Drum Corps International
Open Class anticipates continued growth
Photo by: Drum Corps International

Open Class anticipates continued growth

by Chris Weber

Continuing growth trends were the main theme of a presentation by David Eddleman, coordinator of Drum Corps International’s Open Class division, during the DCI annual winter business meetings in Denver.

Presenting to representatives of DCI’s voting member corps on Thursday evening, Eddleman touched on highlights of the 2015 season for the Open Class as a prelude to what’s ahead in 2016. 

Twenty-six Open Class corps directors are expected to be in attendance for the meetings in Denver this weekend, which gives directors one of their few opportunities to meet face-to-face outside of the competitive summer season.

OC corps directors
Open Class corps directors meet in Denver Friday, January 29.

“Through the guidance and leadership of the Open Class Advisory Committee and by facilitating discussions on various topics among all of our directors, we’ve been able to build a very strong sense of community among Open Class corps that we want to continue to develop,” Eddleman said.

DCI’s annual winter business meetings give Open Class directors the opportunity to share best practices and discuss ongoing challenges. With an eye on continued growth, Eddleman says that among the points of discussion over the next two days will be a focus on mentoring new and reemerging corps in addition facilitating ways in which current Open Class corps can work together to find open performance spots for as many students as are interested in joining a drum corps. 

2015 Open Class Highlights

• Eddleman reports that the size of Open Class corps continues to grow. From an average of 65 in 2010, 2015 marked an average of 86 corps members up from 82 in 2014. In 2015 10 Open Class corps had memberships exceeding 100.

• Students in Open Class corps totaled 2,251 in 2015 (up 1,969 from 2014), which accounted for 40 percent of all corps members participating in the DCI Tour.

• Currently undergoing an evaluation process, four prospective Open Class corps have applied to participate in the 2016 DCI Tour. Groups include Horizon (Odessa, Texas), Indy Ignition (Indianapolis), Shadow (Oregon, Wisconsin) and the Battalion (Provo, Utah).

• Not including International Class groups, at least 16 Open Class corps are expected to compete at the Open Class World Championship this August in Michigan City Indiana, up from 14 in 2015.

• 19 DCI Tour events featuring lineups exclusively of Open and International Class corps were hosted in 2015. Total paid attendance across those events reached 13,515, up more than 2,500 over 2014.