DRUMS on the OHIO has an extensive history dating to 1978, with many thanks to the Evansville Civitan Club. They sponsored not only the show, but also the Evansville-based Imperial Guard Drum and Bugle Corps, which existed from 1980-1982. The Civitan-sponsored show ran for 30 years and took a brief hiatus. In 2013, members and friends of the F.J. Reitz Instrumental Music Boosters began producing the show, restoring the event to its former success, and attracting enthusiastic audiences of over 3,500 to Reitz Bowl in 2013 & 2014. DRUMS on the OHIO is once again a member of the Drum Corps International (DCI) Summer Tour and is the only DCI show within a 100 mile radius of Evansville.
Individuals who are members of visiting drum and bugle corps all started as young musicians in local communities like ours. The continuing mission of DRUMS on the OHIO is to support youth activities and excellence in music education and performing arts throughout the Tri-State, by contributing funds to local instrumental music programs and providing valuable scholarships to individuals from our area that join DCI corps, advancing their music careers. The Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation and other local school corporations show tremendous support to our event by providing housing and rehearsal sites to visiting corps. This allows students to attend rehearsals and observe the discipline, dedication, and perseverance that all attending corps members exemplify. In addition, DRUMS on the OHIO offers several community outreach programs that move forward our mission. Those activities offer middle school and high school students the opportunity to have experiences that would not otherwise be available if not for this event. Our goal is to continue to grow our outreach initiatives with the help of our partners in music and music education.
We take great pride in hosting Drum Corps International in our community. Fans and families travel great distances to attend. More than 1000 performers from all over the world, 3500+ spectators, and over 100 volunteers make the evening truly amazing.