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History for Carolina Crown Fort Mill, SC
Active Junior Corps (World Class) founded in 1990 Did you march Carolina Crown?
Repertoires Picture Gallery History Scores Members
homepage: http://www.carolinacrown.org
Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_Crown_Drum_and_Bugle_Corps
After nine winter camps, a month and a half of daily rehearsals, four exhibitions, two parades, and 13 shows, the 61 charter members of Carolina Crown completed their inaugural season at the 1990 DCI World Championships in Buffalo, New York, placing 33rd in Open Class competition.

Crown's first two tours took them to performances in eight states involving 6000 miles of travel. Regional performances included the DCE Regional Championship, DCI South, and DCI East. Several established corps such as the Cadets of Bergen County and the Spirit of Atlanta established "big brother" relationships with Crown, helping the corps throughout the season.

The decision to base Carolina Crown's first show on "The Music Man" was intentional, as the musical tells the story of a man who comes to town to start a band. The spirited closer "76 Trombones" often got the audience clapping along. Crown's first year might be described as a small corps with a big heart. Everyone was a rookie. There was no past to remember, only the present to live in and the future to build.

In 1991 Carolina Crown experienced a major growth spurt both in numbers and proficiency. DCI Finals in Dallas saw Crown placing second in Division II competition, winning all captions except percussion. Crown achieved another milestone in its short history later that week by gaining DCI member status with its 25th place finish in Open Class competition.

1992, with a show featuring the music of Sir Malcolm Arnold, saw Crown placing third in Division II competition, once again taking honors in the brass, color guard, and drum major captions. In addition, Crown retained its member status by placing 25th in Open Class.

After only four years on the field, Carolina Crown came of age in Jackson, Mississippi, by capturing the DCI Division II title. Performing its most complex show to date, Crown won high honors in brass, general effect, and perhaps most importantly, percussion. The victory was made extra sweet with Crown's 21st place finish in Open Class.

Carolina Crown's fifth year saw the corps moving fully into Open Class competition for the first time since 1990. New ground was broken yet again as Crown achieved semifinal status with a 17th place finish at Semifinals in Boston, performing a program of Copland and Gould.

1995’s Rich Stadium-based contemporary repertoire show entitled 'Stormworks' put Crown into the top 12 for the first time. Marching its largest corps to date, the 110 member group established itself as a DCI finalist by placing 11th on Finals night.

Crown marched 124 members in 1996, but no one in the audience could tell for the first two minutes of the program as corps members darted in and out from behind moving chess pieces, an effort that placed Crown tenth at DCI Finals, their highest placement yet. The music of Walton and Elgar provided the staging for Crown's most complex visual program to date.

It seems fitting for Carolina Crown to undertake a British theme for its last show as a Charlotte-based corps in 1997 (as the city was named for Queen Charlotte of Britain). 'Postcards from Britain' took sensitivity and care to master as the brass arrangements contained many exposed sections and technical passages.

After relocating to Ft. Mill, South Carolina, Crown's youthful 1998 brass section put in performances of the symphonic music of Alfred Reed that silenced the critics who initially believed Crown's horn line to be "too young for top 12." That, combined with a tight percussion section and possibly Crown's best color guard to date, put the corps into DCI Finals yet again as they placed 11th on Finals night.

The Broadway hit "Jekyll and Hyde" provided the musical program for Carolina Crown's 10th anniversary season. Contrast was a key element in the show's presentation, as drill design and costumes were selected to depict the conflict of good versus evil throughout the story. 1999, however, belonged to the color guard. The color guard took everyone's breath away with amazing equipment tosses, wonderful dance work and provocative costume changes that earned them a sixth place finish on Finals night. The corps finished 11th overall.

The soundtrack for the motion picture "The Mask of Zorro" provided Carolina Crown with a program that entertained the audience right to 'Z' end in 2000. Special recognition went to the amazing Carolina Crown percussionists who turned in their best performance yet, enjoying a seventh place finish at Finals.

Take some giant wooden planks, add a few rubber tires, mix with large sheets of metal, and you have the recipe for 'Industry,' a show that created different sounds and visual touches in innovative ways, providing Crown fans with a more abstract incarnation of the corps, with the music supplementing the show's concept rather than vice versa. This, coupled with an improved brass section and a tour that took the corps out West for the first time, allowed the Crown to attract more fans and entertain a wider audience. With an outstanding Saturday night performance, Crown's seventh consecutive appearance in the DCI Finals put them in elite company in tenth place at the end of 2001. The 128-member Crown finished 16th in 2002, but rebounded smartly in 2003 to finish tenth in Finals with a show entitled 'Bell-issimo,' celebrating the sound of bells.

In 2003, corps members were allowed to earn college credit at University of North Carolina at Charlotte for a full summer's participation in Carolina Crown.

2004 was the year that amplification was authorized in drum corps competition, and Crown took full advantage. Their show was 'Bohemia,' and the book ranged from Puccini's "La Boheme" to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." But it was "Seasons of Love" that captivated the crowd when a group of guard and brass players downed equipment and picked up mics to form a ballodic vocal ensemble. Crown finished Finals night in seventh place, their best ever placement, three places higher than their previous best DCI finish.

“Developing lifelong excellence in young people through a superior and challenging performing arts education experience,” continues to be the goal of Carolina Crown.

[Carolina Crown; DCW, 4/03, p.10]

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