Esperanza will compete as a regional Division I corps in 2004. This means that the San Diego-based corps will undertake a limited regional tour next summer (Esperanza director Alan Cox says the tour will last just more than three weeks) and compete as a Division I corps at World Championships in Denver. "Basically, the kids have excelled. And San Diego has been such a fertile market for a drum corps. The kids have wanted this. I've known so many people who have gone to Northern California for a drum corps experience. We wanted a top-quality corps so kids can stay in San Diego," Cox said of his motivation to perform at the Division I level. Esperanza will compete as a Division I corps in San Antonio on July 10, and Cox says the corps is trying to schedule another major show before competing in Denver. Cox said that the Esperanza staff's eventual goal is to become a full-blown Division I corps. Cox summarized Esperanza's history. "We started the organization about 10 years ago with a community brass band. Eight years ago started the Esperanza De Luz winter guard. When we started the drum corps five years ago, we tried to grow in quality to be in the top level of competing corps," Cox said. Last summer, when Esperanza won the Division II World Championship in Orlando, Cox said the corps' goal was to create the best possible show on the field. "Even while we were Division II, we tried to act as a Division I corps. The staff did not approach the show any differently," Cox said. Pacific Crest will also compete as regional Division I corps next summer.