1984 – Repertoire

The 1984 Repertoire:

Porgy and Bess Overture
There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Blues in the Night
We’re All Together
I Loves You Porgy
Bess, You Is My Woman Now

reprinted from the 1985 DCI Championships Program


Hometown crowd catches the Spirit

It was a long trek to an obscure and distant consolidated country school grounds just in time to see the Spirit of Atlanta buses pulling out and an interview possibility blown, but it was a revealing journey.

In a very real sense, the rolling red hills of western Georgia remain as true to the spirit of its native drum and bugle corps as is the bustling and metropolis of Atlanta. While the Spirit has concentrated its energies on its role as spokesmen for the new south, scratch the contemporary veneer and there is a very old and honorable tradition underneath. It is reflected in the older sections of Atlanta, with the sweeping grandeur of its antebellum homes and echoed in the ancient hills and multi-hued earth.

From the statuesque homes from another epoch, to the silent testimony of Etowah Mounds in northwest Georgia – one of the foremost expressions of the Mississippi Indian culture – and on to modern Atlanta, rebuilt from Sherman’s ashes, it is a place steeped in its own history.

And it was a place for the making of a little more history in 1984, when it was host to the Drum Corps International Championships. The Spirit itself made history as it tallied an all-time high score of 93.10 in the finals, improving from seventh place to sixth, its highest finish since 1980.

“It’s a personal high for everybody in the corps, since it is our hometown,” drum major Steve Sorrell said, still flush from the semi-final performance, and as red as a beet. “It’s been a real thrill to go out there and watch as everybody cheers us on.”

Spirit color guard veteran Donna Cousins couldn’t have agreed more. “It’s the best place it could possibly have been this year, because we are climbing up the ladder and this is real boost for us,” she enthused. Cousins pointed to a greater consistency from caption to caption as a major reason behind the improved scores and standings in 1984. “Visually, the entire program is better tied together than ever before,” she said. “Everything is stronger, whereas last year we had some weak sections. I’ve totally enjoyed this year. The color guard has come so far in the last three years. The color guard and drum lines are both up for top placements, and that makes us feel great, because we can add to the corps.”

While playing to the home crowd had its ups, it also brought some distinct disadvantages with the territory, Director Freddy Martin confirmed. “It’s been real difficult for us. We had to make due without a lot of the help that we normally have during the summer because so many of our people have been tied up with organizational things that our booster club has been responsible for in the past.”

Martin said the Spirit had benefited from the extra emphasis on dance, crediting professional dance instructor Scott Chandler for his help, and especially because it has dovetailed neatly into the work visual coordinator Sal Salas has added to the corps the past two years.

“Scott is the finest dance man in drum corps, and Sal’s drill ideas are still fluid and very much his own, so as a result our color guard has really come along,” Martin said. “We’ve been pleased with our improvements, and the way we’ve established our personality. As a southern corps, we like to uphold some of our musical traditions, and with the refinement in the staging of our horns not only are we our own personality visuall, but we are ourselves musically again as well.”

Corps Director:

Freddy Martin

1843 Memorial Drive S.E.

Atlanta, Georgia 30317

Drum Major:

Steve Sorrell


It Ain’t Necessarily So

There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ New York

We’re All Together – percussion feature

I Loves You Porgy/Bess You is My Woman