OGDEN — Get ready for some drum beating fun.

Corps Encore takes place at Weber State University’s Stewart Stadium on Thursday, July 7,  with 10 drum and bugle corps performing and competing, including — for the first time — Utah’s own Battalion.

“Corps Encore is Utah’s premier marching music event and this is the first year Battalion out of Salt Lake City will be with us so we’re very excited about that,” said GM Kuzma, chief operations officer for Ascend Performing Arts in Denver, which stages the show. “Every summer, we present a variety of competitive junior drum and bugle corps from all over North America and they always stop in Utah during their national tours in preparation for the Drum Corps International World Championships.

Dallin Hatch, executive director of Battalion, said up until now, kids wanting to participate in drum corps had to go outside of the state.

“They were really being robbed of the opportunity to participate so in 2014 Battalion was founded and organized,” Hatch said. “We’ve spent two years preparing for competition and because we’re nonprofit we’ve held fundraisers to help get uniforms and things like that.”


• WHAT: Corps Encore

• WHEN: 7 p.m. July 7; gates open at 6:30 p.m.

• WHERE: Stewart Stadium, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Weber State University

• ADMISSION: $20-$30; ascendperformingarts.orgweberstatetickets.com 

Battalion has 103 members so far; Davis High School student Octavio Ruiz is one of them.

“This is really special for me to be part of,” Ruiz said. “When I was a sophomore we went to a Western regional competition and Battalion was just getting started. They had a uniform on display and some information about it. I glanced at it and then gave them my email and that’s when it all started for me.”

Ruiz, who will be a senior this fall, said he became interested in music during his sixth-grade year at Farmington Junior High School.

“They had some people come in with a whole bunch of different instruments. I tried the flute and the clarinet and it just didn’t work for me, but then I tried the trombone and loved it.”

Ruiz will be playing the euphonium during Corps Encore, which is a valved brass musical instrument that looks much like a small tuba.

“I’m excited because we will have some melody in Corps Encore, but we usually are the ones who support the tubas,” Ruiz said.

• Story continues below video 

Other performing groups this year come from Washington, Oregon, California and Colorado. Kuzma said performers range in ages 16 to 21.

The Ogden event will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a parade down Historic 25th Street. Activities move to the Ogden Amphitheater and then up to Stewart Stadium.

“This is not your typical marching band show,” Kuzma said. “This is considered professional-level excellence of the highest caliber when it comes to a field production of a marching band. We have some amazing performers this year including the Blue Devils, who have been crowned the best of the best.”

Corps Encore competitors

Battalion — Salt Lake City

Blue Devils — Concord, California

Blue Knights — Denver

Cascades — Seattle

Columbians — Pasco, Washington

Gold — Oceanside, California

Golden Empire — Bakersfield, California

Oregon Crusaders — Portland, Oregon

Santa Clara Vanguard —  Santa Clara, California

Thunder — Veradale, Washington

Kuzma said tickets are selling fast and estimates more than 5,000 will be in attendance. Community members can also attend the Blue Knights rehearsals from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at Stewart Stadium free of charge.

“We have another event in conjunction to Corps Encore which is new this year. It’s called the Spark Ideas Conference and is part of our educational series,” Kuzma said.

Kuzma said the conference is designed for music and band instructors as well as college students. Topics will include ways to make your band look great, electronics and sound design, and music ensemble techniques. The conference will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Browning Performing Arts Center on the Weber State campus; for ticket information, visit the Spark Ideas website.

Ascend Performing Arts has been around since 1958, Kuzma said, and is a multifaceted, youth performing-arts organization dedicated to elevating life performance through the pursuit of excellence.

Although Corps Encore is a performance as well as a competition, Hatch said it doesn’t serve as an advancement to a different competition. Instead, a panel of judges give feedback and ideas on how to improve your show.

“But we each only get one shot. Each group performs between eight and 11 minutes,” he said.

Ruiz said being involved in music has changed him for the better.

“You gain a ton of different characteristics and it definitely makes you a more responsible person in so many ways, especially when a whole group of people depend on you,” he said. “This is just going to be an awesome show. We want the whole world to know what’s going on here in Utah.”

July 7 Corps Encore events

• 11:30 a.m. — Parade on Ogden’s Historic 25th Street

• Noon — Drum Corps Exhibition: The Battalion Drum & Bugle Corps, at Ogden Amphitheater, 343 Historic 25th St.

• 12:15 p.m. — Wasatch Mountain Drum Battle with local competitors begins at Ogden Amphitheater 

• 1:15 p.m. — Wasatch Drum Battle ends

• 3:30 p.m. — Open rehearsal of Blue Knights at Stewart Stadium, WSU, 3848 Harrison Blvd. (free)

• 5 p.m. — Run-through of Blue Knights show in stadium

• 5:30 p.m. — Stadium doors open

• 6:30 p.m. — Corps Encore opening ceremonies

• 10 p.m. —  Scores announced


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