by Jeff Pastor
July 10 and July 11, saw the first two DCA South contests of 2004. Rockmart, GA, practice home of the CorpsVets, welcomed a full DCA panel and seven enthusiastic corps, eager to perform and be judged by a national caliber panel.
This show also saw the debut of three brand- new corps. Music City Legends of Nashville presented a strong brass line in exhibition. With this foundation to build on, and a few more percussion and guard, they will soon be a competitive part of DCA South.
G-Force from Latrobe, PA, and Houston’s Gulf Coast Sound both entered competition for the first time. They will join fellow competitor Shenandoah Sound of Sterling, VA, in DCA Class A competition.
The second half of the show brought out the three founding members of DCA South, Heat Wave of Orlando, Carolina Gold of Raleigh, NC, and the host, CorpsVets of Atlanta. All three made it clear that not only were they ready — as a group they would be stronger than last year.
The pleasant surprise was the showing of Carolina’s fine percussion section and an active color guard. CorpsVets’ large and powerful horn line showed early-on why they were a DCA finalist last year and are certain to retain their membership Labor Day weekend in Scranton, PA.
All but one of the judges were flown in for the contest and then flown on to Winston-Salem, NC for round two. Both sponsors and all the competitors made the weekend such a treat for the judges that many were heard to say that they were going to request these shows next year. By bringing in a working DCA panel, the corps were able to receive maximum input and scores relative to previous shows.
Carolina Gold hosted the Winston-Salem show at West Forsythe HS in Clemmons, NC. A large and enthusiastic crowd welcomed the same six competitors, ready, willing and able to go at it again. All corps seemed more confident and this resulted in better performances and higher scores all around.
The host, Carolina Gold, crept up on CorpsVets and sent a loud message that they are a contender for DCA Finals. Despite a field problem caused by a broken sprinkler head and predictions of early evening thunderstorms, this first-ever Western North Carolina show was a well-run and smooth machine. These people know their drum corps and they know how to run a show.
On a side note, we understand that the storms did finally come. It seems the sponsor dropped the entire judging panel at a restaurant near their hotel to no doubt review their adjudication of the evening. It seems the transportation left as the judges had volunteered to walk the three blocks to the hotel.
Just as they began the walk (after closing the restaurant) there was a loud crack of thunder and a true southern gusher opened up, proving that this panel was truly “all wet,” but not for their scores.
Scores for the show are posted on page six of the July 23, 2004 issue of DCW. August 21 in Orlando, FL, will see these same corps compete for the first-ever DCA South Championship. Information is available on the DCA web site at http://www.dcacorps.org.