Couchmen to go Open Class

HONOLULU-- The Couchmen Drum & Bugle Corps used to be the laziest corps in the country. So lazy, they weren’t even a real corps. That all changed on Tuesday.

Starting in the summer of 2014, the Couchmen will become official. The corps plans to perform in the Drum Corps International (DCI) competitive circuit within the Open Class division.

“Ever since I started the Couchmen as a fun joke back in late 2012, the fan base really took off. In just the first year alone, our fan page gained over 4,000 followers,” says Couchmen founder and director, Zach Ashcraft. “I was surprised with the overwhelming interest and support, so much so that I realized there was a great potential to make this a real and successful group.”

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As for location, the Couchmen will be headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, the same city where the corps will hold it’s monthly training camps. “The marching arts scene in Hawaii is small right now but rapidly growing, so I definitely see the want and need for a competitive drum corps in the state. Plus, I believe the exotic location will be a huge bonus for attracting out of state members,” says Ashcraft. New members will certainly love Hawaii’s typical beautiful weather, but can count on spending most of their time indoors, per Couchmen standards.

Ashcraft himself is no stranger to the drum corps activity. After being a member of the trumpet section in the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps from 2007 to 2009, he served as the corps’ drum major in 2010. He has also served as an experienced member of the administrative and media team at the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps.

One large challenge for the Couchmen and Ashcraft still remains however, and that is finding a way to be competitive in DCI while keeping with the corps’ founding mission statement: “to provide the easiest drum corps experience imaginable.”

“The running joke is that the Couchmen are the couch potatoes of the drum corps activity. While we will try our best to compete with the physical demands other corps are achieving, we also hope to provide a simpler experience for our members. Just getting this group to play quarter notes while marching a set at 8-to-5 will be an accomplishment” adds Ashcraft. “But at the end of the day, our main goal is to entertain the fans and create a stress-free environment for our members.”

The reaction to Couchmen’s decision to field a corps has been nothing but positive, even from Dan Acheson, DCI’s Executive Director and CEO. Says Acheson, “The entire DCI staff is extremely excited to hear of Couchmen’s intent to field a corps this summer and bring the activity to the state of Hawaii. It will be interesting to see how their mission statement fits in with the typical values taught at other corps, but we know they will make it work.”

For now, planning is underway to get the corps on the field as soon as possible. Those interested in becoming potential members can look to the corps’ website for more information at www.Couchmen.org

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