Successful DCE Symposium In London

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The second European Drum Corps Symposium in London was a great success. Dozens of staff and board members have enthusiastically exchanged experiences and discussed the future of drum corps. The breakout sessions were also well attended.

The special guest was DCI director Dan Acheson, who was pleasantly surprised by the discussions at the symposium. "What I’ve learned is that the passion for drum corps is the same everywhere", Acheson said afterwards. "I should not be surprised by this, but it was overwhelming. This kind of meeting really makes a difference, significant progress has been made."

In the Temple United Reformed Church, the headquarters of the Pacemakers, many drum corp fans gathered, mainly from the UK and the Netherlands. Board members of DCE, DCUK and DCN were present.

After the introduction in the main hall by DCE announcer Andy Hewlett and DCE chair Marcel Matthijsse, the group was split into two breakout sessions. The board members gathered at a board organisation session. Dan Acheson started the session by sharing some experiences from DCI. Robby Overvliet then held a presentation on the DCE Task Force, which was created last year. There were still a number of unanswered questions on this topic. DCE and some corps stressed the importance of the Task Force representing as many corps as possible, and Overvliet promised to work on this.

Then followed an extensive discussion on a proposal from Jubal to go ‘all the way’ with regards to amplification. Proponents and opponents put forward their arguments, while Dan Acheson gave his account of the experience in America. Meanwhile, instructors in the other session were given the opportunity to fire questions at the judges. DCE Director of Education Bob Thomas took the necessary time to answer all questions.

After a break, in which discussions continued, three new breakout sessions followed. Instructors and judges continued with a session about programming and design, while Ron Wassink from Jubal talked about the successful Music Kids project. Several UK corps have shown an interest in the successful initiative to get very young children interested in drum corps.

In the meantime, PR managers of various corps and organisations gathered at the PR session led by Dennis Naaktgeboren. Antoin Peeters offered his input on ways for clubs to successfully generate publicity. All participants agreed that PR is an important factor to link new sponsors, members and spectators to clubs and events.

At the joint conclusion, everyone happily looked back on this year’s symposium. There were fewer topics for discussion than last year, but nevertheless a lot of views were exchanged. To be continued, without a doubt.

Posted by on Monday, February 1st, 2010. Filed under Drum Corps Europe.