After trailing a week ago in Minneapolis, Blue Devils came out strong at the DCI Southwestern Championship in San Antonio Saturday, edging Carolina Crown by a score of 89.45 to 89.20. An impressive crowd of 11,268 fans gathered under the roof of the Alamodome, to see all 22 of DCI's World Class drum corps compete head-to-head for the first time this summer. Blue Devils' win is the corps' second already this week in Texas, having passed Carolina Crown for the first time since June on Thursday in Denton. "There's something new; It's alive, it's a living, breathing organism now, and it's growing," drum major Kristen Lichtenthal said about the corps' energy and momentum during recent performances. Blue Devil's 2013 production, "The re:Rite of Spring," celebrates the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," a ballet initially considered revolutionary. "It was different, it was strange, people didn't like it but they came to love it," Lichtenthal said about the original "Rite of Spring." "And that's exactly what we're doing. It's perfect for the Blue Devils."
Blue Devils' drum majors comment on their corps' win in San Antonio
Carolina Crown's drum majors say to look out for a big change appearing in the corps' show sometime in the next week as the group moves along its exciting journey toward the DCI World Championship in Indianapolis this August. "We're looking forward to more changes, more crowd appeal and boosting our performance every day," Drum Major Larkin Sharpe said. "We're going through every big weekend performance gaining something every time." Coming in first in the music caption and three quarters of a point behind Carolina Crown overall were the Cadets (3rd, 88.45). Less than a week ago, July 14 in DeKalb, Ill., the Cadets tied for first with Carolina Crown, overtaking the Blue Devils by fifty-five hundredths of a point, showing that the top spot is up for grabs at any time on the DCI Tour. "Only time will tell how everything will play out," Cadets Drum Major Zack Travis said. "We're definitely looking forward to the rest of the season. The last two or three weeks are always the most exciting."
Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 87.60) regained its first-place spot in percussion (18.2 points) Saturday, after a lengthy undefeated streak in the caption that ended the second week of July. The Blue Devils percussion section came in just one tenth of a point behind, with the Cadets and Bluecoats closely following in third and fourth respectively. Carolina Crown rounded out the top five scores in percussion, eight tenths of a point behind Vanguard. Phantom Regiment (85.75) came in fifth place, finishing ahead of Bluecoats (6th, 85.05) and Madison Scouts (7th, 83.25). The Cavaliers (8th, 83.20) finished just five hundredths of a point behind the Madison Scouts and ahead of the Blue Knights (9th, 82.05), Boston Crusaders (10th, 80.95) and Spirit of Atlanta (11th, 79.20). Though ending fifty-five hundredths of a point behind the Blue Stars (12th, 78.05), the Crossmen (13th, 77.50) put on a strong performance for their hometown crowd coming out ahead of the Troopers (14th, 77.05) for the first time since July 12 in La Crosse, Wis.
Santa Clara Vanguard
"It was amazing to feel the support from the crowd," Crossmen Drum Major Caitlin Hall said. "You could feel it anywhere you stood on the field tonight." Just over a half a point behind Troopers, Pacific Crest arrived in 15th place with a score of 75.55 followed by Colts (16th, 75.05) and the Academy (17th, 71.95). Marking Oregon Crusaders' (18th, 71.35) first major regional competition as a World Class unit, the DCI Southwestern Championship lineup included many top competitors that the Portland corps had not yet faced this summer. "Today's performance was so much better than we thought it was going to be because the dome is such a different environment from our outside rehearsal spaces," Drum Major Happiness Yi said. "But our performance was great overall." Though this season presents new challenges as the Oregon Crusaders members get used to competing as a World Class group, Yi is pleased with the corps' progress.
"Instead of focusing on being the Open Class corps that makes it into the [World Championship] Semifinals, we're working on being the best World Class corps that we can be," Yi said. The Mandarins (19th, 71.25), Jersey Surf (20th, 66.40), Cascades (21st, 64.95), and Pioneer (22nd, 63.00) rounded out the World Class competition at the Alamodome. Genesis (1st, 73.25) competed in its first DCI Tour event of the summer less than a week ago in Bentonville, Ark., and was the only Open Class corps to perform in San Antonio this year. Hailing from Edinburg, Texas, the corps' score improved by four tenths of a point since performing in Houston on Friday.
"This was one of the better performances we've had this season so far," Genesis Drum Major Christopher Thrash said. "San Antonio might as well be our home crowd, and this performance was something special for our fans—the people who know us. Performing for them gave it a little bit more meaning." Thrash said he's excited as Genesis continues down the road to the Open Class World Championships in Michigan City, Ind. this August and beyond. "I'm just waiting to see where we go this season. I hope that it takes us to high places and gets us even further in upcoming seasons," he said. All of the World Class corps that appeared in San Antonio will compete next weekend at the DCI Southeastern Championship at the Atlanta Georgia Dome. View a complete recap of scores from the DCI Southwestern Championship in San Antonio. View a photo gallery from this event on Facebook. View the complete 2013 DCI Tour schedule. Contributing to this report: Casey Follen, Matt Malabonga, Jessica Skogh.