What is Drums Along the Waterfront?

Drums Along the Waterfront, Inc. (DATW), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is an educational, promotional, and service arm of the youth drum and bugle corps activity in Western New York. DATW seeks to promote, develop and preserve the operation and artistic standards of the competitive musical sport, while organizing and providing leadership for the activity.

DATW has produced 17 Drum Corps International (DCI) sanctioned events, 10 exhibition performances at Niagara Falls, as well as numerous other community performances. In 2005 and 2006 DATW held DCI Division II/III (now referred to as “open class” corps) events entitled “Finale to DATW,” at Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion located on the East Side of Buffalo. Of note, the event is called “Prelude to DATW” or “Finale to DATW” based on the date of the event in relationship to DATW!

DATW also provides free musical clinics, which are open to the general public as well as local school musical groups. In addition, DATW has assisted in the airing of the annual DCI World Championships over local PBS television stations, as well as the broadcast of the DATW annual event on local cable.

The actual competitive performances of the participating corps are conducted one evening of each summer in an outdoor stadium. The date varies each year, depending on the schedule that is established by DCI. Each corps will perform their routines on the field and will be judged by a panel on their overall execution and excellence. A “winner” is determined by which competing corps has the highest score (100 is a perfect score).

In the future, DATW, has three specific goals in mind; first is to build up enough cash reserves to provide a scholarship fund for local young adults to join a drum and bugle corps, second is to bring the DCI World Championships back to Western New York (a week long event with a tremendous economic impact to the host area), and third to help sponsor the formation of a new drum and bugle corps in our area.