Competition proved to be ferocious at the aptly named Wildcat-Ram Stadium, as the DCI Dallas Premier Event presented by the North Texas Festival of Drums and Bugles got underway on Thursday, July 23. Taking first place, the Blue Devils added another notch to their undefeated streak which stretches all the way back to the beginning of last summer. Continuing that dominance in 2010, the corps scored a season best 92.000 in front of a sellout crowd at Lake Highlands High School. "We're pushing the limits even more this year and loving it," color guard captain Mitchell Hautea said. With a target now planted firmly on their backs, Blue Devils members will be working especially hard toward this weekend's competition in San Antonio which will be an important competitive milestone for all of the World Class corps participating in the 2010 DCI Tour. On the rise, the Cavaliers become just the second corps to make their way past the elusive 90-point barrier in July. The Green Machine scored 90.300 in Dallas standing just under two points behind the Blue Devils.
"Things have really picked up quite a bit the past couple weeks," said Cavaliers horn sergeant Scott "Scooter" Norman. "We had some real hard pushes in the beginning and middle of June. Now we really think we've grasped what the show is all about and we're really going after it … The energy in our performances and the unity in the corps the past two or three shows especially has just skyrocketed, and the crowd has completely responded." Marching close to the Cavaliers in perfect formation, the Cadets continue to refine their production "Toy Souldier" which is inspired by the miniature figurines. Thursday the corps finished in third place with an even 89.000. Achieving marks in the mid to low 80s, Phantom Regiment (4th, 86.200), Boston Crusaders (5th, 85.350), Blue Knights (6th, 83.500) and Madison Scouts (7th, 81.950) have also been cranking out solid performances. With only about three weeks left to go before the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, fifth-year Phantom Regiment tenor drummer Dan Rainbow said, "It's encouraging where we're at this point in the season. We're far ahead of where we were last year, getting better every day, and most of all having a lot of fun doing it."
Rounding out the remaining World Class competitive spots were the Colts (8th, 76.700), Crossmen (9th 75.450), Teal Sound (10th, 71.200), and Pioneer (11th, 69.500). Kicking off the competition Thursday evening was Grand Prairie, Texas' Forte (1st, 67.750). Making just its third performance in the history of the organization, the group is one of the newest corps in the ranks of the Open Class this season. This season has been an exciting adventure for drum major CJ McCrory. "When you come into something that's brand new you have to set traditions, new values, and ways of doing things that are completely new to people who have never auditioned for a corps before," said McCrory. "It's always an adventure to learn new things and get things going. It's been a learning experience for everyone here; understanding the drum corps lifestyle." As part of the DCI Southwestern Series presented by Jupiter and Mapex, all World Class corps competing in Dallas on Thursday will perform in Houston on Friday and vice versa. View a complete recap of scores from Thursday in Dallas.