I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet: the NFL of football–the Mariah Careys of the stage–the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branch all put together:
DCI, or Drum Corps International, consists of the professionals of the marching band world. These brass-drum-colorguard bands are made up of the best of the best in the nation, and they practice and compete in stunning shows all summer, all over the United States. And although they’re not “professionals” in the sense that you can’t be in a marching band for a career ([aww] [you have to be 22 or younger participate]), they perfect the art of marching and marching band music every year.
My family, boyfriend, and I went to a competition in Allentown, PA this past weekend, and watching was as fun as ever. Of course we all critiqued their diagonals, commented on their color guard’s synchronization (or lack thereof), and evaluated their choice and execution of music, but who were we to judge? Let me just give you a few stats from the DCI website:
- Each summer, about 400,000 people watch DCI performances
- Students come from 15 countries to participate
- Each year, more than 8,000 students audition for the fewer than 3,500 positions available in top-tier DCI member corps
These people are GOOD.
We had a lot of fun at the competition. The Boston Crusaders were our favorite. They did a “Revolution” show that featured songs from Les Miserables and also the 1812 Overture. The show was really powerful and they had a few company fronts that were just awesome.
We also liked the Cadets! Their show theme was “Angels vs. Demons.” Half of the band wore red uniforms and the other half wore white. They had an awesome part, too, where they all put down their instruments and started doing stunts with these huge shiny poles.
In the end, though, the Blue Devils (no association to Duke) got the highest score, which we were very surprised about. Their show was very abstract, with weird cubes and shapes they moved around the field and no cohesive theme to their music. But I guess the judges thought they were the best technically, so they won the competition. If you’ve never seen DCI before and you’re interested, check out the video in this post for highlights, OR you can watch the DCI championships on the big screen, live in movie theaters this Thursday, August 11.