Drum Corps International
Force of Nature brings untimely end to Minneapolis event
Members of the Santa Clara Vanguard color guard perform on Saturday, July 9 in Minneapolis.Photo by: Drum Corps International

Force of Nature brings untimely end to Minneapolis event

by Lauren Wilcox

With more than six hours of drum corps performances on the schedule Saturday, July 16 in Minneapolis, the event had to be cut short as severe weather stormed through TCF Bank Stadium.

16 other World and Open Class corps managed to get their reps in during the 2016 edition of DCI Minnesota presented by the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. However, the early end left the Blue Devils as the odd group out, the only corps unable to take the field and receive a score.

As a result, Santa Clara Vanguard (1st, 80.975) was the only corps to score higher than 80 points at TCF Bank Stadium, doing so for the first time this season.  

Also eager to break 80 points for the first time themselves on Saturday, the Cavaliers will have to wait for their next performance after falling just short with a final score of 79.975.


Phantom Regiment

Phantom Regiment (3rd, 76.575) managed to hold off the Blue Stars (4th, 75.500) by just over a point. Blue Stars’ high mark on the judges’ sheets was a third-place finish in total Visual, three tenths of a point ahead of the Rockford corps.

The Blue Knights (75.050) landed in fifth place and added nearly two whole points to their overall score compared to their last performance. Drum major Myles Giller said he has seen a renewed focus from his fellow corps members as they get the second half of their summer tour underway.    

“We’ve always rehearsed really well, but I’ve really seen a lot of individual drive off the field where members are practicing in their own down time and really digging into the show and ironing out all the details,” Giller said.

After seven consecutive shows ahead, the Madison Scouts (6th, 74.050) fell behind the Blue Knights for the first time this season.

The Academy finished in 7th place with a score of 71.350. Drum major James Taylor thought that his corps’ performance has room for improvement.

“The stadium had a little more echo than we’re used to and the performance didn’t really line up completely timing-wise, but that’ll help us be ready for [next Saturday] at the Alamodome.”


The Academy

Taylor says that the Academy recently added 30 seconds of new music to the end of its offbeat love-themed “Drum Corpse Bride” production, along with new drill formations for the entirety of the corps’ closer.

“It’s a fairly new production now,” Taylor said. “The new ending has changed the entire show really, and definitely made it better.”

While the Troopers (8th, 69.475) surpassed the Colts (9th, 68.500) in total General Effect and Music on the score sheets, the Dubuque corps was able to finish three tenths ahead in total Visual. The next time the two corps will face each other is Thursday in Texas.  

The Mandarins (10th, 65.825) edged the Oregon Crusaders (11th, 65.425), Pacific Crest (12th, 64.575), and Pioneer (13th, 59.450).

After spending the first part of their season out west, members of the Oregon Crusaders have been turning heads by wearing uniforms for their 2016 production “Hunted” that have been digitally printed to resemble trees.

“In addition to fitting the forest theme of the show, the uniforms are also a tribute to who we are,” drum major Anna Quenemoen said. “With a lot of evergreens and douglas firs up in the pacific northwest, this is definitely a tribute to Oregon and who we are, [proudly representing] the region.”


Oregon Crusaders

In Open Class competition, members of Genesis (1st, 60.275) picked up their eighth win in the corps’ last 10 events while the Colt Cadets took second with a score of 52.800.

New to the DCI Tour in 2015, Saturday marked just the second time River City Rhythm has ever competed on its home-state turf at TCF Bank Stadium.

“There’s definitely a different vibe to the crowd here in Minnesota,” said River City Rhythm drum major Devon Lawrence. “There are a lot of high school marching bands in the area and a lot of their directors get them tickets to come and watch.”

Lawrence said that receptive audience in addition to last year’s experience in the stadium helped the corps on way to its third-place finish with a score of 50.500.

“A lot of our veterans remembered this stadium and remembered how it felt to perform here. We definitely thought we filled it up a little bit better than we did last year.“

Also representing Minnesota on Saturday night were two all-age drum corps. Govenaires, of St. Peter scored 64.850 while Minnesota Brass of St. Paul would have performed in exhibition had the event not been called off due to weather.

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