2018 DCI World Championships: Marching Music at Its Best

Mike Lawson • Percussion • August 30, 2018

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With its usual flair, the 2018 Drum Corps International World Championship Finals once again delivered incredible energy and excitement with seemingly endless memorable moments.

After a spectacular season filled with solid attendance across the country, a new major regional competition, and new performance venues, DCI World Championships Week in Indianapolis met and exceeded expectations across the board.

Not only did Lucas Oil Stadium see days of new records in attendance, it also provided the backdrop for the best performances of the year for the thousands of performers who make up the DCI community. 2018 has certainly been a year to remember.

Open Class Distinction

Repeating their first-place finish from 2017, the Vanguard Cadets proved that they were still the ones to beat after a highly competitive season in DCI’s Open Class division. Adding to their gold-medal finish, the Santa Clara, California corps also earned top honors on the judges’ scoresheets in the general effect, brass, and percussion captions.

It was the first back-to-back win for an Open Class corps since Blue Devils B won three consecutive years from 2009-2011.

While taking its second straight silver medal behind the Vanguard Cadets, Blue Devils B won the color guard and visual performance captions. The Concord, California corps also posted its 11th straight top-two finish. New to the top ranks in Open Class, San Diego-based Gold made history by earning the bronze medal along with the award for Most Improved Open Class corps.

World Class Excellence

In a year of close margins all summer long, Santa Clara Vanguard came into the World Championship Prelims competition in Indianapolis as the solid leader on way to earning a gold medal for the first time since 1999. Their presentation of the highly creative “Babylon” also won top caption honors in brass, percussion, visual, and general effect.

The Blue Devils earned their 12th-consecutive top-two finish, winning their fifth silver medal in that stretch with their show, “Dreams and Nighthawks.”

Close behind were the Bluecoats with “Session 44” – a show filled with jazz classics that thrilled the crowd night after night and earned the Canton, Ohio corps the bronze medal. It marked the fourth top-three medalist finish for the corps in the last five years, and the third bronze medal finish in the corps’ history. “Beast” earned Carolina Crown 4th place honors, and Boston Crusaders returned to the top five for the first time since 2002 and posted the highest score in the corps’ 78-year history. Its presentation of “S.O.S.” also earned the organization its first George Zingali Award for Best Color Guard Performance.

Rounding out the top six, The Cavaliers from Rosemont, Illinois enjoyed their fourth top-six finish in the past five years with their production, “On Madness and Creativity.”

The Cadets, Blue Stars, and Blue Knights came in at 7th, 8th, and 9th followed by the Mandarins from Sacramento, California, who soared through the Prelims and Semifinals to earn their first appearance in Finals, ultimately finishing 10th – the corps’ highest placement and best-ever score in DCI’s World Class division. Phantom Regiment increased its streak of top-12 Finals appearances to 45, finishing in 11th place, while San Antonio’s Crossmen earned 12th place with the corps’ sixth Finals appearance in seven years.

The Best of the Best

As always, throughout the week, the performers gave their all to the live audiences, the fans across the country in movie theaters, and to those watching the competition unfold online. Over three days of competition, the 2018 World Championships in Indianapolis proved to be one of the most viewed, best competitions ever.

So, the set the stage is already set for DCI in 2019. Come be a part of Marching Music’s Major League!

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