All-Age, All Good ~ Rachacha Will Rock the Boat

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Heavens to Merkatroid — As all roads lead to Rochester, NY, for Labor Day weekend, the DCAssociates corps, scattered hither and yon, from Hurricanes' Connecticut to the Renaissance Midwest to rising again Atlanta to rockin' Gulf Coast to Dreamy L. A., have raised the bar of excellence yet again for what will be a most memorable DCA Championships in Paetec Park. Add in the best free show in corpsdom, the Individuals & Ensembles/Minicorps Championships, and the can't miss, cancel rehearsal to attend Alumni Spectacular, and Rochester is a magnificent event in aught eight.

DCA President Gil Silva and officers Larry Hershman, Red Corso, Tom Peashey, Glen Johnson, Dan Rippon, Vic Kulinski, Jr., Amber Roester and more welcome one and all to Rochester. Dick Eschenmann, business manager and contest chairman, and his contest staff will be there to make this another successful year. Allen Buell, Empire Statesmen business manager, and the entire Rochester city and convention center personnel have done a stupendous job of tweaking the facilities and offerings to make this year even better. The DCA Championships will be in Rochester again in 2009, then is open for bidding to…elsewhere.

The show begins Friday, August 29, with the groupie following, Woodstockish I&E/Minicorps. Star United will be defending their two consecutive years of winning. Stalwarts Ghost Riders, Golden Eagles, Mass Brass, Erie Thunderbirds, Minne Brass, Capital Brass and more will challenge to take back bragging rights. Catch Dave Martin's Hitmen, Jeff Mitchell, Frank Dorritie, Ken Norman, and a cast of brass from Kilties and more, percussion, guards like Dream and chorus. Will the jaw-dropping CorpsVets remain undefeated in vocals? Dick Pronti and Barb Haring head up this musical and performing arts extravaganza with a gaggle of staff volunteers like Paul Chaffee, Dick Pomerleau, John "Cupcakes" Curran, Tim Boardman and many others. Fran Haring, with wife Barb to keep him straight, will announce Prelims and Finals. Tom Peashey will announce both Minicorps and Sunday's Alumni Spectacular.

The suspense in these championships is so intense that DCA should be televised. Can the Open Class Reading Buccaneers hold on for a four-peat? Who is claiming second? What happens when mighty Minnesota Brass, Inc., meets Northeast corps like the Empire Statesmen, Caballeros, Hurricanes, Syracuse Brigadiers amd Bush? Bristling as alley cats at midnight facing off a coyote, corps like the Atlanta CorpsVets, Music City Legend, Racine Kilties, Rochester Crusaders, et al. will battle it out. Throw in the annual Dark unknown, the San Francisco Renegades, and Prelims is truly the place to be. Music City Legend seems to be loaded with recording studio artistes. The White Sabers and Lakeshoremen have done well this season.

Class A is a must-see

Class A will sell lots more tickets as fan$ want to see the battle for which four Class A corps will make the night show on Sunday. Alliance is the buzz currently, but what happens when SoCal Dream treks to Rachacha with David "Triple C" Vasquez? How will Fusion Core stack up with Chops and Govenaires? Gulf Coast Sound has a rocking package featuring many soloists like Tom Huntley and David Ngo, sops, and solid newbies. The Grenadiers, Ontario’s competitive entry, is back! Frontier has made it to DCA Central shows and is highly anticipated in Rochester. How good is Carolina Gold in their comeback year? Shenandoah Sound, with Director Sean Peck and Dick Pomerleau wailing on soprano, has entertained well this year. Catch Prelims to see how corps will stack up, .

Music City Legend will add about seven DCInternational horn players from Spirit, a Madison Scouts mello, et cetera. Lindsey Murphy, Spirit bari soloist and Joe Murphy's daughter, is one of the able musicians. Scott "Hulka" McCoy, who won the 2006 DCA I&E Snare Individuals, will jump into the MCL snare line since his Cavaliers Alumni show at the DCI Championships. The Renegades typically add musicians in double-digit numbers in August, from vets to current Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguard, even from Nashville with Dave Leland, bari. Look for Bonnie Ott Thompson doing her Renegades mello solo. Google Bonnie, Jim and father Pop Ott for a history on this phenomenal family. Bonnie was one of the first female soloists for DCI, playing mello for the Blue Devils.

Bob and Annie Sullivan will be in the front row cheering for everyone. Pop Ott will be with them.

Catch talent-filled Alumni Spectacular and DCP Forum Posts

The Alumni Spectacular will have nine entertaining alumni corps, including the Caballeros, Skyliners, Bridgemen, St. Joe's, Park City Pride, Toronto Optimists and Les Diplomates. Don't miss this thrilling show on Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

Drum Corps Planet potentate, John Donovan, will roost in the pristine press box with Web maestros like DCP Editor Kevin Gamin, Doug "Dugada" Peterson, Jeff DeMello and a host of others and, down on the field with his Nikons, Impulsive Charlie Groh. Tune in here on DCP Forums for the play-by-play threads and action photos.

Drum Corps World Publisher Steve Vickers will be in the stands. Jeff Collins, DCW sales manager, will hand out September issues at the DCW booth, . DCW writers like Ace Holleran, Bill Flaker, William Aldrich-Thorpe and more will pen the news. (Trivia: NEWS is an acronym for North, East, West, South.) Darting about the sidelines and in I&E venues will be DCW photographers, including Dan Scafidi, Harry Heidelmark, Francesca DeMello and Richard Wersinger.

Alliance Drum Major Benjamin Smart, who understands the hallowed traditions of retreat, shared at the DCA Alpharetta, GA, show, "We're looking forward to the big push to Rochester." Executive Director Terry Reilly has done extremely well this summer, earning a case of Coca-Colas.

As the drum majors entered the field for score announcements by emcee Stephan Anderman in Alpharetta, an enamored fan hollered to Ashley Nilles, Music City Legend dm, "Ashley, will you marry me?" Nilles smiled, kept looking straight ahead while trailing all the other drum majors, and yelled, "Yes." From any angle, Nilles (pronounced similar to "Nillis") is an upcoming drum major duchess even though this is her first year as MCL's dm. Nilles is a music major at Cumberland University, Lebanon, TN. where Joe Murphy, MCL contra extraordinaire and music staff, teaches.

Rochester is the place to be, to be seen, to soak in drum corps. Aficionados and rookie fan$ alike will enjoy the all-age corps who capitalize the GE in General Effect and hold Entertainment sacred. Enjoy the expanded sandwich choices at Paetec Park and the Dinosaur BBQ, but don't miss any of the corps.

Posted by on Monday, August 25th, 2008. Filed under DCA ... All-Age, All-Good!.