“Author Archive”
Stories written by Frank Dorritie
Frank Dorritie is one of the legends of the activity .... a performer, instructor, arranger, adjudicator, and observer over the past 5 decades. Frank has been playing the bugle and trumpet since the 1960s, and has performed with artists like Billy Cobham and Maynard Ferguson. He has instructed and/or arranged for the Blue Devils, Cadets, Santa Clara Vanguard, Cavaliers, Chesterton and Tenri High Schools, the Bushwackers, Bridgemen and a host of others. His audio production honors include 9 Grammy Nominations, 2 Grammy Awards and membership in both the World Drum Corps and Buglers Halls of Fame. He is active internationally as a clinician and adjudicator, holds the DCA Soprano/Trumpet/Tenor Individual titles for 2003, 2005 and 2006. Frank also chairs the Department of Recording Arts at Los Medanos College. His popular brass method book, “Power and Endurance”, is available from Xtremebrass.com. The opinions expressed in this column are strictly those of the author.

Inside the Arc – The Quest

Few are left who know much about it now, and many of them aren’t certain whether it was real or just some mythology concocted by the drum corps elders, whose own veracity might be questioned. Indeed, it’s wrapped in mystery and fading inevitably into the recesses of time. But rest assured, it is no myth, […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – A little ditty ’bout Chick and Diane

When she was a very young girl, she had a little problem with her wrist and hand, so she worked it out with some saber and rifle spins. A few days ago, at Davies Hall, with Michael Tilson Thomas on the podium, her hands flew gracefully around the violin and drew forth the gorgeous sounds […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – Horns, Drums, and Gratitude

It’s just barely visible and you can miss it even after you know it’s there. Still, if you’ve ever seen one, it’s unmistakable… How old can he be, that young man with the far-away expression, standing near the doorway of the DC-3, sometime around midnight on that fateful evening? Surely he could still qualify to […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – Color Pre or Take a Knee

There once was a time in Drum Corps when the color guard was the Gulag to which were sent all those who were unfit or unready to play horns or drums. The guard was officially known as “the auxiliary”, a term that had always conjured up (at least in my mind) something like an appendix, […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – Who Needs a Hall of Fame?

One could be forgiven for thinking the whole thing is getting out of hand.  There seems to be no limit to the proliferation: The Beekeepers Hall of Fame, Whack-a-Mole Hall of Fame, Hot Dog Eaters Hall of Fame…Trust me. These actually exist. But do we need them in drum corps? Really? We’ve got a “World” […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

Let’s get it straight right away: It’s not the composers and publishers who are ripping off the drum corps. It’s been the other way around from the beginning. Allow me to explain. When Oliver Hazard Perry defeated a British fleet on Lake Erie on September 10th 1813, he famously bragged, “We have met the enemy, […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – “Myron and Vincent”

Were it not for a controversial 1980 mid-season programming change, Myron might very well have gone on to become a noted horn soloist and possible brass guru. Dave Barduhn, Ralph Hardimon and Fred Sanford had penned an extraordinary arrangement of “Caravan” for SCV, which featured a solo for French Horn. There was little debate as […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – The Veterans’ Bequest

One day in the fall of 1960, an older gentleman handed a shiny chrome bugle to a 13 year old and showed him how to hold it properly. The youngster already knew a few calls, but had never been this close to a bugle with a valve.

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – “Flags of our Fathers”

Somewhere among my mother’s long-ago stored effects there is a photograph of a 3 year old boy, standing on a sidewalk in New York as a parade passes by, waving a small American flag, an expression of pure joy on his face. That boy was me and, though I do not recall the details, I […]

| | Read More »

Inside the Arc – “The Gods Must Be Crazy”

Big G: “Behold, you are all my peeps. Now go forth and get along with each other.” Crazy G 1: “But they are all different. You can’t expect that.” Big G: “Actually, I can. I Am Who Am, after all. Besides, they are all the same, in essence. They’ll figure it out.” Crazy G 2: […]

| | Read More »