As the 2009 DCI Tour progresses into its last few weeks, the corps refine their productions into finely crafted pieces of art and fans are coming out to cheer on the hard working corps members. Whether long-time supporters or first-timers, no DCI event would be complete without the excited and sometimes eccentric fans from around the country who come out to support their favorite corps. Don't miss a second of the exciting action from the world's most elite marching music ensembles—join these extraordinary fans at the few events left on the 2009 DCI Tour schedule! View the complete 2009 DCI tour schedule.
Learn more about the 2009 DCI World Championships in Indianapolis.
These fans attended events in Murfreesboro, Tenn. and Atlanta, Ga., as part of the DCI Southern Series, July 22-25.
Lori and John Brenneman drove from Chicago to Murfeesboro to surprise their son, who is marching as a member of the bass drum line of the Bluecoats for the first time this year. They brought him the "drum corps staples"—Gatorade and cookies—and planned to surprise him when the bus got to the warm-up lot. "We decided Wednesday to come. He has no clue. He's going to be so surprised!" Lori said. The Brennemans had only seen the Bluecoats' show on the Fan Network before that night, even watching one live broadcast in the car on the way to Michigan, so they were excited to see it live. They followed the corps to Atlanta, then drove the 12 hours back to Chicago.
Sandy and Carol Dautch are from Woodstock, Ga., and first got involved with drum corps in the mid-1970s after seeing the World Championships broadcast on PBS. "We're groupies!" Carol said. "We've been following drum corps for many years. Until two years ago, we had gone to 29 consecutive Finals." The couple observed that over the years, corps members have become more conditioned to the physical demands of marching and playing. And while they like how the shows are much more sophisticated now, they aren't necessarily fans yet of the new rules permitting electronic instruments. After getting hooked into the activity, their son got involved as well. He marched as a member of the former DCI corps Southwind for a few years, then went on to the Bridgemen and Star of Indiana. "He aged out and we never did," they said.
Icek Hickman said he is "just an overall big fan" of drum corps, and especially of his favorite corps, Bluecoats and Phantom Regiment. He has been in band since sixth grade and will soon be a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University, where the Pearl Presents the Masters of the Summer Music Games event was held. "My favorite part is seeing how much they can do on the field and the accuracy they can achieve," he said. Icek said he would like to march as a member of a DCI corps one day.
Assistant director Matt Bryant attended the show in Murfeesboro with his marching band students from Warren Central High School in Bowling Green Kentucky. Forty of the band's 62 marchers came out to the show as a fun activity after two weeks of band camp. "We try to come to at least one show each season before our fall marching band season starts. It gives them a chance to see exceptional marching and performances and gives them an idea of what they can expect during our marching season." Bryant said that each year, his students really enjoy attending the show and like to compare what they do in band to what they see on the field.
Coming from Muhlenberg County in Greenville, Ky. the Bruce family attended Pearl Presents the Masters of the Summer Music Games with their son's high school marching band.Their son's band director thought the experience would be a good chance for the students to relax after a week of band camp and also give the chance to see how drum corps perform. "It'll get them fired up," said mom, Melissa. Kenny said he has been following drum corps for years. The first corps he ever saw was Phantom Regiment. He has always been a fan of classical music and to hear the compositions played by the powerful brass line of a drum corps was an awesome experience. Before Friday, Melissa had never attended a drum corps show. "I told her there's going to moments that'll give her goose bumps all over," he said. "And that's what I look forward to." Kenny and Melissa hope their son will take advantage of the opportunity to participate in a drum corps one day.
The Hensley Family, plus Shalana Callahan made a weekend vacation out of their trip to see their son perform with the Bluecoats. Nathan (right) said that the trip was a great way to catch up with their son in his first season marching in a drum corps. Mom (Haddie), packed socks, money and Twizzlers, "the essentials" to drop off with their 17 year-old mellophone player after the show. In the family of Bluecoats fans, Warren (left) stands alone as the only Blue Devils fan in the group. Sporting a Blue Devils hat, Warren's deviation from the Hensley's wardrobe choice didn't stop the family from enjoying a great show and time spent together at the event.
From the left: Courtney Hall, Olivia Cunningham, Meghan Fountain and Amanda Crosby came to the DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta from Cary, N.C. to see their friends touring with Santa Clara Vanguard and the Troopers. Amanda said that while she was looking forward to seeing SCV the most, she enjoys all of the corps. "I really like the energy and excitement each of the corps brings onto the field," she said. "It's amazing how good they are." They have all been to drum corps events in the past and look forward to coming out and supporting friends every summer.
Rick Dissinger and Guy Hutchinson are taking their own personal drum corps tour this summer. "A few years ago, we started doing what we call a drum corps vacation," Rick said. Beginning with the event in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the duo traveled onto Atlanta for the event at the Georgia Dome. They will follow the corps for a total of 19 days this summer, ending their vacation with the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis coming up next week. Initially becoming a fan of drum corps as a child, Rick's parents followed the activity and introduced him to his first show. In addition to supporting drum corps through the Friends of DCI program and traveling to events, Rick and Guy volunteer with corps as well. As California residents, they help out with the Pacific Crest, in addition to assisting students marching with the corps. "I think it's a great experience for a young person to have," Rick said.
Coming to Atlanta from Anderson, S.C., Erica McFeely, Rachael Stowe, Jeremy Pinion, Fritz Wewers came to see the drum corps show because of their interest in learning from the performances. The students all participate in the West Side High School band and said they are most impressed with the corps' quality of the music. Rachel had never seen a drum corps show before Saturday's event. "I like the big noise of the brass," she said. "Even the smaller corps can put out a huge sound."
From Chicago, the Fetcho family traveled down to Atlanta to visit with their relatives, Phil and Lindsay Lequier, and of course to see their daughter, Emily Fetcho, perform with the Phantom Regiment. "She's aging out this year and she's pretty sad," her father, John said. "She doesn't want to see it end." Emily has been involved with drum corps for seven years, playing with Phantom Regiment for the last five. Her family showed up at the Georgia Dome, all sporting their Phantom Regiment gear and ready to cheer in support of the corps. They have followed Emily for years now and said they will miss seeing her perform.