2002 – Repertoire

The 2002 Repertoire:

Darkness Into Light
Easter Symphony by David Holsinger

from the 2002 DCI Championships program


In 2001, Spirit of Atlanta packed its bags, crossed the state line and became Spirit from Jacksonville State University. The move has fit the corps like a glove, and a renewed competitive viability has been just one of the positive results.

Call it a reincarnation or a resurrection, but the Corps’ resurgence has many parallels in its 2002 program, Darkness Into Light. The show is based on the third movement of David Holsinger’s Easter Symphony titled “Symphonia Resurrectus,” with additional original material by Mark Fifer and Clint Gillespie. The arc of the story line takes one from the darker depths of despair to the gates of heaven.

The opening moments are violent and angry, as deafening brass chords are accented by jarring percussion. A sinister pulse continues under the melody, ready to leap out and seize the listener by throat. The darkness represents the lowest points in life; however, the change of music soon reveals the only way out of despair is through tremendous personal sacrifice. All are blessed with a sense of direction full of peace, tranquility and inner calm.

The performance by a small group of horns leads into the cascading waves of a beautiful brass choir. The music parts the clouds as sacrifice leads to salvation with music of hope and celebration. The closer is chock full of fast, valve melting passages that celebrate the conquest of life over trouble with a joyous proclamation of eternal light shining upon the world.

Executive Director
Ken Bodiford
Drum Major
Thomas Whitten
Director of Operations
Bob Hoehn
Program Coordinator
Mark Fifer
Tour Directors
Dr. James Batchellor
Christian Leonard
Management Staff
Stephanie Bell
Bill Campbell
Jim Clark
Jim McDaniel
Sam Ellis
Paul Milano
Mike Morris
Tommy Maddox
Will Sanderson
Joe Serviss
Matthew Smith
Mark Whisenant
Thomas Whitten
Tracey Wofford
Robin Wofford

Brass Staff
Jimmy Steele
Ken Bodiford
Mark Fifer
Johnny Mashburn
Ben Milam
Hunter Moss

Casey Thomas
Joel Vincent
Rich Culp

Jimmy Oliver
Percussion Staff
Clint Gillespie
Eddie Capps
Dennis Carty
Frank Iglesias
Alicia Knight
Clint Knight
Chris Sherman
Joe Tornello
Dan Mihalko

Color Guard
Brian Giddens
Scott Beck
Beau Foister

Melissa Mason
Bess Van Luven
Keith Potter

Daniel Wiles
Rodney Bailey

Visual Staff
Leon May
Matthew Smith
Richmond Culp
Richard Hinshaw
Paul Milburn
Joel Schendel
Jason Yates

Keith Potter

Jeremy Stovall

Joe Wever

from a Spirit press release

Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps is pleased to announce their 2002 production, Darkness Into Light, inspired by David Holsinger’s Easter Symphony. Drawing on the 3rd movement, “Symphonia Resurrectus” (and featuring original material by arrangers Mark Fifer and Clint Gillespie), Spirit will present a highly emotional interpretation of Holsinger’s themes and ideas, taking audiences on a personal journey from the darkest depths of despair to the gates of heaven.

Darkness, a violent, hyperactive work, relays confusion and conflict. The opening moments are violent and angry, deafening brass chords accented by a jarring percussion score. As the piece develops there is more melodic clarity, but it is kept in check by the unmistakable pulse of something sinister. Make no mistake, however: This is pure, take-no-prisoners drum corps and full of memorable moments. The ending is in-your-face and unrelenting. Expect your fear to be matched only by the size of your goosebumps! Darkness represents the lowest point in one’s life, when the odds are stacked against you and the only way out is to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Once that painful decision has been made, what follows is peace. Passion washes away all regrets, in an expression of selfless love. A series of somber solos, accompanied by the front ensemble, segues into a beautiful melody of courage in the face of insurmountable odds. What started out as a few horns now develops into the full brass choir. The climax is beautiful and driving, waves of rich brass complimented by the full percussion ensemble. It is truly one of the most unique ballads in the history of the activity.

The clouds part, as sacrifice becomes salvation. Glory is heaven on earth, as the original dark themes of the opener are transformed into a joyous musical message of hope. Lightning-fast, virtuosic passages bring this journey of emotions to a most celebratory conclusion. The shimmering finale will leave drum corps audiences audiences buzzing, and on a cloud all summer long.

Holsinger’s Easter Symphony can be ordered through Southern Music, 800-284-5443.

A RealAudio excerpt is available. Easter Symphony was premiered by the Gustavus Adolphus College Band and Choir in 1995, and a compact disc is available by mail order. There is also a compact disc by the Concordia College Band and Oratorio and one by the University of North Texas College of Music.