Drum Corps International
Thoughts on the 2005 DCI Classic Countdown shows, part 6

Thoughts on the 2005 DCI Classic Countdown shows, part 6

by Michael Boo

DCI.org's Mike Boo wrote introductions to each of the 12 drum corps shows that will be broadcast on the big screen at the DCI Classic Countdown. We'll be running two more introductions each day. Here's the sixth excerpt. 2000 Cadets One reason this show is so beloved by corps fans is that it walked the nearly impossible tightrope of being both innovative and thoroughly entertaining. "We Are the Future -- Music from the Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration" left the audience both breathless and giddy with euphoria. The show celebrated the lives of kids in drum corps, and how could such a concept not connect with the heartstrings? After the "Introduction," we experienced the "Chaos" of growing up, followed by the "Reflections" of what the kids had gone through thus far. "Life" is good and is to be cherished, and what is life without facing "Adventure -- The Challenge" and conquering it to live up to one's "Promise" of success, not to mention the promise of a fabulously fun show? The Cadets were just one of two corps that had made the switch to B-flat horns this first year that the instruments were legal. Blue Devils were the other corps. It was said at the time that the corps had never before had a total set of new horns, and the brass line made great use of the bounty. The quality of the horn line over previous years was indisputable and the horn line proved that B-flat horns could be as exciting as G bugles. And as long as the corps had new horns, they might as well employ them to full effect, as witnessed during the segment where each horn player played on the valves of the horn next to them, coordinating their fingers exactly with the lips of their neighbor. Drums got in the just-for-fun act as well, with the individual sections of the battery freaking out in unison, playing the most unplayable and exposed rhythmic patterns imaginable up front and center. Between the drum and horn tricks and the youthful merriment of the guard, this show continually hit on all cylinders from beginning to end, presenting a series of jubilant acts for the ages. The audience, trying to soak it all up, was rewarded with wave after wave of joy spasms. This was indeed a show where youth was NOT wasted on the young. 2002 Cavaliers "Frameworks," allegedly named by yours truly, was an all-original music show by Richard Saucedo, Bret Kuhn and Erik Johnson, part two of the corps three-year series of such endeavors. It was difficult for fans to anticipate what was coming down the road, as there were no reference recordings to buy to familiarize oneself with the music in advance. This was a show that worshipped at the foot of subtlety and just about pulled everyone forward from his or her seat with an admonition to be very, very reverent about what they were about to witness. The music was often mystical and always mesmerizing, such as the seemingly restrained company front of horns that swept from side to side with chords that effervescently changed and evolved as if by magic. The building blocks of "Melody," "Harmony" and "Rhythm" made everything crystalline clear and understandable despite the relative intellectualism of the music and the quiet dignity of the drill. Quiet, that is, except for the sudden burst of block evolutions throughout or the massed organized confusion during the drum solo, based humorously enough on the old "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythmic fragment. Nicknamed "Fight Club," it featured a frenetic massed martial arts visual treatment that left fans screaming. The drill was always a feast for the eyes and it always seemed to be a wonder that such drill evolutions could be taking place while the corps was playing. The corps spun, swirled, expanded, contracted and floated across the field -- sometimes all at once. The guard played off the theme by working with materials that appeared to be building blocks of frames. The 2002 Cavaliers ran away with the season, finishing undefeated and with a record high score of 99.15 at the DCI World Championships, capping off three straight years of championships (the 2000 title was shared with The Cadets). I remember sitting behind some staff members of another corps that stayed in the upper deck to catch this show in finals. Afterwards, they turned around with a glazed look in their eyes of sheer disbelief. It was a sensation shared by thousands of fans. Read part one Read part two Read part three Read part four Read part five