Carolina Crown

Fort Mill, SC United States
Founded: 1990

Active Junior
World Class

Carolina Crown is a World Class competitive junior drum and bugle corps based in Fort Mill, South Carolina. 

The name Carolina Crown acknowledges the corps' desire to represent the entire Carolinas region while recognizing the city of its birth, Charlotte, the Queen City, which has a crown in its logo.

After nine winter camps, a month and a half of daily rehearsals, four exhibitions, two parades, and 13 shows, the 61 charter members of Carolina Crown completed their inaugural season at the 1990 Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships in Buffalo, New York, placing 33rd in Open Class (later, Division I, now World Class) competition. Crown traveled to performances in eight states, involving 6000 miles of travel. Regional performances included the DCE Regional Championship, DCI South, and DCI East. Several established corps such as the Cadets of Bergen County and the Spirit of Atlanta established "big brother" relationships with Crown, helping the corps throughout the season. The decision to base Carolina Crown's first show on "The Music Man" was intentional, as the musical tells the story of a man who comes to town to start a band. The spirited closer "76 Trombones" often got the audience clapping along. Crown's first year might be described as a small corps with a big heart. Everyone was a rookie. There was no past to remember, only the present to live in and the future to build.

In 1991, Carolina Crown moved to Class A which was more appropriate for the corps' size and experience, although the corps did experience major growth both in numbers and proficiency that season. At DCI Finals in Dallas, Crown placed second in Class A competition, winning all captions except percussion. Crown then achieved another milestone later that week by gaining DCI member status with its 25th place finish in Open Class competition.

In 1992, Crown placed third in the renamed Division II competition, once again taking honors in the brass, color guard, and drum major captions. Crown also retained its DCI member status by placing 25th in Division I.

After only four years on the field, Carolina Crown came of age in Jackson, Mississippi, as the corps captured the DCI Division II title. Performing its most complex show to date, Crown won high honors in brass, general effect, and (finally) percussion. The victory was made extra sweet when Crown moved up to a 21st place finish in Division I.

Entering Carolina Crown's fifth year, the corps returned to Division I competition for the first time since 1990. New ground was broken when Crown achieved semifinal status with a 17th place finish at Semifinals in Boston.

1995’s contemporary repertoire show entitled 'Stormworks' put Crown into the DCI Top 12 for the first time. Marching its largest corps to date, the 110 member group established itself as a DCI finalist by placing 11th on Finals night.

Crown marched 124 members in 1996, but no one in the audience could tell for the first two minutes of the program, as corps members darted in and out from behind moving chess pieces during an effort that placed Crown tenth at DCI Finals.

It was perhaps fitting for Carolina Crown to undertake a British theme for its last show as a Charlotte-based corps in 1997 (as the city was named for Queen Charlotte of Britain). "Postcards from Britain" contained many exposed sections and technical passages.

After relocating to Ft. Mill, South Carolina, Crown continued to turn out Top 12 shows until the full-sized, 128-member Crown finished 16th in 2002.

Crown rebounded smartly in 2003 to finish tenth in Finals with a show entitled 'Bell-issimo,' celebrating the sound of bells. Also in 2003, corps members were allowed to earn college credit at University of North Carolina at Charlotte for a full summer's participation in Carolina Crown.

2004 was the year that amplification was authorized in drum corps competition, and Crown took full advantage. Their show was 'Bohemia,' and the book ranged from Puccini's "La Boheme" to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." But it was "Seasons of Love" that captivated the crowd when a group of guard and brass players downed equipment and picked up mics to become Crown's first on-field vocal ensemble.

Through 2017, Carolina has been a DCI Top 12 Finalist 22 of 23 years. The corps has built a reputation for performing complex and sometimes startlingly original program while remaining a crowd-pleaser. The excellence of Crown's brass has reached a level that most other corps envy and fail to match.

Carolina Crown achieved the pinnacle of success in 2013, winning the DCI World Class World Championship, becoming only the ninth corps to reach the top. Crown also became the only corps to win DCI's top division after having also won a lower division.

“Developing lifelong excellence in young people,” accomplished through performance opportunities and a commitment to education in the performing arts with core values of Integrity, Commitment, Respect and Excellence.continues to be the goal of Carolina Crown.

[Carolina Crown, Inc; Drum Corps World, 4/03, p.10; A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers; Drum Corps International]

Members (105)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Adams, Joey Soprano 1999
Akey, Josh Snare 1997
Bennett, Rebecca Front Ensemble 2003
Bingham, Andy Trumpet 2004
Bishop, Mike Front Ensemble (Pit) 2006 to 2008
Bishop, Mike Percussion Faculty 2010 to 2012
Bivens, Sam Tuba 2005
Bolger, Beth Front Ensemble 2003; 2005
Brinkman, Chad Mellophone/Trumpet 2004 to 2005
Brown, David Trumpet 2002
Brown, David Trumpet 2002
Burdick, Katherine baritone 2001 to 2002
Carnes, Ty Trumpet 2002
Chace, Patrick colorguard 2005
Chavez, Mike Front Ensemble 2007
Curry, Lance Drumline 2004
Doty, Kevin Mellopone 2002
Drummond, Lainey mellophone 2002
Durst, Matt Trumpet 2014 to 2016
Ellis, Terrace Baritone 1997
Ellisor, Jamey Front Ensemble - Timpani 1999 to 2004
Evans, Trevlin Hornline 2002 to 2003
Frith, Jason Front Ensemble 1995
Funderburk, Chris Soprano 1990 to 1991
Garrison, David Snare 2003
Gaulke, Nathan Soprano 2010 to 2011
Gill, Matt Soprano 2005
Gipson, Derek soprano tech 1999
Gipson, Jennifer baritone 1999 to 2001
Gornto, Rod Mellophone 1990 to 1992; 1994
Gray, Daniel Soprano 2002
Green, Chris Soprano 1992 to 1994
Green, Chris Mellophone 1996
Gulledge, Joe Mellophone 1991
Hensley, Emory Drumline - Quads 2006
Hernandez, Matthew Trumpet 2012 to 2014
Horne, Alan Soprano 1999
Hubbard, Kylee Colorguard 2010 to 2011
Hyland, Michael Hornline - Trumpet 2001
Jackson, Marvin Colorguard 2003 to 2004
Jacobson, Nicholas Baritone 2006 to 2008
Jones, Marcus Brass 1991 to 1992
Jones, Marcus Operations Staff 1993 to 2002
Kaiser, Brian Mellophone 2008
Lagge, Kathryn colorguard 2002; 2005
Landini, Neil Front Percussion 1995 to 1996
Lee, Jason Trumpet 2001 Mello 2002 2001 to 2002
Leitzke, Mike Front Ensemble 2006 to 2008
Love, Ben Lead Trumpet 2003
Lumapas, Stevenson Colorguard 2002
MacKenzie, Justis Tuba 2010
Marshall, Robyn baritone 2006
Maxie, Scott Hornline- Mellophone 2001 to 2002
McDaniel, Samantha Euphonium 2003
McFarlin, Adam Contra 2001
McGinnis, Steve Contra 2001
Mersinger, Max Euphonium 2003
Mitchell, Bryan Contra 2005
Mitchell, Javian Baritone 2007
Moede, Megan Front Ensemble 2006
Moore, Michael colorguard 2005
Morris, Billy Contrabass 2005
Mouille, Katie mellophone 2005
Nadolny, Matt Timpani 2005
Norris, Luke Colorguard 1995
Norris, Luke Support Staff 1999 to 2002
Nuesch, Carolyn Mellophone 2003
Oram, Leanne Guard 1995
Peel, Bernie Driver 2011
Phillips, Stan Contra 2001 to 2002
Rasmussen, Mike front ensemble 1998
Roberts, Drew Baritone 2004
Russell, Jeremy Contra 1998 to 2000
Rutt, Christopher Mellophone 1999
Salvatierra, Natalie Trumpet 2009 to 2010
Shane, Larry Brass Faculty 2006 to 2008
Smith, Ginger Soprano 1997 to 1998
Smith, Ginger Visual Staff 2001
Smith, Taylor Contra 2003 to 2005
Sroka, David Euphonium 1997
Stafford, KJ Pit 2001 to 2002
Stein, Nate Snare Drum 2002
Stevenson, Becky Mellophone (Auditioning) 2005
Stewart, Nick soprano,mellophone 2003 to 2004
Stovall, Tommy Baritone 1999
Sykes, Taylor Soprano 2004 to 2006
Tanaka, Rumi trunpet 2005
Torgerson, Chip Contra '92 - Soprano '93, '94 1992 to 1994
Travers, Antonio Trumpet/Baritone/Mellophone 2001 to 2003
Tuohy, Daniel Mellophone 2002
Turner, Stephen Contra(90) Drum Major (91) 1990 to 1991
Underwood, Damon Drum Major 1993
Vail, James Brass - Contra 2007
Velazquez, David Contra 2008
Wachholz, Patrik Bb Trumpet 2001
Wachholz, Patrik Trumpet 2001; 2003
Walch, Chris Tuba 2005
Washington, Larry Mellophone 2001
Wells, Michael Baritone 2009 to 2012
Whipple, Carl Horn/Marching staff 1991 to 1992; 1994
White, Katie Baritone 2005
garza, john hornline 1990 to 1995
jill, jack Pit 2011 to 20015
van Letht, Tim Baritone 2002
wheeler/baker, jessica/cameron Brass 1999 to 2000

CORPS 7 items

Carolina Crown

Carolina Crown Hat from the Bill Ives Collection
Carolina Crown

CarolinaCrown from the Bill Ives Collection
Carolina Crown

Carolina Crown Ft Mill SC-2 from the Bill Ives Collection
Carolina Crown

Carolina Crown Ft Mill SC-3 from the Bill Ives Collection
Carolina Crown

Carolina Crown Shirt from the Bill Ives Collection
Carolina Crown

Carolina Crown Uniform 2003 from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Brian Creswell
Carolina Crown
PDF Document
204-205, Carolina Crown from the Steve Vickers Collection

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