Senators & Commodores stay on top at Warrington

The end of the 1st half of the 2008 season bought us some really impressive performances in front of a large appreciative audience at the Poynton Commodores sponsored show at Victoria Park, Warrington on Sunday 20th July.

The event started with a wonderful exhibition from the Commodores Cadets - the first time the Corps has performed in public, with music of Oh When The Saints, The X Factor and The Great Escape. Their fun performance was met with great applause and encouragement and will no doubt become an integral part of the Commodore organisation.

First on the field to compete in National Open Class were Phoenix Rising, travelling all the way from Dublin, Eire and one of three non DCUK member Corps performing today. Their 2008 program “The Children of Lir,” is described as a eternal tale of evil and salvation, a story as old as Ireland itself. The music, which was beautifully arranged with Saxophones and clarinets, was magical as the show portrayed the journey of four children who are doomed to spend nine hundred years in the guise of swans, but are allowed to keep their beautiful singing voices. The Guard tell the story with wonderful masked costumes, which would have been worthy of the wardrobe of any West End stage. After the event Director Mark Govern commented “We had an absolute ball in Warrington - it was a fantastic experience for everyone. Thanks to everyone that helped facilitate the trip for us”. (3rd - 59.35)

Next to take the field was Concord, with their program “Gangster Chronicles.” The pit looking like something from the cast of the movie The Godfather in their black gangster suits with white ties set the scene but sadly, Don Colione does not make an appearance and their backfield props of steel gates which resembles prison bars and a powerful brass line was not enough to see off the impressive performance of Phoenix as the show clearly needs a bit more work to tighten the program. (4th - 54.45)

Staffordshire Knights were next to take the field in their dazzling new white uniforms with pink dotted motif. Their stunning new program “Emotion in Motion” was on another level as the Corps intricate brass and percussion arrangements took the Music Effect caption with excerpts from The Firebird Suite, The Planets and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Visually, Staffordshire was stunning in their new uniforms, which mirrored the crisp white uniforms worn by the guard. A great performance from this rapidly increasing Corps with momentum. (2nd - 65.35)

Last to take the field to compete in National Open Class were the mighty Poynton Commodores. The reigning NOC champions from Cheshire once again showed their class with a stunning performance as there complex program “The Tapestry of Life” exploded with beautiful colours and pageantry from the guard with the use of a giant sphere representing the centre of the world. The corps 15 brass had the power, tonality and complexity of 30 as the Commodores changed from G to Bb instruments only a week or so ago. The show takes the audience back in time from the very beginning of the Earth’s creation, to when life begins. The corps tells its story through Walt Disney’s album Millennium Celebrations as the guard intertwine with colorful silks representing the four elements to enable life to be created: Fire, Water, Wind and the Earth. Poynton looked fearless as the Corps took another giant step forward to defending their title. (1st -70.45)

The International Open Class kicked off with 6th Hove Scouts, another of the guest Corps, with their 2008 program “Glorious”. This show takes inspiration from Religious, Gospel and Choral singers and included the old Drum Corps classic Make His Praise Glorious. Sporting new uniforms for 2008 and whilst the Corps struggled slightly against the opposition in this class I was very impressed with their performance levels and I am sure that once the show is refined over the next few weeks it will be a worthy contender when they travel to the DCE Championships at the end of September (4th - 58.60).

“The Curse of the Pharaoh’s Tomb”, the 2008 production by the 37th Kingswood Scouts, the third guest Corps of the day, revolves around the life of a Pharaoh Queen. The Corps tackles a unique and complex brass arrangement incorporating three movements to the program ‘The Temple,’ ‘The Burial,’ and ‘The Raid,’ using music from Eastern and Egyptian influences to explore the living and the afterlife. The show is one of the most original yet this year and looks strong going into the second half of the season. (3rd - 63.20)

Next up were the reigning DCUK International Open Class Champions, the Kidsgrove Scouts, with a strong visual and musical program and a powerhouse of a drum line. This corps is still in with a shout and a force to be reckoned with going into the second half of the season and Kidsgrove will not relinquish their title without a fight. Their program entitled “Cirque D’illision” explores new realms of sophistication tackling core themes of perception, deception, vision and illusion. Kidsgrove impact on GE was evident with their high octane brass and percussion sections and kaleidoscopic drill that captivated the crowd, this show left you breathless and wanting for more. I’m sure more is to come from Kidsgrove before Finals. (2nd – 71.75)

The last corps of the afternoon were the current DCE Champions, Senators, with their 2008 program exploring “The Seven Deadly Sins” in their own unique way with signature drill, percussion and brass arrangements. This year the Senators look like they mean business as the Corps took all but one caption with impressive performances from an awesome pit and a guard that used reflective screens. Speaking to Joe Fitzpatrick, the Corps Director after the show he advised that the Corps has only changed the ballad a few days before the contest and so was very happy with their performance. Are they on target for a record breaking 8th DCUK title – only time will tell!! (1st – 73.60)

Most of the Corps will now break for a few weeks for the summer holidays returning ready for the final DCUK regional contest of the 2008 season on Sunday 7th September in Leicester and then the British Drum Corps Championships on Saturday 20th September.

Based on a report by Jayson Brinkler for Drum Corps World and adapted by DCUK for use on this website.  To read the original report click here



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