Merrill residents curious about the goings-on at Jay Stadium last Thursday were treated to a top notch drum and bugle performance. The defending Drum Corps International (DCI) champion Bluecoats of Canton, Ohio, spent the night in Merrill last Wednesday on their way to the Northwoods Encore Drum and Bugle Corps Competition held at D.C. Everest’s Stiehm Stadium on Thursday.
The Bluecoats, already a well-oiled machine, put in a full day of practice at Merrill’s Jay Stadium Thursday before heading to Stiehm Stadium, where they took the field in competition at about 9 p.m.
Seven touring drum and bugle corps competed in the Northwoods Encore. While in north Central Wisconsin, each corps was housed at an area school and spent rehearsal time perfecting their summer programs which conclude in mid-August at the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis.
Each corps consists of a horn line, drumline, front ensemble and color guard. The 150 young men and women in each of the corps are 14 to 21 years old. The corps travel over 12,000 miles each summer, going daily from city to city competing in over 35 events in two months.