The Vanguard Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps of Santa Clara are back for the eighth year in a row. The 150-member organization of musicians and color guard participants traditionally begins each summer competition season with a weeklong camp in Denair.
“The relationship between Denair and Vanguard has been positive and has generated interest to the degree that folks will stop by to watch,” said Aaron Rosander, superintendent of the Denair Unified School District.
Twice in the past four years, the camp provided a springboard to the Drum Corps International Open Class Championship, which the Bay Area group has won four times (2000, 2008, 2013 and 2015). Santa Clara finished second last summer.
“We make a lot of noise, so it’s easy to become a distraction. The people here are really nice; very welcoming,” said Steve Barnhill, the corps’ director. “The facilities are great. We’re right next to the cafeteria. We’re right next to the quad. We have access to football field. And it’s quiet and safe at night.”
Vanguard’s group includes about 70 musicians in the brass section playing trumpets, mellophones, trombones and tubas; about 40 in the color guard waving flags, twirling rifles and dancing; about 35 in percussion playing snares, quads, xylophones and marimbas; three drum majors; and about 20 adult instructors. The caravan of three buses, a semi-trailer full of instruments, flags, uniforms and equipment, and a mobile kitchen will arrive on Thursday.
The cadets bunk in the middle school gym while the adults use various classrooms. “We all have air mattresses,” Barnhill said. “This gets our kids and our parental volunteers used to the idea of living out of a suitcase and sleeping on air mattresses. We couldn’t afford it otherwise. It’s not practical. Plus, we need the space a school provides to rehearse. We’re very self-sufficient.” Continue reading “World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps Returns to Denair for Weeklong Camp” »