Houston Matters

What It Takes To Be A Drum Corps Champion

We learn about the physical and mental challenges in the world of highly competitive marching bands.

Bluecoats Horn Section
The horn section of the Canton Bluecoats performs.


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This year's Drum Corps International World Championships take place tonight through Saturday in Indianapolis.

They're kind of a big deal. Maybe you've seen some of these competitive drum and bugle corps musical marching ensembles. They combine brass, percussion, and all sorts of elaborate choreography – it's amazing stuff.

Bluecoats Drum Line
The drum line of the Bluecoats ensemble.

Houston Matters producer Brenda Ruiz recently headed to Katy to watch a regional DCI competition.

In the audio above, she speaks with Ryan and Jacob Lancaster, two brothers from Cypress who are members of a drum corps ensemble called The Bluecoats.

Bluecoats Drum Major
The drum major of the Canton Bluecoats.

Brenda also talked with Ben Proko. In 2003, he marched with a Rosemont, Ill. ensemble called The Cavaliers.

Now, he's a fitness coach for the Santa Clara Vanguard, the 2018 Drum Corps International Champions. He tells her about the physical challenges of drum corps.

Santa Clara Vanguard Preformers
Performers from the Santa Clara Vanguard.


Brenda Ruiz

Brenda Ruiz

Supervising Producer, Houston Matters

Brenda Ruiz is the supervising producer of Houston Matters, which airs weekday mornings at 9:00 on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Brenda is a graduate from the University of Houston's Valenti School of Communications. She graduated in 2018 with a BA in Journalism, and a minor in Psychology. She...

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