From the Library…Marching Monday

in Daily Programme

by Gabrielle Riel on Monday, 22 September, 2008

Today’s program on Radio Riel features audio performances from some of the best known American drum corps, from the early 1950s to the present day. Here is a definition of what a “drum corps” is in the modern, North American sense of the term, as noted by Wikipedia:

A drum and bugle corps or drum corps is a musical marching unit (similar to a marching band) consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments, and color guard. The activity originated in the United States and Canada, but has spread to parts of Europe and Asia. Typically operating as independent non-profit organizations, drum corps perform on-field competitions, parades, festivals and other civic functions. The prime age for participation is 14–22, but the activity extends throughout age groups younger and older.

Competitive corps participate in summer touring circuits. Competitions occur on football fields and are judged based upon general effect, visual performance, and musical performance. Every year, each drum corps prepares a single new show, approximately 8–12 minutes in length, and carefully refines this throughout the entire summer tour. This focus on a singular show takes advantage of the large amount of time needed to hone and refine a modern drum corps program, with a momentum that continues to build up toward the last performance of the season.

Musical repertoires can vary widely among various groups, including symphonic, jazz, big band, contemporary, rock, wind band, vocal, Broadway, Latin music and many other genres. Highly competitive corps regularly dedicate 8–10 weeks on tour, practicing and performing their program full-time. Less competitive corps have less demanding schedules, allowing members to participate and still have a little free time outside drum corps. Some corps are not competitive at all, serving as education for youths, as alumni corps for adults, or for other traditional civic functions.”

To learn more about competitive, North American drum corps, check out the Drum Corps International website.

Radio Riel produces this program in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. Today’s music originates from the music library of Gabrielle Riel.

For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen to the program now by clicking here, or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player.


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