The Williamsport Marching Millionaires bring Drum Corps to town

One of the most notable quotes from the movie Drumline is “Halftime IS gametime!” If that resonates, then this weekend is sure to excite. The instruments are tuned, the uniforms are spectacular and the bands are ready. The Williamsport Marching Millionaires are opening their doors, or field, to host the 2017 Drum Corps Invitational 4-10 p.m. Saturday at the Williamsport Area High School Stadium, 2990 W. Fourth St.

For those who may not be in the know, the Drum Corps Invitational is no small thing to be invited to. This event is bringing out the best of the best. Five of the best Drum Corps from the entire Mid-Atlantic Region will be gracing the Williamsport Area High School Stadium, namely Excelsior, Skyliners, White Sabers, Caballeros and Fusion Core.

Preparing the Drum Corps Invitational is an “all hands on deck” operation, according to Todd Kendall, band director for the Williamsport Marching Millionaires. Although Williamsport’s own will not be performing, this was still a labor of love getting ready for such an event, and all take pride in doing their part. “We have a lot of faculty, parents and citizens who are helping to organize the invitational,” he said.

The performers aren’t slacking on preparing for the big day either. Practicing is comparable to any sport you might find on TV.

Kendall details the extensive regimen that these dedicated performers go through to bring forth such impressive displays of music and choreography.

“[The performers] will have rehearsal from 8 a.m. to 10 at night, with lunch and dinner breaks in between. They’re outside all day in the summer on a football field, so it’s important for the kids to stay hydrated and eat right to keep the minds clear for what they are performing. So yeah, it can be pretty grueling, but it’s for the art of the sport.”

For anyone who has been to a Drum Corps performance, they are no doubt dazzled by the beautiful uniforms, precise choreography, crowd pleasing music selection and the imaginative themes, which Kendall believes it all starts with.

“Sometimes, the director will come up with a concept and base the themes around that, or they will hear music and find a theme through them to put them in a show.”

The Drum Corps Invitational doesn’t just provide the crowd with exciting music and movement, but also has many benefits for the performers. The invitational allows for the performers to meet and compare notes, as well as receive critique from judges who will be in attendance. If that wasn’t enough incentive, each drum corps will be vying for numerous awards to be won for their displays of excellence.

For fans of any of the previously mentioned groups, this is a show you do not want to miss. Per Kendall, it is not uncommon for groups to throw a few surprises, even for those who have seen these routines before.

“Sometimes, groups will change parts or endings of their routines as they have been working on them over time. So if people have seen their routines before, there is still a chance that they might see something new.”

So, if masterful displays of music and movement excite you, be sure to make it to the Williamsport Marching Millionaires 2017 Drum Corps Invitational on Saturday at the Williamsport High School Stadium. The show is from 4-10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at As an added incentive, the event is a fundraiser for Marching Millionaires, so make to sure to show your for our young musicians.