Drum Corps International
The rise of a legend
Photo by: Drum Corps International

The rise of a legend

by Chris Weber

Burlington, New Jersey’s Raiders will turn to the classic Old English poem, “Beowulf,” as the inspiration for the corps’ 2018 production.

The show titled, “Beowulf: The Rise of a Legend,” will follow the epic story of Beowulf as he ascends into the pantheon of legends.

“It’s a pretty cool storyline of Beowulf fighting monsters, overcoming obstacles, and ultimately becoming a hero and a legend,” Raiders drum major Katie Beasley said.

The overall design of the show has been a collaborative process among the corps’ staff members. The storyline will be divided into four movements and set to a soundtrack created by staff composer Jake Kaplan.

“As we’ve gone through the creative process we’ve been very open if the visual staging lends itself to a new musical idea, we’ll stop the process and add in that musical idea and continue with the flow,” program coordinator Lauren Moffatt Burns said. “It’s been a fun process getting all of the working pieces to fit together and definitely a huge team effort between the brass, percussion and visual staff members.”

Burns said that one of the unique pieces of this production will be the corps’ use of various “artifacts” on the football field. These prop stage sets will give performers a platform from which to perform and will also allow the corps to shape the stage in different ways during the production.

We're pleased to announce our 2018 production: Beowulf: The Rise Of A Legend Read the full story and see our performance schedule: http://bit.ly/2KYaWej

Posted by Raiders Drum & Bugle Corps on Sunday, May 13, 2018

 

Throughout, a theme of ascension will be central to the storyline.

“We’re taking something that’s kind of a literal story, and we are presenting that story on the field. But at the same time, we’re also presenting that abstract idea of ascension and making it accessible to everyone even if you’re not as familiar with the story,” Burns said. “You can see that this hero is rising to the next level. You can see that the drum corps is rising to the next level.

“And to us that’s kind of what drum corps is about. We’re ascending to the next level as performers and hopefully as people too.”

Raiders is set to kick off the competitive portion of its 2018 tour schedule on June 30 in the Philadelphia area. After a short break, the corps will hit the road in mid-July on its way to the DCI World Championships in Indiana.

View Raiders’ 2018 DCI Tour schedule.