Who are you rooting for this year? Read a synopsis of all the 2008 drum corps programs, listed alphabetically in each class.
The Academy—“Vienna Nights”
In the corps’ 2008 production, The Academy explores the mind and music of Amadeus Mozart. The show is based on a brass band piece by Philip Wilby, which includes a theme and variation on Mozart’s piano sonata, with a finale that encompasses Mozart’s tortured genius and quirky sense of humor.
Inspired by the athletic feats of the boxer in the ring, “The Knockout” features Paul Simon’s “The Boxer,” excerpts from “On the Waterfront” and excerpts from the “Rocky” soundtracks.
The Blue Devils—“Constantly Risking Absurdity”
Based on a poem with the same name, The Blue Devils’ 2008 show presents the story of an acrobat who risks failure in the name of the art.
Blue Knights—“Knight Reign”
The Blue Knights’ 2008 program embodies the corps’ reign in drum corps, and plays on words, as “no reign is complete without a little rain.” The program features four movements entitled “Cloudburst,” “Turbine,” “Jeux D’eau” and “Amazing Grace.”
Blue Stars—“Le Tour: Every Second Counts”
The Blue Stars explore the “passion,” “intensity,” “endurance” and “teamwork” shared by the Tour de France and drum corps. The program features music by French composers Fauré, Satie, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Widor and Ravel.
Last year’s ninth place finisher looks to the future with its 2008 show “NEOCOSMOS.” The program features music from Richard Strauss, John Mackey, Van Morrison, Mark Mancina, Don Davis and Ben Watkins.
The Cadets—“… and the pursuit of happiness”
The Cadets’ 2008 program chronicles the life of a woman named Sarah Jones and explores her pursuit of happiness in America.
Carolina Crown’s 2008 show, “Finis,” means “end” or “conclusion” and exemplifies the corps’ schizophrenic search for the right ending.
Cascades—Inactive in 2008
The Cavaliers’ show celebrates the culture of the ancient Japanese warrior and features four movements entitled “Bushido,” “Ronin,” “Ken-jutsu” and “Fumeiyo yori shi wo.”
Colts—“Night and Day”
The Colts’ 2008 program captures the hustle and bustle of night and day, opening with rush-hour traffic and closing with a “sunset masterpiece.”
The only World Class drum corps in Texas looks to improve on a 16th place finish at semifinals last year with its 2008 production “Planet X.” The show presents “A place where the magic, mysticism and beauty of Gustav Holst’s The Planets meets the groove, style and passion of the Crossmen’s past explorations of Planet Earth.”
The Glassmen’s 2008 show takes the audience through the sights and sounds of a carnival through the curious eyes of a child.
Madison Scouts—“La Noche de la Iguana”
With a reorganization of the corps and some revitalized branding, the Madison Scouts look to return to the track of success with its 2008 show, “La Noche de la Iguana,” an exploration of the cultural evolution of Latin America.
In the corps’ 2008 show, Mandarins explores the intersection of waterways and the world’s civilizations. The ebb and flow of the music takes listeners on a journey through calm waters and turbulent rapids to the open sea.
Pacific Crest—“Primality: the Rituals of Passion”
Pacific Crest features the primal emotions of love, war, celebration and rituals in its 2008 program. The show features music from Blood Diamond (2006), The Wind and The Lion (1975) and from Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion.
Phantom Regiment’s program features “Ein Heldenleben,” selections from “Spartacus,” Toccata from “Piano Concert No. 1,” Dance of Ecstasy from “Danses Fantastiques” and Battlefield from “KA.”
The Milwaukee-based corps pays homage to the corps’ Irish heritage and history with its 2008 production, “Celtic Reflections.” The show includes music from Gustav Holst, Percy Grainger, Brian Warfield and Sir William Walton.
Santa Clara Vanguard—“3HREE”
The Vanguard explores “Mind-Body-Soul” with four movements entitled “The Chairman Dances,” “The Man in the Bath,” “Eclipse” and “Cloudburst.”
Southwind—Inactive in 2008
Spirit looks forward to another successful season with its 2008 show, pe-ri-4-ry. The show features music from Michael Nyman, Eric Whitacre, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.
Troopers—“Iron Horse Express”
Troopers celebrates its 50th season with “Iron Horse Express,” which features six songs entitled “Ghostriders in the Sky,” “Canyon of Heroes,” “The Ghost Train Tryptich,” “Sasparilla,” “Song of the Gandy Dances” and “The Great Revival.”
7th Regiment—“Mexican Landscapes”
After a strong showing in 2007, 7th Regiment presents its 2008 show “Mexican Landscapes,” a nod to the influences of Latin music.
Blue Devils “B”—“Flight”
This show features original compositions from John Meehan and John Mackey. With “Flight”, “Turbine”, “Through the Night”, “Turbulence”, and “Final Approach & Landing,” the show embodies the wonders of flight and finishes with touchdown on the runway.
Citations—“The Razor’s Edge”
The corps from Burlington, Mass. presents its 2008 show “The Razor’s Edge.” The program “reflects the powerful emotions of love, loss and revenge” and features music from Sweeney Todd (2007) and Evanesence.
Colt Cadets—“New American Signatures”
The Colt Cadets bring progressive rock to its repertoire with its 2008 show, which also brings an updated look for the corps. The show includes music from Yes, Paul Simon and Kansas.
In its 2008 show, Dutch Boy refuses to be boxed in. The corps from Ontario, Canada, looks to succeed in Open Class after a third-place finish in Division III in 2007.
Fever—Inactive in 2008
Gold—“29,029 Feet: Everest”
Gold Drum and Bugle Corps looks to new heights this summer as it pays tribute to the mystique and adventure surrounding the world’s tallest mountain. The show features four movements, entitled “Ice Fall,” “Valley of Silence,” “Death Zone” and “The Summit.”
H.Y.P.E. —Inactive in 2008
Impulse presents a playful production entitled “The Game,” which features the corps’ “offbeat sensibilities.” The show features the music of John Meehan and explores the “innocence of childhood games.”
Incognito—“World of Incognitians”
In the corps’ debut season, Incognito presents “World of Incognitians,” which embodies the corps’ members (called Incognitians) uniting from all different backgrounds for the sake of music and performance. The show features all original music by corps director Tony Nguyen.
Jersey Surf—“The Jersey Surf: So Far”
In the corps’ 18th year, Jersey Surf celebrates its coming of age as well as the coming of age of its members, symbolizing growth into adulthood during the corps’ last year in the Open Class before its World Class debut in 2009.
In the corps’ third season, Legends will perform “Evolutional Procuratio,” featuring Peter Boyer’s “New Beginnings” and “American Rhapsody.”
Les Stentors—“Sinbad—La Légende des Sept Mers”
The drum corps from Quebec brings its 2008 production, which means “Sinbad—Legend of the Seven Seas,” based on the 2003 film of the same name. The show features five songs, entitled “Syracuse,” “Let the Games Begin,” “Rescue!,” “Sirens” and “Into the Sunset.”
The 2007 Division III Champion looks forward to success in Open Class with its 2008 show, “Awakenings,” featuring music by Joseph Curiale and Greg Jasperse.
Mystikal’s 2008 production, which moves the corps into the realm of progressive rock, features music from the rock group “Spock’s Beard.”
Oregon Crusaders—“Inner Connections”
The Oregon Crusaders’ 2008 show revolves around connections, both internal and external, organic and inorganic. The program looks to improve on a fifth-place finish in Division III last year as they enter the Open Class.
Racine Scouts—“Frankly, Sinatra”
The oldest continually competitive drum corps in the United States presents its 2008 show, which pays homage to legendary singer Frank Sinatra and his transformation of popular music and culture. The show includes selections from “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Come Fly With Me,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “Night and Day,” “That’s Why the Lady is a Tramp” and “All the Way.”
Raiders—“The Deep Blue”
The Raiders’ 2008 show chronicles the voyage out to sea, with three movements encompassing the beginning of the journey, the calm seas and a stormy finale. The show features “Majesty,” a piece arranged from The Perfect Storm, “O Magnum Mysterium,” an arrangement of a choral piece, and an original score from the corps’ staff entitled “Storm.”
The corps looks to elevate itself with its 2008 show, which revolves around an “upward progression” from the “simple to the complex.” The program features music from John Adams, Jerry Goldsmith and Phillip Glass.
Last year’s Division II Champion competes in Open Class with its 2008 show, “Metallic Soundscapes.”
Spirit of Newark/New Jersey—“Looking Ahead Into the Future”
Spirit of Newark/New Jersey looks into the future with its 2008 production, which features “Scream,” “Tapestry II” and “Knights in White Satin.”
Spokane Thunder takes to the field in 2008 with its show “Antithesis,” which brings stark contrast and a “juxtaposition of the wide and opposing spectrum of emotions.” The program features an original composition by Nick Golding and Jeffrey Willis.
Targets—“The 13th Warrior”
The Targets look to succeed in the 2008 season with its show featuring musical selections from the film The 13th Warrior (1999).
Teal Sound—“Voices of the Seasons”
Teal Sound’s 2008 program highlights the seasons of fall, winter and spring. It features the music of Rajaton, a six-piece a capella group from Finland.
The Vanguard Cadets’ 2008 show “Perspectives” combines an exploration of contemporary music alongside the corps’ traditional style. The program features all-original music by James Peterson and Robby Elfman.
Yamato’s 2008 program “Mythos” takes inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology. The show features songs entitled “Zeus,” “Poseidon” and “Hades.”
All the way from Hilversum, Holland, Beatrix takes its sixth US tour with DCI. Their show “The City” features the soundtracks of Face Off, Mr. Bojangles, Hannibal, and Batman.
Strängnäs—”Against All Odds”
Performing in DCI from Strängnäs, Sweden, Strängnäs is the only American-style corps in Sweden. Founded in 1990 and modeled after the Swedish Army Band, they changes styles when the director saw a video of the 1992 DCI World Championship.
Photo of the 2007 awards ceremony, by Jolesch Photography, www.jolesch.com. All rights reserved.