Drums rattled and popped with machine-like precision as hundreds of performers
twirled, marched and paced on the bright green grass and parking lots straddling
The performers were warming up before Sunday night’s Spirit of America Drum
and Bugle Corps competition at Paul Snow Stadium at Jacksonville State
As drum and bugle corps teams took the field a nearly full home-side stadium
With varying introductions, the teams sprang to life as horns blew, flags
unfurled and replica rifles spun in the air.
Green-shirted Drum Corps International officials weaved in and out of the
teams yelling into recorders to note the teams’ performances.
Among the throngs in the stands, many proud parents sat in awe of their sons
and daughters’ hard work come to life.
Kat Davis of Wetumpka, mother of Tyler Eads, a first-year 16-year-old
baritone player for the Jacksonville corps, beamed as she spoke of her son’s
dedication to the team and how much he’d learned only halfway through his first
“They practice 10, sometimes 14, hours a day,” Davis said. “It’s like a boot
camp, regimented, but he loves it,” she yelled over the sound of the blaring
The Spirit of Jacksonville State University hosted eight teams in Sunday
night’s competition. The event was the halfway point in a touring season that
lasts from June 16 through the championship performance on Aug. 11, in Pasadena,
Carla Morris, event planner for area Spirit competitions said the corps
performs at about 32 nationwide shows three to four per week with little rest.
Ryan Claus, a drummer for the Blue Devils out of Concord, Calif., said he’s
been playing with the team for six years and will miss it when he reaches the
age limit of 22 next year.
Claus said despite it being a coordinated team event, the pressure is on when
he hits the field.
“You feel completely alone, all you see is yourself, it’s just you and the
crowd with your heart pumping adrenaline,” Claus said.
Results of the competition are available at www.dci.org.
About Todd South
Todd South is a graduate of the University of Georgia.
He served five years in the Marines and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Todd covers Clay, Randolph and Cleburne counties and Oxford for the Star.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com