Carolina Crown
The 2013 Tour of Champions event series kicked off Thursday, July 11 in Warrensburg, Mo., as seven of DCI's top World Class corps battled it out for the first time this season at the University of Central Missouri. Carolina Crown (1st, 85.45) marked a more than two-point improvement over its last recorded score on July 8 in Omaha. The South Carolina corps finished 1.35 points ahead of the defending World Champion Blue Devils (2nd, 84.10), which is the widest gap between the two corps yet this season. According to William Young, a third-year euphonium player from Carolina Crown, some added pressure came with preparing for tonight's Tour of Champions event, the first time this summer that Carolina Crown, the Blue Devils and Cadets (the three top-scoring corps this season) competed against one another.

The Cadets
"Going into tonight we knew that we were going to be seeing past World Champions and potential future World Champions. There's a lot of stress and a lot of getting ready to be the best that we can possibly be," Young said. "We're striving to be as excellent as we possibly can." Undefeated at all of its 12 events before July 11, the Cadets (83.90) came in third, trailing the Blue Devils by just two tenths of a point. Color guard member Kelsey King said that the Cadets put a lot of energy into their performance Thursday night and are not dwelling on the win streak's end. "Since we had such a good performance, it's not that big of a deal," King said. "We did what we could do and if we feel good about it. That's all that matters." Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 82.35) saw an end to its own winning streak in the percussion caption, as the Cadets came in two tenths of a point ahead (16.9), leaving Vanguard's percussion in second (16.7). Though Carolina Crown took fifth in percussion (16.4) and second in visual proficiency (17.4), the corps earned top scores in every other caption leading to its first-place finish overall.

After coming in 5.1 points ahead of the Cavaliers at their last meeting on June 25 in Fairfield, Ohio, the Bluecoats (6th, 78.50) edged the Cavaliers (7th, 78.30) by just two tenths of a point. Phantom Regiment (80.75), earning fifth place, widened the gap between itself and Bluecoats, from five tenths of a point at their last meeting July 7 in Chambersburg, Pa. to 2.25 points. Bluecoats tuba player, Jacob Page, who is a third-year member of the corps, hopes to see improvement at this weekend's shows, including DCI Minnesota on Saturday, July 13, which will feature a huge lineup of corps, including all of the seven participating in the Tour of Champions series. "It wasn't quite our best show," Page said. "But after coming off of a couple days rehearsing without a competition, it was a good starting point to set us up for this weekend's competitions." View a complete recap of scores from this event. Read more about the Tour of Champions series.
Contributing to this report: Casey Follen