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World-class Drum Corps from San Antonio Coming to WNY in July | Arts & Culture

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World-class Drum Corps from San Antonio Coming to WNY in July
World-class Drum Corps from San Antonio Coming to WNY in July

As a prelude to the Aug. 6 Drums Along the Waterfront - Tour of Champions competition taking place at New Era Field in Orchard Park, the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps from San Antonio, Texas will be making a promotional tour stop in Gowanda on July 6. Arriving from a competition in Boston, the Crossmen will be utilizing Gowanda Central School’s facilities for a day-long rehearsal.

With musical-athlete membership of 150 strong, the Crossmen compete in Drum Corps International’s (DCI) World Class level, which is considered marching music’s major league. The corps finished in tenth place in last year’s DCI World Championships held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Founded in 1974, the Crossmen are a 501 (c)(3) education and youth development organization assisting young people in becoming outstanding individuals through music and the performing arts.

“When the corps come to town they live a life of luxury sleeping on gym floors for several hours after getting the majority of their sleep on buses as they travel through the night,” quipped Jack Gaylord Jr., president of Drums Along the Waterfront. Upon waking they will rehearse up to 10 hours a day. While the corps will divide into sections to rehearse, they will come together as one ensemble in the evening utilizing Hillis Field. A full run through of their show should take place at approximately 8 p.m.

Gowanda has a rich history of hosting world-class drum corps, including the Bluecoats (Canton, Ohio) and the Madison Scouts (Madison, Wisconsin). “We are appreciative of Gowanda Central School and the Gowanda community for being such gracious hosts,” Gaylord stated. “We would not be able to bring the world-class youth activity with its economic impact to the Western New York area without the cooperation of schools such as Gowanda.”

The day-long rehearsal is free and open to the public. “The Crossmen’s visit provides a great educational opportunity,” added Gaylord. “Those in attendance will witness the dedication, discipline and talent of the performing membership, and they are being instructed by some of the top music educators in the country. The instructional staff is always willing to answer any questions the public might have, and the performing members love to talk about their drum corps experience.”

The top eight corps in the world will be competing in the 20th anniversary edition of Drums Along the Waterfront - Tour of Champions, at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at New Era Field. With 41 world titles among the eight competing corps, included in the field are the reigning world champion Bluecoats (Canton, Ohio) and the “New York Yankees” of the activity, the 17-time world champion Blue Devils (Concord, Calif.). Tickets for the event can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. Kids 12 and under are half price, and there are senior and military discounts as well. For group discounts, please call Dave Robbins at 949-1262.

To learn more about the Crossmen’s visit or the Drums Along the Waterfront - Tour of Champions event, please visit www.DrumsAlongTheWaterfront.org or follow Drums Along the Waterfront on Facebook for frequent updates.


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