Blue Devils
It's July 30. That means it's almost August, which means the Drum Corps International World Championship Finals are growing ever nearer. In this week of the DCI Tour, get ready for plenty of exciting drum corps events leading up to the DCI Eastern Classic, in Allentown August 6 and 7, setting off the last stretch of rehearsal days before the corps embark on their final competitive events of 2010. We'll get this week started with Pearl Presents the Masters of the Summer Music Games, aka DCI Murfreesboro, at MTSU's Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium in Tennessee. Returning to a familiar format in 2010, the current top eight World Class corps will face off starting at 8 p.m. CT. Saturday, July 31 is an event we've all been waiting for, and even more so after the weather cancellation of the July 17 DCI Minnesota event. At the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., all 23 World Class corps will finally meet at the same location on the same day for the DCI Atlanta Southeastern Championship Presented by Lake Oconee and Greene County, GA. Also that same day in DeKalb, Ill., several Open Class corps from all over the U.S. and Canada will face each other, some for the first time this season. Northern Illinois University's Huskie Stadium plays host to this event where you can see current leader Blue Devils B up against Raiders, Revolution, Velvet Knights, Colt Cadets, Forte, and more.

The week continues Sunday, Aug. 1 in Rock Hill, S.C. with NightBEAT, where you'll see and hear eight World Class corps perform in the second of two drum corps events in the state. Hosted by Carolina Crown, the event also features the Cadets, Blue Stars, Phantom Regiment, Glassmen, Blue Knights, Crossmen, and Jersey Surf. Further west on Sunday is Drum Corps in the Village, sponsored by Open Class corps Legends. This event also brings the Velvet Knights, Colt Cadets, Blue Saints, Genesis, Spartans, and the International corps Strangnas to Michigan. On Monday, Aug. 2, Soaring Sounds 30 commences in Centerville, Ohio at 7 p.m. ET. Centerville High School, also a famous competitive site for Winter Guard International events, will showcase the hometown corps Bluecoats along with five other World Class corps, the Open Class Velvet Knights, and All-Age corps Cincinnati Tradition. Or if you're near Sevierville, Tennessee that day, check out Drums Across America with the Cavaliers, Boston Crusaders, Troopers, the Academy, Pacific Crest, Teal Sound, and the Tennessee-based Music City. And in Rice Lake, Wis., you can see seven Open Class corps from all over the United States compete at Friess Family Community Campus at Rice Lake High School. Tuesday, August 3 is yet another three-event day. At the SUMMER MUSIC GAMES of Southwest Virginia, witness the unofficial rematch of the 2009 World Champion Blue Devils against last year's #2 Carolina Crown, along with five other high-quality ensembles. As one of the few drum corps events in Virginia, this show often sells out of seats, but dedicated fans are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and enjoy the show for only $5 from the grass.

For the second event on Tuesday, eight other World Class corps perform in Massillon, Ohio for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Drum Corps Competition. Do you live on the East Coast? Then check out the Lake Erie Fanfare for some Open Class excitement at Harbor Creek High School in Harborcreek, Pa. The following day, Aug. 4, continues the Lake Erie Fanfare hosted by former DCI Open Class corps Lake Erie Regiment. This time, seven World Class ensembles will take the field in competition starting 7 p.m. And if you missed the Summer Music Games in Virginia the day before, you have another chance to be entertained by drum corps at Drum Corps in Fairfax with Blue Devils, Blue Stars, the Academy, and more. Another three drum corps events await you Thursday, Aug. 5 in Pennsylvania and New York. Drums Along the Mohawk in Rome, N.Y. is one of two late-season opportunities to see World Class corps compete before they head to Indianapolis. And in West Chester, Pa., close competitors Carolina Crown and the Cadets meet up at Music in Motion at Farrell Stadium of West Chester University. Next Friday, Aug. 6, learn more about the week leading into DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, beginning with the two-day DCI Eastern Classic in Allentown, Pa. View the complete 2010 DCI Tour schedule.