The Boston Crusaders did not attend the inaugural Drum Corps International World Championships in 1972. A year later the corps placed in 39th at its first DCI Championships event. After moving up in the ranks each of the next five years, the corps slipped to as low as 26th place in 1982 and started clawing its way back up the ranks, placing 14th in 1992 and 1993 and 13th in 1994. But it wasn't until 1999 that the corps burst into Finals with a powerful 9th place finish. After waiting so many years to enjoy the corps in the final show of the season, drum corps fans could be forgiven if they wondered if 1999 would remain the corps' banner year. Then came the corps' 60th anniversary season of 2000 and the vivacious program, "Red." The corps leaped into fifth place, tying with 2002 for its highest position to date. For this week only on the DCI Fan Network, you can purchase the Video Performance Download of the 2000 Boston Crusaders for just $3.99 (regularly $4.99), as well as an Audio Performance Download bundle of Finalists from 2000 for just $15.99 (regularly $19.99). View all downloads from 2000. The title "Red" may well have been inspired by the color of the corps' uniforms. But whatever the true inspiration, the offering of hot Latin music turned out to be one of the most audience-thrilling shows of the year; perhaps even more so since the corps was still an unknown entity in Finals-level competition. "Prologue" was based on the popular melody of Ravel's "Bolero." Only the red cape twirled by a lone guard member gave any indication of the fiery presentation to follow. In non-Crusaders fashion, the show took almost two minutes to get loud and cut loose, keeping the audience leaning forward while waiting to be pushed back by the corps' fairly newfound "Intensity," which was the title of the original Spanish bullfight-sounding piece that followed. Written by staff arrangers Marty McCartt and Dave Carbone, the percussive brass stabs of this piece were perfectly complemented by the vibrant colors of the flags, a visual motif seen throughout. Although the flags appeared mostly a shimmering purple, red was worked into the flag design to make it "pop," as it would be incorporated in the flags of "Passion," the ballad that came next.
2000 Boston Crusaders
"Passion" was the heart and soul of the show and one of the top memorable moments from any of the corps in 2000. Based on "Time to Say Goodbye," ("Con de Partiro"), the corps began by singing the Italian lyrics as presented by Andrea Bocelli in the televised Bellagio Resort commercial for the still new Las Vegas resort. After a lengthy opening, the piece kept building and building and building to the pulsating beat of rope field drums; one of the most effective controlled crescendos of emotion ever witnessed on the field. The next piece was "Festivity," based on Chick Corea's "Day Danse" from his "My Spanish Heart" album. As has become a corps tradition, the six note rhythmic "Conquest" theme made it into the piece, wrapped by bright yellow flags highlighted with a swatch of red. Pure red flags were unveiled during Clifton Williams' "Symphonic Dance No. 3," the music superimposed over a recapitulation of "Bolero." At the end of the production, the fierce look of determination on the faces of the performers could be felt from the highest balcony of the stadium at the University of Maryland. This week only, you can save on 2000 World Championship Audio and Video Performance Downloads on the DCI Fan Network. Buy the 2000 Boston Crusaders Video Performance Download. (Available this week only for $3.99. Regular price: $4.99.) Buy the Audio Performance Download bundle of all 12 Finalists from 2000. (Available this week only for $15.99. Regular price: $19.99.) Offer ends Monday, Feb., 28 at 8:30 a.m. ET.
2000 Boston Crusaders performance excerpt.
Michael Boo was a member of the Cavaliers from 1975-1977. He has written about the drum corps activity for more than a quarter century and serves as a staff writer for various Drum Corps International projects. Boo has written for numerous other publications and has published an honors-winning book on the history of figure skating. As an accomplished composer, Boo holds a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in music theory and composition. He resides in Chesterton, Ind.