Drum and bugle corps from California, Louisiana, Iowa, Minnesota and elsewhere will converge on Tiger Stadium in Farmington for the final competition before heading to the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis in August.
March On!, the Farmington competition, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 31. The show will feature the River City Rhythm from Monticello, which has students from Lakeville, Eastview, Rosemount, and the Twin Cities, as well as several other states and countries.
"These students are serious," said Bo Hoover, director of River City Rhythm and band director in Rosemount. "They spend the summer with us, and they train very hard."
The season for drum and bugle corps lasts eight weeks during the summer, according to Jim Tarbox, member of the Minnesota Brass. "This is a demanding schedule," Tarbox said. The groups travel constantly and play multiple shows per week.
During a competition, each group plays for 10 minutes, said Hoover. "They are rehearsing and competing to build up for the final event, the Drum Corps International World Championships on Aug. 6 in Indianapolis, Indiana."
Hoover said the drum and bugle corps are like a marching band but have no woodwind instruments, only brass and percussion.
"What people will see in Farmington is more advanced than the normal marching band," Hoover said. "There will be more pageantry, more use of props and electronics. The enthusiasm and performance quality will be very high."
About the energy, Tarbox said a drum and bugle corps is a "glorified marching band on steroids."
"Drum corps is one of America's best kept secrets," Hoover said. The public doesn't know much about it, but it has a cult following. It is going to be loud. It is something you feel."