Drum Corps International returns to Menomonie

MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- After nearly a decade, Drum Corps International made its way back to western Wisconsin Sunday.

After nearly a decade, Drum Corps International made its way back to western Wisconsin.

The Drum Corps International-Menomonie show is one of 110 stops on the DCI tour across the U.S.

Calvin Stromwell is a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard, a high level drum corps from California.

"A lot of people are skeptical and think it's just a marching band thing, but it's really an inspiring experience to see it live," he said.

Although based in Santa Clara, Stromwell says there are members from all over the world.

"The corps itself is based out of California but it's not much of a factor on who joins the corps. I'm from Minnesota."

Dan Acheson is the chief executive officer of DCI. He says say it's an experience that you have to see and hear to believe.

"It’s a major production that occurs every 17 minutes,” He said. “There's more than marching. There is dancing, there is music being played at proficiency that you don't hear out of many amateur groups."

According to Acheson, DCI is the major league for marching musicians.

"These are the best of the best in marching music. It's a high level sport. It's an Olympic level sport."

Stromwell is in this first year as a member of the Santa Clara Vanguard and he had to travel a fair amount, just to audition.

Stromwell plays the marimba for the Vanguard. But it’s taken some time to make the prestigious corps.

"I’ve auditioned here for the last two years and this year I made it in. I flew out to Texas to audition camps each year and it's just a process of playing and seeing who makes the cut."

Nathan Czech is a student at UW-Eau Claire and is a drum major for the Madison Scouts.
For him, drum corps has helped shape the person he is today.

“For me, drum corps have been the most life changing thing I’ve ever done. It's been incredibly, incredibly strenuous, frustrating, but I’ve learned so much about myself and so much about how to me a more-rounded person.”