Adding some spark to the Grand Strand’s long 4th of July weekend, Coastal Carolina University (CCU) is set to host some of Drum Corps International’s top marching music groups early this July.

The Boston Crusaders, Carolina Crown (Fort Mill, South Carolina), Crossmen (San Antonio), Music City (Nashville), Spirit of Atlanta, Heat Wave (Tampa Bay) and IMPACT (Orlando) will headline the all-new Brass at the Beach DCI Tour event in Conway, South Carolina, Friday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. ET. 

Tickets for the event, which will take place on the teal-colored turf of Coastal Carolina’s Brooks Stadium, are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased online or through the Coastal Carolina Cultural Arts Box Office to insure the best seats. Tickets will also be available at the gate on the day of the show.

Purchase Brass at the Beach tickets online

Carolina Crown
Carolina Crown of Fort Mill, South Carolina


In bringing the event to the campus of CCU, it was university athletics director Matt Hogue who first got the musical ball rolling. Hogue was a trombone player in his high school marching band when the director brought in video tapes of the DCI World Championships.

“Those corps were unbelievably good,” Hogue said. “It gave us something to aspire to. I was hooked.”

Fast forward to 2023 when Hogue and new CCU faculty member Steve Rondinaro met at a communications department meeting. Rondinaro, who was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 2013, has anchored DCI broadcasts, cinema shows and webcasts since 1977.

A fast friendship formed.

When Hogue asked the question, “What would it take to get a DCI show here?” Rondinaro sprang into action. He enlisted CCU director of bands Garrett Griffin, a DCI alum of The Cadets, in the effort and within two weeks Drum Corps International leadership was on the CCU campus. They loved what they saw.

The Crossmen of San Antonio, Texas


“To have an athletic director lead the effort to get elite marching music groups in their facilities is pretty unusual,” says Eric Hjellming, DCI senior event operations manager. “Matt and the CCU staff have been great to work with and Brooks Stadium is a gem.”

Hogue hates seeing Coastal’s athletic facilities sit idle. The July DCI show is a natural downtime fit. Griffin sees it as a stellar opportunity to recruit for CCU’s growing music programs, including the marching band. In recognition of their partnership, DCI is committed to making a donation to the instrumental music programs within the CCU Department of Fine Arts.

The performing drum corps at the event will be hosted at various schools around Horry County on the day before the show, which is a boon to local band directors.

“I’m excited for our marching band kids to be able to watch how these top groups rehearse and work on our fields," says North Myrtle Beach band director Peter DiLeo. "It will be a great experience capped off by seeing the show at CCU.” 

Spirit of Atlanta of Atlanta, Georgia


Rondinaro, who resides in the Myrtle Beach area and spends much of the summer announcing DCI shows across the country, is happy to bring the corps to his own backyard.

“This show has the potential to grow into a real destination event for corps and fans,” he said. “We have a great facility, one of the world's most famous beaches, friendly people … What’s not to love?”

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