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Revolution Erupts

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#1 Drumdad


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Posted 14 August 2011 - 08:56 PM


After finishing 5th in last week's Open Class Finals, Revolution erupted. Just hours after the event, the corps chief administrators, Johnny Rodriguez and Mike Quigley, announced they would be resigning their day-to-day rolls with the corps. They pointed out, however, that they will retain control of the corps from behind the scenes. During that same meeting, they told the corps that their participation in the World Prelims was in jeopardy as the bus company was threatening to head back to Texas, for non-payment. Corps members were asked to each contribute an extra $100 to help pay the bus company. We've been part of the corps for years. Last minute financial solicitations, like this, are not uncommon at Revolution. I'm not sure how much "extra money" was collected, but an 11th hour deal was apparently reached and the buses rolled-on from Michigan City to Indianapolis.

In the wake of that news, on Thursday... the day of the World Class Prelims... news came that revolutions entire percussion staff, as well as several other staff members, has been fired. Anyone who has followed Revolution knows that it has historically been a corps built around it's driving percussion section. Now, all of the professionals who were responsible for that drum line, are gone... just like that. In protest of the terminations, all members of the battery refused to participate in Friday's parade. They (especially those who had been part of the drum line for years) wanted answers that they could not get. To save face, Revolution gathered a few of the corps front ensemble members, strapped drums to them and had them play in the parade.

As if all of this was not enough, on Friday morning a remaining staff member, who was put in charge, told me he was trying to get other corps (especially Crossmen, because they're from San Antonio too) to try and get the kids, who refused to participate in the parade, a ride home. When I asked why that would even be necessary, he told me that Rodriguez had left explicit instructions that those who did not participate in the parade would not be allowed on the buses and would have to find their own way back to Texas. When I asked where Rodriguez and Quigley were (I wanted to talk to them), he told me they had left back to Texas the night before.

Make no mistake about it, John and Mike, this post is designed to both expose what happened and to call you out. I hope you will see it as an opportunity to explain your actions which, on the surface, seem neither rational or acceptable.

Dan Delgado
4-year Revolution Parent

#2 kwitmer


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Posted 14 August 2011 - 11:23 PM


Having just arrived home from World Championships in Indianapolis I wanted to add to this post. I have been involved in the Drum Corps activity for over 33 years, and I have never witnessed anything like I saw this weekend with "Revolution"

I travelled to Indianapolis with a friend whose daughter marched with Revolution, after watching the parade none of the members seemed quite sure as to what and where they were supposed to go, which we found off. After leaving the parade area and checking into our hotel, we made our way over to where the corps had gathered by their busses, and when we reached the parking lot they were the only corps still parked there, with all of their members standing and sitting in the deserted lot. Corps members rushed over to my car, and even though they didn't know me, they pleaded with us to help them out. Their bus drivers were resting at a downtown hotel, getting ready for their midnight departure, and they were locked out of their busses. There was no one in charge, no Corps Director, instructors, chaperones, no one! The members asked if we would please go to the hotel and pick up their bus driver and bring him back so that they could get into their busses and get at their clothes and personal belongings. We didn't realize at this point that many of the members needed their belongings because they were trying to arrange alternate transportation for themselves. Obviously we wanted to help, and headed uptown to pick up their drivers and bring them back to the busses. Returning back we were approached by a member who was supposed to catch a flight that he was now going to miss because of the delay in being able to get his belongings, to see if we would give him a ride to the airport. Once again we headed out, this time to the airport to help this young man out. At this point, other than being disgusted by the lack of anyone in charge, we had no idea of how bad things actually were.

After the World Class Championships we returned to the busses to pick up my friend's daughter, and the story unravelled further. The Corps Director, Mr. Rodrigues had left the corps after firing all instructors, in fact everyone in charge had left the corps! Who does this, when they are in charge of a group of young people starting at the age of 14? Prior to skipping town the Corps Director did ask a young man to take responsibility and handed him $50 bucks to feed the two busses of young people during the two day trip back to San Antonio. What he hadn't mentioned was that the coaches which, as was mentioned had not been paid for, were only going as far as their head office in Dallas, leaving two busloads of members, as young as 14 to fend for themselves and get their own transportation to their homes in and around San Antonio, which is about 5 hours from Dallas.

The members were devastated! Thank God for Corps Director Chris Magonigal from another Open Class Corps from Texas, Genesis. Chris talked to the bus drivers for Revolution and made a deal for the busses from the two corps to follow each other back to Texas, where Genesis would take as many members as possible on their coaches on to San Antonio. In doing so Chris also took on a great deal of responsibility, as did the young gentleman who Mr. Rodrigues handed the $50 dollars to. I don't know his last name, but this fine young man by the name of Brian, did his very best by the members of this beleaguered corps. He spent all of Saturday trying to arrange rides for as many members as he could, soliciting other corps for food for Revolution members who were left with only the $50, trying to calm parents who were starting to receive calls from frantic corps members, and doing his best to keep the spirits of the corps up and help end the season on as positive a note as possible.

As I mentioned I have been involved in the Drum Corps activity for almost my whole life, and I have never heard of a Corps Director abandoning his corps! Mr. Rodrigues was responsible for these members, parents from many areas in Texas, as well as other U.S. states and even Canada sent their children to Revolution in care of this man. Abandoning his corps as he did, is not just morally apprehensible, it should be illegal. I could continue to rant and rave, about members not receiving equipment and props that they paid for, being asked for money out of their pockets, left to figure out how best to represent themselves in the final parade of the year when everyone in charge had deserted them, not to mention find their own rides home, but I think for now I've said enough and the message should be clear.

Mr. Rodrigues should not only be banned from DCI, but if I were a parent I would want some answers from the person in whose care I placed my child. I intend to write a letter to DCI and would encourage all of those affected by this travesty to do the same, as this goes against everything that the Drum Corps activity stands for.

#3 somerville


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:13 AM

Wow, this is devastating. So sad. What a way to end a year. I am so sorry for all of those members and their families.

Completely tragic.

My heart is with all of them.

#4 lukenorris


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:20 AM

Someone is going to have to take him to court. Child endangerment!

#5 kaplac


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:28 AM

Has DCI been contacted regarding this situation yet?

#6 Drum Corps Nation

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:35 AM

This is nothing new to the organization, and this type of shady management has been with the corps since the beginning.

In 2001, the corps' first competitive season, the members were told at the beginning of the season that they would only be signing up for a half-tour that was to end at the San Antonio regional. Shortly after this show, Rodriguez announced that the corps tour would be extended so the corps could participate in Buffalo at Div. III finals. No extra tour fees were collected, and the corps left for it's second tour not long after. However, by the time the corps actually reached buffalo, it had run out of money and could no longer feed the corps. In order to get food, members of the corps had to be fed through local NY schools by a program setup to feed homeless and underprivileged local children. However, this didn't cover dinner and members had to go to local gas stations to buy food.
Several times during this season, the corps had to be fed by other larger corps.

In 2003, the year after the corps won Div III, corps members were dismissed from a camp in February because several staff members had refused to teach until they received payment for work already done.

#7 Tony Flores

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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:42 AM

This is horrible, something similar (but not as severe) happened to Revo several years ago, no? I will reserve judgement until all facts are clear, and I would expect my fellow planeteers to do the same. If something is amiss then DCI should get involved. But due process must be allowed to gather the facts.

Please do not take this the wrong way.
Tony Flores
1994-1996 Nite Express Drum and Bugle Corps, Cedar Rapids, IA

Twitter: JDandTurkelton (yes i'm a scrubs nerd)

...to err is human
To blame others shows management potential.

#8 DrumManTx


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 01:52 AM

If I was a member and that happened..........no comment.


I was thinking about auditioning last year, glad I didn't now.

Glad there's people like Genesis's director and the guy who stayed to help the kids out , that's just ridiculous.

They need to take those guys to court.

Edited by DrumManTx, 15 August 2011 - 01:58 AM.

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#9 AlexL


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:02 AM

Wow, that's awful.

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#10 Marianne


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Posted 15 August 2011 - 02:05 AM

This is outrageous! And to think, a friend of mine almost got introduced to this wonderful world of drum corps when her son auditioned for Revolution this past off-season. He even got a contract, but in the end decided to stay home, get a job and save money for college. I was disappointed when she told me that. But in hindsight Iím very glad he made that decision. I hate to think of any parentís first exposure to the activity to end up this way. DCI needs to address this issue immediately, especially hearing that this is a common occurrence for this corps! This makes me very angry.
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