2018 Year In Review: Spirit of Atlanta's Pivotal Season

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Spirit of Atlanta has one of the longest and most storied histories of any drum and bugle corps involved in DCI. In 2018, the corps started a new chapter.

Skimming Through History

Spirit of Atlanta started its story in the late-1970s and finished its first season in 23rd place overall. The corps quickly progressed to become a consistent top-10 contender nearly every season until the 90's, when the corps made a slight drop in progression. 1989 marked the corps' first year out of finals since 1978 as well as a slow decline for the next four seasons eventually becoming inactive for the summer of 1994.

Spirit toured in 1995 and began their climb to the finalist ranks towards 2002 when they once again finished in the top-10. From then on until 2013, the corps made finals 7 more times. After that, however, Spirit of Atlanta's hold on the 11-12th place finals spot was passed over to groups like Crossmen and now Mandarins. Since 2014, the corps has slipped as low as 21st place—but in 2018, things changed.

SOA Works On Their Technique In Warm Up

On The Doorstep

The 2018 season showed a reinvigorated Spirit of Atlanta drum corps. A Spirit of Atlanta that could be back in finals in the coming seasons. Let's take a look back at this season, by itself.

  1. June 28 - First show in Pennsylvania, a pretty late start compared to most World Class corps who started a week earlier.
    • Spirit topped Madison Scouts by 1.500 points—a gap that was 6.400 in favor of the Scouts at their last meeting (2017 DCI World Championship semis).
    • To give you an idea, SoA started their 2017 season with a 61.000. In 2018, it was 65.700.
  2. July 5 - Spirit breaks 70 in Clifton, NJ
    • In 2017, this didn't happen until July 24.
  3. July 15 - The Midwestern Championship, seeing Scouts again, Colts join the mix
    • Spirit of Atlanta (76.850) placed just behind Crossmen (77.875), and still maintained their lead over Madison Scouts (with Colts closely behind them).
  4. July 21 - San Antonio. Spirit is now in 14th.
    • The Academy has now wedged themselves between Spirit and Crossmen, and Mandarins have skirted by everyone to put themselves in 11th.
    • San Antonio was the first opportunity to see all of the top 15 corps in one place—a first look at what could happen down the road in Indianapolis.
  5. July 23 - Final Texas showdown, Spirit and The Academy duke it out again
    • Spirit only fell to The Academy by .150, a gap that was over a point and a half in San Antonio.
    • SoA took the general effect caption by .1, tied in visual, and lost by .25 in music
    • Oh yeah, the corps also broke 80 here.
  6. July 28 - Home Show. Dome Show. Best Show.
    • Spirit returns to Atlanta for a phenomenal show and an enthusiastic crowd.
    • The corps jumped The Academy handily and were knocking on Crossmen's backdoor once again.
    • Scores: Crossmen (83.763), Spirit of Atlanta (83.163), The Academy (81.500)
  7. Finals Week - Holding steady and locking in 13th
    • Although they lost some momentum on Crossmen in the last few weeks, the hardest work had been done already by that point.
    • Spirit WILL BE a future contender for the last couple finals spots if they can keep up what they did in 2018.

Preview: 2019 BOA Northwest Ohio, Sept. 21

The Bands of America Northwest Ohio Regional will host 15 bands to Toledo and seems to have attracted some outside talent this year. Although one of the smallest regionals on the BOA schedule, the event will still give fans, alumni, and judges a chance to see some great BOA Grand National Championship contenders early on in the season.

Preview: 2019 BOA South Texas, Sept. 21

The 2019 Bands of America seasons gets off to a firing start, bright and early at 7:45 a.m. CT on Saturday, September 21, as the focus centers on one of the nation’s hotbeds for marching music at Veterans Memorial Stadium in McAllen, Texas.

Preview: 2019 BOA Kentucky, Sept. 21

The 2019 Bands of America season kicks off this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, with a mix of solid historic bands and exciting programs on the rise. With strong competitors in every class, this could be one of the few finals that includes competing finalists representing each class. 

Watch Guide: BOA Week #2 On FloMarching

It's time for yet another weekend FULL of Bands of America coming LIVE to FloMarching: BOA Central Ohio, Austin, Arizona, and Iowa.

Cheat Sheet For The 2019 BOA Season

Here is all of the most critical information that you will need to be up-to-speed on the 2019 Bands of America season as EVERY regional weekend comes LIVE to FloMarching!

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Watch Guide: BOA Week #1 On FloMarching

It's time for the fall marching band season LIVE on FloMarching! The 2019 Bands of America season kicks off LIVE in Kentucky, Ohio, and Texas on September 21! On the first weekend of BOA coming to FloMarching, you can catch bands from all over the Midwest and Texas presenting a majority of their shows for the first time in competition. 

Watch Guide: "Encore" Block Party / "19in19" Release This Friday!

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Don't miss an all new FloMarching Block Party filled with coverage from the 2019 DCI World Championships and premiering our brand new "Encore" episode, "19in19." The entire experience will be wrapped up into a multi-hour experience including features and interviews from Open Class Champs and behind the scenes as the crew heads from Marion to Indianapolis, IN, over the course of "finals week."

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Don't miss these four halftime shows featuring marching bands from the SIAC conference, coming LIVE to FloMarching on September 7th and 14th! 

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