April 11, 2015

Announcing DrumLine Battle at the Virginia International Tattoo

Eric Hjellming

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DrumLine Battle®, a rapidly growing series of worldwide competitive and exhibition music ensemble performance opportunities produced by Drum Corps International, is pleased to announce several officially sanctioned DrumLine Battle performances at the 2015 Virginia International Tattoo.

“We are thrilled to expand the DrumLine Battle brand into the Tattoo,” DCI Director of Business Development John DeNovi said. “This event will engage not just the active marching ensembles in the Tattoo, but to also bring in local performers and put unique ensembles and performance styles in a head-to-head match up like never before.”

Presented annually in Norfolk, Virginia, the Virginia International Tattoo is an exhibition of marching bands, massed pipes and drums, drill teams, gymnasts, Scottish dancers, choirs and more. Each year, a cast of over approximately 1,000 artists from several countries, and every branch of the US military, creates an unforgettable spectacle under one roof for four breathtaking performances. The Virginia International Tattoo is the largest show of its kind in the United States.

This year, the Tattoo will take place from Thursday, April 23rd through Sunday April 26th, at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. Featuring a wide variety of performing ensembles, the events are slated to start at:

Thursday, April 23, 7:30 PM
Friday, April 24, 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 25, 7:30 PM
Sunday, April 26, 2:30 PM

Groups interested in performing in the event are encouraged to to contact Taylor Criswell at donald.t.criswell.mil@mail.mil. Event specific information will be listed on the DrumLine Battle event schedule page as it becomes available.

Q&A with Jennifer Hafner, Virginia International Tattoo Assistant Producer

– What does the DrumLine Battle program offer for ensembles participating in the Tattoo?

Hosting a DrumLine Battle will enhance the spirit of camaraderie at the Virginia International Tattoo. While the participating groups from the Tattoo cast will get the chance to perform together in the show, this will be an opportunity for them to get an even better understanding of the uniqueness that each performing ensemble brings to the Virginia International Tattoo. For the drum lines that are joining us from area high schools, it is a chance for them to participate in a performance at a world-class level as well as see in real time types of percussion that they may not have the chance to experience otherwise. Having local high school groups involved is also a great way to continue to broaden the Virginia International Tattoo fan base.

– Why is hosting this event important to you? What makes it important to performing ensembles in the Tattoo world?

Hosting a DrumLine Battle event is a logical next step in helping to bridge the various pageantry arts. The goal here is to introduce thousands of people to the various types of pageantry organizations such as DCI, WGI, Music for All, as well as the Virginia International Tattoo. We continue to look for new groups to participate in the Tattoo, especially international ensembles. This keeps our production fresh and ever progressive artistically. In this regard we share many similarities with the aforementioned performance organizations.

– What are the advantages of this competition as opposed to what already occurs in your event?

The interesting thing with an event like DrumLine Battle is, in fact, the competitive element. The Tattoo is a time for a variety of people from different backgrounds to work together to create 2 hours of shared moments. There is nothing esoteric about DrumLine Battle. Anyone who watches this event, even if it is for the first time, will understand what is happening. People enjoy sports for this reason. Team A head-to-head with Team B. We get it! More than that, people LIKE competition! So, although the Virginia International Tattoo is not a competitive show, providing a fun pre-show contest to highlight these fine performers will add yet another layer to the overall Tattoo experience that anyone can enjoy.