Fort Mill Times

Carolina Crown could be king of drum corps world

The Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps could be closer than ever to a Drum Corps International World Championship win.

The group has spent the summer touring and competing in California and recently returned to the east coast to finish out the summer. In a competition on July 30 in Salem, Va., Carolina Crown took home a win against the 15-time world championship Blue Devils.

“That usually doesn’t happen,” Kevin Smith, Crown's board president said. “A corps doesn’t usually beat the perennial champion.”

Carolina Crown has never won a World Championship but hope to make a run for it on Aug. 10 in Indianapolis. The championship will be its final competition of the season. In addition to the Blue Devils, from Concord, Calif., the Cadets, from Allentown, Pa., are also competitors, Smith said.

“We’re kind of the newer kid on the block. We’ve only won a championship in the next level down in competition. We’ve never won in the world championship but we’re right up there,” Smith said.

Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps has 150 members between the ages of 17 and 22.

The nonprofit organization brings students from all over the world to audition each year to be part of the corps. The corps tours throughout the summer, rehearsing during the day, competing in the evening and traveling overnight. The group typically competes five times weekly.

“Then we get up in the morning and do it all over again,” Smith said. “It’s fun. That’s why you do it.”

In addition to the drum and bugle corps, Carolina Crown hosts Honor Band for area middle and high school students.

Smith said that winning at the World Championship would be “a milestone reached.” But, “it’s not the ultimate thing. We don’t teach winning a championship here.”

Ultimately, corps members are learning about excellence, he said.

“Becoming the best they can be and pushing beyond what they thought their limits were,” Smith said.

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