Bloomsburg University music professor Dr. Gifford Howarth served as a selected adjudicator at the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indiana during the week of August 3-8, 2015. Thirty-nine drum and bugle corps representing five countries competed throughout the week.
Dr. Howarth was one of forty international judges representing three countries selected to adjudicate the national championships and judged two of the five main events that took place over the week: the “open class” final round on Tuesday evening, August 4th in Michigan City, Indiana and the the “world class” panel for the prelim round on Thursday, August 6th in Indianapolis.
“I have judged the open class event in the past, but this was my first time judging the world class at the World Championships. It was somewhat of a ‘notch off the bucket list’ for me,” Howarth stated.
Dr. Howarth was an instructor for The Cadets drum corps of Allentown, PA between 1999 and 2006, and in 2007 he started judging on the national level for DCI. Throughout each summer he travels throughout the continental US as a judge. In early August each year, all the participating groups head to Indianapolis and perform at LucasOil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts.
A percussion specialist, Dr. Howarth generally finds himself judging the percussion sections of the groups, ranking and rating the different drum lines and mallet percussion sections of each group. Sometimes this takes place from the press box of the stadium and sometimes he is on the football field itself, running around up close and personal with the marching members.
“I really enjoy the energy you feel coming off the performers when you are able to get close to them. But my favorite location is the press box because I get to see and hear the entire performance, plus it’s a lot safer,” Howarth states. He has been hit on the field three times over the past nine years.