July 12, 2003 - Drums Along the Rockies
What: 36th Annual Drum Coprs International's Regional Competitition
Where: Invesco Field at Mile High
When: 7 to 10 pm, Saturday, July 12, 2003
Host(s): The Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corp.
Master of Ceremonies: Casey Smith, former Blue Knights staff member, currently a news anchor for KLAS-TV in LasVegas
EMCEE: Kim Christiansen and Mark Koebrich
Executive Director: Mark Arnold
Co-President(s): President of Board of Directors: Bill Welsh
Music: 9 Drum & Bugle Corp. from around the country
Sponsors: 9News, kinko's, Adam's Mark Hotel, Six Flags Elitch Gardens, KOA, KHOW, SCFD, Wells Fargo Bank
Event Coordinator: Thelma Fung
Blacktie Photos by: Phyllis St.John
The action was fast and furious.
by Phyllis St.John
Invesco Field at Mile High reverberated with the sounds of brass and percussion at Drums Along the Rockies, the regional Drum and Bugle Corps Competition. Over 10,000 fans watched as nine drum and bugle corps from around the country participated in an entertaining, theatrical and exuberant display of music and pageantry.
The evening began with a VIP party on the Club Floor. Guests were treated to a summer buffet, which included BBQ chicken and BBQ beef, corn on the cob, a variety of salads, baked beans, and for desert, cookies and watermelon.
Considerable hours were spent by volunteers in preparation for this event and those hours paid off in the production of an event beyond comparison. Casey Smith, currently a morning anchor at KLAS-TV, a CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, headed the announcing team. With over 25 years of drum and bugle corps competition experience, Casey brought an extensive inside knowledge to the event. His co-announcers, 9News Kim Christiansen and Mark Koebrich, added a bit of spice and humor to the announcing.
For anyone who has never experienced a drum and bugle corps competition, this is not a group of marching bands. Drum and bugle corps are made up of up to 135 kids, dedicated to their music. The event is a display of musical pageantry, exuding unbelievable energy, a kaleidoscope of color and an astonishing array of repertoires made up of soaring brass and heart-stopping percussion. The creativity, showmanship and enthusiasm of the participants creates an audience intensity that is normally reserved for last minute touchdowns. Fans can be heard whooping and hollering as their favorite corps perform a series of musical works, blending a combination of rhythms with unique choreography and synchronized moves.
The drum and bugle corps travels all summer on a competition tour. The competition culminates at the National Finals, which will be held in Orlando this August. Attendance at the finals reaches well over 25,000. In 2004, the finals, with sixty corps competing, will take place in Denver, August 3 – 7.
It takes a half million dollars a year to support one drum corps. Funding comes from appearance fees, events, dues, bingo, benefactor support and other methods of fundraising. Each group travels with about five buses, four for the kids and one for the 20 to 30 people that make up the staff. They also use tractor- trailers to transport their equipment and uniforms and another, which staffs the kitchen and food supplies. It takes six to eight cooks, traveling with each team, to prepare and serve all of the meals while the corps is on the road. Volunteers in RVs and trucks follow the tour bringing souvenirs and merchandise to sell at the competitions.
The summer tour includes thirty to forty one-night stands from California to Philadelphia. It takes a strong dedication to travel for six weeks, spending days on the road and nights sleeping on gym floors. Drum and Bugle Corps youths are some of the most dedicated and incredible performers you will ever see. Attending one of their events is a magical experience you won’t soon forget.