Belton: Drum Corps International visits Central Texas

(Photo by Kristen Victorin)
(Photo by Kristen Victorin)(KWTX)
Published: Jul. 20, 2017 at 10:45 PM CDT
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Drum Corps International celebrates 45 years of marching and musical ensemble performances.

There are 55 performing all summer long in 37 states. Central Texas welcomed 12 at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Thursday.

The Boston Crusaders took to the field Thursday night after intense preparation.

They rehearsed every step and note in a heat index of 105 degrees at the Belton Crusader’s stadium Thursday afternoon before the performance.

"This is a sport for us, without question,” Boston Crusaders Executive Director Chris Holland said. “You look at what they're doing, how they're moving, how they're playing on the field and it's incredibly demanding."

A whopping 700 people auditioned all over the country for this ensemble but only 150 are part of Drum Corps International's 45th anniversary summer tour.

Most of the ensembles performing DCI Central Texas consist of 150 members.

The month of May for the Boston Crusaders was spent learning the choreography for the tour performance.

"Sometimes it tests your endurance and tests your will,” Boston Crusaders Drum Major Nicholas Wintkel said.

He says the team work carries him through the summer heat.

“On the field if you're not reading the tempos right or if you're having an off day it gets a little bit dirty," he said.

The ensemble’s theme for the tour performance is loosely based on the Salem witch trials.

"Being hunted, being persecuted, being falsely convicted, those are the kind of the emotional layers that we have woven into the music and into the choreography, the marching, and the color guard that you see on the field,” Holland said.

Though it takes 12 hour days, sometimes in blistering heat, to get it just right, members say it’s worth it.

"There's people that love what you do and love to see what you're about,” Wintkel said.

The ensembles that performed Thursday at DCI Central Texas will be in San Antonio this Saturday for DCI Southwestern Championships.