Pacific Crest
Corps members of all ages demonstrated their skills July 24 and 25 during Drum Corps International's Individual and Ensemble Competition (I&E). The performances of 358 participants concluded Sunday as part of the DCI Southwestern Premier Event at Judson High School in San Antonio, Texas. Corps members spent some of their rare moments of free time preparing solo or ensemble pieces for the event. While some were seasoned I&E veterans, several participated for the first time, taking the opportunity to express themselves without interrupting their concentration during the Week of the World Championships in August which until this year was the traditional date of the popular event. "We have this piece we play in the lot [before shows], and we thought why not try to perform with it onstage?" said first-year Academy member Damon Knepper, who performed as part of a percussion ensemble Sunday. Fellow group member Edward Beyens enjoyed the support from other members of the corps, and both agreed their performance was a success. "Being onstage under the lights in front of all those people, that was probably my favorite part of I&E," Knepper said. Other first-year members of drum corps showcased their abilities on instruments they don't get to play on the field. 16-year-old Ted Chang of Pacific Crest decided almost on a whim to play a piece for trombone in his first-ever I&E appearance. "This is my first year in the corps, and I thought hey, I'll do an I&E solo," Chang said. "The whole corps was there cheering me on, it was amazing. I think everyone should have a chance to feel that same moment of joy."