Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Marching Arts

Randy Salas has a great feature on the front page of the 'Source' section. This is Drum Beauty weekend, where corps from all across the country will converge in Stillwater, Sunday, for this annual event. Tonight they will be in Mankato for Thunder of Drums.
Santa Clara returns to Drum Beauty this year, as does a perennial crowd favorite, the all-male Madison Scouts of Madison, Wis. Both have been world champions of Drum Corps International (DCI). They'll be joined by three other top DCI units and three Minnesota corps. All but one of the latter also perform tonight at Thunder of Drums in Mankato, Minn.
But there are local corps as well. I have performed with both Minnesota Brass AND the Govenaires:
Also appearing will be Minnesota's three drum corps: the Govenaires of St. Peter, Chops Inc. of Minneapolis and, in Stillwater only, Minnesota Brass Inc.

These corps range in size from about 40 to 100 performers. Members can be any age, and the corps are essentially a part-time summer pursuit with mostly regional performances. Although all-ages corps compete with DCI corps at shows such as Drum Beauty, they have their own world championships, in early September in Rochester, N.Y.

In fact, the Govies -- as the Govenaires are called by fans -- won their division at last year's finals. But that hasn't changed the corps, which drum major and executive director John Mayer likens to "a traveling show band."Our corps is the same, but everybody else's perception of the corps has changed, which is kind of nice," said Mayer, who first marched with the Govies when he was 12.
If you are looking for a change, and a unique entertainment option, check out the websites. I have been involved in the Drum and Bugle Corps activity since 1978. For now I am on an extended sabatical. Maybe by 2010 I'll return to the field. I really miss it!


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