Ten of the world’s most elite and exclusive marching ensembles will compete at M.M. Roberts Stadium on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 27 as part of the Drum Corps International (DCI) Southern Series Tour.
From its modest beginnings more than three decades ago, DCI has developed into a powerful, global youth activity with far-reaching artistic, educational and organizational influence. With more than 135 events each year, the annual 60-day DCI Summer Tour touches more than 40 states.
Hosted by The Pride of Mississippi at Southern Miss, more than 1,000 student musicians and performers from across the country will be featured as part of this entertaining and competitive event.
Mohamad Schuman, associate director of bands and director of The Pride of Mississippi at Southern Miss, says the show provides a great recruiting vehicle for University Bands as well as the School of Music.
“In addition, local businesses and restaurants should benefit from increased sales as the show is expected to bring in thousands of fans,” Shuman said. “The entire community is extremely fortunate to have such talented ensembles showcase their abilities right here in Hattiesburg.”
Prospective, current students and alums from the Southern Miss School of Music continually spend their summers participating in DCI. Alumnus Kevin Welborn has worked with the Troopers of Wyoming the past four seasons.
“DCI is basically marching band on steroids. Hundreds of thousands of young musicians and dancers audition for the corps around the country and only a small percentage make it, so what you’re seeing is the best of the best,” he said.
Welborn continues to participate in DCI mostly because of its audiences. “The payoff is watching the crowd’s reaction to a marching band that’s louder, faster and more captivating than anything they’ve ever seen.”
The 11 top tier drum corps units performing on July 27 at Southern Miss include the Blue Devils of Concord, Calif.; Carolina Crown of Ft. Mill, S.C.; Phantom Regiment of Rockford, Ill.; Blue Stars of La Crosse, Wis.; Blue Knights of Denver, Colo.; Glassmen of Toledo, Ohio; Spirit of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA; Mandarins of Sacramento, Calif. and Pioneer of Milwaukee, Wis.
In addition to the competition, there will be a live learning event from 3 - 5 p.m. at the stadium, hosted by Carolina Crown. During this program, students and fans will have the unique opportunity to learn all aspects of corps technique—taught by the members and staff that bring drum corps to life on the field. The live learning event is free with a ticket to the 7 pm. program.
Tickets for the event start at $25. To purchase, call 317.275.1212 or visit www.DCI.org/tickets. Tickets will also be sold at the stadium box office on the day of the show. Special group rates are available.