If you’ve been looking at the recent posts on our Facebook page and thinking “What the heck is DCI? Who is ‘Academy’? What on earth is System Blue?!” then read on!
DCI stands for “Drum Corps International.” Drum Corps are music and percussion groups (think expert level marching band) all over the world that are comprised of up to 150 young musicians ages 15-21. Each corps creates and produces an 11-ish minute program every summer and they compete against one another on tours, culminating in head to head competition at the DCI World Finals each August in Indianapolis.
Drum corps is a very fun, very challenging activity. It combines artistry, precision, music, and athleticism to create beautiful powerful shows that are incredibly fun to watch. If you or your kids have been through a marching band season, you know the level of commitment, dedication and passion each season requires. At the end of the season, not only are they better musicians, they’ve also acquired a new set of fast friends and have become part of a family. That’s why band is so awesome.
Drum corps is similar, but with much longer rehearsal hours, a summer tour, and huge, powerful sound. It’s an activity that Mr. Cowee participated in as a youth, he was a caption head for a corp, and he’s a HUGE proponent of his students taking advantage of what DCI has to offer. Many of the GVR students, past and present, are currently marching. Tristen, Chris, and Tia are with Pacific Crest, a local group. Some have gone on to march with the Blue Devils (18 time world champion). And some have marched with Academy, a group from Arizona. It also should be noted that all of our staff for the GVR have marched, and some are currently teaching a corps. Alyssa, our guard coach, is currently the guard captain for the Blue Devils color guard. Thomas marched and is currently teaching Blue Stars. Matt is marching snare drum with Blue Devils B. James Gow marched with and currently teaches at Blue Devils. It’s HUGE.
Each corps has their own personality and traditions. Academy is with us this week at TVHS, taking advantage of our football stadium for rehearsals and our classrooms for sleeping. They are refining their 2018 production and preparing for this weekend’s shows that are happening all over Southern California. The reason why we are so happy to host Academy is because it affords us the opportunity to support them during their season, and see what drum corps rehearsals are like. We can learn from watching their processes.
You can come see Academy rehearse this week starting tomorrow from 7-10 pm in our football stadium. Prepare to hear some amazing, passionate music and be thoroughly entertained. Friday night at 9:00, Academy will be performing a full uniformed run through of this year’s production, entitled “Academic.” Rehearsals are open to the public and free. Bring the family out and stay for a while. It’s fascinating to watch and inspirational for our musicians and color guard who are aspiring to be the best they can be.
I hope this helps illuminate our enthusiasm for DCI and helps you understand what it is that we’ve been so excited about. Drum corps have been around for years and have done amazing things to shape generations of musicians. We’ll see you this week!
VP Ways and Means
Blog post by Jessica Cowee, our talented 2018-2019 VP Ways and Means.
Mrs. Cowee is also a musician, former marching band member, and the proud mom of Abbie and wife of Mr. Cowee.