By Michael Lark
On Monday night, the 40th anniversary of Drum Corps International (DCI) Dallas presented by the North Texas Festival of Drums and Bugles was hosted at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas. Despite heavy rainfall throughout the Dallas-Forth area, the festival avoided any weather interruptions with just light drizzle at sunset as the evening’s events kicked-off.
This year’s competition included nine drum and bugle corps from as far as Massachusetts, including seven corps from DCI’s World Class and two corps from Open Class. Formed in 1972, DCI is a nonprofit organization that features more than 3,500 exclusive students in performing arts from ages 13-22, involved in 48 corps across the US. The average age of corps members is 19.4 according to the organization’s website.
The DCI Dallas festival for Marching Music’s Major League, was headlined by two-time DCI World Champion Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois and returning 2015 DCI Dallas champion and 17-time DCI World and current Champion the Blue Devils from Concord, California.
One of the evening’s highlights came from the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps that featured 17-year-old North Texas native Anna Eberhart, who recently relished in viral fame after a July 6 Facebook video caught the keyboardist during a passionate performance of Quixotic, a tribute to Don Quixote of La Manche. The video, which captures Eberhard making some rather vicious and theatrical faces, has reached over 3.7 million views since it was posted to Facebook by DCI fan Mike O’Neil.
The Boston Crusaders finished sixth in the competition.
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After a thrilling night of competition, it was the Blue Devils who took home the DCI Dallas crown for the second-straight year after posting a score of 88.00 to edge out the Bluecoats who finished with a score of 87.60. Just days earlier, the Bluecoats defeated the Blue Devils at the DCI Southwestern Championship in San Antonio by just 0.713 points to claim their first DCI regional championship.
The Phantom Regiment, Blue Knights from Denver and the Crossmen from San Antonio rounded out the top five.
The 2016 DCI season has largely been dominated by the Bluecoats and the Blue Devils and has just two weeks remaining before the summer tour concludes with DCI World Championship Finals in Indianapolis on August 13.