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The Sound Machine Archive Presents
1999 Drum Corps International
Show Reviews - As Posted on RAMD!

Reviews On This Page Were Last Updated on Friday, July 2, 1999

Page Three of Reviews

Listed are the dates and the show site, the reviews will be filled in, if and when they are available or submitted.  The following reviews are solely the opinion of the reviewers.  If you disagree with any comments, feel free to email the author, all reviews are signed with an email address.  If you want to add your review to this page, send any reviews, comments or questions to:
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Monday June 28
Kingston, NY (DCI-Atlantic)

First let me state that I am a snare drummer by experience, and my slant will be more towards percussion. . . .

This was one rainy night!! I think we solved the drought problem in one evening. Jeez. I would like to commend all the corps for their control on a very wet field. I didn't see one person go down, which is saying a lot in these days of the "bullet drill." And the crowd hung in there to see everyone.

I didn't get to see Lake Erie or Les Etoiles. . .got to the show too late. Hopefully I'll get to see you down the road.

Overall impressions.. . .
- yes it's early, but I'm suprised that some of these show designers felt their first drafts would be as entertaining as they thought they were. They're not, really. Re-writes are needed. More than usual at this time of year.. . . .

- best moments: The end of Magic's opener. Wow. Haven't heard hype like that in a long time. And, Cadets tenor solo. Totally fluid players. They'll be able to do a lot of sight-seeing in August. They certainly won't have to working on cleaning their show!!!

- I would include the end of Crossmen's drum break in the exit as a highlight. Even though it sounded like an exercise. The crowd really liked it anyway.

Corps comments:

Carolina Crown: Wow. I really liked you guys. For me, YOU had the most continuity of design of any corps tonight. Here is a great example of how show design, if provided with a flow that makes sense, can be entertaining. My brother Dan and I had no idea what you guys were playing, we'd never heard the music before, but we could follow it and it made sense. Your music was entertaining and interesting and followed the formula for what works. And you guys look very competent. Your drum line and play and your guard is great. You can definitely tell the YEA influence, but who cares, it's helping you guys to improve a lot. Your drumline should be flawless in August. Great job. You def. should have beat Boston.

Boston: We watched you guys warm up in the parking lot. Snare line, you guys need chops, stick control, and better understanding of sub divisions. You were rehearsing one part that includes a tap and two cross shots, all eighth notes, and you were rushing the cross shots! A metronome would be helpful to you guys. It will be a long summer for you unless you get some muscles and then once you do that, get into placing beats and playing through the head rather than dropping them down. As for the show, man, you have a full, big corps, congratulations. Great to see. But your show has a long way to go before it would be considered really entertaining. I didn't know the music, and in this case, could not follow the flow of the show. Nice tease with the rift from Conquest. If you make some changes, you'll be great.

Blue Coats: I think your show has potential, but again, the continuity of the show needs work. The Chick Corea stuff could be a good vehicle, but it needs to be edited to begin to really reach the crowd. I think we were waiting for something we didn't get. It was like drum corps interruptus. What was that ballad? Didn't recognize it at all. The drumline has potential, but we saw a lot of mistakes caused by head errors. Snares need to hold onto sticks, and need chops. Tenors squish too much, need some chops. Bass line can play!! Nice.

Magic: Show has lots of potential. Like I said, the end of their opener is a major highlight. But you have to remember, if you are going to play Land of Make Believe, us "old guys" are going to immediately compare you to Bayonne '77. Listen to that arrangement. Now, THAT is the way to play that tune. Major composition problem: you start playing the melody, and the battery is tacit in the back, giving no support to the brass, and all you do have is a guy trying to play a latin cymbal ride in the pit, along with maybe the conga. The horns, and the GROOVE, need a lot more help. By the time you actually do provide the "samba" feel, it's with the bottom bass, it's not muffled, and sounds like a long drone. And snares, would it be a crime to play a cymbal ride in this tune? Or in the show? Too much gush-ga-gush, not enough groove. Also, was it you guys that ended your drum solo with 1/8th notes? I think so. . . I think you could cap it more effectively. Lastly, thanks for going back to the hype at the end, it's just that the transition from "Land" to the ending tag needs to be smoother.

Crossmen: Uh. . . hmmm. . . .for me personally, I was left hanging. In this case, unlike Crown, although I didn't know the music, I could not follow the melodic structure. I'm not sure what you were trying to do. You guys will probably do great with it as the summer rolls along. Drum line will be great. Solo in the exit has a lot of great moments. Guard is great. New uniforms are pretty cool. I look forward to seeing you again in Allentown. . . . .

Cadets: Didn't we just hear this same opening? Sounds very similar in form to the Crossmen's opening. Maybe you guys mixed up a couple pages at a YEA meeting. All things being equal, last year's show made more sense to me at this time of year. It is amazing, but at this point, it needs to be more entertaining. Everybody is very competent and mature. . .drums, horns, guard, all great. The vehicle needs a lot of tweeking, in my humble opinion. Outstanding job in the rain, though. Incredible control. Awesome tenor break. I look forward to seeing you again.

Jim Crawford

This show featured eight corps. The evening was very warm and very humid, and it started to rain part way through the show. Half way through the show, there was about a thirty minute delay for electrical storms. The corps are listed in order of appearance.

Lake Erie Regiment - A show with some interesting moments. The drill featured a couple of difficult moves, such as a rotating and building block formation. Staging was a problem throughout the show, however. The colorguard had an interesting repertoire, which was handled reasonably well. The visual work needs lots of cleaning in all areas: upper body carriage, spacing, alignment, timing, ensemble movement. Musically, the corps needs to work on ensemble playing. They are producing some good sounds, but balance and blend were lacking. Percussion especially was overpowering. DCI Score: 38.4 (8th)

Les Etoiles - A show with some interesting moments. In my opinion, placing the pit on staging on the field did not really enhance the show--in fact, I found it kind of distracting. In some instances it made no sense, i.e., placing horns behind the staging while they are playing (can they see the drum major?) and having the guard performing a routine behind the staging which meant the audience could not see the routine. Drill design seemed to be a problem. Like the other corps this evening, a lot of cleaning must be done, especially in ensemble movement with several holes opening and closing in the drill hroughout the show. Musically, the percussion section is coming along, although ensemble playing needs work. DCI score: 49.9 (7th)

Bluecoats: Some good sounds coming from this corps. Ensemble music still needs work; the sound could be quite a bit tighter. Visually, the show needs work, especially with spacing and alignment. The guard work is interesting and is progressing nicely but I was lost with some of it-i.e., what is the point of all of the white poles throughout the entire show? They were very interesting in the beginning, but by the end, they really did not add to the show. If this show progresses, it will be awesome by August! DCI Score: 67.6 (4th)

Carolina Crown: This is another show that, IMO, is going places. The corps handled this show fairly well. The music was interesting. The corps was producing some good sounds, both as sections and as an ensemble. The drill was interesting, although there were a couple of staging problems, especially the last guard equipment pick-up. Viewed from the stands, it was literally too far out in left field. This resulted in the guard being somewhat detached from the rest of the corps for its last move. The colorguard was very good: Very, VERY clean for this time of year. The guard routine was expressive of the music, except for a few moments, i.e., at several moments it could better reflect the percussive elements of the show, especially when the routine reflects these elements at other times in the show. All in all this show was a good show, and I was surprized--VERY surprized--by their score and by their placement (more on that later). If the show progresses and all goes well, this show should be VERY good by August! DCI score: 65.1 (6th)


Boston Crusaders - This is the largest Boston Crusaders' corps I have seen. The show was fairly good in terms of design, although several elements really did not fit. At one point there was a guard routine in the middle of the show that did not fit. From where I was, I saw a lot of visual problems: upper body carriage, spacing, alignment, timing (both individually and as an ensemble). Musically, their sound was not as tight or as full as other corps. Generally speaking, it is obvious that they are trying to contend for a finalist spot. With cleaning they MIGHT make it; however, it is my impression by the performances tonight that they still might be "on the outside looking in." DCI score: 65.7 (5th)

Lightning delay

Magic of Orlando: A show with some interesting moments. Personally, I do not think that "Land of Make Believe" adds that much to the show, but that is only my opinion. In terms of performance, the corps handled their show fairly well, but there is room for lots of improvement. Visually, there were the same problems as in other corps--upper body carriage, spacing, alignment, timing, etc. Musically I thought that their sound was not as tight nor as good as other corps of the evening. The guard needs lots of cleaning in addition to finishing their show. DCI score: 69.4 (3rd)

Crossmen: A good show with some great visual moves, both in terms of drill design and in terms of guard routine. This is a show that should go places. Some of the same problems as in other corps: spacing, timing, alignment, etc. Some very good sounds coming from the corps, but still needs fine tuning. All in all, definitely a well earned second place show of the evening. DCI score: 74.5 (2nd)

Cadets: A geart show that needs cleaning--A LOT of cleaning. Phasing was a big problem, as was spacing. Alignment needs work as well, along with upper body carriage. Show design is classic cadets--lots of movement with a GREAT guard routine. The guard captures the spirit of 'The Big Apple" very well, from the flag design featuring the NY skyline to the hustle and bustle of rush hour complete with briefcases. Musically, I think the corps can produce a bigger and louder sound. I think they could produce a much bigger dynamic contrast. This show should be in contention for another DCI title, but it needs lots and lots of cleaning. DCI score: 79.1 (1st)

Now on to that scoring matter. Personally I do not understand how it is that Les Etoiles drops from a 58.2 the day before in Beverly, MA, to a 49.9 at Kingston. Likewise about Carolina Crown's score dropping from a 72.8 to a 65.1 overnight.

Performance-wise I thought the scores for some of the corps were too low. I also disagreed with some of the placements. How is it that corps that have more visual and musical problems place higher than a corps with cleaner marching, better playing, and a much better colorguard?

Last year, in the Summer Music Games program book, fans were invited to get a pencil and paper and "score" along with the judges. I "answered" the invitation. Here is what I came up with for the Kingston show (if interested I will send a copy of the scores): (I will admit some of the scores are high--it has to do with point alotment)

Ted Tumicki

Sunday June 27
Beverly, MA (DCI-Atlantic)

On a hot sunny afternoon in Beverly, Mass the seasons first show was held before a medium sized crowd at Hurd Stadium. Below are some of my thoughts on some of the performances from Division I/II.

Spartans, 1rst, 72.5, division II
After loosing all equipment and uniforms in a fire last winter it was great to see the Spartans back even stronger than last year. The corps is about the same size with a good size 40 + hornline. As with the past several years they are again playing music by David Holsinger. The music is dark and challenging and the corps seems to be executing noticeably better this year at this point in he season than last. Look for the Spartans to be in the running for the Divison II title has well as making a run for an Associates status.

East Coast Jazz, 2 nd 71.0, division II
Like Spartans ECJ has a similar size corps when compared to last year with a hornline of 28 and an instantly hummable program of Stan Kenton favorites. The guard is attired in bright blue body suits that really light up the field. Their hot soprano soloist was featured even more than last year and he was superb. 'Round Midnight' was especially sweet. As usual ECJ has a tough book all-round and their execution scores may be lagging Spartans. For me, their quarter finals performance in the Orlando was one of the hililghts of the show last year. Look for great things from them this year as well. Great Show!

Carolina Crown, 1 rst 72.8
Only 43 horns!!! Hopefully CC will add to their ranks as the season progresses . They should be marching 60. Given that they did generate a good amount of sound. Horns were definitely the weak part of this show with Guard and Drums looking and sounding stronger. Guard was especially exciting and clean for so early in the season. The overall show however I do not think is their strongest offering in the last 5 years. The second number which was a ballad truly soared. The rest of the music just did not strike me like their choices from previous years It may be a struggle for them to retain their finalist spot.

Boston Crusaders, 2nd 70.2
Boston has done something truly amazing! They have lived up to their pre season hype and delivered a 64 person hornline! That said a lot of people thought they should of beaten CC. If they clean this show they WILL beat CC and a lot of other corps. I have never heard a hornline from Boston that delivered the depth of sound that I heard yesterday. A strong pit section also added to the 'full corps' sound that came from BAC. Alfred Reeds 'Symphonic Dances' is a fitting and majestic choice for the corps and it allowed the hornline to show a wide array of emotions. Many people will remember some of the selections from the Cavaliers championship 1992 show. The arrangements have not been watered down and are true to the originals. On the negative side, Boston's visual program was ragged and will need much work. Field coverage was improved over last year with the corp covering 100 yards during at the end of the ballad. Some guard work needs to be added to the finale but the show seems mostly complete. Look for Boston to be a dark horse contender for a finalist spot in Madison!

Spirit of Atlanta, 3rd 67.9
What is with the scores? How can Spirits score jump 10 points in one night? This afternoon Spirit fielded the largest corps of the afternoon and an upbeat show that had a lot of swing flavor to it. I do not like the guards 'gap swing khaki' non uniforms. They look like street clothes and add nothing to the visual show. The opening featured a classic Spirit park and blow opener that led into a new version of an old Spirit (1979) favorite of 'Nutville". Horns were LOUD but sounded a bit flat and muddy at times. Brian Seltzer's 'Jump Jive an Wail' was an infectious upbeat closer but the guard swing dancing was very weak. Spirit will once again find themselves in the hunt for a finalist spot in August.

Les Etoiles. 4th 58.9
Les Etoiles have always had a spunky small corps but this year their hornline is especially small with only 16 members. To make up for this Les Etoiles have positioned their mallet instruments on some elaborate very high staging on the rightt side of the field. The music was from the movie the 'Ice Storm' and the show seemed unfinished with an abrupt ending after the ballad portion. Drumline and guard were strong but at this point in the season I think ECJ and Spartans would of beaten them. Unless they add some more horns it will difficult for them to hold onto their associate ranking.

Mark Montgomery

Cedar Rapids, IA (DCM)

Cedar Rapids and the Grant Wood All-City Drum Corps hosted another lovely night for dum corps, which, after some scattered showers earlier that evening, turned out warm and sunny, although a little on the humid side, but hey, it's Iowa, it's always humid.

Capital Regiment-This bran-spanking new corps was the first to take the field tonight, and I must say, those uniforms are sharp! I was highly impressed with this corps before they even started their show. Their show, which is exploring youth, was overall pretty good despite a major back march collision that occured about half-way through the show. The drum line had nice equipment and some impressive licks. The guard sported attractive uniforms and silks, and had a lot of nice work, but I felt like overall the performance lacked energy. On the whole it was a good show, and it's nice to see a new corps start on the right foot.

Colt Cadets-The next performance was the Colt Cadets. It was a fun show, and they have a lot of fun doing it. I would just like to comment that this is one of the better shows Cadets have fielded in a long time. The Stormy Weather medley is very cool, although it had some phasing problems tonight. Keep up the good work!

Bandettes-I give this corps the Most Entertaining Drum Major, that's a lot of energy. At times she was jumping up and down almost a foot while conducting. There was some cool trap set licks and the guard member witht he rifle did some good work. They need to tune their snares though. The Swingkids show (despite the rather depressing introduction) was high-energy and again, a very entertaining drum major.

Tarheel Sun-My friend Teresa loves the yellow uniforms, and must admit, they do make a statement when they enter the field. This corps had a lot of good points: big brass sound, some nice rifle work and a lot of guard energy, some decent arranging. The drill didn't impress me much though, and a lot of the moves were pretty sloppy. The large red flags in the very beginning were impressive, but I found the guard a lot of times were just idle, walking about the field with dressed flags or even nothing. Are they still working on learning the work? Overall, it was a nice show, and they should have no problem making top 21.

Cavaliers-WOW!!! I have heard a lot of review saying that the show this year was boring, but I would like to say that that's not true. I found their show amazing. The drill was all over the place, the pit had some nice runs (although I expected more), the guard was like a stage show, and I didn't know where to look. First of all, I have to say that I think Cavies have the coolest uniforms of anyone in the Top 12, they make the corps look good and very intimidating. Anyways, the show, and compilation of 20th century band music based on famous themes was mighty impressive (-that sounds like Michael Cesario) and the guard was amazing, especially just in their facial expressions, like when that one guy was standing on the fifty between two converging lines brass, looking like he was going to get crushed, only to peak out the side when they merge. I found the show visually and musically stimualting and extraordinarily staged. I put them back at 4th this year, but I'm yet to see the G-Men or X-Men this year.

Colts-Colts rounded out the line up for the night, and I must say very well. This year is a definite step-up for the Colts, the show is harder and, although a little dirty at this point, it should be awesome come finals night. The opener had some sweet drill moves, as did the drum break, where the corps is nearly running, and has anyone else noticed the pit? Whoa! They are smokin'! Personally, I think the pit's performance was not only the hardest but the best of the night. The guard had a lot of quick costume changes and some nice dance work. The silks compliment the show well, although some of the work was a little sloppy. Overall, the corps has an excellent show and a big sound, and should do well through the season. Look for Top 12 for sure, I put them at 10th.

Grant Wood All-City Drum Corps-This kids did a really great job, and there were some hot tenor licks. And the back-flipping salute was cool. This is a good program for kids, and they start young. Not only are there about ten or fifteen that play on Fisher-Price drums, but there was even a kid in a stroller! Now that's commitment!

It was a great show and I can't wait to see my next show in Lacrosse on Wednesday.


Saturday June 26
Walnut, CA (DCI-Pacific)

Wow, sure was great to be in front of some drum corps again! I just got back from the Pacific Crest-sponsored show at Walnut, CA. This is a really nice place to see a show with it's high box and plenty of good seats between the 40's. (I still like Cal State Fullerton as my favorite So Cal venue though). Saw some people I handn't seen in years and met some really nice new people as well. Too bad we only all come together once or twice a summer. It was great to see so many VK jackets in the stands. I would have worn mine, but it stopped fitting several years ago. (Jeez, I was like 17 when I got mine!) Saw some Freelancer jackets there too.

I was very impressed with how well prepared all competing units were tonight for so early in the season (This is early for CA). Driving to the show, I was a little disappointed that there was only one Div 1 corps in the line-up, but the great quality of the div 2/3 corps and the awesome performance by SCV made it all worth it. Here's a few thoughts on tonight's shows.

I missed West Coast Sound and Mandarins. I'll make sure to see them next week in Riverside.

Blue Devils B - had a great hornline with a lotta punch. Their guard is well trained and contributes greatly to the corps overall package. Drumline is great They march very well and have that Blue Devil look. Mature and confident. Loud too! Loved hearing Gingi.

SCV Cadets - I was really impressed with how much these guys look like the A Corps. Not only do they have those great uniforms from SCV a few years back, but they really seem to understand what it's all about to be a member of the Vanguard organization. They were like the "mini-me" of SCV. A 1/8th replica, but very powerful. Great training going on in all sections. These guys can march.

Impulse - this was Impulse's second show ever. Hard to believe the corps didn't even exists 8 months ago. They have come along way in a short amount of time. Look for great things from Impulse in the near future. Most impressive feature of Impulse is their feet. Nice technique, good trainning and it shows. After they hash out the gimicks and humor a little more, they're going to fill a much needed spot as the corps that's really out there to entertain. Bright yellow uniform jackets with a black exclamation point, black pants and black baseball hat make for a great uniform. I counted 54 members on the field. About 26 horns, around 20 percussion and 4 guard. Small, but mighty.

Pacific Crest - WOW! If they went to finals this year, I'm sure they'd crack top 20 in open class. They're that good - with 40 horns, full percussion and 32 guard. Great new uniforms consisting of Black tops, aqua blue accent, white pants and black shako. Very cool. Those 40 horns put out a ton of sound. I only wish PC would play something a little less dark. (They played Dracula) I'd like to see what they'd do with a less-serious tone/mood. PC does everything right, from the way they recruit to fundraising to even having the discipline to keep their tour limited so they can be a solid financial organization before anything else. They are a good model for anyone considering starting a corps. I'm sure well see them full at 128 next year.

SCV - Incredible. I sat there the entire time saying to myself, "Man, this is such a cool activity. How can humans do this?" SCV will certainly be in top contention once again come Madsion. They stood still for the last minute or so of the show. That made me wish we still had the concert set/production number from the old days. Gosh they were loud! Crowd loved em too. Guard did some great dance stuff during the ballad. Drill is fast and keeps your interest. Drumline is a blast to watch.

John Denovi

A hot smoggy day in the San Gabriel Valley turned into a chilly evening at Mt SAC. The stands were about 95% full between the 30 yard lines.

I didn't see any of the bands in exhibition, due to the goddamned 60 freeway being hell on earth even on the weekends. Stop and go for about six miles.....anyway...

Blue Devil C - very cute kids playing cartoon music. They were not judged, just in exhibition only. At the end of the Flintsones, they shouted "Wilma, Wilma", like Fred pounding on the door. A little later they all shouted "Tequila", which may have raised some prudish eyebrows. But if they're gonna tour with the big boys some day........

West Coast Sound - 6th, 53.2. Play music by Sting, opening with synchronicity. It needed more horns to pull it off. Just 4 guard members.

Impulse - 5th, 57.5. This is a new corps in Huntington Beach/Westminster, CA. From the announcers introduction - "Many of the staff and instructors are former members of a Southern California Corps which entertained people across the country in a real cool way". And he was right!! This smallish corps really fired up, out of nowhere with a cool Beach Boys/Jackson 5 show. Guard members and pit players started warming up the crowd before the warmup, tossing beachballs and frisbees to us ( I didn't get one :^( ). They had a nice drill, good but small sound.....lots of fun. We need another corps with the VK sense of fun this one has. Nice bright screaming yellow and black unis, too.

Blue Devils B - 4th, 63.3 - Competent enough, with a drill design clearly along the lines of the A corps. Good sound and good color guard, but I really don't remember much about the show.

SCV Cadets - 3rd, 64.6. They played music from some french guy, a Holsinger piece, and more by another French guy. It kind of reminded me of some Debussy, and it was well adapted to drumcorps. Nice drill with some sloppy moments.

Mandarins - 2nd, 68.3. A Bernstein show. Opening with "Candide", the drumline impressed but they didn't have the horns to match. They played a good arrangement of "On The Waterfront", but again the horns were no match for the drumline. The colorguard, as always, looks fantastic, but there were a few equipment problems tonight. They use these mobile stages for the colorguard. I like the way this corps uses props to frame themselves on the field - it makes a smaller corps look not quite so lost out there.

Pacific Crest - 1st, 73.6. The Defending DCI Champions, hosts of tonights show, were impressive in every way. Awesome show with 40 horns and 32 each percussion and color guard. Their show was "Dracula, a ballet in 3 acts." Fantastic dark sound with lots of bass and baritone ( 6 contras). A dark, dramatic, and sometime really loud show which would have sold anywhere, not just at the home field. The huge color guard really did an amazing job, with fantastic silks. They used blue flags to cover themselves like a shroud while laying on the field, then later used two (64 flags!!!) beautiful maroon and burgundy flags. Although they won DCI last year, I don't think they're doing much touring this year. It's a shame, because this really is a first class production in everyway, easily worthy of another title. Note from Sound Machine webmaster: Don may have been confused, PC won the DCI-Pacific Div II Championship last year, not the national title, although they ARE good enough this year to win in Madison!)

Santa Clara Vanguard - 1st, 76.5. Remember the 80's, when SCV was always a top 3 corps (well, starting in 1981)? - well folks, looks like happy days are here again! Brilliant musically, visually, emotionally. Yes, there are body movements that many of you don't like....but they are restrained and work well. The drill (from what I saw) is just magical. The sound is full, rich, and LOUD!! The Philip Glass piece is hard to explain, but if you like the Grohg Ballet, it won't dissapoint. The Barber #1 and #2 are very well arranged together, featuring a beautiful baritone solo that unfortunately didn't go quite as planned tonight. The horns and drums throughout are sounding really fine. The drill is great, with one movement in which a box is formed by.....well, sorry but I can't explain, but it got lots of ooohs and aaahs. And the feet are clean!! Execution is noticably better than my viewing of them at this time the past two years. I think the visual scores have hurt them a little in the past, but this corps can move better than any SCV corps in years. The color guard is awesome. I'm a diehard SCV fan, and I haven't said that in a while! Nice looking silks with lots of great flag work very complimentary to the music. The sabre and rifle lines had 2 or 3 minor equipment problems, but they were well choreographed with plenty of diffuculty. At one point they use silver flags and copper flags, a combination I didn't care for. There also is a part of the show where they are doing some Martha Graham type modern dance steps to Barber - very well done and effective. Like I said, the drill was awesome and pretty well executed from what I saw of it. From what I saw?? Well, as Blue Shades began, the corps began moving their drill, playing a really great piece of music. The volume was building, the rifles looked ready to toss - and the rest of the show was a standstill!!! No more guardwork, no more marching. This is a great closer, and having the last 1.5-2 minutes as a park-and-blow in a smallish stadium was kind of fun, but jeez - its almost July. I guess the staff figured better to play it safe than march what's not ready, or what's been freshly re-written. P.S. SCV had only 8 contras..I don't know if that's permament or not, but the corps didn't sound top-heavy to me...

But if they wouldn't march the whole show, they could have at least given us a victory concert!!!!!!!!!!! Someone told me they couldn't in San Diego because of a noise ordinance, but that there is no such law in Walnut. Pacific Crest gave the encore, and did a great job. What an awesome drumline!!! I feel kind of let down with no Clowns. At the SCV booth, I made a donation to the fund of the Velarde family. I pin with the 8 pointed star with a V on it, attached to a black ribbon.....kind of sad, sweet, and cool.

Good night!!

Don Davis, Long Beach CA

Hey everybody! (If you are looking for PC's show online...See the review!)

Well, I figured now that I kinda know what I am talking about (as opposed to last year), I should write a review. So, be gentle...It's my first one.

I didn't get a chance to see any of the Summer Bands nor BDC (which really pissed me off. But I did see them warm-up!), so I won't comment.

The first corps that I saw was Impulse. I knew the second I saw the drumline's "one minute" that this was going to be a good show (just a bunch of random notes from everyone. It was really cool.) For being only the second show ever in the history of the corps, it was pretty damn good! The visual was very nice, and it complemented the music very well. I was suprised to see that they only had 4 basses, 2 tenors, and 4(?...I don't remember) snares. But, anyways. Some of the notes in the hornline were shakey, but it was great. I was also suprised to see that there were a lot of drummers from the Stanton Kingsmen Winter Percussion Ensemble. It was interesting.

Next up was Blue Devils B. I wasn't real impressed with these guys. The percussion section was dirty at some times, and the hornline could still use a little work. Though on the bright side, they have the same intensity as their Div 1 counterparts. I was just really suprised at how small they were.

After them was the Vanguard Cadets. They had a real interesting show. There were a lot of drill holes, which suprised me. Their hornline was just like the A corps, but the drumline was not real impresive. The end snare on the crowd's right (mostly) was the cause for most of their dirt. He was having a real problem with the show. Anyways, like I was saying...The brass was probably the best part of the entire corps.

Before I go any further, I have to say I did not pay too much attention to the guard, as I am not in the guard. So, sorry to all you guard people. But, you know how it is!

Next up...The Mandarins. This time I actually did pay attention to the guard, as the rest was not great. For being the Div 3 champs for so long, I could not see it. The percussion section was good, but not great. They really didn't play much to judge on. The hornline was very good. I was extremely impressed at how much sound that little line produces. They were really loud for their size.

West Coast Sound. For being the only corps from So. Cal heading to Madison, I wish them LOTS of luck because they are really going to need it. They had one sop soloist that really wailed (in fact, he was the only one of the night in competition. PC had some in their victory concert. More on that later...). They played the music of Sting. It was a good interpretation of the music, but it lacked the quality I was expecting from them. I did, however, really like the Contra spin in the very begining. It's something you don't usually see.

Then it was Pacific Crest. All I can really say is WOW! They have improved SO much since last year, and they were REALLY loud too! For some reason, I like this show better than SCV's (eventhough I LOVE SCV's show). I really don't know why. The percussion section had some dirt, and some of the soloists were a little nervous (well, that's what it sounded like), but this show was fantastic. If you wanna hear their show, just point your web browser to It's 6.5 megs, so on a 28.8 it should take about a half an hour. I used my MD recorder with a Unidirectional mic in mono, but uploaded in stereo. It' sounds really good.

Finally, after all that, the corps I came to see. Santa Clara. This show keeps getting better everytime I hear it. The corps really sold this show. It is very beautiful, and very smooth. It will become a classic show in no time. I really like Blue Shades, eventhough it sounds like it's not finished (some holes in the music). The end after the drill "ran out" blew out my microphone, that's how loud it was! The percussion section looks like it will get another High Percussion award @ Finals this year (yeah, over BD...). Also, I wonder why everybody went buck wild after the 2nd song? It was weird.

Anyways, you've seen the scores, so I am not going to post them. The one thing I liked was that Pacific Crest did a victory concert instead of SCV. I don't know if it was because SCV had to go up to Sacramento that night, or what. But, if that was the case, why did their pit hang around for so long after awards? They (and the hornline off in the distance) looked like they were going to perform, but I guess not. PC was really hyping on doing the concert. They were really loud, and actually the show sounded better than in competition.

So, anyways. There's my first ever review. I'm going to the Riverside show w/ BD next week (MD recorder in hand), and hopefully my review writing skills will improve (I think I need to take lessons from Mav...). So, until then...peace out, and stay forever green!

Zak Winnick

Elkton, MD (DCI-Atlantic)

This is sort of a he said, she said review. Both of us have both marched Top 6 corps as well as division II/III. He is a percussionist and she is a horn player. *NOTE: We are NOT the 2 from the "Drum Corps World" but thought this would be fun.*

*Reviews are in appearence order not placement.

Jersey Surf: - "Summertime - Any way you like It"

He said: This show was incomplete. Last 1/4 to 1/2 of show was done stand still. Very dirty......however there was a lot of potential once it is finished and cleaned.

She said: Interesting cymbal line as usual. Nice to see them with a full hornline this early in the season.

Spirit of Atlanta: - "Swing Show"

She said: Crowd oriented show. Hornline is playing to capacity. LOUD! Still appear to have upper brass holes, as did a couple other corps tonight, but they do have 12 contras, which was unexpected. Jump, Jive, and Wail was very well put together visually. Their guard looks like they're having a lot of fun out there.

He said: This will be a crowd favorite. Off the line they were giving me goosebumps. Hornline was so powerful that I was drawn awayfrom watching the percussion section, but what a percussion section. WOW! Guard was unsure of some work but really sold the rest. This corps will be lighting up crowds all over. They will be making a serious run at the top 12 this summer.

*Side note on Spirit.....The announcer came on after Jump, Jive,n and Wail.... the DM jumped down. It appeared that they were not going to play last song when suddenly the pit and baritone soloist began to play..... the corps joined in and the announcer FINALLY stopped. It even appeared to catch the DM off guard. First show....just funny.

Magic of Orlando: - "The Magic of Chuck Mangione"

He said: Very different guard uniforms. Maybe they will grow on me during the season but did nothing for me tonight. Beginning looked like Cavaliers 97 - WOOSH! It look like they needed to do something in that part of show for visual, but couldn't come up with anything good. This hopefully will change. The drum majors need to loosen up.....this show really needs to be a lot more loose.

She said: Hornline is leaps and bounds better than in the past (not that they were that bad to start with). This line is dark and powerful. I liked the Mangione music. The arrangements are fresh for these old standards, esp. Land of Make Believe. Repeated mellophone solos were obvious references to Mangione's flugelhorn. The guard is also better than past early season Magic. They seemed much better prepared for tonight's performance. Overall, this show is more cohesive and well planned than past Magic. The hornline is carrying the corps right now; hopefully the percussion and guard will catch up soon. New uni's are a change for the better.

Bluecoats: - "The Music of Chick Corea"

He said: Let me first say the I have always liked the Bluecoats...... but so far this year I am left a little disappointed. First show jitters showed through. This show is dirty and they have a lot of cleaning to do. This show is also very dark from a visual stand point. The color choice of flags is not great. The flags were lost in the corps uniforms. I am not a color guard oriented individual, but I knew these flags bothered me. There were a few good choices and the girls performed well, but it became a distraction. I hope they can clean this show and maybe rectify these flag issues. I would hate to see 'coats fall out of top 12. It will be a dog fight.

She said: This a darker show than typical Bluecoats, but at the same time, it was a nice change of pace. They have scattered poles around the field that were utilised by the guard throughout the show. It worked for me, but he found it a distraction. Fortunately, there were no problems with the props that could happen at a first show. The horns were solid as usual.

Carolina Crown: - "Jekyll and Hyde"

She said: This was the highlight of the evening for me. Although they still have holes, their hornline is strong. They are playing this show with authority. The drill design by Brian Bambauer (a new name to me) contains innovation reminiscent of 95 and 96 Crown. If the Crown that rode the edge was your cup of tea, then you'll be happy to learn that they are back in a big way. The colorguard is selling this show 110% and performing their work better than I can ever remember seeing Crown. I expect Crown to end this year in a fine position.

He said: Crown impressed me too! Percussion WOW!!! Very strong this year. The line is smoking! They will be shocking people all over. (Both drumline and corps) Color guard was heavy on body work and weapons. Very few flags in this show. Not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation. A few marching problems toward end of show spacing wise but this is something can be worked out quickly. I expect big things this year from Crown.

The Cadets - "The Big Apple"

He said: The Cadets are marking a SERIOUS bid for another championship this year. We saw this corps 2 weeks ago at the Crossmen/Cadets preview show. They were very dirty there. VAST improvement in 2 weeks. The opener is SOLID. The percussion section seems bigger than in past years. (9 snares, 5 tenors, 5 basses, 10 in pit) The tenor line from hell has sunk even deeper. WOW. Their solo left me in awe and drooling. The snares and basses are right there with them. Guard is pretty tight already. Closing drill was chaotic but it was definatly cool....although she didn't seem to like it. We were not up high enough to see it fully.

She said: To me, it seems that the Cadets took the end of last season and instead of going home and starting over from scratch, they kept what they had and made it even better. The Big Apple is the perfect vehicle for this corps. It contains plenty of trademark Cadet drill moves, stunning guard work, and jaw dropping percussion licks. Beyond that, what struck me most was the control with which the corps is performing this show. There were some moments that were just stunning. Speaking with a couple members after the show, the show has changed significantly and will continue to change right up until finals night. This hornline has acquired the one thing that was missing last year: volume! I agree that the Cadets are deep in the hunt for title number eight.

Crossmen: - "Blue Shades and Appalachian Morning"

She said: I wasn't sure what to expect this season when I heard the Crossmen were turning to wind ensemble literature. I was pleasantly surprised. Blue Shades is very contemporary and works well on the field. This hornline, like most others last night, has made improvements from last year. They are playing with a darker sound and better balance than in the past. The opener, with its large sections of silent guard work, is striking. This is not typical Crossmen, but it works. Appalachian Morning is markedly improved from the preview show two weeks ago. I'm thinking that the Crossmen will fight their way back into the top 6 with this one.

He said: As with the Cadets, the corps is vastly improved than the preview show. They have cleaned A LOT! The percussion section, from what I am told, is fairly young, but you couldn't tell from watching them play. This show is going places. On a down note......I do not like the new uniforms. I mean I am glad they got new ones.....but do not like the design.... too dark and not bad a## enough. She feels the uni's are too classical looking (i.e. phantom) for this corps. Blue shades is good and the closer brings chills. More cleaning will take this corps into top 6 contention, if not higher.

The YEA ensemble corps (Cadets, Crossmen, Crown, and Magic) played Cadillac of the Skies and In the Stone after the drum major only retreat. If you ever get a chance to witness this DO IT! This is a fun and LOUD way to end the night. This is what drum corps should be about. Members from various corps intermingling and playing with a no holds barred attitude. If you like getting blasted......sit low and center for this........ you WON'T be disappointed.

She agreed with the placements, however it seemed that Crossmen's score was too low. The spread between them and the Cadets should have been smaller. We also felt Crown's score should have been higher.... or there should have been more of a spread between them and the corps that placed behind them.

J Laning

OK - so I thought I would offer my perspective...

Jersey Surf - small guard, working hard for what they had. There is something almost offensive about the way their body work was written. I remember this corps from last year's Elkton show and they seem to be really behind where they were last year. Big drumline - small only marched about 1/2 or 2/3.

Spirit of Atlanta - please get rid of the guard uniforms (if that is what they were supposed to be) - they had on versions of red tops and khaki bottoms. They have beautiful young ladies in their colorguard - but not a lot of thought was put into what they were doing. Corps proper - big hornline....sloppy marching.....but it is early...I look forward to seeing them in Allentown.

Bluecoats - Nice colorguard....well designed uniforms (purple/blue kind of outifts)....10ft PVC poles used throughout the program. Good weapons line. Hornline is marching this year...anxious to see this when it is done.

Crown - GREAT colorguard - bad color left me flat though.....

Magic - small guard - like 18-20 people. Please cover up the young men - it is not really tasteful. The flag colors were tasteful however and the new corps uniforms are a positive. Marched really well tonite.

Crossmen - Flags were TOO loud in the beginning and many guard members seemed to get caught up in their blue unis. Nice flag statements, really nice sabre work. Why is the gunline buried most of the show and the rifle book just plain sloppy and non-musical? Clean heights! Overall - it was nice to see Crossmen colorguard not look like Cadets - the "jazzy" version this year. Cool corps uniforms made things stand out even better...

Cadets - great guard - though not as "tight" as I have seen them in the past. Flag technique needs to be worked feature with one solo flag was too long and basically too "predictable" - (this would be the new trend in colorguard to have ensemble statements with one person doing something different) - I say phooey to that and just let the audience enjoy the talent on the field. Big Apple is awesome...other sections were incredible as well - WOW tenor line!


Bridgeport , CT (DCA)

1st Empire..... Simply a class act. Better than ever. Their Brass line is hot. Color Guard even hotter. Simply they claimed yet another DCA Crown tonight. Now the battle is for 2nd.

2nd Brigs... Simply not a class act. Everything Empire is/Brigs are not. Their staff were acting up already. TTalk about sour loosers. Brass line is good. Their show lacks that extra bit of energy, hopefully they can spice it up a bit and but themselves back in the running.

3rd Buccs DO NOT COUNT THEM OUT! Only .9 pts behind Brigs, this is one hot corps. Also a class act this year. It's nice to see the great turnaround this organization has done over the past two years.

4th Cabs ALSO HOT. A few points behind the Top 3 but they have a Tradition of turning it on in July. Wish these guys the best of luck.

5th Hurricanes Clearly the favorite in the next grouping of corps. Show is a bit dirty yet, but it's early. These Color Guard can perform. What a show, they are very entertaining this year.

6th Sunrisers Not one of their stronger Corps. I could only wounder how being associated with YEA has hurt them. They still did a rather nice job. I'm sure they will stay on the tails of the Hurricanes. Good luck guys!

7th Bushwackers Percussion Line is really hurting them this year. Brass Line is rather clean (however small in numbers). Guard...... as usual......AWESOME. A nice performance tonight for the smallest corps on the field. Hopefully things go better for you guys as the season progresses.


Friday June 25
Falls Church, VA (DCI-Atlantic)

First a few statements to preface my "review " of this how. 1) I am a contra player by history and trade, so my comments maybe a bit horn angled... :) 2) I got to the show a little late so I got a seat kind of low 3) I am no musical expert nor do I claim to be. Well anyway on to the review: There were not near as many people as I expected the show...About 200 maybe 300 at the most. I really liked the format it self.....I enjoyed the demo's since the friend who went with me did marching band, but was never really into nor had he seen drum corps. Well the first thing was the National anthem by the cadets and Crossmen ( I was getting to the seats just as it started...) Brassline. Very cool arrangement and great playing. Then It was time for the first corps the Magic of Orlando (and for your knowledge I even yelled go Virginia! A shout out to the "claimed and famed 3rd Bari.... :)) They seemed to have a couple spots still open...I really like the uinis....pretty cool......The music ECHANO I loved.....they did a nice arrangement and overall good horn balance and good horn/drum balance.....Color Guard did some cool solo dancing and it worked nice....The whole show was pretty much like that and worked very well. I thought some of their pass through (I even noticed a couple horn players "zeroing out") were still a bit ruff and the middle horns were still just a little dirty on some of their runs...but over all I really LOVED the music and show. Some powerful horn moments and good clean clean drums over all. Very cool guard unis...neat effect.

Next was a demo by the Crossmen Horns....nice demos showed mannerisms pretty well, and brought back some cool memories....Then they played their blade standing still. WOW. That is all I can say such power and beauty in combo was neat to see. Does any one know how long ( I think this was her name) Susan has been in brass caption head? the seemed like a totally different line then just a few years ago.....

Then came the Carolina Crown. I liked the uniforms and visually everything was moderately solid.....Though I thought a couple moments kinda took away from the music. Great balanced horn sound, great CG moves....pretty clean for the end of June. Drums did not seem as pushy or formative as they did in the other corps, almost seemed kinda weak....Cg did some great stuff in the second part with expressions that showed the mood of the music and great work at the same time....emotionally charged music and they showed it and played it well.

After that they did a CG/Dance Demo.....this was neat and entertained my friend because he was in "bandfront" and so he enjoyed that part. Again, I thought this was a wonderful demo. I thought maybe adding how the judges score at DCI shows into each of these caption demos would be cool too.

Then was Crossmen. The first tune....BlueNotes all I can say is WOW. Horn hits were clean great effect and the visuals at the time were pretty clean with a AWESOME sound and a great set of opening hits. Gave me HUGE goosebumps. The ballad was just as awesome on the field. They lost just a bit of that dark rich moist sound and cracked a few more notes, but I am sure they were getting warn down by now...I still loved it. Guard was doing some VERY cool movements in this song and the visuals were VERY cool. I loved those uniforms by the way the silver looks great. the closer was power and precision. I have waited since 1992 to hear Appalachian spring live and in person, and it was SO worth the wait. One thing that I think will work much better in a "full" stadium will be the back field effects. For parts of the show they played some WONDERFUL backfield aimed stuff that will just kick but in a real resonant stadium.... very powerful close and a great tribute to the first 25 years. Watch for these guys at finals they ill be hot. Tonight they seemed a bit thin hornwise and there were only 4 contras most of the show so it was a bit top heavy but they were playin HARD all night. They had several people standing out most of the show so I assume (also by the SEVERAL holes in the drill) that they have a lot more to add....When they get it together WATCH OUT these guys will be hot....I loved that music, I can't say enough. Oh and that Drumline...WOW Typical Crossmen Hot and heavy.....but not too much. the cool was just rock solid and to me it sounded pretty clean, and it looked cool.

As for CBC I didn't get to stay as I had to leave so my friend could get to work. I didn't get the scores but i would say:
4 Crown.....3 Magic.....2 Crossmen.....1 CBC

Also after all the talk of DUTS the only part that was REALLY bad was Crown at a wonderful silent section with drummers "dutting" it took away from the effect. I want to compliment XMen though they did a silent section that was great and longer and though I KIND of heard the duts they were no where near as obvious and they were pretty quiet. I thought the best part was the amount of fun the crowd and the corps had. the looks in those guys eyes on the field said : We're tired, we love what we're out here doin', and we love playin for you guys. This was a great show and I thank Stuart High for being such wonderful hosts.

Well that does it for me. Just in case any of you happen to be at the next 2 DC shows or the Allentown or Hershey shows just look for the lunatic wearing a North Force Drum and Bugle corps jacket with a burn mark on the back. Stop me and say hello! :) Or at Semis or Finals, I will be there but there will be a couple other NF jackets around since my friends will be there with me.

Well I look forward to reading more opinions and also scores of this show and I look forward to seeing them all again in just over a week.

Thanks for your time,
Josh Gartner

Yeah, weren't the Crossmen incredible last night? For most of the show they only had 41 horns on the field (there were more on the sidelines to be worked into the show), and they sounded like a 66 member line! Not blatty either, just a real powerful wall of sound.

Their percussion break in the closer caused the biggest spontaneous reaction from the crowd of the night. And the guard was strong as well. Not as "in your face" as the last two seasons' guards, but just as strong or stronger in a somewhat subtler way.

The drum major looks really classy and beautiful in her silver/grey dress and has a very mature presence.

Crossmen's show is just all around designed well, and with eight or ten more horn bodies to add to the very strong performers they already have, I have to think they could contend for the 4th place spot at finals.

Carolina Crown impressed as well, although they, like all the corps, are still extremely dirty. Their show is full of accessible sounding melodies, and the guard work went with the music so well. It's amazing to watch color guard work like Crown's, which is truly like visual music. The show is full of little split second musical moments that are echoed in guard work. Also the staging of the guard is excellent. Sometimes dance moves can look so cheesy when members are spread out across the field, but when the staging is dense, the bodies of the guard almost function like a fourth piece of guard equipment. Crown's show is full of these moments, and combined with the accessible music, this could be a crowd favorite show at Finals.

Magic's hornline sounded so mature, especially the sopranos. The guard is good, but small, 16 tonight. They are at that point numbers wise where the guard looks small, but by just adding 6 more members it will look much less noticeable. One of the nicest surprises of the night was Magic's new uniform. They won't be getting any more "ugliest uniform on the field" nods. It includes a cream colored shirt, and a simple, but really cool looking purple scarf around the neck, a vest, and an underlay that looked multicolored from the stands.

Cadets, well all you can say is that you have to see this from high up. The opening statement of piercing brass chords complementing unfolding drill lines has as much effect as some shows have in the entire 11 minutes. And the ending of the show drill is full of rotating lines that morph into one another and peel off into all kinds of craziness.

But this is a show designed for big stadiums, so try to see it in one. Tonight there was an incredible guard exchange involving briefcases and sabres that the crowd didn't even react to because it was largely hidden behind the pit in the low stadium.

The ballad seemed a little forced and mechanical, and doesn't yet have that soaring quality of the last two years' Cadet ballads.

The show ended with a major collision between two horn players, but they got up and seemed to be ok.

The crowd was very small, but that is understandable since this show was only added to the schedule about 3 weeks ago. Even though it was pretty small, it was a fun crowd to be a part of, as there weren't any huge masses of band kids talking throughout the shows. Most everyone seemed focused and into the music, if not the messy, yet to be cleaned drills.

I thought last night was a very positive exerience, minus one major concern. These corps are starting to look a lot like each other stylistically, especially Crown and Cadets. It's a very musical, cool style, so when they break off on different tours it is no big deal, but by the end of the night I was really struck by how much variety in styles is usually involed in a regular drum corps competition. I had a good time, and it was worth attending, but had the Bluecoats and Spirit of Atlanta performed between some of tonight's corps it would have gone a long way towards "cleansing the pallette" so to speak, making last night's 4 corps feel more distinct from one other.


Great nite good show. A few other comments:

1. Everybody has lots of cleaning to do, esp on the individual basis. Lots of variation in mark times, interval problems, horn angles, etc. know, its only June.

2. Magic's show was really cool. Was nice to hear all songs I know (I'm a late 70's-early 80's vintage). Echano is similar to the Garfield 77 version in part. Once they complete the guard work in the closer and clean this should get them back into finals. Drill is much more open this year vs. last.

3. Carolina Crown has a real nice brass sound. I liked their drill better than Crossmen or Majic.

4. Crossmen drum break in closer was a real crowd pleaser. Only had 39 horns on the field at some points. New members came in and out depending on what part of the show they had learned. Minor point - if a member is on the field performing, he/she should be in uniform. They had a 'part-show' contra that was only decked out in black, not a uniform.

5. Cadets. Nice show with potential, but needs cleaning. Drums were out of step (!) at some points.

6. National anthem by Cadet brass was great. Nitnoid point - the American squad they use needs headgear. Would have been a flag code violation in my day...

7. The highlite of the evening for me was the massed brass & drums playing the Bridgemen arrangement of In the Stone. Go here this now, even if you have to drive 500 miles. Next year with multi key, it won't be the same.

happy with valve-rotor


Murphysboro, IL (DCM)

The night was a little muggy, but pretty pleasant. The show started with the Murphysboro High School Band performing this upcoming fall's show. The entire show -- and it's only June.

The first competing corps was Delta Brigade. They are doing music from "Chess" and the show is pretty well put together. They didn't march or do guard work to the closer. Although they're getting a late start, it will be interesting to see how this show develops down the stretch. They march a single soprano player, man is that a lot responsibility for a performer.

Capital Regiment was on next. They have a pleasant show with accessible music including "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka. Nice uniforms and a decent drill suit this corps well in their inaugural season.

The Memorial Lancers from Saint Louis were on next. They performed a variety of old-fashioned, toe-tapping, drum corps tunes. They feature a nice drum line and couple decent soloists. It never ceases to amaze me when you see what appear to be six-year olds marching in a junior corps.

The Blue Knights were on next (after a few minutes intermission.) The show is obliviously going to draw comparisons to their '94 production, but there are a lot of subtle differences. The guard is quite excellent for this time of year, and as always, their silks are *beautiful*. This may be a trend I'm just to dense to have noticed, but the Blue Knights' snares *sound* like snares. I'm glad to hear it. We weren't sitting high enough to get a good reading of their drill, but the ending of the show has a 30-second segment of kaleidoscopic movement down front and on the 50. Neat. The brass line is playing well, but still has the occasional ensemble problem.

Tarheel Sun was on next. I haven't had to chance to see them live, so this was a first for me. I thought they might pale in comparison to the Blue Knights, but they held their own. They have a "meat and potato" baritone line that can really part your hair. The guard has a largely incomplete show, but they handle what they have pretty well. The drum line is strong. Their show is pretty recognizable ("Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "Bohemian Rhapsody", and "What I Did for Love") and well arranged (although at times the arranging is really straightforward.) I wonder what kind of visual ensemble number they will get tonight since it sometimes seems their visual ideas are a little disjoint at times. They definitely have a shot at semifinals if they can develop the show over the season.

The Cavies were on next. When you see a top-6 corps, you tend to expect a lot. The Cavaliers have a *very* well designed show this year. Still, I don't find it as entertaining as last year's program. The music was all unfamiliar to me (this is nothing new in drum corps) and will take a few readings before I can appreciate it fully. The show is well integrated visually, making excellent use of the guard throughout. The Cavalier drill doesn't seem quite as "dense" as in past years, they really spread the corps out and don't do quite as many solid-form, kaleidoscopic moves as in the past. The guard and drum line are excellent, and the hornlike is in good shape for this time of the season.

We didn't stay for the scores (since we were facing a 2+ hour ride home.)

Robert Berry
1958 Springtree Drive
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Wausau, WI (DCM)

First off, I lost my sheet in the stands with all the scores so I won't be posting any, sorry about that. I may do it tomorrow.

Just some info for what I thought about the show.

First place was Madison. They had a good show tonight. They spent the past couple days in town for practice. I also watched them all day both of the days too, and have a nice sun burn to show it. Because they have been over in time and have been getting the penalties for it, they totally redid their closer. It's now shorter and doesn't climax in the middle, now it's in the end. So they redid the music and the drill for it the last 2 days. Tonight, that drill was a little sloppy, but to be expected. This change was a big plus for them. Otherwise, it's a great show and has potential. I still get a kick out of the cocktail drumset.

2nd.........SOUTHWIND! Welcome back! The corps is full size sporting those quite bright yellow unis. Brass sound could be better and not as muddy, but it was a treat to see them on the field again. Also, the music selection was very nice. I was kept interested throughout the whole program. Lots of potential here. Drumline was sloppy a bit, but not too bad. Black bass drum heads just freak me out. Will southwind make top 21 at finals? Well, I guess we'll just have to see.

3rd........... Troopers. Great to see that the corps is at open class numbers now, last year I was guessing folding might be an option. I happy they proved me wrong. Brass was very weak. To have that many horns and have div 2 corps beat ya on brass makes ya wonder. Drumline was nice but nothing spectacular by any means. I liked the guard with their shooting scene, if ya don't know what I mean, check it out. troopers top 21 at finals? Could happen, but I'm thinking no.

4th.......... Blue Stars. This I do not agree with. They just edged out canos by a couple tenths in score. The show doesn't strike me at all. couple nice moments but pretty bland I think. It needs some spice. Drumline was good, I would say where they should be at this time of year. I just didn't like the show much, just an honest opinon.

5th.......Americanos. What a turn around from the Wisconsin Rapids show. They had a great show tonight and the crowd knew it. Brass edged out troopers in score. The brass was very good tonight, kudos to them. Drumline was a ton cleaner, still have a ways to go though. I don't like the guard uniforms, a little revealing. All in all, just a great show tonight. May be best drums in div 2 come dcm....they are in the running.

6th.........Cap. Sound.... Yes they have the numbers but I'm thinking that they had a bad show tonight. I've seen better last week. It didn't seem that they really improved much in the last week at all. Everyone is catching up. I like the show, just needs more dynamic contrast though.

That's all for now, I can't remember any more, wasn't watching the other 2 div 3 corps that performed.

my 2 cents worth


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