Throw It Down!

As normal as drum corps may seem to Drum Corps International and Drum Corps Associates fans and veterans, the activity may seem just a little bit crazy to outsiders looking in. Just ask documentary filmmaker John E. Maher, who recently completed “Throw It Down!,” a documentary chronicling The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps’ 2006 season.

Initially, Maher wasn’t thrilled about the assignment when co-producer John Thomas Kelly—who had become interested in drum corps through a co-worker—approached him with the project. But after being exposed to the tour, Maher recognized the power of the activity.

“I think it is a little crazy,” he says. “I didn’t know anything about drum corps. … But what got me was the dedication … the incredible rush they got from working together.”

Maher hopes that the film can faithfully convey the grit and determination that go into a drum corps tour including being on a bus all summer. Following The Bluecoats also provided an opportunity to chronicle a rising corps looking to move up in the standings.

“It’s very different than what you see out there with DCI and from the corps,” Maher says. “It’s not a ‘rah-rah’ film about drum corps. If you come away from the film thinking, ‘I think these people are nuts,’ that’s fine.”

Co-produced by Edward Maher, the film was released in December 2008 by JEM Films and was well-received by The Bluecoats in an early pre-screening last August.

For more information or to order the film, visit the website

About author

Eddie Carden

Eddie Carden is an editorial intern for Halftime Magazine. He is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California (USC), with a major in public relations and neuroscience. He has been playing the trumpet since the fifth grade and served last year as the drum major for the USC “Spirit of Troy” Trojan Marching Band.

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