In just one year since the SoundSport® program was announced, we have seen remarkable interest in the program. As of this publication, 83 teams are already participating in SoundSport® in six different countries.
Launched in January of 2013, SoundSport® was designed to create dynamic opportunities for vast new audiences to engage with Drum Corps International (DCI) and the positive values it represents. Taking a fresh look at the passion which surrounds DCI’s hallmark drum corps competitions, SoundSport® expands the reach of the DCI brand to serve a greater number of participants in the marching arts, with new events being produced in exciting locations around the world.
Drum Corps International Executive Director and CEO Dan Acheson is enthusiastic about this creative new initiative.
“We want to expose the largest possible global audience to the greatest attributes of what we have come to know as the DCI experience. The levels of excellence achieved by our touring groups are truly remarkable, however the financial and practical costs, related learning curve and inherent startup risks associated with our existing business model make it difficult for us to bring new ensembles into our world as participants,” said Acheson. “Through the creation of this extremely exciting initiative, we intend to vastly expand our footprint and aggressively pursue opportunities to engage more people in appealing new ways. The possibilities for successfully extending our reach to introduce an enormous number of new people around the world to what we do are electrifying.”
Indeed, the launch of the SoundSport® program has helped to expand the number of international participants in DCI’s programs, both in North America and overseas.
In just one year, four Canadian ensembles have organized within the framework of SoundSport® program. SoundSport® has also witnessed the formation of 10 elementary school SoundSport teams in China, as well as teams form in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ireland, and Colombia.
John DeNovi, Senior Director of Business Development for DCI, and one of the creators behind SoundSport®, is extremely excited for the continued international expansion of this program.
“With a rapidly growing, passionate, informed, talented and engaged fan base throughout the world, and strategic alliances already in place with marching music associations in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand, new opportunities are developing at a breathtaking pace,” said DeNovi. “Combined with the existing awareness and presence of the drum corps activity throughout Europe, Asia, South Africa, South America and beyond, our goal is to create another avenue to unite the world through music and performance, to promote teamwork and the pursuit of excellence; and to have a heck of a lot of fun in the process.”
The goal of SoundSport® isn’t limited to growth in international involvement however. This program is also designed to help rekindle the growth of domestic drum and bugle corps and expand the activity stateside.
In mid-2013 it was announced that Southwind Drum & Bugle corps would be returning to the performance stage as a SoundSport® team, aiming to use this low cost program to build a sturdy foundation from which to grow a full touring Drum Corps and return to DCI competition. A number of SoundSport® teams have expressed their desire to pursue eventual participation in DCI as Open Class Drum Corps. One such group is The Guardians Drum and Bugle Corps from San Marcos, Texas. The Guardians participated in SoundSport® last summer as a start-up ensemble. Their remarkable success has enabled them to proceed evaluation for acceptance as potential DCI Open Class participants.
“The program will enable us to maintain and protect the positioning of what we’ve come to know as the DCI drum corps brand as the ultimate destination in the marching arts, while providing a series of fresh, discrete, new opportunities for interaction,” added DCI’s DeNovi. “We’ll be able to offer large-scale exposure in an entirely new context for groups ranging from pro sports drum lines to college pep bands; from groups usually restricted to recital halls and rehearsal rooms to community-based ensembles to things we haven’t even considered nor imagined yet.”
If you are interested in either forming your own SoundSport® team or joining a team near you, check out the SoundSport Find A Team page of the SoundSport website, www.soundsport.com/find-team/.