AKRON, Ohio — In front of an enthusiastic home crowd Saturday night, the Bluecoats earned a second-straight victory to open the 2018 season at Innovations in Brass presented by The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps.
One full point separated the Canton corps (1st, 71.600) from it closest competitor, Carolina Crown (2nd, 70.600), with the vast majority of that gap — 0.9, to be exact — coming in the General Effect caption.
“I thought it was a really good performance tonight,” Bluecoats executive director David Glasgow said. “Obviously, it was just our second show, and there’s just an unbelievable amount of work to do, but for the second performance of the season, we’re really pleased with it.”
After finishing second in what is commonly its strongest caption Thursday night in Detroit, Crown took home top marks in brass, as well as percussion, for the second-straight event, on way to a first-place finish in total music.
Next behind Carolina Crown, members of The Cadets (3rd, 66.900) were eager to debut “The Unity Project,” as well as a brand-new uniform look. The Allentown corps’ strength came in its visual score, just over a point away from the Bluecoats’ high mark in that caption.
“First one of the year, there’s always going to be a few things in there, but they just laid it all out there, and I’m just thrilled to be a member of this drum corps right now,” Cadets drum major Claire Albrecht said following her corps’ performance. “It was just a testament to the grit of this drum corps, it was everything that we hoped it would be.”
Phantom Regiment (4th, 65.700) had an impressive outing Saturday night, finishing just 1.2 points behind The Cadets. At the end of 2017, the two were separated by more than 3.5 points. Regiment’s strengths in Akron were percussion, and brass, two captions in which the Rockford corps topped the Allentown corps.
“I thought it was really good for our second night out,” Regiment horn sergeant Amanda Petro said. “We had some weird weather the past two days, but, overall, I’m pretty happy with how the corps came together for this performance here in Akron.”
In fifth place with a score of 63.850, Crossmen also had a solid start to its 2018 season. In the debut of this year’s production, “The In-Between,” the San Antonio corps came dangerously close to nabbing fourth in total visual, with just .05 separating its tally from Phantom Regiment’s in that caption.
Rounding out the lineup at Saturday night’s event, Genesis performed “RetroVertigo” for the first time, kicking off its second season as a World Class corps with a score of 55.450. The Austin, Texas corps’ score was a slight improvement on its opening score from a year ago.
“It always feels good to put it on the field for the first time,” Genesis drum major Cameron Wilson said. “They say, ‘Practice like you’ll perform,’ but putting it in a stadium versus a rehearsal field is always going to feel a bit different, so it was great to put it on.”
To open the first full week of the 2018 DCI Summer Tour, this group of corps will be split up throughout the midwest; The Cadets and Genesis will head for Michigan City, Indiana, while the remainder of Thursday’s lineup will make its way to Mason, Ohio.