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The Power of the Beat

Get in the rhythm with the Drum Corps competition

By Michael Carboni | null null , null
The Spirit from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, strut their stuff at the quarterfinals of the Drum Corps International competition in August. The Spirit placed 12th in the final competition. (Photo courtesy Scoop Marketing)
The Spirit from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, strut their stuff at the quarterfinals of the Drum Corps International competition in August. The Spirit placed 12th in the final competition. (Photo courtesy Scoop Marketing)

The best marching bands from the United States and Canada strutted their stuff at the The Drum Corps International Championship in Rochester, New York, on September 2. The Reading Buccaneers of Reading, Pennsylvania won the competition, but I think the real excitement is watching the often grueling competition.

"It's been the most competitive drum corps championship since 1972," said Gil Silva, president of the Drum Corps Association.

That excitement was brought to the big screen on August 8 when the world quarterfinals were staged at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.

Drum Corps fans who couldn't attend the live competition could see the event broadcast live in 116 movie theaters across the nation. I watched in a theater in Westbury, New York.

The 2007 quarterfinals allowed the top 17 Division I drum corps across the nation to compete. The big screen allowed viewers to see the bands live from the 50-yard line. The five-and-a-half-hour presentation was filled with pounding drums, blasting horns, and precisely timed marching routines.

It was amazing to hear the control of the horn players. One minute they were really loud and then the next minute they were soft. The dedication and determination of the Corps members is something I had never seen before. They are so precise with their movements as well as their formations!

One band was better then the next. Although my two favorites—The Cavaliers and The Academy—did not come in first, I still enjoyed their performances.

You might have seen ESPN2’s first broadcast of the Drum Corps action on September 5, but if not, you can watch the replays. The two-hour program will be split into two one-hour episodes, with the first episode airing on Tuesday, September 25 at 2 p.m. ET and the second on Thursday, September 27, also at 2 p.m. ET.

About the Author

Michael Carboni is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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