Thursday, June 24, 2004

Drums, Bugles, and Father's Day

Photo by Johnny Gilbert

This past Sunday (Father's Day) the family went out to DeKalb, Illinois to see a DCI drum corps show. If you have never seen a drum & bugle corps competition, you haven't lived. They are truly one of the most amazing live spectacles I've ever seen, but they are little known or appreciated by those outside of the drum corps universe.

A drum & bugle corps is what it's name implies: a band made up entirely of bugles (of all shapes & sizes...some as big as tubas!) and drums. There is also a colour guard that handles flags, rifles, swords, and various other non-musical duties.

And of course, they march as they play. But the "marching" that they do is way beyond any marching band you've ever seen. They are FAST, constantly changing positions across a football field, and playing the whole time they march in fast frenzy. There are all types of formations, and rarely, if ever do they stand in the same spot for more than a few seconds. It is a very fast & fluid performance.

All summer long, all across the United States & Canada, there are drum corps shows in various football stadiums, with all the corps competing to be the best drum corps in North America.

At the DeKalb show, the local favorite, Cavaliers, won the competition. But my sister and I really enjoyed the show put on by the Bluecoats, who came in third place.

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