Spokane Classic foreshadows unpredictable season

by Daniel Buteau, DCW staff

2002 Madison Scouts (Madison, WI)
Photo by Ron Walloch.

June 28, 2002 — Cheney, WA . . . The fast-expanding 2002 DCI tour finally reached the Northwest for the Spokane Drum and Bugle Corps Classic, sponsored by the Cheney High School Band. Those who might have been disappointed by the decidedly modest line-up quickly realized that drum corps excitement comes in other forms, a key one being close competition. The Seattle Cascades, in their maiden division I season, gave a loud wake-up call to seasoned veterans Madison Scouts and Santa Clara Vanguard, as a spread of merely 6.8 points separated the three units.

The season is still very young, though. Tonight was the first competitive appearance for the Cascades, and it was SCV’s second contest of the season. It must also be noted that it was the first time Santa Clara competed with other division I corps this year. Only the Madison Scouts had had the chance to test the year’s competitive waters in the past few weeks. If the Spokane show was any indication, 2002 promises to be one of surprises and upsets among the DCI division I corps.

The Santa Clara Vanguard clearly demonstrated that they are, by far, the most polished of the three. The Scouts, venturing rather far away from their home base, quickly made distance vanish by emerging as the evening’s crowd-pleaser. Madison also served notice that they have elected to move-up quite a few notches up the sophistication ladder, with a show design far more daring than in the last two seasons. One of the night’s most striking aspects remains, nevertheless, that it is the Seattle Cascades who have the most room to grow, something which could become an ace card in what promises to be an unpredictable season…