We are pleased to announce the judges for SoundSport Indianapolis, held on Pan Am Plaza in Downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, August 8th, 2015:
Musical Performance: James Elvord
James Elvord stunned the world of drum corps by creating the chilling and powerful sound of the 1970s Madison Scouts horn lines. However, the sheer intensity and remarkable volume of these lines was matched by their incredible technique and musicianship. The Elvord “sound” brought audiences to their feet several times during a Scouts performance, and forced music educators outside of drum corps to recognize the legitimate musical viability of the activity. The fact that the Madison Scouts are as popular as they are today can be traced to the direction in which he pointed the corps.
James entered the Madison Scouts organization as a baritone player. Upon aging out, he was appointed director of the Madison junior Scouts, after which he was elevated to brass caption head of the Madison Scouts.
He helped lead the corps out of a 14th-place finish in 1972 to place fourth in 1973, second in 1974 and then first in 1975, with many enviable finishes in later years. He also branched out and taught the Cavaliers, 27th Lancers and Santa Clara Vanguard, as well as a number of smaller corps. Later, he continued to offer his assistance to the world of brass as a DCI judge.
Perhaps his greatest accomplishments are not the accolades he won for his horn lines, but rather the way he affected those whom he taught. James never forgot what it was like to pull himself up by his own bootstraps while growing up in economic deprivation. His horn rehearsals mixed healthy doses of “can do” motivation with solid brass technique. It’s no wonder horn lines improved dramatically when he came on board, outperforming their own hopes and expectations.
Visual Performance: Helen Bassett
Helen is from Bristol, United Kingdom, began her drum corps career in 1993, marching within the UK drum corps circuits. 17 consecutive seasons later, she hung up her marching shoes to train as a Field Visual judge for Drum Corps Europe (DCE) in 2010. Having developed a passion and love for judging, Helen now also adjudicates for the Winterguard UK (WGUK) and Drum Corps International (DCI) judging teams. Helen was delighted to join the adjudication panel at one of the first European Soundsport events held in early 2015.
Overall Impression: Michael Gray
Michael Gray’s career in the visual and pageantry arts spans more than three decades. His paintings are collected worldwide and his classes on impressionism and plein air painting are are perennial favorites with aspiring and established artists nationwide. Gray has participated in the highest levels of DCI, WGI and BOA as a designer, instructor, clinician and judge. He has served as the program coordinator for the Bluecoats Drum Corps, the Ensemble Caption Facilitator for Winter Guard International, a DCI judge. He is currently judging for DCI again in 2015 and continues to judge for BOA. He is has been the visual coordinator for the 2 time BOA Grand National Finalist, Wando High School Band and is in his 5th year as a uniform designer for DeMoulin Bros. and Co. Michael is a resident of Charleston, SC and maintains the Michael Gray Gallery on Broad St.