September 25, 2004 — The Hague, The Netherlands . . . Beatrix (Netherlands), Distant Thunder (United Kingdom), Strangnas (Sweden), Rythm Stars (Netherlands) and Jong Beatrix (Netherlands) are the new Drum Corps Europe Champions for 2004.
More than 2000 people attended the DCE Finals for this second-year event. Excitement, thrills, a wonderful crowd and entertainment . . . a lot of entertainment. It was all there.
In prelims, Jubal from Dordrecht and Beatrix from Hilversum had a very close finish. Beatrix stayed ahead of Jubal by only one tenth of a point. Beatrix was able to top all captions in the evening (except for Best Visual), with Jubal as the runner-up. The DCE Championships featured 12 open class corps, five A-class corps, four marching percussion class units and five cadet class corps.
The brass sound of Beatrix proved that the switch from the G- to B-flat was succesful. A great and warm sound filled the stadium. The arrangements of the Gershwin music were performed very well. Beatrix’s color guard is in a class of their own.
Jubal had a tough night, two points behind their long-time rivals. The percussion was very strong this year and played some spectacular parts. Due to a theatre show in the winter, Jubal had to start a few months later with preparations for the summer season. The show was a real crowd-pleaser, with great soloists, nice gimmicks and lots of spectacular parts.
The Kidsgrove Scouts from the United Kingdom came back after a succesful first appearance in 2003. The crowd loves this corps, with their breathtaking “Pirates of the Caribbean” production. This corps knows what marching is and they showed their clean marching style again tonight. The 17th century pirate theme was integrated into the show very well, along with a hot guard! Brass and percussion did a fine job as well, resulting in a well-balanced performance.
With their “Moulin Rouge” program, Wölper Löwen from Neustadt, Germany had probably the most entertaining show of the evening. The crowd went bananas. The show had everything: a very well-performed theme, spectacular visuals and good music. The audience responded with a standing ovation.
Northern Star from the United Kingdom didn’t have battery percussion. What they had was staged in the pit. This didn’t stop the corps from performing a drum corps show ‘pur sang’ with their “Unity” theme. The guard had an important role and did an outstanding job (resulting in a fourth place in the auxiliary caption).
Juliana from The Netherlands and Starriders from Germany both hunted for the sixth position. The Dutch corps had the best musical performance of the two. Juliana’s percussion managed to reach third place and their brass ended up fourth, but on the visual captions the Starriders were stronger.
These corps have been rivals on the field for years and still have a close competition. Tonight Juliana stayed ahead of the Starriders.
Die Tambourijnen from The Netherlands moved from tenth place in prelims to eighth place in finals with a show based on drum corps classics. The only thing this corps could use is a color guard. An entertaining show and fun to watch.
With music like A Mis Abuelos and Dindi, Federatieband from The Netherlands received a lot of response from the home crowd. This corps is known for its Latin sound with a jazzy touch. It was their first finals appearance with a color guard, which is a great addition to the corps.
Fidele Vogelsanger from Germany was one of three German corps that made it to open class finals. The corps took the audience back to the 1960s with songs like A Whither Shade of Pale and a Beatles medley.
The DCE Championships have become a real European competition, with corps from the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and France. With a brilliant atmosphere, a high standard of performances, 26 participants and a wonderful crowd, drum corps is definitely growing in Europe.