While the Crown Drum Corps took home the Bronze Medal and three caption awards at last weekend's Drum Corps International Championships in Indianapolis, two individual members were also recognized. Baritone player, Alex Arbeiter, was awarded the prestigious Jim Ott Scholarship while snare drummer, Phil Andrews, won the Fred J. Miller Memorial Music Education Scholarship.
What I love most about DCI Finals night is the increased energy. There are longer lines of fans at booths purchasing just one more favorite souvenir, squeezing into overflowing stands, deafening ovations, and, of course, performances that are cranked up a few notches from the night before. The experience is what Steve Rondinaro often describes as “electric.”
As I watched the prelims and semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium, it occurred to me that the corps were more or less grouped in threes, especially among the top twelve. To be sure, there were remarkable performances by every corps, and it was clearly evident that the long season of rehearsals and performances were blossoming. But listening to how the crowd responded, and looking at the scores, there were clusters of similar performances in groups of three. Crown, Blue Devils, and Bluecoats evoked high decibels and clustered around 96-97 mark; Cavaliers, Cadets, and Santa Clara Vanguard perhaps slightly less (albeit enthusiastic) ovations with cluster around the 93-94 mark. Similarly for Blue Stars, Phantom, Phantom Regiment, and Blue Knights at 89-90; and Boston Crusaders, Academy, and Crossmen in the 86-87 range. And so on, down the line.