Corps show improvement in Normal

by Ron Baysinger, DCW staff

2002 Colts (Dubuque, IA)
Photo by Ron Walloch

June 27, 2002 — Normal, IL . . . Three organizations melded tonight to present a fine night of drum corps. Bands of America was holding its annual Summer Symposium, and DCI and DCM joined in hosting DCI Central Illinois in Bloomington/Normal, IL.

The Cavaliers were fresh off a tremendous series of competitions with The Cadets and The Blue Devils. This show was a first view of some minor changes brought in after two days of rehearsals…

Glassmen took second place, putting them and Phantom Regiment in a tight race. The flugle horn solo in the third piece was enchanting, much like last year. The drill this year is…

Phantom Regiment finished in third place. Shostakovich is such a perfect vehicle for Phantom. The guard’s outfits blended well with the theme, and their near flawless rifle work in the opener was…

Bluecoats were fourth. “Urban Dances” has to be one of my favorite Bluecoats’ shows. The guard is by far the best they have had the last few years. The drum line seems to have a more difficult book this year…

Blue Knights finished in fifth place. I’ve heard and read much about this show and was looking forward to my first viewing. “Fear and Trembling,” music by Shostakovich and Barber, is dark and menacing at times. The eerie sounds come from backside playing much of the time. The guard is good, and I don’t really see the problem with the outfit that seems to be causing a stir in the newsgroups…

Colts took sixth place, and it seems that any of the top 17 in quarterfinals have a legitimate chance of making it into finals this year. Colts will definitely be making a run for this. “Revelations” explores the journey of human life, and there is much life in this show…

Southwind’s score put them in seventh place. High brass gave a much better performance than it did in Shelbyville, KY, June 18. There is more of a balance now between…

Pioneer was eighth. I can’t believe how much they have improved since Toledo. Percussion is almost overpowering at times, but the horns are working hard to raise their level of performance and are…

Troopers finished the evening in ninth place. Their show, “Red, White, and Blue: The American Spirit,” is a very well written show. The corps still has some work to do to finish the drill, but they play incredibly well…

I don’t really have a problem with the new version of America/O Canada — it still gives me goose bumps. Many are saying they should go back to the original version. It seems that some people have trouble with change. Maybe we should just give it a chance to work. I talked with several people tonight who liked it very much…