August is nearly upon us, meaning the roaring engines of tractor trailers filled with drums, brass instruments and colorful, ornate uniforms will soon be rolling into Western New York followed by tour buses filled with the world’s most talented musical athletes to perform in the 14th annual Drums Along the Waterfront (DATW).
DATW will once again fill the skies over WNY with thundering drum beats and beautiful brass rhythms beginning at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8, at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. This year’s show has the makings of being the best DATW in its history and is being billed by many within the drum corps international community as one of the best drum corps competitions in North America this year. In addition, for the first time the internationally renowned U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corp will travel to WNY and make a special appearance in this year’s event. A tribute to area veterans and service members will coincide with the performance.
Join thousands of drum and bugle corps enthusiasts on Aug. 8 and prepare to be fully entertained as the world’s best drum and bugle corps perform music in motion this summer in the area’s only Drum Corp International (DCI) sanctioned event. DATW will feature seven of the world’s best drum and bugle corps, including the world-renowned Blue Devils from Concord, CA, who will make their second straight appearance at the competition after having such a great experience competing and winning the event last year. The famous corps has finished in the top five in the world for the last 27 years and has won the DCI World Championships an unprecedented 13 times, and are the reigning 2009 World Champions. Billed as the best of the best in drum corps because of their consistent domination of the competitions, the Blue Devils will dazzle the crowd with their mastery of synchronized formations and their unparalleled musical talent.
Joining the Blue Devils at this year’s show is the acclaimed U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, which is the only full-time active duty drum corps in the United States Armed Forces. The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps consists of 85 active-duty Marines dressed in ceremonial red and white uniforms. Its origins date back to the 18th and 19th centuries when military musicians provided a means of passing commands to Marines in battle. The sound of various drum beats and bugle calls that could be heard over the noise of the battlefield signaled Marines to attack the enemy or retreat.
The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps “The Commandant’s Own” was formally established in 1934 at the historic Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., and was primarily used for military and presidential events. In the early 1950s, the unit gained considerable acclaim when it began performing for civilian audiences. Today the corps can be found touring the nation and participating in some of the countries most prestigious parades.
“This year’s event is going to be a show stopper, featuring the best drum corps in the world competing in what has become one of the favorite stops on the Drum Corp International competitive tour,” states Jack Gaylord Jr., president, Drums Along the Waterfront Inc. “Besides having the world famous Blue Devils returning this year to defend their 2009 DATW title, for the first time the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps will take part in the show and excite the crowd with their flawless performance and fill the stadium with pride and patriotism as they salute U.S. veterans for their sacrifices.”
Other world-class corps competing in the event include: top world title contender, Boston Crusaders (Boston, MA), Troopers (Casper, WY), The Academy (Tempe, AZ), Cascades (Seattle, WA), Spirit (Atlanta, GA) and Pioneer (Milwaukee, WI). In exhibition will be the Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Corps (LeRoy, NY), Preston Scout House Alumni Corps (Brand, ON),The Toronto Optimists Alumni Corps (Toronto, ON), and the five-time DCA Champion Empire Statesmen (Rochester, NY), which features three WNY residents and one University at Buffalo student.
Returning after rave reviews from its debut last year is Show Day with the Blue Devils, presented by the Blue Devils System Blue Live Events, which is a must attend special event for any drum corps enthusiast or area band member. Fans and musicians alike have an opportunity to attend the Blue Devil’s warm-ups, rehearsals, pre-show preparation and rituals and learn what it takes to perform at the highest level of the sport. Admission to Show Day with the Blue Devils is free with a DATW ticket and includes a Blue Devil gift and dinner.
“Drums Along the Waterfront is one of the most competitive and entertaining drum corps competitions on our schedule every year, and this year’s show may be the best to date,” stated Dan Acheson, executive director, DCI. “One of the reasons why this event is one of the preeminent competitions of the year and one that all the best corps want to come to it is because of the amazing atmosphere of competing at Ralph Wilson Stadium and the incredible fans that come to the event every year.”
The drum and bugle corps are independent, not-for-profit youth groups. Each corps includes approximately 150 members, aged 16 to 21, playing brass and percussion, and color guard dancers. These musical athletes travel more than 10,000 miles throughout the summer to showcase their talent and compete against other drum and bugle corps.
Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased at the Ralph Wilson Stadium Box Office or at any Ticketmaster.com location. If purchased in advance, ticket price is $22 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under, and $20 for students, military veterans and those 65 and older. Tickets are $25 for adults when purchased the day of the event. Discounts for large groups are available, and parking is free. For more information regarding the event, please visit www.drumsalongthewaterfront.org.
Drums Along the Waterfront, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is an educational, promotional and service arm of the youth drum and bugle corps activity in Western New York. DATW’s mission is to promote, develop and preserve the operation and artistic standards of the competitive musical sport, while organizing and providing leadership for the activity.
YouTube video of Drum Corp International sanctioned drum and bugle corps events:
YouTube video of USMC Drum and Bugle Corps: