With an incredible display of showmanship, stick tricks and acrobatics, Drum Corps International’s DrumLine Battle took center stage Friday afternoon as part of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention’s (PASIC) MarchingFest.
Annually PASIC represents the largest percussion event in the world. The four-day series features more than 120 concerts, educational clinics, master classes, and more, including a special marching percussion track where DrumLine Battle serves as a centerpiece.
Eight teams from across the country participated in the bracket-style competition, which took place at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.
Trading off two-minute routines, performing ensembles attempted to one-up each other as a panel of three judges evaluated each match, basing their decisions on a combination of drumming skills, movement, visuals, stick tricks, stunts and overall showmanship.
In a rematch of 2017’s final round, Cutting Edge Corps managed to hold off the volley of the high-flying drummers of the Elkhart Central High School Blazeline to take another DrumLine Battle championship belt back to Texas.
Once again dressed to impress in their zombie-themed undertaker garb, Cutting Edge is an independent group that stays busy throughout the month of October entertaining crowds at the world's largest haunted house in Fort Worth.
“This is a really fun activity for them to wrap up their season,” said Cutting Edge director Brandon White. “Competition is what’s driven some of these guys to perfect their skills, so coming out to compete on a different level than a drum corps or marching band is really a fun activity for them.
“There were some great ideas out there, a lot of fun things that really helped keep pushing this DrumLine Battle forward, and we’re looking forward to coming back again.”
Performing groups and matchups at PASIC included (winners in bold):
• Elkhart Central High School Blazeline (Indiana) vs. Clermont Northeastern High School (Ohio)
• Lithonia High School (Georgia) vs. Owen Valley High School (Indiana)
• Marian University (Indiana) vs. Cutting Edge Corps (Texas)
• Archbishop McNicholas High School (Ohio) vs. Lincoln High School (West Virginia)
Semifinal Battle presented by Pearl Corporation
• Elkhart Central Blazeline vs. Lithonia High School
Semifinal Battle presented by Zildjian
• Cutting Edge Corps vs. Lincoln High School
• Cutting Edge Corps vs. Elkhart Central Blazeline
Consolation Battle 1
• Clermont Northeastern High School vs. Lithonia High School
Consolation Battle 2 presented by Remo Inc.
• Marian University vs. Archbishop McNicholas High School