Cadets surpass Blue Devils by 0.55 to take 10th World Championship title
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“It was the best performance I’ve ever seen in Finals, by far, in 29 years,” said Cadets director George Hopkins. “If you can get the audience to stand up for two minutes at the end, I don’t know what else you can do.”
“It was so electric in here when the corps members were performing,” said Cadets brass caption supervisor Gino Cipriani. “I’ve never seen them feel the way they felt when they came off the field. They worked so hard and they deserve everything they have; I was very happy for them.”
The 77-year old corps also earned two caption awards, which are determined by averaging the scores in each area from the Prelims, Semifinals, and Finals; the Donald Angelica Best General Effect Award and the Best Visual Performance Award went to the Cadets, reflecting the stunning visuals the corps created by clothing half the corps in maroon uniforms—the “demons”—and half in cream uniforms—the “angels.”
Just before taking the field for the corps’ encore performance Saturday night, color guard member Elizabeth Blackford described the feeling of being a champion as incredible; “it is the most amazing feeling in the entire world. I am so happy to be here. A lot of hard work just paid off,” she said.
Devils’ director David Gibbs explained that he has been telling his corps members that they have been his heroes all season long. “There is a lot of risk to join the Blue Devils after going undefeated for two years and after winning two World Championships. They took the risk; they met the challenges. They started the season a little rough, at the end they were one of the most awesome Blue Devils drum corps ever. They’re my heroes.”
Blue Devils euphonium section leader Zak Stillwell said that “there was something in the air from bus to field” that made the day so special. “I’m so proud of this corps,” he continued. “We were counted out early, so just to be in contention has been great. It’s been an unforgettable year.”
The Cavaliers ended the season in third place, earning a score of 96.90. The corps also took home the Fred Sanford Best Percussion Performance Award, a prize they last earned eleven years ago in 2000.
“The show was the best of the season, and there was no better time for us to peak as a group,” Cavaliers front ensemble section leader Anthony Jackson said, adding that he can’t help but smile when the crowd cheers for their performance. “This has been a very special year because the group of guys I worked with never had a rough spot, all season long. Just being able to perform for 11 minutes one last time with these guys was something special.”
Fourth place went to Carolina Crown. The “Rach Stars” earned a 95.30 along with the Jim Ott Best Brass Performance Award with their blend of sensational music, old and new.
After six years with Crown, Morgan is aging out. “My goal was to have a performance to remember for the rest of my life because it’s the last one I get to do. This was my last shot and I gave it everything I had.”
After ending the show with dagger raised the entire season, Phantom Regiment’s Juliet character finally took her life on the podium in the final moments of the corps’ 2011 show, “Juliet.” The corps took fifth place with a 95.05—a score more than a point above its score from Friday’s Semifinals competition and the highest score increase of any corps.
“The young men and women who marched this show took all their love of each other and for the program and told the audience all about it — sold it to the audience,” said Dan Richardson, Regiment’s program adviser. “I cried through the whole show. It was a completely emotionally-draining show taking the audience to another time and place. And at the end of the show, the performers were rewarded by a huge audience response.”
“They were phenomenal and played from the heart,” remarked Tour Director JW Koester. “Putting power and emotion behind it, like Santa Clara knows how to do, they were Santa Clara tonight.”
A score of 92.05 landed the Bluecoats a seventh place finish. According to Bluecoats director David Glasgow, emotion made the corps’ Finals performance better than any other of the season. “The emotion that’s run through the hearts of our members these last couple days has been amazing. The emotions are what they are going to remember their entire lives,” he said. “Tonight they were able to share that emotion and that love they have for each other, for the Bluecoats, with the audience, and the audience responded. It was just a wonderfully emotional performance.”
The Boston Crusaders’ show, “Revolution,” featuring music from “Les Miserables” and the “1812 Overture,” took the corps to eighth place with a 90.65.
Boston Crusaders’ director Tom Spataro — who won the Dr. Bernard Baggs Leadership Award, as the World Class director of the year — explained that the last show of the season is always special. “We’ve come an incredibly long way this year and the corps took it to another level tonight. They did something I haven’t seen all season and what a night to do it.”
Ninth place went to the Blue Knights, who earned a score of 89.20 with their program, “An English Folk Song Suite.”
Executive Director Mark Arnold said 2011 was a significant year for the Blue Knights; “We’ve had a beautiful show put together for us this year. The music was incredible, and it was something that we knew the crowd, our fans would really love,” he said. “This is kind of a watershed year in where the Blue Knights started making their fans love them, and it was something that we’ve been aiming for with the changes we’ve made. This corps has grown together and they are still very young, and they’re all excited to keep this going.”
Michael Boo, Ryan Cain, Johnny Gilbert, Jeff Hartowicz, Jeff Langan, Christina Mavroudis, Linda & Sid Unser, Chris Weber, Kate Weber.