It’s Finals Week in the Drum Corps world!
If you’re not a Bluecoat, you’ll probably need to watch this to get the title reference. I got to sit in front of these kids when they came through Central Texas. Their show this year is “to look for America” which is a bit of a commentary on American society. The Bluecoats got snazzy new uniforms this year. They’re military-ish, which ends up fitting well with their show.
This year I got a chance to volunteer for a few days. The corps was in San Antonio for a regional competition (there are a handful throughout the season which determine placement at finals). The next day they were right outside Austin so I went back again to work on the food truck.
I skipped the San Antonio regional to head back to Austin to see some friends tie the knot, but I made it to the show the next night in Round Rock, TX. I even got in with the nifty badge at the top of this post which means I didn’t need a ticket and could sit wherever. I found a good seat on the 50 yard line.
The Bluecoats performed last which is good for them since the better corps tend to perform later. It also means they started their warmup later in the evening. So while they were getting ready I wandered around the “lot” and saw some old friends from back when I marched. Many of them are on staff at the Santa Clara Vanguard these days.
If you’re unfamiliar, the thing to do at drum corps shows is sit in the parking lot and watch everyone warm up until the good corps go on. This show was part of the “Tour of Champions” so it was relatively small and featured only the best corps. Not a bad show to go to at all, but it meant I was only in the “lot” long enough to snap this picture and say hi to old friends.
After the show they did a full retreat, which is when all the corps come back on the field to hear the scores announced. At many shows during the season, only the drum majors will come onto the field, but I guess this Tour of Champions thing is a special case. Before scores were announced, the corps performed a little diddy together.
The Bluecoats had just gotten off the field, so they didn’t participate except for a baritone soloist and the two small people you see up front in the photo. They’re Bluecoats studying vocal performance and they accompanied the 6 corps behind them with some opera. (Say what??)
It was really good.
Quarter finals kicks off on Thursday in Indianapolis, IN and it’ll all be over on Saturday night. There’s been some juggling in the rankings this year so it should be an interesting one. Can’t wait to see who takes home the gold.
Here’s a throwback for those of you who were in the crowd of 40,000 five years ago. (And something awesome to watch if you weren’t.)