INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — After Tuesday’s Open Class Finals in Michigan City, medals have been awarded. Vanguard Cadets’ gold, Blue Devils B’s silver and Gold’s historic bronze are all locked in.
As a result, the focus for several of the top Open Class corps has shifted.
They’ve got their eyes set on their World Class counterparts.
“Throughout the whole season, in our mind, it was go for Open Class Finals, get that gold medal,” Vanguard Cadets drum major Jessica Jackman said. “Now, it’s go for those World Class corps, try to be the best that we can possibly be.”
The DCI World Championship Prelims presented by Gary P. Gilroy was, in many cases, the first meeting of several World and Open Class competitors.
It’s hard to know what to expect with 40 corps competing on one stage, but over the past few years, one constant has been the rise of Open Class corps into the World Class ranks.
For the Vanguard Cadets, fresh off their second-straight Open Class World Championship title, Thursday saw the corps finish in 17th place, just two tenths of a point ahead of Troopers. Should that result hold, it’ll be the fourth time in four years that the Vanguard Cadets have scored among the Top 20.
“It definitely gives our members a confidence boost, for sure, knowing that we can stand with some of those World Class corps and, hopefully, maybe move ahead of some of those World Class corps,” Jackman said. “It definitely makes us feel really good.”
According to Jackman, the key to success is to treat the DCI World Championships like any other competitive performance. That continued drive is key, especially when coming off of a gold medal victory.
“I feel like you really need to remind yourself that you won that gold medal for a reason and you need to show everyone else why you won that gold medal,” she said. “Be sure to keep yourself honest, work just as hard as you would for any other show.”
Blue Devils B drum major Oliver Bishop echoed the importance of carrying over momentum from Michigan City. In his eyes, though, upon entering Lucas Oil Stadium, it’s a brand-new season from the one that saw his corps earn a second-straight Open Class silver medal.
“We treat it differently because we know we’re going to be judged slightly differently,” Bishop said. “You just walk out on the field with that extra couple of inches.”
The Concord corps’ Prelims result also placed it within the top 20, more than a point behind the 18th-place Troopers and exactly a point ahead of the 20th-place Pacific Crest.
“It’s super exciting to see how we’re competing as world class musicians with the World Class corps,” Bishop said. “We’re going head-to-head with other World Class corps that have been striving to be here all season just like us.”
Vanguard Cadets and Blue Devils B aren’t alone. Gold and Spartans also achieved a Semifinals berth and defeated a handful of World Class opponents on the way.
Each staking their claim in the top 25, all four will advance to Friday’s DCI World Championship Semifinals presented by Earasers & InEarz Audio.
“We’re able to compare ourselves with other corps that are right around our level that have been competing in World Class, and see how we stack up,” Bishop said. “It just shows that we’re all performers. We’re all ready to go. We’re all hungry.”