Getting to Know the Corps: Phantom Regiment


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Phantom Regiment is a Drum Corp International two time world champion based in Rockford, Illinois. Although the corp’s head quarters are some hundreds of miles away from my home town high school, we share some very rich history with Phantom. Our junior high band director and marching instructor, Mr. Joe Huls, was a 5 year veteran with the corp. Mr. William Pitts, whom graduated from my very own Carrollton High School, was a 3 year veteran. Finally, we have Mr. David Warren whom also graduated from Carrollton High School, was also a 5 year veteran.

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Mr. Joe Huls toured with Phantom from 2000 to 2004 as a part of the soprano line. Mr. Huls was named member of the year in 2004 and was selected to play the corp’s solo in “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral”. Upon hearing Hul’s involvement in the corp, this lead to my first exposure to drum corp, opening my eyes to this amazing world. His constantly silly nature, signature “wailin”, and love for screamer solos has driven me to go higher and higher (All you real SOP nerds will get the pun XD). Click here to watch Mr. Huls lead a goofy stretch (beginning of video) and play his solo for the corp age out ceremony (near the end).

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Mr. Will Pitts was the drum major for Carrollton High School, going on to conduct Phantom Regiment in 2005, 2007, and 2008. Will also received member of the year in 2008. On top of his achievements, he led the corp to Drum Corp Gold in 2008, beating the Blue Devils by 0.025 points. Will continues to compose for Spirit of Atlanta and Phantom Regiment, including countless other groups out side of drum corp. Click here to watch Will Pitts conduct the corp in finals, with a little surprise at the end of the show 😉

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David Warren also conducted for Carrollton High School, moving on to conduct Phantom in 2012 – 2016. David Warren received the Jim Jones Leadership Award, each year awarded at Finals to one corp member from the top 12 corps that show unparalleled leadership. David Warren is now studying at Berry College and is the low brass instructor for the Sound of the Seven Hills, Rome High School Band (Shout out to the screamer from Rome, we’ll have that competition next time). Click here to watch David’s GoPro run through from one of Phantom’s practice runs in the 2015 season “City of Lights”.

As always, thanks for your time, and I’ll see you again soon! SUTA!





Corp Spotlight: The Star of Indiana (Blast!) – Forever A Legacy

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The Star of Indiana, founded in 1984, took the Drum Corp World by storm. Beginning the corp’s reputation with being the first and only corp to finish in the top 12 in their first year of competition, The Star of Indiana rose to stardom to rival the reigning champions of Drum Corp, including Santa Clara Vanguard and The Blues Devils. The corp snagged the championship title in 1991, just 7 years after their first season. The corp was disbanded in 1993 so they could tour the world on a different, indoor stage, leaving the DCI world with a gold, silver, and 2 bronze medals.

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After exiting the field of Drum Corp, The Star of Indiana went on to form the indoor group Blast!. After an unsuccessful year in England, Blast! moved to the United States, where the group was met with outstanding support, receiving a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event and an Emmy Award for Best Choreography. The group boasts awe inspiring shows, including shows widely popular among DCI nerds such as “Malaguena” and “Blue Rondo A La Turk”. To get a true taste of this amazing indoor group, click here to view “Malaguena”, my personal favorite.

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Blast!‘s new concept of the DCI world has encouraged a hefty following, including trombones as an independent section and placing percussion in compartments at the rear of the stage. The shows are brought to life by the enthusiasm of the group, with members performing in the audience at times. For example, during “Malaguena”, corp members play and spin right in the middle of the audience, preforming crazy acrobatic spins, and show casing the most difficult solos that I’ve ever seen in the world of Drum Corp. This amazing corp is set to continue tours on a Broadway stage rather than a grass field in the near future.

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Another group to spawn from the disbanded Star of Indiana was the mini corp set to preform in the DCA chapter, Star United. This mini corp boasts outstanding achievements in the shadow of it’s mother corp. Star United won the Mini Corp DCA Championships in 2006-2012 and 2014-2016, even obtaining the first and only perfect score in Drum Corp history, a perfect 100.0.

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Although only participating 7 years in Drum Corp International competitions, The Star of Indiana left a lasting legacy in the form of Blast! and Star United, continuing the tradition of excellence and perfection. As always, click here to view the full 1991 Star of Indiana show that placed 1st at DCI championships. Thanks for stopping by!