It's fascinating how the numbers added up, and you can view the recaps on the scores page. When the smoke cleared at the DCI Midwestern Championships afternoon show, Bluecoats trumped Madison Scouts to be the top corps heading into the evening show from the ten corps that performed earlier in the day.Although Madison won three caption awards (Best Brass Performance, Best Marching Performance, and Overall GE), and two corps other than Bluecoats won Best Percussion Performance (Colts) and Best Color Guard (Carolina Crown), it was the sound of the audience yelling "Bloooooooo" that was the last thing to be heard before the massed corps playing of the "O Canada, America the Beautiful" medley.Let's hear from a representative of each of the corps from the Indy afternoon show. Each was asked to discuss the challenges of the season and their anticipations for the couple two weeks.Bluecoats—Bill Hamilton, director: "The trip to Texas was like a home away from home for us, as we have over 30 members from Texas. It's nice to be closer to home in the Midwest. The season has been going so well for us. We just want to see how far we can go. The tour has gone smoothly for us."Madison Scouts—Brian Johnson, percussion instructor: "One of the things we're happy about is that the crowd appeal is increasing exponentially every night. We're starting to hit a vibe with the audience. People are starting to talk about the show. We're hoping the buzz about the show continues over the next two weeks."Carolina Crown—Paul Rennick, percussion staff: "The corps isn't even the same group from just two weeks ago. We only need to add a couple of minor things, as so much of the show is complete. So, we need to focus primarily on performing our show rather than adding new things."Colts—Leah Ratliff, color guard instructor: "The other night, we got to a show and parking was a mess. We had less than a half hour to warm-up before performing. It was the best show they ever had, and things like that make them want it more. Right now, we're just making sure we peak at the right time. The hardest thing is getting the kids to perform emotionally as actors, especially during the carnage of the battle scene. We're not getting that yet, but it will come."Blue Knights—Mark Arnold, director: "It's been a real challenge putting together our cartoon show. We feel there are a lot of fun moments for the viewer. As the summer went on, with the extreme range of emotions inherent in the cartoon music, it's been a real challenge, but an exciting one, for the corps to develop the performance."Spirit from JSU—Jim Steele, brass instructor: "The transition of moving from Atlanta to Jacksonville has been ideally smooth. The people of Jacksonville State University have been a godsend to the corps, providing us with great housing and many fields to practice on. We look forward to the growth over the next two weeks."Southwind—Tony Rother, director: "We've faced the normal tour challenges and have come through it a much stronger family. We've had some vehicle problems that were out of our control. The first week of tour, we lost a bus and a staff vehicle, but we didn't let it affect our attitude. People are focusing on the things that are in their control."Pioneer—Bill Strube, director: "I feel confident that we've recovered from the slow start of the season, mainly from having over 70 rookies in the corps. The rookies are now catching on to the activity, but they were rather overwhelmed the first month."Troopers—Kari Gilbert, color guard instructor: "It's been a hot and hard season. There were many unexpected staff changes. Our brass staff is entirely new, and the percussion staff is mostly new. Everyone works together really well, better than we expected."Kiwanis Kavaliers—Jamie Edwards, program coordinator/percussion arranger: "We didn't know what to expect when we went on our European tour. Everything was different, and it took awhile for the corps to settle down. The European tour had positive effects on the DCI tour due to the excitement it generated. On the other hand, it put us behind when we got on the DCI tour, due to the hectic schedule we had in Europe."Bluecoats, Madison Scouts, Carolina Crown and Colts will advance to this evening's show. Stay tuned for more news from the RCA Dome!
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