DRUMS on the OHIO is a drum corps show that is held in Evansville, Indiana each summer in the Reitz Bowl at F.J. Reitz High School on Evansville’s West Side. The show has existed for over 40 years and is one of the longest running “mom and pop” drum corps shows on the Drum Corps International tour circuit. For nearly a half century, Drum Corps International (DCI), Marching Music’s Major League™, has been the leader in producing events for the world’s most elite and exclusive marching ensembles for student musicians and performers. Currently there are over 45 drum corps in DCI who are from all regions of the US and tour during the summer — starting at the end of June and ending in August at the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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 since 2013. DRUMS on the OHIO is the only Drum Corps 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 mission of DRUMS on the OHIO is to bring Drum Corps to Evansville while supporting youth activities in music education and performing arts throughout the Tri-State. Our organization provides outreach opportunities, contributes funds to local instrumental music programs and provides 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.
DRUMS on the OHIO is a tour event partner of Drum Corps International and is a program of the F.J. Reitz Instrumental Music Booster Club, a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization.