The Blue Devils proved they are "masters" of their domain heading into the final weeks of the 2008 Summer Tour, proving themselves the best of the eight top Drum Corps International World Class corps last night at Pearl Presents the Masters Summer Music Games in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The 2008 Masters event was presented by the Pearl Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer and distributor of percussion products, who brought a bevy of special percussion performances and exhibitions with them. Pearl-sponsored acts like the Lalo Davila and Friends Salsa Band performed on the 50-yard line before the event kicked off. A special exhibit in the Festival Marketplace allowed fans to check out the latest Pearl equipment and products, as well as register to win special prizes including two Pearl drum sets, autographed drum heads, and more.

Blue Devils
The Blue Devils captured their 17th straight win of the summer in Murfreesboro, continuing an undefeated streak dating back to the 2007 season when the corps earned its 12th Championship title. Blue Devils drum major Andrew Rogers credited much of the success the corps has experienced this season to the organization's design staff, and the off-beat "Constantly Risking Absurdity" program they have assembled. "They've contributed countless hours, and it's an amazing show that they've put together for us to perform," Rogers said. "The show is so absurd! There's so much going on the field all the time – so much eye candy to look at." "We're working hard," Rogers said as the corps now looks forward to the DCI Southeastern Championship tonight, July 26, in Atlanta. "We may be more than a point ahead right now, but anything can happen tomorrow, and anything can happen the day after that. We need to keep working hard to keep moving forward." Even with the additions of new breakneck visual moves to the end of their show "Samurai," the Cavaliers (93.275) found themselves in second place, and may now be looking over their shoulders at the surging Phantom Regiment, who finished just 0.075 behind the Green Machine with a score of 93.200. That score helped the Regiment pass up Carolina Crown (4th, 92.625) for the first time since the two groups met on June 27 in Normal, Ill.

Phantom Regiment conductor Will Pitts talks about the corps' placement in Murfreesboro.

The Cadets (5th, 90.825), Bluecoats (6th, 88.200), Santa Clara Vanguard (7th, 87.475), and Blue Knights (8th, 84.400) rounded out the competitors at Middle Tennessee State University's Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium. Another highlight prior to the competitive event was a two and a half hour OnQ Live Learning Event presented by the Santa Clara Vanguard. Several hundred local marching band students had the opportunity to learn from Vanguard members and staff, even performing right alongside the corps members as they rehearsed their 2008 competitive program, "3HREE: Mind – Body – Soul."

Students drum along side Santa Clara Vanguard members during the OnQ Live Learning event.
"My favorite part was drumming with the Vanguard percussion section," said Lucas Rigo, a senior at LaVergne High School in Smyrna, Tenn. "I've never really done anything like this, especially an educational clinic where you get to drum right next to the corps members. It was really a cool experience." All eight of these corps headed to the Atlanta metro area following their Murfreesboro performances. They are seeded into the evening portion of the DCI Southeastern Championship at the Georgia Dome this evening. The other 12 World Class corps that did not perform in Murfreesboro will compete in the afternoon in Atlanta, and the top four corps from that group will qualify for the evening "finals" competition. Fans who can't make the trip to see the action live from the Georgia Dome can follow along as the action unfolds with the DCI Fan Network Live Webcast, which will cover all corps competing Saturday starting at noon Eastern time.