Columbians plan for 2024 is simple — change the game. 

The Pasco, Washington corps wants to try something new. Its goal is to push the drum corps activity forward, in a new direction. In doing so, its aim is to make a statement.

And with 2024’s production, “BE)NT,” program coordinator Tyler Jones and company aren’t afraid to speak their minds about what they think they have in their back pocket. 

“I know I'm incredibly biased, but it is such a fresh take on an Open Class drum corps show,” Jones said. “We’re trying to influence the kind of shows that we want to see Open Class do.”

On its face, “BE)NT” is simple. 

“It’s mostly about things that bend, the action of bending,” he said. “We bend pitch, we bend time, we bend into new moments. Everything in our show is bent or bending.”

The Columbians are proud to present their 2024 program: BE)NT Featuring: Trisense by Eijiro Nakagawa Elastic Heart by SIA Bone FX 3 by Quinn Carson Original Music by Jeff Chambers, Sy Hovik and Tim Mitchell

Posted by Columbians Drum & Bugle Corps on Monday, March 18, 2024


According to Jones, each of the last two years, Columbians programs have embodied or symbolized something deeper, connected to an aspect of the corps’ evolution. In 2023, for example, “Face Everything and Rise” served as an apt metaphor for Columbians’ decision to face their fears, take a leap of faith, and travel across the country to the DCI World Championships for the first time.

Beyond including elements that Columbians’ designers hope will innovate, “BE)NT” tells the story of the goals it’s designed to achieve. It’s about being bold, taking on a new shape, and to “bend” without fear of breaking. 

“I don't want to say this is a show against conformity or normalcy, but the show is really focused on being unique,” Jones said. “That's the deepest level of what I think our show can be read and interpreted as.”

Corps director Dillon Miller took it even further, providing deep meaning to the show’s concept that can pertain to individuals and to the organization as a whole.

“Bent can be beautiful, and it doesn't mean that you're broken,” Miller said. “You can bend to a situation when you need to, but it doesn't mean that you change who you are.”

But more than anything, Jones says, “It's a very fun, loud, fast, engaging show.” 

According to the corps’ design team, the Columbians will have plenty up their sleeve in 2024. 

For the first time since 2018, the corps will feature trombones. 

“Of course, we wanted to use some trombone music,” Jones said. “It’s an instrument that bends pitch.”

This idea led designers to the music of Quinn Carson, a trombone player whose song, “Bone FX 3,” went viral on TikTok in 2021. With approval from — and, according to designers, much to the excitement of — Carson, “Bone FX 3” will be a staple of Columbians’ program, used at multiple points throughout. 

“That whole song is so cool,” Jones said. “He's able to use harmonizers, and he does multiple tracks himself. “The entire thing is so sick. We've clipped out a couple of different areas from that and put it into our show.”

According to designers, Columbians have been able to collaborate directly on the project with Carson, who has a background in marching music. 

Carson, as music designer Sy Hovik noted, has been engaged with Columbians’ announcements pertaining to the corps’ 2024 production, much to the excitement of corps members. 

“Quinn has been really cool to work with, in terms of the design team,” Hovik said. “And having a professional artist involved has just been so cool for the membership. The students are going nuts for it.”

“One of his dreams was collaborating with a drum corps,” Hovik added. “He's stoked about it.”

Aside from Carson’s viral work, Columbians’ 2024 repertoire also includes Japanese trombonist Eijiro Nakagawa’s “Trisense,” Grammy-nominated artist Sia’s “Elastic Heart,” and original music from the corps’ composers. 

Visually-speaking, Columbians’ set design will feature multi-use props that Jones described as “unlike anything that I’ve ever seen before.” Jones also noted that the use of fabrics will be a key component in the corps’ visual programming.

That being said, while much of Columbians’ plans for 2024 are centered around trailblazing, the corps will stick to one “traditional” aspect of the drum corps experience.

When Columbians bring a new design identity to the 2024 DCI Tour, they still want fans to know exactly who is on the field.

“We're not going the custom uniform route,” Jones said. “We want to have everybody know who we are from the moment that we walk in. We also will be having shakos and plumes.”

“We might be the only ones,” he joked. “But we're doing drum corps.”

Columbians’ 2024 season, in all senses, is intended to be groundbreaking. But 2023 was groundbreaking in its own right. The corps made its first trip to the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, earned fourth place in the Open Class-centric competition before clinching a spot in the DCI World Championship Semifinals by taking 24th place overall. 

2024’s tour will be another step up for Columbians in terms of stretching the corps’ operational legs. Not only will the Washington corps participate in late-July and early-August events leading up to the DCI World Championships as they did in 2023; they’ll also appear at a quartet of early-July events in the Pacific Northwest.

Columbians’ 2024 summer tour, simply put, constitutes its most extensive ever, by far. 

Jones noted, as well, that much of Columbians’ membership for the 2024 season is new, filling the shoes of a group of “core veterans” from recent seasons. As he described, it’s a new transition, but an exciting fresh slate.

“I am really excited that these kids are going to be the ones to go through that experience,” Jones said. “As much as it's tough to say goodbye to our core group of members over the last few years. It’s refreshing and very exciting to start a new generation of Columbians, and really give them the tools and the strength that it takes to go on a national tour and compete all summer long.”

And riding the momentum from recent successes, organizational achievements, and plans for an exciting new production, excitement for the 2024 edition of Columbians is through the roof. 

“I don't know if we've ever had a drum corps that is this hungry,” Jones said. 

View the Columbians' 2024 DCI Tour Schedule