Carolina Crown was founded in 1988 and was originally known as the Charlotte Drum Corps Association. The organization hosted two shows that year, one sanctioned by Drum Corps East and the other by Drum Corps International. By 1990, the association was ready to field a full drum corps. After a first place finish in DCI Division II in 1993, Carolina Crown moved up to DCI Division I.
As of 2006, Carolina Crown has been a DCI Division I World Finalist 11 times. The corps first made finals in 1995 and, with the exception of 2002, has been amongst this elite group ever since.
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Carolina Crown has a tradition in which each member receives a theme-colored bead necklace at the start of summer tour. The color of the bead is determined by the current show, and each year has a different color. A member will have a bead for each year that he marches, and when he ages out, he or she receives a "Crown" pendant for the necklace. This pendant is awarded at the ageout dinner held every finals week.
Corps Song: "Carolina In My Mind"
Carolina Crown's official corps song is "Carolina in My Mind" written by North Carolina native James Taylor, and arranged by corps faculty member Andre Feagen. The corps will sing the chorus in harmony before entering the field before every performance. In addition to the choral version, there is an instrumental version that the hornline plays.
"In My Mind I'm Going To Carolina Can't You Feel The Sunshine, The Feeling Lasts For a Lifetime, Something That I Have Come To Find, I'll Never Leave Behind, Yes I'm Going to Carolina In My Mind"
Corps Picture "Crown"
Since 1990, the corps has always formed the trademark Crown logo wilst having its Jolesch group picture made at DCI Championships. Usually, The Drum Major forms the very tip at the top of the crown. In addition, the bass drum section has often made it a tradition to have their eyes looking off to one side as the picture is snapped.
Every year, the corps recognizes the age outs from the current year with a formal dinner held during finals week. The age-outs are given an opportunity to speak, and are awarded their age out Crown pendants at this time. The theme for the dinner is decided by the prevoius years age out class. Themes have ranged from "wild west" for Denver to the "Boston Tea Party" for Foxboro. Fare usually consists of steak and at least one other entree.
Since 1988, Carolina Crown has hosted "NightBeat" at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Downtown Charlotte. This show is considered to be the premier non-regional DCI show in the country, with an annual crowd of over 8,000 spectators enjoying drum corps in one of the best acoustical venues in the activity. The show is renowned amongst fans and corps members for having enthusiastic crowds and a great nightime atmosphere in the shadow of the skyline of Uptown Charlotte. Revenue from Nightbeat is one of Crown's largest funding sources. offical site
On November 4, 2006 the Carolina Crown held the first anual BandBEAT. BandBEAT is a Marching Band Championship which included the majority of high schools in the Charlotte metropolitan and surrounding areas. The North Lincoln High School "Band of Knights", was named the Grand Champion of the event.official site
- Corps Executive Director Kevin Smith is the only director the corps has ever had, as he was appointed in the fall of 1989 at the corps founding, and has served ever since. He is amongst the most tenured directors in DCI today. In addition to his long tenure, Kevin is also a volunteer!
- The Crown Board of Directors includes no less then five DCI volunteers of the Year: Kevin Smith, Terri Brinson (Bell), Doug Madar, Carol Srdar, and Steve Tant.
- In 2006 Carolina Crown appeared in a television advertisement for the North Carolina Education Lottery. The corps members pictured had brass and field percussion instruments that included a trombone.
- In 2006, Crown also had the honor of performing at the press conference held in the RCA dome, announcing DCI's historic move to Indianapolis. As a benefit of this, the corps had the rare opportunity to rehearse in the dome for the day.