Drum Corps International
Behind the scenes at the "DVD Experience"

Behind the scenes at the "DVD Experience"

by Drum Corps International

Editor's note: To buy a "Legacy Collection" DVD and get those goosebumps whenever you want. With 30 years of drum corps history, DCI's collection of audio-visual memories now provides more than a memento of summers gone by and the amazing performances they offer. They have become guardians of our past, learning tools for the present, and treasures for years to come. Spending a day in the "DVD Experience" booth in the Festival Marketplace at Camp Randal Stadium yestedday, I was the lucky to witness how much excitement the remastered "Legacy Collection" can generate for fans and performers of all ages.Shane Cordray, 15, traveled to Madison as a baritone player with Teal Sound. Now at the close of his rookie year, Shane took advantage of the moment to finally watch a very special performance, one that he had been hearing about his entire life. When I asked if anyone had requests, Shane politely spoke up and asked for the 1980 Crossmen. Surprised that a 15-year-old would want to reach back so far in the past, I asked why. "That was the year my mom marched. I've head the music countless times and she has tried to explain the show to me, but I've never seen it," Shane said. Sharon (Blatney) Cordray was a color guard member of the Crossmen in '79 and '80. "Growing up, I always heard of [drum corps] and I wanted to march." Shane explained that he has had a great summer. "It's something that I always wanted to do. I wanted to see if I could do it," Shane said Well, he did it, of course, and had a great summer. He explained that he has made "a bunch of friends" and despite the hard times (including a bus breakdown in the cornfields of Iowa), he's looking forward to next year.Another young man with his sights already set on 2003 is Jeremy Thompson, 18, from Chattanooga, Tenn. Horn sergeant for Scenic City, Jeremy plans on auditioning for the Cadets next year. Yet the corps he wanted to see was the 1996 Cavaliers for one special reason: Jeremy's brass caption head, Jason Harvey, was the drum major for the Green Machine that year. Having watched the show, he realized that much of what his instructor was preaching all season came together in this memorable performance. "Everything that I heard and saw (on the DVD) is a prime example of what he was talking about. This is a fabulous teaching tool. It's great to be able to see it, and to have it all at your fingertips." In fact, quite a few instructors stopped in and inquired about a few specific years where they have found, in both the performances and the documentary vignettes, lessons that they would like to bring back to their high school students. Many moments on the screen provide a wealth of inspiration and the behind-the-scene glimpses and up close shots depict the hard work and determination on the performers faces. Whether it be the 1974 Kingsmen, or the 2001 Cadets, those images never change.Paul Pizzo and Steven Brunelle, drum corps fans for more than 30 years, expressed their appreciation for the performances of yester year as well as those of today. Paul marched with the I.C. Queensmen of Winchester, Mass., from '65-'69, and the Danvers, Mass., Blue Angels for two years before his final year with the Boston Crusaders in '72. Steven has never marched but has remained one of those die-hard fans that follow the activity as close as anyone. When I asked which year they would like to see, they hesitantly asked for 1980 27th Lancers, thinking that the younger viewers wouldn't want to see something for that far back. They were pleasantly surprised to hear rousing approval from the teen-agers, as they have been well taught that it is drum corps' past that has shaped its present. "These DVDs keep the old corps alive," Paul explained. "Even if they're gone, you can't forget them. The Lancers were the true innovators of their time." While this lesson may not have been apparent to the younger crowd, watching this performance of 22 years ago was in itself a lesson in what drum corps can be. I will never forget rubbing elbows with alumni and fans of all ages, and still getting goosebumps when "Danny Boy" broght the house down. It's is a memory will also remain in the hearts of those lucky to share in this DVD Experience.--Andrew Irving