While it's half a year away from drum corps season, tickets went on sale this past Monday for DCI's premier events. Prior to that, the schedule was released, and there were a few things that made me go hmm... -My friend and drum corps buddy Joseph pointed the first one out to me. There are usually a few shows - at least two hosted by Carolina Crown - in NC, SC, and southwestern VA that we attend each year. This typically gives us an early season taste as well as a piece of the late season push towards Indy. This year, probably due largely to Crown beginning their tour out west, there are no shows in reach until NightBEAT in late July. -NightBEAT, typically a Sunday show, will take place on Saturday night this year. It's switching spots with the DCI Southeastern Championship, which seems a curious move, putting major regional on a work night. It also means the general trajectory of some of the major cors will go back south before heading north (though to be fair, the Murphreesboro-Atlanta-Charlotte swing did that s well) -The Tour of Champions has given rise to a yet-to-be-named "Special Series". You may recall that the "ad hoc committee" that made the first proposal that became the Tour of Champions consisted of seven corps. In the two years of the TOC, the series featured the top eight corps, which coincidentally included all of the Undersigned and one other: The Blue Stars in the first year and the Boston Crusaders in the second. This year, the seven abandoned the pretense and are going it alone, adding shows in Buffalo and Warrensburg, MO to the previous five-show lineup. All in all, some interesting changes to the season. It may take me a bit longer this season to see DCI action live, but I'll still catch them when and where I can.