Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and the Westminster High School marching band are sponsoring a drum and bugle corps competition Thursday that will feature seven groups: the Cadets, the Crossmen, Boston Crusaders, Carolina Crown, Jersey Surf, Magic of Orlando and Spirit from Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
The event, a fund-raiser for the band that will be held at Westminster High's football field, will also feature clinics for students, said Mark Lortz, a band director at Westminster High.
"It's a very intense competition," YEA! spokeswoman Kirsten Boyd said of the event, which will include YEA!'s Cadets.
Westminster High students, including members of the marching band, will be participating in the clinics, Lortz said.
"It's a really good opportunity for our students to see the corps," he said.
Students will watch the corps members and learn different performance techniques. The competition also enables the students to observe the motivation corps members put into their performances.
Each group will present an 11 1/2 -minute performance. After the local competition, the winners will participate in the Drum Corps International finals, scheduled for Aug. 11-13 in Boston.
The Westminster competition is part of the Music is Cool Tour 2005 organized by YEA!, a nonprofit organization that teaches youth about the performing arts.
"It is an outreach program to introduce drum corps to kids," Boyd said.
"The things that you learn aren't just about music, but about life," Boyd added. Not only does it keep students interested in music, it builds self-confidence and a work ethic, she said.
YEA! expects about 7,000 people to attend the event.
"Our hope is to set up an annual show," said Lortz, who hopes that his students will recognize the significance of the competition, learning that their hard work and practice "is for the pursuit of excellence."
Information or tickets: 877- 512-8822, ext. 25.