The 2002 season will be a season of comeback for the Magic of Orlando. The corps is returning to the competitive drum corps circuit after being inactive for two years. "It feels very good for the organization" to be back competing, said corps director Rod Owens. "We're working hard to build a solid foundation for the future."Justin "Curly" McKinney, 21, a Magic baritone player and a veteran of the 1999 Magic corps, estimates that 10 or 15 players from the 1999 Magic have returned. He also said that 15 or 20 performers from other corps joined the Magic this season."Everything that I've seen administratively has been done correctly," McKinney said of the differences between the Magic of 1999 and the Magic of 2002. "The staff is top-notch." McKinney is from Palmetto, Fla., and attends the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Fla. He is studying music education and hopes to become a teacher. Meanwhile, an early season Drum Corps International contest in Orlando, Fla., held at the Citrus Bowl on June 22, will bring world-class competition to the Magic's backyard. "We're fortunate that the season is starting out here this year. The community is really behind it," Owens said.Jeff Fiedler, corps director of the 2001 World Champion Cavaliers, is also enthusiastic about the Orlando show. "You're going to see some of the top groups in the country early in the season. We're all going to be prepared, we're all going to be good. It's going to be very exciting. It's going to be a nice prelude to what's going to happen," Fiedler said.The Magic program this year is entitled "Desert Wind," and includes music from the 1975 movie "The Wind and the Lion." The original music was written by famed film composer Jerry Goldsmith, who also penned the music for the recent movies "U.S. Marshals" and "Hollow Man," among others. "The Wind and the Lion" featured Sean Connery and Candice Bergen."We're excited about it," Owens said of the Magic program this year. "It's crowd-pleasing and energetic. It's geared toward the fans and audience," Owens said. "I love the show. The show is a blast," added McKinney. "The drill is killer – very entertaining." McKinney said he particularly liked the high tempos and loud dynamics of the 2002 Magic program. "I get to play as loud as I possibly can (in certain passages), and I love that," said McKinney, who moonlights as a trombonist in the off-season. The Magic unveiled their 2002 program at an enthusiastically received preview show called "Night of Magic" on June 15 at Haines City High School in Haines City, Fla. "It was quite an event," Owens said.The Magic is made up of performers mostly from the state of Florida, Owens said, and added that the corps is sporting new uniforms this year. The corps is made up of 62 brass players, 34 guard members and 33 percussion players.
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