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The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps

The Academy
Drum and Bugle Corps
The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps logo
Location Tempe, AZ
Division World Class
Founded 2001
Director Mark Richardson
Championship titles 2006 (Division II)
Uniform Black tailcoat w/silver buttons
White shirt w/wing collar
Vest & necktie (colors change w/show theme)
Black pants
Black shoes & socks
Black shako w/silver trim & plume (color changes w/show theme)

The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps (also known as "The Academy") is a World Class (formerly Division I) competitive junior drum and bugle corps based in Tempe, Arizona. The corps is a member of Drum Corps International (DCI).[1]


In 2001, a group of people gathered in the Phoenix, Arizona area with the intent of starting a drum and bugle corps (D&B). They formed the Board of Directors of the Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts, a non-profit organization with the goal "...of enhancing the culture of music, dance, and the performing arts in Arizona." They then formed The Academy Brass & Percussion Ensemble, which made numerous local appearances during the summers of 2001–03, including at the D&B competition the organization sponsors, the Southwest Corps Connection.[2]

In the summer of 2004, the corps added a color guard, changed the name to The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, and entered the field of competition. Marching a short season of only four weeks and six shows in Arizona and California, the corps was undefeated in Division II.[3] The next year, the corps expanded its boundaries, performing in 10 shows, including Drums Along the Rockies, in Denver, and was again undefeated in Division II. 2006 was The Academy's most successful season. The corps appeared in shows in seven states, including the DCI Division II/III World Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, where the corps capped their third undefeated season with the Division II title.[4]

In 2007, The Academy moved into Division I (now World Class) competition. That was their most successful season in the class, finishing 13th at the DCI World Championships, but the corps continues to challenge for a position among the DCI Top Twelve finalists.[5]

The Academy assembled a 100+ member brass, percussion, and auxiliary ensemble of members and alumni that performed outside University of Phoenix Stadium prior to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIX and at the NFL Experience, "an interactive theme park of all things football," during the week of January 25–February 1, 2015.[6]


The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps is sponsored by the Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts, a 501 (c)(3) musical organization that has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission of, "...building great people through great performances." The Executive Director is Mark Richardson.[7] In addition to the drum and bugle corps, the Arizona Academy also sponsors The Academy Winter Youth Guard [8] and the The Academy Summer Youth Guard,[9] two introductory color guard activities; and Phenom a SoundSport® performance ensemble.[10]

Show summary (2001–2014)


Year Theme Repertoire Score Placement
2001 Excerpts from
Drum Corps Past
Malambo (Finale from Estancia) by Alberto Ginastera / Amber Waves by Morton Gould /
When a Man Loves a Woman by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright
--- ---
2002 Ya Gotta Try by Sammy Nestico / Grand Canyon Fanfare by James Newton Howard /
Cadillac of the Skies (from Empire of the Sun) by John Williams
--- ---
2003 A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten / Vide Cor Meum (from Hannibal) by Hans Zimmer /
The Challenge & Promise (from Millennium Celebration) by Gavin Greenaway
--- ---
2004 Symphony for Brass and Percussion (mvt III) by Alfred Reed / Chanson Melancolique by Morley Calvert /
Jubilation from Symphony for Brass and Timpani by Herbert Haufrecht
--- ---
2005 Piano Concerto No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich --- ---
2006 ¡danzón! Huapango by Jose Pablo Moncayo / Patria by Ruben Blades / El Cumbanchero by Rafael Hernández 95.625 1st
Div. II
2007 The Chase The Chase / The Villain / The Hero / The Woman / At the Jitterbug Club / The Love Theme / The Chase / Conclusion
All original compositions by The Academy staff
84.50 13th
2008 Vienna Nights Freud’s Dream / Mozart’s Theme / Café Life / Gallop / Notturno / Finale-Alla Turka
All from Vienna Nights by Philip Wilby
78.85 18th
2009 The Ascent Call of the Mountain (from Gates of Gold) by Joseph Curiale / An Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss /
Kingfishers Catch Fire by John Mackey
83.75 14th
2010 Strangers In Paradise Overture (from Prince Igor) by Alexander Borodin / Aquarium (from Carnival of the Animals) by Camille Saint-Saëns /
Selections from Prince Igor, Polovstian Dances & Chorus (From Prince Igor) by Alexander Borodin
84.05 14th
2011 (RE) The Little Fugue in G Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach / Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre / Fly by Ludovico Einaudi /
Lollapalooza by John Adams
82.65 15th
2012 Left of Spring:
Stravinsky Revisited
Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky / Epilogue & The Song of Purple Summer (from Spring Awakening) by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater / 81.90 15th
2013 Piano Man Wilkommen (from Cabaret) by John Kander and Fred Ebb / Alabama Song by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht /
Falling In Love Again by Fredrick Hollander and Sammy Lerner /
Piano Concerto No. 2 Mvt. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich / Piano Man by Billy Joel
78.20 19th
2014 Vanity Fair Fanfare-Rondeau from 1st Suite de symphonies by Jean-Joseph Mouret / Crown Imperial by William Walton /
What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss / Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli /
Jazz Suite # 2, Waltz #2 by Dmitri Shostakovich / Hungarian Rhapsody #2 by Franz Liszt /
Symphony # 7, 2nd Mvt. by Ludwig van Beethoven / Paris Sketches by Martin Ellerby
81.875 16th


  1. ^ "World Class Corps". Drum Corps International. 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  2. ^ "History". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Out of Nowhere — the Arizona Academy story". Drum Corps World. August 2004. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  4. ^ "2006 Scores for The Academy". Maher Associates, Inc. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Song History for The Academy". Maher Associates, Inc. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Academy is ready for the Super Bowl stage". Drum Corps International. January 28, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Board of Directors". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved March 15, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Announcing the 2015 Academy Winter Youth Guard". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Announcing the 2015 Academy Summer Youth Guard". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Phenom". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved May 20, 2015. 

External links