Drum Corps International
Open Class corps demonstrate continued focus on strategic growth and sustainability
Corps gather on the field during the finale of the 2017 Open Class World Championship Finals. Photo by: Drum Corps International

Open Class corps demonstrate continued focus on strategic growth and sustainability

by Drum Corps International

During a presentation to DCI’s voting membership on Friday in Indianapolis, DCI Open Class Coordinator David Eddleman enthusiastically shared a number of insights which underscore the continued positive trends across the division in areas of organizational growth and stability, cultivation of new performance opportunities, and improved fiscal responsibility.

Following on the heels of another season of strong performances across the breadth of the division, Eddleman’s upbeat presentation featured a number of season highlights.

“We’re seeing record numbers of students attending Open Class audition and experience camps,” he said. “We’re finding that the average age of Open Class performers is coming up to about the same level compared to many World Class corps. We’re also seeing that we have a number of full-size Open Class drum corps with 150 membership. In every area it’s really remarkable, and we’re pleased to see growth.”

Enabling students to participate in a highly-competitive, quality educational experience without the more intensive time commitment of a full-time summer tour, DCI’s regionally-focused Open Class organizations continue to be an attractive opportunity to engage motivated, passionate performers in the excitement, educational and competitive opportunities of Marching Music’s Major League.

The ongoing development of resources focused on increasing communication, sharing best practices, and providing tools for continued organizational growth and stability continue to be a priority for members of the Open Class Advisory Committee and the Drum Corps International Board of Directors.

Open Class fast facts

• 2,426 Open Class performers in 2017 represented 41 percent of all DCI drum corps performers.

• The average Open Class corps size (achieving a benchmark of 105 performers in 2017) has increased year-over-year since 2010.

• 12 Open Class corps in 2017 had memberships exceeding 100 performers.

• The average age of Open Class performers is 18.08 years.

• 19% of 2017 World Class performers got their start as a member of an Open Class ensemble.

• An all-time high of 3,500 to 4,000 students are projected to audition for Open Class corps in 2018. The average Open Class corps will audition more corps members than they can accept.

• The average attendance at 2017 DCI Tour events with lineups consisting exclusively of Open Class corps was 872. Five of those events exceeded 1,200 tickets sold, with a record-setting two-day attendance of 2,841 at the Open Class World Championships in Michigan City.