With the first official Drum Corps International regional a week away, many of the corps have now fully embraced their show concepts and are now at the point of the season in which they are making production changes on a more minute level. At the same time, the corps are really able to start scrubbing their shows clean from top to bottom, giving the performers their own time to shine and show off their incredible talent and attention to detail.
What To Look For: Drums Along the RockiesThe long-awaited matchup between the Blue Devils and Bluecoats is not the only thing that makes this year's show in Denver great. Ten corps will make the trip to Mile High Stadium on Saturday night to perform under the lights, and for some, it will be the end of the road for the 2017 season.
Open ClassSince the corps' start in the fall of 2012, the Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps' mission has been to provide members with an affordable, full drum corps experience while also ensuring the members do not lose their entire summer traveling the country and rehearsing day in and day out. The corps will wrap up its six-show schedule in Denver this weekend, meaning this will be your last chance to catch the Columbians' newest production, "Do Not Go Gentle."
The Battalion will also be finishing their six-show season on Saturday night in Denver, performing directly following the Columbians. The two corps have traveled together from show to show since the start of their tour in Hillsboro, OR, trading leads back and forth. The Battalion focuses on providing as many opportunities to create music and opening their arms to as many people as they can. You won't want to miss the entirely original music of their 2017 show, "Listen to Silence."
World ClassThe Mandarins from Sacramento continue their sprint to make DCI World Championship Finals, taking huge strides in the offseason after a 17th-place finish last season. Their show "Inside the Ink" uses props and a barren color palette to push the story all the way to the top of the stands. The corps has been impressive since the outset of spring training, but something recent to note is its incredible two-point jump made overnight from July 11 to July 12.
This will be your first chance to catch the newest edition of the Oregon Crusaders, featuring their 2017 production, "Encompass." The corps will be playing "Enigma Variations" with selections from Enya and U2. On Wednesday night in Utah, the corps snuck by Pacific Crest, who will also be making an appearance in Denver.
The Blue Knights are not only making a reappearance on FloMarching on Saturday night but are also performing the encore after the show. The Blue Knights know how to have fun and stay informal during their encores -- you won't want to miss a chance to see "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" after the show. Check out this recording from Drum Corps International's YouTube channel of the corps performing the encore at Drums Along the Rockies in 2013.
What To Look For: DCI Tour of Champions - Northern IllinoisThe Tour of Champions series brings some of the most excitement of the season for the fans in the seats and the members on the field. These shows usually host at least five of last year's finalists in one place and fall between the big "Saturday night" regionals such as the DCI Southwestern, Southeastern, and Eastern Championships. At Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, seven of last year's top 12 will meet to show off their newest version of their shows to the Midwest.
Return From the Sunshine StateThe Cavaliers and The Cadets have made the long trip back up north from a brief trip down the East Coast and into Florida, including a pit stop at Disney Springs for a parade on Sunday, July 9. In a Facebook Live stream, The Cadets director George Hopkins assesses the corps' progress in its design process following a performance in Jupiter, FL, and states that there will be additions made this week to continue enhancing its show. He also gives fans an insight into the learning process as far as taking feedback from judges and making adjustments moving forward as The Cadets continue to improve en route to Indianapolis!
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