Drum, bugle groups march into Indy for world championship

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Musicians from across the world are marching into Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend for the Drum Corps International World Championships.

You might have heard the drum and bugle corps rehearsing all over the city this week.

Forty teams are competing Thursday night for a spot in Friday’s semifinals.

Visit Indy expects the event to generate $11.2 million for the local economy this year.

A Denver-based group called the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps rehearsed Thursday at Arsenal Tech High School. Tyler Doan, a section leader for the Blue Knights, has traveled the country this summer competing alongside his teammates.

“We’re all putting all our hard work from the past three months into these three days,” Doan said.

The finals will be held Saturday.

“This place [Indianapolis] holds a huge place in my heart because I’ve always seen the best drum corps out there do what they want to do, and I’ve always wanted to be a part of that,” Doan said. 

The musicians are high school and college students from all over the U.S., as well as from other countries.

Mark Arnold, executive director of the Blue Knights, is leading the team to Lucas Oil Stadium for the ninth straight year.

“A lot of excitement in the air,” Arnold said. “The city is just set up perfectly for an event like ours, with the convention center and the stadium being interconnected and the proximity of the hotels. It’s a great fan experience, and the city of Indianapolis really knows how to put on events like this.”

For the Blue Knights, Arsenal Tech is more than this week’s rehearsal spot.

They’re packing up their gear every night and laying out sleeping bags in the gym, dreaming of taking home the top prize.

“It’s really important to us that we nail every single thing so we have a successful show,” Doan said.

The finals and several other events are open to the public. You can buy tickets online.

Drum Corps International signed a deal to keep the event in Indianapolis at least through 2028.

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