How lucky we all are to be able to share in the incredible experience that is drum corps! First-time viewers and all-time vets, rookies and age-outs, and everyone in between are drawn in to our passion, blessed to witness the undying dedication and artistry that brings us together throughout the summer and finally to the Drum Corps International World Championships.Madison, just up the road from where it all began for Drum Corps International 30 years ago, once again has captured our hearts as the city that is drum corps. Corps and fans found themselves welcomed with open arms throughout the area, noting with pride that not only is this a great place to be, the citizens themselves know all too well what drum corps is. We haven't invaded the space, as is often the case. Weare welcomed guests with the support of everyone from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, the Camp Randall Stadium staff, and City and Dane County officials.Of course, for everyone involved, simply getting to Championships in Madison is the greater part of the battle. When we think of what it takes to get a corps on the field and a show off the ground, we sometimes forget to notice the countless number of volunteers who donate their time and energy to make sure everything runs smoothly. Fans in the stands and members on the field undoubtedly crossed paths with 100's of DCI Event Staff volunteers who made certain you found your tickets, your seat and your favorite memento. They kept corps on time, on task, hydrated and as happy as can be as they worked their way from the bus to the field and back again. Within each unit there is another team of volunteers whose efforts keep corps funded, fed, and on the road. They are proud parents, dedicated friends, family and loyal alumni who work throughout the year behind the scenes so that the members on the field can have the experience of a lifetime. The show would come to a standstill if it were not for these selfless individuals who make drum corps their pastime, their summer vacation and their chance to give back as much as possible. Drum Corps International extends its heartfelt thanks to all volunteers for their dedication and support.As we watch our corps come on and off the field, we get a glimpse of a team of amazing educators who bring each performance from an idea, to dots on a page, to fruition on the field. The instructional staff, many of whom receive little or no payment for their endeavors, are often the unsung heroes of drum corps. The challenge of designing, teaching, and re-teaching each sound and movement we hear and see is only part of their responsibility. Time and again, it is the life lessons they bring to the members that make them some of the most special educators we'll ever know. Role models, leaders and mentors, the instructional staff help bring the show to life and all the while, remind the performers of the life that awaits them outside the arena and off the bus. We salute their imagination, their artistry, their patience, and their commitment to the education of our most precious resources.Most importantly, we are here in Madison to show our appreciation for the people who sacrifice their hearts, minds and every last ounce of energy they can muster for the art of drum corps. Everything that Drum Corps International is, every decision we make, every penny spent and muscle bent is all for the marching youth whose experience is priority number one. Never enough can be said of their will to work and perform for our enjoyment. These musical athletes are and always will be emblems of human potential. We sincerely thank them for their devotion and their promise to us, the fans, that drum corps will always be the most amazing experience we could ever imagine.Thank you!
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