by Brent Turner, DCM President
Drum Corps Midwest would like to thank all organizations involved in its championships on July 10 with 12 great corps in competition and two in exhibition (Chicago Royal Airs and “The Commandant’s Own” U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps). DCM would also like to thank the major event sponsors: Yamaha Corporation, Dynasty USA, Bateman Photography and the city of De Kalb.
The Renegades from San Franciso sacrificed much time, effort and monetary resources to partner with DCM and its member corps. This drum and bugle corps is redefining the drum and bugle corps activity by its crowd-centered show design and its powerful horn sound.
“This is what drum and bugle corps has been missing for a long time” was overheard in the crowd on Saturday night. The Renegades are a wonderfully entertaining and passionate drum and bugle corps. A special thank you to Lee Rudnicki and Chris Nalls for their leadership to push the boundaries of collaboration, competition and entertainment in drum corps; the fans truly win.
The Royal Airs continue to be integral part of the drum corps community and DCM. Their exhibition was truly outstanding on Saturday evening. Thank you, Royal Airs, your support of DCM and its circuit shows with your performances and presence; reminding us of the big sound, the precision marching and maneuvering and the pageantry that should remain a part of the drum corps tradition.
Another group that deserves a wonderful round of applause and your support is the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. According to one of their members, this group always “turns it up a notch” when they get in front of a drum corps crowd. Not only did they turn it up a notch, they overwhelmed this large venue with precision marching and powerful music.
Drum Corp Midwest’s Executive Director, Roman Blenski, recognized the Marine’s performance and support of DCM with a presentation of two sabers in honor of their 70th Anniversary. The fans loved the music and precision of this awe-inspiring ensemble.
DCM and the community of De Kalb, IL, partnered in many ways to make this weekend successful at all levels. Mike Embry took on the task of involving the community through a concert in Hopkins Park on Friday evening and having the Mayor of De Kalb declare July 9-10 “A Weekend of Drum and Bugle Corps.” A free meal was provided by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce on Friday during the concert while Mike Embry hosted the evening’s events. This was a celebration of our armed forces; honor guards, the playing of Taps and military sing-alongs were an integral part of the evening.
The tribute was coordinated through all the weekend’s events as DCM and the De Kalb community celebrated the service and sacrifice of our personnel in the armed forces.
As far as the competition and review of the individual corps shows, you can read reviews and other articles. The corps performances were all quite outstanding. DCM has positioned itself to entertain new, present and experienced drum corps fans alike.
To continue the “Armed Forces Tribute” into Saturday evening, Tom Day (Bugles Across America) and Mike Phillips (Kilties executive director) presented 65 flags representing 65 conflicts in which our armed forces have participated. The flags covered the entire field as we thanked all the veterans in our audience for serving in all divisions of the armed forces.
The grand finale was 50 corps members presenting an American flag that covered the whole back stands of Husky Stadium during the musical hit of America the Beautiful. It was an emotional and meaningful moment for all involved in the event. “What a sound, what a flag and what a show!”
It truly was a great weekend of events for Drum Corps Midwest and the DeKalb area. Thank you to the De Kalb Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor of De Kalb, the De Kalb area schools, Northern Illinois University staff and the whole De Kalb area for their hospitality. And especially, thank you, the fans, for your continued support of drum corps and DCM. We will see you again in DeKalb on July 8-9, 2005 for another weekend of community events and championship level competition.