As a prelude to the Aug. 5 Drums Along the Waterfront Tour of Champions competition taking place at New Era Field in Orchard Park, The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps from Tempe, Ariz., will be making a tour stop in Silver Creek July 31 through Aug. 1. Arriving in preparation for a competition in Rome, N.Y., The Academy will be utilizing Silver Creek High School’s facilities for their rehearsals.
With musical-athlete membership 154 strong, The Academy compete in Drum Corps International’s (DCI) World Class level. In the corps’ first trip to the DCI World Championships in 2006, it won the gold medal in Division II competition. 2016 marked the corps’ first year as a World Class DCI World Championship finalist. The corps is currently ranked 13th in World Class, with their eyes set on reaching the coveted top 12 ranking in the world once again.
“When the corps come to town they live a life of luxury sleeping on gym floors for several hours after getting the majority of their sleep on buses as they travel through the night,” quipped Jack Gaylord Jr., President of Drums Along the Waterfront. “Upon waking they will rehearse up to 10 hours a day. While the corps will divide into sections to rehearse throughout the day, they will come together as one ensemble in the evening utilizing the football stadium. Their final rehearsal block of the day generally ends at 9 p.m. but can go until 10 p.m., with the corps performing a full run through of their show at the end of the rehearsal.”
All rehearsals during the two-day stay are free and open to the public. “The Academy’s visit provides a great educational opportunity,” stated Gaylord. “Those in attendance will witness the dedication, discipline and talent of the performing membership, and they are being instructed by some of the top music educators in the country. The instructional staff is always willing to answer any questions the public might have, and the performing members love to talk about their drum corps experience.”
Last year the Silver Creek District hosted Genesis Drum & Bugle Corps from Austin, Texas. “We are appreciative of the Silver Creek Central School District and the Silver Creek community for being such gracious hosts,” Gaylord stated. “From Silver Creek Superintendent of Schools Todd Crandall to the school’s custodial staff, all have been tremendous to work with. We would not be able to bring the world class youth activity with its economic impact to the WNY area without the cooperation of schools such as Silver Creek.”
The top 10 corps in the world will be competing in the 21st anniversary edition of Drums Along the Waterfront Tour of Champions at 6 p.m. Aug. 5 at New Era Field. With 41 world titles among the competing corps, included in the field along with The Academy are the reigning and 18-time world champion Blue Devils (Concord, Calif.) and the 2016 world champion Bluecoats (Canton, Ohio). Tickets for the event can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. Kids 12 and under are half price, and there are senior and military discounts. For group discounts, please call Dave Robbins at (716) 949-1262.
To learn more about The Academy, please visit or the Drums Along the Waterfront Tour of Champions event, please visit www.DrumsAlongTheWaterfront.org or follow Drums Along the Waterfront on Facebook for frequent updates.