Arsenal Presents: Volver

Volver [bolˈβer], verb Spanish- “to return”

(a) To return drum corps to New Mexico.
(b) To return home after a long journey.
(c) To return to a moment that forever changed you, but that you didn’t really understand at the time.

This show borrows heavily from the story of Korobeiniki, a Russian folk song made popular by its use in the video game Tetris. The lyrics to Korobeiniki tell the story of a young merchant who is on the way to the big city to seek his fortune when he stops in a small town to rest and there meets a girl named Katya. He shows her all of his beautiful wares and the two argue over prices, but it quickly becomes apparent that she doesn’t want anything he has to sell; she only wants him. The next day he leaves for the city, leaving Katya with a turquoise ring and his promise to return.


Oh Fair New Mexico – Traditional
Hungarian Dance No. 5 – Brahms
La Llorona – Traditional/ Zach Condon
Korobeiniki – Traditional

In selecting the repertoire, we wanted to match the dark sound of Korobeiniki with music of a similar texture while also holding true to our home state of New Mexico. The sultry opening verse of Oh Fair New Mexico fit this idea perfectly, and we begin our show with this piece and return to it in multiple forms throughout. Hungarian Dance No. 5 kept with the dark sound we were striving for and allowed us to set the stage for a country dance wherein the young merchant might meet Katya. La Llorona is thus the slow song at this dance, and we chose this piece not only because it is a significant folk song from Mexico and the Southwest, but also because the specific version we chose to arrange was done by Beirut; an indie-rock and world music ensemble fronted by native New Mexican Zach Condon, who traveled to Mexico and recorded traditional brass bands to create the unique sound of his March of the Zapotec album.
The result is a show that is uniquely New Mexican, but will sound familiar to any audience. We are incredibly excited by how this season has been shaping up and are looking forward to our debut this summer.

Arsenal is proud to be competing in Drum Corps International’s SoundSport® Division for the 2017 season and will be performing in the DCI Southwestern Championships in San Antonio, Texas.

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