About the Marching Music Series
For the past five years, seven of the top performing member corps of Drum Corps International have been working together to make a positive impact on marching music at the high school, collegiate and independent levels of performance.
In 2012, the Bluecoats, Blue Devils, The Cadets, Carolina Crown, The Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment and Santa Clara Vanguard formed the non-profit entity, Music in Motion and initiated their first project: The DCI Tour of Champions, an event series designed and developed by Drum Corps International. Tour of Champions have become some of the most-anticipated events in DCI's competition schedule. In addition to their incredible field performances, fans get to see small ensemble performances from corps members, as well as a grand finale featuring all of the ensembles together.
"The seven corps are similar in our operations and needs," said Rick Valenzuela, director of Phantom Regiment. "It has taken some time, but over we have created a level of trust that allows us to work on exciting new opportunities."
In line with this thinking, Music in Motion debuted the Marching Music Series in the fall of 2014, an impressive line-up of high-profile marching band events across the country that features the highest level of adjudication, customer service, performance venues and event management in the activity.
Marching Music Series events are managed by USBands, a program of Youth Education in the Arts. USBands handles all event logistics, stadium communications, and the paperwork and digital efforts for each participating band.
The members corps of Music in Motion provide the adjudication for each event, as well as on-site management. The judges are among the top designers and instructors associated with the seven corps, and the corps' directors and staff members who are experienced in the care of musical ensembles provide on-site at support at each event.
The structure of all Marching Music Series events consists of a 30-band preliminary competition followed by a same-day finals competition, which features 15 of the bands that performed earlier in the day. Awards are given in six separate competitive classes in the prelims, while the evening competition is a 15-band, all-class event with one level of awards.
The scoring system is derived from the well-established USBands system, with a panel of seven judges (2 music, 1 visual, 2 effect, 1 guard and 1 percussion). Scores are tilted 70/30 performance/design and 60/40 music/visual.
"With the experience of our groups and all we have learned, we believe that we can make a real difference for high school bands interested in the competitive world," said Bluecoats Director David Glasgow. "We are excited that USBands can manage the details, and we are certain that together the corps can bring these events to a spectacular level. We are excited about the possibilities."
Registration for Fall 2015 events will open soon, and sign-ups will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Justin Heimbecker, director of USBands and former tour manager of both The Cadets and Boston Crusaders, brought the USBands perspective on the events into the discussion:
"We here at USBands see these events as both a challenge and a great opportunity. I know the level of excellence these corps expect, and while USBands already runs great events, I believe there is the potential for phenomenal events and phenomenal experiences for all with the support from seven of the top marching ensembles in the world."
NOTE: The individual corps will NOT be handling the details of these events, so please make sure correspondence is directed to the designated Marching Music Series contacts.