Drum Corps International
Recap Roundup: 2015 World Championship Semifinals
Photo by: Drum Corps International

Recap Roundup: 2015 World Championship Semifinals

by Michael Boo

Here is a look at the scores awarded to the 25 corps competing at the 2015 Drum Corps International World Championship Semifinals, Friday, August 7.

It’s really tight at the top. Just 0.15 separates 1st place Carolina Crown from the 2nd place Blue Devils, and only 0.85 separates BD from 3rd place Bluecoats, who are just a point under the top spot. And only 0.275 down from Bluecoats is the Cadets in 4th place. There are several different scenarios that can yet occur among the top four corps.

Another tight placement existed around the cutoff for Finals. Crossmen made it into 12th place by only 0.075 over Troopers—less than a tenth. Crossmen was penalized 1.40 for being overtime due to starting late because of electronics issues. (The start of the show, reliant upon its bird sounds, was dependent upon electronics.) Without the penalty, Crossmen would have been tied for 11th place instead of staring at 13th. Interestingly, this is the second year in a row that Crossmen made it into Finals by a remarkably small margin due to a penalty. In 2014, the corps advanced into Finals by a scant 0.10 after receiving a 1.00 warm-up infraction.

There were two judges for GE 1, GE 2, and Percussion, with scores from each of those pairs of judges averaged together for the total caption score. The scores of the two Effect captions are counted for full value, but each of the scores of the three Visual captions (Visual Proficiency, Visual Analysis and Color Guard) and three Music captions (Brass, Music Analysis and Percussion) are first divided in half, with each of those half scores added together for the Total Visual and Total Music scores.

And, as has been done all season, we no longer refer to the General Effect captions as Visual GE and Music GE. Those captions are now known as General Effect 1 and General Effect 2, with each judge taking more of an overall view of every corps’ entire show, not unlike how fans view a show.

Carolina Crown (1st-96.775) took 1st in both GE captions, scoring 0.40 higher than Blue Devils in Total GE. But Total Visual lost to BD by 0.30. Color Guard, which topped BD’s guard by 0.60 in Prelims, lost to BD’s guard by 0.10 on Friday. Visual Proficiency won over BD by 0.10, so the Total Visual caption was a wash until the 0.60 spread by BD in Visual Analysis was factored in, responsible for the entire 0.30 differential. Total Music placed 2nd despite a 5th-place finish in Percussion that scored 0.65 under Cadets. 1st place in Music Analysis and 2nd in Brass to Cadets kept Total Music afloat, a manageable 0.275 under Cadets’ winning caption score. In Semifinals, that 0.40 lead over BD in GE made all the difference. However, in Prelims, Crown’s lead over BD in GE was 0.70, so another 0.30 shrinkage in the Total GE spread could shift the title to the Blue Devils.

Blue Devils (2nd-96.625) took Total Visual by winning Visual Analysis and Guard and placing under Crown in Visual Proficiency by only 0.10. Total GE was 2nd by 0.40 due to a 0.35 deficit in GE 2. Brass was 3rd, 0.30 under Crown, and Music Analysis was 4th, also 0.30 down. A 0.50 lead over Crown in 2nd place Percussion wasn’t enough to top Crown in Total Music, in which the corps had to settle for 3rd. The 0.85 lead over Bluecoats was mostly due to a 0.50 advantage in Total Visual, with no major lead in any of the three Visual captions.

Bluecoats (3rd-95.775) was 3rd in Total GE and Total Visual and 4th in Total Music. GE 1 and both Analysis captions took 2nd, with GE 2, Visual Proficiency, Color Guard, and Percussion tying for 3rd. Music Analysis was 4th. A 0.30 lead over Cadets in Total GE and a 0.40 lead in Total Visual more than offset the 0.425 loss to Cadets in Total Music, allowing the corps to stay ahead of Cadets by 0.275.

The Cadets (4 - 95.500) was 1st in Brass and Percussion, 3rd in Music Analysis, and 4th in all five remaining captions. Total Music took 1st, but Total GE and Total Visual placed 4th. Despite being in 4th place, the corps was closer to 1st place (1.275 down) than 5th place (2.075 up).

Santa Clara Vanguard (5th-93.425) was once again on a 5th place island, in little danger of slipping, but seemingly unlikely to advance. 3rd place Percussion (down from 1st in Prelims) was the only caption that didn’t place 5th. At 2.075 under Cadets and 2.275 above Blue Knights, it would perhaps be unprecedented to see the corps move in either direction.

Blue Knights (6th-91.150) was 6th in every caption except for 8th in Visual Analysis. A shift in placement due to the disappearance of the 1.375 spread over Phantom Regiment isn’t unprecedented in this placement range, but is unlikely.

Phantom Regiment (7th-89.775) was 7th in all three Total captions. Both GE captions and all three Music captions finished in 7th. The biggest disparity was in Visual, with the corps placing 6th in Visual Analysis, 8th in Visual Proficiency, and an uncharacteristic 13th in Color Guard. However, although the guard slipped from 11th in Prelims, the guard’s score only dropped 0.10. And despite that low guard placement, Regiment’s Total Visual score beat Scouts by 0.05 due to Scouts’ guard placing a close 12th. The 1.15 lead over Madison Scouts was due to a 0.45 lead in Total GE and a 0.65 lead in Total Music.

Madison Scouts (8th-88.625) was 8th in Total GE and Total Visual and 9th in Total Music. 7th place finishes in Visual Proficiency and Visual Analysis meant that all three Visual captions scored within one placement of Regiment. The corps is likely more concerned with losing ground to the Cavaliers than gaining ground on Regiment, since only 0.225 separates the two Illinois corps due to scant 0.15 leads in both Total GE and Total Music, plus a mere 0.075 deficit in Total Music.

The Cavaliers (9th-88.400) finished 8th in Music Analysis and Percussion and 9th in everything else. With a 2.10 lead over Boston Crusaders, it’s likely the corps is more focused on moving up than concerned about moving down. A ninth-place finish would be the lowest for the corps since 1983.

Boston Crusaders (10th-86.300) placed 8th in Color Guard and 10th through 12th in all other captions. The 1.025 lead over Blue Stars was due to a 0.45 spread in Total GE and a 0.60 advantage in Total Visual, negating the miniscule 0.025 loss in Total Music.

Blue Stars (11th-85.275) took 9th in Percussion and 11th through 14th in all other captions. The corps would have tied Crossmen for 11th were it not for Crossmen’s 1.40 penalty.

Crossmen (12th-83.875) is probably the luckiest corps in Finals. The corps’ Color Guard finished 7th, above the guards of the five corps that placed higher. The other two Visual captions finished 10th and the GE and Music captions placed between 11th and 13th.

The following corps did not advance into Finals.

Troopers (13th-83.800) came within 0.075 of making Finals, but without Crossmen’s penalty, only the 0.40 lead in Total GE gave the corps hope of returning to the top-12. A 1.65 deficit to Crossmen in Total Visual would still have kept the corps out of Finals.

Colts (14th- 83.025) took 10th in Color Guard and 11th in Visual Analysis, the only two captions that placed in the top-12. All other captions were 14th or 15th.

The Academy (15th-81.825) placed 14th or 15th in every caption except for the 12th place finish in Music Analysis.

Vanguard Cadets (16th-79.350) had caption places that ranged from 15th to 18th place.

Oregon Crusaders (17th-78.550) took 22nd in Color Guard and 16th through 18th in all other captions.

Spirit of Atlanta (18th-78.125) was 16th in GE 2 and Brass, and 17th through 20th in everything else.

Blue Devils B (19th-77.175) was 17th in Color Guard and 18th through 21st in the remaining captions.

Mandarins (20th-76.425) took 18th in Color Guard and 19th through 21st in the other captions.

Pacific Crest (21st-74.925) finished 17th in Visual Analysis and 20th through 22nd in the remaining captions.

Genesis (22nd-73.500) placed 21st through 24th in all captions.

Spartans (23rd-71.500) finished 20th in Color Guard, with other captions placing between 22nd through 25th.

Cascades (24th-71.075) were 23rd through 25th across the board.

Legends (25th-70.250) was 22nd in Brass and Music Analysis and 24th or 25th in everything else.