Last weekend I…


Last weekend I went to the Drum Corp’s International (DCI) competition. Luckily, the weather that evening cooperated very nicely, because the event was held outdoors in the stadium at Wakefield HS.

Although the competition was pricey, with a total cost of $26 per ticket, it was worth the money. Four traveling marching bands, composed of over 150 college students each, performed approximately 8 – 13 minute-long shows, excluding any encore performances. At this particular competition, the bands included Spirit of Atlanta from Atlanta, GA, Boston Crusaders from Boston, MA, Madison Scouts from Madison, WI and Crossmen from San Antonio, TX.

Unlike normal high school marching bands, these bands had worked nearly non-stop for a couple of months to prepare their shows. As a result, each performance was full of perfectly fitting music by the band and flag twirling by the color guard that were mashed together to tell a unique story.

I was the most surprised to hear a cover of the popular song “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys in a show about the events on 9-11 by the Madison Scouts. Whenever a song was identified, you could hear and see audience members singing and tapping their feet along to the familiar tunes. It amplified the audience’s amusement of that performance.

Each show captivated my attention, leaving little room for a dull moment. With all of the action spread out amongst the football field, ranging from the music of the instrumentalists to the acting of the color guard, it was almost hard to figure out what I was supposed to be focusing on at certain times.

After viewing all of the shows, some of the bands did an encore performance while the judges tallied up the scores. However, I did not stick around to see them again. Instead, I went to the side of the school to see the performers of the other bands, who were doing remediation practice. It was interesting to see all of the work that they had to do to make their show perfect. It was also interesting to see the number of buses it took to carry all of the performers from state to state and their loading trucks and food trucks.

Although DCI shows are often hard to catch, because they travel all around the country, they are definitely a worthwhile summer experience to check out.