Recap: DCA Championship Prelims Live Blog

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Drum Corps season is NOT over! It's time for the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) World Championships in the beautiful Rochester, New York! Check back here to get regular updates throughout the weekend's show! Recap the World Championship prelims by reading through each of the corps performances!

September 2, Prelims Performance Time and Order, local to venue (EDT)

2:00pm -- Cincinnati Tradition "Lift"

Kicking off today's fun is your reigning Class A World Champion! The flag feature in the opener was a definite strong point for the start of their show. Really exposed moments for each of the brass sections in the corps' ballad. A lot of energy coming from that moment with the trumpet soloist on the prop on the 35 yard line. Plenty of sustain coming from the hornline in the big holds, just some struggles with intonation.

2:18pm -- Chops, Inc. "Aria 51"

Setting the field with props across the back that mimic a horizon, and a UFO with aliens coming out of it center-stage: Chops, Inc. takes the field. Really cool voiceover in the silence followed by an effective brass impact moment with the aliens' flag ensemble moment. The guard uniforms really stand out from the field and the rest of the corps. They draw your eye very well and give unique clarity. Quite the upper register from that one trumpet player, I imagine that's just the start of it for the afternoon. Love the UFO moment at the end, clever to hide in it.

2:36pm -- Erie Thunderbirds "Undaunted"

Really excited to see this show using entirely music from the Michael Giacchino score of "Speed Racer." Some cool drill moves coming from Thunderbirds today. Lots of movement in the brassline and the battery is often weaving in and out of each other even when they aren't the focus. The guard's switch to the large gold silks was a great element that helped bring up the drama of the ending. From a company front into a full-out "break ranks" chord, the ending of "Undaunted" is certainly a crowd pleaser.

2:54pm -- Southern Knights "When Kings Go Off To War" 

For their first time ever, Southern Knights have taken the field in preliminary performance at DCA World Championships! The drum major gave us quite the attitude on the salute, I'm certain their performance will follow suit. Great opening hit from the brass which led straight into some quick moving drill across centerfield. The snares seem to be having a strong show so far, great work in their debut. Very nice ballad, including the drum major's dual-threat as a soloist.

3:12pm -- Carolina Gold "So Into You... "

An interesting music selection for Carolina Gold's 2017 show, if you are also a fan of DCI. You'll recognize pieces like "Wicked Games," "Young and Beautiful" and "Roxanne." The soft opening using "Wicked Games" is already intriguing. This hornline is putting out a decent blend as well as an obvious step up in volume. The front ensemble's transitions also work very well for this show. Impressive color guard moment with the ensemble flag feature during the "Moulin Rouge" part. Great energy all throughout the end, those were a lot of sustains!

3:30pm -- Intermission (25 min)

3:55pm -- Govenaires "Uncharted: A Lost Relic" 

And with a point from the drum major, we're off! Really impressive opener drill, these gates are folding extremely well. Really good brass sound in the first big hit, upper splits nailed the extension. Cool trumpet solo, extreme upper register lip trill and all, while rocking the reflective aviators! Very suspenseful transition into your rendition of "Hide and Seek." Very interesting rhythms and sustained moments throughout the ballad. Really enjoyable closer with the recognizable Star Trek tunes.

4:13pm -- Hurricanes "Porgy and Bess"

Great opening hit at the end of the first song. Color guard was strong and the brass sound held very well. Great jazz style from the soloist and throughout, the first shout section was exciting as well! Your ballad is a real head-bobber and following the two dance soloists throughout the field was enjoyable. Props to the hornline for pushing through that closer -- plenty of long winded sustains with higher velocity movement happening in the drill.

4:31pm -- Skyliners "Xscape"

Interesting opening with the chain sounds and chain-link fence props set up surrounded by the performers. Pretty clean box rotations coming from Skyliners today. Although there were some intonation issues, the climax of the ballad was delivering in the volume realm and performers were contributing across the board. The battery break's drill and staging is really well done. You're able to easily follow the focus and the movement of the props sets an interesting scene with the drums "trapped" inside. Very entertaining ending!

4:49pm -- Minnesota Brass "Pins and Needles"

A pretty decent volume coming from this Minnesota Brass hornline. The uniforms also look great with the body work they've choreographed. The bright blue line accentuates their motion well. Good final sustain in the ballad -- lots of volume on the final push. Following a really intense drum break, the rifles nailed that big toss. Throughout this entire "In The Hall of the Mountain King" portion, the rifles have really nailed everything, very deserving of the spotlight they've been given in this show. Loved the synchronization once the performers put the pins in their shakos, really made the moment crystal clear and was entertaining to watch.

5:07pm -- Sunrisers "miRAge"

Really strong sound and impact from the opening hit today from Sunrisers -- upper lead trumpet extension was awesome. This baritone soloist has an incredible sound and is able to mimic the Egyptian/arabesque style being portrayed extremely well. Really groovy bass track being laid out by the tubas as the corps transitions into "Caravan." Love having the corps coming in front of the front ensemble to get up close and personal with the audience, it really adds another layer to the performance! Fun ending with the fly-over of what looks like a flying carpet.

5:25pm -- Bushwackers "Where We Belong"

Very interesting music writing in the front ensemble to open up the show. The dynamic capability of the performers really draws you in and then you're blindsided with the brass right afterward. Bushwackers' brass has quite a mighty sound today. Their low brass are holding their own against the rambunctiously piercing high brass. Impressive performances coming from all sections tonight, the color guard seems to be really locked in. The final push into the company front with the "Creep" reprise is an extremely fun way to end this show.

5:43pm -- Kidsgrove Scouts "Montagues and Capulets"

All the way from England, Kidsgrove Scouts have come to impress this year's DCA crowd. Their show this year is their version on the Romeo and Juliet love story, using music from Prokofiev's own "Romeo and Juliet." The opening sequence with the hornline split into "two houses" is visually really cool. Once the two houses come together and play out in the first fulll hit -- what a brass sound! Mellophones were peeling the paint right off the walls of the stadium. The way the guard and hornline are playing off of each other is very entertaining. In their drill, music and choreography -- it's easy to see the similarities and makes the show that much more accessible. Incredible prelims performance from Scouts!

6:01pm -- Intermission (25 min)

6:26pm -- Fusion Core "Connexion"

Welcoming us back from the break is Fusion Core! You can really hear all sections of the brass coming through when the entire corps plays. The percussion section's writing also works very well with the brass book. Some fancy feet work under the already syncopated rhythm provided by the hornline, impressive. Always love hearing "Sound of Silence" on the field -- we got to hear it from a few DCI corps earlier this summer and it never gets old. Really modern take on a difficult piece through the use of sound effects and silence in "Uffe's Woodshop," which you may recognize from the opener of Bluecoats 2014 "Tilt." The ending of this show is a blast to watch, there's plenty of running around coming from the hornline and battery.

6:44pm -- Cadets 2 "Once Upon A Lifetime"

Beautiful opening from the front ensemble and baritones. The first big hit really landed, beautiful brass sound and the volume is really matching the moment as well. Really strong moment from the battery during their brief break. The energy was well received. There's a ton of fast moving drill during a majority of this show, it really shows the demand being asked of these performers. Cadets 2 have really impressed today. Their visual program overall is very strong. "Simple Gifts" as the ending is playing right into the hearts of these fans. Great take on the reforming company front, false ending! Very exciting final movement, Cadets 2!

7:02pm -- White Sabers "WaterwayS"

Becoming quite the spectacle this season after their skyrocketing in placements since last year, White Sabers have a huge opportunity today to flex their skills! Even though the brass is spread from one 25-yard line to the other 15-yard line, there was still a distinct strong sound from the entire line. The motion created in the opening drill sequence is successful as well, displaying the "waves" theme. The backfield playing after the end of the ballad, during the trumpet solo, was also very effective. Really cool effect with the trombones at the end of the show, they really raised the excitement level.

7:20pm -- Caballeros "The Pathway of Remembrance"

A really spooky start to their show with the sounds of the wind, whispering and the church bells. Pretty decent start from the horns on the stage. The brass line picked up right after their solo, and really kicked off the show with a bang! Pretty impressive double-tonguing from the trumpet section in the middle section of their show preceding the battery break. Really great shout section accompanied by the horn soloist, there's incredible energy coming from the field.

7:38pm -- Atlanta CV "Through the Glass Looking... "

If you watched the 2017 DCI Southeastern Championship, you would have gotten a preview of Atlanta CV. The crowd loved them then, I'm sure they'll be right at home under the lights tonight at DCA World Championship prelims. And with an energetic salute, we're off! Great sound from the upper brass in their exposed moments as the low brass fly across the field behind them. The soloists/solis that transitioned into Hymn of Acxiom were very well done. The big hit in Hymn demands quite a bit of drama and Atlanta CV is delivering tonight. Great ending hit and great overall prelims performance!

7:56pm -- Buccaneers "Behind the Suit"

The crowd is already going crazy for Reading Buccaneers! They've got quite the lead to uphold tonight, great opportunity to capitalize on it as well! Really strong drill moves coming from the hornline and battery already. Wow! Great moment for the rifles as well, that's not easy! This brassline is making sure everyone in the stands knows how quietly it can play as well as how powerfully loud. There's some high level demand in the drill written for this corps and they are really owning up to it! Incredible brass hit in Samuel Barber's Symphony No. 1, really well done! Really love the "B" form with the voiceover, extremely effective moment to preface the insanely fast-moving ending. Great show Buc's!

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