Against the picturesque backdrop of the Wasatch Mountains, over a thousand youth will gather with their brass, percussion and flags for one of the biggest drum corps events in the country.
Corps Encore is back, with seven different corps bringing fierce competition to Weber State University’s Stewart Stadium July 8. Some of the world’s top non-professional marching bands will make their presence felt, and heard all day long.
Michael Tran, tour director for the Seattle Cascades, said his group just finished putting together its show last week, and is busy rehearsing for Corps Encore.
“I think the best thing about going to a drum corps show or watching drum corps live is that you can literally feel the music,” he said. “At the beginning of our show we start playing back field and then we turn around and just play really loud and you can literally feel the sound hit you.”
Although that visceral feeling can be hard to describe, Tran said that’s one thing that really draws people to the event.
“You can feel the performers just putting everything they’ve got into the performance and it’s pretty mesmerizing,” he continued. “Corps Encore is one of our favorite shows because of the backdrop of the mountains and all that.”
Corps Encore in Ogden serves as one of the fiercest pit stops on the tour to the Drum Corps International championships held in Indianapolis at the end of the season in August, according to George Lindstrom, an event manager for the Blue Knights of Denver.
Lindstrom said the competition is so intense in Ogden because many different states and corps are represented. He said the Blue Knights have been practicing 12 hours a day, seven days a week since late May.
“Our show this year is called ‘Because,’ and it opens with a Beatles tune, ‘Because.’ A lot of the other music is all original done by our arranger,” Lindstrom said. “It’s a different kind of approach than most of the corps have had. So far it’s been received very well.”
Tran said The Cascades’ show is also “pretty special,” and features a surprise ending.
“Near the end of our show we have a little intergalactic jam. I can’t really say too much about it, but it’s going to be pretty hip-hoppy, pretty modern,” he said. “I think it’s going to be one of the best moments of the activity this year. It should be fun.”
Many spectators attend the event for the music of course, but also the theatrics and grandeur brought to the stadium by each corps.
“I think the unique thing about our organization is that we don’t focus on just marching, as many other drum corps do, we like to focus on a lot of movement, a lot of dance,” Tran continued. “It’s almost turning into kind of a pageantry, theater art from what we’re putting together.”
Each of the seven competing corps consists of no more than 150 members. The corps, complete with colorguard, percussion and brass instruments, will hit Weber State at 7 p.m. A parade is also planned for downtown Ogden at 11:30 a.m.
Impulse, a corps hailing from Buena Park, California, will be the featured corps in the downtown Ogden parade. The route starts at Union Station, and will follow Historic 25th Street to the Municipal Gardens on the corner of Washington Boulevard.
Lindstrom said right after the parade, a preliminary drum battle featuring drumlines from local junior high and high schools will also take place downtown. This will be the second annual Wasatch Mountain Drum Battle.
“It will be a full day of music,” Lindstrom said. “Those lines compete at the beginning of show in kind of a finals situation and then we select one of those five to be the champion. This year I have no idea who is going to win.”
Contact reporter Raychel Johnson at 801-625-4279 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @raychelNEWS.
- WHAT: Corps Encore
- WHEN: 7 p.m. July 8
- WHERE: Weber State University’s Stewart Stadium, 4100 South Taylor Ave., Ogden
- TICKETS: $22-33; http://weberstatetickets.com; information, 801-626-6000