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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Drum and bugle corps competition returns to PSU

Seven of the nation's top drum and bugle corps will go head to head in competition at 7 p.m. on July 18 at Pittsburg State University’s Carnie Smith Stadium. Brass Spectacular! is one stop on the Drum Corps International (DCI) Summer Music Games tour road to the world championships later this summer in Madison, Wis.

According to Doug Whitten, director of athletics bands at PSU and organizer of the event in Pittsburg, the DCI corps are made up of musicians between the ages of 14 and 22 from the U.S., Canada and throughout the world. Whitten said that drum corps are similar to marching bands in that they march on a football field and play music. Beyond that, however, there are some big differences.

"A marching band usually provides entertainment at sporting events," Whitten said. "In contrast, a drum and bugle corps is the main event. This distinction allows drum corps to strive for more artistic performances. Instead of performing chants, cheers, and traditional marches, a drum corps is more likely to perform classical music, jazz, or stage a 10-minute Broadway style musical. Perhaps the biggest difference between a marching band and a drum and bugle corps is the amount of time a corps invests in perfecting their show. They often rehearse more than 12 hours a day, during the summer."

The seven drum and bugle corps competing at PSU on July 18 are the world champion Cadets from Bergen, County, N.J.; the Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, Calif.; the Blue Knights from Denver, Colo.; the Capital Regiment from Columbus, Ohio; the Colts from Dubuque, Iowa; the Blue Stars from LaCrosse, Wis.; and the former world champion and last year's Brass Spectacular! champion Cavaliers from Rosemont, Ill. This show is of particular interest, Whitten said, because it will be the first time that the 2004 world champion Cavaliers will compete against last year's world champion Cadets of Bergen County.

Although these corps are based in cities throughout the country, there will be some local students participating in this event. One is Amy Rowland, a member of the Pittsburg State University Pride of the Plains Marching Bands and Carl Junction High School graduate. Rowland travels to Dubuque, Iowa, to work with the Colts. Meanwhile, Will Koehler, a recent Pittsburg High graduate, marches with the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps from Lexington, Ky.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. show range from $10 to $20 and are available through the Pitt State Ticket Office at www.pittstate.edu/tickets or by phone at 620-235-4796. For more information, visit the show's Web site at www.pittstateband.org.

---Pitt State---