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Northern Thunder

It All Began 40 Years Ago

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Today is the 40th anniversary of the first DCI Championship finals.

Thank you for pointing that out.

Happy Anniversary, DCI!

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Today is the 40th anniversary of the first DCI Championship finals.

'Never got to that first one, but got to the 2nd one at Ithaca, N.Y. We decided to go at the last minute, got up there, had no place to stay, all hotels booked,'thought we'd have to sleep in our cars, but Ithaca College then opened up the dorms to fans for a fraction of the costs of surrounding hotels. We got a great room on the top floor and could see which Corps were lining up in sequential order for the prelims from our dorm's window to the field below. We lucked out that year.

Happy 40th Anniversary DCI.

Edited by BRASSO

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Happy 40th anniversary to DCI, and to the Anaheim Kingsmen, for the anniversary of their championship.

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'Never got to that first one, but got to the 2nd one at Ithaca, N.Y. We decided to go at the last minute, got up there, had no place to stay, all hotels booked,'thought we'd have to sleep in our cars, but Ithaca College then opened up the dorms to fans for a fraction of the costs of surrounding hotels. We got a great room on the top floor and could see which Corps were lining up in sequential order for the prelims from our dorm's window to the field below. We lucked out that year.

Happy 40th Anniversary DCI.

Actually, you got the third one in 1974. The first two Championships were held in Whitewater.

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Actually, you got the third one in 1974. The first two Championships were held in Whitewater.

hmnnn.. yes, you're right.. '74 would've been the 3rd, not the 2nd.

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hmnnn.. yes, you're right.. '74 would've been the 3rd, not the 2nd.

Still, in 1974, I had no idea that DCI existed.

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Still, in 1974, I had no idea that DCI existed.

DCI prelims 1974 Championships was the first show I ever saw of a Corps by the name of the Blue Devils from Concord, Calif. We thought they were surprisingly pretty good. They made finals, but don't believe they finished in the top 8 at Finals... but this new Corps out of Calif did well placement wise we thought for a new Corps we had barely even heard of before going up to Ithaca.

Little did I or others with me these 2 days know what was to follow with this Corps. In 74 there really was nothing remarkable about the Corps, other than the music they played was pretty good we thought for a new Corps we really were not familiar with, and being good enough to beat some other decent Corps to make Finals.

Edited by BRASSO

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My first season was '72. Appeared in prelims 73-74, stayed for the big show. :tongue:

Forty years later, I'm still a fan - very few activities I've participated in can claim that.

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I was a student at Whitewater at the time, and 1972-1973 was drum corps heaven for me. There were corps practicing EVERYWHERE. Just south of the stadium was a series of football fields. At night, we'd put a sixpack in a cooler and go drum corps window shopping. Corps would be doing run-throughs. We'd watch, say, the Blue Stars run their show on one field. They'd finish their show in that field's end zone. We'd then walk twenty yards to the next field, where Hawthorne was lined up, ready to go. Just terrific. After practice was over, I would go the the local pizza joint nearest the corps - Red Lantern - buy a pitcher for a staff, sit down and have a beer with them. One night it was Argonne. The next night Muchachos. St. Andrews the next night. Out at Whiewater High School in 1973 were the Argonne Rebels and this new corps from Concord, CA that looked a little like Anaheim knockoffs. They scored in the middle 60s at prelims. They looked like a corps on the rise, but I had no idea of what they would become.

In 1972, the weather was hot and sticky up to Anaheim, if I recall. The the wind changed, and it got very blustery before a major downpour erupted during the annoucement of scores. My brother was on the field as a photographer for Drum Corps News. He stuffed as many Kingsmen black plumes into his jacket as he could to save them from the rain.

Great memories.

Edited by Jim Anello

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