Drum Corps International
Comedians come out to help raise money for drum corps
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Comedians come out to help raise money for drum corps

by Andrea Neff

One of the main objectives of each corps’ summer production is to evoke reactions from the audience, and this time Drum Corps International is honing in on laughter.

The first-ever “Funny to the Corps” comedy show will take place at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, July 31 in conjunction with the
Tour of Champions NightBEAT show in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The evening’s events, which will include the complete performances of all eight competing corps after the hour-long comedy showcase, will be webcast in its entirety via DCI Live!.

The $49.95 pay-per-view webcast has been organized to benefit DCI’s World and Open Class corps as an added bonus to the
Drum Corps Challenge fundraiser which ends on Saturday. Upon registering for the webcast (purchase the "2016 NightBEAT Tour of Champions Benefit" package), each viewer will be prompted to select which corps approximately $30 of the purchase price will go.

Championing the comedy show idea is seasoned drum corps tour volunteer and professional comic J. Jay Boyd, who began brainstorming the fundraiser about seven years ago. He eventually rallied the support of Carolina Crown executive director Jim Coates and Phantom Regiment executive director Rick Valenzuela to develop the corps-donation aspect.

“The thing that I love about this project is that it’s set up where drum corps don’t have to spend a dime and they get a monster share of the money they’re bringing in,” Boyd said.

Sharing the stage with Boyd, who has opened for the likes of Jeff Dunham, Kevin James, and Ray Romano, will be Phantom Regiment alumnus Micah Hanner and guitarist Michael Mack. Both Boyd’s and Hanner’s acts plan to incorporate some drum corps humor while Mack will focus on song parodies while playing live.

“I think fans should really embrace this because this is the first year we’re doing this, and I guarantee it’s going to be a hysterical show,” Boyd said. “[‘Funny to the Corps’] expands DCI’s visibility in the arts field and gives them a larger presence to grow drum corps … That’s what this is about.”

William Pitts, brass arranger and alumnus of Phantom Regiment, will emcee the show in front of VIP ticket holders live in a reception room overlooking BB&T Field on the campus of Wake Forest University on Sunday.

Although the fundraiser is limited specifically to registered DCI corps this year, Boyd says his goal is to greatly expand the reach in the future.

“Next year I would love to include WGI, all the indoor percussion groups because we’re all part of the same family and we all have the same monetary needs,” he said. “Within five years I’d love for this to be utilized for any youth arts group that needs to raise money, whether it’s a youth choir in Tacoma, Washington or an Irish Dancing team in Cincinnati.”

Intended as a benefit to participating drum corps, this special webcast event is not included as part of normal DCI Live! subscription packages.

Register today to catch the comedy event and see performances from the NightBEAT competition featuring the Santa Clara Vanguard, Madison Scouts, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment, Bluecoats, Cadets, Blue Devils and Carolina Crown.

Follow “Funny to the Corps” on 
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Snapchat @Funny2theCorps.

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