When nominating the “Top 5 Legendary Drum Corps Shows” for our July/August 2010 print issue, corps directors, members and fans also touted the following shows–listed in chronological order–for their impact on the activity.
1972 Anaheim Kingsmen (1st place) – DCI’s very first World Champion set the tone for all others to follow.
1975 Madison Scouts (1st) – The Scouts couldn’t be stopped with what has become “Classic Scouts: Slaughter on 10th Avenue, MacArthur Park and Rhapsody in Blue.”
1975 Hawthorne Muchachos (Disqualified) – Fresh from a spectacular finish in ’74, many felt this year would be Hawthorne’s time to claim its first DCI World Championship, but the drum corps was disqualified after prelims for marching an “age-out” member.
1980 Santa Clara Vanguard (7th) – The Vanguard introduced innovative and asymmetrical drill that opened the floodgates for high velocity movement still used by modern-day drum corps today. The show forced major rule changes in the judging standards.
1980 Bayonne Bridgemen (3rd) – “Thunder and Blazes!” The Bridgemen showed that funny, crowd pleasing, and outrageous could also be well performed. The Velvet Knights adapted this show several years later.
1981 27th Lancers (4th) – Like the Troopers, the Lancers made its mark with its distinctive regimental uniforms and traditional drill and legendary performances of “Crown Imperial,” “Niner-Two” and “Danny Boy.”
1985 Suncoast Sound (6th) – “Florida Suite” was one of the most aggressively performed productions in the 1980’s. It challenged perennial powerhouses like The Blue Devils and Phantom Regiment to step up their game.
1986 Blue Devils (1st) – The winningest drum corps of all time unleashed a fury of power and precision with “Channel One Suite,” “Conquistador,” “Spanish Fantasy” and “Chick Chorea Suite” that put the drum corps world on notice that performance excellence was the standard.
1991 Star of Indiana (1st) – “Roman Images” may have been Star’s only DCI World Championship, but it raised the bar musically with amazingly difficult mellophone runs and a visual package that only The Cavaliers could take and run with in future years.
2002 Cavaliers (1st) – The Green Machine reached “critical mass” with “Frameworks” by completely revolutionizing the marching arts with its highly innovative general effect designs and by scoring a 99.15, matched only by The Cadets in 2005 as the highest DCI Finals score ever.
2005 The Cadets (1st) – Although there are several ground-breaking years for The Cadets, “The Zone: Dreamscapes in Four Parts With a Door” is arguably one day dream that took imagination to another level.
2007 Carolina Crown (6th) – “The Triple Crown” was perhaps one of the most crowd-pleasing show designs featuring “William Tell Overture” and a “photo finish” with guard members symbolizing finely trained race horses that has since vaulted Crown to championship contender status.