Day two of the DCI Houston Premier Event presented by THE exSIGHTment OF SOUND has come to a close. After a brief storm on Thursday, only a few puffy white clouds obscured the bright sunlight as 11 World Class corps competed Friday, July 23 at the Berry Center in Cypress, Texas. This show, plus the other two-day competition in Dallas, have set the tone for this weekend's extravaganza in San Antonio. These eleven ensembles did not disappoint, with three corps now scoring above 90 points. Friday night's victor was the Blue Devils, taking it home with a score of 92.450. Performing under the lights with a field full of mirrors, the corps members' high execution and confidence continues to propel them forward. Solidly in first place for much of the 2010 season, the corps is proving itself a formidable competitor, but plenty of time still remains in the 2010 season for anything to change. The Cavaliers (90.500) came in at second place with an electrifying performance of "Mad World." The past two performances in Dallas and Houston saw the corps break the 90-point margin for the first time this season. In the Friday edition of the DCI Houston event, the Cadets were the newest ensemble to break 90 with a third place score of 90.050.
"The show was phenomenal tonight. I have to say this was the best show of the season for us," said Sam Ambrose, Cadets tuba section leader. "For the past week or so we've been struggling here and there, but tonight we were definitely on fire. We came right off the buses ready to roll." In their 2010 production, the Cadets cleverly portray the curiosity of "Little Jeffrey," with a member of the color guard bringing toy soldiers to life. The entire corps interacts in a creative portrayal of a boy's imagination. It hasn't been easy, and Ambrose acknowledges that the corps faced some recent struggles. But no matter the score, members continue to work hard and feed off of each other's energy. "We do pay attention to the scores, you can't lie," Ambrose said. "We come out and no matter if we win or we lose, we're always going to wake up early, we're always going to work our hardest. We take [the scores] for what they're worth, but we want the performance to be our personal best." Phantom Regiment (4th, 86.950) had another consistent performance of "Into the Light," continuing to mesmerize audiences with a rich sound from the horn line and an always-strong drum line. Boston Crusaders (5th, 85.050) held steady in the rankings, with Blue Knights (6th, 85.900) beginning to creep up behind them.
The Madison Scouts (7th, 82.250) earned standing ovations from the crowd at the Berry Center stadium. Second-year snare drummer Taylor Sexton said that the corps is striving for consistency, making a run for a spot among the World Championship finalist groups on Saturday, Aug. 14. He sees more maturity this year from Madison's members, their young age doing nothing to affect the drive of the corps. "I've never seen another corps work this hard. It's a great feeling to participate in a group of people all working so hard for the summer. I think we had 88 rookies this year, so it's been kind of hard to get them all into the groove, but they're all catching on very well," Sexton said. The Colts (77.400) filled the 7th place spot and returned with white plumes, after wearing red ones at the DCI Minnesota event. Crossmen (8th, 76.000) improved by about half of a point, persevering despite some recent ups-and-downs in the standings in this tumultuous season. Teal Sound rocked the stadium, literally, with "In the Presence of Enemies." Guitar and bass players in the pit vibed with the vibraphones, marimbas, and the rest of the front ensemble, building on the energy of the marching members behind them.
After their performance, center snare drummer Kevin Dill commended both the work ethic and the abilities of members: "In the drum line, they have really good hands, a lot of talent. It's mostly a mental game for us. We're just trying to focus in every time we practice for consistency." "My favorite part of the season is seeing the drum line improve." Dill said regarding highlights of the summer tour. "There's a lot of drum corps rookies, people who haven't marched before, but they're picking it up well." Finishing out the night's standings was Pioneer (69.500) in 11th place. Though the scores have recently fluctuated to some degree, the members' love for the show is evident on the field, with confidence and energy coming through to the stands. Now that the DCI Houston Premier Event is complete, corps will wrap up the DCI Southwestern Series presented by Jupiter and Mapex in San Antonio on Saturday and Sunday, July 24 to 25. View a complete recap of scores from the Friday edition of DCI Houston. Contributing to this report: Ryan Cain