Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What the heck is drum corps?

If you don't know, go here to read a little about it.

(Short description: roughly 65 horn players, 30 drummers and 30 color guard running and dancing their butts off, playing incredibly difficult music, and all while running -- marching, yes, but also running -- in precision around a football field for 10 straight minutes. Oh, and they're all under the age of 22.)

It was my consuming passion for four summers in my youth, and provided some of the best experiences of my life -- good friends, hard work, great (non-material) rewards, and a bus-level view of our country that I'll never get any other way.

Congrats to the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps of Rosemont, Illinois, which last night in Madison, Wisconsin won its seventh national championship in 15 years. (The Cavvies are one of only two all-male corps left in the world of drum corps, along with the Madison Scouts of Wisconsin.)

Next year, the championships will come to the West Coast for the first time in modern drum corps history . . . and for what sounds like the only time for at least a decade. Watch your TV listings for the championship re-broadcast, which usually happens on a Saturday night in September; it was on PBS for years, but recently moved to ESPN2. And if you get a chance next year, it's worth attending the local show, which is sponsored by a local corps at Hillsboro Stadium around the first weekend of July.

(Cavaliers photo by David Rice, Drum Corps World)


  • At 8/15/2006 1:15 PM, Blogger John Eyler said…

    I grew up in Spokane Washington and some 30 years ago the town supported three full drum and bugle corp competition teams. I think they did fairly well. I benefitted in this way. I played guitar. If you're looking for a drummer Spokane was the place. I remember one tryout where we had over thirty guys call up. We tried out about 12 or 14 of them. They were all fabulous, they had seven piece Cobham sets and they could play Neil Peart. They couldn't play blues worth a crap but Neil Peart, Bonham, Moon, Ian Paice. The problem is that few of us guitarists could keep up.

  • At 8/24/2006 4:39 PM, Blogger richard said…

    I Was in Madison for the Championships this year and In Massachusetts for the 05 championships.. If you can make it to Pasadena you should. It will be a show to remember.


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