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As a youth activity, the world of competitive drum and bugle corps is an intense, choreographed musical experience staged on football stadium fields by students achieving high levels of excellence in performance. Through the drum and bugle corps experience, young people develop life skills including self-discipline, teamwork and leadership.

Organized into three competitive classes, each drum corps is unique in how its management, educational staff and members approach the drum corps experience. We invite you to visit each corps in this section to learn more about their programs and organizations.


World Class corps can have up to 150 members. Students in World Class corps are primarily college-age with some high school involvement. Most corps from this class follow an intensive tour schedule, traveling more than 10,000 miles over the course of the summer while performing at more than 35 sanctioned events.

The criteria to earn World Class status incorporates a combination of aspects that include organizational stability, strength of program, number of participants, touring capabilities and financial stability. A participation review process is managed by a committee of independent individuals. They perform exhaustive evaluations of corps petitioning for World Class status after which a recommendation is presented to the DCI Board of Directors for a decision.

View all World Class corps



Open Class corps have a minimum of 30 members up to a maximum of 150. Most Open Class corps will follow an abbreviated tour schedule compared to World Class corps with memberships made up of a mixture of high school and some college-aged students.

The criteria to earn Open Class status involves a combination of factors that include organizational stability, strength of program, number of participants, travel capabilities, and financial stability. An evaluation process assists new or re-emerging corps petitioning for Open Class status after which a recommendation is presented to the Open Class Advisory Committee for approval.

View all Open Class corps

The International Class is comprised of corps from outside North America who often travel long distances to perform as part of the annual Drum Corps International Tour.

In this class, corps are allowed to follow their own country�s organizational guidelines. If they choose to recognize Drum Corps International rules, they are allowed to compete for the Open Class title.


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