Menomonie (WQOW) — “It’s awe inspiring, it’s really fun just getting to see my performers on the field just play their hearts out everyday,” Noah Bulson said.
Bulson is one of the many college students that competed among 14 different groups who performed for about 2,000 people Sunday at Williams Stadium at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
“We call this event DCI Mennonite and it is a part of 110 event tours that goes throughout the United States in a seven week period of time over the course of the summer,” Dan Acheson, CEO of Drum Corps International, said.
Every 17 minutes a different group went out to perform their piece throughout the evening, working together to create a variety show of sorts.
“It is like marching band, but it’s more theatrical, it’s more dramatic, it’s more Broadway,” Acheson said.
A similar event used to be held in the area, but being absent for nearly a decade, the international competition moved one of its locations on the tour to the Chippewa Valley, due to the area’s already established drumming community.
“This community has such a long history in drum corps, they just appreciate great performances out of great performers so much. That probably differentiates them from the more critical discerning fan, they just enjoy everybody,” Acheson said.
These young athletes put in up to 12 hours a day of practice during their five weeks of spring training in order to kick off their creative performances all summer long.
All of these unique groups compete for a spot in the world championship, which takes place in August in Indianapolis. But more importantly to some, they’re competing to inspire or spark something in the audience.
“When I do drum corps, I imagine myself as the fan I was a couple years ago and I perform for that fan I was. I know there’s some kid out there that was just like me a couple years ago who just wants to see an awesome performance and I want to give them that,” Bulson said.