RetreatThe Tampa Bay Thunder Drum and Bugle Corps experienced a short but successful run as a DCI drum corps in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 due to many circumstances merged with the Kiwanis Kavaliers Drum and Bugle producing the largest drum corps in their history.

Well, 10 years later, WE ARE BACK! The Tampa Bay Thunder Drum and Bugle Corps will once again bring fans to their feet as an all-aged corps entering DCA competition in the summer of 2011.

The Tampa Bay Thunder All- Aged Drum and Bugle Corps has been created to help fill the void for those that can still compete at a high level but can't afford to commit the entire summer or spend thousands of dollars with a full touring corps.

Our goal is to produce a superior product that will allow us to represent DCA South and DCA in the highest manner, entertain fans and create an organization that our community is proud of.

The Drum and Bugle Corps Experience

The thrill of the drum and bugle corps activity is shared by thousands of people every year either as fans or participants. The drum corps experience is characterized by musical excellence, competition, and fellowship. Drum corps has often been described as "Art in Motion" and advertised as "the Summer Music Games". It is a unique performance activity that demands commitment, perseverance, and excellence from all that are involved.

Originating in the post WWII era, drum corps has evolved dramatically over the years. What was once a vehicle for veterans to perform at local parades and ceremonies, while kindling the spirit of camaraderie and fellowship, has developed into an entertainment and competitive driven activity. Today, drum and bugle corps perform in various venues including indoor concerts, parades, community events, and competitive field shows. The primary focus of a competitive drum and bugle corps is the summer field show season. The field show is a live performance of brass and percussion, accompanied by the interpretation of music through dance movement and equipment work of a colorguard. All sections are set in motion by distinctive and flowing drill designs.

Drum Corps promotes musical expression and education for all ages. There are different levels of corps distinguished by their governing bodies and membership. Junior corps participate in the Drum Corps International (DCI) circuit. Senior corps participate in the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) circuit. Each circuit, DCI and DCA set their own rules, regulations, judging criteria, and membership restrictions. Junior corps (DCI) have a set age range of 14 - 21, are a full time activity in the summer rehearsing 7 days a week, performing at shows and competitions several times a week, and traveling throughout North America The senior corps, (DCA) have no set age limits, often composed of members 16 and above, rehearsing and performing on weekends only, and have limited travel.

The goal of drum corps is to strive for excellence, promote musical pageantry, and entertain. In addition to these elements, one can also find fellowship and make life-long friends through the drum corps experience. The dedication and perseverance required are celebrated through the thrill of performing in front of thousands of fans at field shows, concerts, and parades.

What to expect in DCA

For many years DCA was called Senior Corps. This meant that membership for most of the top DCA corps was at about 28 to 65! Over the past ten or so years the activity has made changes to survive with the main changes being what the average age of membership.

Today the average age of all DCA corps is about 19. Yes, that is correct. While some corps still have some members that are very able to participate well into their 40's this is not the majority.

DCA is no longer called Senior Corps, they are known as All-Age Drum Corps. Financially they couldn't survive with membership number declining over the years. These corps have also capitalized on the majority members that cannot afford to tour all summer and the organization could not afford the huge budgets required to support this type of organization.


 Vic Firth