I don't know why it was I became a Carolina Crown fan, but I'm pretty sure I remember when. At the DCI show in Orlando in 2005, me and three friends were in attendance. What I remember is that by the back end of the lineup, my friend Ryan and I were both noting that we hadn't had a horn line really "melt our face off" yet. Neither of us were too familiar with Crown, but I know that they did the deed. At the time, I already knew that I was weeks away from moving to North Carolina following grad school, so I couldn't tell you if it was Crown's skill or the fact that they were becoming the "home team" (I'm a shameless homer) that drew my attention. I'd see Crown again later that summer at their very own NightBEAT show, and by that point, I was a fan.
I knew there was something special about them--I can recall exclaiming at some point that their hornline was clean as [expletive deleted]. I kept following them from then on, catching then when I could (at this point it's been two NightBEATs [with another next weekend] and a CrownBEAT) and keeping tabs on them online.
I'm going to make a bold prediction. I think this is Crown's year. I'm not necessarily talking about a World Championship, at least not yet. But I see them definitely besting their current highest place at 7th; and I predict they'll break the top five with an outside shot at a medal. I know there are alot of corps fielding amazing shows this year, but I think Crown can hang.
I was certainly pleased to see them at CrownBEAT this year. Their hornline was clean as always, but now they had an additional feather in their cap: The drumline has traditionally been Crown's achilles heel, but acquiring Lee Beddis as caption head in the offseason was just what the doctor ordered. The drumline impressed us all at this show, and I'd say that having won the percussion (and each of the others) caption in the "Hot Chops" competition voted on by fans, We're not the only ones who were impressed.
So I've been saying it quietly, but now I'm putting it in writing for all to see: Expect a big year for Carolina Crown.