Drum corps events feature spectacle of sight and sound

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Drum Corps International markets itself as Marching Music's Major League.

There are 22 world-class drum and bugle corps on tour this summer, and 10 of them will be making appearances at two Pittsburgh-area competitions.

The first event -- Innovations in Brass: Pittsburgh -- is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gateway High School's Antimarino Stadium in Monroeville.

Four corps that placed among the top seven at last year's DCI World Championship will be in the lineup at Gateway.

Phantom Regiment of Rockford, Ill., finished third, the Cadets of Allentown, Pa., were fourth, the Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio, sixth, and the Boston Crusaders of Boston, seventh.

Also competing will be two open-class corps -- the Legends of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Coastal Surge of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The show is co-sponsored by the Bluecoats and the Gateway High School Band Boosters.

"We feel that this show will be a wildly entertaining event," said David Glasgow, the Bluecoats' executive director. "There will be thundering percussion, roaring brass and excellence and precision by the performers.

"Typically we have had a lot of members and alumni from that area, and Pittsburgh is a market we felt makes sense to tap into."

Two Western Pennsylvania residents are members of the Bluecoats, and both play tuba.

Jacob Page, who attends Youngstown State University, graduated in 2010 from Trinity High School near Washington, Pa. He is entering his third year with the Bluecoats.

Aaron Dugger, who attends Penn State and is a 2012 graduate of Southmoreland High School in Alverton, is a first-year member.

"In high school [band], drum corps were always models for excellence," Mr. Dugger said. "We often watched videos of corps and used them as our inspiration. It's loud, fast and always engaging. Who wouldn't be intrigued?"

Gateway's Robert Read, who is in his 34th year as the school's band director, said he is hoping his students take notice of the professionalism of the corps.

"It's important for our kids to see the quality and the commitment kids in drum corps make."

This year's Bluecoats production is "To Look for America." Selections include Simon & Garfunkel's "America," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Stravinsky's "Ebony Concerto."

In addition to performing at the competition, the Bluecoats plan to stay the following day at Gateway for a full day of rehearsal, which is open to the public.

The Cadets, who have won 10 DCI world championships, will be performing "Side by Side: the Music of Samuel Barber."

The symphonic "Triumphant Journey" will be the production of two-time world champion Phantom Regiment.

Boston Crusaders' "Rise" will combine original music with other popular selections.

Tickets ($15-$30): 1-317-275-1212 or www.dci.org/tickets. Tickets also will be available at the gate.

The second Pittsburgh-area show will be the Three Rivers Summer Music Games 7 p.m. Aug. 4 at Baldwin High School Stadium.

The Boston Crusaders will return to that competition and be joined by the Blue Knights of Denver; Spirit of Atlanta from Atlanta; the Crossmen of San Antonio; the Blue Stars of La Crosse, Wis.; the Troopers of Casper, Wyo.; and the Cascades of Seattle.

For ticket information for Baldwin, 412-551-4336 or www.bwmusic.net/hsband/events.htm.

Also of interest is the 2013 DCI Tour Premiere to be shown at 6:30 p.m. Monday at two local movie theaters.

The premiere, which was to be filmed Saturday night in Akron, Ohio, will be shown at Cinemark Robinson and Cinemark Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum. Premiere competitors were Phantom Regiment, the Cadets, the Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders, Spirit of Atlanta and the Cavaliers of Rosemont, Ill.


Ken Mrazik: kmrazik@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1725.


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