A Chance to Grow Drum Corps

Each drum corps has their own style, history and rabid fan base. You can compare drum corps to professional football teams in many ways, and you could argue for?days whether each group had a good year, a bad year or if they are heading in the right or wrong direction with their program. This is a competitive activity and the public likes to see a clear winner and analyze the scores. We understand that there are fans of the activity that live and breathe for their group and aren’t that interested in some of the others. While the Madison Scouts tend to be a fan favorite there are certainly people who don’t care for their style, and would rather visit the concession stand during their performances. We understand that.

The trouble with the DCI activity is that it is so unique that it’s very difficult to create new fans. All of those that have marched, and those who are rabid fans have had that frustrating experience of trying to explain the activity to an outsider. They often give you a blank stare and walk away no wiser for what you were trying to tell them. Even showing them a clip of a performance on YouTube doesn’t do the activity justice. There’s nothing like sitting in the stands with the electric excitement from the fans around you and that wall of sound from an 80+ member hornline, battery, front ensemble and the visual awe of the color guard. If we could only bring everyone we know to a live drum corps performance that would help them wrap their heads around it, but we are never going to convince that many people to go to a performance with us. Then how an earth do we bring new fans to this thing we love called drum corps?


2011 Boston Crusaders at the Georgia Dome

We have carefully designed our documentary film to walk the line of making the activity accessible to a brand new viewer yet not talk down to the most loyal fan. ?How have we done this you ask? We’ve made it character focused by following three young men who any audience can relate to. All audience members who have seen the film have gravitated towards one or more characters that keeps them interested and want to go on this journey with them through a drum corps season. We have to explain a few terms like “age-out” which are important to the plot of the film, but we don’t talk down to our core (or “corps”) audience.

Another aspect is the sound of the film. We’ve gone to great lengths to capture some of the best sound recordings that have every been done with a live drum and bugle corps moving across a field. The sound creates a “wow factor” that comes very close to hearing the real thing in person, especially when you are able to see this movie in a movie theater and hear it in 5.1 surround sound in that environment. The sound appeals to both the newbie and the fan who has loved the activity for 50+ years.

The Crossmen line up prior to their performance in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2012

The Crossmen line up prior to their performance in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 2012

Drum corps is a tremendously positive youth activity which makes young people better adults through all the life lessons it provides which go way beyond the music and performance aspect. This is the movie that you are going to be able to take your parents or your friends to and they are going to start to understand why you are so passionate about drum corps. It doesn’t matter that you are a Bluecoats fan or a Cadets fan. Our feature length documentary is going to bring more people into the activity. Once they see it they are going to want to go see a live show or maybe even audition for a corps.

It’s time for all the fans of the activity, new and old to come together and make sure that everyone knows this movie is coming out later this year and that they all need to see it…even those fans who aren’t that crazy about the Madison Scouts. With this movie we have the potential to help all the organizations within the sub-culture of drum and bugle corps.

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