Corp Spotlight: The Academy

The Academy, founded in 2001, began as a small division II corp. Fifteen years later, Academy has finally made it to the distiquished honor of being a “Top 12” corp. The 2016 Academy show, “Drum Corpse Bride”, finishing in 11th place,  upheld a massive improvement to their 2015 season, where the corp came in at 15th. This post will highlight some of the best moments and general layout of the Academy’s 2016 production. Let’s get to it!

The Academy’s show, “Drum Corps Bride”, follows the marriage of man and woman, beginning very cheerfully. The mood quickly turns darker, as the woman is suddenly cornered by death, where the man is too late to save her. From here, the man attempts to stun his guilt, imagining her as a dancer. The man then seems to be called by death as the music gets faster, until he too is taken. The music turns to a softer side, as the transition of life to death, until finally the man and woman meet again in the afterlife, embracing each other. In my opinion, the Academy’s show was extremely captivating, truly deep, and stirred many emotions inside me. The Academy definitely deserved their place among the top corps in the world with this beautiful show.

The Academy’s show had quite a few special moments to help drive this production into the top 12. First, the corp took its time to take the field, quickly forming a heart and playing a magnificent brass impact to start their show. These impacts litter the first half of the opener, including a trumpet feature to reinforce the idea of the dead woman dancing. Pit members dressed as skeletons then enter the field, climbing atop grave stones and playing their “ribs” with the snare line to create a unique feature. Immediantly following the feature, the brass line creates a cross and gears up for a massive brass hit. The production meanders on until the music speeds up and becomes more harmonical, or more clashing, as the man begins to approach death. The man then dies as the corp lays down among the grave stones, playing the same chord as when the woman died.

The music grows subtle, as the corp transitions into a ballad. Pictured above, a corp member then retrieves a flugelhorn and begins to play “Unchained Melody”, a beautiful solo work. The music does down, as the corp repositions on the field and the woman is finally reconnected with her lost love. The graves return to chairs, and the woman and man dance into the middle of the field. The corp members follow suit, playing the lovely melody that the show started out with, filling the rows with the rest of the corp forming a heart. Absolutely one of the most stunning shows I have ever seen.

Thanks for stopping by! As always, please click here to view the entire Academy’s 2016 production!


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