Drum Corps International

From DrumCorpsWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
DCI logo

Drum Corps International (DCI) is a non-profit organization serving drum corps around the world. Drum corps that compete and participate in Drum Corps International are split into World Class and Open Class.

Drum Corps International (DCI) is a nonprofit youth organization serving junior drum and bugle corps around the globe. From modest beginnings in 1972, DCI has developed into a powerful youth activity with artistic and organizational influence on the world's drum and bugle corps, marching bands, and related activities. Regional, focus, sponsored, and sanctioned shows have brought the drum corps experience to several million more in hundreds of towns and cities throughout North America.


Created in 1972 from the combination of the Midwest Combine and United Organization of Junior Corps as a reaction of the strict rules and guidelines of the VFW and AL.

The 13 charter members of the organization were: Anaheim Kingsmen, Argonne Rebels, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Blue Rock, Blue Stars, Boston Crusaders, Cavaliers, De La Salle Oaklands, Garfield Cadets, Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, Troopers and 27th Lancers.

Membership Classes

  • World Class corps membership are primarily college-aged students with some high school involvement. The membership limit for World Class is 150 members. Most corps from this class follow an intensive tour schedule, traveling more than 10,000 miles over the course of the summer while performing at more than 35 sanctioned events. The criteria to earn World Class status incorporates a combination of aspects that include organizational stability, strength of program, number of participants, touring capabilities and financial stability. A participation review process is managed by a committee of independent individuals. They perform exhaustive evaluations of corps petitioning for World Class status after which a recommendation is presented to the DCI Board of Directors for a decision. A corps performance fees are tied to their placement the previous season.
  • Open Class corps membership are a mixture of high school students and some college-aged students. Open Class corps have a minimum of 30 members up to a maximum of 150. Most Open Class corps will follow an abbreviated tour schedule compared to World Class corps with memberships made up of a mixture of high school and some college-aged students. The criteria to earn Open Class status involves a combination of factors that include organizational stability, strength of program, number of participants, travel capabilities, and financial stability. An evaluation process assists new or re-emerging corps petitioning for Open Class status after which a recommendation is presented to the Open Class Advisory Committee for approval.
  • International Class is comprised of corps from outside North America who often travel long distances to perform as part of the annual Drum Corps International Tour. In this class, corps are allowed to follow their own country’s organizational guidelines. If they choose to recognize Drum Corps International rules, they are allowed to compete for the Open Class title.

Historic classes and divisions

1972-1974 1975-1982 1983-1984 1985-1991 1992-2007 2008–Present
Open Class Open Class Open Class Open Class Division I World Class
Class A Class A Class A Division II Open Class
All-Girl Class A60 Division III

Board of Directors

The current Board of Directors was elected on February 6, 2014 and will serve a one-year term.

Chairman: Jeff Fiedler
Vice-Chairman: Chris Komnick
Treasurer: Fred Morrison
Secretary: Rick Valenzuela
John Masterson
David Gibbs
Jim Coates
Mark Arnold
Tom French (unaffiliated)


The full Drum Corps International summer tour lasts seven weeks and culminates with one week of Championships. World Class corps will generally tour this full amount of time, covering more than 10,000 miles. Open Class corps generally tour only on weekends during this time, with a one or two week tour preceeding Championships.


One of Drum Corps International's goals was to standardize rules and adjudication procedures for the Junior Drum Corps activity. Prior to DCI's existence, corps tailored their shows towards the rules specifications of either American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Currently, drum corps are judged by eight or nine adjudicators. The technique used to assign scores by these adjudicators is based on a "buil-up" system. This means that corps are awarded for things they do well rather than penalized for errors.

The highest score possible is 100. This score is broken down into three categories: General Effect, worth 40 points; Visual, worth 30 points; and Music, worth 30 points. These three categories are further broken down into subcategories.

General Effect

  • 1: 20 points
  • 2: 20 points


  • Proficiency (VP): 20 points
  • Analysis (VA): 20 points
  • Colorguard (VC): 20 points

Each sub-caption is divided by two.

Performance Music

  • Brass (MB): 20 points
  • Analysis (MA): 20 points
  • Percussion (MP): 20 points

Each sub-caption is divided by two.

  • Total: 100 points



Individual & Ensemble

DCI sponsored, during the week of Finals, an event called Individual & Ensemble. These were events in which individual members, or small ensembles, would showcase themselves in their respective instrumentation. These events were also judged. This varied on the type of event.

Rehearsal time for these event were done on the performers own time when their corps was not rehearsing, which was usually at lunch, dinner, after rehearsal, after a corps performance or on days off.

See Also


Current DCI Adjudication Sheets

External Links