Serving the residential area northeast of Los Angeles, Pacific Crest was formed in 1993. It operates under the auspices of the Pacific Crest Youth Arts Organization to "provide artistic performance opportunities for young people to help them develop into well-rounded and responsible citizens."
From an original nucleus of 33 members, the group has grown to 120 members and won the DCI-Pacific Division II Championship in 1998 and 1999. 2000 marked the first year the corps competed out of state. That season culminated with the DCI Southwest Regional in Texas at the San Antonio Alamodome in front of 8,000 people. Pacific Crest placed seventh in that contest, beating two Division I corps and making the DCI Mid-Season CD. In 2001, as a result of the corps' competitive success, the DCI Executive Committee granted Pacific Crest Division I status in the Pacific Region.
In 2003 the corps traveled to Championships for the first time, dressed in white pants and black tops with teal accents. The new corps on the scene made Division I Semifinals and finished the season in 17th place.
The 2004 show, performed by about 112 members, was a dark presentation called 'On Dangerous Ground.' The atmosphere was enhanced by African talking drums and djembes, as well as eerie brass mutes (made out of 98-cent Renezit air fresheners painted black). Pacific Crest 19th in DCI Quarterfinals.
In addition to drum corps contests, Pacific Crest performs in parades and community concerts, and the group has appeared on television.
The organization has made a deliberate decision not to travel extensively during the summer, in order to concentrate resources on local development and performance. This model also permits corps members to continue to work during the performance season.
"What makes Pacific Crest unique among drum corps," says director Stuart Pompel, "is that we offer a superior quality performing experience without requiring our members to give up their entire summer. Many work full-time jobs or attend summer school. Their average age is 18, and over half are out of high school. Our world-class staff offers our members a great drum corps experience that they otherwise would not be able to have if we toured for weeks at a time."
[DCW, 2/2002, p.3; www.pacific-crest.org; Dave Strickler; DCW, 7/16/04, p.19]