Senators & Commodores Reign Supreme At First 2008 DCUK Contest
The 2008 Drum Corps United Kingdom season kicked off on Sunday 8th June with all member Corps in attendance at the Saffron Lane Sports Centre, Leicester for the Kidsgrove Scouts sponsored Midlands Drum Corps Contest. This stadium is on the same complex as the old Midlands Drum Corps favourite venue of the Leicester Cycledrome – which was looking a little sorry for itself off in the distance whilst awaiting redevelopment.
The event was started with a spirited performance by the Kidsgrove Scouts Junior Corps in the National Junior Class and having seen them as just a small percussion section at last years British Drum Corps Championships this unit really has come on leaps and bounds and are a credit to their organisation. (1st – 35.50).
The National Open Class was opened by the current champions in that class, Poynton Commodores. This Corps never fails to entertain and have started the season with a nice solid performance to build on over the coming months. (1st – 51.00). Next on, and looking very impressive in their new dazzling white new uniforms complete with the subtle addition of their trademark pink dots, were Staffordshire Knights. Another strong performance from this committed unit and can see them pushing for the top spot as they build on their production. (2nd – 46.70). Bringing the NOC to a close were the DCUK stalwarts from Sheffield, Concord and whilst smaller than in the past few years they looked no less determined and have an incredibly powerful brass section for their size. (3rd – 41.50).
Southern Aurora & Legion Star were the first Corps to take the field in International Open Class and as these two Corps continue the collaboration they started last season there is a marked improvement from when we first saw them in 2007 and as the summer progresses you can see this unit really coming into their own (3rd – 38.60). The reigning DCE European Champions, Senators, came out the starting blocks all guns blazing with a powerful show that whilst looking as complete as anyone can be at this time of year you can tell has loads more to come. (1st – 55.75). Completing the day were current DCUK Champions and hosts of today’s contest, Kidsgrove Scouts. These guys looked determined to hold onto their title and are another Corps that you can tell are going to be enhancing their product as the summer progresses. (2nd – 51.95).
This contest was the first in the new collaboration between DCUK and Drum Corps Europe, who are now responsible for training and supplying the Judges for all DCUK contests. All Corps now receive their Judges comments electronically on the day and also have the facility to log on to their own secure part of the DCE website to download them shortly after the event.
Unfortunately, due to a car accident, the allocated Field Percussion Judge was unable to attend the show and the DCE Music Judges Caption Head Paul Morgan advised that “To ensure the integrity of the judging, following all the hard work put in during the past few months with the accreditation of all our judges, it was agreed to run without the Field Percussion judge rather than throw a non-accredited person in just to give the Corps a number. I would like to offer my apologies to the Corps and hope they understand the unique situation in which we were placed with very little time to find an alternative”
Douglas Caldwell, the DCUK Judging Liaison officer, commented “This was a great start to the season, with good weather and a very supportive audience. I hope the Judges added value and I know that they enjoyed the day.”
Show Organisor, Rob Swindells, added "It was great to see such a good size crowd who were very appreciative of the performances given from every corps. It was a really positive start to the Drum Corps season in the UK."
The DCUK 2008 season continues, in partnership with the British Youth Band Association and Midsomer Norton Marching Brass, on Sunday 6th July at Paulton FC near Bristol with 3 Corps taking part in this event and then on Sunday 20th July at Victoria Park, Warrington where all DCUK National and International Class Corps will be competing, along with 3 guest Corps, making this show an excellent climax to the first half of the season.