31 March 2005

October seems a long time in the past, and since then we haven't stopped to take a breather! The 2005 production of Les Misérables is well underway and all sections have been working hard. The progress from last years Images of Russia show has been immense, as all sections have matured in both sound and attitude. So what has been happening behind the scenes since October 2004?

The Brass Line have been busy working on there new winter and warm up books, which were implemented to help push the lines development forward. A few changes in to the line (some High and Mid Brass Changes) meant it took a little while for the line to fully settle. The brass also started to learn the first couple of production numbers from the 2005 score, and by the end of December had the Opener and Ballard down and under there shakos! After the Christmas break the line got stuck into Barricades (Percussion Feature) and Closer, and by the end of February had the whole music book down. There is still a long way to go, but the brass staff are happy with the progress made so far.

The Drum Line has been shuffling around also, with a few new faces on the line. This year sees 3 tenors (2 of which are rookies on drums), 4 snares and 5 bases (1 bass member is a corps rookie). Through the winter the warm up and technique program was worked on as well as looking at the new lancers cadence (listen out for a few familiar well known passages!) and a special Parking Lot piece 'StaffCon One' arranged by our own Drum Staff and Concords Drum Staff. The Production music is coming on also, with the Opener and Ballard down, and Barricades (Percussion Feature) ¾ done; things are moving steadily and are sounding fantastic, and the drum staff are pleased with the lines progress.

The Front Ensemble have been hard at work getting technique down and practised. Some new equipment has been added into the line to help broaden the sounds achieved and some new warm ups have been implemented. The Opener has been worked on and the line is now into the Ballard and is working hard to get through the dots.

The Guard since October have had a few changes to the line. Two senior members of the guard have moved to other sections and a reshuffle of staff have seen the appointment of 2 new guard captains Kim Jones and James Davies (another first in lancers history, as 2005 will be the first year the corps has had joint captains) and the previous captain, Jenna Riley, taking the head of the section as Instructor. Through the winter the line worked on there winter program of Phantom of the Opera, which was show cased in March and was received by a large audience at the Corps annual winter showcase. The work for the 2005 Les Mis show is well underway also. With the amount of change in the guard structure the line are doing fantastic and all are pleased with the progress currently made.

The Visual Aspect of the show has now started up and both the Brass Line and Guard have started on the Opener drill. In the next few weeks the Drum Line will also take to the field to start the drill. All sections have been slowly working on technique and getting used to the new style of drill writing that our new Visual Caption Head, Richard Haw has put in place.

Corps Director/Show Co-ordinator Dave Milton said about the corps progress; "things are really shaping up to be a fantastic season. 2005 is our 10th year in competition and is a very special season for us. The progress of all sections is fantastic and emphasises how much the corps development over the past few years has changed. We are excited about seeing the 2005 Stafford Lancers on the arena in June, and we all hope you join us this year as we bring Les Misérables alive to the Drum Corps field once again".

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© Drum Corps United Kingdom 2004