Sunday, August 13, 2006
MARCHING BANDS & DRUM CORPS, PART II
Last night, Drum Corps International held it's final competition of the year in Madison, Wisconsin. Before I reveal the results, I will share a bit about the quarter-final round, which Joshua and I watched live via satellite at a local theatre this past Thursday evening.
The program began at 6:00 PM eastern daylight time and concluded at 11:30 PM. If anyone had told me several years ago that I would
a) pay $18 per ticket to watch a drum corps show,
b) watch it for 5.5 hours and
c) enjoy it,
I would have accused that person of smoking something so potent that it has to be illegal.
As it turned out, the show was broadcast in about 100 theatres across the USA to approximately 20,000 viewers. Our theatre was packed. The show was really well done. It included lots of great information about the history of drum corps competitions and lots of clips from the past. At the end of that evening, the top six positions were:
1. Cavaliers - show: The Green Machine
2. Blue Devils - show: The Godfather, Part Blue
3. Phantom Regiment - show: Faust
4. The Cadets - show: Part Two - Through the Looking Glass (Alice in Wonderland)
5. Santa Clara Vanguard - show: Moto Perpetuo
6. Bluecoats - show: Connexus
All of these shows were incredibly exciting. You should watch the ESPN broadcast on September 5 to get a look at some of them. As you can see, the show themes cover everything from movies (The Godfather) to classical literature (Faust and Alice in Wonderland) to science fiction (The Green Machine) to philosophical reflection (Moto Perpetuo and Connexus). The range of musical and visual creativity on display in this artistic medium is astounding. It's really a lot of fun to watch.
Last night's finals turned up a couple of surprises. The final top six positions (with scores, 100 being the highest) are:
1. The Cavaliers (97.200)
2. Phantom Regiment (96.850)
3. Blue Devils (96.550)
4. Bluecoats (93.175)
5. The Cadets (93.075)
6. Santa Clara Vanguard (92.350)
As you can see, the Phantom Regiment jumped over the Blue Devils into second place. The Bluecoats jumped over the Cadets and the Vanguard into fourth place. And last year's champions, the Cadets, dropped down to fifth place! OUCH!
Also, check out how close the scores are! There's less than one full point between the top three positions. Then there's a gap before the next three, all of which are again separated by less than one point. This is intense competition.
So, that's the conclusion of the 2006 Drum Corps season. Now, our family's attention will turn toward the 2006 Marching Band season. As you know, Joshua has been attending daily rehearsals since August 1. He and the band traveled to Orkney Springs this morning for a week of intensive marching and concert band rehearsals. Check Dave's blog for their daily schedule.
Joshua took the photo below this past Friday morning. The sun was still low in the sky, there's still haze in the air and there's dew in the grass. These kids are dedicated! I'm looking forward to seeing their show and following their progress throughout the season.