NEW ULM - Upbeat music echoed over the New Ulm High School football field Tuesday, as a 150-person internationally-known marching band displayed its skill with near-perfect coordination.
The Madison Scouts of Madison, Wis., part of Drum Corps International, practiced their act for most of the day, ahead of a 6:30 p.m. competitive event in Mankato.
The rehearsal essentially provided a free show for New Ulm residents walking or driving by - many of whom stopped or pulled over, and lingered.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
The Madison Scouts of Madison, Wis., part of Drum Corps International, practiced Tuesday at the New Ulm High School athletic fields.
"I've watched all day; they are impressive," said New Ulm music teacher Ann Ayer, one of the more dedicated spectators.
Beside the Madison Scouts, the line-up for the Mankato event, dubbed "The Thunder of Drums," also included: the Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio; the Spirit of Atlanta of Atlanta, Ga.; the Blue Stars of La Crosse, Wis.; the Troopers of Casper, Wy.; the Pioneer of Milwaukee, Wis.; the Minnesota Brass of St. Paul; and the Govenaires of St. Peter.
Drum Corps International (DCI), formed in 1972, is a non-profit governing body for junior drum and bugle corps in the United States and Canada.
"From modest beginnings more than three decades ago, DCI has developed into a powerful, nonprofit, global youth activity with far-reaching artistic, educational and organizational influence," says the DCI web site.
Through the annual DCI Tour and more than 35 World Championships in 17 North American cities, Drum Corps International provides entertainment to millions through live performances and nationally-televised events, says the web site.
The annual Drum Corps International Tour is made up of more than 100 events throughout North America.
Drum Corps International delivers a message of "excellence in performance and in life" to more than 7.2 million young people ages 13 to 22 involved in performing arts in the United States, according to its web site.
Each summer, some 400,000 fans attend live drum corps events.
Each year, more than 8,000 students audition for the fewer than 3,500 positions available in top-tier DCI member corps.
More than 5,000 members directly participate annually.
Sixty-six percent of members are male. Their average age is 19.4, and 72 percent are full-time college students, according to the web site.