Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps
|Uniform||Black jacket w/white left
sleeve & upper 1/4 of front,
Light blue baldrick/sash
Black shoes and socks
Black shako w/silver trim & badge
& black plume
The Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps is an Open Class (formerly Divisions II & III) competitive drum and bugle corps. Based in Pasco, Washington, the Columbians perform in Drum Corps International (DCI) competitions.
In the Fall of 2012, Dan Perry, who had been one of the founders of the Oregon Crusaders, and Shawn Anderson, an alumnus of the Seattle Cascades, reached out to Derek Munson, another Cascades alumni, about designing a website for a new drum corps they were forming in the Vancouver, Washington area, tentatively titled "The Ascent." Munson, who lives in Tri-Cities, Washington, spoke with Anderson a number of times about the viability of a drum corps in the Tri-Cities region, as the turn out to previous "Walk On Weekend" audition camps in the Vancouver area had been less than expected. Having worked with the local Drums Along The Columbia drum corps show and knowing the region's music and arts scene, Munson encouraged Anderson and Perry to contact Russ Newbury, who was then the band director at Pasco High School and had been an arranger for the Blue Knights.
After much discussion about the name of the corps, it was decided to name it after the original Tri-City Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps, which existed in the area from 1955 to 1975. Honoring the original corps and the region's rich drum corps history was key in getting the new corps off the ground. The name is based on the Columbia River which runs through the region and ties each of the three cities in the Tri-Cities — Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland — together into one metro area.
The new version of the Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps was officially founded on November 20, 2012. Assistance and a donation of some instruments came from Seattle's Northwest Youth Music Association, the sponsors of the Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps. Auditions and rehearsals began that November, and, over the following months, more than a hundred young people attended — some only to see what the activity was about, and others to become members.
Keeping costs low for members and keeping expenses for the corps down were major concerns for the corps' leadership; a short, regional performance season was their solution, giving their members the opportunity to have the drum corps experience without having to give up their entire summer. While also making several other appearances, the corps was entered in only four shows in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in 2013. The corps that marched the inaugural season included more than fifty members from the Tri-Cities, but also included members from as far away as Utah and Texas.
Originally an organization of the Cascades Foundation, the Columbians Drum and Bugle Corps is now sponsored by Friends of the Columbians, a 501 (c)(3) musical organization that has a Board of Directors, Corps Director, and Staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. Russ Newbury is the Executive Director and Kevin Clayton is the Corps Director.
Show Summary (2013–2015)
|2013||A River Runs
|Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky / October by Eric Whitacre / Dulaman (Traditional) / Original Music by Matthew Newbury|
|2014||Stardust||Jupiter Dance (based on a theme by Gustav Holst) / Vincent by Jeff Chambers / Coronation (from Stardust) by Ilan Eshkeri|
|2015||1942||Nocturne in E♭ by Frederic Chopin / Pavane by Gabriel Faure / Symphony #7 by Ludwig Van Beethoven /
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) by Louis Prima / America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward /
Symphony #5 by Ludwig Van Beethoven / Original Music by Jeff Chambers
At the end of each performance, the corps will exit the field and circle around a member of the staff (usually the Corps Director or Executive Director) for a debriefing on their performance — the "circling" effect being a subtle nod to whirlpools and swirls that naturally occur in a river's current.
At the end of a post-performance debriefing, or often at the end of rehearsals, the battle cry "Roll On!" can be heard being shouted by the entirety of the corps; this is in reference to the 1941 Woody Guthrie tune "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On," which was written by Guthrie as an ode to the power of the Columbia River as it cuts through the Pacific Northwest. In their 2015 program, show creator Jeff Chambers intentionally wrote in a brief two bar moment of silence, in which the crowd yells "Roll On!" as a way to energize the members for the final movement of the show.