Six of last year's top 12 corps came head to head at Drum Corps International's 40th anniversary season opener Saturday, June 16 in Akron, Ohio. Not since the 2011 World Championship Finals have the Blue Stars, Phantom Regiment, Carolina Crown, Cavaliers, Cadets and Bluecoats met in competition. Bluecoats Executive Director David Glasgow said it has been an amazing weekend for his corps, which, alongside DCI, is celebrating its 40th season. "We started on Thursday night with a standstill concert at Gervasi Vineyard," Glasgow said. "It was a great opportunity to perform in front of our most loyal fans." Glasgow said the performance in Akron would be an opportunity to finally see how the many hours of spring training practices pay off.
"I'm really, really pleased with the progress," Glasgow said about the Bluecoats. "The show is a major step up from last year in terms of entertainment quality. The membership is just doing an outstanding job." After stepping off Summa Field at InfoCision Stadium, Carolina Crown drum major Mike Roche said he thinks his corps is doing great this season. Like Glasgow, Roche praised his corps' field show. "This show is very difficult from what we've done before, but these kids have risen to every challenge that has been put in front of them," Roche said about their 2012 production "For the Common Good." "It's been amazing." With the season opener out of the way, Carolina Crown, along with the Blue Stars, Cavaliers, Cadets and Bluecoats, are headed to Louisville, Ky. to compete in DCI Louisville on Sunday. "We're happy to get the first show jitters out of the way," Roche said. "That's definitely something every corps is going to go through, and it felt great to perform in front of an audience. We love doing that."
Phantom Regiment, the one corps from Akron that won't be appearing in Louisville will head out west to compete at Drums Along the Sandias in Albuquerque, N.M. on Tuesday, June 19, before beginning the California leg of their tour. "California is always fun, and we're excited to see how far we'll come throughout the West Coast tour before heading back east later in the season," drum major Dean Patterson said. Patterson said he thinks Phantom Regiment was very well prepared for Akron, already having 20 run-throughs of their field show under their belt. However, Phantom Regiment and the rest of the corps will have to wait to see how DCI's new judging system played out, as scores were withheld from Innovations in Brass. All scores from opening weekend, including DCI Louisville will be released on Monday, June 18 as part of the Drum Corps at the Movies: DCI Tour Premiere — an event taking place across 48 states in more than 500 theaters. Learn more about the 2012 Tour Premiere. View a photo gallery from this event. Contributing to this report: Jessica Skogh, Chris Weber