October 25th, 2016 8:46pm
(I'm doing this because I think a write up from me is pretty overdue. There will also be a Spotlight coming out on Friday so keep your eyes peeled for that.)
It was 5:45AM when the first bus arrived on a rainy October Thursday. With the girls pulling up their hair and the rookies in the front of the bus practically hyperventilating, the Black Mambas Drum and Bugle Corps pulled into the parking lot. Each member of the corps come off the bus, put on their uniform, and lined up for warm up. And it only got busier from there. Throughout the day you could hear tappings of the drum and brass lines doing their little music and show run throughs as they get ready to do what could possibly the last performance of their season. You could see the fire in every performers eyes as they walked onto the field to do their show, with their marching shoes bristling on the wet turf. 9:00PM, Cadets of Blue were announced the winners of the show. Semifinals happened the next Friday, only leaving 12 corps left for finals (with a very upset Golden Knights, with a very amazing show might I add.) When a semifinals ends that means there is one thing left. One last test. Ladies in gentlemen, here is my Division 1 Season 55 recap for drum corps here on FMA.
12 Place- The Panthers. 88.630
The Panthers had a bit of an off season but that didn't stop them from showing their true quality to this circuit. The Panthers, and their show, "The Artist Formally Known As..." had such a crowd pleaser this year that a drum corps regular would instantly know this show when they heard it. With ballad type music, you couldn't help but recognize the beauty of the brass. Their visuals were also very on point this season. They had an overall understanding of where they were going in correlation to the music, but unfortunately they had a sickness within the guard section during mid season which kind of set back their score and the visual ensemble score. While this is true, these guys were undeniably one of the best groups this season and I wish them nothing but the best for the feature. Also, I cant wait for the show announcement for season 56 from them!!
11th place- Hornets. 90.655
You could tell the tension the Hornets had this season that truly made them recover from the long time they were gone from FMA. The Hornets presented their knockout show, "The Comeback" This was a show that made a stand to this circuit and let the other groups know that they shouldn't be messed with or underestimated. Their show was based off of their old historic style of playing and to resemble their perseverance through the nay-sayers. Who says you cant come back from a long break and make it into division 1 finals? I could tell that they were into a more traditional style of field show, and that the director is e believer in not using loud amps or an overuse in props. A great flash to the past and I can't wait to witness their season 56 show, "Civilization: The Story of Humanity."
10th place- Bluegrass Regiment. 91.170
The Bluegrass Regiment was on fire this season with their show, "GEO." GEO was a show that truly made us understand our roots and the concept of geography. With props scattered across the field and different continents everywhere, you couldn't help but get the GEO feel. With all of that said, you could tell that it was more of a judge pleaser than a crowd pleaser. It was a little less captivating then most of these division 1 drum corps shows, but it was still very well written and it gave everyone the content that they want when scoring a drum corps or any music group in general. And I gotta say, really good job to the percussion ensemble for Bluegrass this season.
9th Place- Pride of Peachtree. 92.815
Now this is what I like to call true Peachtree Pride. Peachtree's show this season was called, "Led Zeppelin II," which had us all on our feet as we heard the Zeppelin classics we were all familiar with. You could all tell the people were loving hearing their favorite song from the time that they were in. Their music was obviously on point, but there was just something off with the forms and the guard. There were some misunderstanding when it came to direction changes and keeping good linear space between the people around them. With all of that said, it really gave the crowd something to cheer for, and it gives me a reason to spend a ridiculous amount of money to come watch these thing every year.
8th Place- The Moingona. 93.470
I think we can all agree that The Moingona didn't reach their full potential that they could've reached this season. They ended up getting very complacent mid season and their scores stayed pretty stationary from then on. But, "Battle Hymn" was definitely a reminder of the freedom that we have that was done in the hands of our war veterans. This show was one of the most emotional shows of the seasons and it made almost every single eye open wide as they came to their final note in the closer. It was definitely worth its standing ovation, and I really hope that this isn't the last season for this amazing group.
7th Place- Star of Indianapolis- 93.825
Now here we go again, with an intergalactic field show. I love these themes. "In the Moon" was Stars show this season, which, in my opinion, has been one of the best. With a big moon in the middle of the field, it's almost as if the audience themselves were floating in space. If you want to talk about general audience captivation, you need to talk about this show. From Armstrong's famous quote, to a lift off within the forms of the band. It also gave the judges something to really smile about.
6th place- Northern Lights- 94.360
As mentioned with a different group before, we can all truly agree on the fact that this group did not meet their fullest potential. You can't just stop rehearsing smartly mid season and expect something good to come out of it. Their show this year was literally called, "The Show," and it featured abstract music from Emerson, Lake, Palmer, and Lenka. Very strong brass and visuals individually, but it fell a little bit behind as an ensemble. It was a very captivating performance with a lot of special effects added within the show.
5th Place- Lexington Legends- 95.210
The Lexington Legends' show this season was called, "Orpheus and Eurdice." Corndogshuffle made this amazing repertoire based off of many old time composers. This show gave the audience more of a dark feel that really reminded me of Carolina Crowns' 2015 show, "Inferno." It almost objectified death and tragedy onto the audience and it was a very intriguing thing to watch. Lexington really worked on their visual performance and their forms were like eye candy. The composers included were Richard Strauss, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, and Henry Percell. Very intriguing show.
4th place- Dark Knights- 95.270
The Dark Knights took it a little easier this season, considering the fact that they've won season after season recently. But that didn't stop them from packing a punch. Aaron0316, the director of TDK, came up with a show I don't think anybody else would have, "Carpe Noctem." Featuring songs from Jim Sochinski, Chick Corea, Michel Camilo, and Johnny Richards, Rick Tai, Jay Chattaway and Vince Mendoza. This show had some unfamiliar music in it that really made the audience take the time to comprehend what it was that they were hearing. Nonetheless, great judge and crowd pleaser, and great job to this amazing corps.
BRONZE- Cornhuskers Drum & Bugle Corps- 97.745
Rocketfan, like many others, had the amazing idea of making an intergalactic themed show, "Out of this World." This show was a great show to be earning its bronze in, and man were the top scores close. This show had music from ET, The Throne Room, and Star Wars. With these familiar pieces, the audience couldn't help but stand so far up on their feet at the end of their show that they ended up losing balance. There was props galore in this show and many interactive between the colorguard and the winds that the closer you look, the more detail you will find. Thank you, Cornhuskers, for the Out of World show.
SILVER- Carolina Royals- 98.470
Wow. Such a simple of a concept, such an impactful show. The Royals' show this season was called, "/", a very creative show from saxamattone. With drumline hits and brass licks like no tomorrow, they got the high score and placing that they deserved. This show reminds me of a show I know, Tilt I think it's called? With everything offset but still perfect. This hash mark of a show is definitely the best I've seen out of this corps since I joined FMA.
GOLD- Cadets of Blue- 99.470
Cadets of Blue, welcome to the best. Killerchessie wins his first champion this season with by far the most amazing show I've hear, "The Blues Return." You could really call this the best judge pleaser and crowd pleaser you will ever see. With an impact show with a slight hint of jazz, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show. They made everything evident, from their music to their visual performance to the story they were trying to tell. With alto to tenor brass call and answers, to insanely long horn licks, there's no denying that when you think of Cadets, you will think of this show. Crescendos, decrescendos, and everything in between. Thanks you Cadets of Blue for making a season to remember.
Congratulations to everyone to an amazing season 55! Have an amazing season 56 too!
Written by Theamazing1, October 2016.