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The 2003 Thread

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things that stand out.....


Allentown weekend, i go see the cavies rehearse. battery continues to work on one section of the show ( opener) and staff just keeps cutting, saying "fix it" and starts up again. Not once singling out specifics why it wasn't good ( I could tell, but not my place to speak at the time)..but the pattern repeated. never got clean.


first year not to go to finals for a while. 96-98 were more than enough of Orlando....rain delays, heat, humidity, and cost. No regrets I saw everyone the week before.


first show i saw was in the Meadowlands. Cavies over Cadets....Spin Cycle had potential, but the over hype of 2002 left me sour. Cadets...i thought the show could be good, but I dunno..i wanted ground breaking Cadets, not DCA style programming Cadets we had been getting since 01.Plus, RPH never truly delivered IMO. Bloo over Crossmen...both shows seemed to be in a place that wasn't old school, but not quite where the game was going. Crown to me was an underrated jewel....just needed to be cleaned. Hit Allentown the next night, got to see Gmen....wasn't sure where they were headed. Elements had possibilities.


Hershey a week later and Cadets improved a lot. Bloo over Boston, but man, I thought Boston had that 2000 vibe going...cause, LOL in so many ways they did. Then Crossmen and man Crown was creeping up.


a month later last live shows of the year...Allentown. Night 1 had cadets over SCV, and yes Cadets continued to improve but OMG SCV!!! i absolutely love that show to this day..Pathways was genius. then Phantom.....well ok hi to you too! Still a classic! Boston continuing to climb, then abig drop to Magic who IMO, didn't capture the 02 vibe. Colts I honestly had to look up what they played, but nothing i remember all these years later. Mandarin, Cap Reg, Kiwanis, Southwind and Pionner filled out the night but nothing that sticks out.

Night 2 was BD and deservedly so. A great show top to bottom. Spin Cycle so much improved ( minus that snare part) since June. Madison was huge improvement from the year before,and Bloo continued to get better, and Crossmen right under them both! Crown continued to thrill me...the bells in the weapons, and the catches lining up to musical impacts was genius...and Spirit went back to more Southern Jazz feels, and it delivered.BK and Glassmen fighting to get there, but not quite...Seattle not able to capture the 02 magic...and Troop being Troop. 


nothing score wise the following week surprised me, but a lot of fun shows

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This was the big year for me -- when I went from a fan to an obsessive who HAD to march drum corps somehow (summer before senior year of high school). 

I attended that BOA Summer Camp (then at Illinois State in Normal, IL) for the second year in a row, doing the marching band track (I was a clarinet player). By the way, 2002 was much better-- we learned, cleaned and performed about 3 minutes of show in 5 days. In 2003, it was run by Richard Saucedo (Cavies composer and Mt Carmel HS director at the time), and it was basically just a "be a Cavalier for a day" camp - we just learned some drill that went around the Cavies opener (which had a lot less music). But, we did learn a lot about creating an ensemble sound the early-2000s Cavaliers way, which involved playing concert F at mf a lot. (Sounds like a diss but really isn't). Frustratingly, I took back all the techniques I had learned to my band program, but the director wasn't interested in the slightest. 

The visual guy at my HS also marched in the Cavies hornline that year, and it was the year after their 3-peat, so like every early 2000s bando, I idolized them. Funny enough, I ended up marching Cadets. 

The 2003 Normal, IL show is infamous because a huge storm with a tornado warning blew through during Capital Regiment's show, and everyone had to pack into the field house. Coincidentally, I ended up marching CapReg for the next two seasons! The corps did a standstill, and I stood right next to the drum majors at the focal point of the horn arc - and that night I knew I had to be part of That Sound.

So, the shows....

BD set their show style for the next few years. I forgot to finish my comments before I posted this the first time. Maybe that means something - I find this a very generic and boring show. 2004 was much better.

Cavaliers "Spin Cycle." The odd man out in their 2000-2006 run, it was a visual masterpiece, but the music was whatever. I remember my 17 yr old bando self reading the Cavaliers.org forums, where old people were saying "They are playing too soft!! They just need to play louder and they'll beat BD!" LoL.

Ohhhh The Cadets. On the "designer commentary track" of the DVDs, you hear Hop at his ever-defensive, self-righteous best, saying "People say we're out of ideas, but wait until next year." Sitting on a park bench...... The design was basically turning a GREAT corps into a cover band. I hate the choppy Malaguena arrangement. Vets said they had to work like dogs to make it as clean as possible, because the show was so lacking in GE. Apparently they had zero free days. This is the best version of their uniforms - come at me, bro! 

Phantom made a huge comeback from 2002, going back to all white and finishing 3rd 4th with a well-loved show. Everyone loved Pachelbel's Canon ("that great audience lollipop," to quote Stravinsky on his own Firebird Suite), but my fave part is the Bartok ostinato from Mikrokosmos. Slaps!!!

SCV's pathways was the last (for a while at least) of their understated, cerebral style. Don't remember much about it, but I recall Derek Gipson (our brass caption head in '05) saying that his girlfriend didn't care or know anything about drum corps before coming to finals week, but by the end said "Man, SCV got robbed! That show was way better than PR!!!" Haha.

Magic of Orlando had their last good year competitively, with Jeff Sacktig drill, Jay Bocook arrangements, and Gino Cipriani as brass caption head. In exchange for this world class staff, they didn't buy food for their members -- alums I marched with later said that on one occasion, during sub-sectionals, instead of rehearsing, they walked to a nearby Dairy Queen and their tech bought them food. Lots of popcorn, apparently. ####### YIKES.

Capital Regiment was a World Class Div I corps for the first time, but actually placed 2 slots down from 2002 (19 vs 17 overall as a Div II). A generic New World Symphony arrangement, old G bugles, etc. Funny enough, they got all that Magic staff and design team for 2004 and... also ended up bankrupting themselves eventually.

Edited by FTNK
formatting, forgot about BD
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3 hours ago, FTNK said:

Magic of Orlando had their last good year competitively, with Jeff Sacktig drill, Jay Bocook arrangements, and Gino Cipriani as brass caption head. 


And Colin McNutt, who left Glassmen along with the exodus of Sal Salas and Jamey Thompson for Madison. 

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On 8/31/2020 at 12:11 PM, MikeN said:

The Cadets decided to zag instead of zig again, and went with a lot of previously done material.  Honestly, I *like* their version of Malaguena - the battery parts managed to hit the rare intersection of Appropriately Complex and Fun to Play.  (Trust me, that's not a common thing in DCI.)  Rocky Point was much abbreviated from the classic version, but still felt like "classic" Cadets. And for the record, the FJM jackets were fine.  It's just frogging.  

Also the last of Don Hill's two-year stint as brass arranger. I thought he did a solid job.


On 8/31/2020 at 12:11 PM, MikeN said:

Phantom Regiment kept climbing for a title, one spot per year. Their 2003 show is legendary for <gasp> including a reprise, but that moment - yeah.  (Note from my OCD: the title of the music in the opener was Sanctus, not Pachibel's Canon, BTW.  From a choir group named Libera.)  Paul Rennick made his presence known immediately, as the whole percussion section blew everyone away all summer.  I'll listen to this one anywhere, anytime - you don't need the video.  Which... might be why they didn't score even higher...

Imagine if Jamey Thompson had been writing drill...


On 8/31/2020 at 12:11 PM, MikeN said:

Boston did a sequel to 2000's Red, and it was ... ok.  The corps was probably a little better than the 2000 version, but the show wasn't as catchy.  That said, it's a *good* show, and has some great moments (ballad is awesome, and the 15 snares in Malaguena are fun!).  Maybe just not an all-world program.

I like to call that show Redder.

Love the Madison show. Benoit Jutras tunes made the perfect show to transition from "eff the judges" to trying to play the game.

Chuck Naffier Crossmen is best Crossmen. The original Rippingtons tune that Xmen play in 2003 is cheesy AF, but the arrangement was great. 

I really liked Spirit in 2002, and I really disliked Spirit in 2003 and 2004. It seemed like a high school band that was trying to be too sophisticated.

Since 2002, I've missed finals twice - in 2003 and 2011 - and I'm not terribly sorry about 2003.

Edited by kdaddy
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3 hours ago, mfrontz said:

Which corps played G's that year?

Just Madison Scouts in finals. Not sure which other non-finalist Division I corps did that year (besides Troopers and Pioneer).

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2 hours ago, Hrothgar15 said:

Just Madison Scouts in finals. Not sure which other non-finalist Division I corps did that year (besides Troopers and Pioneer).

Didn’t the director of the Troopers at the time splurge on an entire line of G horns when everyone was switching to B flat? I seem to remember him making a boneheaded decision like that. 

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