With the Bands of America Grand National Championships coming up this weekend, and thousands of current, past, and potential members of drum corps all congregating in Indianapolis, I thought this would be a great time to comment about how great this weekend is for everyone involved. I seem to have become the chief proponent of that marching band/drum corps connection.

Andy Dittrich
The weekend of BOA is one of the most important and most exciting weekends in the world of pageantry and marching music. I worked as a volunteer last November in Indianapolis, and it was the first time I had ever been to a BOA show. So I took some time off of the working to explore the RCA Dome, check out all of the booths, and I came upon this flurry of activity.^I would say that there had to be at least 500 high school band members milling through the "DCI Village." It was a sight to behold. These future drum corps die-hards were buying T-shirts, picking up audition packets, talking to directors and current members, and getting a glimpse at what our activity is all about.

I was camped out at the Madison Corps booth for a while, handing out packets and pamphlets, and it was one of the more exciting experiences I had ever been a part of.

However, this weekend can't be just one-sided for the drum corps world. BOA is such a great opportunity for band members to learn about our activity. But it's also a great opportunity for us to learn about the marching band world. It is indeed a very different finals night.

Watching BOA finals, as well as volunteering for BOA and getting to meet some of the members and instructors for these bands, was definitely the best part of the whole weekend. That activity, although similar in nature, is truly a very different one than ours, and always will be no matter what. But it is still something amazing, and the greatest similarity we have between us is that the sweat, tears and overall emotion of the performance is still so evident.

If you live nearby, and have a slow weekend coming up, I suggest that you make a trip to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, and experience one of the most important weekends for our activity. Take some time to learn about what these bands do, and you will be that much better at taking our activity to them. More about DCI at BOA