Drum Corps International brings the noise in Pittsburgh-area show | TribLIVE.com

Drum Corps International brings the noise in Pittsburgh-area show

Mary Pickels

Drum Corps International will bring the noise, and the fancy footwork, and the fabulous music during its upcoming Pittsburgh appearance.

DCI Pittsburgh is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 4, when the elite marching units will take the field at Elizabeth Forward’s Warrior Stadium, 1000 Weigles Hill Road, Elizabeth Township.

Some of the highest-ranking corps will show off their chops in the Pittsburgh competition, including: The Academy, Tempe, Ariz.; Blue Devils, Concord, Calif.; Genesis, Austin, Texas; Madison Scouts, Madison, Wis.; Music City, Nashville, Tenn.; Seattle Cascades, Seattle, Wash.; Spirit of Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga., and Troopers, Casper, Wyo

“You’ve got a great lineup,” says Barbara Nash, DCI spokeswoman.

“Each one of the groups does a 12-minute show, usually based around a theme. You will literally hear just about every kind of music there is in a given show,” she adds.

Many of the numbers, including classical, jazz, pop and rock, are custom arrangements, Nash says.

“Some of the music will be familiar, some of it will not,” she says.

The individual competing teams can include musical ensembles of up to 150 brass musicians, percussionists, and dance performers, all ranging in age from 14 to 22, according to DCI.

There will be one winner that night, with one group taking the title of 2019 World DCI Champion following the Aug. 10 competition in Indianapolis, Nash says.

Over the course of the summer touring season, many of these elite groups will travel more than 10,000 miles, rehearsing on average 10 hours a day to compete at the highest levels of musical and performance excellence.

They will perform more than 100 shows in 37 states.

According to DCI, over 400,000 fans attended the 2017 summer events, with nearly 50,000 at the world championships.

Making the marching grade

Auditions for the elite corp, founded in 1972, begin in the fall, Nash says.

Over 10,000 students try out for available spots, with international candidates auditioning via video from Europe, Asia, Canada and South America.

By the following May, they go into their own version of “spring training,” Nash says, learning the show in its entirety and gearing up for the tour starting in June.

More than 5,500 performers — brass musicians, percussionists, colorguard members and dancers — form national and international corps. There are open class and world class (the most highly skilled) divisions.

“All of the ones coming to (Pittsburgh) are in the world class division,” Nash says.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Drum Corps International
The Blue Devils of Concord, Calif., will perform as part of the Drum Corps International show in Pittsburgh.
Drum Corps International
Among the 2019 Drum Corps International Pittsburgh performers will be Music City of Nashville, Tenn.
Drum Corps International
Raising their horns are the Seattle Cascades of Seattle, Wash., who will performwith Drum Corps International in Pittsburgh.
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