Monday, July 08, 2002

Fairfield hosts rat-a-tat contest

Drum and bugle corps from across country gather for daylong clinic, show

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD — Seven of the nation's top drum and bugle corps will bring their rat-a-tat-tat music to the Fairfield Senior High School Stadium Saturday for the Summer Music Games.

        Hosted by the Tempo Club, this is the third year the games have been held in Fairfield but the 18th year the club has sponsored the event, which brings teenagers from across the country for the DrumCorp International-sanctioned clinic and competition. Before the show's 2000 move to Fairfield, competition had been held at Nippert Stadium or Galbreath Field.

    What: Summer Music Games in Cincinnati drum and bugle show

    When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Fairfield Stadium, behind Fairfield Freshman School, 5050 Dixie Highway (Ohio 4)

    Tickets: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, $12 or $16 if purchased in advance or $18, 14 or $12 at the gate

    Information: (513) 892-3786.

        The groups will spend much of Saturday morning setting up or resting on gymnasium floors at schools in Fairfield, Lockland and Forest Park. After sleeping a few hours and eating lunch, they'll practice, then head to Fairfield Stadium, where they'll attend a clinic, eat supper and prepare for competition. Groups will practice again Sunday before leaving that evening for the next competition.

        “It's getting toward the end of the (competition) season, and the corps have their shows down to a science,” said Nita White, volunteer coordinator for the event. “Their shows are polished and perfected.”

        Each of the six teams competing (Cincinnati Glory will perform an exhibition show only) is working toward a perfect score of 100, said Bruce Brown, contest director. About 135 young adults between 14 and 21 years old make up each corps and are divided into three ensembles: brass, percussion and color guard. Each will have about 15 minutes for its show, which will be critiqued by eight judges.

        Traveling with the corps are another two dozen or more adults who organize souvenir sales or serve as chaperones, cooks, seamstresses, medical staff and instructors. The Tempo Club will have about 140 volunteers on hand Saturday, including some from General Electric's Elfun Society. Among the corps that will perform are the Bergenfeld, N.J., Cadets, who performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Other corps are the Magic of Orlando, Fla.; Spirit of Jacksonville State University from Alabama; the Carolina Crown, from Fort Mill, S.C.; the Boston Crusaders, from Boston; and the Crossmen of Newark, Del.

        “This may be a one-day event here, but the planning is a 365-day event,” Mr. Brown said. “We're always looking to do better.”

        WKRC meteorologist Mike Buresh will serve as emcee for the show.


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