The Academy is a junior marching and maneuvering corps based in Tempe, Arizona. The corps is sponsored by the Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts and was originally called The Academy Brass & Percussion Ensemble.
Planning for the corps began in 2001 with the formation of a board of directors. Performing standstill concerts in 2001 and 2002, the corps added a bit of marching in 2003 and a color guard in 2004. The corps' first competitive performance took place on June 19, 2004, in Stockton, California, where the corps received a score of 64.30. Although the corps' 2004 season and tour were relatively short, they were undefeated in Division II during that summer. The group's high score for the season was 75.65
Academy's uniforms were all black, with a large black "A" on a red background on their back. The 117-member corps performed a program of brass chamber music in their inaugural Division II competition.
A unique fundraising inducement, in a program called "Be Instrumental," was the offer to engrave benefactors' names on the brass instruments bought with the benefactors' $2500 donations.
The parent organization Arizona Academy of the Performing Arts also sponsors six color guards, two concert organizations, and three other educational programs are planned for the future.
[DCW, 11/03, p.3; http://www.arizonaacademy.org/; DCI Today, Spring '04, p.13; Dave Strickler; DCW, 7/23/04, p.5]