The pageantry and spectacle of drum corps came to the Bay Area with two competitions featuring some of the premiere corps in the nation, including Santa Clara’s own Vanguard and Vanguard Cadets.
On June 20, 10 corps (four Open Class and six World Class) competed for the top spots at Stanford Stadium. In addition Vanguard’s two teams, Blue Devils, Blue Devils B and Blue Devils C (Concord, Calif.), Phantom Regiment (Rockford, Ill.), Blue Knights (Denver, Col.), Pacific Crest (Diamond Bar, Calif.), Mandarins (Sacramento, Calif.) and DCI West newcomer Golden Empire (Bakersfield, Calif.) battled it out on the field.
Vanguard Cadets’ 2015 repertoire, “On Could Nine,” featuring music by Harry Gregson-Williams, Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Tom Tykwer and Henry Jackman, took the top spot in the Open Class Division, scoring nearly a full point higher than Blue Devils B (57.6 to 56.8). Blue Devils B’s score was just under eight points higher than the third place finisher, Golden Empire (48.55).
In the World Class Division, Vanguard 2015 show, “The Spark of Invention,” inspired by Nikola Tesla and with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Amin Bhaatia, Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley and John Corigliano, did not impress the judges nearly as much as the Blue Devils’ “Ink” showcasing music by Dave Glyde, Stephen Sondheim, Gordon Goodwin and GOT7. The Blue Devils, who have an ongoing rivalry with Vanguard, scored 73.45 over Santa Clara’s 71.90. Phantom Regiment’s “City of Light” containing music by Cole Porter, Constant Lambert, Claude Debussy, George Gershwin and Camille Saint-Saens, took third place with a score of 68.05.
“The DCI West show was really great,” said Tom Webster of Bakersfield.” It was nice to see a solid new corps there (Golden Empire) and to see the favorites. The Blue Knights have a really innovative show this year that’s worth seeing. I can’t wait for the rest of the season.”
Vanguard bounced back from its second place finish. With the hometown crowd on its side, Vanguard took first place with a score of 74.90 at the Pacific Procession at Santa Clara High School on June 22. This time, Vanguard blew away the competition, with the Blue Knights taking second place, 4.5 points behind the top spot.
The Cadets, however, fell to Blue Devils B, coming in second place and missing the top spot by 1.2 points.
Vanguard and Vanguard Cadets will continue to tweak its 2015 shows while competing in competitions across the country before finalizing the performances prior to the DCI World Championship competition August 6-8 in Indianapolis, Ind.