Drum Corps International
Drum Corps International logo
|Type||Association of Drum and Bugle Corps|
|No. of corps||45 (World & Open Class)|
|Chair, Board of Directors||Kathy Black|
|Executive Director||Dan Acheson|
|First champions||Anaheim Kingsmen (Open Class), 1972|
Drum Corps International (DCI) is a governing body for junior drum and bugle corps based in Indianapolis, Indiana. DCI is responsible for developing and enforcing rules of competition, and providing standardized adjudication at sanctioned competitions throughout the United States and Canada.
The competitive season traditionally begins in late-June and ends with the annual World Championship, usually the second week of August. The next World Championships is scheduled for August 8 – August 10, 2019 at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Open Class championships will be hosted at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana on August 5 – August 6, 2019.
DCI is not affiliated with the similarly named Drum Corps Associates (DCA), a governing body for all-age or senior drum and bugle corps. However, the two organizations have regularly engaged in strategic partnerships.
- 1 History
- 2 About
- 3 Active corps
- 4 Classification and adjudication
- 5 World Championships
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
In 1971, at the urging of then-director of The Cavaliers, Don Warren, and Troopers director, Jim Jones, the directors from Blue Stars, Madison Scouts, and Santa Clara Vanguard, partnered with each other to form what was called the "Midwest Combine". The Combine corps would market themselves to show promoters as a package.
This partnership was in reaction to perceived inflexibility of the American Legion and VFW, who were, at the time, the primary sponsors of competing drum corps, and who were also responsible for hosting the two high-prestige national championships.:47 Another source of contention was low-to-nonexistent appearance fees paid for to corps. Only corps who placed high at either of the national championships were paid any fees. Local show sponsors and promoters were also less generous, many compensating the winners of each competition and no others.:320
A group similar to the Combine had formed a year prior among corps based in the Northeast known as the "Alliance", or officially the United Organization of Junior Corps (UOJC). The Alliance members were: 27th Lancers, Garfield Cadets, Boston Crusaders, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, and Blue Rock.
Despite acrimony from the veterans associations, the Combine and the Alliance remained intact for the 1970 and 1971 competitive seasons. Following the 1971 VFW National Championships, the Alliance and Combine corps agreed to meet at the next American Legion Uniformed Group Rules Congress to discuss forming a new, independent, governing body.:321 Also invited to the meeting were the Anaheim Kingsmen, Argonne Rebels, and De La Salle Oaklands. Drum Corps International was founded by the thirteen corps on October 21, 1971.[a]
|DCI Founding Members|
|Midwest Combine (1971)||"Alliance" (1970–71)||Other Corps|
The inaugural DCI World Championship was hosted at Warhawks Stadium on the campus of University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. In attendance were 39 corps from fifteen states and one Canadian province. The Anaheim Kingsmen was crowned the first World Champions on August 18, 1972.
The Combine evolved into Drum Corps Midwest (DCM), and the Alliance into Drum Corps East (sometimes called Drum Corps Atlantic).[b] Both offered a regional circuit of competitions and regional championships prior to the "national tour" of DCI-sanctioned competitions. DCI expanded the "national" tour so it began earlier in season, and participation declined in non-DCI circuits, especially in DCM.
DCI is a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a board of directors, with an executive director responsible for day-to-day operations. The board of directors is composed of three representatives who are directors of member corps, and three at-large members who are not affiliated with any corps. The current chair of the board of directors is Kathy Black, and the current Executive Director is Dan Acheson.
Drum Corps Associates (DCA), a governing body for all-age or senior drum corps, and DCI are not affiliated, however the two organizations are strategic partners. Of note, DCI describes all-age corps as providing value to the drum corps activity, and permits all age corps to compete at sanctioned competitions.
As the self-styled "Marching Music's Major League", DCI's mission is to create an environment for participating corps "to engage in education, competition, entertainment, and the promotion of individual growth." The organization also emphasizes positive life-transforming experiences for all participants.
To become a DCI member, or to maintain membership, a corps must pass an evaluation by the board of directors. The evaluation requires corps to submit data on their financial health, fund raising capacity and income, participants, staffing, and explanations of their administrative structure. All corps are required to be 501(c)(3) organizations.
Once approved by the board, a new corps must achieve certain competitive requirements, such as attending World Championships. The corps must then be approved by a majority of other members at a meeting following World Championships, usually the annual rules congress later in the year.
All-age corps are ineligible for membership, but they may be qualify as a "touring" corps during a competitive season. International corps, or corps based outside the United States and Canada, are also ineligible for membership. However, an international corps that adopts DCI's regulations, specifically instrumentation and participant age limits, may also qualify as a touring corps in either Open or World Class.
DCI limits the age of participants to "21 years of age and younger." A participant who is 22 years before June 1 would be unable to compete. Some European and Asian drum corps associations have no age limit. Corps from those associations are allowed to compete at sanctioned competitions, and at World Championships in International Class.
Marketing and broadcasts
Individual drum corps derive a large part of their revenues from marketing their product, specifically memorabilia and souvenir sales. DCI derives income from ticket sales, and is the sole distributor of official media, such as championship DVDs and audio CDs. DCI is also the exclusive producer of all broadcasts of sanctioned competitions, including online streaming.
Since 2004, World Championship World Class prelims have been broadcast to movie theaters by Fathom Events under the title Big, Loud & Live.[d] In 2011, Fathom Events added the DCI Tour Premiere. DCI previously livestreamed a number of competitions throughout the season, including the entirety of World Championship, via the former "FanNetwork". FloSports engaged in a multi-year agreement to livestream select competitions via the FloMarching platform.
In 2013, DCI launched two new competitive musical activities for small groups: SoundSport and DrumLine Battle. These activities are not restricted by an age limit, nor do they have the same competitive requirements as drum corps. BANDtastic! began in 2014.
The stated goal of SoundSport is to provide a competitive performance experience in a low-cost, local setting. Musical ensembles of more than five members, using any musical instruments, perform a 5-7 minute marching music show in an area measuring 30 yards (27 m) × 20 yards (18 m).
Two SoundSport teams Guardians and Watchmen became an Open Class corps in the 2014. Southwind, inactive from 2007 to 2013, competed as a SoundSport team in 2014, and returned to competition an Open Class corps in 2015.
Intended for drumlines, or battery percussion ensembles with no wheeled percussion. Competing drumlines are staged in two competitive zones opposite each other, with each demonstrating their skills as an ensemble in alternating rounds of two minutes each. Adjudicators do not restrict their evaluation to technical proficiency, and include showmanship and audience reaction.
In 2014, E-Sarn from Thailand, competed in the DrumLine Battle held during World Championship week, defeating fifteen other competitors. River City Rhythm, from Anoka, Minnesota, also competed in 2014, becoming a touring corps in 2015.
BANDtastic is a program of middle school honor bands sponsored by DCI. The program originated in 2013 with the Indiana "INpact" honor band, organized in conjunction with World Championships. Similar groups have since been organized in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and most recently Minnesota.
The activities are held in conjunction with a local DCI competition, and World Class corps partner.
Classification and adjudication
DCI utilizes a single adjudication handbook with corps subdivided by size, and not skill level. A multi-tier classification and adjudication system was in use prior to 2008, with Division I and Division II/III utilizing different handbooks, while also being subdivided by size.
Currently, DCI groups corps from the US and Canada into two classes based on competitive level. Corps from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and anywhere other than the US and Canada are grouped into the International Class. Corps from all classes compete together but are ranked separately. In the past, classes have been fully or partially determined by the number of marching members in each corps; at present, all corps may march up to a maximum of one hundred fifty four (154) members.
World Class (formerly Division I) corps are the groups that have chosen to compete at the highest level and have proven to DCI leadership they have the ability to survive at this level both competitively and financially. The higher a corps is ranked at the DCI Championships, the higher the performance fees they will earn for the following season's performances.
Open Class (formerly Divisions II & III) corps are committed to a lesser competitive level and are generally smaller, although several corps have marched with maximum membership. In September 2007, DCI combined the former Divisions II and III into this new division.
International Class is for corps based outside the US and Canada who wish to compete at sanctioned competitions. Corps in this class are allowed to follow the guidelines of their national governing body, such as no age restrictions, and the use of woodwind instruments. International corps which abide by DCI rules would be eligible to compete as Open Class corps.
Historic classes and divisions
|Open Class||Open Class||Open Class||Open Class||Open Class||Division I||World Class|
|Class A||Class A||Class A||Class A||Division II||Open Class|
|All-Girl||Class A60||Class A60||Division III|
Source: 
- Open Class (1972–92) had a membership limit of 128.
- Class A generally had 90 members or fewer although the limit was 128.
- All-Girl Class was restricted to girls only: there was no equivalent all-boy class; the membership limit was 128.
- Class A60, and the later Division III, had a maximum of 60 members; a minimum of 30 members was added later.
- Division II had the same membership limit as Division I, but a generally lower level of competitive expertise.
- Prior to 2003, Division I was increased from 128 to 135.
- World Class, the current Open Class, and International Class all had a membership limit of 150 from 2007 through 2017.
- In 2018, the membership limit was increased to 154.
DCI's Adjudication Manual is based on three broad categories, Visual, Music and Effect. Visual and Music categories are further subdivided into three analysis captions. If more than one adjudicator is utilized in any caption, their scores are averaged before being factored.
|Music||Analysis (20) / 2||+||Brass (20) / 2||+||Percussion (20) / 2||=||30.00|
|Visual||Analysis (20) / 2||+||Proficiency (20) / 2||+||Color Guard (20) / 2||=||30.00|
|Effect||—||General Effect 1 (20)||+||General Effect 2 (20)||=||40.00|
|Timing & Penalties :||- 0.00|
All-age corps may request to be adjudicated using scoring sheets provided by DCA. Many All-age corps may compete exclusively at DCI sanctioned competitions prior to attending DCA World Championships, which is traditionally hosted Labor Day weekend.
DCI World Championships were historically held the third week of August. However, the second week of August has been the preferred date due to changes in academic schedules.[e]
The week-long championship have been hosted at college or professional sports arenas in eighteen U.S cities and Montreal. Since 2009, World Class Championships have been hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. On August 6, 2015, it was announced that the World Championships would remain in Indianapolis through 2028.
In 2009 and 2010, the Open Class preliminary competition was held at Ames Field in Michigan City, Indiana with Semifinals and Finals moving to Lucas Oil Stadium. In 2011, the entire Open Class competition moved to Ames Field, where it remained through 2018. In 2019, Open Class will relocate to the new (opened 2018) Wildcat Stadium at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana.
DrumLine Battle and SoundSport were added to the week's activities in 2014.
Individual & Ensemble
The Individual & Ensemble (I&E) festival is also hosted near the championship site. Participants from all member corps are eligible to compete demonstrating their ability on their preferred instrument, or as part of a small ensemble or instrument choir. Color guard and dance categories are also available.
In the 2005, I&E was expanded to include woodwind and vocal categories.
Below is a list of all World Championship winners by class.[A]
|Year||World Class (2008–present)
Division I (1992–2007)
Open Class (1972–91)
|Open Class (2008–present)
Division II (1992–2007)
Class A (1974–91)
|All-Girl (1975–82)||Division III (1992–2007)
Class A60 (1985–91)
|International [B] |
|1973||Santa Clara Vanguard
|1974||Santa Clara Vanguard (2)||—||—||—||—|
|Cadets of Greece
|St. Ignatius (2)||—||—|
|1977||Blue Devils (2)||Bengal Lancers
|St. Ignatius (3)||—||—|
|1978||Santa Clara Vanguard (3)||Black Watch [C]
|1979||Blue Devils (3)||Black Watch
|1980||Blue Devils (4)||Ventures [D]
|1981||Santa Clara Vanguard (4)||Southernaires
|Les Châtelaines (2)||—||—|
|1982||Blue Devils (5)||Dutch Boy
|Les Châtelaines (3)||—||—|
|1984||Garfield Cadets (2)||Florida Wave
|1985||Garfield Cadets (3)||Ventures (2)||—||St. Francis Xavier Sancians
|1986||Blue Devils (6)||Canadian Knights
|—||St. Francis Xavier Sancians (2)||—|
|1987||Garfield Cadets (4)||Ventures (3)||—||Mandarins
|1988||Madison Scouts (2)||L'Insolites
|—||Mandarins (2)||British Crusaders [E]|
|1989||Santa Clara Vanguard (5)||Ventures (4)||—||Blue Stars
|1990||Cadets of Bergen County (5)
(Formerly the Garfield Cadets)
|Ventures (5)||—||Academie Musicale
|West Coast Cadets|
|1991||Star of Indiana
|Southwind (2)||—||Mandarins (3)||SGI Fuji|
|1993||Cadets of Bergen County (6)||Carolina Crown
|—||Blue Stars (2)||Phoenix Regiment|
|1994||Blue Devils (7)||Pioneer
|—||Americanos||Pride of Bristol|
|1995||The Cavaliers (2)||Pioneer (2)||—||Academie Musicale
|1996||Blue Devils (8)
|Les Etoiles Dorion Vaudreuil
|—||Mandarins (4)||Yokohama Scouts|
|1997||Blue Devils (9)||Spartans
|—||Mandarins (5)||Pride of SOKA|
|1998||Cadets of Bergen County (7)||East Coast Jazz
|1999||Blue Devils (10)
Santa Clara Vanguard (6)
|—||Mandarins (7)||Yokohama Scouts (2)|
|2000||Cadets of Bergen County (8)
The Cavaliers (3)
|2001||The Cavaliers (4)||Mandarins
|—||Blue Stars (3)||Taipei Yuehfu (2)|
|2002||The Cavaliers (5)||Magic of Orlando
|Taipei Yuehfu (3)|
|2003||Blue Devils (11)||Esperanza
|—||Blue Stars (4)||—|
|2004||The Cavaliers (6)||Spartans [F] (3)||—||Oregon Crusaders
|2005||The Cadets (9)
(Formerly the Cadets of Bergen County)
East Coast Jazz [G]
|Taipei Yuehfu (4)|
|2006||The Cavaliers (7)||The Academy
|2007||Blue Devils (12)||Spartans (5)||—||Memphis Sound
|Yokohama Scouts (3)|
|2008||Phantom Regiment (2)||Vanguard Cadets (2)||—||—||Beatrix (2)|
|2009||Blue Devils (13)||Blue Devils B
|2010||Blue Devils (14)||Blue Devils B (2)||—||—||Strängnäs|
|2011||The Cadets (10)||Blue Devils B (3)||—||—||Yokohama Scouts (4)|
|2012||Blue Devils (15)||Oregon Crusaders
|Vanguard Cadets (3)||—||—||Taipei Yuehfu (5)|
|2014||Blue Devils (16)||Blue Devils B (4)||—||—||Patria|
|2015||Blue Devils (17)||Vanguard Cadets (4)||—||—||Jubal (2)|
|Blue Devils B (5)||—||—||—|
|2017||Blue Devils (18)||Vanguard Cadets (5)||—||—||The Company|
|2018||Santa Clara Vanguard (7)||Vanguard Cadets (6)||—||—||Jubal (3)|
- DCI does not announce de facto champions for classes not in competition.
- Prior to 1988, corps from outside North America competed against other Open or A class corps even if they did not meet the age limit requirements.
- The 1978 Class A Champions Black Watch was also known as Black Watch Highland Regiment.
- Ventures won the combined Class A/All-Girl Championship in 1980.
- In 1988, DCI co-sponsored the US tour of the Dagenham Crusaders, from Dagenham, United Kingdom. The corps competed in Open Class as the British Crusaders, due to the inclusion of participants from other British drum corps. The Crusaders were announced as the 1988 International Class Champions ahead of the Blue Eagles from Basildon, United Kingdom, who competed in Class A the same year.
- In 2004 and 2005, DCI hosted a combined Division II/III Grand Championship. Intended for the twelve highest scoring corps in Divisions II and III. Spartans won both the 2004 Division II Championship and Division II/III Grand Championship.
- In 2005, Spartans won the Division II Championship, and East Coast Jazz won the Division II/III Grand Championship.
Corps with multiple championships
Division II [f]
|Blue Devils||18||18 (2 ties)|
|The Cadets||10||10[g] (1 tie)|
|The Cavaliers||7||7 (1 tie)|
|Santa Clara Vanguard||7||7 (1 tie)|
|Blue Devils B||5||5|
|Spartans||5||5 (1 tie)|
|East Coast Jazz||2||1 (1 tie) + 1†|
|Phantom Regiment||2||2 (1 tie)|
|St. Francis Xavier Sancians||2||2|
† = East Coast Jazz tied for the 1998 Division II championship and won the 2005 Division II/III Grand Final.
- The American Legion Uniformed Groups Rules Congress was likely simultaneous with a meeting of the National Executive Committee, October 20–21, 1971. Several primary sources list the date as "November 1971", others disagree saying "October 1971".
- Drum Corps Midwest (DCM) was an independent association of drum corps, while Drum Corps East was operated by DCI.
- World Championship Open Class finals from 1975 to 1991, and Division I finals from 1992 to 2005.
- Prior to 2011, Open Class quarterfinals performances were broadcast. From 2011 onward, performances from the preliminary "all-skate" were broadcast.
- Drum corps are housed at middle schools and high schools over night, and often rehearse on school grounds prior to competitions.
- Including Division II/III Grand Championships.
- Four championship titles as the Garfield Cadets, three as the Cadets of Bergen County, and three as The Cadets.
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- "Rondinaro's 40th broadcast in the "Air Chair"". Drum Corps International Field Pass (Podcast). Drum Corps International. August 8, 2018. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- "Rules & FAQ - SoundSport®". SoundSport®. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
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- "Rules & FAQ - DrumLine Battle™". DrumLine Battle™. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
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- "BANDtastic! Honor Bands - DCI". www.dci.org. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- "INpact Indiana's Future Band". www.dci.org. April 19, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- "BANDtastic! Georgia Honor Band". www.dci.org. April 19, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Neff, Andrea (August 4, 2016). "BANDtastic Georgia brings middle schoolers to the drum corps scene". www.dci.org. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
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- "DCI Parents: Next Steps". www.dci.org. April 11, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
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- "Drum Corps International and City of Indianapolis announce 10-year contract extension". www.dci.org. August 6, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- "Open Class World Championship events relocating closer to Indy in 2019". Drum Corps International. November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- "Drum Corps International: Marching Music`s Major League". www.dci.org. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
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