Day 215- “The Blue Knights”

I love playing my saxophone more than anything else in the world. But I regret my decision to play it whenever I watch a drum and bugle corps.

Drum Corps International, or DCI, is the “marching music’s major league.” The easiest way to explain drum corps to a non-musician is to say that it’s “a really intense marching band,” except that the two are NOT the same thing in the slightest. Let’s take a high school marching band. They’ll practice about 10 to 14 hours a week, have woodwinds in the band, probably pay a small fee, then they go home and sleep in their beds. A drum corps practices around 10 to 14 hours a DAY, have no woodwinds- only drums and bugles (so no trombones either), and pay thousands of dollars to sleep on gym floors across the country.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?!

I wish, more than anything else, that I could march in a drum corps. More than that, I wish I could march in the Blue Knights, the corps based out of Denver. They were the first corps I remember ever seeing. Unfortunately, I would have to learn to play a brass instrument to the skill level of these kids within six months to audition for next season, because I would age out after this next year. There’s also the issue of my ankle, which has still not fully recovered from its injury almost five years ago in my high school marching band (depressing, right?).

Anyway, you don’t want to hear me rant about my first world problems. I took this picture at Drums Along the Rockies, which is a show hosted at Mile High Stadium in Denver. It was raining so badly that they delayed beginning the shows for about an hour, and then most of the corps stood still and played the music from their shows rather than marching (the field was so wet and slick). But last, the Blue Knights came out- and marched their show! This year’s show is called “Avian,” and the music they are playing is The Firebird Suite, by Stravinsky. It started raining again, really hard, and they just kept going.

How. Un. Freaking. Believably. Awesome. Is. That.

I’m a pretty big fan of the Knights, can’t you tell?

For this photo, I slowed my shutter speed down to 1/20 second- it gives you an idea of how fast these kids move. I would have slowed it down more, except I wanted the drum major to be in focus more than the marchers- which was hard to do, since the drum majors get REALLY into conducting.

What champs, all of the the corps that stuck it out in the rain yesterday- the Cascades, The Troopers, The Academy, The Boston Crusaders, Santa Clara Vanguard, Blue Devils, Phantom Regiment, and Blue Knights!


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