With the sun beating down Thursday afternoon, musicians with the Santa Clara Vanguard kept the beat, preparing for the Drum Corps International performance at the University of North Texas.
"Last night we did our full run around 10:00 and it was pretty warm," said percussionist, Cameron Cavender.
Cavender practiced in the midday heat with the drum section; wearing nothing but shorts, shoes, and his drum harness. Other musicians sported bathing suits and sunglasses as they practiced.
"The harness and drum tend to block some of the sun, so some of us have a really weird tan line that's in this shape," Cavender said pointing to his harness. "Not attractive at all!"
Thirteen drum corps are participating in the performance at UNT, part of a summer series competition. The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps are the reigning champions in the world class division.
"A lot of the players involved are college music majors that are kind of one step away from being professionals," said Paul Rennick, Santa Clara Vanguard Music Coordinator and percussion music instructor at UNT. "They're just super talented."
While the competition is international, Rennick estimated about 35% of the musicians come from Texas.
"DFW has, like a lot of really good band programs," explained xylophone player Trevor Deary, a TCU graduate. "So we get a lot of talent from this area specifically, especially in percussion."
The competition starts at 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening at UNT's Apogee Stadium. The Santa Clara Vanguard goes on at 11:00 p.m., when the temperature will still be in the upper 80s.
There are 22 drum corps in the competition series. All of them will play in San Antonio on Saturday, July 20.