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Drum Corps League: The Future of FMA
For the first time in years, I feel like FMA is at the precipice of something amazing. I left this site a different person than I am now, so coming back and seeing so many new faces is so crazy to me. Im not shocked to see some old ones as well. Old ones that have taken it upon themselves to try and make this season more enjoyable and competitive. I too would like to do my part by highlighting one of FMA's most important leagues.

No I am not talking about CLASS. We all know the history behind the juggernaut that has dominated FMA since the beginning. (That write up is coming soon.) The league I am referring to is based in the city of LaPorte, Indiana, known by its locals and the rest of America as Maple City. Here is where Director Mellophone21 is hard at work with the World Famous Maple City Cadets. I asked them a series of questions to enlighten the FMA world.

1. What can you tell me about the Maple City Cadets and your history?
"I created my account when I was in high school and named my corps after the real-life Maple City Cadets, who competed in local circuits in the 1960s and 1970s. I've always thought it would be fun to reimagine my hometown corps in the modern era, so I've created a number of shows that fit that motif."

One such show is last season's "Strange Cargo: The Music of William Orbit". The electronic and weird funky origin of the music was really unique and brought a different flavor to FMA judges. The Cadets actually had the 6th best hornline at finals, despite getting 8th overall with an 87.890, their highest finish to date.

2. What made you decide to create DCL?
"I created DCL as a safeguard against a number of defunct leagues that I was in. I wanted to make sure that I (and anyone else who joined) would have a functioning league that could create contests and fill gaps in corps' schedules. By creating my own league, I could guarantee that I could help myself and others in this endeavor as long as I was still active."

3. Who are some standout members in your league? What are some of their accomplishments in FMA?
"We've had a number of impressive finishes by members of our league. We have regularly had multiple finalists in each division. I would like to particularly showcase Echo Drum and Bugle Corp (Season 107 D3 Champion, 3x D3 medalist) and Central Symphony (Season 106 D2 Runner-Up)."

Echo Drum and Bugle Corps is on the rise after a D3 Gold Medal win in S107. Their show "Infinity" blew crowds away with its precision. While individually the Corp's memebers need some work, as a group they were the very best in D3. We may be looking at a promotion this season. I expect to see Echo back near the top of the standings barring unforseen circumstances.

The other Corps Mello mentioned is Central Symphony (which is a badass name btw.) After taking home D2 Silver in S106 with "Dark Side of the Moon", Central Symphony disappointed with a 4th place finish last season. Many expected them to either win or improve their score but they did neither. Hopefully this Corps can come back strong and prove to the FMA world they belong in the conversation when it comes to the best of the best. I expect the Boise ensemble to rebound and have a huge season.

There are other quality D1 Corps in Drum Corps League along with Maple City Cadets. In total DCL had three D1 finalists in S107, with one group finishing just outside in 13th place. While they aren't winning a bunch of medals yet, this is the only league besides CLASS with multiple finalists in all three divisions of FMA. This is a league on the rise. New players I encourage you to forge a new path and join DCL to get in on some of the action.

4. Where do you plan on taking DCL in the future?
"DCL is in a good place right now. I'd like to continue to organize shows to help fill schedule gaps and I'd also like to add new members as they come by. I don't think we need to do much beyond that right now."

5. Why join DCL instead of one of the other small leagues in FMA, or the prestigious CLASS?
"DCL is larger and more active than most of the smaller leagues. As long as I am active, I will continue to create fun league events for our members. Our wonderful and talented board of directors is always active in recruiting new members, helping to foster a real community of marching enthusiasts. While we may not have the historical depth of CLASS, we make up for it through our accomplishments in FMA!"

I said earlier that I wanted to do my part to make FMA competitive. I truly believe that having a league other than CLASS that is successful and competitive is key. Back during my time here, FAME was a great league with fiery competitors. CLASS got the best of us the majority of the time, but those moments when we were triumphant will be remembered for the rest of our lives. We need that David taking down Goliath narrative for this site to be successful again. To all the new players, yes you can join CLASS and become a part of a rich established history. Or, you can become a part of the league that finally stops our reign of supremacy.

6. Do you have a message for your league about this upcoming season?
"To all of our member directors, I wish you good luck this season! May your rehearsals be productive and your shows entertaining!"

A special thank you to Mellophone21 for doing the interview. Drum Corps League is here to stay. Their championship takes place on November 25th. There are still slots open for eligible corps that are interested in joining. Lets support DCL and help it grow even more into a viable competitor.
Alexander Morales

The Panthers Drum and Bugle Corps- CLASS
Miramar Marching Mauraders- HOPE
FMA Hall of Fame Committee Co-Founder
FMA Commentator
Former FAME President
Director of everything InFinIte, Aurorain, IPA, and APA!