Drum corps returned to the peaks of Denver, Colo. and the stage of INVESCO Field at Mile High for the annual Drums Along the Rockies contest on Saturday, July 12. The Blue Devils and Cavaliers, both undefeated before going head-to-head for the first time this season, traded placements across the judges' sheets. The Devils gained the edge, however, in the music sub-captions, placing first in brass to take the gold medal with a score of 87.150. Blue Devils program coordinator and color guard designer Scott Chandler said, "Denver is a great place to perform and we love the audience here. We were testing out a few new changes to the show so it was a really important night for us as far as how the show is playing for the audience. Every night is about that right now – getting the show right and giving the performers an opportunity to communicate." You certainly know you're in a competition, but first priority right now is to get the show right and to keep the performers well-tuned and ready to handle changes. For Chandler, the Blue Devils defending their streak is just a footnote. He said, "You certainly know you're in a competition, but first priority right now is to get the show right and to keep the performers well-tuned and ready to handle changes." The Cavaliers were certainly not out of the running, their General Effect music score was well above other corps as they took the silver medal with a score of 86.625. Cavaliers director Bruno Zuccala said the group got just what they wanted out of the show in Denver. "The guys really came to play tonight. I thought that they were set up for a great performance and that's what they had. They had a lot of energy, a lot of emotion, and the crowd dug it. I thought we got a lot of crowd response, so right now we're pretty happy." Members of the Rosemont, Ill. corps continue to refine their program "Samurai." Zuccala said, "We've had a really, really good week. We had three days of strong rehearsals and we've made some additions and clarifications." He added, "We have some other things coming in store in the next couple of weeks, so I think there's a lot of time left for a lot of great things to happen for us." Receiving the bronze medal was Phantom Regiment (84.350), also capturing the highest percussion score of the evening. After close competition and trading multiple victories this past week with the Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 82.750), the Regiment put some distance between themselves and the California corps. The Blue Knights took 5th place with a score of 80.000. In addition to Saturday's performance, the Blue Knights were also focused on a number of homecoming ceremonies surrounding the Drums Along the Rockies event to celebrate the corps' 50th year. The Madison Scouts (6th, 73.475) edged out the Troopers (7th, 73.250), corps respectively celebrating their 70th and 50th anniversaries this season. The Mandarins finished eighth with a score of 69.125. One week from today the Blue Devils will defend their undefeated record in the largest contest yet this season, the DCI Southwestern Championship at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. There, all World Class corps will meet for the first time this season, as programs are refined at a feverish pace with the World Championships in Bloomington, Ind. fast approaching in August. View a complete recap of scores from Denver.
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