The turf of J. Birney Crum Stadium was still radiating heat from the record high temperatures of just a few days earlier, but the Friday edition of the DCI Eastern Classic in Allentown, Pa. was blessed with stunningly pleasant weather and the performances of 11 of Drum Corps International's 23 World Class corps. The Cavaliers won every caption over 2nd place Phantom Regiment, matching the same season record score of 94.85 set by Carolina Crown the day before and Blue Devils two days earlier. Cavaliers corps members polished a new ending to their production "XtraordinarY" from a week earlier, with brass musicians running and jumping over the backs of other members to the delight of the audience. "It's getting to the point where everything seems to click, and everything comes together," said tuba player David Zilner. "It's just really small stuff to work out in the show now, and it's finally coming to life."
Phantom Regiment (2nd-91.50) held off Bluecoats (3rd-90.15) by placing 2nd in all but the three music captions. "The kids have really intensified their game technically," said Bluecoats Program Director Michael Gray. "I think the members understand the cerebral nature of the show, and now we need to bring the audience fully into it. "We do find that we're the odd-man out this year, but if we're a little out there intellectually, it's who we are. The [corps members] had smiles on their faces, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it, so there's not much more you could ask for." In the next grouping, Madison Scouts (4th-87.20) held off Blue Stars (5th-86.10), and a tighter race is shaping up between Troopers (6th-83.05) and Glassmen (7th-82.40). Glassmen Drum Major Josh Jameson likes what he's seeing lately from his corps. "Tonight's performance was really solid," Jameson said. "Obviously it's not perfect, but it gave us a good idea of what to work on coming into the final week of the season."
Another tight race involves Mandarins (8th-75.60) and Teal Sound (9th-74.90). Teal's Drum Major Michael Lopez says, "We're excited about the performance we had today in Allentown. Everything we've been working on [in rehearsal] is showing up in our performances." Cascades (10th-73.00) stayed atop Pioneer (11th-69.05), with the International Division represented by Jubal (1st-74.10). Saturday, Aug. 6 in Allentown will feature the remaining World Class corps, including Blue Devils, Blue Knights, Boston Crusaders, Carolina Crown, Colts, Crossmen, Jersey Surf, Pacific Crest, Santa Clara Vanguard, Spirit of Atlanta, The Academy and The Cadets. The show will conclude with an exhibition performance by the Bridgemen Alumni. Contributing to this report: Linda & Sid Unser, Chris Weber.