By Coen Theuwis (Jubal)
Translated by Marco Janssen
A few hundred drum corps fans found their way to the Dutch town Sas van Gent, near to the Belgian border, for the very first outdoor show of Drum Corps Europe. Six corps entered this first competition. The Federatieband corps from The Hague, the Netherlands, won the open class competition with a score of 47.5.

Federatieband performs during the DCE contest in Sas van Gent, the Netherlands. Photo by Theo Vink.
The cadet corps Jong Axel started this DCE season kick-off event. Jong Axel has a powerful horn line and a good pit and field percussion for a cadet corps. They played "It's Raining Men," "Ketchup Song" and a Queen medley. The drum break was very powerful and the members marched with very clear choreography. Jong Axel scored 43.5 in the cadet class. New Adventure from Terneuzen, the Netherlands, performed in the A-Class. With only 10 horn members, the horn line did an excellent job. The show of New Adventure consisted of "Estancia," "After the Love Has Gone," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Ocho Rios" and "Superstar." At the end of the show, the brass members seemed to be a bit tired, but the percussion kept on going with a strong drum break. Although New Adventure is a very young corps, their show is growing each year! The corps scored 39.1 in the A-Class. Showband Sas van Gent of Sas van Gent, the Netherlands, was the first corps that performed in the open class. They performed a Latin show for their hometown audience with songs like "Mambo Caliente," "Meno Presto" and "Spanish Eyes." They performed a great show, with a good choreography including some really nice center wheels. It was a very promising show. They seem to have worked hard this winter, and they earned second place in the open class with a score of 47.2. Blue Phoenix from Axel, from Axel, the Netherlands, was the smallest corps tonight, with only 25 marching members. The corps started a few weeks ago and is the "senior corps" of the Jong Axel cadet corps, but the members are only 15 to 17 years old. The show of Blue Phoenix consisted of the well-known drum corps classic "Children of Sanchez," followed by "Sabeldance," "Born to Run" and "Paint it Black." They scored 15.4 points, fourth place in the open class. Excelsior from Goes from Goes, the Netherlands, has a very strong field percussion this year, with five bass drums, three tenors and three snares. The field percussion is quite big in comparison with the horn line (nine members). The color guard has much potential, but due to the winter guard competition this winter, they weren't able to perform a complete show tonight. The music repertoire is not easy: selections from "Carmen," "The Mask of Zorro" and "Malaga." Excelsior scored third place in the open class with a score of 34.4. The last corps on the field tonight was Federatieband from The Hague, the Netherlands. This corps is a real entertainer and the audience received this show very well. Their show featured great solos in "A Mis Abuelos." Latin pieces like "Mas Que Nada" and "Mucho Mojo" made this show attractive to listen to. The choreography wasn't too difficult, but the members marched neatly. It was a good show for the season's start! They came out in first place in the open class with 47.5 points. Scores and recaps can be found on Drum Corps Europe. The contest in Sas van Gent was a great stepoff, and will be followed with a DCE contest in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, on Sept. 6, and the DCE Championships in The Hague on Sept. 27. Marco Janssen is a board member of Drum Corps Europe