There was a 50 percent chance of rain for the second half of the opening weekend of the 2012 Drum Corps International Tour in Louisville, Ky. on Sunday, June 17. Earlier in the day, scattered showers occurred as four of the top eight drum corps from last summer took time to rehearse their en masse finale for the upcoming Tour of Champions — a five-event series of drum corps shows that will feature the Blue Devils, Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders, Cadets, Carolina Crown, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment and Santa Clara Vanguard. "It's always interesting to get four groups together like that," Cadets Director George Hopkins said about the three-hour rehearsal that eventually had to be moved indoors. Even with the unexpected precipitation, he said corps members are plenty used to playing in the rain every year, having to run on and off the field. Thankfully, clearer skies prevailed and the Blue Stars kicked things off at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium as scheduled.
Blue Stars Drum Major Mark Donahue said his corps has started out with two fantastic performances to lead into a great season. "I think the members are definitely starting to feel more comfortable performing," Donahue said after the La Crosse, Wisconsin corps' performance. "It's been a big weekend of growth for us." As the Blue Stars prepare for their next contest on Wednesday in Michigan, corps director Russ Gavin said their first two performances have gotten them into the necessary mindset to make progress going into the next show. The lineup in Louisville also included the Bluecoats, Carolina Crown, The Cadets and The Cavaliers. Phantom Regiment was the only corps that didn't make the trip from Akron, Ohio to Louisville on Sunday. Instead, the corps started its more than 1,500 mile trek west for the Drums Along the Sandias DCI Tour event on Tuesday. Closing out DCI Louisville were the Cavaliers, performing their 2012 production "15 Minutes of Fame."
"We're trying some new things this year, and I think we displayed that very well," Cavaliers Drum Major Andrew Rhebergen said. "People might not get the theme right away," he said. "People might not understand or like it. But, especially with the first couple of shows, everyone is getting a read on it." Rhebergen said the Cavaliers are getting a good response from the crowd, and the corps members are having a blast performing the show. "That's the most important thing," he said. "We love our show. We're working to perform it to our maximum potential." Like the day before in Akron, scores from DCI Louisville were not released to the corps or fans. Those eager for results will have to wait until Monday, June 18 for their release as part of the Drum Corps at the Movies: Tour Premiere. Learn more about Monday's Tour Premiere cinema event. View the complete 2012 Drum Corps International Tour schedule. Contributing to this report: Jessica Skogh