Drum corps fans braved triple digit temperatures Thursday, July 16, as 11 World Class corps took the field for the DCI Dallas presented by the North Texas Festival of Drums and Bugles event at Lake Highlands High School. The Blue Devils continued their undefeated streak at the event earning a score of 90.70. Combining a powerful sound with an exceptionally clean visual performance, the California corps has broken the 90-point barrier before any other corps so far this season. Blue Devils drum major Brian Howard said the corps' first performance in Texas went very well. "It was pretty hot, and I think that affected us a little. But overall it was a great show," he said. The group hopes to build on its accomplishments and continue to set new successive goals for its performances through the end of the summer. "We're looking to keep pushing through, Howard said. "Our competition is really the Blue Devil corps of past years. We're working to top what we did last year, top what we did in past years, and keep pushing through to that final show in Indianapolis on August 8." In a familiar spot, the Cavaliers once again took second place to the Devils with a score of 88.95. Santa Clara Vanguard took third with a score of 86.35. "Tonight was a significant improvement over our performance last night in Oklahoma," said Vanguard drum major Stephanie Lee. "With a few new changes to the show, our performance tonight was strengthened by a little more familiarity with the additions."
Bluecoats (4th, 85.450), Blue Knights (5th, 81.200) and the Colts (6th, 77.700) earned fan support with strong showings as well. Continuing a hot streak, the Troopers (7th, 77.450) impressed the crowd and judges with their performance of "Western Side Story," a retelling of Leonard Bernstein's musical, "West Side Story." Third-year Troopers member, Esteban Carrasco, said that a large number of returning members to the corps in 2009 is one of the key factors to the group's success this season. "It's great that the more experienced members can provide an example for younger rookies," he said. Madison Scouts (8th, 75.200), the Academy (9th, 75.150), Pioneer (10th, 70.150), Cascades (11th, 67.850), and Memphis Sound (65.150) representing DCI's Open Class, rounded out the competition. Corps will weather several more days of the intense Texas temperatures while trying to utilize every possible minute available to refine and improve their performances. "The Texas heat hasn't been too brutal on us, and in a way I think it's even helped the corps focus," said Madison Scouts trumpet player Aaron Levine who is a native of Richardson, Texas. "The staff has been doing a really great job taking care of us: giving us plenty of water breaks, shorter runs and rehearsal blocks out of the heat." Thursday's events in Dallas and Houston marked the beginning of the DCI Southwestern Series, sponsored by Jupiter Band Instruments, which continues on Friday as the two groupings of World Class corps switch locations and compete again. The series will culminate at the San Antonio Alamodome on Saturday, where 21 of the 22 World Class corps will go head to head for the first time this season. A Southwestern Series champion will be named at the conclusion of Saturday's competition in addition to caption award winners. View a complete recap of scores from the DCI Dallas event. Read about the outcome of day one of the DCI Houston competition. Contributors: Chris Weber