Both Spirit from JSU (72.10) and the Colts (68.80) unveiled heavily reworked sections of their 2003 shows for the first time last night in Mankato, Minn., at the "Thunder of Drums" contest, held at Blakeslee Field in Mankato, Minn. The reworked sections delighted the crowd of 600, which was described by Jim Batchellor, Spirit's tour director, as being "very appreciative." Spirit's recent adjustments spotlight the "October" section of the corps' 2003 "Time" show, a section which references "time gone by." Spirit's show makes musical reference to older drum corps shows, Batchellor said, and to classic Spirit shows of the past. "The message that comes out: It seems like only yesterday," Batchellor explained. Sound confusing? Just wait. "Visual cues that will go in over the next week or so will clarify things. (We'll reference) our past, and the past of the activity," Batchellor said The audience is making sense of "Time," Batchellor said. "They really seem to connect well with it, and they recognize the tunes that are interwoven through it." The Colts, meanwhile, reworked the last six minutes of their 2003 program for last night, according to director Greg Orwoll. "We got it out there, and we got some good feedback," Orwoll said. Specifically, the Colts' color guard was integrated differently into the show last night, voicings were changed, and musical presentation was shifted. "We addressed our critical lack of velocity in certain aspects," Orwoll said. The audience was pleased with the changes the Colts fielded. "It turned out that all the good ideas got better. We're really excited about making it shine and polish," Orwoll said of the audience-pleasing element of their 2003 program. "The music is sophisticated, but they enjoy it," Orwoll said. Orwoll described "Symphonic Visions: Ritual, Song, and Dance," the Colts' 2003 program, as "Strong melody, big impact, lots of contrast, and a lot of variety." Blakeslee Field, meanwhile, is quickly becoming a classic drum corps setting. "What a great venue! You feel like the audience is right there with you. It's a very intimate setting. Everybody that performed last night had a real good sense of interaction with the audience. And they were such a good crowd," said Batchellor, Spirit's Weather conditions cooperated last night as well, contributing to a beautiful Minnesota evening. Batchellor said a light breeze was blowing, there was no humidity, and the temperature was in the mid-70s. "It was a gorgeous evening," Batchellor said.
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