Carolina Crown has made a history of performing shows that connect with the emotions of the crowd (see "Triple Crown 2007") It helps that they have one of the more balanced hornlines in DCI while still posessing the ability to melt your face off volume-wise. Crown is a solid all around corp which has contributed to a very steady and consistent rise to becoming regularly one of the most competitive drum corps in DCI today.
They also feature some exquisite program writing - featuring a ton of great classical music, only in a different (and some might argue more fun) way than longtime DCI powerhouse Phantom Regiment.
Their 2009 program "Finis," combined the excitement of some of classical music's most revered finales with the energy of a drum corp show resulting in Crown's highest finishing score and placement at finals in the corp's history.
Better or not, they have taken a recipe for success as proven by Phantom and added their own spice to the mix - which is take great music and present it in a way that can be related to by a wide and diverse audience. It is working too, Crown has finished in the top five in the last three DCI finals, carving out Crown's own niche as a classical music featuring drum corp.
For 2011 Carolina Crown is expected to present "Rach Starr," an allusion to the last name of their feature keyboard player and the program repertoire which is supposed to be a mixture of rock standards and Rachmaninoff pieces.
Some of the purist DCI fans out there may cringe as some corps have been experimenting with adding amplified electronic sounds to their shows in recent years and some may believe this may detract from the spirit of things.
I think the real issue with this is nobody has really pulled it off sucessfully yet. Once a corp features amplified electronic sounds and medals at finals you can be sure that this trend will take off. That's just the way things are.
What is interesting about this is Crown is supposed to be the beloved underdog of DCI... The corp that we all root for because they don't cater to the judges but the fans - producing butt kicking shows year after year after year (after year, after year). Carolina Crown, if they really are performing "Rach Starr," will most likely be employing some of the more controversial and polarizing show effects we can readily name.
If anyone can bring electronic music in a drum corp show into percieved legitimacy by it's critics, it will be crowd-sweetheart Carolina Crown.
Love it or hate it, I think it would be dumb to bet against them. Mostly because whatever they do - we the crowd are going to eat it up. Crown has always stayed true to their way of doing business. At the end of the day they will still be good ol' Carolina Crown and that is why we love them so much. Expect a memorable performance.