Drum Corps International
Cesario, Rondinaro elaborate on the DCI Classic Countdown

Cesario, Rondinaro elaborate on the DCI Classic Countdown

by Drum Corps International

In addition to the 12 hottest DCI shows in history, seasoned drum corps commentators Steve Rondinaro and Michael Cesario will be providing introductions to each decade on April 21 at a Regal, United Artists or Edwards Cinema near you. Rondinaro and Cesario will be working with veteran DCI DVD and broadcast producer Tom Blair on Foxboro, Mass., in the coming weeks to record these between-corps segments. "I just can't wait! This is going to be so much fun," Cesario said. "We're going to introduce the decades, then let the corps speak for themselves. We're going to give you the decade, we're going to give you a little information on it, and we're gong to give you an exciting fact about each of the corps that our audience has chosen." Rondinaro elaborated on the fun aspect of the DCI Cinema Classic. "We just want to have fun with this and make it fun for the fans. You know that Tom Blair will make it a quality show. That said, I'd really like to see Michael Cesario in "period dress" when we host the '70s segment. I'm sure we can find a lime green polyester leisure suit with a wide collared flowered shirt somewhere," Rondinaro said. Both commentators looked through the roster and said they were looking forward to watching each performance. "(I'm looking forward to seeing) All of 'em! I have such great memories of the standards that the '74 Kingsmen set. There really were some remarkable visual things, so I'm really excited about revisiting that, even though we know they're going to look primitive today," Cesario said. Rondinaro, meanwhile, is particularly looking forward to revisiting the earlier DCI shows. "I'm especially interested in seeing the shows from the earlier era on the big screen. I was still marching in the early and mid-'70s with the Squires of Watkins Glen, N.Y., and was quite awestruck by all three corps selected from the '70s: The Kingsmen, Madison Scouts and Blue Devils. It was also a time when we weren't into shows with themes -- just playing great, kicking drum corps tunes. It will be quite interesting to relive that in big Dolby sound and see just what we could do with those valve-rotor bugles." The middle decades are also of particular interest to Rondinaro. "It's also interesting that the fans chose two shows from 1980 to represent the entire decade. 1980 was a great year. 27th was still very much a force. In fact they were the great "Eastern hope" to win that year. Spirit's horn line was a bulldozer. Oh, how I loved that sound when they sailed into 'Georgia On My Mind'." Rondinaro also cited the 1989 Santa Clara show as being a drum corps benchmark. "Then you jump to '89 with one of the most masterfully crafted shows of the era with Vanguard's "Phantom of the Opera." I worked the championship telecast with Dr. Charles Webb that year, then dean of the school of music at Indiana University. He was absolutely blown away by SCV's production." Cesario's drum corps career has spanned the decades, so naturally, he's worked with some of the top 12 that will be aired on April 21. "I thought the 1975 Madison Scouts were the best corps to hit the field. But there are some that I was involved with in some way or another, Star of Indiana and the 2002 Cavaliers (they were on fire), and of course the 1996 Phantom Regiment, because I was the program advisor for them. My brother Greg wrote that drill so it was kind of a family affair," Cesario noted. Rondinaro also cited the 1996 Phantom Regiment show as being one of merit. "The 1996 Phantom? Shostakovitch. Need we say more?" The veteran broadcaster is also looking forward to viewing some of the more recent shows. "The shows of the 2000s are still fresh in our memories, but will be most enjoyable to view again with the Boston Crusaders, the Cadets and the Cavaliers." Cesario said that drum corps fans, including him, will be surprised by the variety of styles the corps shown will represent. "It's wonderful for me because it's a mixed bag of past and present. I think there are going to be some surprises for our fans. Because our fans are so loyal, they never cease to amaze me, so I think they're going to find some surprises. Things they forgot happened. In watching the 1980 27th Lancers, I think you're going to be stunned at how modern they look. That show could go out on the field today and do well. Just how modern and how contemporary they look," Cesario said. Cesario also thinks fans will look back in laughter at the antics of a certain California corps. "I think we're going to see how hilarious the Velvet Knights were and the risks that they took. I think those things that you remember really well, you're not going to be disappointed. But I also think you're going to see how far we've really come," Cesario said. Rondinaro looks forward to revisiting the other corps from the 1990s. "It will be fun to visit the Star of Indiana and the Velvet Knights again." He also wishes a little bit of time travel were possible, at least for one night "The fantasy that I've been playing up, I wish we could have dropped the 2002 Cavaliers corps into 1974, just to see the reaction. I think our crowd would have acted like they were from space," Cesario said. Overall, Rondinaro has enjoyed the Cinema Classic process thus far. "It's been great fun going down memory lane for this show and I'm just delighted for the drum corps activity that Regal Cinema has taken such a liking to us. We have a great product for the big screen. Last summer's quarterfinals show was a big success and I hope we can build on it with the Classic Countdown. The only thing that concerns me a bit is that it's Rondinaro and Cesario unchained once again." Finally, Cesario thinks we'll all get a valuable lesson in how far drum corps has come over the tears. "You see the incredible talent and the incredible distance we've come since DCI started. You really see some amazing things. You see what great drill was in 1975 and you see what great drill was in 2002, and you say, "Holy cow." And in terms of sound, there are so many more textures and timbres. It's just so much deeper and so much more meaningful, and it still has all of that showbiz pizzazz that we love in drum corps -- the spectacle, the pageantry," Cesario said. Corps shown in order of appearance: 1       1974 Kingsmen         
2       1975 Madison Scouts
3       1976 Blue Devils
4       1980 Spirit of Atlanta
5       1980 27th Lancers
6       1989 Santa Clara Vanguard
7       1991 Star of Indiana      
8       1992 Velvet Knights
9       1996 Phantom Regiment
10       2000 Boston Crusaders
11       2000 The Cadets
12       2002 The Cavaliers View a list of participating Regal, United Artists or Edwards Cinemas airing DCI's 2005 Classic Countdown.
 
Tickets for DCI's 2005 Classic Countdown will cost $12.50. Tickets can be purchased now bigscreenclassroom.com or at participating Regal, United Artist and Edwards theater box offices. Stay tuned to DCI.org for other details as they become available.

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