DCI Tour Changes

After some behind-the-scenes controversy leading up to the 2010 Drum Corps International World Championships (DCI), the DCI membership came together for its annual fall planning in September and had a meeting of the minds. As a result, DCI announced some major changes to its finals format and tour schedule.

As part of its 2011 summer tour, DCI has agreed to produce a handful of experimental events inviting the top eight corps. The shows will “feature additional competitive and non-competitive performance material developed beyond the corps’ standard 11.5-minute production,” according to the press release. This decision followed a suggestion made by the top seven corps, which became known as G7. Back in May, these elite groups created an ad-hoc caucus asking DCI to create a series of events that would, in their words, “feature DCI’s ‘top acts’ in fully produced big stadium shows.”

At the time, DCI expressed some concern over the proposal, and fans feared a separation of the top corps from the main organization. Luckily, for fans, instructors and participants, the DCI membership was able to come to a united front.

DCI also announced changes to its finals format. A new oneday event on Tuesday of finals week will crown the Open Class champions. In turn, the World Championships prelims will feature all World Class corps as well as interested Open Class and International Class groups. The top 25 corps from the prelims event, regardless of class, will advance to semifinals, with the top 12 moving onto finals.

“This was a very productive gathering of the World Class members and will help to chart our course well beyond the next several months,” said Dan Acheson, DCI’s executive director and CEO in a press release. “We’re already into the nitty gritty of the planning stages for the 2011 season and will be working to refine the tour as we prepare for another outstanding and exciting season.”

In other news, DCI and MENC: The National Association for Music Education have been working toward creating “The National Standards for Marching Music.” The standards are focused on three subcategories in marching education: Visual, Health and Safety, and Music. The first draft of the proposal was released to the public for a public commenting period that ended Nov. 1.