Drill designer continues to take MCDC down a ‘fresh and hip’ path

Music City’s 2018 show will venture into new territory while honoring the drum corps’ roots and its members’ experience, according to visual designer Jeffrey Thompson. The Lexington, Ky. based designer wrote the drill for Music City’s 2017 show “Tribe,” and returns in 2018 as both Drill Writer and Visual Caption Supervisor.

“This season brings many new opportunities for the corps, but it’s important to remember where the corps is rooted, which is how the 2018 show was developed” Thompson said. “The show originated from finding intriguing stories based in Tennessee. One story stuck out to the design team and as we dove deeper into it we became hooked. It’s exciting, sad, memorable, and at times, so fast it feels like it’s going to derail.”

The success of the show’s design will be measured by the reactions of the corps members who perform it, according to Thompson, who has written drill for several state champion, BOA Regional Finalist and BOA Grand National Semi-Finalist bands.

“I’m always interested in having the members buy into the product I give them” he said. “Ultimately, what I write with software only takes the program so far. If the members are excited, they are able to take the product and make it special.”

A former member marching one year with Southwind and three years with the Bluecoats, Thompson thinks of himself as a student of the activity, constantly learning from the many great designers in the activity.

“With Music City I want to put my flavor on this show and make it fresh and hip,” he said. “I want people to be excited watching the activity and that is what I will strive to make happen.”

Thompson said he sees Music City continuing in an optimistic direction.

“Our board of directors really stepped up in finding necessary funding to get Music City to the next level,” he said. “Also, Music City is located in an ideal area. Nashville is incredibly popular and one of the fastest growing cities. I see a very bright future for the organization.”

But it’s the faces of the members that keeps bringing Thompson back to Music City.

“Members go through everything. The activity is not easy. When they are able to conquer their show and perform for those next to them, an electricity radiates. In those moments, a sometimes dull world, becomes full of brightness. Those moments are what keep me involved and in love with the activity,” he said.