Writing about a single most memorable moment was much more complicated than I originally thought it would be. After sitting down to write (on more than one occassion) I realized that there were many moments during my marching and instructing years than I consider memorable.
My first DCI night show was in 1978 at Denver. What a performance! There were the pukers and other various parties and activities, the many mornings the M&M staff spent setting up practice fields, DCI East in 1979, the Troopers at DCI Midwest in 1982 cheering the corps before its prelim performance, and many others too numerous to mention.
The one memory I've chosen to mention occurred during our 1980 competitive season. The year of 1980 is one I'll remember for quite a long time. We thought in the winter that we had a full hornline only to find out in spring just how many people were really committed. We worked very hard that summer, through staff and show changes with a relatively inexperienced group of "Vets" and "Rookies". By the end of summer it looked like our string of night show appearances would continue... this was not to be.
The week before DCI we were beating everyone that we needed to beat to make finals. Then we had several great days of practice at Talladega, finally getting a chance to clean drill. At Prelims we performed our show with less precision than we would have liked, but we thought we were good enough for finals. When Moe came out to give us the results we knew we hadn't done it.
That was one moment I'll remember for an awfully long time. For so many years the Blue Stars had always been there. Lots of tears and sobbing to be sure. Trying to comfort others and others comforting us. l think it was particularly hard on those of us who were twenty~one and aging out. We all pretty much wanted to come back the following year and try again, that was a main reason I decided to return and instruct.
There was something else though that happened that day. Something that anyone who has experienced a setback such as ours can appreciate and admire. Just before finals started that evening, the Blue Star organization showed just how much class they really had. As the North Stars lined up to go on for their appearance we were coming into the stadium through the corps entrance for our "DCI Party". The Blue Stars, as a corps, broke into applause, and through the tears, shouted encouragement to the corps that had edged us out of finals. Even though the corps was very disappointed, we were not bitter in any way. I later talked to several of my friends in the North Stars who said our cheers had really fired them up. They had never seen anything like that ever in Eastern Drum Corps Circuits. I knew then why I became and always will be a Blue Star at heart.
Author: Steve Stueck
1980 DCI Finals-Birmingham
1. Blue Devils
2. 27th Lancers
4. Spirit of Atlanta
5. Phantom Regiment
6. Madison Scouts
7. Santa Clara Vanguard
10. Garfield Cadets
11. North Stars
13. Blue Stars
"Go Back Home"
Medly: "Military Suites EFlat and F (Holst)