The Corps Value of Music
A History and Overview of Drum & Bugle Corps in the United States

DCI splits corps into 3 classes. Corps from all classes often compete together at smaller shows, but are still judged and ranked separately.

  • World Class (formerly Division I) corps are the elite corps in the activity, with more than enough applicants to fill out their 150-member maximum. The top 12 corps as determined from the previous season are given voting rights to help govern the DCI circuit, as well as increased performance purses and preferential touring schedules. Corps gain World Class status at the discretion of the DCI Board of Directors, based on its opinion of a corpsí financial and competitive readiness. There are approximately 22 active corps in this class.
  • Open Class (formerly Division II/III) corps are generally smaller and easier for applicants to attain membership. Some Open Class corps are more competitive than others, but there are almost always spots available for those willing to commit and able to learn. The class was established by combining Division II (corps with 71 to 135 members) and Division III (corps with 30 to 79 members). On 9/22/07, DCI approved combining the two divisions into the new "Open Class" division.
  • International Class - These corps are groups that are from out of the United States or are partner corps that have combined a US corps with another country from throughout the world.