Drum Corps International's voting membership (representatives of the 23 World Class corps) gathered this week at the Hyatt in downtown Indianapolis. The scheduled business meeting took place over three days starting Sunday, Sept. 26 and covered a variety of business topics including the creation of the 2011 summer tour schedule, adjudication and related administrative systems development, upcoming rules proposal discussions, and preliminary planning for the annual meeting of the membership in January.

"This was a very productive gathering of the World Class members and will help to chart our course well beyond the next several months," said Dan Acheson, executive director and CEO of Drum Corps International. "We're already into the nitty gritty of the planning stages for the 2011 season and will be working to refine the tour as we prepare for another outstanding and exciting season."

New Championship Week Format

Developed by popular request of drum corps fans, a new format for the 2011 Drum Corps International World Championships in Michigan City, Ind. and Indianapolis has been approved by the voting members. The basic framework of this schedule will include:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Open Class World Championship

Ames Field, Michigan City, IN

Open Class corps will compete for the title of World Champion in a new one-day event format. Participating corps will be seeded at tour events leading into the Championship event.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hall of Fame Kickoff Party

Downtown Indianapolis

A wildly popular event in 2009 and 2010, DCI will host its third annual Hall of Fame Kickoff celebration to mark the start of the World Championships in Indianapolis. Evening festivities will include live music, charity games and auctions, with a special presentation recognizing the DCI Hall of Fame Class of 2011.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

World Championship Prelims

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

In a twist to the usual World Championship Quarterfinals competition, the new Prelims competition will feature a veritable "all-skate" of DCI corps. In addition to the performances of all 23 World Class groups, all Open and International Class corps will be invited to compete at this event. More than 40 corps are expected to go head-to-head in the all-day preliminary competition at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Big, Loud & Live 8, DCI's popular cinematic event, will feature the performances of the final 15 corps in competition, broadcast live to select movie theaters from coast to coast.

Friday, August 12, 2011

World Championship Semifinals

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

The top 25 corps from the Thursday event (no matter World, Open or International Class distinction) will compete at the Semifinals with the top 12 of this grouping earning spots in the Saturday evening Finals competition.

Following the competitive segment of Friday's event, fans will be treated to the traditional DCI Age-Out Ceremony, recognizing the graduating class of corps members, as well as a special 100th anniversary performance by Jubal Drum and Bugle Corps from the Netherlands. The induction of the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 will also take place during these special on-field festivities.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Special Musical Event & Come Feel the Music Festival, World Championship Finals

Downtown Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium

Plans are underway for a special kick off to Saturday's World Championship festivities with a spectacular musical event featuring all non-finalist corps and other groups. The event is tentatively scheduled to culminate with a mass brass and percussion performance of these corps before the second annual Come Feel the Music Festival gets underway at Lucas Oil Stadium, with interactive and engaging musical entertainment for the entire family.

Also Saturday afternoon, Open Class corps members will have their Individual & Ensemble Competition at the Indianapolis Convention Center, mirroring that of their World Class counterparts that will have taken place earlier in the season in San Antonio.

The last day of Championship activity will culminate with the World Championship Finals, featuring the competitive performances of the top 12 finishing corps after Friday's Semifinals.

The 2011 Drum Corps International Tour

As part of the meetings, considerable work was done to solidify the 2011 Drum Corps International Tour schedule, with 23 World and participating Open Class corps taking part. Corps representatives along with DCI staff members are working to have the majority of dates finalized with Tour Event Partners for release near the Thanksgiving holiday.

The shape the schedule is currently taking is somewhat similar to the 2010 tour, comprised of more than 100 competitions across the United States. Currently DCI Premier Events are scheduled for San Antonio, Atlanta and Allentown, and a return to Minneapolis planned in the month of July. Tentative plans for the start of the tour during the third week of June will bring corps from the West, Midwest and the East into the Southwestern United States.

"The first steps in the 2011 planning process are now well underway," said Susan Kuehnhold, Director of Events for Drum Corps International. "We'll now begin to refine the schedule so that we can serve the greatest possible number of fans throughout the country while being mindful of the constraints faced by the corps as they take to the road next summer. "

New Experimental Events

Being planned separately from the traditional format of the 2011 tour will be a handful of experimental drum corps events, also produced by Drum Corps International. The top eight finishing corps from 2010 have been invited to participate in this series, which will feature additional competitive and non-competitive performance material developed beyond the corps' standard 11.5 minute production.

"This series will give us the opportunity to explore several new elements in the production of our events using a number of our very best ensembles," said Mark Arnold, Chairman of the Board of Drum Corps International and Executive Director of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. "By creating these unique opportunities for our corps and our fans, we hope to develop exciting new features for future DCI events, helping us to expand our audience while providing a thrilling and engaging experience for everyone."

A unique competitive environment is also being developed for the experimental series which may include judging techniques not currently utilized under current DCI rules. Further details are in the preliminary stages of development, with additional information expected following the annual meeting in January.

"The opportunity to get everyone together in the same room is always productive for us, and this weekend was no exception," said Acheson. We will continue to refine the schedule and gear up for the exciting new possibilities we are creating for 2011 and beyond. There are only 263 days until opening day, and we want to make sure that season number 39 is our best one yet."

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