2016 DCI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP
Thursday, August 11 began an incredible weekend of drum and bugle corps competition as all of the top DCI teams met in Indianapolis to face-off for the 2016 title. The prelim round gave a taste of what to expect as the competition was fierce this year. All 37 corps in attendance stepped up their game with outstanding music and elegant pageantry making 2016 the most entertaining but difficult year to score yet.
The Blue Coats, from Canton, OH scored the highest in corps history in the prelim round with a score of 97.225 and would continue to dominate throughout the rest of the competition. The 2014 and 2015 champion Blue Devils from Concord, CA trailed by 0.625 points with a score of 96.600 – the largest gap between the two corps this season. But the Blue Devils did take first place in the visual caption.
Rounding out the top 25, Carolina Crown (3rd, 96.263) was second in the visual caption over the Bluecoats and second in music over the Blue Devils. Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 94.300), the Cadets (5th, 93.475), and the Cavaliers (6th, 93.213) finished in the top 6. Blue Knights (7th, 90.925), Phantom Regiment (8th, 90.600) and Blue Stars (9th, 89.975) finished closely together, all divided by less than a point.
Looking to make finals for the first time, The Academy (11th, 87.150) kept themselves in the running, with a 1.462-point lead over the Madison Scouts (12th, 85.688). With their show, “Quixotic,” The Boston Crusaders came out with a strong performance to put them in position for a strong semifinal round (13th, 84.900). Troopers (14th, 83.438) were next followed by the open class champion Blue Devil B (15th, 82.650).
Completing the top 25 who advanced to the semifinal round were Colts (16th, 82.575), Mandarins (17th, 81.000), Oregon Crusaders (18th, 79.900), Pacific Crest (19th, 78.775), Vanguard Cadets (20th, 78.688), Spirit of Atlanta (21st, 77.500), and Seattle Cascades (22nd, 76.388). Legends (23rd, 75.975), Genesis (24th, 73.300) and Spartans (25th, 73.125) led the next pack of Open Class corps that all advanced to Semifinals on Friday.
As the rain began to fall in Indy, the tension began to heat up inside Lucas Oil Stadium. All of the groups were on-par as the competition intensified. After the initial round, it appeared that the World Champion Blue Devils were in danger of being dethroned as the Blue Coats (1st, 97.263) scored ahead of the Blue Devils (2nd, 96.988) in the semifinal round. Carolina Crown (3rd, 96.925), and Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 94.888) stayed steady in their positions while the “Green Machine” Cavaliers (5th, 93.775) and Cadets (6th, 93.225) swapped positions from prelims. Blue Knights (7th, 91.625), Phantom Regiment (8th, 89.763) and Blue Stars (9th, 89.475) finished in identical placements from prelims. The Crossmen (10th, 87.650) had a strong performance marking their third-straight final appearance. And making it to the World Class finals for the first time were The Academy (11th, 87.225) from Tempe, AZ.
Going into Semifinals, the Boston Crusaders (12th, 85.525) were in serious danger of missing finals for the first time in 17 years. But with a wink in their eye and a pep in their step, they performed their best show of the season. Called the comeback of the decade, the biggest upset of the night came when the Crusaders jumped into the last Finals-night spot at the expense of the Madison Scouts (13th, 85.263). Madison held a 0.788-point lead on Boston after the Prelims and fell out of the top-12 for the first time since 2009 and just the fourth time since 1973.
While the monsoon continued outside of Lucas Oil Stadium, over 22,000 fans of drum corps descended on Indianapolis as the excitement of finals built. The atmosphere was charged and the crowd was primed for a spectacular evening of entertainment.
All of the corps who reached the final round gave everything they had on the field for their final performances. As the Blue Devils have dominated the past 6 of the last 10 years, the Blue Coats pushed ahead and brought home their very first DCI World Championship title with the Blue Devils receiving 2nd place. The Blue Coats are only the 10th corps to have their name affixed to the Founders Trophy in the 44 years of DCI’s existence.
Carolina Crown not only received 3rd place with its score of 97.088, they took home the George Zingali Award for Best Color Guard, the John Brazale Best Visual Performance Award, and the Jim Ott Best Brass Performance Award.
The season ended on a high note for the Boston Crusaders. According to drum major Mark Hambleton, 2016 has been “one giant rollercoaster ride” for the corps that ended with a 12th-place finish and a score of 84.800. “Our corps is one of great resilience over the years,” Hambleton said. “We have a tradition of never dying, even when the odds are all against us. Even when everyone else around us told us we couldn’t do it, we knew we could, and obviously, perseverance led us to where we are today.”
And as the dust settles from Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis, all of us at Band Shoppe would like to give a HUGE congratulations to all of the talented music athletes and dancers who took the field on August 11th through August 13th for the 44th annual DCI World Championships! You all looked and sounded fantastic, all of your hard work was evident in the extraordinary shows presented over the course of those three days.
Band Shoppe also would like to thank all of the volunteers and support staff who devote their time and energy to make DCI World Championships happen. Your hard work is what makes this all happen!
Thank you for a wonderful season! We look forward to next year and Drum Corps International’s historic 45th anniversary.