Summer Music Games in Cincinnati celebrates 25th anniversary

Pictured is one of the participating corps performing at a past Drum Corps International Competition. CONTRIBUTED

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Pictured is one of the participating corps performing at a past Drum Corps International Competition. CONTRIBUTED

Thousands of spectators will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Summer Music Games in Cincinnati as they come together for Drum Corps International Competition on Wednesday, July 6.

Director Bruce Brown, who has been directing the competition with his wife, Sara, for 25 years, said The Summer Music Games in Cincinnati competition will showcase a handful of World Class drum and bugle corps.

“It’s exciting to reflect on our 25th anniversary. This gives us an opportunity to look back on how many kids’ lives we’ve impacted. We’ve hosted more than 30,000 youth who have been involved in drum corps,” Brown said. “Our responsibility is to host a fun and safe, family-friendly event.”

The Summer Music Games in Cincinnati, a major Drum Corps International competition, features a diverse group of more than 1,200 youth from around the world, who will come together in the Greater Cincinnati area to display their talents and compete as a part of a summer tour. Students in World Class corps are primarily college-age with some high school involvement.

Brown said each drum and bugle corps is comprised of up to 165 brass, color guard and percussionists that will give spectators an amazing display of athleticism, artistry and outstanding musical performances. Six World Class corps will perform at the competition in Mason. Eight judges from across the country will judge the competition.

“It’s an opportunity to see the best of the best high school-college aged kids perform on the field,” he said.

Summer Music Games in Cincinnati is hosted by Fairfield High School Marching Band and the band will perform the National Anthem at the start of the event. After the performance, the student musicians will have the opportunity watch the show or volunteer at the event.

Four of the performing corps, excluding the Cincinnati and Columbus corps (who are close to home), will stay overnight at area schools. The Bluecoats will be staying at Hamilton High School; Crossmen will be staying at Fairfield High School; Phantom Regiment is being hosted by Lakota East Freshman School and Music City is staying at Clinton-Massie Middle School/High School.

“These schools have graciously agreed to host a corps, which means here comes six motor coaches, three tractor trailers and a fleet of other vehicles that shows up on your campus. You have to have water and electrical hook-ups for their kitchen truck. That’s how they feed the kids…It’s a pretty big production,” Brown said.

The event, a major Fundraiser for Fairfield’s band boosters has raised over $300,000 to date, which supports the school’s music programs. The funds go toward music, instruments, uniforms and color guard equipment. In addition, about $600,000 has been contributed to support Drum Corps International.

Around 5,000 attendees are expected at the event, including about 1,000 performers. More than 120 volunteers will also help run the event. The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

“People in the area haven’t seen a Drum Corps International Competition for two years. We have a lot of avid drum corps’ fans in the area, so we’re excited to host the corps and see them again,” Brown said.

How to go

What: Summer Music Games in Cincinnati, Drum Corps International competition

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium at Mason High School, 6100 S. Mason Montgomery Road in Mason

Admission: Advance tickets prices are $13, $23, $28 and $38. Ticket prices will increase $2 per ticket the day of the event. Tickets will be available at the stadium starting at 3 p.m. on Wed., July 6.

More info: Visit Summer Music Games in Cincinnati is hosted by the Fairfield High School Marching Band. This is a rain or shine event.

The World Class line-up of corps includes:

· Cincinnati Tradition from Cincinnati

· Music City from Nashville, TN

· Crossmen from San Antonio, TX

· Phantom Regiment from Rockford, IL

· Bluecoats from Canton

· Columbus Saints from Columbus

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