Drum Corps International
Spotlight of the Week: 2005 Impulse
2005 ImpulsePhoto by: Drum Corps International

Spotlight of the Week: 2005 Impulse

by Michael Boo

The 2005 Drum Corps International Division II & III World Championships were held at Marciano Stadium in Brockton, Massachusetts, a suburb south of Boston.

The Grand Finals was the end-of-the-season show where the top Division II and Division III corps (selected by the top combined scores from the Division II & III Finals event) competed with each other during the morning of the Division I Championship Finals in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

In the Grand Finals, East Coast Jazz managed to turn the tables on Spartans, reversing the win the New Hampshire corps had in the Division II Finals two days earlier. The top seven corps all hailed from Division II, with Blue Stars topping Teal Sound by eight tenths of a point to capture the bronze medal. Two California corps, Fever and Impulse, both broke 90 points, followed by the seventh-place Jersey Surf and the Division III Champion Raiders.

 

Impulse’s 2005 production, “The Impulsibles,” was based on music from the hit animated Pixar/Disney film, “The Incredibles.” The 2004 computer-animated superhero film followed the former “Supers” Mr. Incredible and his wife, Elastigirl, plus their superhuman-endowed children. After a wait of 14 years, the sequel to the movie, “The Incredibles 2,” will be released across the country later this week.

Michael Giacchino, who had primarily composed music for video games, was hired to write the soundtrack to the film. He was instructed by director Brad Bird to create music that sounded as if it came out of the 1960s, but was channeling the future. The film was Giacchino’s first effort for Pixar, and the studio has since hired him to score 11 more highly successful films, including “Ratatouille,” “Up,” two “Toy Story” films, and last year’s massive hit, “Coco.”

Impulse kicked off the show with “The Glory Days,” the first track in the film. In the movie, this was the music to when Mr. Incredible uprooted a tree to stop a fleeing criminal, as well as when he met the future super-criminal Syndrome.

2005 Impulse2005 Impulse


The corps didn’t attempt to create a literal interpretation of the movie but referred to the storyline. The color guard costumes, representing a villain, were introduced during the opener’s mysterious lullaby that resolved into a brash fanfare.


The laidback sound of “Off to Work” came from the movie scene when Mr. Incredible accepted the challenge to visit the remote Nomanisan Island, headquarters of the villain Syndrome. The island was named after the famed 1623 line of poetry from John Donne, “No man is an island.”

The color guard introduced tropical hand fans and blue and purple flags atop a series of podiums, the flags alluding to the color of the film’s tropical birds that disguised the flying cameras tracing the arrival of the rest of The Incredibles’ family to the island. Music remained laidback until the end of the piece, when brass players reached a loud climax before deciding to once again relax to the swaying of the lush island vegetation.


“100 Mile Dash” was from the movie scene where the Incredibles children kept escaping guards who were hunting them down while riding in flying discs with giant ring propellers. Mallet keyboards kept up a flurry of notes conveying the swiftness and intensity of the chase amidst brightly colored red and yellow flags, while the horns utilized stabbing staccatos to drive the rhythmic propulsion that the corps staff said represented the film’s character Dash zipping in and out of danger.


The closer of “The Incredits” was named by Giachhino to play off the words, “Ending Credits.” During the film’s closing scene, a new villain was unveiled. The Underminer is prominently featured in the movie’s sequel that is being released this week.

Alternating 4/4 and 5/4 time signature segments brought the show to its valiant and brawny conclusion, when all knew it possible to rest easier because the world was once again safe for superhero action figures and corps shows intended to just express a good time, with a bit of a kick in the seat of the pants.


Michael Boo was a member of the Cavaliers from 1975-1977. He has written about the drum corps activity for more than 35 years 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, Indiana.