Drum Corps International
Final countdown to the 2017 DCI Tour
Members of the Bluecoats horn line rehearse on Tuesday in Granville, Ohio.Photo by: T. McCourt, DCI.org

Final countdown to the 2017 DCI Tour

by Angel Mendoza

For the past month, corps members spent long days sharpening their athletic and musical talent.

With day after day consisting of taxing and grueling all-day practices, thousands of performers throughout the country are breathing, eating and sleeping drum corps.

And that was just the warm-up.

Now, the hustle of spring training will come to an end, only to be eclipsed by the official start of the 45th anniversary DCI Summer Tour.

This Thursday, the DCI Tour Premiere presented by DeMoulin Bros. and Co. will kick off the competitive season, showcasing the first glimpse of programs from six World Class corps, including the 2016 DCI World Champion Bluecoats.  

Bluecoats drum major Graham Hopkins says that this season fans can expect to see an elevated amount of tenacious creativity and punch from his corps, building off the success of last year's “Down Side Up” production.

“After our first performance we hope fans will be saying, ‘How are they doing it again?'” he said. “I think those who fell in love with what we had last year are going to find even more things to love about the show this year."

Blue Stars director Russ Gavin says that his corps is also excited for the official start of 2017.

“We're ready to get going times a million,” he said. “We've had a few community performances, which have been very positive, and we're just getting ready to get the bus tires rolling and get in front of those DCI audiences.”

The DCI Tour Premiere will kick off 2017 where the 2016 season ended, at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. The event will be broadcast live in more than 450 movie theaters nationwide.

“Something we're reminding the guys about is how incredible it is to be live in theaters across the country,” Cavaliers director Joe Roach said. "Not only is it great to be in Lucas Oil Stadium with a great audience, but it's incredible knowing our fans across the country can go to the theaters and see our performers.

"While starting off the season in Indy is starting to become routine, we have to make sure we remind ourselves how special it is to be a part of opening night.”

Pacific corps will get their seasons underway this week as well kicking off on Clovis, California, on Friday. That will be followed up by the annual DCI West event on Sunday, June 25 in Stanford. That weekend-opening event will feature the performances of 11 World and Open Class corps, joined by Phantom Regiment who will be making a visit all the way from Rockford, Illinois.

All of the action from Stanford will be broadcast live via FloMarching.com, marking the season's first of an impressive schedule of 20 live-streaming events.

Off the field this weekend in California, the Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard will co-host an evening of celebration at a now sold-out Hyatt Regency venue to commemorate their 60th and 50th anniversaries, respectively.

Although this season looks to be rife with some of the most intense competition and incredible performances in DCI's 45-year history, two months can go by in a flash. Don't miss your chance to get into the stadium and see for yourself.

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