DCW On-Line: Nashua Review

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‘Buglers Holiday’ dodges raindrops

July 3,2008 — NASHUA, NH . . . Under threatening skies, the defending DCI Division II (open class) champion Spartans hosted their annual “Buglers Holiday” contest at Stellos Stadium. The evening got off to a late start thanks to heavy rains and lightning that hovered over the greater Nashua area for more than an hour, pushing the contest start time to 8:30 PM on the east coast.

The Boston Crusaders were the talk of this show as the only World Class corps in the line-up. Taking their time arriving on the field, the corps oozes a calm but brooding confidence that smacks the audience with its bold and powerful brass line. “King Fisher” continues to wow audiences as it has in years past.

Percussion and guard are particularly strong, building into the closer of the program. The audience erupts one final time as the bold “Conquest” rings out to bring “Neocosmos” to its powerful conclusion.

In the Open Class, Burlington’s Citations have come out on top in the Northeast this year. Fielding their largest corps in probably 20-plus years, the corps deftly winds its way through “Sweeney Todd” and “Evanesence” tunes.

Citations – Burlington, MA
DCW On-Line Photo by Pat Chagnon

Of particular note is a strong guard punctuated by a more rounded brass sound. Percussion seems to be the Achilles heel for this program at present, but come August, the Citations should have no trouble leaping back into DCI Finals for the first time since 1986.

The Raiders were a distant second to the Citations tonight. With their program called “Deep Blue”, the corps seems to struggle to get going brass-wise with their “Perfect Storm” intro. It does take a while for the corps to get on track musically, but once they do, they sail smoothly. Score-wise the Raiders kept pace with the Citations, but fell short in the visual and GE captions.

Hometown Spartans are certainly in a rebuilding year. With a corps size under 50 total members, they are already working diligently to reach their World Class goal for the 2009 season. This year, their program is called “Metallic Soundscapes” and they stage the pit on the field separated into three distinct sections. This seems to cause the younger corps timing issues throughout the musical program, but does present interesting visual opportunities, however.

The smaller guard (seven members) seems to get lost behind the pit during the program, but is prominently featured as the production comes to a conclusion.

Spartans – Nashua, NH
DCW On-Line Photo by Pat Chagnon

Rounding out the Open Class were the Targets from Springfield, MA. This corps has a truck load of pluck and they never fail to put their whole heart into their performance. The program, the "13th Knight", is forceful and powerful, and perhaps this younger horn line tries too hard at times to fill a stadium with sound. This results in a harsh brass sound for the majority of their program.

Percussion is well-rounded and is staged visually quite appropriately throughout. Guard work is not yet complete, but does grow with each passing day of the summer tour.

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Posted by on Sunday, July 6th, 2008. Filed under DCW On-Line.