Members of our team had the pleasure of attending the 2021 Drum Corps International Celebration event at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on August 12-14 this year. It may have been different than what we’re used to in a typical DCI year, but it certainly did not disappoint! 

This year we were fortunate to work with four outstanding drum corps who moved mountains to get their members safely across the country for their tour and event. Check out a recap here, and learn more about the products each team used, as well as what we produced for DCI this season! 

Gold Drum & Bugle Corps from San Diego, California

Gold took the DCI Celebration to the Speakeasy this season, transforming the field into an underground jazz club. Always entertaining, Gold’s energy on the field all three days was electric.

Gold’s colorguard wore art-deco inspired sleeveless DPG unitards with a scoop neck and a flapper style headpiece. This form-fitting unitard with a variety of blues and greens and gold curve-hugging lines was flattering on all their performers. The design of the uniform helped set the mood for the era of their Speakeasy. 

Gold’s first set of red flags had the look of patterned wallpaper that you might see in an old Hollywood movie. 

The second set of nighttime themed blue and gold flags had a whimsical and dreamy feel. 

Gold is under the direction of newly named DCI Open Class Director of the Year, Don Flaherty, and the colorguard is under the direction of Joey Valenzuela. 

Genesis Drum & Bugle Corps from Austin, Texas

Genesis from Austin, Texas presented their fun and creative take on the Wizard of Oz story with their production of “There’s No Place Like Home” at the DCI Celebration. 

Their first flag depicted the tornado that whisks us away at the beginning of the story.

Their second flag made a grand entrance of color, taking us into Oz from the front sideline with a beautiful rainbow gradient and a bright green Pole Wrap. 

The yellow brick road came to life with vibrant yellow brick flags and color matched yellow Pole Wraps. 

The final flag covered the field in a rainbow of colors, with each group starting in a different area of the field and leading to a final rainbow across the ensemble, each shade with its own matching Pole Wrap for a complete look. 

Genesis is led by CEO Chris Magonigal. The colorguard is under the direction of Guard Designers Christopher McCarthy and Alyson Downs. 

Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps from San Antonio, Texas

We have been fortunate to partner with the Crossmen from our home state of Texas for a number of years. This year, their show, “Your Move” a chess-inspired production featuring the music of Pat Metheny, Hozier, and Ilan Eshkeri. 

The first flag features a blue and green chess flag, with a pink grid throughout, and a set of DPG Pole Wraps to match the silk at the tab. 

The second set features a stunningly bright purple and pink color scheme that sets off the white chess piece. The accompanying Pole Wrap continues the color down to both stoppers. 

The final set of flags incorporated the chess board in a psychedelic blue and white pattern. A purple to pink gradient on the chess piece further set of the background. The black and white chess squares continued down the Pole Wrap for added effect, and was very evident against the black curtain!

The Crossmen are under the direction of CEO Natalie Steele, Corps Director Mike Arena, and the colorguard is headed by Tim Mikan. 

Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps from Denver, Colorado

Our partnership with the Blue Knights and their parent organization, Ascend Performing Arts, has produced some of our favorite creations over the years. This year was no exception, and we were thrilled to see the Blue Knights back on the field!

This season’s production of “Always” featured music by Louis Armstrong, Moses Sumney, Joni Mitchell, and Billie Eilish and Khalid. The opening of “What a Wonderful World” showcased an ensemble standard flag with a red-tinted view of the earth from afar. 

The second flag showcased an out of this world pastel spherical design on a black background. 

The showstopper of the day were the massive custom swing flags during Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” These gigantic double swing flags were nearly 7.5’ feet long and 5.5’ feet wide…each! Talk about an arm workout!

The brightly colored green background and colorful flowers of the closer flag brought Billie Eilish & Khalid’s “Lovely” to life 

The Blue Knights are led by CEO Mark Arnold and Corps Director Jordan Helwerda. The colorguard is under the direction of Tracy Carter, and flags were designed by Tommy Keenum. 

The DPG and Drum Corps International Partnership

In addition to the corps we have the privilege to work with, DPG is a proud sponsor of Drum Corps International, as well as DCI’s Drum Line Battle and SoundSport. 

Although rules were different this season to protect the corps members and staff, we were still able to provide some of the backstage decor to help welcome performers as they entered the tunnel to take the field. 

We missed the Last Looks station and being able to bring you some behind the scenes looks at our favorite teams, but we’re excited to see it back at DCI’s 50th anniversary next summer!

In addition to signage throughout the venue, DPG provides DCI’s giant backfield banners each year. This year’s were vinyl, but ones used in previous years were made of our seamless field tension fabric. 

We also provided this year’s Drum Line Battle strip, which denotes the boundary line for drum line battles. We thoroughly enjoyed this season’s battle between the Atlanta Drum Academy and the Memphis Youth Arts Initiative. 

Check out the Drum Line Battle: 

Next year we hope to see tons more drumlines and SoundSport ensembles at the International Music and Food Festival on the plaza. In 2019 we provided both the Drum Line Battle floor and the SoundSport floor, and enjoyed performances from teams of all ages from all over the world alongside their enthusiastic fans.  

The Spirit of the Marching Arts Community

We were thrilled to be able to celebrate with DCI, Gold, Genesis, Crossmen, and the Blue Knights, along with all of the other participating corps, their parents, fans, and staffs this season. Congratulations to everyone who took the field, participated via video, or supported someone who did. And a huge congratulations to all of the staff who made this Celebration come to life!

While some things might have been different, the spirit of the marching arts was alive and well at DCI Celebration 2021! We can’t wait to see you next year for DCI’s 50th Anniversary. Keep doing what you love!


All photos and video by Cichele Fields for Digital Performance Gear, 2021.