September 17, 2015

DrumLine Battle Cheshire: Q&A with Alan Thompson

Eric Hjellming

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With only two days remaining, England’s first officially sanctioned DrumLine Battle in Cheshire is fast approaching. Held in conjunction with the 2015 British Drum Corps Championships and produced by Drum Corps United Kingdom (DCUK), this battle will pit four DCUK participants against each other in an exciting, head-to-head performance opportunity.

During the final preparations for the event we sat down with Alan Thompson, Chairman of Drum Corps United Kingdom, for a quick Q&A:

Why is hosting DrumLine Battle Cheshire important to you? What makes it important to performing ensembles in England?

In the UK we wanted to give both performers and audience something a little different at our Championships – something they have maybe not seen before. We always had a gap in programming between the Finals performances and the Results ceremony and, though there are a number of ways we could fill that time, we wanted to try and incorporate an event that would create interest whilst incorporating the fundamentals of what we do.

What does the DrumLine Battle program offer ensembles in England?

The activity in the UK is not huge, so we are always looking for way to engage both existing and potential new units in something a little different than the normal 10-12 minute performance.  Having seen DrumLine Battle first hand in Indianapolis I could see the excitement on the performers faces and from the initial reaction to the announcement of this, the first UK DrumLine Battle, I can only see that excitement growing over here.

What are the advantages of this competition as opposed to what already occurs in your area?

Whilst DrumLine Battle is competitive, it is a different type of competition.  It is where performers can see the whites of the eyes of the unit they are battling and so brings new dimension to the proceedings. It gives the audience the opportunity to influence the result by the level of support they give the different units, meaning they are almost as engaged as the performers themselves.Everyone loves to be a judge from the stand telling the Judges they have it wrong – well now they have that chance for real.

DrumLine Battle Cheshire will be held at approximately 9:00pm GMT at the completion of the 2015 British Drum Corps Championships Finals performances in Select Security Stadium Halton in Widnes, Cheshire. Tickets will be sold at the gate for all interested spectators.