The group from Derbyshire, England will spend two weeks in the U.S. this coming summer, ending with its sights set on the 45th anniversary DCI World Championships in Indiana.
“The main motivation for the trip is to give our members the chance of performing at the very highest level in our activity,” Company director Mark Nicholson said. “Drum Corps International is the market leader, and the chance to let the DCI fans see the Company and for us to put the ‘I’ in ‘International’ is something that is very exciting to us.”
Founded in the fall of 2009, the Company is one of the newer groups on the European drum corps scene and also one of the most successful. Since its first trip to the Drum Corps Europe (DCE) Championship, the corps has never placed lower than second, and holds multiple DCE and Drum Corps United Kingdom titles most recently in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Expected to the make the trip will be close to 100 members of the corps, made up of about 50 percent brass players, 25 percent percussionists and 25 percent color guard performers. As allowed by European drum corps rules, performers can be any age, with the majority of the corps’ membership between the ages of 15 and 25.
Competing in DCI’s International Class division, the Company will have the opportunity to perform as part of the DCI Open Class World Championship before heading to Indianapolis to participate in the season-ending events at Lucas Oil Stadium. In addition, the group will also take part in the 2017 SoundSport International Music and Food festival in downtown Indianapolis.
“As part of this trip we want to give every member the chance to experience as many different opportunities as possible,” Nicholson said. “[Whether that’s] the chance to compete against the Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard, the chance to rehearse or warm up with the Crossmen or Bluecoats … the chance to pit our wits against the amazing Open Class units, or it could be to simply have the chance of experiencing something they have always dreamt of.”
As the first European group to take part in the DCI Tour since Dutch drum corps Jubal in 2015 and the first British corps to take part since the 1990s, Nicholson says that members of the Company are anxiously looking forward to representing their home country on American soil.
“U.S.-based drum corps fans will love the passion and commitment the members put into every performance whether on the field of competition or off it.”