Drum Corps International
Blue Devils capture gold as the DCI 2001 Southwestern Championships bring down the roof at the Alamodome

Blue Devils capture gold as the DCI 2001 Southwestern Championships bring down the roof at the Alamodome

by Drum Corps International

After an incredible day of competition, four Division I corps made their way into the evening finals where 12 of DCI's best battle it out in the biggest event so far this season. The Colts, Madison Scouts, Bluecoats, and Crossmen all took the field for a second time in one day. Yet fatigue was not a factor given the enthusiasm in the hearts of each performer and the enthusiastic response that they received from the over 11,000 spectators!

The COLTS gave their portrayal of "Chivalry" a royal boost this evening. Their five movement narration lead us to and from battle with dramatic nuances that helped tell the story. Courtly dance, shields and swords, and a crusade of emotions were woven into a musical kingdom where the symphonic reigns and all is good.

Before the competition began, the mere mention of the MADISON SCOUTS brought rousing cheers of excitement from the fans waiting in the stands. Once the corps finally took the field, a standing ovation was in the works; you could see it in the fire in their eyes and in anticipation on their fans faces. The title of their performance, "Hot Jazz--Madison Style", says it all. From the initial ear-shattering wall of sound to the closing blast of power, Madison took full advantage of their stage and delivered the entertainment they promise from year to year.

PHANTOM REGIMENT brought fans back inside the concert hall with their "Virtuoso". While the colorguard chameleoned from color to color, capturing the many nuances in the music, the musicians launched their trademark symphonic sound, bringing to life Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra" and Shostakovich's "Festive Overture". An awe-inspiring performance, the show seemed to end all to soon yet promises many more exciting returns from now until Buffalo.

"Latin Sketches" gave the BLUECOATS the opportunity to showcase what this corps can do with Afro-Cuban jazz. From the cool rhythms of the rhumba, to the hot steam of the tango, the corps dances its way into the audience's hearts with a sound unmatched north of Havana.

The CROSSMEN kept the jazz alive in the Alamodome, yet this time with a light-hearted twist, especially in the middle of the show where various parts of the drumline are featured framed by the guard and cheered on by the hornline. True to their intent, the Crossmen offer fans the chance to experience the atmosphere of a night out in Manhattan's jazz clubs where the intensity and interplay of the music make having fun an almost automatic result.

"IMAGO". The enigma of this show title is the first indication that the GLASSMEN are presenting an intriguing blend of 20th century music. Invocative and explosive, IMAGO provides an array of moods inspiring a visual fury that keeps fans wondering what lays ahead. Given their success thus far this season, the answer to that question becomes less of an enigma each day.

Thinking outside the box yet still remaining inside thanks to its "Four Corners", the CAVALIERS stretch your imagination as they creatively explore just about every inch of the field. The original composition, essentially a symphonic jazz/rock suite in four movements, delves into even more corners of musical genre with an accompanying drill that geometrically kaleidoscopes without pause. Add a colorguard that ties this all together and you have an unforgettable package.

Celebrating 25 years since their first of 10 DCI Championships, the BLUE DEVILS remind us of their entertaining jazz roots with "Awayday Blue". The playfulness of the score echoes sounds of musical comedy mixed with ground-breaking modern classical symphony. Energetic and uplifting from beginning to end, the blue Devils 2001 performance certainly carries with it more than 25 years of excellence and holds a promise for many more to come.

"Juxaperformance" perfectly describes The CADETS approach to drum corps this season. Moving from one musical style to another without missing a beat -- for example from Benjamin Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" to Van Morrison's "Moondance" -- the Cadets controll the chaos by carefully weaving in a few clever transitions, making the musical jumps seem more than natural, they become unexpected pleasures.

SANTA CLARA VANGUARD once again challenges the audience's expectations with their "New Era Metropolis". Each "sketch" in the production explores a different musical artist from the latter half of the 20th century, forcing the corps to find equally modern approaches to capturing the textures visually; and this they do with the all the subtlety and intensity for which Santa Clara is known.

With all the color and slapstick of Saturday morning television, the BLUE KNIGHTS present a program entitled "Blue Toons" inspired by the celluloid fantasies of our childhood. Playful as it is, this is still serious drum corps; so laugh all you want, it's what the Blue Knights had in mind.

Last on this evening, the BOSTON CRUSADERS brought us what they call their "most progressive show ever". Yet as progressive as they have been in the last 3 years with the top-twelve elite, Boston still remains true to its tradition with a corps that exudes confidence and reminds of where we have been and where we can go from here.

Retreat brought all twelve corps back on the field and tension in the air as we waited for the results. A glance over at the scores page will tell the story. Take notice of a few very close calls as well as a tie for second. The Blue Devils took all caption awards except Best Color Guard which went to The Cavaliers.