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It’s a hard corps life

Weber State hosted the “Corps Encore” for the eleventh time this July 12. The “Corps Encore” is a performance and competition between eight distinguished Drum and Bugle Corps. This event brought professional marching bands, or “corps,” to Weber State, as each one demonstrated their unique field show for this year.

“For those of you that have done it, no words needed. For those of you who haven’t, no words possible,” said Brendan Child, a former member of Utah’s very own Open Class Drum Corps, The Battalion.

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Drum Major Kylie Lincoln, upper-right, leading her drum corps, The Battalion. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

Members of the corps range in age from fourteen to twenty-one years old, with the average age around eighteen. Interestingly enough, there is an age limit for corps members of twenty-one years. After exceeding that age, members cannot reapply for the next year.

The corps begin rehearsing for their year’s field show around the month of May, and practice an intense schedule between twelve to fourteen hours each day, six or even seven days a week.

By mid-June, the corps start traveling and practicing six to seven hours every day. They often perform in parades and fundraising events, and also perform in competitions multiple times each week.

“It’s an art,” Child said, regarding why he chose to be a part of The Battalion corps last year. “We do it to be around people that share the same passions as we have, and that strive for a level of excellence… More than anything, it’s fun. Being a part of something bigger than yourself is always fun.”

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Precussionists of The Battalion, a Salt Lake City based drum corps and first band to play during the July 12 Corps Encore event.(Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

The events are not only performances, but also stiff competitions. In every event, the corps are given a score out of one hundred, one hundred being a perfect score. This score is broken up and determined by the quality of a corps’ execution of three areas: Music, Visual and General Effect.

Music and Visual have a total possibility of thirty points each, while General Effect has a possible total of forty points.

These scores are added up throughout the season until the Drum Corps International Championship, normally held in August. Each event is a new opportunity improve and pull ahead.

Wednesday’s victors of the World Class were the Blue Devils with 83.900 points, the Blue Knights in second place with 78.300 points and the Mandarins in third place with 74.300 points.

Utah’s own Open Class Drum Corps took first place in their category, receiving 57.700, just 0.400 points greater than the second-place finalist corps, the Columbians.

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