40 ’til 40: #21 – #24: Drum Corps Associates

These are some of my favorite moments from my Drum & Bugle Corps days.

#21: MBI Membership Night 2013

For over 10 straight years, MBI (Minnesota Brass, Inc.) finished in the Top 3 in the world at the DCA World Championships. 2013 was in the middle of that streak, and the year I made a full commitment to trying out for their Brass line.

Membership Night was awesome! The Staff was really friendly, especially the behind-the-scenes staff. The Marching Staff took us through Basic Blocks (where we learned the MBI marching style), a Baritone and Euphonium meet-and-greet and playing, and a short, full Brass sectional. I met Alex (Euphonium) and Sam (Euphonium Section Leader) when I went to the 2012 Membership; it was good to see Sam again in ’13.

I didn’t spend a ton of time in Minneapolis on the following day (because COLD).

All in all, it was an informative, fun day in the Twin Cities!


#22: 2007 DCA World Championships: Niagara Falls

I wrote about the Derby City Knights and our times at the DCA World Championships before. One of our stops, on the trip to the 2007 Championships, was Niagara Falls (and American Falls). This was my first time seeing the falls in person! It was a cold, windy, raw day, but this actually enhanced the visual effects of the Falls. There was a curtain of mist that hung around the area, creating occasional rainbows.

It was an awesome sight!


#23: 2007 DCA World Championships: “Malaguena”

Our show in 2017 was entitled “Fantasia Espanola”, with “One More Time, Chuck Corea”, “El Camino Real”, and “Malagueña” being the songs we performed.

It was in Rochester, NY, in “The Grand Ballroom”, a 1500-seat behemoth of a ballroom. As a Mini Corps, we performed on a raised stage, with some movement (if wanted).

We played the first 2 songs pretty decently. It’s “Malagueña” that will always stick out for me. Our arrangement of the song started with the Low Brass playing a slow theme, accompanied by some percussion. We all increase the tempo and volume until the rest of the group comes in at double-forte. What stood out was how many of the audience clapped and cheered as we accelerandoed towards that entrance. This continued after a Trumpet duet, midway through, and ended with a LONG, loud, standing ovation, to conclude our performance. Still get goosebumps, thinking about 2007!


#24: 2009 DCA World Championships

The Derby City Knights reorganized as a smaller Brass Ensemble and returned to the DCA World Championships in 2009. This show was “A Day At The Derby”, complete with costumes. We only had 5 minutes for our performance, so we chose “Call to the Post”, followed by “William Tell Overture”.

The fans really liked our show, and so did the judges, apparently. We ended up with a score of 96, finishing 3rd out of 10 groups and beating the defending champions by a point!

We ended the trip to Rochester with another stop to Niagara Falls, a trip to Hard Rock Cafe, and a stop, on the way home, at Lake Eric, on the New York-Pennsylvania border. It was the most successful weekend of my Drum Corps career!

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