While the summer’s United States drum corps events came to a conclusion in August and early September, performances carried on deep into the calendar’s ninth month across the Atlantic, with a pair of championship events hosted September 17 in Ireland and England.
With its participating groups performing under the SoundSport heading, the Irish Marching Band Association (IMBA) at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Ireland. Eight ensembles competed in total at the event, taking full advantage of SoundSport’s accessible platform to provide a string of entertaining performances.
The event’s Best-of-Show winner, Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble earned the only gold rating. As the overall champion, Inbhear Mor was awarded the Jim Carrigan Memorial Cup.
The Wicklow-based group took part in several events on the 2019 DCI Tour, including the DCI Open Class World Championships in Marion, Indiana, and the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis.
A pair of ensembles received silver ratings for their IMBA Championships performances: the Clondalkin Youth Band and the Mullingar Town Band Celtic Crusaders. Rounding out the full competing lineup with bronze ratings were the Inbhear Mor Cadets, Tallaght Marching Band, Leixlip Community Youth Band, Crumlin Community Band and Clara Town Band.
The IMBA Championships constitute the first of a handful of exciting international events to be held this fall under the any-instrument, any-age, any-size SoundSport umbrella. Japan’s Marching in Okayama Festival is set for October 10, with the Indonesian Drum Corps Championships to follow, November 24-26 in Bandung.
Also held September 17, the Drum Corps United Kingdom (DCUK) British Drum Corps Championships featured a quartet of competing ensembles across two rounds of performances at Butts Park Arena in Coventry.
Beeches Performance Ensemble, which took second at DCUK’s most recent championship event in 2019, earned a first-place victory by a strong margin of 6.05, while sweeping all captions in the day’s Prelims and Finals competitions and earning a top Finals score of 82.950.
In second place, East Coast Elite earned a score of 76.900, fending off third-place Revolution (72.250) by just shy of four points. Revolution outscored East Coast Elite in the ensemble music caption. Phantom Knights rounded out the lineup in fourth place with a score of 69.500.
Helping to close out the event, a DrumLine Battle between Revolution and Beeches ended in a draw.
Fresh off of its championship title, Beeches will represent England alongside nine other total competing groups in the upcoming Drum Corps Europe (DCE) European Drum Corps Championships, set for September 24 in Dordrecht, Netherlands.