Impulse has specific goals in mind when it comes to show design.

When pulling together the pieces of an on-field production, Impulse’s ultimate objective is accessibility. The southern California Open Class corps aims for its repertoire and thematic concepts to immediately catch the ear and eye of audiences and performers alike.

“I'm always looking for accessibility across all demographics,” corps director and program coordinator Peter Connell said. “We're trying to find an idea that we can communicate clearly to the members, so that they can grab onto the concept and be like, ‘Oh, I know what I'm supposed to be communicating to the audience.’”

“We also want to have music for our members specifically,” he added. “Music that we know that they'll be interested in.”

In Connell’s eyes, Impulse’s 2024 program, “That New York Feeling,” will do exactly that.

Impulse 2024 Production

With music by: Taylor Swift, Alicia Keys, Lin Manuel-Miranda "In the Heights" and "Hamilton", and so much more. Our 2024 Season starts tomorrow! We can't wait to perform for you this summer!!

Posted by Impulse Drum & Bugle Corps on Friday, December 1, 2023


“It's a show about trying to capture the feeling or the impression of a day in New York,” Connell said.

As Connell described, “That New York Feeling” will twist and turn through all the distinctive emotions, sounds, and sensations that come from a day in a city of more than eight million people.

Audition for Impulse in 2024

The hope is to capture not only the trademark “hustle and bustle,” but also the beauty of New York City. In terms of the visual side of Impulse’s 2024 show, Connell described plans to use scaffolding, park benches, and other props and set pieces to capture the different facets of a typical New York City landscape on the football field.

As Connell described, the show will incorporate the “beautiful swirl of chaos” of a rush-hour commute, the tranquility of an afternoon stroll in Central Park, the excitement of bright Broadway lights, and more, as it makes its way through a day in the Big Apple.

2023 Impulse
Members of Impulse perform at the 2023 DCI West tour event in Stanford, California.


“It's this collision of all these different kinds of cool sounds, and ideas of art and music,” Connell said. “All of it collides into one impression, I guess you could say.”

Impulse, which Connell says historically serves a younger demographic relative to the average drum corps, has been known in recent years for performing recognizable music with easily palatable themes.

Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, Impulse brought “The Greatest Hero” to the field, performing music from popular superhero movies like “The Incredibles” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

And in 2023, Impulse went for pop culture relevance. Last year’s competitive production, “Maverick,” capitalized on the popularity of “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was released in 2022 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In line with its recent trends and overarching design philosophies, most of Impulse’s 2024 music selections are directly from the top of the charts; they’re, largely, popular songs that span a wide range of genres and decades.

Impulse, once again, isn’t shying away from the “low hanging fruit,” in terms of what’s most popular in present pop culture.

While “That New York Feeling” will feature music from the likes of Alicia Keys ("Empire State of Mind") and Frank Sinatra ("New York, New York"), it will also utilize the work of Taylor Swift ("Welcome to New York") — whose superstardom has dominated recent headlines. It will include music from blockbuster films like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” — a Broadway musical for which the film adaptation came out in 2021 — and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

“We're trying to hit those points where everybody in the audience will hopefully find something that they can grab onto and say, ‘Oh, I recognize that, I really liked that song,’” Connell said.

According to Connell, the 2024 offseason has been, overall, a good one for Impulse. As he noted, the corps is continuing to steadily grow in the years since the COVID-19 shutdown.

Impulse has seen a continued “expansion” in terms of participation, and hopes to build on that growth over the years ahead, in terms of the size of its membership, the size of its support network and staff, and its touring and competitive capacity.

“It’s been a productive and fun offseason,” he said. “We’ve had lots of interesting conversations trying to dream up what could come next for Impulse.”

Ultimately, Connell expressed pride in Impulse’s approach to design and its plans for the 2024 season, and is excited to see “That New York Feeling” brought to life by a talented group of young performers.

And he’s confident that, when all is said and done, audiences will remember Impulse 2024.

“We really believe that the audience will be significantly impacted and entertained by our members,” he said. “And that is the goal — to put on a great show.”