The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps

The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps (also known as simply "The Academy") is a World Class junior competitive drum and bugle corps based in Tempe, Arizona. The corps is a member of Drum Corps International (DCI).[1].

The Academy
TypeDrum and Bugle Corps
LocationTempe, Arizona
DivisionWorld Class
DirectorMark Richardson
Championship titles2006 Division II
UniformRed tailcoat w/silver buttons (dark grey for front ensemble)
w/black lapels
White shirt w/wing collar
White Ascot tie
Black pants
Black boots
Black Top hat w/red plume


In 2001, a group of people gathered in the Phoenix, Arizona area with the intent of starting a drum and bugle corps (D&B). They formed the Board of Directors of the Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts, a non-profit organization with the goal "...of enhancing the culture of music, dance, and the performing arts in Arizona." They then formed The Academy Brass & Percussion Ensemble, which made numerous local appearances during the summers of 2001–03, including at the D&B competition the organization sponsors, the Southwest Corps Connection.[2]

In the summer of 2004, the corps added a color guard, changed the name to The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, and entered the field of competition. Marching a short season of only four weeks and six shows in Arizona and California, the corps was undefeated in Division II.[3] The next year, the corps expanded its boundaries, performing in 10 shows, including Drums Along the Rockies, in Denver, and was again undefeated in Division II. 2006 was The Academy's most successful season. The corps appeared in shows in seven states, including the DCI Division II/III World Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, where the corps capped their third undefeated season with the Division II title.[4]

In 2007, The Academy moved into Division I (now World Class) competition. That was their most successful season in the class placing 13th, until the 2016 corps finished 11th at the DCI World Championships.[5]

The Academy assembled a 100+ member brass, percussion, and auxiliary ensemble of members and alumni that performed outside University of Phoenix Stadium prior to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl XLIX and at the NFL Experience, "an interactive theme park of all things football," during the week of January 25–February 1, 2015.[6]

In 2016, The Academy had their most successful season since moving to World Class, placing in the top 12 at all three DCI regionals. At the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, The Academy placed 11th, becoming the first corps to make its Finals debut since the Seattle Cascades in 2002.


The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps is sponsored by the Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts (AAPA), a 501 (c)(3) musical organization that has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission of, "...building great people through great performances." The Executive Director is Mark Richardson.[7] In addition to the drum and bugle corps, the Arizona Academy also sponsors The Academy Winter Youth Guard[8] and The Academy Summer Youth Guard,[9] two introductory color guard activities; and Phenom - which plans to make the transition from being a Soundsport group, to an Open Class Drum and Bugle corps in 2020.[10]

Show summary (2001–2019)

Source =[11]

Gold background indicates DCI Championship; pale blue background indicates DCI Class Finalist; pale green background indicates DCI semifinalist.

2001Excerpts from
Drum Corps Past
Malambo (Finale from Estancia) by Alberto Ginastera / Amber Waves by Morton Gould /
When a Man Loves a Woman by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright
2002Ya Gotta Try by Sammy Nestico / Grand Canyon Fanfare by James Newton Howard /
Cadillac of the Skies (from Empire of the Sun) by John Williams
2003A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten / Vide Cor Meum (from Hannibal) by Hans Zimmer /
The Challenge & Promise (from Millennium Celebration) by Gavin Greenaway
2004DebutSymphony for Brass and Percussion (mvt III) by Alfred Reed / Chanson Melancolique by Morley Calvert /
Jubilation from Symphony for Brass and Timpani by Herbert Haufrecht
2005Piano Concerto No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich------
2006¡danzón!Huapango by Jose Pablo Moncayo / Patria by Ruben Blades / El Cumbanchero by Rafael Hernández95.6251st
Div. II
2007The ChaseThe Chase / The Villain / The Hero / The Woman / At the Jitterbug Club / The Love Theme / The Chase / Conclusion
All original compositions by The Academy staff
2008Vienna NightsFreud’s Dream / Mozart’s Theme / Café Life / Gallop / Notturno / Finale-Alla Turka
All from Vienna Nights by Philip Wilby
2009The AscentCall of the Mountain (from Gates of Gold) by Joseph Curiale / An Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss /
Kingfishers Catch Fire by John Mackey
2010Strangers In ParadiseOverture (from Prince Igor) by Alexander Borodin / Aquarium (from Carnival of the Animals) by Camille Saint-Saëns /
Selections from Prince Igor, Polovstian Dances & Chorus (From Prince Igor) by Alexander Borodin
2011(RE)The Little Fugue in G Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach / Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre / Fly by Ludovico Einaudi /
Lollapalooza by John Adams
2012Left of Spring:
Stravinsky Revisited
Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky /
Epilogue & The Song of Purple Summer (from Spring Awakening) by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater /
2013Piano ManWilkommen (from Cabaret) by John Kander and Fred Ebb / Alabama Song by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht /
Falling In Love Again by Fredrick Hollander and Sammy Lerner /
Piano Concerto No. 2 Mvt. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich / Piano Man by Billy Joel
2014Vanity FairFanfare-Rondeau from 1st Suite de symphonies by Jean-Joseph Mouret / Crown Imperial by William Walton /
What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss / Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli /
Jazz Suite # 2, Waltz #2 by Dmitri Shostakovich / Hungarian Rhapsody #2 by Franz Liszt /
Symphony # 7, 2nd Mvt. by Ludwig van Beethoven / Paris Sketches by Martin Ellerby
2015A Step in TimeMusic from "Mary Poppins"
I– Introduction–Chim Chim Cher-ee by The Sherman Brothers /
A Shooting Star by George Stiles, Anthony Drewe, and The Sherman Brothers
II–A Spoonful of Sugar by The Sherman Brothers /
Practically Perfect by George Stiles, Anthony Drewe, and The Sherman Brothers /
Galop from Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian
III– Step in Time by The Sherman Brothers / IV– Feed the Birds by The Sherman Brothers
V– Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious by The Sherman Brothers
2016Drum Corpse BrideCorpse Bride (Main Titles) by Danny Elfman / Romeo & Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev /
Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas / Suggestion Diabolique by Sergei Prokofiev /
Unchained Melody by Alex North & Hy Zaret / Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 35 (The Funeral March) by Frédéric Chopin
2017By a HarePeer Gynt Suite no. 1, Morning Mood by Edvard Grieg / Hunting Wabbits by Gordon Goodwin /
Overture to The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini / Danse Bohéme by Georges Bizet / Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner /
Habanera by Georges Bizet / Hungarian Rhapsody by Frantz Liszt / Anvil Chorus by Giuseppe Verdi
2018AcademicThe Imitation Game by Alexandre Desplat / Annie Lisle by H. S. Thompson /
Academic Festival Overture by Johannes Brahms / The School for Scandal (Overture) by Samuel Barber /
The Four Sections by Steve Reich / Keating's Triumph by Maurice Jarre
2019The Bridge BetweenDance 1. First Movement by Oliver Davis / Equilibrium by Paul Lovatt-Cooper / London Bridge Is Falling Down (Traditional) /
Bridge Over Troubled Water by Paul Simon / Horizons by Paul Lovatt-Cooper / Original Music by Steven Vento


  1. "Corps". Drum Corps International. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  2. "History". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  3. "Out of Nowhere — the Arizona Academy story". Drum Corps World. August 2004. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  4. "2006 Scores for The Academy". Maher Associates, Inc./ Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  5. "Song History for The Academy". Maher Associates, Inc./ Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  6. "The Academy is ready for the Super Bowl stage". Drum Corps International. January 28, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  7. "Board of Directors". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
  8. "Announcing the 2015 Academy Winter Youth Guard". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  9. "Announcing the 2015 Academy Summer Youth Guard". Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  10. "HOME". Phenom. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  11. "The Academy/Repertoire". DCX: The Drum Corps Xperience. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
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