Drum Corps International
Division II & III Finals -- Wednesday, Aug. 7

Division II & III Finals -- Wednesday, Aug. 7

by Drum Corps International

Madison, Wis. DCI Division II & III World Championships FinalsMagic victorious with 99.05Because three corps (Magic of Orlando, Mandarins and Capital Regiment) have elected to make the jump to Division I and compete in quarterfinals tomorrow afternoon, competition will being at 1:48 p.m. tomorrow, slightly earlier than previously planned. The Magic of Orlando, whose saga this summer after two years of being on hiatus has been the drum corps Cinderella story of the summer, scored a 99.05 to win here in Madison tonight, earning them a 2:22 p.m. stepoff time tomorrow.Executive Director Dennis Cappello, reveling in the corps' victory on the field after the show, said, "We've got a special group of kids. You couldn't ask for a better bunch of kids – they're hardworking. We got down the road safely, the kids had a good time and they ate well." Jennifer Chapman, 19, a Magic guard member from Port Orange, Fla., also agreed with Cappello's sentiments. "It's great! It's what I hoped for."Virginia Tibbitts, 19, of Orlando, said, "I'm really proud of what the organization has done. Saturday night (Division I finals) has been our goal since the first camp."Rick Bays, director of the Capital Regiment (96.50), was also excited about making the jump to Division I competition. "I think that they probably had the best run of the season. Their finals performance beat their semifinals performance. We had a great run, and I'm very proud of them," Bays said.Ray Mar, director of the Mandarins (95.80), was likewise enthusiastic with his corps' performance tonight. "I think that they performed really well, and that they're a very capable unit. If I didn't think they were capable, then I don't think we would have made the decision to jump (to Division I), on a limited touring basis."Mandarins – Sacramento, Calif.With eight championships under their belt, including last year, the Mandarins finished out tonight's competition with vengeance. In fact, the word aggressive doesn't even begin to describe their performance this evening. 2002 is "The Year of the Dragon" for the Mandarins and, as they describe it themselves, the show "dramatically weaves rapidly flowing melodic lines with a sense of urgency." From beginning to end, the music drives forward and is, like the corps, unyielding in its resolve. A dynamic ending to perhaps the most spectacular Division II and III Championships in drum corps history.Magic of Orlando – Orlando, Fla.Magic's strong and precise performance again blew the audience away here in Madison. The corps has all but announced that it plans to march Division I next year, an incredible feat given that they took a two-year hiatus from performing. "Desert Wind," the corps' 2002 show, definitely brought the audience here to its feet tonight. Magic of Orlando is definitely a corps to watch from here on out.Capital Regiment – Columbus, Ohio"Climbing Everest" takes the corps to its limits, opening and closing with music from David Gillingham's "New Century Dawn." The center sections include tableaus inspired by the music of "Vertical Limit," the IMAX film depicting the incredible mountain climb. Strength and endurance come to mind when one considers such a feat, and the corps most certainly possesses those qualities and more. Their sound at times attacks the stands like a climber attacks the slope, and the soft melody of the ballad reminds us of the sweet rewards at the top. With this being only their fourth season of competition, the Capital Regiment has most definitely reached a high summit.Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets – Santa Clara, Calif.Glancing on the field, one can easily recognize the Santa Clara look and style in the only cadet corps to ever compete in semifinals with its older siblings. Since that remarkable season in 2000, the group has remained strong, as it continues to climb in demand and performance. The 2002 repertoire takes us through three movements of modern classical music: Philip Sparke's "Dance Movements," Stephen Melillo's "Timestorm," and David Holsinger's "Easter Symphony." As the corps worked in a few classic SCV moves, making them their own, the loudest cheers in the audience came from the Division I Vanguard who could barely contain themselves, not only because of the pride that they share, but quite simply because the Vanguard Cadets gave us an incredible treat this evening! Will we see them at tomorrow's Quarter Finals? We can only hope!Individual and Ensemble championsBass drum ensemble – Carolina CrownBrass ensemble – Spirit of Jacksonville State UniversityPercussion ensemble – Santa Clara VanguardFlag ensemble – Seattle CascadesCymbal ensemble – Santa Clar VanguardTympani – Justin Skolarik, Madison ScoutsKeyboard – Ray Laffoon, CavaliersContra – Mason Gaffine, Phantom RegimentMixed auxiliary – Sean Cooney, Carolina CrownBaritone– Flint Weed, Santa Clara VanguardMutipercussion – Justin Truitt, Phantom RegimentFrench horn – Mitsuo Nakamura, Santa Clara VanguardFlag solo – Peter Eichler, Carolina CrownMellophone – Chris McGaann, Madison ScoutsMultitenor – Scot Simon, Phantom RegimentSoprano – David Kraft, Blue DevilsAuxiliary ensemble – Blue KnightsSnare – Pat Fitzgibon, Madison ScoutsMixed Ensemble champions – Blue Devils Spartans – Nashua, N.H.Ancient Rome and Egypt came together at Camp Randall with the Spartans' "Guardians," an aggressive and striking depiction of these two cultures through the music of the films "Gladiator," "Ben Hur," "The Mummy Returns," and Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah." The guard's stunning red uniforms were solid accents to the staging and their even more solid performance framed the corps' spectacular presentation.Esperanza – San Diego"Conquest: the Rise and Fall of an Empire" provides this corps with a powerful venue to showcase the rise of a drum corps that, like a few others here this evening, is soaring through the ranks after only a few years in existence. Founded a mere two years ago, the corps showed no signs of inexperience as an amazing wall of sound, matched only by an impressive guard and intense drum line, engulfed the stadium with authority and raised the bar even higher in this evening's Division II finals competition.Blue Stars – LaCrosse, Wis.The Blue Star alums and fans in the stands know just how emotional their "Three Decades" repertoire is. Meanwhile, the presence of a young 13-year-old marching proudly forward in a vintage 1960s Blue Stars uniform conjured up the corps' best performance of the season. The corps brought tears to some audience members' eyes that were eventually echoed in the member's faces as they left the field. What a spectacular and emotional performance! Revolution – San Antonio, TexasIn only their second year of Drum Corps International competition, Revolution could be well on its way to capturing the Division III title this evening. While the Blue Stars, last year's champions, may have closed the gap yesterday, the corps seems unbeatable at this point. Their "Celestial Mysticisms" contains three movements: The Stars, The Moon, The Heavens. While each part has its own distinct qualities, the overall thread throughout is spectacular. The 12-member guard showed great versatility, performing on all three pieces of equipment (rifle, flag, saber) while displaying a challenging movement book. The corps proper also challenged itself with demanding drill and music. What an exciting second year from this corps, the lone competitive drum corps from the Lone Star State!Patriots -- Rochester, N.Y.With an airplane-shaped beginning set and the color guard lying in an irregularly structured line of airplane figures, the tension builds throughout the opening piece as one can imagine the passion associated with the search for and later discovery of flight. With broad strokes of red silks filling the air framing the corps, the horn line is visually lifted with this passion and spirit. The intense tempos throughout the back half of the program further carries this passion forward as flight is realized through the overall ensemble field presentation. East Coast Jazz – Malden, Mass.Taking their 2002 repertoire, "Further Adventures in Jazz," even further than they did yesterday, Malden's performance this evening showed us just how exciting Stan Kenton's big band music can be in drum corps competition. Among the many highlights, the guard created an innovative dance stage by stretching a black fabric outline around their performers. The confidence in their faces, their sound, and their movement drove the performance home and inspired an enthusiastic response from the crowd.Jersey Surf – Berlin, N.J.Jersey Surf's "Our Side of the Story" has gone to new levels each day this week, as exemplified by tonight's stirring performance. Tonight the Surf took bits of the National Anthem and the "On Wisconsin" fight song and added it to the mix. The corps, decked out in its casual denim uniforms, brought "West Side Story" to a level that hasn't been seen in ages. The corps, surrounded by pastel-shaded American flags, saluted the audience at the end of its performance. Taipei Yuehfu – Taipeu, TaiwanA stimulating repertoire of contemporary Chinese music, a magnificent visual package, and 110 percent from each member on the field were the three ingredients that sent Taipei Yuehfu soaring into our hearts. Fans undoubtedly appreciated not only their performance, but their trans-Pacific trek to the United States to compete in this year's Championships. Yamato – Kyoto, Japan and Riverside, Calif.Yamato lead the field of judged performances with their "Symphonic Sketches" featuring compositions by two diverse individuals, Hungarian-born Bela Bartok (1881-1945) and England's most celebrated new composer, Martin Ellerby. Yamato turned in an extremely strong performance this evening for a corps who only began their competitive career in 1997. Now five years later, Yamato continues to close the Pacific gap by bringing young performers together for North American drum corps competition.Jubal – Dordrecht, the Netherlands Jubal made Drum Corps International Championships their final stop in a three-week U.S. tour with a judged exhibition this evening. Being the first corps on the field always has its ups and downs, but Jubal didn't let the pressure faze them a bit. With bright oranges and yellows complimenting this day's beautiful Madison weather, Jubal received the evening's first standing ovation, thanks to an exciting production of "Variations in Jazz" with Sammy Nestico's "You Gotta Try," Gordon Goodwin's "Sing, Sang, Sung," and John Tesh's "Flamingo Lagato."Brass ensemble I & E champions – Spirit of Jacksonville State UniversitySpirit of Jacksonville State University's brass ensemble, winners of the Individual and Esemble contest in Madison at the Monona Terrace Convention Center earlier today, began the festivities here tonight with a brief performance. Spirit of Jacksonville State University's brass ensemble, winners of the Individual and Esemble contest in Madison at the Monona Terrace Convention Center earlier today, began the festivities here tonight with a brief performance.

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