Get Your Band Geek On

If a pounding drumbeat, soaring brass lines, flags and rifles flying and the most intricate moves you will ever see executed on a football field get you all in a tizzy – then I guess I will be seeing you tonight in Hillsboro.

The Drum Corps International (DCI) comes to town for it’s annual show only a week before the finals – so the corps will be at their finest and putting on spectacular show. And tonight’s performance includes some of the best corps in the world with both The Cadets and the Santa Clara Vanguard as well as the Cascades, the Blue Knights and more.

If all you’ve ever seen was your local high school band playing a show during half-time – you have no idea what this type of Drum Corps performance involves. I’m not knocking high school bands – but the kids that are a part of DCI live, breathe, eat and sleep Drum Corps for their entire summer, they do fund raising all year long to pay for it, they train all winter and go through grueling auditions every year – then they march and practice and practice and march nearly every day all summer.

Their musical skills are exceptional, the athleticism of the color guards (which includes flags, rifles, dance, etc.) is rivaled by none – and then they incorporate that onto a precise drill covering all 100 yards of the field.

You try marching backwards in a perfectly straight line while playing the quads or a Sousaphone – and you have to keep an exact distance between you and the person next to you because a girl is going to come running through tossing a flag over your heads to a girl on the other side and catch the one coming at her. Then you’re all going to pivot on a dime and go back from where you came – but this time twice as fast.


It’s impressive – words actually fail me to explain how cool it is to see this live. And it’s even more impressive when you consider that the people on the field are all under the age of 21.

And if you really want to geek out – go to Lloyd Center Cinemas a week from today and watch the live broadcast of the World Championship Quarterfinals on the big screen…but go early…they usually do it on 2-3 screens and it sells out every year.

See you tonight!

4 Comments so far

  1. Kai (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

    Shoot, I really wish I could go. Take a bunch of pictures if you can.

  2. dieselboi (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 4:49 pm

    I was one of those kids once. I marched in the Centennial Marching band for 4 years when they are really good. We went to California and Florida to compete and win in national competitions. It is pretty cool coordinating all the people to make it work.

  3. Cesar (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

    I’ll be there! This is fantastic and just thinking about it sends my bandgeekdar off the charts. I’ve followed “the activity” for years and they show the finals on ESPN2, so you get a sense of the athleticism involved. Oregon has its very own corps – the Crusaders – – and they are great.
    Come and join the fun!

  4. drnormal (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 10:32 pm

    As I was driving home from work on the Sunset today, I drove past the Blue Knights and Santa Clara Vanguard buses and semis heading to Hillsboro Stadium. Damn! I hadn’t heard about the Drum Corps thing coming to town. I was going to mention it to Cami, but awesome Divebarwife already nailed it on Metroblogs!

    These folks are SERIOUS. Musicianship and athleticism rolled into a tight (very tight) package. Back in High School a drummer friend was a serious Drum Corps guy and did some national competitions and stints with a major corps. I played tri-toms for about a month after washing out.

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