Marking the first regional competition of the 2013 Drum Corps International Tour, DCI Minnesota presented by DeMoulin Brothers saw Carolina Crown (1st, 86.00) landing less than a half a point ahead of the Blue Devils (2nd 85.55). Blue Devils narrowed the gap on Crown at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, Saturday, July 13, after trailing 1.35 points just two days before in Warrensburg, Mo. According to Carolina Crown Drum Major Linda Harvey, despite the corps' success so far this season, Crown members are focusing on maintaining a strong work ethic. "Any time you come out strong, you always want to be cautious of not peaking too early," Harvey said. "Everyone has a confident vibe going and they're ready to go out and perform." After starting its season this June on the West Coast for the first time in the corps' history, Carolina Crown now returns to more familiar territory as the DCI Tour makes its way east for the second half of the summer of 2013. "The corps' feeling good, getting past that halfway point," Harvey said. "You've got to get over that little hump, but overall everyone's still pushing nicely, getting back closer to home is really getting everyone going and pushing them." The Cadets (84.45) finished in third, just over a point behind Blue Devils. Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 83.85) maintained its place above Phantom Regiment (5th, 82.00), increasing its score by 1.5 points since its performance two days before.
Vanguard Drum Major Noe Gomez said that the corps' improvement was clear after coming off the field Saturday night. "This performance was definitely stronger, way tighter, and just more cohesive across the entire drum corps," Gomez said. Bluecoats (6th, 81.30) narrowed the gap between itself and Phantom Regiment, bringing the difference in scores from 2.25 on July 11 in Warrensburg, to just seven tenths of a point in Minneapolis. For the third night in a row, Madison Scouts (7th, 80.15) scored above 80 points, maintaining its lead on the Cavaliers (8th, 78.60), who have come close but are yet to break 80 points in 2013. The Blue Knights (9th, 78.10) finished a half a point below the Cavaliers, with Boston Crusaders (10th, 78.05) just five hundredths of a point below the Denver corps.
According to Zach Davis, a fifth-year member of the Blue Knights' brass section, the corps was excited to perform in Minneapolis. "In a huge stadium like this, we finally got the energy from the performance we wanted. It couldn't have gone better tonight," Davis said. The Boston Crusaders (10th, 78.05) finished 2.6 points ahead of Spirit of Atlanta (11th, 75.45), with Blue Stars (12th, 75.35) a tenth of a point behind Spirit, which is the closest the two corps have been all season, after trailing by as many as 5.5 points in June. In 11 head-to-head meetings this summer, Saturday marked just the second time that Troopers (13th, 73.40) have finished ahead of Crossmen (14th, 73.30). Colts (15th, 70.90) fell 2.5 points behind Troopers, after the two tied in score on July 1 in Mankato, Minn.
The Academy (16th, 69.10) and Cascades (17th, 61.00) rounded out the lineup that featured 17 of DCI's 22 World Class corps. Academy Drum Major Roque Orozco says that the DCI Minnesota event marked an important milestone this summer for the corps to evaluate its progress. "Being the first regional, tonight was a point of the season where we can see where we stand and how much we can do to better ourselves," Orozco said. Saturday's event also featured the performances of three Open Class corps including Music City (1st, 68.40), Legends (2nd, 68.05), and Racine Scouts (3rd, 54.80). Racine Scouts, returning to the field this summer after cutting its 2012 season short, was the first to perform Saturday afternoon. The Wisconsin corps' score improved by 2.4 points since its last competition on July 9 in Metamora, Ill., and hopes to continue that momentum, according to drum major Nick Hoffman.
"I was there last year when we stopped early, and it's just really important to me that we're out here again and we're going to finish the season," Hoffman said. Local Twin Cities corps Minnesota Brass and Govenaires also performed Saturday night at DCI Minnesota. DCI's World Class corps will begin making their way to Texas this week, with all 22 groups facing off on Saturday, July 20 at the San Antonio Alamodome. View a complete recap of scores from DCI Minnesota.
Contributing to this report: Casey Follen, Matt Malabonga, Jessica Skogh, Chris Weber.