As a number of the country’s top collegiate percussion, brass and a color guard of elite dancers prepare to descend upon Buffalo, planners are busy coordinating the logistics necessary for pulling off the complicated feat. After all, these musicians don’t just pull into the city and take up residence at an accommodating hotel. Instead they rely on good neighbors to take them in for the night. By neighbors, I mean local high schools that offer up their gymnasium floors, where they will attempt to grab a quick cat nap before performing at the top honors event held at Robert E. Rich, Sr. All-High Stadium, located at 2885 Main Street.
“Upon their arrival in Western New York they live a life of luxury,” joked event coordinator Jack Gaylor Jr. “Actually, they will be sleeping on gym floors trying to catch a few hours of sleep before getting up to rehearse all day. Corps are known to practice for up to 10 hours a day in preparation for a big show like the one coming to Buffalo.”
Yes, the top seven drum corps in the world will be crashing on gymnasium floors, but sometimes in order to make it to the top sacrifices must be made along the way.
Corps participating in the annual Drums Along the Waterfront Tour of Champions have been teamed up with the following high schools:
• The Blue Devils of Concord, Calif. — Bennett High School, Buffalo
• The Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio — Akron High School
• Carolina Crown of Ft. Mill, S.C. — Eden High School
• The Santa Clara Vanguard of Santa Clara, Calif. — Riverside High School, Buffalo
• The Cadets of Allentown, Pa. — Orchard Park High School
• The Cavaliers of Rosemont, Ill. — Lancaster High School
• The Troopers of Casper, Wyom. — Attica High School
For more information about the Tour of Champions event held on August 3, visit drumsalongthewaterfront.org. The competition kicks off at 7pm.