In the post about my bike journey through the Montérégie region I mentioned something about taking a 30km detour to meet my sister and dad at a drum & bugle corps practice. Because some people may not know what I was talking about I thought about giving a good example. You see, drum corps once ran deep in my family: my dad is a marching instructor and in 1969 he married my drum major mom. After my sister and I arrived my dad became a marching judge up until 1975, when he and a couple of his buddies decided to bring drum corps' major league, Drum Corps International or DCI to Montreal. The competition known as Invitation Québec ran from 1975 to the early 90's, and for a long time it was the biggest DCI stop North of the border. Because of my dad and his buddies DCI also held their yearly championship in Montreal in 1981 and 1982. Man those were the days!
While today's post is not exactly a competition corps anymore, it is probably the best example that can be viewed on a monitor because capturing the feel of a Division I corps in competition on a football field is pretty much impossible; there's just nothing like being there. The Blast! stage show was born from the Star of Indiana drum & bugle corps. In 1994 the directors decided they wanted to stop the competition corps and bring drum corps to the masses, and in 1999 Blast! opened in London UK with the result you see here, with a grid on stage to replace a football field's lines. As you will hear, a Div. I corps has a considerably higher musical quality than the average high school or even college band. Having seen and heard many a corps in the flesh, and the best of them at that such as Blue Devils, Madison Scouts, Garfield Cadets, Phantom Regiment, and my all-time favorite Santa Clara Vanguard (just to name a few), I can tell you that when the entire horn line is only 20 feet away not only do all of your body's hair raises, it wants to pull out of your skin. Quite the awesome feeling. Those people in the first row who had most likely never seen a Div. I corps probably got the shock of their lives, and damn do I envy them :)
Enjoy the explosive musical celebration that is Blast!