Every fall on Fridays and Saturdays, thousands of high school and college marching bands play at halftime of football games. Many of these bands also compete in marching contests around the nation. What happens when that is over? The best of those players audition for drum & bugle corps and compete each summer under the sanctioning body of Drum Corps International (DCI). About 5,000 students from 15 countries actively participate in DCI drum corps annually. There are more than 100 events throughout North America showcasing dozens of drum corps from June through August. Over 400,000 fans attend live drum corps events each year ending with the world championships in at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis.
The average day for a drum corps member on tour includes several hours of indoor and outdoor rehearsals and marching practice throughout the day followed by overnight bus rides to their next event. Sleeping on gymnasium floors and eating from a food truck that goes everywhere they do, the life of a drum corps member is not a glamorous one…until performance time. It is then that fans enjoy the spectacular sights and sounds of marching music’s major league. Intricate marching routines coupled with gorgeous music and stunning visuals, these youths put on a show like no other.
The summer tour for DCI in 2013 has been a competitive one. Two corps have risen to the top and expect to battle for the championship in the World Class division August 10 in Indianapolis. The challenger is the Carolina Crown from Ft. Mill, SC who have finished in the top five for the past five years. The champions are the Blue Devils from Concord, CA who have won the last two championships and are the most decorated corps in the history of DCI with 29 consecutive top finishes and an unprecedented 15 world championship titles. These two corps have been neck and neck throughout the summer and promise to deliver one of the most exciting championship evenings in DCI history.
If a DCI event is coming to your town, go out and be entertained from what these wonderful young people give up their summers to accomplish. It is an evening of fun and excitement not soon forgotten.
– John Lentz
Senior Music Director – FirstCom Music
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