Each of the last five days leading up to the DCI Tour Premiere presented by DeMoulin Bros. and Co. on June 21 in Detroit, Drum Corps International will be taking a look at where each of its World, Open and International Class corps stand competitively and artistically entering the 2018 campaign.
Continuing with DCI’s southern corps, here’s the third installment in a five-part series previewing the upcoming DCI Summer Tour.
CROSSMEN | San Antonio, Texas
2018 Program: “The In-Between”
A Taste of the Music: Elton John’s music will make its return to the DCI Tour for the first time since 2015 — when Jersey Surf performed “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me." Crossmen plans to feature “Funeral for a Friend” in this year’s production.
Competitive Refresh: After leaping into the top 10 in 2016, the Crossmen’s 2017 campaign saw the San Antonio corps jockeying all season with the Blue Stars for 10th-place positioning. While the Wisconsin organization ultimately won out at the end of the season, the Crossmen picked up several head-to-head victories throughout the season, and held a strong lead from start to finish over the 12th-place Madison Scouts.
Trending: After falling outside of the top 12 in 2013, the Crossmen have established themselves in DCI’s finalist tier with four consecutive appearances in the DCI World Championship Finals. Since moving to San Antonio ahead of the 2008 season, the Crossmen have achieved five top-12 finishes in the last six years.
GENESIS | Austin, Texas
2018 Program: “RetroVertigo”
A Taste of the Music: Genesis will perform a unique rendition of Doris Day’s “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Séra Séra)” when it features Pink Martini’s interpretation of the 1956 song in its 2018 production.
Competitive Refresh: In its first year as a World Class competitor, Genesis improved upon its 2016 final score by nearly three points. While its 23rd-place finish was neither an improvement nor a setback from 2016, the Austin, Texas corps clinched its fifth consecutive spot in the Top 25, an impressive feat for an eight-year-old organization.
Trending: Genesis earned its first trip to the DCI World Championship Semifinals as an Open Class corps in 2013 with a 23rd-place finish and a score of 74.650. Since then, the Texas corps has hovered between 22nd and 23rd place, with its top score of all time being 2017’s 76.213.
GUARDIANS | Houston, Texas
*-Guardians followed an abbreviated regional tour in 2014 and 2015, with 2016 being the corps’ first year competing at the DCI World Championships.
2018 Program: “DAMNED.”
A Taste of the Music: After performing several selections by Kanye West in 2017, the Guardians will be bringing together the music of several current artists for their 2018 production, including Kanye West, as well as Childish Gambino, Kesha, Chance the Rapper, Jay Z, Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar. The corps will also turn to one classical artist when they perform Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 2, Resurrection.”
Competitive Refresh: In terms of its Open Class standing, Guardians moved up from 11th in 2016 to 10th in 2017, marking back-to-back Open Class World Championship Finals appearances in its first two trips to the event. Although the Guardians were unable to keep their early lead over Southwind, the corps saw a near-three-point improvement upon its final score in 2017.
Trending: After two years’ worth of shortened tours, Guardians’ first trip to the DCI World Championships in 2016 yielded a 32nd-place finish overall, but more importantly, a spot in the Open Class World Championship Finals. While Guardians’ overall ranking fell by one slot in 2017, the corps earned its first top-10 Open Class finish by moving up to 10th place.
HEAT WAVE | Cape Coral, Florida
*-Heat Wave followed an abbreviated regional tour in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
2018 Program: “The World Keeps Spinning”
A Taste of the Music: Written by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was originally featured on Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, an animatronic attraction first introduced at the World’s Fair in 1964. The ride is now in Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.
Competitive Refresh: In 2017, Heat Wave improved by nearly seven points during its 11-day tour schedule, coming dangerously close to catching Open Class finalists like Louisiana Stars and Southwind along the way.
Trending: Heat Wave will perform at the DCI World Championships for the first time ever in 2018, after running shortened tours each of the past three years. The 2017 edition of Heat Wave was the highest scoring of the corps’ three seasons as an Open Class corps.
LOUISIANA STARS | Lafayette, Louisiana
*-Louisiana Stars followed an abbreviated regional tour in 2014 and 2015, with 2016 being the corps’ first year competing at the DCI World Championships.
2018 Program: “Redemption”
A Taste of the Music: A growingly popular piece among DCI corps, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen will be featured in two corps’ repertoires this year, including Louisiana Stars and Music City. Carolina Crown last performed Cohen’s ballad in 2016, as did Pioneer in 2014, Bluecoats in 2013, and Crossmen in 2011.
Competitive Refresh: The winner of Most Improved honors at the 2017 DCI Open Class World Championships, Louisiana Stars rose all the way into the Open Class top six in just its second year following a complete tour through the month of August. The Stars also cracked the overall Top 30 for the first time, finishing within just 0.05 of the 27th-place Jersey Surf at the DCI World Championship Prelims.
Trending: 2017’s impressive showing was a major leap from the year before; from 2016 to 2017, the Louisiana Stars’ final score improved by nearly five full points, while its Open Class standing improved by three positions.
MUSIC CITY | Nashville, Tennessee
2018 Program: “Hell on Wheels: The Final Journey of Casey Jones”
A Taste of the Music: For one of the first times in DCI history, the bold, energetic music of Ozzy Osbourne will be performed, when Music City features “Crazy Train” as part of its 2018 production.
Competitive Refresh: In its ninth year as an Open Class corps, Music City earned its second top-25 finish — its first since 2013 — and set its record high score with a 74.275. The Nashville corps also earned its highest Open Class finish ever, earning fourth at the DCI Open Class World Championship Finals. For a large portion of the 2017 season, Music City held a medalist position, but was passed by Legends late in the season.
Trending: Riding the coattails of its best year yet, Music City will join DCI's World Class ranks in 2018. Since 2014’s eighth-place Open Class finish, the Nashville corps has seen its stock rise in each of the past four seasons, and hopes to continue that trend into 2018.
SOUTHWIND | Mobile, Alabama
*-Southwind followed an abbreviated regional tour in 2015 and 2016, with 2017 being the corps’ first year returning to the DCI World Championships since re-forming in 2014.
2018 Program: “The Guitarist”
A Taste of the Music: Arturo Marquez’s contemporary classical “Danzon No. 2,” known for its latin flair, will be featured in Southwind’s 2018 production. Most recently, Carolina Crown and Madison Scouts both performed Marquez’s piece, in 2010 and 2008 respectively.
Competitive Refresh: Southwind pulled off a rather large comeback in a short period of time when it passed Guardians for ninth place at the 2017 Open Class World Championship Finals. Guardians defeated Southwind by more than two points on July 29, but the Alabama corps ultimately overtook its foes from Houston just two weeks later.
Trending: With just one trip to the DCI World Championships under its belt, the new-look Southwind has a high bar set for itself in 2018 after earning a top-10 Open Class finish. In order to improve on its impressive first full tour, Southwind will look to breach the overall top 30 in 2018, a feat it came within striking distance of in 2017.
SPIRIT OF ATLANTA | Atlanta, Georgia
2018 Program: “Knock!”
A Taste of the Music: In 2018, Spirit of Atlanta will be the first DCI corps to use The Doors’ “Break on Through (to the Other Side),” though the classic American rock band recently had its music performed by Genesis in 2013.
Competitive Refresh: 2017 was a major improvement from the year prior for Spirit of Atlanta, which moved up three spots in the overall rankings and increased its individual score by almost 3.5 points. Spirit spent most of the season going back and forth with Oregon Crusaders; the Atlanta corps not only defeated its foe from Portland at season’s end, but also passed Blue Devils B by an ultra-slim margin of 0.025 points.
Trending: Five years removed from the second of its back-to-back trips to the DCI World Championship Finals, Spirit of Atlanta has spent the last four years between 17th and 18th place, aside from an outlier in 2016. 2017 marked Spirit’s first time breaking 80 points since 2014, which was the last of 15 consecutive seasons in which the Atlanta corps crossed the 80-point threshold.
On Tuesday, 2018 DCI Corps Capsules — Volume 4: Pacific South, featuring: The Academy, Gold, Golden Empire, Impulse, Incognito, Vessel and Watchmen.