The Gulf Coast Sound Drum & Bugle Corps (based in Houston, TX)
was founded in the fall of 2001. During our first two years we
experimented with the concept of an indoor Drum & Bugle Corps. The
general idea was to combine an indoor Winter Guard with the awesome
power and passion of a Drum & Bugle Corps. The result was a 'Winter
Corps.' It worked out extremely well and acted as a spring-board for the
Corps to transition into a full fledged Drum & Bugle Corps for the
extremely successful 2004 season. Although GCS might someday revive the
Winter Corps in the future, the emphasis of the organization will be
focused on the competitive "out-door" Corps.
GCS is an "all-age" Corps. So, whether this is your first season or
you're a returning vet with 20 years of experience you can have a home
and family in GCS. The Corps has set the goals and standards high with
the intention of putting on a program of the highest caliber, but at a
level that everyone can attain if we work together.
Here's a little bit about how we got
The idea came about because there were no competing senior/all-age Drum
Corps in the Texas area at the time (2001). The nearest two were the
Atlanta CorpsVets and the San Francisco Renegades, each around a
thousand miles away. Members from Bayou City Blues (our home town corps)
had been traveling to other Corps (such as the Syracuse Brigadiers and
the Atlanta CorpsVets) in order to compete. This was getting VERY
expensive and the time had come to get a local Corps established that
was capable of competing.
So, in order to find a way to compete locally and promote Drum Corps in
the area, I came up with the idea of forming an "in-door" Corps. Around
July 2001 I approached Dena Anderson (TCGC Contest Coordinator and
Mellophone player in BCB) about the Texas Color Guard Circuit's rules in
respect to using horn players in a winter guard show. Since there were
already percussion ensembles doing this, using horns seemed like the
next logical step. Dena said that there were no specific rules
forbidding it, so we had a starting place.
Over the next few months I recruited enough horn and drum players that
wanted to try this to form a Corps, albeit a really small one (being
inside of a gym, it doesn't take very many horns to get loud). The next
problem was finding guard members. Again, Dena helped me out. She
introduced me to Cathy Marmolejo, who ran the MCM Winter Guard at the
University of Houston, and she was also interested in trying this.
Having a union between MCM and GCS worked out really well because it
provided a great place to rehearse, the U of H campus.
We weren't quite sure what to call this thing, though. It wasn't really
a Winter Guard, but it wasn't a traditional Drum & Bugle Corps either.
So, Mary Knight coined the phrase "Winter Corps" for us and it stuck.
Our next step was to find a name. Initially we intended it call it Bayou
City Blues Winter Corps. However, due to some internal political issues
we were forced to make a break from BCB and form a seperate unit. After
MUCH discussion the members voted to name the new Corps "Gulf Coast
Sound." One of our missions that first year was to recruit new members
for BCB and we did everything possible to accomplish that goal. It
wasn't until much later (and acting on a directive from
GCS became a nationally competitive "out-door Corps."
Once we were under way and having regular rehearsals, I approached the
Gulf Coast Drum
Corps Associates Board of Directors about GCS becoming a seperate
member Corps. After many phone conversations and a brief meeting GCS
became the second member of GCDCA and I was selected to act as Corps
Director by the Board.
Here's the list of the Charter Members of Gulf Coast Sound:
With the exception of Eric Brooks (who came on board later in
the season) and David Bolzman, every charter member of GCS came from Bayou City Blues. In
that first year nearly all of us marched with both Corps.
I can only imagine what the future holds for GCS. I would like to see
the "Winter Corps" style catch on in Texas. This would be a great way to
get Drum Corps back to its roots of being a local activity that anyone
can do. There is very little money or travel involved in a unit of this
size and any high school or college could form one. This could
eventually lead to a Winter Corps Circuit, possibly as a part of WGI,
TCGC, and/or DCI or DCA. In fact, DCA has had a "Mini-Corps" competition
for over a decade and starting in 2005 DCA South is hosting one as well.
Gulf Coast Sound will field a nationally competitive Class A Corps again
in 2014. We have every intention of contending for the DCA Class A title
at the DCA Championships. If you're interested in being a part of this
venture and have the drive and determination to be a champion please
contact the Corps. We would love to have you aboard.
Whatever else the future holds it's going to be interesting and a lot of
"CORPS- A group of people working TOGETHER
towards the same goal."
Corps Director / Executive