Marching Arts

Drum Corps In The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Every year, millions of people watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, either in person in New York City, on TV, or, in a thoroughly modern way, on the Internet. Some watch for the Broadway performances prior to the start of the parade at Macy’s. Others watch for the balloons and floats. Some of you may even watch for the pop stars who “sing” when they reach Macy’s (really, does anybody watch for lip syncing?). I, and many of my friends, however, watch for the only guaranteed LIVE performances at the parade – the marching bands and, in some years, the drum and bugle corps invited to march the parade each year.

When it comes to drum corps in the Macy’s parade, it is always a standout experience. Their performances are either bigger, louder, or both. One of those performances may be one of the few times where Willard Scott was left speechless, so you know it was also overwhelming. Every time, though, a drum corps in the Macy’s parade is guaranteed to be entertaining.

Our first example is also the most recent – 2014 and the Madison Scouts. When the Scouts do Macy’s, they do it BIG. As you can see from the video, over 300 brass, percussion, and guard members joined forces from both the 2014 membership and from the previous 75 years of the corps’ history. The above video does not do the corps justice since they don’t start playing until the camera is past half the group. Fortunately, another parade viewer and Scouts fan recorded the performance on their TV.

In 2005, it was another drum corps with a long and storied history who made their appearance in the parade. The Cadets, coming off their 10th DCI world championship, capped off their ’05 season by reprising one of their hits from the 90s, Swing, Swing, Swing.

We go back to the 90s with our next two examples, both of which were, literally all-star performances. In 1991 and 1994, multiple regional drum corps associations, both junior and senior, sent their best performers as a unit to perform in New York. For 1991, the performers came from DCI, DCA, DCM, ODCA, EMASS, DCNY, and FMAQ, covering just about every region on this side of the Mississippi. This was the performance where the commentators, including Willard Scott, literally could not say anything as the corps left the performance area because of how loud they were.

Three years later, DCA and DCE got the corps back together for another all-star experience. While there were less organizations involved, it was just as loud and powerful as it was in ’91, though this time Willard was able to introduce the next group as the all-star corps left the performance area.

Of course, there have been other drum corps in the Macy’s parade, but they, for the most part, pre-date the parade on TV or, at least, people owning VCRs. Still, we get to enjoy these performances and, hopefully, many more in the future.

2018-11-22 UPDATE: Facebook user Steve Hodousek found footage of the Hawthorne Caballeros performing in the 1972 Macy’s parade! Thank you, Steve! The Cabs are at 47:52 in the video.

Show Review

2018 Summer Music Games In Cincinnati Review

My review of the 2018 Drum Corps International Summer Music Games in Cincinnati show is now available to read in the July 2018 edition of Drum Corps World!

Show review

I also provided LIVE! From the Stands commentary about the show in the Drum Corps Planet forums. You can check out my comments and discussions with fellow fans for a more as-it-happened perspective of the performances

LIVE! From the Stands discussion thread

Finally, you can view photos I took of the performing corps on my SmugMug account.

Photo gallery

Marching Arts

DCP/DCW COVERAGE – 2018 Summer Music Games in Cincinnati

The 2018 Gadget Drum Corps Tour continues, heading to Southwest Ohio with the 2018 Drum Corps International Summer Music Games in Cincinnati! It all takes place at Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium on the campus of William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, this Monday, June 25th! The fun begins at 7:00pm with Cincinnati Tradition performing at 7:15pm. I will be in the stands to provide my LIVE coverage of the show, featuring:

Cincinnati Tradition – Cincinnati, OH
Pioneer – Milwaukee, WI
Madison Scouts – Madison, WI
Crossmen – San Antonio, TX
Phantom Regiment – Rockford, IL
Bluecoats – Canton, OH
Boston Crusaders – Boston, MA
Carolina Crown – Fort Mill, SC

I hope to see you at the show or online!

Marching Arts

An Evening Of Big Band Jazz & Funk Benefiting The Madison Scouts

Al Chez is well-known for playing trumpet over 25 years on “Late Night” (NBC) and “The Late Show with David Letterman” (CBS). He is the second-longest network TV trumpet player after Doc Severinsen, with over 2,800 shows.

He toured with Tower of Power, Bon Jovi, Robert Cray, Young Rascals, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Maynard Ferguson, Eric Clapton, Dave Edmunds Band, Ben E King, Sam & Dave, among others. Forming his own band in 2008, he continues touring as well as giving back to students through band and drum corps clinics.

Show Review

2012 DCI Muncie Fan Network Webcast Review

DCI Fan Network subscribers got a treat as the DCI Muncie show was added to the live broadcast schedule as a special bonus. Both fans in the stands and Fan Network viewers were fortunate that the show even happened as the weather tried to double whammy the show into submission, first by delaying the show start an hour due to extreme heat, then by sending a severe storm system right through the heart of Indiana, causing damage throughout the Muncie area and even sending a Cavalier staff member to the hospital due to injuries sustained when a gust of wind hit the staff scaffolding as they were dismounting it. The show did go on, though, complete with the sun shining in full force as it set behind the stands of the stadium at the start of the show. The Muncie show was the last event of the 2012 Music For All Summer Symposium, so the crowd was definitely ready to cheer for every corps performing tonight.

Marching Arts

CNN.COM – Top Five Drum Corps Shows Of All Time

Yes, you read that right. CNN’s website posted a video with clips of what Halftime Magazine recently declared the five most influential drum corps shows of all time.

Show Review

2010 DCI Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Competition LIVE Coverage!

It’s half over, but I’m up in the press box, covering tonight’s DCI show in Massillon, Ohio. Check out my coverage on Drum Corps Planet, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. You can also see the photos I’m taking on my Picasa page.