INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Thousands of people will head to Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend for the Drum Corps International World Championship.
Forty-seven bands from across the world qualified to compete, but only one will go home with the top prize.
On Friday, 25 bands will compete in the semi-finals with 12 moving on to the finals on Saturday.
Each group writes the music and choreographs the movements based on a theme.
One group says their theme has a deeper message. The Gold Drum and Bugle Corps from Oceanside, California says they want to bring understanding about life with special needs. The music, movements, costumes and set are part of a program called "Through Our Eyes."
The program is meant to bring an understanding about living with Autism, Dyslexia, Schizophrenia and Down Syndrome.
Several members of the group are on the spectrum, and they say it gives them a chance to share their experience with others.
"We’ve used it as a vehicle to not only do kind of not only an entertaining show for the audience, but also to educate the audience and our students. We’ve had lots of talks with the students about struggles," says executive director Donald Flaherty.
Other band members say they also learned through the experience.
"It’s really opened up my eyes," says head drum major Tyler Pham. "It opens up a new world of understanding for our members all the way from the top down."
The summer tour started in Detroit. Bands played over 100 shows in 37 states.
The semi-finals begin at 2 p.m. on Friday. The top 12 will compete in the finals on Saturday beginning at 4:55 p.m.
For more information head to: https://www.dci.org/