Great 'Fanfare' at Vets Stadium for Drum Corps Competition
Monday, Aug. 6
Imagine starting your day at 7 a.m. and going nonstop until 7 p.m. Imagine having to memorize pages upon pages of music and drill sheets within days, perfecting them within weeks. Imagine moving backwards, on the tips of your toes, using your peripherals to maintain a completely straight line with the other 20 people near you, while your lips and tongue and fingers work in concert, bawling out horn sounds loud enough to fill a stadium, while keeping in mind musicality, tempo and tone. Now add in the exhaustion of months of bus travel, as you traverse the country, unpacking, practicing drills in the dead heat of summer, 12 minutes of competition while covered head-to-toe in bulky wool, packing up again and back on the bus for whatever sleep you can manage.
This is drum corps, but more than that, this is dedication, passion, discipline and artistry, all rolled into one neat package that never, ever reveals to the audience the effort behind the magic on the field.
"I think the drum corps activity is the most unique one in the world," Ray Luniewski, contest co-chairman of the Lake Erie Fanfare Drum Corps International (DCI) competition, said. "The members learn how to work with each other, manage time, truly look out for each other and strive to achieve their goals."
Luniewski and his team have produced a stellar show in Veterans' Stadium this year, with major-name corps like the Cadets, who hail from Allentown, Pa. and have 10 world championship trophies, as well as the headlining corps Phantom Regiment, out of Rockford, Ill. They will be joined by six other corps who have been on the road all summer, plus a competition presentation by Erie's hometown senior corps, the Erie Thunderbirds, as members of the DCI all-age class.
The inclusion of an all-age class is a significant reminder that, in every other world or open class corps, the oldest marching members of these organizations are just 21. You read that correctly — the talent, the poise and the confidence you see on the field in competition is the work of young adults who are mostly below legal drinking age.
What's more, according to Luniewski, "The shows have definitely gotten more complex and demanding on the performers. And they have risen to the task admirably." — Cara Suppa
6:30 p.m. // Veterans Stadium, 26th and State // General Admission: $15 (see website for full ticket options) // lakeerieregiment.org/competitions