by Paul Mordorski, DCW staff
June 30, 2002 — Hastings, MN . . . On a night, where everything went right, the fine art of drum and bugle corps came to this Mississippi River town and was embraced by a hot, steamy, agitated audience. The Cavaliers kept rolling by sweeping all captions to post a record high 85.05 for June.
The 2002 original production “Frameworks” has many typical Cavalier attributes, including very technical articulating in the horn line, a percussion section that is rudimentally advanced and flamboyant and a color guard that is the visual focal point and ties the entire show together. Although their opening V-block pass-through maneuver with the horns marching at two different tempos wasn’t as clean as it will be, the visual was still awe-inspiring. Their “jungle boogie” dancing was almost berserk, and their Framework equipment helps to reinforce the theme. Their torrid, velocity filled conclusion brought the house down.
Phantom Regiment started out very forcefully with their Shostakovich repertoire, with the “Oppression” segment being very staccato and pop-attack oriented. Fan comments of the initial guard uniforms were that they were borderline frumpy, although the second set were much more complimentary and better received. A pleasing Phantom signature move flowing across the field was complimented by a red- and black-clad guard with red flags for a solid conclusion.
Minnesota Brass‚ Incorporated’s show, “Black to Blue 2002,” is really a progression from very dark, obsessive sounds to upbeat, high energy ones. Mark Santori performed an out-of-the-ordinary baritone solo in ‘Round Midnight, capped by a backfield, eerie triple high C by soprano soloist Roger Grupp. MBI concluded with a very cleanly executed company front in Blue Skies that finished in typical fast paced, high-note executed MBI fashion.
Capital Sound performs one of the best rock drum corps repertoires I’ve ever heard. The black capes at the beginning of Elton John’s Funeral for a Friend add mystery to the build up. The Gumbi-trons for Curious Carnival amused the audience. Their very appealing guard maneuvers in On the Turning Away produced gasps from the crowd. And, their rotating percussion with an auxiliary drum rack was aggressive.
The more confident, deliberate Blue Stars delivered a much-improved show from three weeks earlier. The Blue Stars are showing steady improvement toward achieving their lofty goals for the season. The new guard uniforms of dark blue and lime green add to the uniformity of the corps. Overture from “Candide” was very popular and provided a stunning conclusion.
The larger, classy Govenaires began with Blue Birdland, which is destined to be a Govie classic. This show featured smooth jazz, melodic solos, a Latin samba feel and even a bawdy style with Wild Party. This corps appears to be enjoying their 75th anniversary season.
Chops Incorporated’s new uniforms of maroon and black have helped instill a more surefooted, overcoming attitude. Their splashy pink flags helped accentuate Diamond Are A Girl’s Best Friend nicely, but their treatment of Roxanne with a Latin feel was quite nonpareil.
Performing “Polished Chrome,” the 23-member Racine Scouts showed tenacity, style and determination. They played with a distinctive musical sound that was especially evident in Bye Bye Blues.
Everything flowed like clockwork, from the opening National Anthem played by a Hastings High School brass quintet, through Minnesota Brass Drum Major Mike Reid leading the corps and fans in the singing of the corps’ song, For All We Know, to the conclusion concert played by host corps MBI. Congratulations to Ann Jones and the entire Sounds of Minnesota staff for presenting an excellent show.