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DrumCorps Summer 2007 | Vol. 1 No. 3

The Magazine of Marching Music’s Major League™


Lights! Action! DCI!

Backstage at Marching Music’s Big Broadcasts

From Cavaliers to Capitol Hill


Preview A Guide to the 2007 world championships presented by a.j.wright

INDY UPDATE the latest percussion, brass & movement lessons gearing up for summer

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Mapping the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour 4/13/07 10:00:10 PM

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DrumCorps International


Colts, Dubuque, Iowa

4 From the Top 35 years and counting…

7 Sidelines Indy update… From the corps to Beyoncé?... Pasadena guidelines ... Life in the pits…Trivia quiz… and more!

18 Commitment to Excellence Former Colts baritone player Vicki Schaffer continues to make a difference with the corps’ youth programs.

FEATURES 22 Summer Preview 2007 is shaping up to be one of the most competitive tours ever. Ed Medina breaks down the battle line for all three divisions.

24 Summer Music Games Schedule A complete guide to all the action.

31 Corps on Camera From the Internet to movie theaters, DVD to national broadcasts on ESPN2, there are more ways than ever before to catch Drum Corps International action.

20 Free Day Marco Buscaglia offers his own twisted take on the Classic Countdown, Drum Corps International’s annual spring cinema event.

44 Gearing Up Hot items for summer tour.

39 Brass Lesson J.D. Shaw of the Phantom Regiment and Boston Brass “airs” his views on great sound.

40 Percussion Lesson The Blue Devils’ Scott Johnson gives his top tips for keeping a drum line tuned and balanced.

46 Age-Out Former Cavalier Jake Rau is now marching up the steps of Capitol Hill as Special Assistant to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

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42 Movement Lesson Jersey Surf’s Jason Bentley helps keep your straight-leg marching on the straight and narrow.

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DrumCorps International THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF MARCHING MUSIC’S MAJOR LEAGUE Volume 1 Issue 3 Dan Acheson Executive Director Ed Dempsey Strategic Alliances Manager



35 Years and Counting he excitement that I felt as a young 14-year-old baritone player marching onto the field in Whitewater, Wis., at the very first DCI World Championship in 1972, continues to move me today in ways which are very similar to those I experienced 35 years ago. As Drum Corps International achieves yet another milestone in 2007, celebrating the 35th anniversary of our organization, I am constantly reminded of the broad spectrum of passionate feelings spurred by the drum corps experience, as I made my way from corps member, to corps director, to my current position as Executive Director of Drum Corps International. I can’t help but become even more excited for the future when I think about the countless thousands of others who have shared that same positive influence of the “drum corps experience” over the years. The possibilities for the future continue to remain endless as we reach for new heights in our sphere of influence and accept the responsibility of being the world leader in what we do. Our primary objective – to create a stage where the world’s most elite marching musicians can come together to achieve excellence at the highest levels – is as important today as it was in 1972. Despite the many challenges our organization has endured over the years, it remains strong, and in fact is still growing; much to the credit of the corps participating in Drum Corps International and their dynamic leaders. Over these past 35 years, they have been faced with many different situations and challenges, demonstrating the wisdom to know when to adapt to societal, regulatory and economic fluctuations, accepting the imperative of evolution in the art form, and remaining steadfast in maintaining the organization’s core values. I look forward to sharing Drum Corps International’s 2007 season with all who come in contact with us, and I am truly grateful for their significant support. Even more so, I look forward to presenting the gratitude of the current members of the Drum Corps International Board of Directors, staff, participating corps and the founders of this organization with all of you who have contributed to making this incredible activity what it is today.


Dan Acheson Executive Director/CEO Drum Corps International

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Chris Weber Communications Manager Bob Jacobs Marketing Quarterback Custom Published By: In Tune Partners, LLC Irwin Kornfeld CEO Will Edwards President Angelo Biasi Publisher Emile Menasché Editor-in-Chief Ken Schlager Senior Editor Chris Previc Associate Editor Sarah Walker Assistant Editor Mike Amaditz Creative Director Aimee Zaleski Art & Production Director Don Helsel Operations Director Tia Levinson Business Manager Trevor Johnston Illustrations Photography Johnny Gilbert, Sid and Linda Unser Contributors Jason Bentley, Marco Buscaglia, Debbie Galante-Block, Scott Johnson, Danny Miles, J.D. Shaw Drum Corps International is the world leader in producing and sanctioning competitive marching music and related stadium events for the world’s most elite marching music ensembles. Editorial and business offices are located at 470 South Irmen Drive, Addison, IL 60101, phone: 630628-7888, fax: 630-628-7971. Drum Corps International Magazine is published in Fall, Winter and Summer each year. Nonprofit organization U.S. postage paid at Lebanon Junction, KY, permit #2223. Copyright ©2007 Drum Corps International. All rights reserved.

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News and Notes from Drum Corps International

DCI’s 2007 World Championships Schedule This year’s Drum Corps International Championships will be held August 7-11 at Rose Bowl Stadium and Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California. This will be the last DCI Championships before the annual event takes up its new home in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium. Don’t miss your chance to catch all the action and be a part of DCI history. For ticket info, visit Here’s a complete schedule: Divisions II & III Prelims Pasadena City College Tuesday, August 7, 2007 at 11:00 AM Individual & Ensemble Competition Pasadena Convention Center Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at Noon Division I Quarterfinals Rose Bowl Stadium Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 1:30 PM Divisions II & III Semifinals Pasadena City College Friday, August 10, 2007 at 11:00 AM Division I Semifinals Rose Bowl Stadium Friday, August 10, 2007 at 4:00 PM Divisions II & III Finals Pasadena City College Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 10:30 AM Division I Finals Rose Bowl Stadium Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 5:00 PM

A New Home for the DCI World Championships Looking ahead to 2008 When the doors open in 2008 at the new home of the Indianapolis Colts, the first event won’t be a football game. Instead, Lucas Oil Stadium will play host to next year’s Drum Corps International World Championships. Construction on Lucas Oil Stadium is well underway and it promises to be a world-class facility, with seating for 63,000. The $625 million building will have a retractable roof and all the latest amenities. Drum Corps International will bring its Championships to Lucas Oil Stadium as part of a larger commitment to the city of Indianapolis. DCI is moving its world headquarters to the Indiana metropolis and has committed to

hold its finals at Lucas Oil at least until the year 2018. “The Drum Corps International World Championships deserve a world-class stage designed for their premiere event and that is exactly what we are building,” says Matthew B. Carter, Vice President of Strategic Development, Indianapolis Music Initiative. “We believe fans will find Lucas Oil Stadium to be the most state-ofthe-art facility ever designed for marching music’s most important event. The close proximity of the new stadium to hotels, attractions, dining and entertainment will enable the World Championship experience to permeate the city and ensure it stays center stage.” Visit for more. 9

Sidelines Drum Corps By the Numbers •The average Division I corps will travel as many as 15,000 miles on the Summer Music Games Tour. Most will do this with 4 to 5 buses, 2 t r a c t o r- t r a i l e r rigs and 3 support vehicles. The corps stop for fuel on average every 3 days, at a cost of $2,000 to $2,500 per fill up. •371,988 people purchased tickets to watch a live Drum Corps International event in 2006. •For the 2007 season, 6,838 prospective corps members auditioned for positions in the top 20 Drum Corps International units, or an average of 342 per corps.

For the fourth consecutive year, a big part of the action from Drum Corps International’s World Championships week will be broadcast live in theaters around the country. Last year’s event drew more than 22,000 drum corps fans to 104 theaters. This year’s “Big Loud Live 4” promises to be every bit as exciting. The live remote will be fed direct from finals week at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif. A complete list of theaters will be available this summer on

Cavalier Hopes to Dance with Beyoncé

2007 Summer Workshops for Students


number of Drums Corps International corps will present educational workshops for students this summer. The 90-minute sessions will be held in the afternoon prior to select events on the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour. The workshops are designed as educational and motivational opportunities to help students enrich their marching skills. “We hope that students are inspired by what they experience and put that inspiration into action in their own music programs as individual performers, student leaders, and as dedicated members of their ensembles,” says Jeff Fiedler, director the Cavaliers, who’ll be presenting some of the workshops. The workshops are open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the evening’s show. The first workshop will be presented June 19 in Fairfield, Ohio, by the Bluecoats. Visit for more info.

Workshop Schedule (Subject to change)

July 23 Glassmen Midland, TX

June 19 Bluecoats Fairfield, OH

July 6 Boston Crusaders Lawrence, MA

July 25 Phantom Regiment Lincoln, NE

June 23 Glassmen Toledo, OH

July 6 The Cavaliers Michigan City, IN

July 27 The Cavaliers Naperville, IL

June 28 Colts Oswego, IL

July 9 The Cavaliers Dublin, OH

July 30 Blue Knights Ogden, UT

June 29 Madison Scouts Madison, WI

July 19 The Cavaliers Houston, TX

Aug. 2 Phantom Regiment Albuquerque, NM

July 2 Bluecoats Centerville, OH

July 22 The Cavaliers Denton, TX

Aug. 3 The Academy Lake Havasu, AZ

The Cavaliers’ Brady Sanders

Brady Sanders, a five-year member of the Cavaliers’ color guard, survived two cuts and was among a handful of candidates waiting to hear if they were selected as a potential dancer on pop superstar Beyoncé’s 2007 World Tour. Auditions took place in such cities as New York, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Chicago, where Sanders tried out. Thirty finalists will be selected from each city to attend another round of auditions in New York or Los Angeles. Ultimately, 40 tour dancers will be chosen from the two groups. “I am not guaranteed a spot,” Sanders says. “I made it through the Chicago auditions and I am waiting for a phone call or contact to inform me of the next step.” Sanders survived a series of group and individual auditions, culminating with an impromptu hip-hop dance solo.


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Sidelines If You’re Going to Pasadena... If you’re planning to go to Pasadena for the Drum Corps International Championships this August 7-11, here is some important information you may find helpful:

✓ Tickets Tickets for Finals Week are available at There, you’ll also find links to other events on the Drum Corps International calendar, as well as information about hotel reservations, and more.

Take the DCI Trivia Challenge! This year, Drum Corps International celebrates its 35th anniversary. Test your drum corps knowledge with these 10 tough trivia questions. (Answers on page 12.) 1. What was the first corps to make the DCI World Championship Finals in the corps’ first year of existence? 2. What corps owns and regularly uses a vehicle that was built more than 100 years ago? 3. What corps has won eight DCI Division II or III World Championships? 4. In what year did the Drum Corps International Board of Directors institute a tie-breaking process in order to pick a single champion at the DCI World Championships? 5. What Division II corps has performed for eight United States presidents? 6. What city was home to two Division I finalist corps in the same year? 7. What was notable about the top six corps at the 1981 DCI World Championship finals? 8. What is the only corps to be a Division I finalist after being a Division II corps the year before and a Division III corps the year before that? 9. Who was Drum Corps International’s first head judge? 10. What was geographically notable about the top two corps in the 1990 DCI World Championships finals?

✓ Hotel reservations Reservations can be made through the Pasadena Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s housing department through July 9 to receive special discounted rates. After that date, new reservations, changes or cancellations should be made directly with hotels. Visit ✓ Non-permitted and permitted items The following items are prohibited: bottles, containers, cans, Thermoses, ice chests, picnic baskets, backpacks, alcohol, drugs, signs, poles (including flags/banners with poles), chairs, umbrellas, video recorders of any kind, beach balls, footballs, soccer balls, Frisbees, large musical instruments, weapons, knives, and fireworks. You can bring in small still cameras, sack lunches, medical prescriptions, binoculars, small radios, and flags no larger than 2'x3'. All items and persons entering the facility will be subject to search.

Gettin’ Around Cost of parking at the Rose Bowl Stadium for the Drum Corps International World Championships events will be $15 for each car and $30 for each bus. The cost for parking at Pasadena City College will be $2 a day. Details on RV parking will be available soon. For the latest information, visit The City of Pasadena also offers transit information for those without cars. Visit for information on these subjects: • Getting around Pasadena without a car • Pasadena Area Rapid Transit System (ARTS) • Getting from LAX to Pasadena without a car


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The Evolution of “The Pit” How drum corps’ “front ensemble” got its start


magine: There was a time in the not-too-distant past when drum corps timpanists used to carry their big, bulbous drums. The same was true of bells, xylophones, vibraphones and marimbas. All of these ungainly instruments were toted around by drum corps members wearing harnesses over their shoulders and frowns on their faces. “It was quite a strain on the back,” recalls Michael Boo, who marched with xylophone and marimba for the Cavaliers from 1975-’77. Finally, early in the 1980s, the DCI board of directors began to change the rules. For the first time, a limited number of corps members were able to perform on the sidelines—without marching. This was the beginning of the “front ensemble” or “pit.” The name comes from the theatrical orchestra pit. However, in an orchestra pit the musicians go unseen. In drum corps, pit musicians are highly visible, performing between the audience and the marchers on the field. Originally, the pit was allowed to extend only from 40 yard line to 40 yard line. It was a small area where organizers could arrange about four “mallet” players, a timpanist and perhaps an auxiliary drum set. “It didn’t explode right away, but over time the pit just kept getting bigger,” says Boo. Soon, the pit was expanded another 10 yards and organizers began experimenting with ways to pack the most instru-

ments into the evolving space. The pit even began to extend onto the front portion of the field. Some corps directors had their horns and percussionists march into the expanded pit area. Today, the pit runs the full length of the football field. In addition to timpani, the pit usually includes keyboard instruments like vibraphones and marimbas. Full-size xylophones are rarely seen anymore, but a number of “color instruments” like ethnic drums, cymbals, brake drums, gongs and triangles are often used. Beginning in 2004, electronic amplification was allowed for the first time in the pit. That was the year the Blue Devils amped an African drum known as an erdu. Thanks to the boost in sound, “You could actually hear it,” Boo recalls. Not everyone was thrilled with the idea of amplification at first, but says Boo: “Just about every innovation comes with some controversy and, over time, the bulk of the people get used to it.” What’s next for the pit? In January after a tie vote by the board of directors, a proposal to allow the use of electronic instruments in the pit failed, so it may be only a matter of time before we see synthesizers and electric drums on the sidelines. Could electric guitars be far behind? Stay tuned.—Ken Schlager

DCI Trivia Challenge Answers 1. Bleu Raeders in 1972 2. Troopers: The corps’ souvenir sales “Sheep Wagon” is an authentic 1800s covered wagon with original wood. 3. Mandarins 4. 2001 5. Spartans 6. Toronto in 1976, home to Oakland Crusaders and Seneca Optimists

7. All six scored above 90.00 for the first time ever. 8. Seattle Cascades was a Division I finalist in 2002. 9. Richard Maase, inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 1989 10. For the first time in Drum Corps International history, neither corps (Cadets of Bergen County, NJ; and The Cavaliers, IL) was from California.


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A.J.Wright Presents 2007 DCI World Championships


rum Corps International is proud to announce that the 2007 DCI World Championships will be presented by A.J.Wright. A . J . Wr i g h t offers brand name apparel, footwear, home fashions and giftware at prices up to 70 percent off national discount and chain store prices. The company is based in Framingham, Mass and is a part of The TJX Companies, Inc., the world-wide leader in offprice retail merchandise. As part of the overall championship sponsorship, A.J.Wright also

will serve as the on-air sponsor of “Big Loud & Live IV,” Drum Corps International’s live World Championship cinema broadcast. This broadcast will appear in select movie theaters across the country during the 2007 DCI World Championships in Pasadena, Calif. “We are excited to enter another year in our relationship with A.J.Wright as we head to California for the World Championships this August. I thank A.J.Wright and its employees on behalf of Drum Corps

International, its member corps and fans, for their continued support and loyalty to the drum corps activity over the last three years of this successful relationship,” said Dan Acheson, Drum Corps International Executive Director and CEO. A.J.Wright is strongly dedicated to youth and community involvement across the country, as seen in the company’s dedication to Drum Corps International participants. The company is also a firm supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, providing for the organization through donations at store grand openings and through annual campaigns.

A.J.Wright’s Commitment to Communities At A.J.Wright, we believe that being an integral part of a community means m u c h more than s i m p l y p ro v i d i n g a service or fulfilling a demand. It’s about giving something back to the communities in which we reside. As a community member in your neighborhood, we hold ourselves to high standards of community involvement. Not because it sounds good, but because it is the right thing to do. To find your neighborhood store call: 1-888-SHOPAJW or visit A.J.Wright at:


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Commitment to Excellence

Vicki Schaffer Youth Programs and Operations Director, Colts Youth Organization


By Danny Miles

on a daily basis,” she recalls. “The final show was the moment where all the lessons, all the worry, all the tears and all the triumph came together. I had never felt like that before in my life.” It was the drum corps experience that lead her to switch from pre-med to music education. After graduation, she found work as a small-town band director for grades 5-12. A trip to buy old timpani from the Colts led her back to the corps that had so shaped her during her marching days of 1994-95. Director Greg Orwoll offered to write her high school band’s drill if she’d help remodel the Colts’ new headquarters. “The last day I volunteered, I said I’d really like to get involved with the Colts’ Youth Programs,” she says. Orwoll felt that the newly renovated space opened the door for her to do just that. “And that’s how I ended up at the Colts.” Schaffer’s mission is to share the Colts’ resources with a wide variety of music programs around the corps’ home base. “My role in Dubuque became to further our partnerships with all schools and all teachers in the area,” she says. “We make instruments, buses, food, trips, and additional teaching assistance available and accessible. We try to support any event that wouldn’t be possible under ordinary school parameters—such as bringing guest conductors to local band festivals. A new fine arts magnet elementary school was built across the street from us, and we were able to work with Yamaha and the school to provide state-of-the-art music technology through Music in Education (MIE) to an economically challenged area in downtown Dubuque.” The youth programs have also helped fuel the Colts Cadets, which have grown five-fold since 2001. But the Colts outreach extends beyond marching music; they adopted the Dubuque Youth Choir, have sponsored steel drum ensembles and more. “I have always truly believed in the Colts’ mission,” Schaffer concludes. “We use music and excellence to teach each other about success in life.”

icki Schaffer leads one of the most dynamic corps outreach programs in the country, but the Iowa native had planned on following a very different career path. A high school allstate clarinetist and academic standout, Schaffer wanted to become a doctor—but felt the corps calling. “My grandma, who was a retired music teacher in Dubuque, Iowa, brought me to the Colts’ home show every year since I was four years old,” she says. “At the show before my senior year of high school, I remember thinking, ‘I want to do this.’ I was planning on attending a small private college as a pre-medical student, so I just thought drum corps would fill the void of not having a marching band [at her college]. I had no clue at the time what I was getting myself into! It looked so easy from the audience’s perspective.” So she took up the baritone horn, and with an assist from her high school band director Ted Reicher—who at the time was also director of the Colts Cadets—Schaffer Want to learn more about DCI’s Commitment to Excellence program? Visit us online got good enough to march in the Colts’ brass line. “I at Do you have a great story about your band members and their spent most of that first season in tears, wanting to quit commitment to excellence? Tell us about it at


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Bluecoats Canton, Ohio

Commitment is the bond they share. ore than 5,000 performers… Traveling 12,000 miles over the course of a single summer… Rehearsing 700 hours, on average, during a 10-week tour… Relying on little more than the bond of support, dedication, encouragement and selfless teamwork of 134 fellow members and the uncommon commitment they share.


But long before any of these exceptional 14- to 22-year-old musicians and performers laced up a gym shoe for their first rehearsal with a Drum Corps International-member unit or donned the prestigious colors of their corps uniforms in front of thousands of fans, 97% of these exceptional young men and women participated in performing arts ensembles and organizations outside of their drum corps lives.

The Drum Corps International “Commitment to Excellence” (C2E) program recognizes music educators and their students who are motivated and inspired by the outstanding performances of Drum Corps International member corps. We acknowledge and provide resources to students and educators who translate their inspiration into action in their own scholastic music programs; as individual performers, student leaders, and as dedicated members of musical and performing arts ensembles. Schools participating in the C2E program have demonstrated their desire to achieve ultimate excellence, and to provide a valuable and extraordinary experience for their students, schools and communities.Together, we can achieve even more.

Band Directors: Visit us online today for your complimentary enrollment in this exciting program

The character traits exhibited by Drum Corps International corps members, on and off the performance field, are a direct result of the countless hours they have spent in classrooms under the tutelage of thousands of music education professionals, dedicated to the enrichment of the lives of young people through music and the performing arts.

Drum Corps International • 470 South Irmen Drive • Addison, IL 60101 •

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Free Day

By Marco Buscaglia

Count on Me Marco Buscaglia’s version of DCI’s Classic Countdown, the fantasy video competition between corps of yore shown each year in movie theaters, bears no resemblence to reality. But then again, neither does Marco....


ast April’s Classic Countdown was another disappointment for me. For those not in the know, Classic Countdown is DCI’s annual cinema event that features favorite performances from over the years, which have been selected by fans in an online vote. The problem is, these “fans” failed to recognize the 12 greatest corps shows ever. I’m here to set things right. My list is made up of a dozen truly classic drum corps that not only stand the test of time, but actually seem to ripen with age. My top 12 may be the greatest of collection of performances ever assembled. Who makes this list, you ask? What shows have the range and scope and emotion to change life as we know it? Which corps possess the awesome ability promote planetary peace and harmony? I’ll give you a hint: They all share one common element. In a word, “Marco.” 1978 Cavalier Cadets: The fact that Marco Buscaglia, a fresh-faced kid from the Northwest Side of Chicago, marched in the flag line during his first season in drum corps makes this an incredibly noteworthy show and certainly deserving of an opening slot on any DCI theatric endeavor. Plus, we almost beat the Madison Jr. Scouts that year, who were really good. 1979 Cavalier Cadets: This show almost didn’t make the list, thanks to the use of “Tragedy” and “Too Much Heaven” by the Bee Gees. But that flag ripple on the 50yard line before the show started, and that two-foot flag exchange across the 50 during the show? Ladies and gentlemen, that’s classic drum corps. 1980 Cavalier Cadets: Songs from “The Wiz” and “Pippin” in the same show? This sort of risk-taking makes today’s use of amped vocals look about as risqué as a single file on the goal line. 1981 Cavalier Cadets: In what still stands as the greatest performance ever on a football field, give or take a few hundred mistakes, this show is on page one of every, “What is drum corps?” textbook. 1982 Cavalier Cadets: “Russian Christmas Music?” “Chicago?” “Lady Sings the Blues?” Are you kidding

me? If that’s not classic drum corps, I don’t know what is. Throw in the “play each other’s valve” routine, administered by Buscaglia, Scott Seal, Mark Des Biens and George McCormick (nearly 20 years before the Cadets wowed crowds with the same move), and you’ve got yourself a winner. 1983 Cavalier Cadets: Buscaglia’s final season in the cadet corps featured a company front in “Stars and Stripes Forever” that may have looked like it was modeled off of the 1976 Madison Scouts, but it wasn’t. We did it first in 1983. Trust me. 1984 Cavaliers: Marco Buscaglia’s rookie season with the Cavaliers’ A corps. In true ’80s vernacular, “’nuf said.” 1985 Cavaliers: The Cavaliers’ first run of “The Planets.” Listen closely to the judges’ tapes from the 1995 DCI champion version for comments like, “Where’s Marco?” “Man, I miss Marco” and “Didn’t Marco play this hit in ‘Mars’ a lot louder.”Also, this is the summer Marco met his current wife, which makes the entire show that much more screen-worthy. 1986 Cavaliers: Possibly Marco’s best tan ever. You can’t really see too much of it on the tape, except for a brief shot at the end of the opener, but on the big screen, that’s more than enough to qualify this year as classic. 1987 Cavaliers: This show deserves a spot for no other reason than it was the age-out year for visual wunderkind Sylvester Sybilski, who has gone on to visual greatness, thanks to the example set by the fine marching of Marco Buscaglia. 1988 Cavaliers: Sure, this is a risky call. After all, the Cavaliers would probably choose to go co-ed before playing Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” again. 1989 Cavaliers: Quite possibly the greatest drum corps I ever marched in. You can almost feel the emotion of the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium as it realizes this will be the last time Marco ever takes the field. Marco Buscaglia works for Tribune Media Services in Chicago. He marched in the Cavaliers organization from 1978 to 1989. The views expressed do not represent those of DCI or even Marco.


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CAN YO U I MAG I N E . . . The Cadets photographs by David Rice

winning world championships? "After trying different programs over the past few years, I have found that Sibelius is user-friendly when it comes to writing for the marching percussion ensemble. Tom Aungst, Percussion arranger for The Cadets

"With Sibelius, our ability to coordinate the show from disparate locations has increased dramatically." George J. Hopkins, Director of the Cadets

T he Cadets have won a number DCI championship titles, and numerous national championships. Their arrangers are as committed to creativity and execution as they are to developing the abilities of their members. Sibelius has a similar commitment - providing the world-renowned Sibelius notation program to keep users focused on music rather than computer commands, and a suite of educational software programs to build a strong musical foundation.

Sibelius 4 and Sibelius Educational Products Sibelius offers a complete range of products for teaching music in the classroom.. Sibelius 4 * - Complete software for writing, playing, printing and publishing music notation Sibelius Student - Entry-level notation software specifically for students Sibelius Instruments * - Interactive guide to orchestral and band instruments Sibelius Compass * - Composition lessons, projects and tools - including a unique and easy to use sequencer Sibelius Starclass - Ready-to-use lesson plans to help teach elementary music Auralia * - Comprehensive ear training for all levels Musition * - Complete software for teaching and testing music theory Kontakt Player Gold * - High quality sounds for Sibelius PhotoScore Professional 4 * - The fastest way to scan music Groovy Music - Shapes, Jungle and City - Software for teaching children music To learn more about the Sibelius music education products, go to: *Site Licenses and 5-User Lab Packs Available for Schools

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Preview ’07

a i n r o f i l a C DCI Championships Head West


T TOOK A MERE 35 YEARS for the left coast— Southern California to be exact—to finally land its very own Drum Corps International World Championships. While the activity’s Eastern and Midwestern brethren might be gritting their teeth at the thought of this summer’s long, hot trek to Pasadena—either that or counting down the days—it’s a safe bet their counterparts west of the Rockies are saying, “It’s about time.” The Golden State is home to 18 of Drum Corps International’s 38 title winners, including the first-ever World Champions. California corps claimed 10 of DCI’s

by Ed Medina

first 11 championship titles, and the mid 1980s and early ’90s saw the state boast four Division I finalists and a dominant Division III power each year. California has always been a breeding ground for drum corps. The state has seen the birth and growth of several prominent Division I, II, and III programs over the past 10 years. Pasadena is in the state’s southern area, a hotbed that plays host to a handful of corps— and from which many others draw members. “The West Coast corps have been working on this for years,” says David Gibbs, director of Concord, California’s Blue Devils. “This is an incredibly exciting


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opportunity for us, and we’re thrilled to be hosting it, both to show off the state of California to all the other corps, and to show off to all our fans who’ve never seen a competitive drum corps show in August.” With finals on the “left” coast for the first time ever, the typical summer tour had to be flipped on its end. Events normally scheduled in the latter half of the DCI tour were moved near the front. For instance, the Eastern Classic at Allentown’s J. Birney Crum Stadium—usually the last event before Finals Week— will take place a month earlier this year, on July 7 and 8. In its place, two new events will happen on August 4:

one in Phoenix, which will feature 12 corps, the other at Palo Alto’s newly remodeled Stanford Stadium. “We’re the first non-football event to be held there,” Gibbs says. “The stadium is just gorgeous. It’s going to be one of the best drum corps stadiums we’ve ever seen. The weather is great and it’s a perfect environment for drum corps.” From there, the DCI caravan heads down I-5—or the 101, if coastal scenery is your thing—to the World Championships at the Keith Jackson-dubbed “granddaddy of them all,” the historic and storied Rose Bowl Stadium. continued on p. 26 23

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THE 2007 DRUM CORPS INTERNATIONAL 1. Annapolis, MD • 6/16 2. Coon Rapids, MN • 6/16 3. Pleasant Hill, CA • 6/16 4. Stockton, CA • 6/17 5. Menomonie, WI • 6/17 6. Pittsburgh, PA • 6/17 7. Fairfield, OH • 6/19 8. Sioux Falls, SD • 6/19 9. Omaha, NE • 6/20 10. Bakersfield, CA • 6/20 11. Decatur, IN • 6/20 12. Durham, NC • 6/21 13. Riverside, CA • 6/22 14. Columbia, SC • 6/22 15. Ankeny, IA • 6/22 16. Racine, WI • 6/22 17. Toledo, OH • 6/23 18. Walnut, CA • 6/23 19. Rockford, IL • 6/23 20. Alpharetta, GA • 6/23 21. Brockton, MA • 6/23 22. Lisle, IL • 6/24 23. Glendale, AZ • 6/24 24. Belding, MI • 6/24 25. South Milwaukee, WI • 6/25 26. Erie, PA • 6/25 27. Russellville, AL • 6/25 28. Lexington, KY • 6/26 29. Hornell, NY • 6/26 30. Oswego, IL • 6/28 31. Elizabeth, PA • 6/28 32. Evansville, IN • 6/28 33. Normal, IL • 6/29 34. Madison, WI • 6/29 35. Westminster, MD • 6/29 36. Elk Grove, CA • 6/29 37. Mankato, MN • 6/30 38. East Rutherford, NJ • 6/30 39. Kalamazoo, MI • 6/30 40. Sunnyvale, CA • 6/30 41. LaCrosse, WI • 6/30 42. Stillwater, MN • 7/1 43. Modesto, CA • 7/1 44. Rome, NY • 7/1

45. Pt. Huron, MI • 7/1 46. Ft. Edward/Glens Falls, NY • 7/2 47. Centerville, OH • 7/2 48. Bristol, RI • 7/3 49. Cedarburg, WI • 7/3 50. Nashua, NH • 7/3 51. Beverly, MA • 7/4 52. Columbus, OH • 7/5 53. Michigan City, IN • 7/6 54. Lawrence, MA • 7/6 55. Dubuque, IA • 7/6 56. Buffalo, NY • 7/6 57. Springfield, MA • 7/7 58. Canton, OH • 7/7 59. Chippewa Falls, WI • 7/7 60. Allentown, PA • 7/7 61. Allentown, PA • 7/8 62. Dublin, OH • 7/9

63. Hershey, PA • 7/9 64. Warrenton, VA • 7/9 65. Charleston, WV • 7/10 66. Salem, VA • 7/10 67. Chesapeake, VA • 7/11 68. Louisville, KY • 7/11 69. Hilton Head Island, SC • 7/12 70. Murfreesboro, TN • 7/13 71. Traverse City, MI • 7/13 72. New London, CT • 7/14

For tickets & additional info, visit: 24

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Tour events highlighted in red are DCI “Major Regional” Events. Events and dates subject to change.

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SUMMER MUSIC GAMES TOUR! PASADENA, CA Division II & III Prelims • 8/7 Individual & Ensemble • 8/8 Division I Quarterfinals • 8/9 Division II & III Semifinals • 8/10 Division I Semifinals • 8/10 Division II & III Finals • 8/11 Division I Finals • 8/11

73. Atlanta, GA • 7/14 74. Long Beach, CA • 7/14 75. Jacksonville, AL • 7/15 76. Charlotte, NC • 7/15 77. Calabasas, CA • 7/15 78. Manchester, NH • 7/15 79. Sevierville, TN • 7/16 80. Tupelo, MS • 7/16 81. Memphis, TN • 7/17 82. Lafayette, LA • 7/18 83. Siloam Springs, AR • 7/18

84. Dallas, TX • 7/19 85. Houston, TX • 7/19 86. Wildwood, NJ • 7/21 87. Dayton, OH • 7/21 88. San Antonio, TX • 7/21 89. Denton, TX • 7/22 90. Wilmot, WI • 7/22 91. Enid, OK • 7/23 92. Midland, TX • 7/23 93. Middleton, WI • 7/23 94. Wichita Falls, TX • 7/24 95. Wichita, KS • 7/24 96. Pittsburg, KS • 7/25 97. Lincoln, NE • 7/25 98. Dubuque, IA • 7/26 99. Jackson, TN • 7/26 100. St. Peters, MO • 7/26 101. Tri Cities, WA • 7/26 102. Hutchinson, KS • 7/26 103. Spokane, WA • 7/27 104. Naperville, IL • 7/27 105. Van Buren, AR • 7/27 106. Seattle, WA • 7/28

107. Indianapolis, IN • 7/28 108. Denver, CO • 7/28 109. Columbia, MO • 7/29 110. Broken Arrow, OK • 7/30 111. Salem, OR • 7/30 112. Ogden, UT • 7/30 113. Midland, TX • 7/30 114. Grants Pass, OR • 7/31 115. Boise, ID • 7/31 116. Lubbock, TX • 8/1 117. Tucson, AZ • 8/2 118. El Paso, TX • 8/2 119. Albuquerque, NM • 8/2 120. Portland, OR • 8/2 121. Sacramento, CA • 8/2 122. Modesto, CA • 8/3 123. Lake Havasu City, AZ • 8/3 124. Stanford, CA • 8/4 125. Phoenix, AZ • 8/4 126. Bakersfield, CA • 8/4 127. Bakersfield, CA • 8/5 128. San Diego, CA • 8/5 129. Clovis, CA • 8/5


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Preview ’07 “We’re encouraging everyone to come out and take the ultimate California drum corps vacation,” Gibbs says. “Start at the Bay Area for the Stanford event and drive down the coast, stop at all the sites like Napa Valley, and then take in all the cool stuff in L.A. This is a unique opportunity, and I hope everyone takes advantage of it.” All this aside, there’s a drum corps season about to start, and it’s one full of great storylines, highlights, and even a few surprises. The following will present some of those storylines but in no way is it exhaustive—there’s just too much to write about. Look at this more as a preview of what a few corps have in store for fans this summer.

Division I As always, Drum Corps International’s top classification is a season-long battle for 12 coveted finalist spots. Aside from some jostling for position within that elite dozen spots, the top 12 has been the same the past two seasons—the first time that’s happened since 1987-1988. Last year’s top three—separated by a scant 0.65 of a point—was led by the Cavaliers of Rosemont, Illinois. On their way to their seventh championship, the Cavaliers won 26 of 29 contests a year ago. Including last year’s crown, the Cavaliers have won five of the last seven DCI titles, and a total of seven rings in the past 15 years. In sports, teams with similar track records are said to walk around with targets on their backs. Such being the case, the Cavaliers’ intensity remains sharp. “Although we don’t focus our efforts on winning, we don’t design, practice, or perform to be second in anything,” director Jeff Fiedler says. “We’re not responsible for putting a ranking and a rating on the product or the performance. We work to be the best we can be—and set a pretty high standard for ourselves.” Setting the bar high is one thing; maintaining it is a whole different bottle of sunscreen. “We always anticipate the fact that we’re going to sweat more this year than last year,” Fiedler says. “We can really only compare our efforts to what we’ve done in the past, so we’re always trying to make whatever we do better than the last program.” Although it remains to be seen whether this year’s installment accomplishes that goal, it’s a safe bet that the Cavaliers are set to “bring it” in 2007. Their program will explore the music of Billy Joel, whose repertoire includes not only classic rock, but also classical piano, jazz, blues, and Broadway musicals—even punk and rap music.

“I think drum corps fans have an expectation of what they’ll see from the Cavaliers before we even take the field each summer,” says Fiedler. “We’re going to provide them with some Billy Joel music that they should immediately find familiar. We’ll put our unique brass and percussion approach to it and compose it to adapt to the drum corps idiom.” Looking to mount challenges to the defending champions are last year’s runners-up, Rockford, Illinois’ Phantom Regiment—who will be performing 20thcentury music—and third-place finishers, the Concord, California Blue Devils, who hope to capture an unprecedented twelfth DCI title in their home state. “We are excited for this year,” Gibbs says. “This is the Blue Devils’ 50th anniversary, and we’re planning a lot of events around the Stanford show and for our June 16 home show called Precision West. We hope to pull out all the stops for this year’s production. We have awesome kids and staff. We think this will be one of the best ever.” Also in the Division I mix are last year’s fourthplace team, the Bluecoats, and nine-time champions the Cadets, who finished fifth. The Cadets’ show, titled “This I Believe,” takes its cue from a popular 1950s National Public Radio show of the same name, on which people from around the country would share the personal philosophies and values that helped shape their lives. The corps is using the personal thoughts and philosophies of its members—from this and from previous seasons—to shape the program. Perhaps the biggest story of 2007, however, will be the continued rise of Arizona’s Academy Drum & Bugle Corps. Celebrating its first season as a Division I program, Academy didn’t even field a drum and bugle corps until 2004. Last year, the corps grew to 135 members and won the Division II championship


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Preview ’07 and the Spirit of Disney Award, earning director Mark Richardson a Director of the Year nod from Drum Corps International. This year, the Academy’s hierarchy is not only prepared, but is also excited to test the Division I waters. “It has been amazing to see our organization grow steadily over time,” says Richardson. “For us, each year has been exciting and full of new things to celebrate. Certainly, our acceptance into the ranks of Division I is the latest achievement we are celebrating.” Richardson says fans can look forward to seeing a marked improvement in the performance quality of each section, given the group’s ability to attract and keep mature and experienced performers and instructional staff. Case in point, the corps returned 89 members from last year’s Division II championship-winning group.

Divisions II & III With the departure of Academy to Division I, Division II could be led by a perennial high finisher, the Spartans, while Division III will see defending champion Impulse mount its title defense in its own back yard. The Spartans of Nashua, New Hampshire, will be a long way from home when they present their 2007 program, “Tarot,” which features original compositions by composers/arrangers Key Poulan, Peter Furnari, and Eric Putnam. The corps will fly out of Nashua on July 27 and make tour stops in Oregon and California, en route to the Division III Championships at the 5,400-seat Robinson Stadium, on the campus of Pasadena City College. Also hoping to make an impact out west are Division II finalists Jersey Surf (Berlin,

“We’re encouraging everyone to come out and take the ultimate California drum corps vacation: Start at the Bay Area for the Stanford event and drive down the coast... then take in all the cool stuff in L.A.” —Blue Devils Director David Gibbs New Jersey), Memphis Sound (Tennessee), and Oregon Crusaders, from Portland, Oregon. California will be well-represented, as well, with Blue Devils B (Concord) and Vanguard Cadets (Santa Clara) performing this summer in their home state. To say Buena Park, California’s Impulse is excited about defending its title within the friendly confines of the palm-tree laden Southland is an understatement. Although some Impulse veterans aged out after last season or have chosen to march with different corps in 2007, the corps is still poised for another championship run in their division. On their way, they’re looking to continue to develop their own style. “When we started out, our focus was on show style, carrying the stylistic torch for the former Velvet Knights and Bridgemen, which is why we wear yellow uniforms and baseball caps,” says Impulse’s Dan Zeilinger, a VK alumnus. “There have been fans wanting us to continue with the antics the way VK did, but we felt we needed to grow into our own shoes and not wear someone else’s pair of high tops.” Although the nine-year-old corps had a positive result in Division III last year, the title was a pleasant surprise. They ran off a streak of six wins from June 28 to July 28 and placed no lower than third in any contest last year. “Defending a title is new to us, as we have never had to do it before,” Zeilinger admits. Look for several D-III corps to make the trip west, including the Raiders (Wayne, New Jersey) and Revolution (San Antonio, Texas), both finalists last season. But in the end, only one corps in each division will strike gold in California. May the games begin. P


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Corps Drum Corps International’s broadcast team brings the on-field excitement to theaters, the Internet, DVD and TV. By Ken Schlager


T LAST, THE TIME HAS ARRIVED. On the broad green field at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif., one of America’s elite drum corps is about to begin its performance. Hearts beat fast; the drums will beat faster. There’s action outside the historic stadium, too, but it takes place in the tight confines of a mobile production truck, where producer Tom Blair eyes a bank of more than 100 video monitors and gets ready to call the camera shots. That will be the scene on Aug. 7-11 at the Drum Corps International 2007 World Championships. Just as the members of each competing corps will train long and hard for Finals Week, the video team will spend months preparing to deliver the best production humanly and technically possible. Prep work begins long before the marching season. Each year, the production team does extensive research on each corps’ performances. Producer Blair tries to see all of the corps three or four times and meets with staff

members of each corps to get insight into the details of their programs. “I’ll watch at least two performances where I’ll record my own commentary on how I want to see the show directed,” Blair says. After the last drum has gone quiet, Blair’s team will create three separate programs of championship highlights to be broadcast by ESPN: a two-hour version that will premiere on ESPN2; and two one-hour segments that in the past have been repeated on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN International. One day of competition during Finals Week will become “Big Loud Live 4,” a live feed to be seen in more than 100 theaters across the country. A separate day will be webcast live on Portions of the


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Jeff Clark and John Flower of DCI’s broadcast team get set to capture the action as it happens.

championships may also be available on ESPN360, the network’s broadband Internet service, which showcased the 2006 World Championships this spring. As in past years, an entirely unique production of the event will be available as a series of Drum Corps Internationaldistributed championship DVDs. This is the third year that ESPN will broadcast the Drum Corps International finals. “We seem to be walking a very good path together,” says Virginia Mampre of Mampre Media International, which works on marketing and sponsorships for the telecast. According to Mampre, the ratings for the first ESPN2 telecast of the Drum Corps International finals in 2005 were a pleasant surprise to all. In 2006, the ratings got even better

and ESPN agreed to extend the relationship for the 2007 and 2008 championships. Previously, the Drum Corps International finals were telecast by PBS for some 30 years. This arrangement had its limitations, since each PBS station across the United States sets its own programming schedule. Mampre says the move to ESPN allows for “a common distribution date and time for the event.” Knowing when the show will air nationally makes it easier to market the broadcast to sponsors. More importantly, it allows Drum Corps International fans across the country to see the broadcast on one night and celebrate their passion for this unique competitive art form. ESPN is a neat fit for Drum Corps International. 31

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“ESPN is all about competition,” Mampre says. “Drum Corps International presents top-ranked competition where a 10th of a point makes a difference. So it seemed like a good match.”

Building from the Base Part of what makes the broadcast so successful is the sheer breadth of Drum Corps International’s fan base. “It is absolutely amazing,” Mampre says. “You can be in a crowd where you think nobody’s affiliated with Drum Corps International. You happen to mention drum corps to someone and it may turn out that person’s brother or sister, relative, best friend or whoever, was in a drum corps. From top to bottom, top executive to you name it, across America, people have been engaged in Drum Corps International. You’re looking at decades and decades of people who have participated.” Still, Drum Corps International and ESPN are on a mission to reach an even greater audience. ESPN promotes the championship telecasts throughout its network of channels. Drum Corps International makes use of its website (, email, the Drum Corps International magazine, and good old word-of-mouth to let people know about the many ways they can view drum corps in action.

Select theaters will show a live feed of the Drum Corps International World Championships, where “every seat feels like it’s on the 50-yard-line.”

Next Best Thing For those fans that can’t be in the stands, “Big Loud Live” is the next best thing. The live theatrical event runs more than five hours and attracts over 22,000 fans annually to cinemas across the country. “The movie theater experience is as close to seeing it live as you can come outside of the stadium itself,” says Ed Dempsey, Manager of Strategic Alliances for Drum Corps International. “In some ways, it’s even better: For those in the theaters, every seat feels like it’s on the 50-yard-line.” In the theater environment, it takes a little time for the crowd to warm up. Dempsey reports: “In our first cinema broadcast back in 2004, fans didn’t quite know how to react to that new experience. Now, as fans have been to two or three of these events, they jump up and down cheering like they are in the stadium itself.” Last year for the first time, fans at home could also see one day of the World Championships as a live Internet stream at Last year’s webcast was limited to premium members. This year, nonmembers will be able to purchase a “one-night pass” to watch the championship performance online, or sign up for a full-season membership that will let them see other select events throughout the season on the Internet as well.

The Team in the Truck Host Steve Rondinaro prepares for a Internet broadcast.

Like Drum Corps International’s loyal fans, many drum corps sponsors keep coming back, including retailer A.J.Wright and NAMM, the International Music Products Association. For such sponsors, Drum Corps International delivers an incredibly desirable audience. “It’s very attractive to companies that would like to reach the key 18- to 24-year-old demographic,” Mampre says. And while the corps’ core fans are young, “viewership is all the way up through the 60s,” Mampre says. Fans in the stands range from children through grandparents.

As the audience anxiously awaits all the action of Finals Week, the Rose Bowl Stadium will be simmering with excitement as hundreds of marchers get ready to deliver a performance where one misstep can mean the difference between championship glory and bitter disappointment. So too, the broadcast crew must be ready to capture the essence of an event in which many things are happening at once over a large area. Unlike a football or baseball game, where the focus is on the ball at all times, or a traditional musical performance, where the stage is the center of the action, the important parts of a drum corps’ performance can be anywhere on the field. Fortunately, Blair knows the drill—literally: In the late 1970s, he was a member of the Glassmen and the


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Coastline Travel Advisors wants to help you book your student group travel today Established in 1968, Coastline Travel Advisors is a full service agency specializing in student group travel. From Atlanta to Indianapolis to Pasadena, as a Drum Corps International Corporate Partner, we can help make your DCI experience a rewarding and exciting adventure. Whether a learning experience or a reward for a job well done, a trip to a Drum Corps International event is sure to be the highlight of your student’s summer. Call us today for information on bringing your group to any of these events, customized packages are available including performance opportunities, music clinics, historical sites and theme parks.

Let Coastline Travel Advisors help you plan a group trip to any of these exciting Drum Corps International events in 2007: Sunday, June 24 – DCI Chicagoland Lisle, IL Friday, June 29 – DCI Central Illinois Bloomington-Normal, IL Saturday & Sunday, July 7-8 – DCI Eastern Classic Allentown, PA

Wednesday, July 11 – DCI Louisville Louisville, KY Friday, July 13 – Masters of the Summer Music Games Murfreesboro, TN

Saturday, July 14 – Coltrin & Associates DCI Southeastern Championship Atlanta, GA

Saturday, July 21 – DCI San Antonio: The Southwestern Championship San Antonio, TX

Saturday, July 28 – DCI Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN Saturday, July 28 – Drums Along the Rockies Denver, CO

Saturday, August 4 – DCI West Championship Stanford, CA

August 7 - 11 – DCI World Championships Pasadena, CA

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Cavaliers and has worked on Drum Corps International’s TV programs since the 1980s. He can read the field like a pro, because he is a pro. A two-time Emmy winner, he has worked on Super Bowls, the Masters, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the World Series. Sitting in the production truck, Blair will be flanked by the assistant director on his left and the technical director on his right. Working from carefully prepared production notes, the assistant director will be ready with a stopwatch to time the start of an upcoming drill. The technical director will be poised to hit the buttons as Blair directs, switching among 11 different cameras. Positioning of the cameras is crucial. Seven will be in fixed positions at different levels of the stadium, including one in the broadcast booth. Three hand-held mini cameras will be used to move around the sidelines and the backfield, and a fourth will be fixed to the end of a 25-foot boom to get unique angles and capture all the action on the field and in the stands. During the telecast itself, hosts Steve Rondinaro and Dennis DeLucia will help those less familiar with Drum Corps International understand what they are watching. Rondinaro is the face and voice of drum corps onscreen and is an award-winning broadcaster who has been part of the Drum Corps International family for decades, both as a member and director of the Watkins Glen Squires, and as director of the Florida Wave. DeLucia, a DCI Hall

On-field interviews bring the personal side of the drum corps experience to life onscreen.

of Fame member, relies on his vast drum corps experience to provide expert commentary on all of the action. On-the-field performance is only part of the drama at any Drum Corps International Championships. It’s the culmination of a long summer, and for those aging out, a long career. Everyone, it seems, has a story to tell. Blair’s team also will capture the Drum Corps International excitement with special “up-close-and-personal” segments that spotlight individual corps members. “When a drum corps is having a great performance, it soaks into everything,” Blair says. “It comes all the way down the wires into the speakers and into the monitors.” And eventually onto the TV, theater or computer screens of drum corps fans across the country.

Drum Corps International Major Regional Events • 2007

DCI Salutes America Saturday, June 16 • Annapolis, MD DCI Chicagoland Sunday, June 24 • Lisle, IL DCI Central Illinois Friday, June 29 • Normal, IL DCI Kalamazoo Saturday, June 30 • Kalamazoo, MI DCI Eastern Classic Saturday & Sunday, July 7 & 8 • Allentown, PA

DCI Louisville Wednesday, July 11 • Louisville, KY Masters of the Summer Music Games

Friday, July 13 • Murfreesboro, TN

DCI Atlanta The Southeastern Championship Saturday, July 14 • Atlanta, GA

DCI San Antonio The Southwestern Championship Saturday, July 21 • San Antonio, TX

DCI Indianapolis Saturday, July 28 • Indianapolis, IN Drums Along the Rockies Saturday, July 28 • Denver, CO DCI Columbia Sunday, July 29 • Columbia, MO DCI West Texas Wednesday, Aug. 1 • Lubbock, TX DCI Phoenix Saturday, Aug. 4 • Phoenix, AZ DCI West Championship Saturday, Aug. 4 • Stanford, CA DCI World Championships Aug. 7-11 • Pasadena, CA 470 South Irmen Drive, Addison, IL 60101 • 800.495.7469 x3 • Int’l Calls +001.630.628.7888 ESPN-r1-Cx_proofed_c.indd 36

Dates and locations subject to change.

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9/26/06 9:20:18 AM

Percussion Lesson

By Scott Johnson Director of Percussion Blue Devils

Tune Your Battery


ike every musical instrument, snares, tenors and bass drums need to be tuned. While a turn of a knob or a push of a slide is all some instruments require, battery tuning can take a lot of time. Not only that, the pitches of the individual drums must work together. Here are some tips to keep your drums in relative agreement. The most important tuning technique is balancing the heads. Balance means keeping equalized tension, and it will enable the head to stretch evenly over time. If you keep your heads balanced they will stay in tune longer and will also last longer. Bass Drums To balance a bass head, listen to the pitch at each lug by striking two inches from each lug with a drumstick or hard mallet. When all C G E C G the lugs are the same pitch, the head should stretch evenly and remain balanced. Make sure to balance both sides and match the pitches produced by each head. The intervals you choose for your bass drums should depend on how many basses you have and the sound you wish to create from the line. With five basses, I like a major triad from the fourth bass up to the first with the fifth bass tuned a 4th lower than the fourth bass.

Tenor Drums To balance tenor heads, put your finger on the center of the head while you check the pitch at each lug. This technique cuts out overtones so you can hear a more defined pitch. Since tenors are played two to three inches from the rim and not on the center of the head, rotating the heads and rims will help keep them balanced and increase the head’s longevity. Tenors need much more attention than the rest of the battery in order to keep a consistent sound in the section. Choose intervals and pitches that are pleasing to you. My preference is to tune to an interval a minor 3rd between each of the four drums. Choose pitches that project, and yet balance with the rest of your battery.





Snare Drums The balancing techniques discussed for bass drum heads work Eb C equally as well for snare drum heads. Don’t forget that the snare Thick Head guts (the bands that stretch across the head to create the snare drum’s rattle) must also be tuned. The best snare sound is Both Thick obtained when (1) the guts touch all the way across the bottom head and (2) each individual gut is tuned to the same pitch. Clear Head Some drummers tape the snare guts to the bottom head to C Eb accomplish the first objective, but all snare drums have adjusting mechanisms that you should use. When using thick heads on both the top and bottom, we tune the bottom head a minor 3rd higher than the top head. If you use clear plastic bottom heads, the top head should have the higher pitch. No matter what pitches you choose for the snare heads and guts, take the time to carry the same pitches through to all of the snare drums. One last tuning technique applies to all of the drums in the battery. All the drummers should play with the same balanced touch on the drumheads! This technique will go a long way in producing a uniform and balanced sound out of your battery.


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Paul Rennick, Phantom Regiment

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4/9/07 8:39:07 PM

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4/11/07 9:08:11 PM

Movement Lesson

Jason Bentley Visual Caption Head Jersey Surf Former Caption Head, East Coast Jazz

Keep the Heel Low: Developing Straight-Leg Technique he straight-leg technique has a very sharp and direct look compared to T other marching techniques. This naturally leads a lot of instructors to take a very sharp and direct approach when implementing it in their shows. Straight legs on the downbeat Although this approach is effective, it naturally leads a lot of performers to overextend their legs, creating unwanted tension. While the legs look straight, the tension can spread to other areas of the performer’s body. This can also cause the sound of stepping feet to interfere with the music. Defining and concentrating on other aspects of the technique can create the desired straight-leg effect without the tension. It’s like a game: trying to create a smoother straight-leg look while also finding more conducive ways of playing an instrument on the move. “Keep the passing heel as low as possible” is becoming a popular method. Losing the “lock” Almost every technique utilizes a straight-leg on the downbeats; the difference is the path of the passing foot. Heels pass closer to the calf in more traditional techniques, which were designed to keep marching legs fresh for extended periods of time. Bending the passing leg helps marchers to automatically relax the standing leg. This relaxation does not automatically occur in straight-leg marching; it must be learned. The common interpretation of “straight legs” by performers is a locked or firm knee. This leads to overuse of the quadriceps and hamstrings. Perpetual use of locked knees can lead to both short- and long-term leg injuries. That’s why you might see a few more ankle and knee bandages—and wrapped hips—in straight-leg groups than in those using more traditional movement. It doesn’t have to be that way. Keeping the passing heel low keeps performers thinking about what gives the straight-leg technique its look while reducing the tension in both legs, making it feel like a low-heel traditional step. Keeping the tension out of the knees makes straight-leg technique just as easy on the legs as any other marching style. A low heel concentration also helps the student marcher focus on the subdivision of the foot timing. I would say that a low heel kills two birds with one stone, but upper body control also drastically improves, resulting in less “feet” in the sound. So, it kills four birds with one stone without compromising the aggressive look. Now that is effective and efficient. 39

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by J.D. Shaw

French Hornist for The Boston Brass Brass Arranger for The Phantom Regiment

Good Vibrations


he “buzz” technique helps brass players achieve pitch control through the speed and variation of the vibration, as opposed to relying on mouthpiece pressure. Brass players should take into consideration individual lip-shape and orthodontic alignment. There is not one perfect embouchure (the position of the lips, toungue and jaw) that works for all players! A good way to find your embouchure is to blow (without the mouthpiece) as if you were blowing through a straw. Take note of where the aperture (opening) is located. This is where the mouthpiece should be located, and don’t be afraid if it is off-center a bit. Perform “Sirens.” For this exercise, start on a concert F and buzz upward as high as you can (without pressure or tension) and as low as you can (without dramatic contortion of the embouchure). The upper and lower notes are merely goals; stop short rather than apply mouthpiece pressure to attain the extremes. Pay attention to the visual look of the lips as well. The shape of the embouchure should resemble a more puckered, “forward” position, rather than the smiling approach that will increase tension in the lips. The sound should be noisy and devoid of all “airiness.” More buzz will transfer to a richer, more vibrant sound on the horn. Engage the “good vibrations” by playing simple tunes solely on the mouthpiece. Ideal melodies could be “Yankee Doodle,” “Silent Night” or anything you can sing or hum well. Strive for a musical and extremely vibrant sound while doing this. Try singing the tune in your head while inhaling and exhaling as though you were actually performing the song on your instrument. Once you are ready for the mouthpiece, strive for a noisy, “fat” buzz that is free of tension and responds immediately. Try this exercise and continue down through the valve sequence [Open, 2, 1, etc.]. Now transfer this “noisy buzz” concept to the instrument. Begin on a concert F and play an eightcount note that starts immediately. Every note should be immediate and engaging. The air should be ready for release and the tongue should act as the valve. The tongue should simply release the air rather than “strike” the air. Vibration can be inhibited by the failure to play in the center of the horn. Finding that center is the challenge. Using Caruso’s pitch-bending exercise at right, listen to your sound. It will sound tense when the pitch is pushed sharp, dull when the pitch is pulled flat. Contrast both of these qualities with the resonant, open sound that is produced when the horn is played exactly in the center of the instrument. Lastly, have patience! Your control over these elements will improve with diligent study; success will follow. Remember, all of these techniques are not an end unto themselves and are designed to help brass musicians achieve the ultimate goal: the utmost communication with an audience. Now try this simple exercise with all of these concepts in mind. 39

Bands of America and Music for All Foundation are now “Music for All, Inc. will provide a mechanism to connect those who develop policy with those who will implement that policy on a large scale.” Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, past chairman and current board member of the National Governor’s Association and the Education Commission of the States

“We have worked closely with both organizations in the past and we fully support this merger.” Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM, the International Music Products Association

“The merger of Music for All and Bands of America is a highly significant development for music education in America. The merging of these two proven agencies into a single united force is very good news for students, educators and musicians across the country and for education as a whole.” Sir Ken Robinson, author and one of the world’s foremost authorities on creativity

Music for All Foundation and Bands of America, Inc. have merged to create Music for All, one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations in support of active music making. For info on our events, the merger and research and advocacy tools, visit


INDIANAPOLIS, IN • WARREN, NJ • 800.848.2263

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September 14 & 15, 2007 • Orlando, Florida BuenaVista Palace Hotel & Spa • Walt Disney World Resort

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presents a gathering of the best creative and technical color guard minds for an intensive two day instructor educational event. is your opportunity to meet and learn from the industries top designers and gain hands-on training that will enhance your teaching and designing skills. This event has been specifically designed to help instructors with all aspects of designing and managing of a successful winter guard program. Sessions on basic to intermediate equipment and movement techniques, roundtable discussions, and dialogue on WGI classification and adjudication topics make this event a must for all color guard instructors.

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GEARING UP New and noteworthy instruments and equipment for marching musicians Key Companion 

Evans' Utility Key features a locking, fold-out drum key built to withstand intense torque, from hardware tightening to marching head tuning. Its ergonomic handle, flat and Phillipshead screwdrivers, bottle openers, small blade, and a fitted carrying case makes it more versatile than typical drum keys. Its shaft and other tools are crafted from strong, reliable stainless steel, while the handle is made of high-grade die-cast aluminum.


a Charge from This Bag

It's not easy to recharge batteries on the road, which is one reason why the Eclipse Ion camera/video gear bag caught our eye. Not only can this roomy tote store both your camera and camcorder at the same time, its solar panels capture energy that can be used to recharge a variety of battery-powered devices—from cameras to MP3 players to PDAs and cell phones—with use of a common 12-volt adapter. The camera bag is just one of the solar-powered travel totes Eclipse offers. Others include backpacks, coolers and more.



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The Current sandal by Mion—pronounced “my own”—boasts an antimicrobial, “ergomorphic” footbed that's designed to mold to your foot after 12 hours of wear. A sculpted “rib” structure, nitrogen-blasted foam, and the heavy-duty cord in the 360-degree lacing system are provided to give an exceptionally secure fit.


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SCHOLASTIC MUSIC ORGANIZATION Wishes to thank the more than 700 high school music programs from 25 states who participated in USSBA events in 2006.

Brought to you by the same organization that operates the 9-time World Champion Cadets.

If you would like your band to participate or host an event in 2007, or more information on the USSBA please visit

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4/14/07 8:20:46 AM


By Debbie Galante-Block

“The teaching there is just incredible,” he says. “Even during the off-season, I could call teachers and other corps members to bounce ideas off of them.” Rau was so impressed by his music teachers, he started off his college career at Columbia College in music education, but soon found that he wanted to work outside of music. His Cavaliers instructors assured him that what he learned in the corps could be applied to many careers. “What I wanted to do was find a way to help others become better people, just as my teachers had helped me to become a better person.” Rau says. He feels that he’s found that niche with Senator McCaskill. Rau may be new to the bare-knuckled world of Washington, but he’s already a veteran of political battles. He was on the campaign trail with McCaskill for the entire year before she was elected during the tightly contested ’06 race. Rau believes the pro-education Senator is a great legislator because she listens to different opinions—including Rau’s. Success in Washington—as in many competive environments—often hinges on one’s ability to adapt to new challanges. Rau feels that his time in The Cavaliers under director Jeff Fiedler gave him the skills to do just that. “He taught us that ‘status quo is moving backwards,’” Rau says. “If you are just expecting to do the same thing and get by day to day, it’s not going to work. Your best option is to try and figure out how to grow and adapt and move on. How great The Cavaliers are today is a reflection of continual change; always keeping their eyes open about what they have to do to stay on top.” But Rau says the biggest lesson was about personal responsibilty. “I learned how to manage and how to be responsible for myself, and those lessons are cherished amongst all corps members.” In addition to helping shape his work ethic, Rau credits his corps experience for giving him a valuable sense of community that continues to this day. “Even now, I can go to an event and pick up a conversation with anyone that has been in any of the drum corps. It is a huge family,” he says. “Just hearing a piece of music from those days can bring back a memory—the range of memories is incredible.”

JR Jake Rau Then: Drum Major, The Cavaliers

Now: Special Assistant to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill

The sun-drenched fields of drum corps may seem lightyears away from the dark backrooms of Washington politics, but there are some parallels between the two activities: Both are highly competitive; at times exhilarating, at other times, exhausting. Jake Rau, a former member of The Cavaliers, knows the comparison first hand. He’s traded in his trumpet and uniform for a suit and tie, and now marches up the steps of Capitol Hill as the Special Assistant to Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Rau says that if he learned one thing during his years with The Cavaliers (1997-2001), it’s that nothing happens in a bubble. “Every little detail is going to affect something else. Jake Rau (center) with That knowledge helps me every Senator Claire McCaskill day in my job and in life.” Born in Columbia, Mo., Rau got started in drum corps during his sophomore year in high school. “I fell in love with drum corps after seeing my first Cavaliers video,” he recalls. “It was just incredible. I’d been playing the trumpet since fifth grade but had no idea about the activity until I was 16. My family was never musical, but the incredible people involved in the corps drew me in.” Rau didn’t make the cut on his first try, but was hooked enough to try out (and pass) a second time.


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THE CAVALIERS DEPEND ON YAMAHA. “Students who participate in the Cavaliers know that we have high expectations of them. When we place Yamaha brass and percussion instruments in their hands, they get a boost of confidence; these are the tools they need to meet those expectations.”

©2007 Yamaha Corporation of America. All Rights Reserved.

– Jeff Fiedler, Director of the Cavaliers


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4/9/07 8:42:39 PM

September 11, 2007 â&#x20AC;˘ 10 p.m. Eastern time Stay tuned to

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(time and date subject to change) for complete broadcast information.

4/9/07 8:57:17 PM

DCI Magazine Spring, 2007  

DCI Magazine Spring, 2007: The Official Publication of Marching Music's Major League.