Drum Corps Midwest marks 25th anniversary

De Kalb, IL — Imagine more than 10,000 voices and 800 brass instruments joining in a rousing new arrangement of God Bless America. That’s the plan for ending this weekend’s Drum Corps Midwest 25th anniversary celebration. The voices will be provided by the audience.

Concluding two nights and a full day of public competitions at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium, DCM’s silver anniversary is expected to draw, appropriately, 25 corps from eight states and Canada. Brilliant searchlights sweeping the sky will add extra pizzazz for the milestone anniversary.

DCM preliminary competitions begin July 12 at 8:00 PM with 10 of the largest corps, all from division I and II. Prelims resume at 10:00 AM July 13 for the smaller division III corps and for senior corps, the latter comprised mostly of members over age 21.

Tickets are $15 for prelims, covering admission for both the Friday night and Saturday daytime shows. Reserved seats for finals are $30 and $25. For advance purchases, call 414-761-2699; Visa and MasterCard charges are accepted. Tickets will also be sold at the stadium before the shows. General admission tickets for finals are $15.

The Cavaliers, the famed “Green Machine” from Rosemont, IL, will be seeking an unprecedented fifth consecutive DCM Division I title. The Cavies also are the reigning Drum Corps International champions, winning at DCI finals last August 11 in Buffalo, NY.

A Cavies’ win Saturday would be the corps’ ninth title in DCM history, tying the Phantom Regiment’s domination in DCM’s early years, which started with a string of three wins 1978-80, but ended with the Rockford/Loves Park, IL, corps’ ninth and last DCM title in 1990.

Based on early season performances, many drum corps fans believe the Cavies are headed for this year’s DCM title and have a strong chance of winning the 2002 title at the season-ending DCI Division I Championships at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, WI, August 10. The suburban Chicago corps has won four DCI national titles, one of them a tie in 2000.

Other powerhouse corps in the DCM contest at De Kalb: Bluecoats, North Canton, OH; Colts, Dubuque, IA; Glassmen, Toledo, OH; Madison Scouts, Madison, WI; Phantom Regiment, Rockford/Loves Park, IL; Pioneer, Milwaukee, WI; and, Southwind, Lexington, KY. These are all division I corps, with up to 135 members marching per corps.

The division II contest is between two state capital-based corps: Capital Sound, Madison, WI, and division II defending champion Capital Regiment, Columbus, OH.

Division III corps include: Americanos, Menasha, WI; Bandettes, Sault Ste. Marie, ONT, Canada; defending champion Blue Stars, La Crosse, WI; Decorah Kilties, Decorah, IA; Glory Cadets, Marion, OH; Kingsmen, Joliet, IL; Memorial Lancers, St. Louis, MO; Racine Scouts, Racine, WI; Twilight Optimist, Fond du Lac, WI.

Seniors: Chops, Inc., Minneapolis, MN; Govenaires, Mankato, MN; Kilties, Racine, WI; and title-defenders Minnesota Brass, Inc., Minneapolis, MN.