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Most Inspired/Improved Finals Performances


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#21 DrumManTx

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:03 AM

To me one of the best examples of early season to late season improvement was Madison 2007. Mandarins and Pioneer are the only two that didn't beat them that season. I've seen a few videos of them from early season and it was pretty icky. By semis though they pulled together a pretty exciting show that placed 15th.

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#22 rkfdPRphan

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

I know the story - the continuous climb up from quarters - but I was (very, very sadly) not at that Finals. Can you share what changed and improved (assuming you saw them earlier in the week or summer) from your perspective? Thanks!


Living in Rockford and being a Phantom volunteer, I see the corps a lot before the season starts and as often as I can during the season. To me 1996, in the beginning of the year, had the potential musically and the members could play the heck out of it but it wasn't smooth enough for me. The show needed something to come to life, run smoothly and I think that each time I saw it - it got better and better.
To me that is the key. To not give the program everything until the final show. Always have something better to add to it. Don't stall out and quit adding to the program.
That is why this show just kept jumping up places all year. Re-writes, probably. But the corps always had something more to add while perfecting what was kept.

In my opinion, the finals show was so much better visually (muscially it was right up there from dress rehersal on) than the first public show, that it left me speachless that last night in Orlando. The music, visual, composition and performance all fell in perfectly.

To me, it happened again in 2008 in Bloomington. The parts had to fit, the audience bought it and it was electric to be in the stands. We all felt that win.

#23 Jeff Ream

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

I know the story - the continuous climb up from quarters - but I was (very, very sadly) not at that Finals. Can you share what changed and improved (assuming you saw them earlier in the week or summer) from your perspective? Thanks!



in terms of design, not much changed. What changed was:

quality. Everything just started to gel from a performance standpoint technically. We stayed where everyone warmed up, and watched them a lot on Thursday. Friday we saw them as we waited to go on ( we did the exhibition after BD), and you could see the show was really starting to come together. Saturday....oher worldly.

Emotion....it sucked in the kids ( remember the shot of Kristi crying on the podium) and the crowd. In all of the shows I've atteneded in my 43 years, only 4 shows have ever made me totally lose awareness of everything but the corps on the field. Phantom 96 ( and 08) was one of them. They just sucked you in and milked everything out of you. Honestly, I had little emotion left for BD, and I loved BD's show.

Jeff Ream
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#24 Michael Boo

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

Perhaps 76 Madison (defending DCI champs); the show wasn't scoring nor selling well, so they ditched it mid-season, learned a new show (albiet with some chunks from the previous year), cleaned it, and came in 2nd place to BD, who was really in a league of their own that year.

I should add, I was not in the stands, but I did watch it live on TV (yes, youngsters, DCI finals, all 12 corps (13 in 1977) used to be broadcast live each year. << sarcasm on >> I'm so glad the activity has progressed since those days << sarcasm off >>

Notes I've prepared for some future article:

The corps initially came out with a funk-oriented show that included “Theme from Shaft,” a drum feature of the Average White Band’s “Pick Up the Pieces” and “Theme from Mahogany,” a song made famous by Diana Ross. The show was not producing the results the defending DCI champions desired, so mid-season, out went the funk tunes and the show became largely a musical repeat from 1975, with the exception of the opener of “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” An American flag presentation brought the house down, and at the end of the piece, five members of the honor guard re-created the famous Iwo Jima photograph that is immortalized in the bronze Marine Corps War Memorial near Arlington National Cemetery. Despite the incredible hurdles of relearning the previous year’s show, Scouts finished the season impressively in 2nd place.
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#25 Michael Boo

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:09 PM

Phantom 96

That was certainly a show that peaked at the right time. Not only did the corps keep moving on up the final week, but I felt they even moved up a little more in the victory exhibition. I went down on the field to hear them and Blue Devils during the post-contest celebration and when the contras fit into the large arc and opened up that massive wall of sound during the massive building chord near the end of the Shostakovich 5th finale, I freaked. Someone in the stands told me I was jumping up and down and throwing my arms in the air. I was not aware of that. Sometimes the spirit just moves you.
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#26 Kevin Doherty

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:20 PM

93 Cadets. Their speads may not have been as great as some of the other come-backs, but they chased Star all season long and finally went ahead in Semis

#27 rkfdPRphan

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:30 PM

That was certainly a show that peaked at the right time. Not only did the corps keep moving on up the final week, but I felt they even moved up a little more in the victory exhibition. I went down on the field to hear them and Blue Devils during the post-contest celebration and when the contras fit into the large arc and opened up that massive wall of sound during the massive building chord near the end of the Shostakovich 5th finale, I freaked. Someone in the stands told me I was jumping up and down and throwing my arms in the air. I was not aware of that. Sometimes the spirit just moves you.


Mr Boo, I agree with you completely!
I think the 1996 show had even more potential - it wasn't at its peak even after the exhibition run. There was room for more. Altho the members were emotionally worn out, with a good night's sleep they could have done even better. I have always felt the show could have been, and scored, more.

2008, on the other hand, peaked at the perfect time. There was little left to add to the show and as you can see on the videos (including facebook) there was nothing left for the members to give either.

#28 rkfdPRphan

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:34 PM

93 Cadets. Their speads may not have been as great as some of the other come-backs, but they chased Star all season long and finally went ahead in Semis


Agree with this also!
To me this is the classic example in drum corps where you give everything you have to stay ahead during the season and there is nothing left but to tweek and clean for finals. IMO, cleaning a show will not always give a corps a win, unless they are that far ahead before finals. A corps needs to save one special 'thing' for finals, that they haven't used all season, to keep them at the top or to propel them to the top.

#29 Jeff Ream

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:28 PM

I'd also like to throw in Boston 2000. Saw them the week beforein Allentown, and numbers wise, they were sitting in 7th after the weekend. But it had that vibe of becoming more...


Thursday you could see it coming together, and being in MD, you could feel the crowd pumping them up. Friday, bigger crowd, louder crowd, kids more fired up...and with TV spot on the line, they let loose.


Saturday...unreal. it was the last of the great Conquest "chants" between corps and crowd ( God I miss those). Time To Say Goodbye...magnificent.

Jeff Ream
Westshoremen 89,90,95,96, 1996 DCA World Champions, Bucs drum staff 00, Empire drum staff 01 Shore alumni 02-,
RIP Sean Holton. We miss you and we love you
Dealing with idiots takes a special kind of patience and a hint of perversion. Luckily for DCP, I have both to spare

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#30 Corbin

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:14 PM

I would have to say 1992 Cadets. Their finals night performance was at peak performance. A demanding show in very cold weather. I think they should have won.

One could also look at Crown 2009. I don't think many expected them to place 2nd at finals, especially based on how they performed early in the season.




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