DCW On-Line: Denton TX Review

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Red River Thunder a big success once again

July 19, 2009 — Denton, TX . . . The 4th Annnual “Red River Thunder” was a perfect blend of cooler weather brought about by a hailstorm earlier in the day, a great venue and, of course, a fantastic line-up of drum corps. Presenting their show “The Great Divide,” the host Cavaliers outperformed the competition to place first.

After a strong opener, the corps put on a seamless drill, complete with intricate color guard work, collapsing drill formations and crowd-pleasing antics. It seemed the corps had a high energy level despite the big championship show last night in San Antonio. The Cavaliers still have plenty of room for improvement and are looking to catch up to the Blue Devils before season’s end.

The 75th anniversary Holy Name Cadets placed second with their show titled “Conflict and Resolution.” The corps easily won over the crowd with their mesmerizing drill and powerful arrangements. The intro cooks, with the pit producing good driving jazz and the corps developing great ebb and flow throughout the piece. The push upfront was crisp and controlled. There were yesteryear references throughout,endearing the multi-generational fans in the stands.

The Bluecoats placed third, presenting their show called “Imagine.”  The corps is boasting 16 contras/tubas this year, providing ample bottom-end to their program. The ballad is presented so tastefully and musically, it has an almost “concert hall” effect. The snare line executed very well, only having minor cleanliness issues with a few passages in the feature. The low brass swing jam made for a toe-tapping moment, culminating in a strong finish.  Dropped from the show was the end vocal statement that was more or less drowned out by applause at the Dallas show.

The Troopers placed fourth with their “Western Side Story” production that earned a place in the hearts of the fans tonight and the first standing ovation of the evening. It is a pleasure to see America’s corps having so much fun and success with this year’s program.  The drum line is performing musically, the brass has a well-balanced sound, complete with trumpet screamers, and the guard continues to improve their work. Troopers haven’t seen the final 12 in quite awhile and 2009 will may prove otherwise for this beloved corps.

Unfortunately, the P.A. system briefly stopped functioning prior to the Madison Scouts taking the field. They were the only corps unannounced on and off the field. Placing fifth,  they presented their program titled “Relampago.” They are sporting updated uniforms and the guard is outfitted in the Relampago superhero outfit.  Madison is pumping volume throughout the show and “machismo” is still evident from the all-male corps.  The Scouts seem to be having a difficult time convincing the judges their show can deliver. There are many good things happening and with continued work the Scouts should improve their standing in the next few weeks.

Cascades, Woodinville, WA
Photo by Pat Chagnon
Courtesy of Drum Corps World

The Cascades were up next with “Beyond the Forest.”  The corps splits the 50 yard line to begin their presentation. They are making a comeback this year and working through a few issues.  Phasing was evident at times between horns and battery. However, the “Into the Forest” production established a nice pit groove and heartbeat pulsation. There were a few intonation issues during the third production and the show ended with the corps splitting the 50 yard line once again, facing backfield. The Cascades have a solid base to build upon and will be a welcome addition once again to the regular line-up.

Placing first place in the Open Class category was Memphis Sound. Their show, “Celebrations . . . Rebirth of a Planet,” is a work in progress that has good potential. The battery is the strongest section, displaying good chops and solid play.  The “park and play” section brought the corps together in a more well-balanced sound.  The end of the show was solid, but an increase in volume will surely produce more of an impact.

The All-Age corps Vigilantes performed in exhibition tonight, presenting their show called “Pasttime.” The corps consists of members aged 15-55 years old.  The show’s theme is all about baseball and the corps had a great time delivering the “game.”  There was noted improvement since their first performance in Dallas on Friday.  This year the corps is fielding a marching battery section, an improved horn line and new uniforms. Despite a few challenges, the corps has a solid base to work from and should experience success with this year’s program at DCA on Labor Day weekend.

Kudos to the entire Cavaliers organization, the volunteer staff of the Ryan High School Band and Boosters, and to DCI Show Coordinator Tony DiCarlo.  This show continues to grow and was a fantastic success as a direct result of the hard work of all performers and volunteers.

You may discuss this review on the DCP Forums. We’d love to hear your feedback.

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Posted by on Thursday, August 6th, 2009. Filed under DCW On-Line.