Drum Corps International
Blue Devils B, Vanguard Cadets take top spots after Open Class 'seeding' events

Blue Devils B, Vanguard Cadets take top spots after Open Class 'seeding' events

by Drum Corps International

Sunday evening's Dayton Summer Classic event featured performances by 11 Open Class corps. Scores from the event were combined with a corresponding "seeding" show in Dubuque, Iowa to determine the order of appearance for the Open Class World Championship Quarterfinals competition on Tuesday, Aug. 4 in Michigan City, Ind. Open Class Coordinator David Eddleman said that for many of the corps in this division, these shows so late in the season are the first opportunity for the corps to compete head to head with everyone they will see at the World Championships. "At these two 'seeding' events, the corps were judged by the exact same panel of judges. Their scores from those two competitions will determine their order of appearance at in Michigan City," Eddleman said. View the Open Class World Championship Quarterfinals lineup. Blue Devils B came away from the Dayton Summer Classic victorious, taking first place with a score of 90.95. The corps took first place in the General Effect and Music captions, conceding top Visual honors to the Citations (2nd, 88.25). Blue Devils B drum majors Andrew Wood and Eddy Pineda said the corps is pleased with Sunday's performance as well as their progress this season. "Everyone really pushed through the show tonight," Wood said. "Everything we worked on in practice really showed up in our performance." Wood says the corps' drive for perfection has paid off this summer. "We've been working hard and I think the members really enjoy the opportunity to perform for a great crowd. This is an Open Class corps, but we rehearse like a World Class corps." Next in line behind the Citations were the Raiders, who took third place with a score of 85.56. Back on the Drum Corps International stage this year after a two year hiatus from competition is Capital Regiment (4th, 84.40). Drum major Jordan Albey said the corps is extremely excited to back on the road. After last fielding a World Class corps in 2006, the organization has come back strong this year as an Open Class contender. "Ninety-nine percent of our members are drum corps rookies so this is a new experience for us all," Albey said. "To be doing what we're doing with almost no drum corps veterans has been a challenge for the corps. As we started the tour, a lot of us didn't know what to expect." But Albey says the corps' progress since the beginning of the year is incredible. "In November we had our first auditions and we started with 12 brass players, two color guard performers and about 150 percussionists." Since then, the numbers in all the sections have evened out and the corps has enjoyed a successful return to the tour. Marching music fans Rick Anderson and Julie and Calllie Saunders attended the Dayton Summer Classic to check out all of the corps' performances. Rick and Julie hadn't seen a drum corps show in years and were excited to see what the corps had to put on the field. Even though Rick is an alum of the Golden Lancers of Tipp City, Ohio, and prefers the traditional military style he followed back in the 1970s, he said his favorite corps of the evening was the Velvet Knights (5th, 79.30). The Converse sneaker and makeup wearing corps members, performing their show, "Cirque D'VK…Lions, Tigers and SHARK!! Oh My…", easily made fans out of the Saunders family. "I think they were a group that was really into what they are doing," Callie said. "The Velvet Knights really had fun out there, and that's what it's really all about." David Eddleman said that over the course of the season, the progress made by the Open Class is corps is incredible. Because most of the Open Class corps often operate with a schedule that limits rehearsal time until the later summer months, the division features performances distinctly different from the corps' World Class counterparts. "Open Class corps with fewer members end up finding different ways to program their shows. Though the styles used and the specific elements that make up the corps' respective productions vary greatly, I think that is part of the fun of coming out to an Open Class event," Eddleman said. "It's the diversity in what the corps bring to the field." Legends (6th, 78.30) and 7th Regiment (7th, 76.05) both increased their scores from an event only days earlier in Paw Paw, Mich., and Dutch Boy jumped up the leader board to pass newcomer Music City, taking eighth for the night with a 73.75. Music City drum major Wes King said the corps members have continued to work hard with their staff to improve their program since the start of the summer tour. In addition to working hard to "clean" the show, the corps has also added props like maces and batons to convey the marching band-inspired theme of their program, "Strike It Up … A Celebration." "We continue to add a lot to the show, trying to make it a great production and as exciting as can be," he said. Les Stentors and Spirit of Newark/New Jersey rounded out the competition taking 10th and 11th, respectively. Sunday's event, hosted by the Northridge High School music department and music boosters, corresponded with the Music on the March 2 event in Dubuque, Iowa. Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets took first place in Dubuque with a score of 88.75, while Teal Sound captured second with a score of 85.65, only .15 ahead of fifth place Revolution. Eddleman said the Open Class competition will continue to heat up as the corps that performed in Dayton meet the other eight corps at the Quarterfinals in Michigan City, Ind., on Tuesday, Aug. 4. View a recap of scores from Sunday's Dayton Summer Classic event. See a full recap of Friday's Music on the March 2 event. Learn more about the 2009 DCI World Championships. Contributor: Craig Olear

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