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In 2001, the Academy Brass and Percussion Ensemble was formed to introduce the youth of Arizona to the drum corps experience. In 2004, the group was approved as a DCI sanctioned unit, changed its name to the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, and began competing for the first time. In the corps’ first trip to the DCI World Championships in 2006, it won the gold medal in Division II competition. 2016 marked the corps’ first year as a World Class DCI World Championship finalist.