatre on the...

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A king is crowned