By Jeff Weir The annual Intereservice Academy Drum and Bugle Corps Championship was held on the rain-soaked turf of Rip Miller Field in Annapolis on Oct. 8. The show started about 45 minutes late to wait out the wettest part of the storm. We got up-to-the-minute weather updates off of Bob Glover's (USNA Brass Caption Head) cell phone web browser! Check out a photo gallery. The Coast Guard Academy "Windjammers" took the field first. They are performing a "Best of the West" theme, complete with Stetsons that, when worn over full dress blues, make them a mirror image of the Troopers. Awesome! The two things that stood out in my mind about Coast Guard's show was the amazing percussion section (not sure how the number ended up that low), and a guard that sold the theme better than ever with equipment work and characterization. I mentioned it before, and I'll say it again, the Windjammers are first-class entertainers and just know how to work a crowd. If you ever get the chance, check these guys out. The Air Force Academy "Flight of Sound" took the field next and presented a show including "Sabre Dance," "Night Flight," and "Flag of Stars." I did not see much of this show, as I left the press box to help get Navy to the field. All I saw was the video. The Naval Academy (74 horns, 23 battery, 16 pit, 3 drum majors) closed the show out with a bang, presenting their 2005 show including music from "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Scheherazade." The "Pirates" material was arranged by Bob Glover, Bill Adkins, Steve Conaway and Jeff Weir. The show began with "Walk the Plank," a fugue from from the soundtrack of "Pirates of the Caribbean." The fugue culminates with a hit from "The Medallion Calls," complete with a skull and crossbones drill set. The opener continued with moments from "He's a Pirate," a dark backfield section of "Barbarossa is Hungry," and the most intense piece from the score, "To the Pirates Cave!" The second movement of the production was a medley of the softer side of the soundtrack, including "Blood Ritual," "Moonlight Serenade," and a gorgeous, fortissimo chorale from "One Last Shot." The ballad movements ended with a beautiful call-and-answer mello/sop duet, foreshadowing the closer, "Scheherazade." Highlighted by Navy's talented pit and battery, this piece included all of the key moments you may remember from the Santa Clara Vanguard 2004 closer. The corps obtained the scores (transposed from Bb to G) directly from Key Poulan and Jim Casella, and decided not to alter the score at all, except for some timesaving cuts near the end. A powerful company front push, and the trademark Navy anchor closed the show with some serious thunder. Thanks to Larry Hershman, his NJA judging crew, and especially the 300+ fans for braving the weather! SCORES:
AIR FORCE: 86.95
NAVY: 89.05 GE Visual
USCGA: 15.4
USAFA: 17.3
USNA: 17.8 GE Music:
USCGA: 14.9
USAFA: 16.5
USNA: 17.4 Field Visual:
USCGA: 14.9
USAFA: 16.8
USNA: 17.3 Ensemble Visual:
USCGA: 15.6
USAFA: 16.8
USNA: 17.4 Guard:
USCGA: 20.0 (15.3)
USAFA: 20.0 (14.0)
USNA: 20.0 (n/a) Brass:
USCGA: 16.1
USAFA: 17.3
USNA: 17.7 Ensemble Music
USCGA: 16.2
USAFA: 18.3
USNA: 18.0 Percussion
USCGA: 15.8
USAFA: 17.1
USNA: 17.3 Jeff Weir is the director of the U.S. Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, and is a Cadets alum.