Drum Corps International
RanDOME Thoughts

RanDOME Thoughts

by Drum Corps International

The DCI SUMMER MUSIC GAMES Midwestern Championships evening show has just started. Come back often during the next four hours and you will get a chance to read comments from members of the audience, almost as soon as each individual corps finishes playing.The audience in the Indianapolis RCA Dome stretches from goal line to goal line, over two decks. The enthusiasm is overwhelming. When the crowd gets into the show in this venue, it can and does rock the place.The corps are performing in the following order: Madison Scouts, Phantom Regiment, Bluecoats, Carolina Crown, Boston Crusaders, Colts, Crossmen, The Cavaliers, Santa Clara Vanguard, Blue Devils, The Cadets, and Glassmen.If Madison Scouts are at least a little honked about taking three caption awards in the afternoon show and still not winning, they are doing a great job of channeling their feelings into a most intense and fiery performance. The heat is truly being turned up. And from the angle this reporter is at on the field, the lines look crisp and clean. The energy at the end of "Ballet in Brass" is almost unbearable. There should be pieces of teeth flying out of the horn's bells, the result being an instant and total standing ovation from the audience.Scott Casper is from Kansas City, MO. His reaction immediately upon the end of Scouts' show was as follows. "Madison Scouts are pure energy. They do everything it takes to please the crowd. They always have, and that's what their show is about, and that is what drum corps is about. I've seen them twice today. Their energy was up, their toes were up, and everything they did tonight was just phenomenal."Madison scored a 34.2 in General Effect. GE Visual 17.0 and GE Music 17.2Phantom Regiment's opening statement of the theme to the final movement of the Bartok "Concerto for Orchestra" is as crisp a display of horn work as one is likely to hear on the field this summer. And then they whap you over the head with the deep rich low bass sound they're so famous for. A lot of running brass figures throughout have audience members watching the show with wide open mouths. "Festive Overture" must be one of the corps' best tour-de-force closers in recent memory. It has a great sense of direction and drive, and Phantom Regiment written all over it. The corps is exploiting its identity for all it's worth, and that's great news for the fans.Clifton Merrick is a retired band director from southern Indiana. "I really enjoyed Phantom's music. It was very satisfying and exciting. I like the voicing of the instruments and the sound. As a musician, this is a very fulfilling corps to listen to, and this year they give me what I expect from them.Phantom Regiment scored a 35.1 in General Effect. GE Visual 17.5 and GE Music 17.6.In the back of their minds, Bluecoats may well be thinking that they have to prove tonight that winning the afternoon show was no fluke. From field level, it seems as if the corps is indeed quite hot tonight. Horns have an impeccable clarity and aren't afraid to let loose with a searing level of intensity. I'm hearing more intricacies each time I hear this show. It's deeper and more involved than I realized. Never realized the "Dies Irae" death theme could be so much of a toe-tapper. Jaret Ellis is from Frankfort, KY. "I think they did a great job for the room. It's a different show than anything else I've seen, with sounds one normally doesn't hear. The music seems quite original, and so do the dance features. They have a full, tight and together sound. I especially love the tenor features. They have cool visuals and play cleanly together. It's a fun show all the way around."Bluecoats scored a 34.0 in General Effect. GE Visual 17.2 and GE Music 16.8.It had to hurt when Carolina Crown didn't make it into the night show at the Alamodome by a scant .1. Well, they made up for it earlier today, scoring closer to Madison than to Colts. The interesting movement and resulting formation made with the planks of wood does a great job focusing the audience on the theme of the show. From the frenzy of the opener to the tenderness of the ballad, there are more mood changes in the show than their most recent offerings, and the corps tonight is doing a superb job of exploiting those different moods, especially the biting chords at the end.Jack Reilly from Oxford, OH especially enjoyed the integration of all the props into the show. "I thought it was going to be terrible when I saw all the props come out, but they used them in such an original and creative manner that I was captivated by it. The show had a nice drive to it, but it's the props that really surprised and delighted me."Carlolina Crown scored a 33.2 in General Effect. GE Visual 16.8 and GE Music 16.4.Musically, Boston's "Harmonium" production has got to be one of the most unique musical efforts put on the field by any corps in recent years. The sophistication level of is far above anything the corps has ever done, and it certainly challenges some old-time Boston fans. The addition of brass to "Marimba Spiritual" is quite unexpected, making it even more barbaric. The solitude and "ahhhh" of "The Mission" comes along just in time. The corps actually gets jazzy in the Dana Wilson closer, taking no prisoners as the show comes to a conclusion of musical fireworks.Krystle New is a 13-year-old from French Lick, IN especially loved the colors of the flags. "The flags really jumped out. They were totally different than other corps' flags and I enjoyed watching them. I thought the music was very modern. I loved it when the corps broke up into two parts, and then they came together and the loudness made the chairs vibrate."Boston Crusaders scored a 33.7 in General Effect. GE Visual 17.1 and GE Music 16.6.Having outscored Blue Knights by just .65 in the afternoon show, you can rest assured that Colts aren't taking anything for granted. After a few weeks of playing with the theme, the "Chivalry" concept is coming into increased focus, especially in the dance interpretation of the guard during the tender and lovely "Non Nobis, Domine." This is a show that has the potential to grow at an increased rate in terms of thematic interpretation over the final two weeks of the season. Horns are appropriately brash and dynamic, with a sound that might be referred to as "proud."Megan Vander Kooy, from Hudsonville, MI, feels the corps has improved by leaps and bounds from when she last saw them in June. "They stepped it up a lot. I really love what they've done in the battle scene, showing the action of the battle and incorporating the horn line into the drama. The percussion is really brutal there and the whole package is emotional and intense. It makes it exciting to watch."Colts scored a 33.5 in General Effect. GE Visual 16.5 and GE Music 17.0.Make no mistake about Crossmen's chances in Buffalo. They easily could capture a precious and coveted spot on the televised finals. One of the reasons is that this corps swings like swing should be swung. In the past, they were a lot fun and very good. They're still a lot of fun, but now they're great instead of just very good. The three-tiered big band set-up in "Flying Home" is a super tribute to the origins of the idiom. I've never heard the corps this loud and yet this musically pure, and the drums are on a program of extreme calorie burning. Tim Showers is a member of a high school marching band in of Cape Girardeau "That was just an electrifying performance. We were dancing in our seats when we weren't glued to them by the solid wall of sound. And the technical performance, the GE they pulled and the sets they were hitting, was just beautiful. That's the sort of thing that makes them gods to us marching band kids."Crossmen scored a 35.3 in General Effect. GE Visual 17.8 and GE Music 17.5.The quick, crisp movement turns The Cavaliers execute are an awesome sight to behold. They should go flat on their faces, but something in the muscle training their bodies get allows the members to turn in unison like those swarms of fish seen on National Geographic specials, demonstrating a polish that is admired by all. The third movement rock section is finally really cutting loose, and the drumming in it is scary. The corps was almost drowned out by the screaming during that section. If the corps got a "bounce" from its victory in Murfreesboro, they're certainly exploiting it tonight.Adam Claypool is from Itasca, IL, not far from the corps' hometown. "That's the best I've ever seen anyone march. I love the visual program. The movement is just incredible. The movement from one corner to another is unique. That's the best low brass sound I've heard tonight, and also the best high brass sound. The thing I look forward to most is always being surprised by that wall of brass."The Cavaliers scored a 37.7 in General Effect. GE Visual 19.0 and GE Music 18.7.The mallet doodling that segues right into the dreamlike opening of Santa Clara Vanguard's show is an intriguing way of starting a show. The corps is getting the maximum out of the minimalistic "Short Ride in a Fast Machine." One can count on even more inspired zaniness to be incorporated into "Jug Blues and Fat Pickin'" over the next few days. "Variants on a Medieval Tune" resonated through the stadium with an indescribable beauty and richness. The performers are really getting into the attitude of the street rap in "New Era Dance," which is sure to become one of 2001's most memorable drum corps moments.Jim Diettrich, from Romeoville, IL, says, "I find it amazing, from having been around drum corps for 30 years, that a corps like Santa Clara can continually reinvent itself and still maintain its own identity. They're really pushing the envelope with things I've never seen on the field before, like that hip-hop section with the urban ethnic drumming. It's a joy to see them do something so traditional and then turn around and do that." Santa Clara Vanguard scored a 36.7 in General Effect. GE Visual 18.4 and GE Music 18.3.Blue Devils' opener of "Awayday" is a total delight. Breezy but deadly serious, it superbly captures everything there has ever been to say about the corps' identity. The "Fantasy Variations" on Gershwin's "Prelude No. 2" is joyously interpreted by a guard that is unafraid to wrap the center stage around itself. With all eyes on them, they deliver wondrously. One can feel the intensity of the brass in their bones. If you've loved the BD sound in the past, you will be ecstatic with it this year. It's as solid as ever, and its seconds before the ears stop vibrating after the show ends.Tony Ridderer from Columbia, MO was especially captivated by the corps' guard. "The guard is exceptionally clean for this time of year. The guard stands out in my mind, especially for the intricate rifle block that was beyond excellent. I was surprised at how loud the sound was, as I was told the B-flats wouldn't be as loud as the G bugles. But apparently no one told them that would be the case." The Blue Devils scored a 37.6 in General Effect. GE Visual 19.1 and GE Music 18.5."Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" is classic Cadets. A swirling flurry of runs right off-the-line brilliantly shows off the horn line's finger gymnastics. Situated between that symphonic barn burner and the lovely "Vide Cor Meum," "Moondance" comes as a bit of a shock. It's as much fun as the corps has ever had on the field, and they do a great job of letting their hair down. The featured brass run in "Farandole" is absolutely brutal. It's amazing the players don't have to ice their digits after that one. "Juxtaperformance" is a show of visual and musical delight, shattering the convention of unified programming that The Cadets themselves made standard.Gregg Strand, of Glenwood, IL, has been going to drum corps contests for over 40 years. "It was a fantastic show. It's just what you want from The Cadets. Everything is great. It's a total show. There are no weaknesses. What else can you ask for? There's so much to watch that on the first viewing you just can't take it all in. They throw everything at you and it's all spectacular." The Cadets scored a 36.9 in General Effect. GE Visual 18.7 and GE Music 18.2.With "IMAGO," Glassmen have discovered a style that not only is unique to the activity, but it also works amazingly well for the corps. The melodies of the South American music are different and captivating for their rhythmic and melodic vitality and uniqueness. Well the corps isn't afraid of cutting loose and getting totally primal, it's the moments that "breathe" that make this production so wonderful to hear. With a balance of intensities like riding a wave, this show takes us on a journey of discovery that is refreshing and stimulating.Tabitha Evans, from French Lick, IN, is totally enamored with one part of the corps' show. "The flugel solo midway through the show is awesome. It's so pretty. I'll be humming it long after I leave. I think the entire corps is really special. The music is so different than anything else I heard tonight. I like that they tried doing something unique. It totally works for me." The Glassmen scored a 35.8 in General Effect. GE Visual 18.0 and GE Music 17.8.

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