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Parade of Champions starts the build to Championships

A brief rain show fell on the show site an hour before the show began, but stopped in time for a good 8 corps show that started the push to the end of the season, with several corps starting to fall into competitive neighborhoods that could shift a lot between now and Championships.

Starting off the show was the Skyliners. Bringing “Totality: Everything Changes” to their hometown fans, the lone A Class competitor showed they intend to compete for the A Class championship with a more mature program than previously seen since their re-birth. The show begins with pre-recorded music as the corps sways to a vocal clip about journey through space.  A trumpet solo enters followed by the front ensemble, and the rest of the corps begins to move playing backfield, building to a turn front and power moment that built to the release. The percussion is then featured, with the battery sliding to side 1 of the field with the brass coming in on side 2. The two sections trade off, then they come back together as a full ensemble, ending the guard framing the corps.  The percussion is then featured with all sections getting a chance to shine, with the guard on weapons integrated throughout.

The brass starts with a trio up front for the next song, followed by a trumpet solo, with the corps visually spread across the field in groups of 2 while the guard dances. The brass then the battery enter, building to an impact where the corps first halts, then pushes the form forward for the last chord. They turn backfield for the front ensemble and some soloists to finish the piece. Electronic piano starts “Here Comes The sun” with the pit underneath, then the brass enters as the corps slides to side 1. The brass has an exposed 16th note passage with various voices coming in and out of the phrase, then the full corps comes in with a follow the leader S form building to the release. The percussion and battery start the finale, followed by the tubas, then a battery feature on side 2. The piano again takes the lead for “Don’t let the sun go down”, followed by a slow push with the brass on sid3e 1 and the battery on side 2, coming together to end the performance. 1st place, 67.7


Sky's show would probably work a little better with a few more bodies. it's achievable, but serious work needs to be done, especially getting the brass to project and not feel feet thru the horns. 

Making their 2018 DCA debut, Cincinnati Tradition took the long bus ride to NE PA to compete with other Open Class corps. This year’s show “Event Horizon” begins with the guard on the stage at center field, with the brass moving around them as the front ensemble plays. The brass voices layer in with a guard solo dancer featured in front of the corps. The battery enters as the volume builds with the brass for a slow push forward, then the forms pulls apart to allow the guard to fill in the center of the field and the battery framing the stage for a big release. The corps picks back up with a bump in tempo with the percussion leading the way. Many sections get featured here, complete with odd metered music and a full field spread. The basses and tenors get featured, followed by a full corps impact, then the snares are featured playing on the stage. Other voices begin to work their way back in, building to a nice resolution.

The pace slows down with the front ensemble and a French horn soloist, with the brass entering underneath in stages. The guard here is on sabers with the percussion on the stage, then as the music builds the guard switches to purple flags that work well against the corps proper uniforms. The brass moves center stage, and the forms spreads with the guard integrated within for a big musical and visual moment for the impact. The mood changes with dark sounds coming from the front ensemble, followed by a tuba solo and then the bass drums on the stage. The full corps enters with a darker tone, and a percussion break takes over with the brass doing body work to compliment it. The full corps is back in with stabs over a busy percussion section, then the pace slows a bit as the corps builds a form around the stage, then it pulls apart into a company front hold while the percussion moves, then the brass also moves and the guard has the corps framed on the field as the tempo picks up pushing to the conclusion of their performance. 7th, 72.15


CT had some holes which had to hurt, and they are trying a lot....maybe some of it just out of reach. the potential is there, and they have a month to seriously deep clean

The Bushwackers were the next corps to perform, and what a difference 3 weeks can make! Their 2018 Production Pablo starts with a trumpet soloist on side 1, and members behind the props. The Tubas enter with the familiar strains of “the Canyon”, as the various brass and battery percussion voices layer in, building to the first impact of the show. The Front ensemble takes the lead, followed by pairings of brass and percussion voices, with the full corps back in with body, then moving with the guard surrounding the corps in their colorful uniforms. The pace shifts and the props begin to reveal various famous Picasso paintings on them. The bass drums set up the change in tempo, and the guard is featured either on weapons or with Roses as they dance. The percussion leads the accelerando in tempo snaking through the brass form building to the end of the piece. The pit then leads with hand claps into the percussion feature, with the brass backfield with drill and body work. The low brass enters changing the feel, with a slight uptick in tempo as they push forward. “White Rabbit” starts with the full corps playing, and the guard featured up front, then a percussion break follows. The corps has colored blocks upfront that here come together to display a famous Picasso picture. The Piano starts us back up as the props change again to another picture, and a Picasso quote is triggered in the pit. The brass layers in, and here we hear a recap of several melodies played previously in the show. The corps builds to a slow push front field, with the guard framing them providing a huge amount of color. The tempo picks back up, and the corps goes to side 1, with an evolution of moves than ends with up the corps on side 2 mirroring the image they were in side 1 just a few seconds ago as the show comes to its completion. 5th, 78.2


Wow did Bush come a long way. Finishing the show helped, but now they can clean and enhance. As they continue to tweak the front half and dive into the back half, the show could really come together nicely

The Sunrisers brought this year’s show “Outside In” to the field. The show begins with a vocal clip to set up the theme, with the pit role playing as well. Piano enters as the corps proper does body and role playing framing the outside of the field with the guard in the middle. After a vocal clip “because you worry”, the battery enters on side 2, and then the brass comes forward adding in the melody with the guard on blue flags that work well against the white uniforms, pushing to a nice release.  The Percussion then takes over as the forms spreads, the mid voices up front, with the brass spread across the field, compressing into a company front, then a curvilinear form for the release. The tempo slows with the low brass on side 2, upper brass facing backfield. A trumpet solo with a female voice underneath to support it, and the guard frames the brass, presenting a mirror image of the props. As the build continues, the form becomes a 2 deep arc for the release.

The percussion picks the tempo back up, with all voices featured as well as sound clips playing to help support the theme. The tempo picks up some with the percussion helping to drive the familiar “Medea” theme. The mellos are on side 1, low brass on side 2 with the upper brass towards the back of the field in the center. This builds together in a block with the weapons integrating into the form. The form pulls apart with upper vs lower, and then more movement as the tempo picks up yet again into a pass thru box, then a full form push to the finale of the piece. A pause, then the corps returns to “Always on My Mind”, with the guard on large orange flags, ending in a company front.  6th 73.1


The shows a little deep, and the performers need to do some work to get it fully conveyed. Given the percussion staff change late spring, there's work to do to bring it all together, but it has some potential.

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The White Sabers 2018 show is entitled “Converge: The Struggle to Become One.” The show starts with several tarps on the field, red, blue, green, yellow and purple. The guard uniforms match the tarp they start on. The Brass starts on the blue tarp at center field, with the percussion around them. The bottom bass starts things off, with the members standing in a layered movement, each guard tarp doing its own dance. The brass enters playing backfield, with the battery entering as well, and the corps turns front for a nice hit. The tempo picks up with a percussion moment, then the low brass and then mid voice is featured. The full corps delivers an impact moment, with the percussion featured briefly afterwards. Various couplings of percussion and brass voices are featured together, and then the full corps comes together, with the guard full of color behind them for an eye catching moment.  There’s a pause for a rifle toss, a big re-entry by the full corps as the form condenses building to the end of the piece. The front ensemble slows things down and changes the mood. The yellow guard members take the visual lead role, while the red and green tarps flip over to blue, and those members go to an all-black uniform while a trumpet/mello duet happens. The pit takes over the melody with the purple and black clad guard members are staged at the center of the field. The percussion enters, then the full brass line enters for a big moment on side 1, and the corps spreads the form for the release. A slight pause, and then the pit and duet finish the piece.

A flugelhorn and baritone leads us into the familiar Firebird Finale low build, and the full corps comes in as the tempo picks up to a well-staged impact moment. The purple tarp flips to blue at this point with those guard members going into the all black uniform. The percussion is featured next, then back into the charging Firebird Finale, with the percussion on side 1, the brass on side 2. The yellow tarp finally flips to blue and the guard is all working with blue flags and with much dynamic shaping, the forms condense into 1 at the center blue tarp. 4th,  82.2

A well thought show I thought scored a little low. With serious deep cleaning, modling/tweaking and shaping, this is going to be fun in a month


Cadets2 were up next, and again, what a difference in 3 weeks. Vocals and piano set the stage for “Industrial Awakening”, followed by a French horn solo. The corps begins to move with the battery presenting the build to the famous “On the Waterfront” rhythm. A solo trumpet on side 2 gives us the melody we all know, and boom! The full corps is in and off and running. The guard’s colors are eye catching against the corps proper full black uniforms. The temp slows a bit as various voices trade off with each other, then the percussion plays a lot of notes under brass stabs. This builds to the full corps playing again the familiar rhythm, building to a big chord ending as the corps is covering some serious turf.

The pit is then featured as the corps scatters, ending with the brass in pods.  A mello solo with low brass supporting takes over, back to the pit, the brass is back in and builds to an impact moment on side 1. The guard is center stage for this, and at the release, we go to a vocal clip, and end with the mello/bari duet. The mood changes with Industrial Sounds coming from the pit, followed by a bass drum feature that accelerando as they go. The tenors and snares are then featured, then the full battery is in, with the highlight being an extended roll that first decrescendos, then as it crescendos, the hand motion slows down ending in a huge open roll. Trombones then take over for a jam session feel, followed by the corps letting their hair down with some good body work underneath. “Big Apple” starts with some exposed brass parts, and the battery then enters as the form condenses. The form spreads and some tough ensemble demand is displayed musically with the field coverage, building to a big impact moment. A solo snare stakes over, then others join in around them, and the full corps is back in. the pit has a very exposed moment, with the full corps coming back in with a slow company front push. The tempo picks way up as the front breaks up and reforms, then building to a wedge form the ending. 2nd 85.6

getting the ending finally on was a HUGE help. Now to get the back half of the show up to the rest of it, and deep clean. Some serious visual demands are challenging the musical performance,, but stamina isn't as big of an issue as you'd think....it's more ensemble timing. This has potential


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The Hawthorne Caballeros, a long time Scranton area favorite were next with “Dueal”. The show begins with the sabers stepping off for a “duel”, with the pit starting us off musically. The brass and guard are all on scares here, and then the famous Call to the Bulls is heard backfield on side 2, then on side 1. The battery enters, and the brass layers the voices in as we hear the voice of Fran Haring thru the speakers introducing the corps and show, and boom, the Cabs have fully arrived! This is followed with the brass playing stabs with a busy percussion book underneath building to a big hit. The trumpets and snares have moment followed by the low brass and the bass drums, then all together as the mid voices finally enter, with a busy guard integrated into the form. The brass and battery then have a duel of their own musically, followed by a build to a release and a tag ending.

The front ensemble sets the mood next. A solo then a duet brings us into “Nights In White Stain”. As the upper voices take over, the guard is working with multi-color flags that add a lot of color that helps make the corps seem fuller as the full brass section plays. They tease an impact, the battery enters and then the corps arrives at the big musical moment, with the guard again very integrated into the form. The piece ends with the corps playing backfield and spread across the field. The percussion is featured next, with all sections getting their licks in. The brass is again on sabers, and we see two fencers dueling way down on side 1. The brass enters and we then have a soloist in the upper registers….the corps is on side 2, with the soloist on guard filling up side 1. The corps builds back together visually into a jazzy swing feel with lots of body work being done by the musicians. Two trumpets take over upfront, with the corps on side 1 as the duelists return to the front of the field, and the show builds to the big ending. 3rd 82.825

some serious visual spreads causing some musical issue. Also, the entrance of the duelists way down on side 1 can be missed if your eyes are not pulled there. Potential for sure.

The Reading Buccaneers Continued their winning ways with “Here to There”.  A new addition for the “Bugs” is “antennae” added to their head gear. The show starts with sounds of nature, then the female vocalist and the tenors trade percussion licks into a huge tenor feature. While this happens, the Bugs come to life. The brass begins to enter building to an impact. They continue to build to impact with either marching or body to a big ending. The sounds of storms come, and the corps gives us a big push to give us that stormy feeling, and then turn backfield, and then turns around to the front again for another big impact moment.

A mello solo with the rain sounds brings us Danse Macabre, followed by trumpet and cymbal features. The battery sets the groove feel and the full corps is in for the familiar melody, building to a block form with the guard surrounding them. More storm and rain is heard as the Bugs to hide in the grass. A highlight here is the keys doing a nice one handed roll with two mallets while holding rain sticks in the other hand. The mood changes as some bugs work their way into the pit and get swatted. The vocalist makes a brief return, followed by a full corps impact as the guard Bugs attack the picnic blanket tarp. Organ sounds support the brass here to deepen the sound, and the guard has multi-color flags as the brass surrounds them. The tempo picks up with the guard on side 2 and the full corps on side 1. The low brass has tradeoffs with the upper brass voices, then the full corps comes together into a slow push forward, and the step size increases as they move. As the race to the finish the corps proper works their way to side 1 to allow the guard to dominate the field. 1st, 86.95

still the standard bearer. Work to do, but now they can deep clean, tweak and enhance. I'm sure there's more to come

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  • 3 weeks later...

Did everyone get the memo that Box5 is rebroadcasting the show tonight?

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no clue. since i was there and i'll be at finals, i'm not privy to their play dates

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