There are three specific moments in the drum corps season that I live for the most. They include seeing each show for the first time (and ultimately their interpretation and design) and DCI Finals but my favorite time of the season? The preseason – when show announcements start rolling out. My imagination kicks into overdrive thinking through how a corps might interpret a theme or use the announced repertoire. You already know what a design nerd I am, so this really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
One thing I do seemingly every year is to listen to the music they announced. I listen for their potential. Their potential musicality and how it might apply to visual design. I have started a ranking of the corps repertoires based on that potential. As we approach the DCI premier, these rankings can certainly change as we await announcements from Santa Clara Vanguard, The Cavaliers, Bluecoats and the Blue Knights.
I have certainly been pleasantly surprised by what a corps can do once they put their mind to it (looking at you Bluecoats). So arrangements, talent and how they interpret their musical selections visually obviously all matter. So this ranking shouldn’t be construed as a prediction for how I see corps placing at the end of the summer. This is only based on what the potential the musical selections can provide. Also, I clearly don’t have a way to review or analyze something I have never heard. A lot of corps have some original music they are rolling out or they didn’t announce exactly what song they were using by an artist or composer. So those were left out of this ranking as well.
With that said, here are my preseason rankings of the repertoires and individual songs (announced so far) with the most potential to create great visual design and, of course, General Effect.
Top 5 Repertoires of the Preseason(as of 6/7/19)
1. Carolina Crown
2. Blue Stars
3. Spirit of Atlanta
4. The Cadets
5. The Academy
Top 5 Songs of the Preseason (as of 6/7/19)
1. Dark Clouds / Christopher Tin – Carolina Crown
2. Concerto No. 4 in F minor / Antonio Vivaldi – Blue Stars
3. Attraction / Emmanuel Sejourne – Spirit of Atlanta
4. Blueprint / Caroline Shaw – The Cadets
5. Dance I, First movement / Oliver Davis – The Academy