August 11 Report From Indianapolis

Shaw: Fans particularly supportive this year



Things are beginning to pick up speed here in Indianapolis as more and more drum corps supporters and fans are evident in the hotels, in restaurants, and in the streets.

It's kind of hard to know who is actually affiliated in some way with a particular corps from the items they're wearing, since it seems that many people purchase items they just like the looks of, as much as they purchase items to wear to show which corps they support.

Marketplace busy

The souvenir manager for The Cadets (who has done a fabulous job this year with the variety and quality of the items available for sale on The Cadets table — which seems to have people 10-deep making purchases every time I pass by) confided to me that he has experienced a good number of people from other corps (parents, alumni, whomever) purchasing Cadet items.

This all just goes to show the depth of The Cadets' popularity this year. Note that other corps are experiencing record sales volume as well. The fans who support this activity seem particularly happy this year to see the beginning of a return to audience sensitivity by most of the corps.

Bob Nadig and I volunteered to help Steve Vickers of Drum Corps World set up his booth at the contest site early in the afternoon, so we had an opportunity to see the new setup of the marketplace this year along the main concourse. As people enter Lukas Oil Stadium they will need to pass through the marketplace area to reach their seats.

This should be "interesting", because last year, when the marketplace was located in a difficult to access area on a lower floor, there were wide people-traffic areas between the lines of booths. That area, as least when I was down there, was always mobbed and difficult to navigate in spite of the wide aisles. I even saw kids passing other kids overhead, mosh-pit style, to get to the booths where they wanted to make purchases! There were no booths, except for the DCI booth, on the concourse, but the passageway was still jammed with spectators moving shoulder-to-shoulder to purchase refreshments or simply wander around to take in the sights.

The crowds from both floors will be merged together this year, which should prove to be a real challenge. The Cadets' booth, if Allentown and Giants Stadium were any indication, will be one of the more popular booths, and there is not much room for a large crowd to gather where the booth is located.

Raiders, Devils score

The open class corps held their championship competition yesterday in Michigan City.

The Blue Devils' B Corps successfully defended their title, with our own New Jersey Raiders placing in the top 12 of the open class division (Congratulations Raiders).

Today the members of those corps had their individual contests at the Indianapolis Convention Center. We dropped in for a few minutes to check things out, but those contests are a bit hard for me to take. All the kids there seemed to like what was going on though.

Alumni contingent arrives

This evening was the installation dinner for the newly elected members of the DCI Hall of Fame. It was a very nicely run affair in a very nice venue. We noted that The Cadets, unlike many other corps, did not have a table. I'm not certain what it cost to do so, but apparently it was enough that the corps didn't want to spend the money.

We did have an opportunity to see many friends from other corps, however, so we probably wouldn't have stayed in a chair for very long even if we had one. Greg Pych arrived in Indy late this afternoon, and Ken Samara and Jack Day and his wife a little earlier, so our alumni contingent is beginning to grow, and our yearly watering hole here in Indy, The Palomino, is primed and ready for our invasion.


People seemed to be talking about The Cadets a great deal wherever we went. This year's Corps of Cadets and this years "Angels and Demons" program is striking a chord with nearly everyone fortunate enough to view their performances. Wherever we went we heard nothing but compliments and best wishes for success. Though we had absolutely nothing to do with what these young Cadets and their staff have accomplished so far, it sure does make us happy as alumni to know that our wonderful 2011 Cadets and their staff are thought of as highly by others as they are by us.

Quarter-finals set

Tomorrow all the open class corps, for the first time in many years, will be permitted to compete against the world class corps in the quarter-finals competition.

The contest starts at 9 in the morning and will run through until late in the evening. Over 40 corps are scheduled to participate, with the final fifteen corps, (determined by earlier contest placements) to be shown live in movie theaters across the country.

Confidence, praise for The Cadets

The Cadets will compete next to last, preceded by The Cavaliers and followed by the Blue Devils. Friday the qualifying corps will compete in the semi-finals, followed finally by the Championship Finals on Saturday evening.

We, of course, would like nothing better than for our Cadets to emerge from this long, challenging summer as DCI Champions. We believe they have that magic quality that all champions do, or at least should, possess. Whatever happens though they have our gratitude for further enriching our long, storied history. No one will ever forget the magical corps of 2011, nor how hard they worked, and persevered, and yes even suffered, to discover the amazing persons they didn't know they had within them until they set out on the long road leading to this Saturday night.

We are more proud of you than you can ever imagine, Cadets. The ghosts of your past, your history, and your heritage will be on that field with you. May you finally reach that wonderful moment when you know, each and every one of you, that you have become the best of the best — true Cadets one and all

And finally to George Hopkins, our creative staff, and all who have played a role in assisting The Cadets to discover their own greatness, we offer our humble thanks.

For Holy Name shall always be...




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