The Summer Music Games are coming to Cincinnati

·3 min read
The Cincinnati Tradition Corps will be among the squads performing at the 25th annual Summer Music Games in July.
The Cincinnati Tradition Corps will be among the squads performing at the 25th annual Summer Music Games in July.

Six of the nation’s top drum and bugle corps will be coming to Dwire Field in Atrium Stadium at Mason High School to compete in the 25th annual Summer Music Games.

The Drum Corps International tour event on July 6 brings drum and bugle corps from all over the United States together to battle for a chance to compete in DCI’s World Class Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Aug. 11-13.

Hosted by the Fairfield High School marching band at Mason High School, the rat-a-tat-tat from hundreds of drums participating in the Drum Corps International’s summer competition program will again be heard after a two-year COVID-induced hiatus.

Last held in Mason in 2018, this is the 35th year Fairfield has hosted an event as part of the DCI’s summer competition program, now celebrating its 50th year.

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“Coming off Covid, we’re excited to be back and hosting, especially after selling out in Mason in 2018,’’ said Bruce Brown, contest director. “We’ve got a full staff of volunteers – about 100. It’s been 25 years of doing this and the passion is still there.”

During those 25 years, about 30,000 corps members have been housed in TriState locations – mostly in the gymnasiums of area schools.

The lineup at this year's competition includes:

  • Bluecoats from Canton, Ohio.

  • Crossmen from San Antonio, Texas.

  • Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois.

  • Music City from Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Cincinnati Tradition from Cincinnati.

  • Columbus Saints from Columbus.

Each of the corps has up to 165 members ages 14-21. They are divided into three performing ensembles: brass, color guard, and percussion, Brown said. Each corps is allotted 11 minutes for its show, critiqued in eight categories with up to 100 points available.

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This year's Summer Music Games is held rain or shine. The gates open at 6 p.m. and the event begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online or call 513-858-8786. Gate  tickets range from $15 to $40,

Drum Corps International by the numbers

  • More than 70 drum corps and Sound Sports teams will compete in 108 competitions across 35 states during the 2022 Drum Corps International Tour.

  • As part of the summer tour, more than 1,200 drum corps members will come to Cincinnati and the event is projected to bring more than 5,000 drum corps fans to the Greater Cincinnati area.

  • The competitors will travel in more than 27 motor coaches/busses, with 20  semitractor-trailers and a fleet of support vehicles.

  • Most corps have a tractor-trailer truck converted into a kitchen, Brown said. A typical breakfast includes six gallons of milk, six gallons of juice, 16 boxes of cereal, 50 pounds of hash browns, 30 dozen eggs and 600 pancakes prepared by a kitchen crew of at least six.

Sue Kiesewetter contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Drum Corps International to compete in Summer Music Games