Drum Corps International
Spotlight of the Week: 1993 Blue Knights, 'The Next Generation'
DCI Defualt ImagePhoto by: Drum Corps International

Spotlight of the Week: 1993 Blue Knights, 'The Next Generation'

by Drum Corps International


1993 Blue Knights
The 1993 Drum Corps International World Championships went to Jackson, Mississippi, where Star of Indiana delivered its last competitive performance on the field before later morphing into the stage show "Blast!" Star of Indiana had won 30 of its 34 shows that season, losing four contests to the eventual World Champion Cadets of Bergen County, scoring just a tenth of a point away from the top spot at the season-ending Finals competition. 1993 also marked the very first time the Glassmen and Colts were finalist corps. Blue Knights took 10th place at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. The corps' production, "The Next Generation—Musical Selections from Star Trek," was based on soundtracks from two of the films inspired by the late 1960s television series created by Gene Roddenberry. To start the show, the horns were kept hidden behind a large white backdrop. The drums were up front, but facing backward and not playing. Four round white props of various sizes were utilized vertically on the field, referencing the white dots on the front of the corps' uniforms. The show began with a montage of "Star Trek" television and movie themes from different periods of the popular sci-fi franchise. Different stages of human development were presented as characters appeared in front of the props, starting with a stone-age drummer beating on a homemade drum as a flag reading "3161 B.C." also appeared from behind the prop. A hunter appeared from behind the next white button prop, accompanied by a flag reading "497 B.C." Skipping ahead in time, the next prop revealed an Alphorn player from 1142 A.D., as the brass section played a snippet from the first "Star Trek" television theme.
The final white prop moved to reveal a three-person American flag honor guard marking time. They were dressed in the uniforms worn by the Blue Knights when they were founded, accompanied by a three-person honor guard representing the Blue Knights of the future. As a flag reading "1957"—referencing the year of the corps' inception—was carried across the field, a big white scrim opened up to reveal the rest of the corps. The horn players and percussionists wore long, flowing tux tails. Tall, asymmetrical white plastic spires sat atop their headgear in place of plumes. The entire uniform represented a futuristic look. Keeping with the ultramodern theme, when the front color guard members picked up rifles, those rifles were of an unusual shape not seen before nor since, with strange protrusions on the handles. Horns and drums then formed the arrowhead/rocket-shaped insignia that is commonly seen on much of the "Star Trek" Starfleet property. The opening segment segued into "Battle of the Mutara Nebula," written by film composer James Horner for the 1982 film, "Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan." Set in the year 2285 A.D., the work ended with horns in the form of the corps' own insignia, representing a defiant victory in the face of attack. The block triangle representing the white uniform dots would be a repeating visual element of the show. "Clear All Moorings" was composed by 26-year-old Cliff Eidelman for the 1991 film, "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," which was the last time the original cast of the movie series appeared together. The Blue Knights used the piece to convey the vastness and silent wonder of space through its fragile and light scoring.

1993 Blue Knights
Steve Vai composed the quirky percussion feature "Little Green Men," which started with the horns and color guard members forming planetary orbs at opposite corners of the field and then colliding into each other. This led to the guard section forming the same block triangle reference to the corps' uniform that was seen earlier. Utilizing pale yellow flags connected to the top of the poles with string, the implements created a peculiar effect when spun, as if the flags were about to come detached from the poles. The on-field percussion feature was abnormally long, clocking in at almost two-and-a-half minutes. The show ended with "Star Trek VI Suite," based on a number of themes from Eiderman's film score. The mellow and reflective opening of the piece was said by corps staff members to represent the vast void of space. The piece then transitioned into a loud and heroic fanfare, with the horns and battery percussionists ending in another solid triangle referencing the corps' uniform dots, which rotated into a symmetrical equilateral block triangle to end the show. The final segment was said to represent the "Star Trek" good guys prevailing against those who would do them harm, topping off with a musical version of "Aye, aye, Captain."

For this week only, you can save on the Legacy Collection DVD that contains this complete Blue Knights performance, along with all finalists from the 1993 DCI World Championships.

Buy the 1993 Legacy Collection DVD. (Available this week only for 20% off. Regular price: $35.95.)

1993 Overview

Discount DVD offer ends Monday, Feb. 16, 2014.
Michael Boo was a member of the Cavaliers from 1975-1977. He has written about the drum corps activity for more than a quarter century and serves as a staff writer for various Drum Corps International projects. Boo has written for numerous other publications and has published an honors-winning book on the history of figure skating. As an accomplished composer, Boo holds a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in music theory and composition. He resides in Chesterton, Ind.