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Iowa Drum Corps Marches Into Ankeny For Competition

ANKENY, Iowa--A solid performance on the competition field starts with warm-ups.

Members of the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps from Dubuque spent hours Wednesday afternoon preparing for their big show tonight in Ankeny.

That's not the only practicing the corps has done, the ensemble has been perfecting their show for months. No matter what mother nature's mood is the performers never miss a beat.

“To have the best (reputation) we want everyone to be on the same page," Battle Captain Michael Riley said.

Riley has been with the Colts for three seasons.

The Colts are the only ensemble in Iowa and there are 154 performers on the team.

“At this point, it’s really about finding that consistent mental space in your head. Can you find that same head space every time you hop up to the instrument," Riley said.

Riley and the ensemble are fighting for a national title later this month and competing at Celebration in Brass International against the best, takes a lot of hard work.

“I try to relax and take a deep breath so that I can do it the best I can so that its natural," Riley said.

This season the Colt's performance is called “When Hell Freezes Over” featuring music by ACDC and Bob Dylan.

When taking to the field, safety is the number one concern.

“We always make sure the students have all the calories they need, plenty of water and rest breaks particularly in the heat like this," President Jim Johnson said.

Riley says the drum corps' strict regimen has taught him more than to just play an instrument.

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