New events, new venues and new formats will be among the highlights of the 2011 Drum Corps International Tour, which will again bring together the world's most elite marching music ensembles in a coast-to-coast series of spectacular competitions. At least 46 World and Open Class corps are expected to take part in this year's Tour, along with as many as 12 all-age corps. Two International Class groups are also planning to hit the road with Marching Music's Major League?„? in 2011, including Jubal (Netherlands), the 2009 Drum Corps Europe Champions and the Yokohama Scouts (Japan), a corps that last toured the United States in 2007. Scheduling the annual Drum Corps International Tour is a complex undertaking, requiring the coordination of calendar dates and availability of event locations, while drawing upon historical attendance data, along with the unique travel, logistical and competitive needs of each of the participating corps. "We were already discussing the 2011 schedule months before corps hit the road for last year's Tour," said DCI Director of Events Susan Kuehnhold. "While some of the current dates, locations and lineups may fluctuate slightly as we get closer to the summer, the majority of details for this version of the schedule were hammered out during a meeting of all the member corps back in September in Indianapolis." By the numbers, the 2011 DCI Tour will span 57 days from June through August, featuring 115 competitive events in 40 states.
Saturday, June 18 will be the official start of the 2011 season, and also the start of a brand new event series featuring eight of the top corps from last season. Dubbed the "Tour of Champions," this eight-event series produced by DCI within the larger summer tour, will feature the Blue Devils, Blue Stars, Bluecoats, Cadets, Carolina Crown, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment and Santa Clara Vanguard. Proposed as an "experimental series," plans for the TOC include a new interactive and entertaining competitive event format currently being developed by the eight participating corps. "While this version of the Tour of Champions will not be quite the same as the series of events we produced in California with the same name in 2004, these eight corps are taking the lead to program these special events with nonstop action and interactive entertainment," said DCI Executive Director Dan Acheson. The eight TOC events will take place throughout June, July and August in various locations including Omaha, Neb., Houston, Texas, and Murfreesboro, Tenn. Other June highlights include a new early-season Indianapolis event on June 21 organized with the Indianapolis Public School System, which has partnered with DCI to provide housing to many of the corps visiting the Circle City during the week of the World Championships. Other new Premier Events are slated for Muncie, Ind. (June 24) and Grand Rapids, Mich. (June 25). The Muncie event will coincide with Music For All's annual Summer Symposium camp for music students, which will move to the campus of Ball State University this summer after being held in Central Illinois for more than a decade. Among other notables for the month of June will be a West Coast tour by the Cadets and Phantom Regiment, a June 25 DCI Premier Event in Washington D.C. hosted in conjunction with MENC: The National Association for Music Education's Music Education Week, and the annual DCI West show at Stanford University in California also on June 25.
Ball State's Scheumann Stadium
The "meat" of DCI's summer schedule sandwich will sizzle in July, with events in the north, south, east and west booked solid across the calendar. Anchoring the July schedule will be some of the biggest events of the entire summer. They'll take place on successive weekends beginning with July 9 in Denver, Colo. for Drums Along the Rockies. Saturday, July 16 will mark the return to Minneapolis, Minn. for the second DCI Minnesota Premier Event. After epic, torrential downpours put an early end to last year's event, all 26 corps set to attend will be hoping for clear skies and the chance to once again perform at the impressive TCF Bank Stadium. Only one week later, Saturday, July 23, all eyes will turn to the DCI Southwestern Championship in San Antonio. "After the unforeseen scheduling conflict we ran into last summer securing the venue, we have every intention of returning to the Alamodome in 2011," said Kuehnhold. On Sunday, July 24, several thousand World Class corps members will converge on downtown Alamo City for an Individual & Ensemble Competition. After a successful test run last season, this popular event will once again be held as a mid-season fete. A string of Premier Events, including a new competition in Little Rock, Ark., as well as Dallas, Texas, Hattiesburg, Miss. and Gadsden, Ala., will line the schedule leading into the best-attended Premier Event of 2010: the DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, July 30. This Georgia Dome showcase will feature the performances of all 23 World Class corps in addition to special exhibitions by local all-age groups. Capping off July will be a jaunt for five corps from Atlanta to Orlando to perform on Sunday, July 31 within the familiar confines of the Citrus Bowl. Returning to the schedule after a year off in 2010, the Citrus Bowl has hosted many incredible Championship years including 1996-1998 and 2003.
The Georgia Dome
The DCI Eastern Classic in Allentown will start the last push into the final days of the season with all World Class corps competing over two days Friday, Aug. 5 and Saturday, Aug. 6 at the venerable J. Birney Crum Stadium. Meanwhile, Open Class corps will be busy in Johnsonburg, Pa. (Aug. 4) and Greendale, Wis. (Aug. 5), as they put the final touches on their productions before heading to Michigan City, Ind. for the start of their World Championship events. Kicking off on Monday, Aug. 9 at Ames Field in Michigan City, all participating Open Class corps will compete in the Prelims competition. The top 12 move on to Tuesday's Finals competition, also at Ames, with the Open Class Championship trophy awarded at the end of the night. With a new format for the World Championships announced this September, all Open Class corps will be invited to Indianapolis to perform as part of the World Championship Prelims on Thursday, Aug. 11 at Lucas Oil Stadium. All World and Open Class corps will be on equal footing in a head-to-head competition that will run throughout the entire day. "Open Class corps have enjoyed Michigan City hospitality since we first brought the Championships there in 2008. It's a drum corps town. The stadium is perfect for this new format and creates a genuine championship atmosphere for our corps," said Open Class Coordinator David Eddleman. "And then, for Open Class corps to have the opportunity to compete in the World Championship Prelims on Thursday in Indianapolis, the week just keeps getting more exciting for both the corps members and the audience." The top 25 corps after the Prelims will advance to Friday's Semifinals in Indy ending with a special exhibition performance by Dutch corps Jubal, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011. The top 12 corps from this grouping will compete for the World Championship title Saturday, Aug. 13. As a new special event in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the DCI World Championships, plans are currently underway to host a parade through the streets of downtown Indianapolis on Finals morning, featuring all non-finalist Open and World Class corps. "It's been quite awhile since we've had a World Championship parade and this is going to be an incredible way for us to kick-off the final day of the World Championships and to celebrate the 2011 season," said Acheson. "The parade will give all participating corps a chance to get involved with the Finals Day festivities regardless of their placement, and it creates another way for us to celebrate the accomplishments of our magnificent performers with legions of their passionate fans and the entire Indianapolis community." Continuing an all-day lineup of events on Saturday, following the parade, an Individual & Ensemble Competition featuring non-World Class corps will take place at the Indiana Convention Center. With more than 100 other Tour events "connecting the dots" between Drum Corps International's schedule of Premier Events, there will be many exciting opportunities to enjoy during the summer of 2011. Tickets for many Premier Events will go on sale shortly after the first of the year. Stay posted for the latest news and on-sale dates.Ticket packages to the 2011 DCI World Championship in Indianapolis are currently available. Please note: All 2011 DCI Tour dates, locations and events are subject to change.
Michigan City's Ames Field
2011 Premier Event ScheduleIndianapolis, IN Tuesday, June 21 Northwest High School Muncie, IN Friday, June 24 Ball State University Grand Rapids, MI Saturday, June 25 Venue TBA Stanford, CA Saturday, June 25 Stanford University
Washington, DC Saturday, June 25 Wakefield High School Denver, CO Saturday, July 9 Invesco Field at Mile High Minneapolis, MN Saturday, July 16 TCF Bank Stadium (University of Minnesota) St. Louis, MO Monday, July 18 McKendree University Denton, TX Thursday, July 21 CH Collins Complex Odessa, TX Friday, July 22 Odessa High School
University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium
San Antonio, TX Saturday, July 23 The Alamodome San Antonio, TX World Class Individual & Ensemble Competition Sunday, July 24 Downtown San Antonio Dallas, TX Monday, July 25 Lake Highlands High School Little Rock, AR Wednesday, July 27 Venue TBA Hattiesburg, MS Wednesday, July 27 University of Southern Mississippi
Gadsden, AL Friday, July 29 Gadsden City High School Atlanta, GA Saturday, July 30 The Georgia Dome Orlando, FL Sunday, July 31 The Citrus Bowl Allentown, PA Friday, Aug. 5 & Saturday, Aug. 6 J. Birney Crum Stadium
Florida Citrus Bowl
Tour of Champions SeriesSaginaw, TX Saturday, June 18 Saginaw High School Austin, TX Sunday, June 19 Round Rock High School Omaha, NE Sunday, July 10 Millard South High School
Rockford, IL Sunday, July 17 Boylan High School Houston, TX Friday, July 22 Berry Athletic Center Murfreesboro, TN Friday, July 29 Middle Tennessee State University Charlotte, NC Sunday, July 31 Memorial Stadium Piscataway, NJ Sunday, Aug. 7 Rutgers University
Middle Tennessee State University's Floyd Stadium
2011 DCI World ChampionshipsOpen Class Prelims Michigan City, IN Monday, Aug. 8 Ames Field Open Class Finals Michigan City, IN Tuesday, Aug. 9 Ames Field World Championship Hall of Fame Kickoff Party Indianapolis, IN Wednesday, Aug. 10 World Championship Prelims Indianapolis, IN Thursday, Aug. 11 Lucas Oil Stadium
World Championship Semifinals Indianapolis, IN Friday, Aug. 12 Lucas Oil Stadium World Championship Parade Indianapolis, IN Saturday, Aug. 13 Streets of Downtown Indianapolis Open Class Individual & Ensemble Competition Indianapolis, IN Saturday, Aug. 13 Indiana Convention Center World Championship Finals Indianapolis, IN Saturday, Aug. 13 Lucas Oil Stadium
Lucas Oil Stadium