Raiders snare drummers warm up overlooking
the Newark Bay in Bayonne, N.J.
Saturday, June 13 marked the 2009 debut performances of two New Jersey corps, the Raiders and Jersey Surf. Despite rainy weather at Veterans Stadium in Bayonne, N.J., drum corps fans came out eager to get the summer drum corps season started with the Tournament of Stars, an exhibition hosted by the former Drum Corps International member corps and now all-age Bayonne Bridgemen. The fifth-annual event featured Raiders and Surf members only weeks before they will head out on the 2009 DCI Tour, in addition to eight other all-age groups including the hometown host Bridgemen and other East Coast favorites like the Hawthorne Caballeros and Blessed Sacrament. Raiders director, Tom Maiello said his corps performed well for its first official performance of the season, but the corps' 65 members still have work to do on their 2009 production, "Isle of Hope." The venue of this season's first performance was special to the Raiders because it is the birthplace of the corps. "It's the same field where it all started, 19 years ago," he said. Like thousands of other drum corps members across the country, the Raiders are thrilled to have a summer full of music and competition ahead of them. The corps will first compete on July 2 in Beverly, Mass. The Jersey Surf will get set to make its World Class competitive debut on June 20 in Rome, N.Y., officially starting the first leg of the journey to the 2009 DCI World Championships this August in Indianapolis, Ind. Check out this photo gallery chronicling the day of the Tournament of Stars, beginning with scenes from a Jersey Surf rehearsal, followed by the Raiders and Surf's warm-ups in Bayonne, and then performances from the event. View the gallery. Photos by Howard Ting.