The second night of the DCI Eastern Classic wrapped up in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Saturday night as Carolina Crown emerged victorious at J. Birney Crum Stadium.
"The performance was absolutely electric,” Crown drum major Hunter Bown said. “We’re one of those groups that tends to feed off the audience’s energy and I think that was happening all night.”
The corps’ production, “Inferno,” is hotter than ever as the corps from South Carolina earned its highest score to date, 93.825.
It’s a close race as corps get ready for next week's World Championship in Indianapolis, and there’s no doubt that Crown members will be watching their backs for the Cadets who finished in second place with a score of 93.600, less than a quarter of a point behind.
“It’s neck and neck,” Bown said. “We keep joking that this coming week might be the first time in DCI history that you see three different winners all three nights in Indianapolis. But we know which night we want to win.”
Flashing new black-colored uniforms in front of a hometown crowd, the Cadets took first in percussion and third in general effect.
“We had a really good ensemble rehearsal leading up to tonight’s event,” Cadets Drum Major Kendall Stevenson said. “There were a lot of people in the stands watching our rehearsal which really helped us rev up for the show.”
The Bluecoats finished in third place overall with a score of 93.125. The corps from Canton on Saturday tied for first with Carolina Crown in overall general effect (37.60) with a second-place finish behind the Cadets in percussion. Phantom Regiment trailed in fourth place with a score of 87.075.
The Madison Scouts followed in fifth (85.450) as the Boston Crusaders (6th, 84.600) begin to close in. The Scouts have been at least a point and a half ahead of Boston since July 20, but on the second night of Allentown, the Crusaders narrowed that gap to just 0.85 points.
Crossmen (7th, 83.350) and Colts (8th, 81.475) both had strong performances as the fight to earn a spot among the top 12 corps at the DCI World Championship Finals continues.
The Colts dazzled the audience with their theatrical murder mystery show, “And A Shot Rings Out,” and the corps members hope it will be enough to land them a spot in Saturday night’s competition next week in Indianapolis.
"We’re trying to do something that’s a lot different than what DCI audiences are used to this year, so we’ve been playing around with a lot of new ideas, “ Colts drum major Cole Hanton said.
Troopers (9th, 80.675), Oregon Crusaders (10th, 75.775), Pacific Crest (11th, 74.100) and Jersey Surf (11th, 70.900) all delivered strong performances as they entertained the audience at J. Birney Crum Stadium.
Oregon Crusaders Drum Major Anna Quenemoen says recent changes to her corps’ production have been helpful, and corps members are happy with the way they’ve been performing.
"We’re trying to crescendo and peak at the right moment,” Quenemoen said. “There are a couple kinks we’re still working out and definitely a lot of heart that we’re still trying to push into the show.”
With Allentown now in the rearview mirror, in just five days, all 22 of Drum Corps International's World Class corps will return to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the DCI World Championship Prelims on Thursday, August 6.