ALLENTOWN - Seven world class drum and bugle corps are in the area this weekend while they compete in the Drum Corps International (DCI) Eastern Championships to be held Friday and Saturday at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown.

The corps are staying at regional schools, including Mount Carmel Area.

Drum and bugle corps are comprised of students ranging in age from 16 to 21 and follow an intense tour schedule from May through August, traveling more than 10,000 miles over the course of the summer while performing at more than 35 sanctioned events.

Drum corps are entirely self-sustaining, traveling in a convoy of motor coaches, staff RVs, a tractor and trailer equipment truck, a souvenir truck and trailer, a fully equipped mobile kitchen and other assorted support vehicles. DCI relies on local school districts across the country to provide housing sites and rehearsal facilities for the various corps while they are on tour. DCI also pays a small stipend for the use of the school facilities.

All rehearsals are open for public viewing and the corps' members appreciate the support from the host communities.

Listed below are the various drum and bugle corps, their housing sites and their arrival and departure dates:

- Hamburg School District - Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps, Concord, Calif.; arrived Wednesday and departing today.

- Mount Carmel Area School District - Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps, Atlanta; arrived Friday and departing today.

- Pottsville Area School District - Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, Santa Clara, Calif.; arrived Friday and departing today.

- Schuylkill Haven School District - Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps, Casper, Wy.; arrived Friday and departing today.

The summer competitive season concludes with the Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships held in Indianapolis during the second week of August.

For more information on Drum Corps International and the various Drum and Bugle Corps, log onto www.dci.org.