Photo courtesy of Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps
                                The horns, snares and color guard give their all in a performance earlier this season. The Seattle Cascades, as well as six other drum and bugle corps, perform Saturday, July 6 at Renton Memorial Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps The horns, snares and color guard give their all in a performance earlier this season. The Seattle Cascades, as well as six other drum and bugle corps, perform Saturday, July 6 at Renton Memorial Stadium.

They’ve got the beat, and the drums

Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps hosts band competition

A lot has changed from the regulated marching music that comes to mind when thinking of a drum and bugle corps.

In the 1960s, the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps didn’t need to travel outside of the Pacific Northwest region to find numerous competitors, events and divisions. Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion were primary sponsors.

But the regulations from these sponsors called for a specific tempo that prevented them from performing things like show tunes and classical music, Seattle Cascades Marketing Director David Haining said.

Haining’s first exposure to drum corps was back in those VFW sponsorship days, when corps performed during the Seattle World’s Fair.

“It was exciting, and I loved it, even though it was very regulated,” Haining said.

Then the directors, after the sponsors wouldn’t change the rules, decided to split and create Drum Corps International.

Now at Renton Memorial Stadium, under the bright stadium lights, eight judges will evaluate performances filled with color, brass, dancing, drums and synchronized movements.

Seattle Summer Music Games is a competitive event between seven drum and bugle corps. The corps come from Texas, Utah, Colorado and more, including Concord, California’s 18-time world champion, the Blue Devils. Each ensemble performs with their own styles, sounds and colors.

“These are seven of the best, most interesting corps,” Haining said. “All have very different programs planned.”

Open Class and World Class divisions compete in this event.

The host, Seattle Cascades, is Washington’s only world-class drum and bugle corps, founded in 1957. They’ve sponsored events like the Seattle Summer Music Games since its founding, Haining said. It’s one of the many performances that Seattle Cascades will do this summer, traveling over 10,000 miles, producing 800 meals a day for corps members and using 10 to 15 vehicles.

In 2015 and 2016, Seattle Cascades were world class semifinalists. According to a press release, this success has brought membership to an all-time high.

In a proclamation from Mayor Denis Law announcing July 6 to be Drum Corps Day, it states that drum corps provide opportunities for young folks to develop leadership, life skills and express their creativity with high-level artistic performances. Haining received the proclamation and spoke at the city council meeting, and said he wanted everyone to know what a family-oriented event it was.

“If you haven’t seen one of these shows, this is your opportunity,” Haining said. “You will be absolutely amazed.”

Corps performances today are a pageantry art, he said. The music and the themes tie together. Seattle Cascades theme is “Off the Grid.”

After the welcome from the city, Chamber of Commerce and many businesses, Haining said the Seattle Summer Games see Renton as its home. It has been at Renton Memorial Stadium the last few years but will have to relocate next year during stadium renovations.

It costs nearly $800,000 a year for Cascades to be a nationally competitive drum corps, Haining said. Corporate sponsorships, $3,800 member tuition and proceeds from the Seattle Summer Music Games pay for the group.

The event includes pre-show performances from the Seahawks’ Blue Thunder and Sounders Soundwave at a beer garden starting at 2 p.m., across the street at Carpenter’s Hall, 231 Burnett Ave. N. Food trucks and a souvenirs marketplace will also be available at the stadium.

The Games take off in Renton, opening at 4 p.m. and performing at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 6 at Renton Memorial Stadium. More information is at SeattleSummerMusicGames.org. Tickets vary from $25 to $50, with additional reduced group rates, which are for purchase at dci.org.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps
                                The horns, snares and color guard give their all in a performance earlier this season. The Seattle Cascades, as well as six other drum and bugle corps, perform Saturday, July 6 at Renton Memorial Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps The horns, snares and color guard give their all in a performance earlier this season. The Seattle Cascades, as well as six other drum and bugle corps, perform Saturday, July 6 at Renton Memorial Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps
                                The horns, snares and color guard give their all in a performance earlier this season. The Seattle Cascades, as well as six other drum and bugle corps, perform Saturday, July 6 at Renton Memorial Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps The horns, snares and color guard give their all in a performance earlier this season. The Seattle Cascades, as well as six other drum and bugle corps, perform Saturday, July 6 at Renton Memorial Stadium.

More in News

Halau Hula Ka Lei Mokihana I Ka Ua Noe perform at the 10th annual Uwajimaya Renton Polynesian Festival, Saturday Aug. 17. Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Celebrate culture with music, food and dance

The 10th annual Uwajimaya Renton Polynesian Festival was held Saturday Aug. 17,… Continue reading

Scott Kreidermacher, left, and Lara Randolph, right, hold up the food that remains from a busy day at the Free Grocery Store, a new project from nonprofit Sustainable Renton, on Monday, Aug. 19. Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Free grocery store to combat food waste

A small Renton nonprofit hopes to help homeless and keep food from the landfill

Melissa Glenn, hired in April 2019, is building the new social worker program at King County libraries “from the ground up.” Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Meeting those in-need where they congregate, the library

New library social worker is making swift, positive changes to lingering residents in need

Courtesy of Mary’s Place. Volunteers from KeyBank’s Hispanic-Latino Impact Networking Group and Key Women’s Network gave a formerly homeless family “everything they would need to start fresh in a new apartment” through the Make-a-Home program.
Volunteers needed to help displaced families

A mother and her children found a home in Renton thanks to Mary’s Place nonprofit

Staff, council scrap city-wide 20 mph plan

Neighborhoods can still request lower limits

Buses moving out of downtown

A new transit center may spur affordable home construction

From the Renton Reporter archives. The city has been sitting on the old Kaynan hangars, waiting to determine whether they’ll be demolished and reconstructed after the Airport Master Plan.
Councilmember sees loss of airport grant as a opportunity

Tricky airport planning is taking longer than expected, risking a $100K grant

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Seniors in nearby care facilities took flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane at Renton Municipal Airport, offered by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation.
No age cap to fly

On Sunday, Aug. 11 and Monday Aug. 12 seniors from Burien, Mercer… Continue reading

Most Read