A New Kind of Summer Entertainment

Samantha Lloyd, Editor in Chief

Drum Corps International, music’s marching major leagues, is summers best form of entertainment. Every high school athlete dreams of the major leagues and marching band students are no different. Marching band is a performance arts sport that is often overlooked by the general public but ask any band student, parent, or groupie and they will tell you it is just as important as football or baseball.
Football players have the NFL, baseball players have MLB, and marching band students have DCI. DCI, or Drum Corps International, is the premiere league for musicians everywhere. Literally everywhere, DCI allows marchers from all over the globe and there is even a sub category of the sport that is dedicated to elementary/junior high students in China. Here in the United States is where the competition becomes cutthroat.
Every fall thousands of musicians and color guard students audition for the spot of a lifetime and every May those who make it will travel to the hometown of their team to start a summer of travel and competition. Illinois is home to two of the Top 8 groups in the league, Phantom Regiment and The Cavaliers. In the 2015 season Phantom placed 7th while The Cavaliers took home an astonishing 9th place. This year the two teams are out to take back their usual place among the top 4.
With both teams being from Illinois they do a lot of traveling around the state. The Cavaliers come the closest with their annual training week at Eastern Illinois Universities’ O’Brien Stadium. During this week the public is encouraged to come out and support the corps by watching practice, donating food, and watching a performance of their show at the end of the week.
Phantom Regiment will come to two different towns in the state for completion, Metamora (2 hour drive) and DeKalb (3 hour drive). While both competitions are a bit of a drive it is worth it for the competitive and fun atmosphere. Most competitions also host a meet and greet where fans can get pictures and autographs from different corps members.
If staying in the state is not high on your agenda then wait until August and travel to Indianapolis to see the World Championships. The event lasts three days with semi-finals and finals for all classes of competition. The World Championships takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium right in the middle of downtown Indy and lasts from 10am to 10pm all three days, the final event being the awards ceremony. Throughout the day, Corps members can be found in the stands and at their Corps booth, a great way for fans to interact with these local celebrities.
If you’re looking for a fun and different way to spend your summer log onto dci.org to see a full list of competitions and camps near you. If you still don’t know what DCI is all about, I encourage you to get on YouTube and simply search: Drum Corps International.

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