DCI vs DCA

A week ago I said that DCI and DCA were two completely different worlds. So here’s a little bit of what I mean.

In a lot of ways, it’s very much the same. A show day is preceded by traveling to the rehearsal/housing site. Show day rehearsals are a blur of warming up, fixing sections, warming up, fixing more sections, maybe eating, then ensembling. Then comes a load period if the corps must move to get to the show site, or a simple eating, showering, getting into uniform, lining up.

What’s different goes beyond the process.

It’s the chill in the air on a late August night traveling to warmups, cold rain sprinkling from the clouds.
It’s the hornline’s shared desperation for a powerful sound, a desperation so fierce you can see it in their eyes.

It’s moving to the field with your eyes straight ahead, strident bugles of alumni corps screaming on either side if you as you walk. A sound not heard in DCI in 15 years. The song they scream is so strong that it speaks the mind of your soul. And even though it should mean nothing to you, in this moment of you and your own corps and your own task, you feel the forbidden tear sliding down your cheek. Something so steeped in the history of corps so close by awakens that odd little part of you that is too wild for words.

DCI, to me, is a show of well oiled machines. An intricate display of pageantry executed with undeniable confidence. Passion expressed in magnificence.

DCA is about desperation. Will is stronger than reality. Fighting tooth and nail to the very end is what is expected, anticipated, celebrated. You go home after every weekend and come back every Friday fed up with real life and desperate to fight.

Both worlds must coexist to allow the big world of drum corps to keep on turning.

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