The Seattle Cascades are continuing to turn collective drum corps heads this 2002 season, their first as a Division I corps. Last night the Cascades scored 75.40 in Escondido, Calif., at the Esperanza Experience show, which placed them in a solid third-place position ahead of the Blue Knights (72.35) and behind the Blue Devils (84.00) and the Santa Clara Vanguard (83.20). "We're very excited to be one of the corps that the fans are talking about," corps director Sal Leone said today. "We're very excited about the possibility of being the first corps from the Pacific Northwest to make finals," Leone added.Leone is likewise ecstatic about putting the Northwest on the drum corps map once again. "We have a mission – we want to prove to the rest of the country that the Pacific Northwest can have a top-12 corps," Leone said, noting that the last Pacific Northwest Division I corps, the Kelso, Wash., Marauders, folded in the early 1990s. "Over the last 10 years there has been a tremendous void (in drum corps activity in the Pacific Northwest, and we are very excited to fill that void," Leone said.Leone said that the Cascades' 2002 show and the attitude of its members are the reasons for their success thus far. "We collected a selection of songs that were entertaining to the crowd. (The show is) a very appealing show to the general public, and it has a good structure to it to appeal to the judges," Leone explained.Meanwhile, Leone cites the positive attitude of the Cascades' members being an integral aspect of the corps' 2002 success. "We have a good attitude," Leone said. "We have the motivation and the attitude to succeed, and that's what makes it happen. We're excited about our start. We're hoping to progress even more," Leone said."I think that over the past three years we've been turning a lot of heads," corps member Melissa Davis, 19, a mallet player from Beaverton, Ore., said after a performance in June. Davis also said that the corps has been receiving standing ovations from the audience halfway through the show, which she said was unusual.In 2000, the Cascades were Division III champions. In 2001 the corps jumped to Division I, came in second place, then advanced to quarterfinals at the world championships (and placed 17th), which earned them Division I status for 2002.The Cascades perform today at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., with the Santa Clara Vanguard and the Blue Knights. All corps will perform both in a parade and in standstill formation.
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