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Since I'm lucky enough to have some time off this summer, I headed out on my second annual pre DCI East tour. The plan is to see nine practices, five shows, and two webcasts over the next 10 days. So come along on a 6 state tour for some great food, a little golf, and some exciting Drum Corps!

Left the valley early for the 12 hour ride down 81. It was a beautiful morning!


It seemed like every other exit in PA had some drum corps memories, so i cued up the appropriate soundtracks. No traffic delays, I made great time.



As i crossed into Maryland and through Elkton I played 2002 BD...Jazz Music Made in America. I remembered seeing BD that year in Elkton, and recalled the goosebumps hearing them working Channel 1 when we pulled into their practice sight. I also thought about my then 6 and 8 year olds circling the track in a light rain, dancing under their blue Devil umbrellas as the corps worked.

71 Yankee Rebels seemed the right choice as I crossed the Mason Dixon Line.



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At the end of the run, JT asked them about doing another one, and if the lights were causing problems. It was decided that a second one was in order. After a good water break they got a pep talk abo

Since I'm lucky enough to have some time off this summer, I headed out on my second annual pre DCI East tour. The plan is to see nine practices, five shows, and two webcasts over the next 10 days. So

SCV... Uncle comments... As they came down the hill to the stadium: Look how big they are? All those kids are from California? and: What is all that stuff they are wheeling in? I remember when it u

The drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains was beautiful. The playlist included 03 Cadets, 03 Scv, 03,07,08 Pr, 76,03,04 BD.



In honor of finally making it to Carolina It was 07, 08, 09 Crown. Virginia is a long state!


Decided on dinner at a Golden Corral. Was pleasantly surprised. A nice fresh assortment on the buffet with some southern specialties. The steak was respectable and chocolate covered strawberries and a great cup of coffee for desert !



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No South Carolina drum corps music, so it was some Dire Straits and Clapton in honor of our honeymoon in Kiawah. Wish my wife could have traveled with me, but a family wedding shower meant she would have to wait a few days. I am staying just outside Charlotte with some great drum corps friends . I must say that i was a little concerned that my housing was going to be "less than adequate" given the reviews from other Northeast drum corps people who have toured the South recently. :tongue:/>/>/>

Happily the accommodations are wonderful! Complete with big screen and surround sound for the webcast tonight! Looking forward to PR practice and a great show tomorrow!

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Drove up rt 85 through a heavy rain moving northeast to Concord just north of Charlotte. Found PR coming off their practice field and seeking shelter as the rain was picking up. Hoping for this system to clear out by showtime, but right now it's not looking very good!



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Working on a review with some pix for last night and will post it later. For now, here's a current update from Flowery Branch GA and SCV ensemble.





Found the corps working very hard on a warm and sunny afternoon. Apparently the nice stadium was off limits, (insert Hop joke reference here). Good luck for us as we had to set up our lawn chairs pretty much in the pit, but elevated for best views. Some outstanding instruction coming from the HOF caliber staff! Percussion being asked to take off their biz suits and ties, and to put away their slide rules tonight. PR wants more emotion!!!

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After the PR rain out yesterday, I headed toward Charlotte for the show, but first stopped to pick up my uncle. He is in the second generation of our 4 generation drum corps family. It was great being able to spend time with family that I do not get to see very often any more. I got word that Crown was on the field practicing and the skies were clearing so the show was a go. We were joined for dinner by a couple cousins at a nice local family restaurant on our way to the stadium.

Had the special of country fried steak, fried okra, and southern green beans. If a waitress is the key to a pleasant meal dining out, we could not have had a nicer one. It was a nice relaxing way to catch up on family news! Thanks guys!


We parked in a lot right behind the stadium for $10, (seemed to be the going rate around the area). I had a cocktail as the skies were clearing and the equipment trucks were starting to unload. It was a great venue, concrete held the sound, and reasonably priced food featuring funnel cakes and personal pizza.


There were a couple hundred waiting to buy tickets when we went in. We stopped by the souvie booths, got a program, watched a PR brass ensemble play, and then made our way to 50 yard line seats in the lower section about 15 rows up. A crowd of 7,000+ filled the stadium from 10 to 10.


After a few minutes the PR brass ensemble came out and played for the crowd, followed by a Coats tenor doing a solo, and the PR guard performed. Then out came Crown's brass ensemble,lead by their horn sergeant, and ballad narrator. He had immediate command of the crowd with his great sense of humor, and had the crowd rockin in no time. It was really great to see this group perform, as the kids were really humanized to the crowd as they had fun performing.





Steve Rondinaro, the announcer for the night, announced that they were deliberately "stretching" the pre show because a judge had not arrived at the show yet, but was on the way. As he read off the panel there were a couple names I do not recall hearing before.


They performed the TOC intro and SSB with the seven corps flags, the PR guard and a snare, and 3 brass from Cavaliers as Rondo read a script about military heritage and the vision of today's corps.

The show got started about 10 minutes late.

I have decided to post pictures more than alot of comments about my opinions and observations of the performances. I also thought it would be more interesting to share some of my uncles' comments.

Although he had been to a lot of shows BITD, he had not seen live DCI since he watched me perform in this same stadium in 1982.

Next up...the show!

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