CONCORD, CA (Aug. 19, 2023) — The Blue Devils hold virtually every Drum Corps International World Championship record but until last Saturday night in Indianapolis performing for a crowd of 23,000, they could not claim to have won three consecutive world championships.
Capping off a second consecutive undefeated season, the Concord corps lived up to its reputation as the finest drum corps in the world when the Blue Devils won their 21st DCI championship and in the process matched the threepeats of The Cavaliers (2000-02) and The Cadets (1984-86).
It’s been nearly 1500 days since the Blue Devils last lost a competition, which came in the preliminary round of the 2019 World Finals before the Concord corps rebounded to win the semi-final and final night’s competitions. The pandemic eliminated the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but the Blue Devils haven’t missed a beat, retaining their top form the past two summers.
With 21 World Championships they have won more than twice as many as any other corp. The Blue Devils won 10 of the past 15 DCI finals and have not placed lower than second since 2007. This year’s winning score of 98.975 was slightly off their all-time finals record in 2014 of 99.65.
The three teams immediately behind the Blue Devils this year—Bluecoats, Carolina Crown and Boston Crusaders—were the same, albeit in a different order from 2022.
This year’s program “The Cut Outs” was inspired by the work of French visual artist Henri Matisse and featured music from such diverse composers as Joni Mitchell, Yugo Kanno, TesseracT, James Newton Howard and the Blue Devils own Hall of Famer Dave Glyde.
“There’s so much hard work that we put into the show and in the summer,” Blue Devils drum major Corey Castillo said after Saturday’s final results were announced. “When you think about the Blue Devils’ legacy, it’s a really high standard. There’s a lot of pressure to uphold that, but I think we really did that successfully this year.”
A Corps Director Pat Seidling says, “We never talk about our winning streak or past championships. We want our members to have a good, positive experience and not get wrapped up in records.”
To add to its list of 2023 achievements, the Blue Devils won the corps’ first Best Color Guard Performance since 2015, while also taking home caption awards for General Effect and Visual Performance.
Seidling says, “It was a really fun year. We had an outstanding group of returning members and an excellent pool of new members.” About 80% of the eligible members from 2022 returned to defend their championship and 72 of this year’s corps have now aged out. Calls for 2024 BD auditions are already on their website.
Over 500 “ambitious, dedicated and talented” young people auditioned for this year’s A Corps which ended up with a record 185 members. Of that total, 100 came from California (evenly split between North and South), plus from Japan, England, Holland and 26 other states.
Snare drummer Riley Giadone, a Clayton Valley Charter High School grad, was again this year the only local member of the A Corps, although 30 members hailed from the greater East Bay.