Sanpete Beat

Drum corps shows off at Badger Stadium


The Battalion’s drum line marches during the performance of “I See Red” at the Sanpete Beat last Saturday at Snow College.

EPHRAIM—The blast of horns and drums you may have heard coming from Ephraim Saturday night was not an early Fourth of July celebration.

It was a free performance titled “Sanpete Beat” at Badger Stadium by The Battalion, a group of energetic teen musicians from 15 states.

The teens have spent thee past month residence at Snow College getting ready for upcoming competitions.

The Battalion is part of Drum Corp International (DCI), an organization formed in 1971, which organizes competitions among corps-style marching bands all over the United States.

DCI includes 24 “world”-class corps, 22 “open”-class corps and one “international” corps from the Netherlands. All members under 21 and audition for positions in the corps.

Katherine Steinaker, corps director of The Battalion, explained that The Battalion is a very young corps, having only been formed in 2014.

“A group of friends got together and decided to bring DCI to Utah,” she said.

Their first year performing was 2016, when the group had just over 100 members. This year, it has 151 members. Members play a variety of brass or percussion instruments, or perform with the flag corps. No woodwinds are used in their performances.

Steinaker said, “We have members from 15 different states, mostly from Utah and Colorado, but also from the east coast, Hawaii, the south and the Midwest.” Several of their members are Snow College students.

More than 300 musicians auditioned for 151 spots for this year. Auditions run from December to May for a season that begins in July.

The Battalion’s competition season this year goes from July 4 through July 25 and includes meets in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and California.

The Battalion’s drum line plays with intensity during the performance of “I See Red” at the Sanpete Beat last Saturday at Snow College.

The group will participate in two events in Utah. On July 11, it will perform at Weber State University in Ogden in a competition called “Corps Encore” and on July 23, it will be at Alta High School in Sandy for an event called “Drums Along the Wasatch.”

Steinaker related how, since The Battalion was so young, its organizers wanted to be “financially smart” and build toward eventually competing at the National DCI Finals in Indianapolis, Ind. in the second week of August. Steinaker believes The Battalion will be able to compete at the national championship within three to five years. Until then, the highlight of The Battalion’s season will be the Open Class Pacific Championships in Pleasant Hill, Calif. on July 21.