Hamburg Percussion had an opportunity to "visit" with the reigning Drum Corps International world champion Blue Devils from Concord, California! They made a practice stop on July 7th spending the day at Riverside Tech High School on the west side. Unfortunately, they had to cut the evening short because of the rain, but we spent the afternoon watching and admiring the pit ensemble and drum line practices as well as the full corps working on visual aspects of their show!
It was a great experience interacting with the Blue Devils staff on the logistics of moving 150 members, staff, equipment, and support across the country for the summer. One of my students and I were allowed to check out the Blue Devils "chuck wagon!" An entire semi-trailer staffed and equipped with a commercial kitchen with ovens, stoves, and food! It travels everywhere with the corps serving four meals per day! Food is delivered to predetermined stops by a national food supplier for preparation with Wal-Mart as a backup when food delivery is not possible to remote locations.
I was talking to one of the percussion directors about their Buffalo schedule during a break. They arrived around 5:30 am, and immediately put the corps "to bed" for at least four hours of "flat time" in the High School. He explained that they make sure that everyone has at least four hours of solid sleep "off the bus" each day. "Some corps do not provide the flat time," he said. "We work very hard to ensure the health and well-being of our members."
The drum line and ensemble practices were nothing less than spectacular! The precision and focus these kids have is nothing less than "stellar!" We also watched legendary DCI percussion director Scott Johnson working with the snare line! Amazing!
The internationally competitive Blue Devils A Corps is comprised of 150 members between the ages of 17 and 21. The most decorated corps in the history of Drum Corps International (DCI), The Blue Devils A Corps have finished in the top five for the last 30 consecutive years and have won the DCI World Championship title an unprecedented 16 times! For more information, please visit https://bluedevils.org/.