Carolina crown used instruments

Carolina crown used instruments DEFAULT


Since its founding in 1887, Yamaha has grown to become the world's leading manufacturer of musical instruments and other diverse business fields. To sustain its growth throughout the 21st century, Yamaha is constantly striving to become a truly global enterprise that helps enrich the quality of people's lives worldwide.

Drum Corps "completes" the education circle. Students that join drum corps activities frequently become the next generation of band directors. Which in turn influence another generation of students that join drum corps.

No other music activity has such an opportunity to connect with individuals in such a unique way. Music education is at the heart of what we do at Yamaha. It drives all of our efforts and binds us together as a company. The opportunity to improve the lives of today's young people through music is just one way that Yamaha gives back to the individuals that need it the most. For Yamaha, it is not just about making musical instruments but being able to become directly involved in the way that music is portrayed to today's young people.

Yamaha has been involved with the drum corps activity for over 31 years. At first it was just Yamaha Marching Percussion. Then it became Yamaha Brass. Now it is Yamaha Pro-Audio Systems.

  • Longevity ‐ In 2015, The Madison Scouts and Yamaha celebrated a 31 year history of working together. The relationship with The Cavaliers will be 30 years strong in 2016.
  • Placement ‐ The corps that use Yamaha have been doing extremely well. Along the way Yamaha Corps have won (16) DCI Championships, (14) High Percussion Awards, and (8) High Brass Awards in World Class competition.
  • Commitment ‐ In the beginning there were a limited number of groups using Yamaha Percussion and the competition was tough among musical instrument manufacturers.
  • Product Development ‐ Over the years, the number of Yamaha products available to drum corps has grown. Yamaha has taken its time, completed the required testing and ensured that the products that are released to the marketplace are the best possible products available.

Numerous Yamaha staff members have marched within the drum corps community over the years. This experience not only provides a direct connection to the Drum Corps community for Yamaha, it also lets you know that we hire quality individuals who know the activity inside and out. Yamaha staff members have marched with the following drum and bugle corps:

  • Blue Devils
  • Blue Knights
  • Cadets
  • Carolina Crown
  • Cavaliers
  • Chicago Vanguard
  • Crossmen
  • Govenaires
  • The Madison Scouts

DCI Jim Ott High Brass Award using Yamaha Brass Instruments

Since Yamaha brass instruments were introduced into DCI in the year 2000, drum corps using Yamaha brass instruments have won the award 9 out of 16 years.

YearCorpsInstruments Used
2000The CadetsYamaha
2002The CavaliersYamaha
2005The CadetsYamaha
2006The CavaliersYamaha
2009Carolina CrownYamaha
2011Carolina CrownYamaha
2012Carolina CrownYamaha
2013Carolina CrownYamaha

DCI Fred Sanford High Percussion Award using Yamaha Percussion Instruments

Since Yamaha percussion instruments were introduced into DCI in the year 1985, drum corps using Yamaha percussion instruments have won the award 14 out of 31 years.

YearCorpsInstruments Used
1986The Blue DevilsYamaha
1991The Cavaliers (tied with Vanguard and Star of Indiana)Yamaha
1992The CavaliersYamaha
1995The CavaliersYamaha
1996Carolina CrownYamaha
1997The Blue DevilsYamaha
1999The CavaliersYamaha
2000The CavaliersYamaha
2001The CadetsYamaha
2002The CadetsYamaha
2003The CadetsYamaha
2005The CadetsYamaha
2011The CavaliersYamaha
2013The CadetsYamaha

Drum & Bugle Corps using Yamaha instruments have won the DCI championship 16 times since 1986, more than any other brand.

YearCorpsInstruments Used
1986The Blue DevilsYamaha
1988The Madison ScoutsYamaha
1992The CavaliersYamaha
1994The Blue DevilsYamaha
1995The CavaliersYamaha
1996The Blue DevilsYamaha
1997The Blue DevilsYamaha
1999The Blue DevilsYamaha
2000The CadetsYamaha
2001The CavaliersYamaha
2002The CavaliersYamaha
2004The CavaliersYamaha
2005The CadetsYamaha
2006The CavaliersYamaha
2011The CadetsYamaha
2013Carolina CrownYamaha

Crown Drum & Bugle Corps Based out of Fort Mill, South Carolina, this is the largest performing ensemble offered by the Carolina Crown Organization. A drum and bugle corps is similar to a marching band but it only has brass instruments, percussion instruments, and color guards.Armies used signal drums and bugles as signals for centuries. Another difference between marching band and drum and bugle corps are the forms used on the field. We send off the horns to our customers in fully working condition and without major dents. This marching instrument offers the full deep tone of a concert euphonium thanks to the large bore bell throat. In Big Ten style the forms tend to be created in groups or … Brass Instruments. ABOUT THE CAVALIERS DRUM & BUGLE CORPS. Spirit of Atlanta was proud to be the first drum corps to introduce Adams Marching Brass to the marching activity, and now, you can bring some of that sound you fell in love with home. Meticulously-maintained musical instruments used by the Jersey Surf during Drum Corps International World Class competition and the DCI Tour. Here there remains an active and enthusiastic group that continues to play fife and drum music in a folk tradition that has gone on since just after the American Civil War. Showing all 9 results. In the 1700s, military marching bands appeared in Revolutionary-era America in the form of fife and drum corps. Students from all over the world come to audition on an annual basis to become part of this national touring group consisting of 154 members. The modern drum and bugle corps came from military drum and bugle units coming back from World War I and the wars after it. The Cavaliers were founded in 1948 by the late Don W. Warren, as the drum and bugle corps for Boy Scout Troop 111 in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. During the previous 20 years, the corps never placed higher than 6th place, averaging a finals placement of 9.8 during that time. The Cavaliers have won 20 national championships, including seven Drum Corps International (DCI) championships since 1992. The drummers in these corps used rope-tension drums, which were large compared to contemporary marching drums. Since the corps began using Yamaha instruments in 2005, the corps has an average placement of 5.2 at DCI Finals. Nearly all of our instruments are only used for one full drum corps season. All instruments, brass and front ensemble, will be considered gently used. New marching only instrument offers improved feel, resonance and quality of sound preferred by groups such as the 4 time Jim Ott winning Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. Brass instruments come with a hard travel case. Instruments Used: In 2016, the Bluecoats will feature 150 corps members including: (80) Brass Drum Corps Planet is the world's largest online community for the drum and bugle corps activity - featuring news, commentary, reviews, and our discussion forums, where you can participate in the lively discussion that takes place by drum corps' most passionate fans. These instruments were accompanied by soldiers performing elaborate versions of the standard marching drills of the day, complete with stylized displays of rifles and sabers. The modern drum and bugle corps came from military drum and bugle units coming back from World War I and the wars after it. Marching Toms and Tenors: Drum corps use what are referred to as multi-tenors—a setup of multiple tom-tom drums carried with a harness and played by a single drummer. Internationally, the fyfe’s military legacy lives on primarily through historical reenactment Corps in Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Fifes are high-pitched wind instruments whose piercing tones are audible at a great distance. Like concert toms, these marching toms are single-headed, and they're also shaped and beveled at an angle to increase sound projection and bring power forward. A drum and bugle corps is similar to a marching band but it only has brass instruments, percussion instruments, and color guards.Armies used signal drums and bugles as signals for centuries. The modern drum and bugle corps appeared early in the 20th century. The first corps used instruments common to the armed forces of the day — drums and bugles. Drum Corps Planet is the world's largest online community for the drum and bugle corps activity - featuring news, commentary, reviews, and our discussion forums, where you can participate in the lively discussion that takes place by drum corps' most passionate fans. FOR SALE: Gently Used System Blue Brass Instruments - Used System Blue and King Ultimate Marching Brass instruments are … Used Yamaha YMRD-4900AC 4.5 Octave Marimba w/ Rosewood Keyboard & Multi Frame II [PRE-ORDER] Drum corps today use what is known as "Corps Style" marching which uses a very low gliding rolled step from heel to toe. Both the Adams brass marching instruments and the Pearl percussion equipment are now on sale in the Spirit store.

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Additionally, since Yamaha support first began, corps equipped with the company’s instruments have won 19 DCI Championships, 15 Fred Sanford High Percussion Awards, and 50 gold, silver or bronze medals in total. This season, 15 Yamaha Performing Artists worked on the educational faculties of 8 corps, helping them refine their musical abilities.

Yamaha is the official brand for nine All-Yamaha World Class drum corps. Additionally, 15 corps chose to use Yamaha brass or percussion instruments this year. These corps include The Blue Stars, The Bluecoats, Boston Crusaders, Carolina Crown, The Colts, The Crossmen, The Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, The Seattle Cascades, The Cadets, The Cavaliers, The Troopers, Colt Cadets, Legends and The Battalion. Numerous corps selected Yamaha Professional Audio speakers and/or mixers, as well.

“We are immensely proud to celebrate 35 years of an incredible sponsorship with Drum Corps International, and to continue our unwavering support for music education in the marching arts,” says Brian Petterson, senior marketing manager, Winds & Strings, Yamaha Corporation of America. “By participating in this lifechanging program, students gain incredibly valuable educational experience, and often move on to become developing leaders in their communities and schools. Giving so many talented individuals the exposure to educational opportunities perfectly aligns with what we believe in as a company and is precisely why we have been supporting the drum corps activity for so many years.”

This year, several groups equipped with Yamaha brass instruments were awarded for their musical achievement. Carolina Crown, The Bluecoats and The Cavaliers finished the season on a high note by placing first, second and third in brass on finals night, respectively. Carolina Crown was awarded the Jim Ott High Brass Award, marking their seventh time winning this recognition in the past 11 years. This win for Carolina Crown also marks the ninth consecutive year that the group has finished in the top two of the brass standings.

Matt Harloff, Brass Caption Head, Carolina Crown says, “At Carolina Crown, we strive for the highest levels of excellence in brass performance. To achieve the Crown Brass sound, we need reliable instruments that allow us to focus on making music and since 2007, our choice has been Yamaha. The results truly speak for themselves.”

The key elements that draw drum corps to Yamaha include: an industry-leading support of music education and music-making activities for students; world-class quality products, which are in turn shaped and refined through feedback received from the drum corps; product support, through in-house capabilities and a network of service partners throughout the United States; and the company’s unique position as a one-stop shop for world-class drum, brass and professional audio equipment.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to witness such talented performers compete with Yamaha instruments at the highest level,” says Troy C. Wollwage, marketing manager, Drum & Percussion, Yamaha Corporation of America. “We at Yamaha are committed to supporting music education and providing educational performance opportunities, along with the tools needed for success. Our goal is to support these young musicians so that, in turn, they inspire others to join in on the joy of making music.”

Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.



Each year, we offer an assortment of used brass and percussion instruments through the CrownSTORE. Most of these instruments have been used by Carolina Crown or another top-level Drum Corps during their summer tour. Once the instruments become available they are meticulously reviewed and professionally restored. Any major imperfections (such as reachable dents) are repaired and servicing completed prior to these instruments being sold. Carolina Crown and the CrownSTORE have become the premiere retailer for used Yamaha equipment for over ten years! Contact us today to inquire about our current availability!


Xeno Trumpet


Standard Leadpipe

Large 0.462” bore size

Yellow brass, One-piece bell

New TRC-800E double case


Xeno Trumpet


Reverse Leadpipe

Large 0.462” bore size

Yellow brass, One-piece bell

New TRC-800E double case




0.462” bore size

10-inch Yellow brass bell
Includes Mouthpiece
Includes Case




0.571” bore size

Large shank mouthpiece receiver

10-inch Yellow brass bell
Mouthpiece & Case Included




0.571” bore size

11-inch Yellow brass bell
SLL-51 Mouthpiece
BHC-31M Case


 Marching Tuba


0.728” bore size

21-inch Yellow brass bell
Includes Case
Includes Mouthpiece




0.547” bore size

8.5-inch Yellow brass bell
Includes Case
Includes Mouthpiece


Bass Trombone


0.563” bore size

9.5-inch Yellow brass bell
Includes Case
Includes Mouthpiece



Yamaha Multi-Frame II

Drop cover included
3 octave gold bars



Yamaha Multi-Frame II

Drop cover included
4.5 octave acoustalon bars



Yamaha Multi-Frame II

Drop cover included
3.5 octave acoustalon bars



Yamaha Multi-Frame II

Drop cover included
3.3 octave C52-E92 range



Yamaha Timpani Set

Drop cover included
20", 23", 26", 29", 32"


Used carolina instruments crown

Yamaha Used Instruments

New marching only instrument offers improved feel, resonance and quality of sound preferred by groups such as the 4 time Jim Ott winning Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps.

This marching instrument offers the full deep tone of a concert euphonium thanks to the large bore bell throat. The entire design has been reinvented through countless evaluations with leading players, resulting in an instrument which is balanced to hold and easy to play. In addition to the powerful tonal projection, the 202M features new hybrid valve guides for smooth action requiring less maintenance.


New configuration
The new marching-only configuration offers optimal balance while improving projection and creating a deep tone

Large bell throat
A large bell throat allows for a greater amount of airflow while producting a large, deep tone

1st valve slide thumb hook
The valve slide thumb hook allows for precise intonation of key notes

Hybrid metal valve guides
The durable valve guides with a metal insert offer long term performance and smooth piston action

ABS case
Lightweight ABS case eases transport while providing superior protection


LevelMarching Only Euphonium
Key ofBb
BoreM: 0.571"
Bell Diameter11"
LeadpipeGold Brass
Body/Bell MaterialYellow Brass; two-piece
FinishClear lacquer
Pistons/ Valves(3) Nikel-plated, nickel alloy; hybrid valve guides
CaseLightweight ABS
OptionsSilver Plated (YEP-202M)










Additional options above are available upon request, please contact [email protected], for more information.

Carolina Crown Drumline - DCI 2012

Members of the batterie perform on marching percussion instruments, including snare drums, tenor drums (also known as "quads", "quints", or "tenors"), tonal bass drums, and cymbals.

Click to see full answer

Keeping this in view, can woodwinds be in DCI?

More recently, in 2014, Drum Corps International made a rule change that brought trombones, French horns, and sousaphones to drum corps. Now the question of woodwinds' status is being brought to the forefront. It's been a topic of discussion before on most if not all of the message boards and social media threads.

Similarly, do you get paid for DCI? The average DCI salary ranges from approximately $36,367 per year for Promotions Coordinator to $180,000 per year for Medical Director. Average DCI hourly pay ranges from approximately $15.16 per hour for Customer Service Representative to $44.72 per hour for Security Analyst.

Herein, do Drum Corps provide instruments?

First, drum corps use only brass instrumentation – no woodwinds like saxophones, clarinets and flutes. Second, most marching bands (in the United States) are affiliated with schools and are usually inclusive – everyone who wants to participate is accommodated.

Are trombones allowed in DCI?

Drum Corps International (DCI) recently approved several new rules that will have a major impact on the activity. Perhaps the biggest change is a new rule allowing any type of brass instrument including trombones, French horns and sousaphones. The vote is said to have “passed overwhelmingly.”


Now discussing:

Drum and bugle corps (modern)

Marching group of brass and percussion instrumentalists

For the Military unit, see Corps of Drums.

The Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps (Allentown, PA) perform in Annapolis, MD on June 16, 2007

A modern drum and bugle corps is a musical marching unit consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments, electronic instruments, and color guard. Typically operating as independent non-profit organizations, corps perform in competitions, parades, festivals, and other civic functions. Participants of all ages are represented within the corps activity, but the majority are between the ages of 13 and 22 and are members of corps within Drum Corps International or Drum Corps Associates.[1]

Competitive summer drum corps participate in summer touring circuits, such as Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA). Corps prepare a new show each year, approximately 8–12 minutes in length, and refine it throughout the summer tour. Shows are performed on football fields and are judged in various musical and visual categories, or "captions". Musical repertoires vary widely among corps and include symphonic, jazz, big band, contemporary, rock, wind band, vocal, rap, Broadway, and Latin music, among other genres. Competitive junior corps usually spend between 10 and 15 weeks on tour over the summer, practicing and performing full-time.[2]

The term "modern" is used for the purposes of this article to differentiate it from classic drum and bugle corps, using the time period of the establishment of Drum Corps International as a dividing point in the timeline of the two types of drum and bugle corps.


Modern drum and bugle corps stems from a rich American and Canadian military history, separate from other marching musical activities. Towards the end of World War I, advancements in radio technology rendered using drum and bugle corps for communication obsolete. When the war concluded in 1918, there was no longer a need for these instruments. The instruments were sold to veteran organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the newly-founded American Legion (AL). These veteran organizations would become the first sponsors of civilian drum and bugle corps. The veteran’s initial goal was finding ways to engage with their communities while maintaining a connection to military traditions and values. Drum and bugle corps became the perfect vehicle for adapting military musical traditions to civilian life.[3] Beginning after World War I through the 1970s, corps and competitions were often sponsored by the VFW, Boy Scout troops, churches, fire departments, Rotary clubs, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the American Legion. Owing to many of these groups' roots, corps were traditionally militaristic. By the late 1960s, many corps wanted more creative freedom and better financial compensation than was offered by their sponsoring organizations. Some felt the prize-money structures, based on competitive placement, were not fairly compensating all corps for their appearances. Additionally, some felt the current judging rules were stifling musical and theatrical possibilities. At the peak of North American drum corps participation (with perhaps a thousand active corps in the U.S. and nearly as many in Canada), several corps decided to "unionize", as stated by Don Warren (founder of the Cavaliers). They formed their own organizations, which ultimately led to the formation of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) in 1965 and Drum Corps International (DCI) in 1972. By this time, many corps had already lost their church or community sponsors.

For the corps that remained, longer travel times were necessary to attend the shrinking numbers of contests, further adding to the financial and time demands on the organizations and their individual members. At the same time costs for the increasingly complex field shows mounted and creative and instructional demands rose leading many competitive corps to falter and become inactive. By the late 1990s only a fraction of the corps that existed in the 60s and 70s remained, although several new corps, some of which have become very successful, did start up along the way.

Freed from the traditional and more-restrictive judging rules of the late 1960s, corps began making innovative changes such as the use of B♭ brass instruments, wide-ranging tempos, intricate asymmetric drill formations, elaborate guard costumes and props, and the use of stationary orchestral percussion instruments. A few corps still utilize the traditional G Bugle which is very rarely found in DCI marching units.

Musical program[edit]


A typical show usually revolves around one genre of music, or sometimes melds separate genres together. Modern corps' programs have become increasingly conceptual and programmatic, with overarching show themes rather than loosely related musical selections. Often, especially within classical selections, a single composer's material is featured. Corps have performed virtually every genre of music that can be fit for on-field adaptation, including jazz, new age, classical, and rock music. It is becoming increasingly common to hear the corps performing original music, composed specifically for the corps by their musical staff or consultants.



Main article: Marching brass

The exclusive use of bell-front brass instrumentation is a defining musical element of drum corps. Throughout the years, the horns used in drum corps have been changed from true, single-valved bugles to B♭ brass instruments. While brass bugles in these competitive drum corps began as military signaling devices, successive modifications made them capable of greater ranges of music. These traditionally valveless, key-of-G bugles evolved to include pistons and rotors, gaining notes beyond a single harmonic series.[4] Until 1999, drum and bugle corps horn lines within DCI were required to be pitched in the key of G. That year, the DCI rules congress passed a rule change to allow "brass bell-front valve instruments in any key with the exception of sousaphones and trombones."[5] In World Class, the rule did not go into effect until the 2000 season, while Open Class opted for a two-year moratorium prior to implementation in 2002; DCA followed suit in 2004. Hornlines are now most commonly pitched in B♭, with mellophones pitched in F. In 2014, the DCI Board of Directors passed a rule change that changed their definition of a bugle to allow the entire brass family, including trombones and concert French horns.


Main article: Marching percussion

The Bluecoatspit used thematic vocal amplification in their 2007 performance, "Criminal."

The percussion section consists of two subsections: the front ensemble (also known as "pit") and the battery (also known as the "drumline").

Front ensemble members perform on orchestral percussion, electronic instruments, and a wide variety of other auxiliary instruments such as hammered dulcimer. Since the keyboard instruments do not project as well as brass or marching percussion, they are often amplified to produce adequate sound. Due to the size of these instruments, the pit typically remains stationary, positioned directly in front of the field and centered on or around the 50-yard line. However, some groups have begun to use the front ensemble in creative ways by moving them around the field or putting them in different locations. A full-size front ensemble typically features 10 to 15 members.

Members of the battery perform on marching percussion instruments, including snare drums, tenor drums (also known as "quads", "quints", or "tenors"), tonal bass drums, and cymbals. A full-size battery typically features 7–10 snare drummers, 3–6 tenor drummers, 5-6 bass drummers, and sometimes cymbal players, which tends to be 4-6 players in size.

Visual program and other visual arts[edit]

Color guard[edit]

Main article: Color guard (flag spinning)

In modern drum corps, the color guard has become a crucial part of each group's visual and thematic program. Standard equipment includes silk flags, non-functioning rifles, and sabres, and other objects like bare poles, hoops, balls, windsocks, and custom-made props are sometimes used to create visual effects that enhance the show.

The primary role of the color guard is to complement the corps' musical program by creating visual interpretations of the music through choreographed dance. The color guard can also enhance the overall drill design by marching in formations that integrate with the rest of the corps. However, the color guard most often performs as an ensemble that frames the rest of the corps or performs within the drill formations of the corps proper. Like all other sections of the corps, the guard often features solo work.

Drill formations[edit]

Drill formations have become very sophisticated in modern corps. Traditional blocks, company fronts, and symmetrical formations — while still utilized occasionally for impactful moments — have largely given way to more complex and abstractly artistic designs. Drill writing at large is meant to keep instrumental sections together, put featured members at the center of attention, and visually reinforce the choreography.

Marching technique[edit]

As visual programs have increased in complexity, corps have developed and formalized various movement techniques, the goal of each being the achievement of fluid, consistent movements that allow for precise musical technique at all tempos, step sizes, and directions. Given that instrument-wielding members most often face toward the audience (for maximum sound projection), marching technique must not affect the rigidity of members' upper torsos. Although most horn players are able to follow this technique, members of the battery must keep their entire bodies facing forward at all times due to the nature of their equipment. This has led to the invention of the "crab walk" or oblique, where the legs cross over one another to facilitate sideways motion; the technique is used mostly by battery, but in rare instances by the hornline. Being visually oriented, guard members are not as bound to facing the front sideline, and may face any direction at any time as dictated by choreography.

The most common backward marching technique requires balancing on one's platform (visually seen as the 'toes' and keeping the heels off the ground), which is especially effective at faster tempos. The reverse the heel–toe roll step, allowing for heel–ground contact is another technique used, most often at slower tempos. As an alternative, there are four major groups which utilize a bent leg technique (Santa Clara Vanguard, Madison Scouts, Pacific Crest, and Guardians), in which the feet come off of the ground and move in a bicycle type motion.

Marching technique programs have largely been inspired by dance and prance technique. Terminology from ballet and high school band is used to describe foot placement and positioning, and members of the color guard and hornline often jazz run in order to maintain upper body stability when moving at fast tempos with large step sizes.


While performances and competitions only occur during the summer, preparation for the next season starts as soon as the last one ends. Corps activity of some sort goes on year-round. Months in advance of next season's first camp, corps begin assembling their staffs, choosing their musical repertoires, writing drill, etc.


For junior (DCI) corps, the season is a very intense process. Most corps begin having camps on or around Thanksgiving Day weekend and continue having monthly weekend camps throughout the winter. Potential members travel far and wide—literally from around the world—to attend the camps of their favorite corps. Membership in the top corps are highly competitive and are generally determined during the first few camps. By spring, the members have been chosen and camps are held more frequently as the beginning of the summer touring season approaches. Most junior corps require their non-local members to secure temporary housing (often with local members or a vacant dormitory) near the corps' rehearsals facilities around Memorial Day weekend. For most of May and into June (as college and high school classes end), full-day rehearsals are held virtually every day so members can finish learning the music and marching drill of the show. This pre-season "spring training" (also commonly referred to as "everydays" or "alldays") is usually 3–4 weeks long. It is not uncommon for members to rehearse 10–14 hours a day, 6–7 days a week throughout the entire pre-season. In mid to late June, corps leave to begin their summer tours.

For All-Age (formerly Senior) corps the process is not quite as grueling. Since most members have lives outside of drum corps, senior corps rehearse on weekends and occasionally on weekday evenings. Rather than extensive tours, senior corps usually take weekend trips to perform in shows, and make longer trips only to regional championships and finals. Many smaller DCI corps and foreign corps have similar itineraries. Non-competitive corps, such as classic-style corps, alumni corps, or newly aspiring corps might not have a defined season at all. They practice and perform as they deem necessary or possible. Occasionally such corps make exhibition appearances at DCI or DCA shows.

Tour and competition[edit]

A coach, like that of Santa Clara Vanguard, is used to transport members while on tour. Most corps often rent a public charter bus for their traveling needs.
Semi-trailers, such as this one from Carolina Crown, are used variously as equipment trucks and mobile kitchens for DCI corps. DCA corps have no real need for such equipment and usually make use of smaller trucks such as former U-Haulsor other moving van-type vehicles that do not require a special operator license.
Members of the Bluecoatseat from their food truck before a performance.

While on tour, junior corps travel mainly at night after leaving the performance venue. Members sleep on the buses and in sleeping bags on gym floors when the next housing destination is reached. Housing for the entire tour is secured in advance through local schools, churches, or other community facilities. Corps practice their shows for as long as possible each day before getting ready to leave for that night's competition if scheduled. Not every day is a performance day; many days on tour are spent simply traveling to a distant location or entirely on the practice field.

A full-sized, adequately funded junior corps will have a fleet of vehicles, including three or more coach buses for members and staff, a truck or van to carry souvenirs that are sold at shows, and two semi-trucks, one for show equipment and one that serves as a kitchen on wheels. Most meals for all members and staff are provided by the cook truck, but occasionally corps have scheduled free days where there are no rehearsals or performances and the members are free to see some local sights and procure their own meals.

Competitions are not the only performances that corps partake in while on tour. Most corps also participate in parades and standstill performances throughout the summer to gain further public exposure and to supplement their budget with performance fees. On the Fourth of July weekend, corps often locate themselves in large metro areas so they can participate in more than one parade.

Competitions are usually held at college or high school football stadiums or similar venues, and are scored by circuit-approved judges. Most circuits follow the three-caption system of General Effect (GE), Visual, and Music, with GE carrying the most weight. This is the scoring system currently used by DCI (others are similar):

General Effect 40 Visual 30 Music 30
General Effect Visual20 Visual Proficiency20 Music Brass20
General Effect Music20 Visual Analysis20 Music Analysis20
Color guard20 Music Percussion20
Each 20-point sub caption

is divided by two

Each 20-point sub caption

is divided by two

The timing and organization of contests varies significantly from circuit to circuit. Only large DCI corps typically have the funding and time commitment from members to participate in DCI's touring circuit, where corps spend the majority of the summer traveling around the continent performing at different local and regional contests. In other circuits, and for smaller DCI corps, competitions are usually scheduled to allow corps to travel, perform, and return home within a weekend. For this reason, and to boost audience attendance, large competitions are more frequently scheduled on weekends.

A typical regular-season contest consists of fewer than 10 corps, with corps from one or more classes competing together but scored separately. In North America, DCI and DCA corps occasionally perform at the same shows. DCI also schedules larger contests interspersed throughout the latter half of its season. These are restricted to corps in specific classes and feature many (if not all) of the corps within each class. European circuits, such as DCUK, operate on a "minimum performance and lot" system: appearance at the first two shows of the year is determined by lot, and then the corps must appear in a minimum number of shows before the circuit's championships. In such a system, the championships are often the only time all corps in a class compete together.

Some circuits also organize optional individual and ensemble (I&E) competitions for individuals or groups from corps to showcase members' skills outside the field performance environment. These are usually held only once or twice per season at championships or a major regional contest. Members practice their routine(s) in their scant free time throughout the season.

Corps organization[edit]

Most corps are operated as or by dedicated non-profit organizations; very few are associated with schools or for-profit entities. Some corps are even parts of larger non-profit performance arts organizations, which might also include theater groups, winter guards, winter drumlines, and other various musical or visual activities. In Europe, many are also registered charities, assisting with their fundraising aims.


Despite their non-profit status, a well-run corps is just like a well-run business. It requires many people to handle fiscal and operational responsibilities. There are four levels of staff operating a drum corps: Executive Management, Executive Staff, Instructional, and Volunteer. Each plays an essential role in creating a well-run corps.

The executive management consists of the Board of Directors and the Executive Director. Often the board are unpaid volunteers. This group is almost always long-standing within successful corps. They create the long-term vision and strategy for the organization, handling the financial, operational, and organizational issues to keep the corps running. The board of directors may be composed of alumni and other closely affiliated people. They hire the Executive (operational) Director who is responsible for hiring the executive staff, the instructional staff, and recruiting volunteers.

The executive staff usually includes the operational office staff, the program director(s) and tour director(s) who run the day-to-day operational needs of the organization.

The instructional staff puts the show on the field. They create the concept of the show, choose and arrange the music, write the drill, and instruct the members on their technique. The staff consists of brass, percussion, guard, and visual instructors who are most often alumni of the corps or other corps. A well-funded World Class corps usually has 15-20 full-time instructors. Just as members, they attend winter camps and travel with the corps all summer long.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any corps. Parents, alumni, friends, and fans make the corps work on a day-to-day basis—driving buses and trucks, caring for the corps' uniforms, cooking meals for the corps and staff, and countless other peripheral duties. Corps on touring circuits particularly rely on volunteers due to the extra necessities which come with the tour: cooking and cleaning, providing mechanical maintenance, health and medical needs.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Brass instruments

  • Trumpet (Contrabass trumpet, Bass trumpet, Pocket trumpet, Piccolo trumpet, Fanfare trumpet, Firebird, Flumpet)
  • Cornet (Soprano cornet)
  • Horn (French horn, German horn, Vienna horn, Wagner tuba)
  • Trombone (Bass trombone, Superbone, Cimbasso)
  • Saxhorn (Baritone horn, Alto/Tenor horn, Flugelhorn (Fiscorn, Kuhlohorn))
  • Tuba (Euphonium, Double bell euphonium, Subcontrabass tuba)
Parts and technique
Ensembles and groups

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