I remember thinking on the night after DCI Prelims: "The monkey is off my back, and I will kill it, stuff it and hang it on my mantlepiece." Unfortunately, the monkey hopped right back on the next night, as we lost the championship to the Mandarins once again.
That was one of the most painful moments in the six years that I donned the Blue uniform. However, it was not any indication of the summer that had concluded that night. 1999 was a corps that knew it had the stuff and loved to show it. That was the oldest corps I had marched in, with many age outs that had been there for ages. The drumline excelled like usual with one of the most demanding books in D 3, the guard emoted to the audience like a stage show, and the hornline put out a sound of 50 horns with 20 players and a plug.
I remember getting the music for that year. After our 'interpretive Spartacus' year in 1998, both the vets and the staff were on task to put a pure drumcorps show on the field. The music to fuel that show was Ivan the Terrible by Prokofiev. When we got the sheets in the hornline, it was like the re-invention of the C major chord.
That was the year where the entire hornline was strong. The sopranos were solid throughout, and liked to stack chords, and for the first time that I marched the instructors let us. The mellophone line was loaded with vets and threw down some licks. The baritone line was mainly inexperienced, but no one could tell at DCM that most were rookies. What a sound they put out. Then, the contra line. The rock upon which that line was built. If I remember correctly, between the four of them, they totalled something around 20 years of experience, and that was counting one rookie.
The 1999 video tape of our finals performance is the most worn out tape in my collection by far. What an exciting show from an exciting corps.
Author: John Fischer
1999 DCI Divison III Finals-Madison
2. Blue Stars
3. General Butler Vagabonds
4. Phantom Legion
5. Yokohama Scouts
6. Bayonne Raiders
8. Lake Erie Regiment
"Ivan the Terrible"