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Drum and bugle corps use OHS practice fields as tune up

Oregon residents who heard an well-practice drug cadence interlaced with strong brass notes on Sunday weren't hallucinating.

It was the Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps practicing their routine before the Tour of Champions competition at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb Sunday evening.

The corps tour buses and support semi-tractors and trailers pulled into the Blackhawk Center's parking lot in the morning as members of the flag, drum and bugle corps used Oregon High School practice fields until late in the afternoon.

On a sunny but humid day, about 10 local residents watched the team practice, practice and then practice again each segment of their routine as Blue Stars officials watched and directed high above the field on their own scaffolding.

The practice sessions was broken down into segments as each member practiced their moves to an elaborate, choreagraphed, theme that honored the Blue Stars' 50th year of competition.

The Blue Stars, based in LaCrosse, Wis., are the second drum and bugle corps to use the OHS practice fields in recent years.

Last year, the Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, Calif., used the same fields and facilities for practice.

Also competing at the 2014 Tour of Champions event in DeKalb were:

Phantom Regiment - Rockford

The Cavaliers - Rosemont

The Cadets - Allentown, Pennsylvania

Carolina Crown - Ft. Mill, South Carolina

Bluecoats - Canton, Ohio

Blue Devils - Concord, California

Results of the competition weren't available at press time.

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