Throughout each year, there are music competitions and awards ceremonies to fit nearly any musical taste. Thousands of performers are recognized for their efforts and talent with coveted awards and highly respected championships. One group of performers rewrote the record book on August 9 at the Drum Corps International (DCI) championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
The Blue Devils of Concord, CA have long been DCI’s most decorated drum corps. This season they went beyond their storied history. After finishing second last year by a quarter of a point, the Blue Devils rolled through their summer schedule undefeated going 29-0 (only a few corps have ever done this). They achieved the highest score ever in the month of July with a 96.9. At the DCI Finals, they were the favorites to win the championship. In the semifinals, they approached the all-time DCI record of 99.15 with a 98.95 score. The talk on finals day was not if the Blue Devils would win the championship, but if they would break the all-time scoring record. They performed their show, titled “Felliniesque,” to near perfection with a score of 99.65 shattering the old mark by a half point. The Blue Devils had won their sixteenth DCI World Championship (best in DCI history). They also earned best caption awards in brass, color guard, visual performance, and general effect. Seven of the eleven judges gave the Concord Express a perfect score. The 2014 Blue Devils had earned the title of the undisputed greatest drum corps in history.
The 150 members that march for the Blue Devils regularly put in 14-hour days and travel thousands of miles during the summer perfecting and performing their show. Brass line member Elizabeth Lentz (daughter of FirstCom Senior Music Director John Lentz) said, “The design staff created a show that was perfect for the 2014 Blue Devils. The entire corps worked very hard executing every fine detail to near perfection. We have the best staff of instructors in DCI and their expertise helped us to achieve even more than we thought possible.”
Auditions for most drum corps for their 2015 squads begin in November. Attend a DCI show next summer and see the amazing performances that groups of 14-21 year olds can achieve. You might even see a legendary one like the 2014 Blue Devils.