The 2014 Drum Corps International (DCI) Finals was certainly one to remember. Taking first was the Blue Devils, breaking the DCI record score by .5, with their final score being 99.65. Yet beyond merely the scores, there was much that made this DCI season unique.
One participant this year with the DCI had been picked up by the Blue Devils when he was only 11 years old.
Though most DCI participants are college-aged, with the maximum age being 21, there are a few exceptions. Because the minimum age limit varies depending on the corps, younger musicians can sometimes be selected via the same audition process.
Brandon Olander became a snare drummer this year with Blue Devils after being noticed by a Blue Devils instructor at a music camp at age 11. Though Olander’s talent was enough for him to join when he was much younger, he had to wait until this year due to the physical demands of DCI, according to a CBS News video.
With the Bluecoats, a drummer was only 15 years old.
“Fifteen is certainly the youngest [musician] we have had in a long time, but [it] isn’t unprecedented,” said Andrew Constans, media representative for the Bluecoats, explaining that there was one former snare drummer who had been 15 years old also when joining.
A Unique Perspective
Resiliency is certainly an important factor in any sort of performing art, but resiliency displayed this season was especially noticeable. During Carolina Crown’s performance, one snare drummer’s drum fell off during the final.
Fortunately, a judge helped him recover. However, perhaps even more interesting is the unique perspective that was captured of this incident through the drummer’s GoPro camera.
Check out this video for footage showing not only the perspective of being on the field, but also the perspective of resiliency.
Unparalleled Scores, Unparalleled Season
The final scores this year has set the bar high for future DCI Finals. The Blue Devils broke the DCI record score by .5, as mentioned before. Their score of 99.65–incredibly close to perfection–makes it seem almost impossible for a higher score to ever be reached. Following the Blue Devils was the Bluecoats, taking second with a score of 97.175, and the Cadets coming in third with a score of 96.875.
“This year was special and unique in many ways, but the attitude and energy perpetuated by the kids and the staff really stood out,” Constans said regarding the Bluecoats. “The corps became essentially a big family by finals, and with the alumni support we received, the organization as a whole was brought a little closer.”