Despite inclement weather resulting in a change of venue, the nine corps performing at DCI Central Indiana presented by Woodwind and Brasswind on Friday night pulled off loud, standstill performances in Ball State University's Worthen Arena.
The nature of the Muncie, Indiana venue combined with the level of musical bravado made an event which longtime Drum Corps International event announcer Dan Potter likened to that of a “rock concert.”
Although Friday night's performances were not adjudicated as a result of the weather, corps proceeded to fill the arena with a big sound for an audience made up largely of high school summer campers attending the week-long Music for All Summer Symposium.
Music For All summer campers rehearse the national anthem on Friday evening.
“It's not the biggest show of the summer, but for me, as an announcer, it's the most fun because this audience is so hyped to watch drum corps perform,” said Potter, who also announces at Bands of America events in the fall.
The smaller indoor setting definitely changed the intensity of sound, as rimshots and brass hits reverberated sharply off the walls and floors to the joy of those in the audience, who frequently gave standing ovations throughout the night.
Madison Scouts horn sergeant Nick Putnam said despite the different environment, the Scouts played with their usual on-the-field quality.
“Nothing about our performance changes with the indoor atmosphere,” he said. “At the Madison Scouts we really strive for the motto or mantra of ‘heart on fire, mind on ice,' so I think that plays a significant role as to how we can put out that energy but also hone it and play as clean as we need to play.”
“It's quite a bit different playing inside,” Music City drum major Jeremiah Wooten added. “You never know how it's going to sound indoors, what's going to echo, or what's going to ring, or what sound is going to hit you from which direction.”
Opening the show in just the second performance of their young 2017 season, Music City gave the audience a taste of the corps' 2017 production, “Tribe,” which Wooten says revolves around the theme of family.
“We see Music City as a family environment where we're all brothers and sisters working together to make music,” he said. “Through this idea of the tribe we really get to become a family throughout the summer. It's cool to see the bonds that we've formed through the music and how we're growing closer together both as people and musicians.”
Also performing at the top of Friday's event was Pioneer. The corps' Les Miserables-themed show this season communicates much of the musical's elements, but with a twist, says drum major Jackie Hirn.
“We're trying to tell a deconstructed version of the Les Mis story,” she said. “Instead of scene-by-scene, we pull bits and pieces of each. For example, on the field we have props that show colors of the French flag but they aren't ever shown all together.”
Other performing corps Friday night included the Troopers, Blue Stars, Boston Crusaders, Cavaliers and Bluecoats.
Finishing out the night was Carolina Crown, who had the opportunity to serve as “drum-corps-in-residence” this week at the Music For All Summer Symposium.
As part of that experience Crown put together an encore performance that gave band campers the opportunity to perform alongside the corps.
Braeden, a young attendee of the Summer Symposium, said tonight's event and getting the opportunity to work with Carolina Crown was an invaluable step in his musical development.
“The Summer Symposium experience has not only taught me how to be a better bass drummer, but also it taught me how to be a better leader in my band,” he said. “It taught me how to be a better person overall, and I'm going to take the lessons that I learned and take them back to my band to hopefully impart those lessons onto everyone else and help spread the culture.”
“It honestly gave me the closest thing to the DCI experience that I've ever had,” he said.
DCI Central Indiana recap