Drum Corps Associates
Drum Corps Associates logo
|Type||Drum and Bugle Corps|
|Location|| United States
(first championship in 1965)
|No. of corps||21|
|Current champions||Open Class: Cadets2
Class A: Cincinnati Tradition
Drum Corps Associates (DCA) is the non-profit governing body for modern senior, or all-age, drum and bugle corps in North America. It is the counterpart of Drum Corps International (DCI) which governs junior drum corps. It sanctions competitions during the summer season, certifies the judges for its competitions, maintains and enforces the rules of the DCA activity, and conducts its annual championship during the Labor Day weekend. The organization is headquartered in South Orange, New Jersey. The current president is Allen Buell.
DCA was formed in 1964 by several senior corps from the Northeastern United States that were seeking to establish a more formal competition format than the then-current haphazard collection of unrelated contests. The organization sponsored its first show that season with the New York Skyliners, Reading Buccaneers, Yankee Rebels, Interstatesmen, and Pittsburgh Rockets competing in Waverly, New York. The following year, the circuit sponsored contests on 11 Saturdays, beginning in June and ending with the 1st DCA Championship in Milford, Connecticut on September 11. The initial championship was attended by the five corps that had appeared in the first DCA show in 1964 and the Connecticut Hurricanes and was won by the Reading Buccaneers, the first of that corps record 13 titles.
In 1966, the championship grew to 10 corps and included its first Canadian corps. Through the years, many corps have participated, some frequently, some only once or a few times before disappearing from the scene in the ever-changing lineup of active corps. From 1968 through the present day, every championship but one has been attended by at least fourteen corps, with a high of 26 in 2005. Although the majority of corps have come from the Northeast U.S., a number of Canadian corps have competed and gained DCA membership. Corps from the Midwest have been attending since 1970, and in recent years, there has been an influx of corps from the South. DCA has had member corps from Colorado and California, and corps from Great Britain and Germany have come to the U.S. to compete.
In 1997, DCA introduced Class A for smaller corps (generally, fewer than 50 members). In 2001, a championship was begun for the even smaller minicorps; with some units being corps in and of themselves, while others are subsets of larger corps.
Originally, the corps in DCA were referred to as "senior corps." This was in contrast to the "junior corps" of DCI, which have an "age-out" limit of 22 years of age, while some DCA corps have had members marching into their seventies and eighties. In recent years, the term "all-age corps" has come into use, as corps no longer honor the DCI "age-out" as a lower limit, allowing teenagers to march alongside their elders. This has seen some corps march members of two or three generations of the same family at the same time.
- NOTE 1 = The New York Skyliners that won the Open Class championship in 1966, '71 & '75 and the Skyliners that won the Class A title in 1999 & 2002 are the same organization.
- NOTE 2 = The Sunrisers that won the Open Class championship six times is the same organization that won the Class A title in 2007.
- A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vols. 1 & 2; Steve Vickers; Drum Corps World; 2002 & 2003