All-Age, All Good ~ DCA raising mercury in ’08

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Heave to and trice up for the holidays! The scuttlebutt regarding DCAssociates in aught eight appears Bristol with clear horizons and sizzling hot entertainment. The 22 corps which attended the DCA Championships last Labor Day weekend will probably grow a bit, add new names and one old one, the Kingston Grenadiers.

22 is a unique number of late. The DCInternational Championships last August at the Rose Bowl had 44 corps, 22 Division I corps (now labeled World Class) and 22 DII/III corps (Open Class). While DCI will begin 10 years at the new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, DCA will host Labor Day weekend festivities at Paetec Park in Rochester, NY, for the third consecutive year, and '09 will make the fourth year. Both circuits may have slightly higher numbers at finals in '08.

Hurricanes Head West for 2008

Bill Flaker, DCWorld writer and Connecticut Hurricanes member along with his wife, Linda, forwarded, "The Connecticut Hurricanes loaded their wagons and began their 2008 DCA journey heading westward on December 2, 2007 at the corps open house/first rehearsal. Well over 100 new and returning members listened to program coordinator Jim Dugan announce the show for next season which will be expanding on a show concept used back in the 1999 season which is still talked about as being one of DCA'S most entertaining shows. The Hurricanes will begin in the East with Aaron Copland's "Billy the Kid Suite" and continue moving west with an original composition combining "Shenandoah" with the Hurricanes corps song "Mariah". Next up will be a good old fashioned "Hoedown" that will have the fans clapping and tapping their feet to this part of the performance. The Hurcs reach their destination the west, with their trademark and ever popular "Magnificent Seven" with a few twists added in. The corps is very excited knowing that they have a show in place that they not only can have fun with, but the fans will love and cannot wait to see it again.

"The future for the Connecticut Hurricanes in 2008 looks extremely bright as their open house/first rehearsal was a huge success with a large turnout that included thirty-nine percussionists! Joe Roche led the forty-four brass members present in a very precise and intense visual technique block while Phillip Triani and Jim Zulick taught the guard the dance section that will be used in the ballad section of the show. Dave Dion went over the brass technique book as the brass line played thru two parade tunes and began and finished the first minute of the opener. Santa has come early for the Hurricanes in giving them a show that will be fan friendly, exciting, and a must see on the 2008 DCA tour. With an excellent staff in place the Hurricanes are eager to build on a highly successful 2007 season as they begin their journey westward with their storm warning flags flying high above the wagons and a strong determination to reach the promised land."

SoCal Dream is setting its sights beyond "Star Trek" with their '08 show of Queen. From tribbles, Dream will introduce the reality of Zoroastrian believer Farrokh Bulsara, uh, Freddie Mercury. Drum corps may never be the same. Mike Nash, Dream president, has called me several times. Dream plans to play some of the more unusual songs from Smile to Queen, not just a rehash of "Bohemian Rhapsody," voted in a BBC poll as the number one song of all time.

The Renegades had an excellent attendance at the Dec. 1-2 open house according to Lee Rudnicki, design staff. The Renegades are asking for cymbalists to join an anticipated battery of c. 10 snares, 5 tenors and 6 basses. The horn line is filling up fast. Join the Renegades for the Chinese New Year's Parade Feb. 23. All are invited.

Empire Statesmen propped to celebrate 25 years of tanks, Sinatra and patriotism

The Empire Statesmen are celebrating. Attendance and interest has peaked for the 25th anniversary, and, in the spirit of Vince "Mr. B" Bruni, founder, Empire is doing it "…Our Way." Jimmy Steele has come back on board to head up the brass while Hall of Famer Jerry Kelsey will continue to write the brass book. Stand by for Roger Jones' creative props.

Meanwhile, the Reading Buccaneers, with Carl Ruocco and his staff, are not hurting. The Bucs had another excellent turnout at open house.

The Racine Kilties are embarking on their Renaissance era under Director Scott Stewart. The solid horn line will play the arrangements of Scott Boerma and Rick Kirby of Michael Praetorius compositions from the 16th Century. I was impressed by the enthusiasm at their snow swept open house Dec. 1-2.

From Alliance: "Alliance Drum & Bugle Corps will be hosting our 4th annual Open House/Audition Camp for the 2008 season on Saturday, December 15th, at Sprayberry High School in Marietta, GA. The camp will be held from 1:00pm to 8:00pm with refreshments being provided for all attendees. Alliance is pleased to announce our 2008 production, “The Hand of Fate," featuring the music of James Newton Howard!"

CorpsVets are stepping away from the jazz and going with "Simple Gifts." Dave Henry is a superb horn arranger. Expect a great brass book once again. The guard is exciting and the percussion is solid in all areas. Dave "Pancho" Medeiros, equipment staff and former Rhode Island Matadors drummer, calls regularly gushing with enthusiasm.

Music City Legend is expecting most of their staff and members to return. Considering how entertaining MCL was in '07, fan$ will enjoy the aught eight version. MCL will elevate the applause meter a mile high with a tornado of GE.

Frontier. Life looks even better for them for '08 as they step forward in time from their "1968" which rocked us in '07. I used to live in Ft. Worth. I congratulate Frontier for dealing with the ice storms and extreme heat.

Gulf Coast Sound will hold steady, probably improve with another classic rock show. They have the cocky soloists to pull off another high GE show for their size. Join GCS for the Mardi Gras All-Star Drum Corps parade around Feb. Check for updating info.

Sun Devils. With Heat Waves' horns, Yamaha battery, pit and equipment truck, the Sun Devils might just be for real. Executive Director John Hoekstra has 42 years of continuous drum corps experience. Hoekstra staffed and marched Minnesota Brass, Kilties, and marched with me in CorpsVets. Hoekstra also staffed Teal Sound. I expect to see the Sun Devils in the future at DCA.

Pop Ott, father of Jim and Bonnie Ott, told me by phone, "Bonnie is going to march in the Chinese New Year's Parade on Feb. 23. She and Billy Collins went to a Renegades function last weekend (open house) and played. She came back with a horn. That's all I can tell you."

With overall improvement in the top 10, DCA enters another healthy year where the 11th and lower tier corps are tweaking and poking at the Finals corps, probing for weaknesses. Who will be the winners?…The fan$!

Posted by on Wednesday, December 12th, 2007. Filed under DCA ... All-Age, All-Good!.