Friday, August 08, 2008

Drum Corps International World Championships

I haven't blogged about it as much this summer, but my son, Jordan, has again been touring the last couple of months, playing trumpet and marching with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. This is an elite, world-class group comprised of carefully selected musicians from among hundreds that come from all over the world to audition each year.  It is an all-male corps, the young men ranging in age between 17-21 years old, with the average age being 20.

I've written in detail about the corps and Jordan's involvement  here, here, and here, for those interested in the full backstory.

Tomorrow night, Saturday, August 9th, is the 2008 World Championship Competition at Indiana University/Bloomington.  Nancy is already on-site, attending the quarter-finals and semi-finals.  I will be joining her on Saturday afternoon with my mom, my grandmother, my niece, and one of my nephews.  At present, after last night's quarter-finals, the Cavaliers are locked in a death-match with their historical nemesis, The Blue Devils of Concord, Calfornia, coming in second place.

That has been the case all season, at contests across the country.  The Cavaliers routinely won first place at all the competitions that did not include The Blue Devils.  But when both are on the same bill, they toss it back and forth.  The Blue Devils won the DCI championships last year, with the Cav's coming up behind by a razor's edge.  This year, the competition between the two corps is hotter than ever.  The Blue Devils' show this year is considerably less difficult than the Cavaliers', particularly in terms of the marching, but their music is good, their performance is strong, and they have been able to execute with admirable precision and consistency.  The Cavalier's show is considerably more musically ambitious,  athletically challenging, artistically original, and visually exciting.  If they can nail down a few rough edges in performance, they should be able to take the trophy tomorrow night.  But it ain't gonna be no cakewalk, that's for sure.

I wish I could post some video of the show here, because if you haven't ever seen a world-class drum and bugle corps, you really aren't likely to understand what all of the fuss is about.  But DCI has that all locked up pretty tight with copyrights, etc.  Trust me, this is not a typical marching band contest.  You might be able to find some excerpts on YouTube, but in the past all I've seen is previous season highlights.  Typically, ESPN will rebroadcast it a few weeks after the competition, and you may be able to see it then.

Here are a few pics we took early in the season when we saw them at a contest in Ohio:

The finale, featuring the Cavaliers.  JP is the last Cavalier on the far left, second row, on the very end.

They have a state-of-the-art kitchen truck, easily capable of feeding a 150 or so people a full meal in a very short amount of time.

After the show, hanging out with JP.  That's Dan Merkamp, good friend and one of JP's former band directors.  His band, Northeastern High School, just won 4th place in the State Fair Band Competition.

The Proudest Mom in the World.


Heidi said...

I always enjoy your perspective as a parent with your son in the drum and bugle corps! Having marched in college and heard the stories of former corps members... I am impressed! (I remember that in those stories, marching in college is NOTHING NEAR as intense as in the DCI... and those members were always the prime examples in marching technique and most always the finest musicians, too!)

Congrats to your son on another great year!

Shoemaker Family said...

So....we're waiting to hear...what was the outcome?????

GPIKE said...

Wish I'd been there. Sounds like you guys had a blast.