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Emerald City Music Games Bring World Class Performers to Dublin, OH

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Just got home a bit ago from the Emerald City Music Games, our own little local Drum Corps International competition in Dublin, OH, held at Dublin-Coffman High School. In attendance were:

For those who've never heard of drum and bugle corps, they're essentially professional marching bands, trained and selected to compete; my brother marched with both the Glassmen and Cavaliers a few years back, so I have some insight on the process. Tryouts are competitive, to be sure, but not as grueling as hours upon hours of drill practice in the summer heat. Imagine being adorned head to toe in layers of cotton and polyester in 90F-100F heat, having to push through all the discomfort and dehydration to put on a hell of a show, which is exactly what these groups do day after day, through 100+ performances in dozens of cities across the country between mid-June and early August, when the DCI finals will descend upon Indianapolis this year.

This show was no different, humid and balmy 83F air inviting the corps to the field at 7:30pm tonight. It's still early in the season with some corps just finalizing their shows days prior. The rough edges only emerge on rare occasions, though, and those wrinkles (a dropped flag/sabre/rifle, only 99.9% synched movement/choreography) will be ironed out soon, surely.

Everyone showed strongly in at least one area. The Boston Crusaders repertoire "The Core of Temptation" featured sultry color guard choreography and interplay between performers that left just enough to the imagination. The Cadets were rock solid all around, with nary a missed step, toss, flip, or formation, garnering themselves a much deserved first place tonight with a score of 77.5 (out of 100). I wasn't crazy about the lime green uniforms and accents the Caronlina Crown were sporting, but their use of toy-soldier movements and other unusual stylistic/choreographical choices stood out. The Glassmen, Colts, and Capital Regiment did well by all accounts, but not well enough to elevate their scores above fourth, fifth, and sixth place, respectively. Still, from first to last place, there was only a 14.8 point spread, with the Cadets only besting Carolina Crown by 0.9 of a point.

After the show, the Boston Crusaders came out for a stand-still encore. They went on longer than I expected, playing about four or five additional tunes, capping it off with an arrangement of "Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)," of which I'm extremely fond, so it was a great way to end the night.

For those new to the world of drum corps, head over to the DCI International Web site for schedules, tickets, and much more info.

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About Mark Buckingham