Phantom Regiment takes top honors at Pioneer home show

by Andrew Wheeler, DCW staff

Pioneer (Milwaukee, WI)
Photo by Ron Walloch

June 21, 2003 — Waukesha, WI… A beautiful Saturday evening in Waukesha provided the setting for Pioneer’s home show. The evening consisted of a wide variety of drum corps shows, from Phantom Regiment’s powerful “Harmonic Journey” to an often whimsical “More Songs from the Wild Party” (Govenaires). Featuring corps from every division including two senior corps, this was an absolutely wonderful drum corps evening.

Phantom Regiment
“Back in Black Khaki White,” proclaims this year’s Phantom Regiment T-shirts. The new white uniforms grabbed the audience’s attention from the moment Phantom entered the field. “There are two kinds of people in the world,” said Pat Seidling after the show, “those who believe Phantom should be in black, and those who believe Phantom should be in white.” After seeing tonight’s show, count me in the latter group. The black color guard uniforms complemented the corps uniforms well and added a remarkable visual contrast to the show…

Capital Regiment
The Midwest’s newest division I corps, Capital Regiment, lined up in a visually appealing cross formation, with the percussion lined up at the back. New World Symphony opened with two soloists…

Capital Sound
Finishing a close third in the competition was Capital Sound, whose “Passages” show is one of the most complete early-season shows being performed. With no obvious weaknesses and no evident passages of unfinished work, this show is a crowd-pleaser from beginning to end. “Expectation” featured…

“More Songs from the Wild Party” featured something for everyone. From whimsical moments by the guard and the drum major to serious playing and marching, this show is the epitome of showmanship. It began with a solo while the drum major was still on the field. Highlighting a comment made by the announcer before the show, the drum major put his arm around one of the…

The Kilties brought their own brand of entertainment to the evening with their show, appropriately titled “Drum Corps for the Common Fan.” Full of drum corps favorites and familiar tunes, this show is improving steadily as the season progresses. The show opened with…

The Bandettes are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a show titled “Selections from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.” The opening number, A Flecktone Fanfare featured…

Racine Scouts
The Racine Scouts opened their show, “Shaken, Not Stirred,” with the familiar sound of the James Bond theme, played well by the corps and featuring a guard dance passage appropriate to the show’s theme. Though not complex drill-wise, the show maintained a good balance between the brass and percussion sections — often a tall order for smaller corps…

Show Experience
To understand this part of the review, you’ll first need to read my article on Page 9 of the June 27 issue of Drum Corps World about reviewing the show experience. (The article is also available by clicking here.) The objective here is to review the show as a whole and give some sort of indication of how the overall experience was.

For show promotion, I give 20 out of 20 points. The Pioneer home page contained all the information needed about the show, including show time, ticket information, directions and a link to a Mapquest-style map. The ticket ordering experience was painless.

For corps lineup, I give 17 out of 20 points. Headlined by Phantom Regiment, this show included three division I corps and eight corps overall.

Show venue (by subcategory): For stands, I give 18 out of 30 points. The stands were low and not solid (e.g. it was possible to kick your water bottle over and lose it). The seating was marked well, however, and provided enough room side-to-side. Both reserved seats and general admission were available. For concessions, I give 9 out of 10 points. There was better than average variety (hot foods included hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza), but the concession stand was not convenient to the seating. For bathrooms, I give 8 out of 10 points. They were clean but could have been more plentiful. For parking, 5 out of 5 points. The parking was very close and seemed sufficient for the crowd. For extras, 2 out of 5 points. The show needs programs, and the lack of intermission was a drawback. The souvenir stands were well placed.

The overall score for the show, then, is 79 out of 100 points. This was an enjoyable, well-run show and was also very well attended.