Ahhhhh, Valentine’s Day; meaning spring isn’t far away, and as Alfred Tennyson would say, a young man’s fancy (and young woman’s as well) turns to thoughts of drum corps.
Okay, maybe Tennyson wouldn’t say that, but Valentine’s Day is another milestone in the countdown to the start of the Drum Corps International Summer Tour.
And since we’re talking about Valentine’s Day, it’s only appropriate that we talk about love. And over the years, quite a number of drum corps productions have expressed the eternal nature of true love.
In the lexicon of drum corps love themes, perhaps no group has relied on them and done them better than Phantom Regiment. On-field theatrics have been a mainstay of the Midwestern corps’ shows especially over the last decade, and those productions have been infused with all kinds of romantic undertones.
Some Regiment shows about love offered subtle hints, and at least one was a literal slap across the face. Some shows were tearjerkers where at least one love interest died, and no one does the theatrics of death better than Phantom Regiment.
While we pine for a brand new drum corps season to arrive, this Valentine’s Day we take a look back at eight of the loveliest love themes from the corps who just so happens to set up home right next to Loves Park, Illinois.
1988: "Romeo and Juliet"
Utilizing Shakespeare’s timeless tale, the Regiment color guard captured the spirit of Juliet this year, representing undying love under great adversity.
The first male to appear in a Regiment color guard fell in love with another female guard member, the romantic city of Paris serving as a backdrop.
The calming presence of the heroine Marguerite tried to save Faust from himself and the Devil, but to no avail.
Spartacus and the princess slave Phrygia fell in love amidst the tyranny of their captors, with love (and death) ultimately conquering all.
2009: "The Red Violin"
A musician finds a magical violin, becomes a virtuoso, is seduced by fame, and discovers his devoted wife is the only person upon whom he can depend.
Again borrowing themes from the classic Shakespeare tome, the doomed lovers met on a balcony as the sun rose on a new day of hope; but alas, only Juliet made it to the podium at the end.
Prince Calaf wished to marry the hostile Princess Turandot and was willing to put his life on the line to do so, even at the risk of losing his head.
2014: "Swan Lake"
The tragic tale of Prince Siegfried and Odette played out as the corps shifted uniforms from white to black, the lovers ultimately sacrificing themselves in a lake.