by Paul Auster
October 5, 2002 — Littleton, CO . . . Before a packed house at the Denver WGI Friendship Cup marching band competition, the drum and bugle corps of the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy competed on a chilly night in Colorado. Navy has had the upper hand in the past two years (along with a tie in 1999), but the Air Force was up to the challenge this year by taking five of the seven sub captions, including sweeping the visual captions and outscoring Navy 87.45 to 85.8. The panel from WGI that judged marching bands prelims and finals adjudicated the drum corps contest.
It was a long day for both corps as they were up early practicing, then performing at the annual football game between the two academies’ in Colorado Springs, back to practice and a bus ride up to the band competition. The Air Force football team also squeaked out a win over Navy 41 to 7.
This competition between the two academy’s started in 1976 and through the years Air Force has been victorious 16 times while Navy had won 10 times, with one tie. The drum corps contest is usually held the morning of the football game and always draws a small but dedicated crowd both in Annapolis and Colorado Springs. This year however, by competing at the end of the band contest, both corps were treated to a lively group of high school students and parents who cheered on enthusiastically. It was obvious Air Force and Navy were charged up as they performed for the large crowd.
Both corps fielded…