SDCA Moves Forward
There are a lot of details necessary to put together an organization from an idea to a functioning association.
It has not been a smooth road and at times we have been met with some real challenges.
Jeff Williams, Viscounts & Royal Airs Sr., and Chris Ferrara, Royal Airs, would meet in the McDonalds think tank or in the quiet of the local library where at times their voices rang out with excitement when an issue appeared to be resolved.
Most of the administrative details now appear to be solved although we know we will still find some situations that we had not considered. We assume those to be minor however.
Our biggest challenge now is matching corps schedules with their available dates along with communities and their festivals with the local school districts calendars. This part is a nightmare! Just recently we were working with a community for eight month. This meant phone calls to different committee members as well as to attend their local meetings. We finally received their support. Getting support means that the community will provide SDCA with a two hour slot to entertain during the festival. This means publicity in the festival programs and community publications, radio, local television newspapers, community event signs etc. which of course equates to ticket sales.
Our next step was to rent the local school gymnasium where the arena show would take place. We were stunned to find out that there was an unscheduled regional band contest the weekend of the community festival. We thought we had a major screw up so we revisited the school online calendar. The calendar showed the date open.
Now we have a caution added, do not depend on online information. That was frustrating to say the least.
At this point we are now attempting to fill this weekend with a show in a community with out a festival. Our challenge here will be to publicize this without the help of a festive atmosphere.
That dilemma brought us to another brain storming opportunity. We needed to provide the host corps with a show promo sheet. Another step by step to make it easier for the host corps that would have effective promotional methods. We do not have marketing in our backgrounds so our brains really struggled with this one. Thanks to the help of Chris Wellner, Northernaires, we put together what appears to be a pretty good promotional package. Coincidentally we had Rich Tessitore, too many drum corps credentials to list, come to us to volunteer his time. So with his talents we knew exactly where to put him. We developed the position of The Director of Show Promotions. Timing was on our side.
We have taken some big steps since our first year. We had a recipe we developed ourselves. We used educated guessing to determine the ingredients to use. And we had six participating corps perform in three shows.
This year we found nine other corps that wanted to participate.
So this is what we now have:
We have a step by step sheet for the host corps on how to produce their show, and a step by step sheet on how to promote their show. There is a detailed sheet of what is expected of a performing corps. We have an SDCA specialist to assist in the show promotion. Currently we have fifteen corps performing in eight shows.
What is the cost? The host corps does not pay up front fees to SDCA. They only pay for the school they rent for the show. This has been an average of $100 per hour. The school is needed for a minimum of five hours. The host corps then will received $2.00 for every ticket sold.
The hunger for this type of venue is getting larger and we intend on filling the plates to the brim to satisfy the drum corps hunger.
Our first weekend shows are April 17 in Ishpeming MI; April 18 in Menominee MI. The line up is: The Americanos; The Blue Notes; The Imperial Knights; The Minne Brass; The Northernaires; The Royal Air and The Warriors.
Thanks go to the countless number of volunteers that have come out to help us move forward and to you the fans that have supported this venture. Check out our web site www.theSDCA.org for additional shows and information.