DCW On-Line: Buffalo Review
Jersey Surf posts strong win at Buffalo, NY, show
July 27, 2008 – Buffalo, NY . . . Sweeping all but one percussion sub-caption, the Jersey Surf easily led the field at Buffalo’s All High Stadium. Holland’s Beatrix, in their first appearance in North America for the 2008 season, finished second, taking the Percussion Technique sub-caption in the process. Winning overall percussion and finishing third was the Raiders, followed by Dutch Boy, Spartans, Legends and Les Stentors.
Throughout the evening, local talent was also featured, giving the show a more local focus. Community-based dance teams performed before the start of the competition as well as during intermission. While the scores were tabulated, Jdoe, a Buffalo native and hip-hop artist, performed his latest release, “Drumroll”, raising the excitement level of an already highly-enthusiastic crowd.
Legends, in their second competitive season, led off the competition, featuring music from Peter Boyer’s “New Beginnings”. The corps from Kalamazoo showed much poise for a rookie competitive corps, as well as strength in both brass and visual. The corps was not afraid to spread out on the field, at one point extending their formations to both 10 yard lines. The baritone soloist during the ballad was exceptional. Legends has a great foundation to build on and it will be exciting to see where this corps goes with next year’s performance.
Les Stentors of Sherbrooke, QUE, invited the audience to sail the Seven Seas as part of their “Legend of Sinbad” program. The guard dressed the part, looking as if they were ready to set sail on one of Sinbad’s seven voyages. The low brass did an exceptionally fine job with this show, demonstrating a high level of power despite their small size. During one portion, the corps marched at a difficult half-time tempo, exhibiting great body control. Les Stentors and the concept were very popular with the crowd, who clapped, cheered and whistled many times throughout their performance.
Les Stentors – Sherbrooke, Quebec
DCW On-Line Photo by Richard Wersinger
Making their first appearance across the Atlantic since 2004, Beatrix from Hilversum, Holland, took the audience to “The City”. Featuring selections from the movies “Face-Off” and “Hannibal”, as well as “Mr. Bojangles” by Sammy Davis, Jr., the corps demonstrated that they are strong contenders for the 2008 Drum Corps Europe Championship. The show features very aggressive music and drill and, while currently dirty, will clean up nicely in time for DCE championships.
The Raiders returned the show back to the sea. Their show, “Deep Blue”, featured music from the movie “A Perfect Storm” and an original composition by their design team. The drum line set the tone for the show with a very clean performance, while the horns played with a very balanced sound. The ballad, Debussy’s “Engulfed Cathedral”, is a recent addition to the show and, as a result, is still a little ragged compared to the balance of the production. You can depend on the Raiders, however, to have everything up to their usual high standards before Michigan City.
Dutch Boy has raised the level of their show design this year with the concept of “Boxed”. The performance of the corps was very intense and energetic, challenging the members. The guard was especially strong, featuring a perfectly-executed ripple flag toss over the drum line. This was the only show to feature silent drill, another sign of the raised difficulty level for the corps. Box formations in the drill were very prevalent, in keeping with the show theme.
Dutch Boy – Kitchener / Waterloo, ONT
DCW On-Line Photo by Harry Heidelmark
The Spartans feature an all-John Mackey show this year. Throughout, themed “Metallic Soundscapes”, metallic sounds emanated from the pit, shiny metallic-styled guard uniforms and props all presented a literal metallic soundscape. The horn line is much smaller than in years past, numbering only 13 members with no tubas, but the drum line is nearly full-sized. This occasionally presents a problem as the drum line would overpower the horns. The members of the horn line were more than up to the task, though, complete with a strong, powerful finish which seemed to blow the stands back a few feet.
Jersey Surf completed the day’s entertainment in a big way. The corps is nearly full size and is preparing for the move to World Class status in 2009. To commemorate the move, the corps is looking back at its past with a show titled “The Jersey Surf So Far”. Throughout the show, the power of the full-sized horn line was overwhelming as they held nothing back. The drill is fast-paced and demanding, although it also is still dirty for this late in the season. The drums are playing on the new Mapex Quantum line of instruments and sound very good. The crowd especially appreciated a big hit during the ballad, “I’ll Fly Away” from “Moulin Rouge”. Jersey Surf has built a reputation as a fan favorite in Open Class and look to be a breath of fresh air in World Class starting next year.
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