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News @ PSU

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Brass Spectacular returns to PSU

Six of the nation’s top drum and bugle corps will compete at 8 p.m. on July 25 in Pittsburg State University’s Carnie Smith Stadium. The Brass Spectacular at PSU is just one stop on a grueling Drum Corps International (DCI) Summer Music Games tour that concludes with the world championships in Madison, Wisconsin.

The drum corps are made up of musicians between the ages of 14 and 22 from the U.S., Canada and a number of other nations. The teams perform precision marching and formations, while playing well known as well as original music.

Doug Whitten, director of Athletics Bands at PSU, said drum corps and marching bands are similar in that they both march on a football field and play music. From that point on, the differences are notable.

“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.”

Whitten noted another difference.

“These musicians often rehearse more than 12 hours a day,” Whitten said. “They really are the elite of marching musical ensembles.”

The six drum and bugle corps competing at PSU are: the Blue Devils from Concord, Calif. (11-time world champions); the Bluecoats from Canton, Ohio; the Cascades from Seattle, Wash.; the Madison Scouts from Madison, Wis.; the Pioneer from Milwaukee, Wis.; and the Spirit of JSU from Jacksonville, Ala.

Because the drum corps are considered the pinnacle of excellence for many musicians, many members travel great distances to perform with other who share their passion. For example, Amy Rowland, a Carl Junction High School graduate and current member of the Pittsburg State University “Pride of the Plains” Marching Band, travels to Wisconsin to march with the Capital Sound. Likewise, Will Koehler, a recent Pittsburg High graduate is marching this summer with the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps from Lexington, Ky.

Tickets for the Brass Spectacular! at PSU range from $10 to $25 and are available at the PSU Ticket Office in the Overman Student Center. The tickets may be purchased at the Ticket Office window, online at www.pittstate.edu/tickets, or by phone at 620-235-4796.

For more about Drum Corps International, including photo galleries, visit the organization’s Web site at www.dci.org.

---Pitt State---