After bronze-medal finishes in 2016 and 2017 and narrowly missing the same in 2018, on paper, Legends may be among the top Open Class corps with a shot to take home the World Championship title this August.
Around the corps, though, Finals are a distant afterthought. So, too, is what any other corps is doing.
“Legends is just here to do what we do and do what we do the best way we know how,” drum major Jack Murphy said. “I think we are in a much better place than we have been in past years. I think this season we are especially prepared. I think the corps is doing very well; we came out of spring training ready to go.”
Compared to other groups, Legends had a late spring training. The Kalamazoo, Michigan corps’ 2019 debut show wasn’t until July 5 in Lisle, Illinois, feeding the eagerness of the membership to finally perform its production “Song of the Siren.”
“The group that we have this year is amazing,” Murphy said. “I think it’s, by far, one of the most phenomenal groups Legends has ever seen and I think we’re just super excited to get out there and show everyone.”
While other corps around the country have been enjoying a head start on the new season, Murphy and Legends’ assistant drum major Andy Fassbender have been grinding away from their tall podiums, watching their corps progress exponentially.
To Fassbender, their work has been inspiring.
“I think knowing how far we’ve come from day one is really driving the corps,” he said. “They can feel the energy reciprocated back to them. Knowing where we are now and where we stand to be at the end of the season is really exciting for everyone.”
Through just a trio of shows so far in 2019, Fassbender’s excitement has been matched by both Legends’ membership and fanbase. While the corps still calls upon its signature tremendous music and style, it's made changes that, so far, seem to be widely accepted and appreciated.
“I would say this season we’re really looking forward to showing everyone the same old Legends that has always been: hard-working, ready to go, powerful where we need to be, quiet where we need to be. With new tweaks, a little bit nicer uniforms, more electronics,” Fassbender said. “It’s a little bit different show but still delivering the same package [we deliver] every single year and that we’re expected to deliver.”
So far, they have.
Legends tallied a score of 60.750 at their last show in Menomonie, Wisconsin, topping a three-corps Open Class field. The score was more than a four-point improvement from where they were at that time a year ago.
“It’s been really great this year to hear how the corps loves the show and coming off the field and having fans, family, just really anyone coming up and saying how they enjoyed the show, the design, theming, the music,” Fassbender said. “It’s a good vibe all around.”