Gearing Up for #dci2019

Mike Lawson • Percussion • April 10, 2019

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Weekend rehearsal camps are in full swing and spring training is just a month away. Drum Corps International ensembles all over the country are putting together incredible new productions for their upcoming summer tours, preparing to wow audiences at more than 100 live events at stadium venues across the country.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to make it all happen.

Champion Caliber Preparation

For the reigning World Champion Santa Clara Vanguard, getting ready for the season means many things – weekly design team calls, meetings with Stanbury Uniforms in Missouri, and visiting the corps’ prop manufacturer in North Carolina. It also means staff training, logistics planning, and much more.

Santa Clara Vanguard CEO Charles Frost explained, “Right now, we’re putting together the game plan for spring training. One of the most important parts of that is working with corps members on leadership and self-development as part of their personal preparation for the season.”

In addition to the customary physical conditioning and instrumental proficiency exercises, a very interesting part of Vanguard’s season preparation involves individual reading and group discussions. The program began last year with a study of Jon Gordon’s The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy, which focused the performing corps members on creating the positive thinking that leads to true accomplishment.

The group activity was so successful in 2018 that it’s a part of the training program again this year. Corps members are currently studying Gordon’s The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate, delving into how to be the best teammate possible while building a hard-working, competitive ensemble.

While reading and discussing books might seem like an unusual thing to do as part of the preparations for marching music performance, the process takes corps members on a journey of self-examination and creates continuity of purpose. It’s about creating a great learning environment.

Frost explained, “We like to pull everybody together through these group discussions. It really helps define a positive culture and focus the drum corps members for the season.”

Engaging in this process is something Frost recommends to all marching performance organizations – high schools and drum corps alike.

Getting the Show on the Road

While the individual organizations are rehearsing and planning, the team at Drum Corps International’s headquarters in Indianapolis is hard at work preparing as well – finalizing venues, assisting tour event partners with planning their individual events, and working with corps on planning logistics for their tour stops – everything from gas stations available for buses and travel trailers, to the best places to buy food supplies and available laundry facilities.

The 52-day summer season requires an enormous amount of coordinating resources to make every single DCI Tour event a reality for audiences nationwide.

Make Your Plans!

Start planning for the sights and sounds of 2019 now. Be a part of the action from the very beginning by taking a group to your local movie theater to see the DCI Tour Premiere broadcast live from Detroit on Thursday, June 20. To see the DCI Tour live, tickets to many of the most popular events are already on sale through the DCI box office and Ticketmaster. Visit to view the complete tour schedule, to find info on group discounts, and to order your tickets today. Get ready for the drum corps, because they’re getting ready for you!

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