Drum Corps International World Class Finals 

When Drum Corps International call themselves "Marching Music's Major League," they aren't kidding. The spectacle of the whole thing is somewhere between a pro-sports event and a high school marching band competition. Though the spectacle was impressive, the musicianship was not. Of the nearly four hours of music I heard, I can count only a few musically brilliant moments. One of the most powerful of these was the ending to Santa Clara Vanguard's show. After drawing a standing ovation from the audience during their rendition of "Simple Gifts," the music seemed almost to disappear to nothing, a stunning effect as all the other corps ended their shows with loud in-your-face endings. The Blue Devils' show "1930" was picked by the judges as the winner, achieving the second highest score ever for a corps at 99.05. Their show was, to my eyes and ears, bland and not cohesive as a whole.

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