By Denney Fifield Ogden, Utah -- It has been two years since there was a drum and bugle corps show in Utah and even longer since I have taken my family to one. My youngest child has never been to a show and my two oldest only have vague memories of the last one we went to. It was time to take the family to drum corps. Read Denney Fifield's Ogden, Utah, full show review I rushed home from work, packed the family up in the crew cab Chevy, ate "Sloppy Joes" on the road (don't try this at home) and arrived in plenty of time to begin that wonderful tradition of wandering the parking lot, retelling stories of when I marched with the Blue Knights to my kids. The smell of diesel in the air, the steady "Ping" of Dr. Beat plodding away and the beat of the drums brought floods of memories back.
We watched the Vanguard Cadets percussion line warm up for a few minutes, but my kids wanted to see "Dad's Corps," the Blue Knights. We found their buses, the members of the pit and even their drum mjor, but no Blue Knights horn line. My children's eager eyes scanned the area continually for them, but to not avail. We meandered around a few more buses and semi-trailers, found the Troopers practicing some high mark times and even saw the Seattle Cascades horn line trooping off for their warm ups. My youngest was getting tired of all the walking, so my wife took her to find our seats. I found a good spot and we watched the Vanguard Cadets percussion line again. "Look at the concentration they have," I told my kids, who are just starting their musical journeys. I wanted to show them that in order to perform at this level, you have to be able to concentrate on the music and the show. I continued, "See how they don't let anything distract them even with all these people watching them?" My kids nodded their heads, they were entranced with the cadence. I don't know about everyone else, but a drum corps show here is like a family reunion. You see all the people you know from high school on. There is handshaking, hugs and the age-old question of "Now, what was your name?" Once those are over, the reminiscing can begin. This year, there would be a twist for me. This year I found that I belonged to a much larger family then I thought. For the longest time, I thought I belonged only to the Blue Knights family. Tonight I found that that family is only one branch of the tree. I found that I belonged to family that included people who had marched with the Madison Scouts, the Blue Devils and every other drum corps. We had only sat down for a few minutes when I discovered that the person sitting behind me had marched in the Madison Scouts in 1993. The person sitting a couple rows down had marched in the Blue Devils. As each corps performed, we would talk about the show like old friends. My children would also talk with these adopted family members like they had known them all their lives. In the two rows of in front and behind me, there were four generations of drum corps fans. The corps performed beautifully. The power and the precision that is the trademark of drum corps displayed in all its glory. My family left the show with headaches and gravelly throats. "Now that is what drum corps show should do to you," I told my kids. The most enjoyable thing about the show, however, was seeing my children becoming true drum corps fans. On the way home, my youngest daughter asked if I could put in my drum corps CD.
The Blue Knights, Denney Fifield's former corps, perform in Utah last night.