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Do you think going DI/World Class caused some corps to fold?


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#1 MisterA

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:23 PM

A few of my friends and I were having a discussion about how alot of corps in the 90s switched from DII/III(Open Class) to DI(World Class), and how about the only corps that survived that exchange were Pioneer, Mandarins, and Carolina Crown. Corps like Nite Express, Southwind, Tarheel Sun, Les Etoiles, Capital Regiment, Academie Musicale, and several others all folded. So we were wondering, do you think if those corps hadn't made the switch, do you think they would still be active today? Or do you think these corps were already on the way down, and trying to use DI/World Class option to try and survive, as the pay per show did increase depending on classification. As much as we love a success story, it is so disappointing to see a corps make the jump, only to fold a few seasons later. So I guess another question is what did Crown, Pioneer, Mandarins, Academy do differently that the other corps didn't do? I don't really consider Blue Stars in that mix, as they started out as DI/World Class, went down to DII and DIII, and then rebuilt to their former success. I know that most of the corps folded due to financial reasons, at least that has been the word through the grapevine, or on the message boards. Looking back, do you think there were other options other than going to DI, that may have saved these corps?
It is really nice that DCI has gone back to the format where the Open Class corps compete in World Class quarterfinals. That way these corps can see how they compare to the big corps on the same sheets. But it would be nice to see those days when there were 30 plus DII/III Open Class corps.

#2 DrillmanSop06

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:14 PM

Corps management practices. Not DI/WC.
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#3 fsubone

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

You can also add Academy, Teal Sound, and Jersey Surf to corps that made the jump, and are hanging in there pretty well.

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#4 rkfdPRphan

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 03:40 PM

Around my neck of the woods there are still a lot of Division II/III (open class) corps touring.
Almost every show has 2 or 3 World Class and 3 or 4 Open Class corps in it.
I'm sure years back there were more corps AND MORE SHOWS!

I don't think the changes had to do with DCI or any kind of consolidation. To me it had to do with the number of shows that have disappeared. Used to have at least one show a weekend to go to locally, sometimes even ones on Wednesdays and Fridays. Now, I have to travel some to attend shows within about a 100 mile radius of home. I would say a majority of the corps years ago were not built to do the 'touring' today's corps do. They were more city rivalries. But today, there aren't that many cities holding competitions.

Lack of competitions, to me, has killed drum corps. Hard to field a corps when there is no where to go and no way to make enough money to keep going.

#5 magicdirect

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:12 PM

You can also add Academy, Teal Sound, and Jersey Surf to corps that made the jump, and are hanging in there pretty well.



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#6 MisterA

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:58 PM

You can also add Academy, Teal Sound, and Jersey Surf to corps that made the jump, and are hanging in there pretty well.


The reason I didn't add them in originally, is because they have all made the switch in the last 5 years. I really hope they all have amazing success. And the system seems a little different than it did 10 years ago. it seemed like more corps made the jump when they had the top 5 competing against World Class. A corps like Pioneer would beat 4 or 5 World Class(DI) corps and then decide they would be able to go to World Class. Of course, I think it was shortly before that when they had the previous years top 25(or maybe it was top 21) were then considered DI corps. So then it wasn't much of a choice, more of a decision by DCI. Please correct me if I have mentioned something and it is incorrect. Sometimes the memory isn't quite what it used to be.

#7 Tim K

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:06 AM

There have been all kinds of discussions about similartopics to this thread, especially in the historical category. Usually prohibitive costs rank as the major reason for the demise of drum corps, and there's almost no debating this point. One person who posted mentioned a lack of circuits today. I do think lack of local competitions is a factor in why kids in corps that do not travel extensively can lose interest in the activity. Most corps of this size and level cannot compete across the country. Some might be able to manage a smaller scale tour and perhaps a trip to DCI, but that's about it. Local circuits can provide competitions provided first, the circuit exists and second,there are corps that exist in the area. Also, we have to remember that when circuitswere flourishing, most local shows were in high school stadiums. National shows may have filled larger stadiums, but not average circuit shows. Local shows may not generate all that much in prize money.

However, as I thought about this topic a bit, I couldn'thelp but wonder how many members of the DII/III corps that folded had people who went to Top 12 corps, almost as of the DII/III corps was an unofficial feeder corps. Some of these corps would have been "Key of G" corps. Before I gofurther, I am not stirring up the age old G/B-flat debate. Now that we have three valve B-flat instruments as the norm, potential members of Top 12 corps no longer need special training for instruments used only in drum corps. Kidswho have had good training in high school or college can qualify for a drum corpssince they already know the instruments they play. DII/III corps may no longer be as attractive which is too bad. Many of these corps were exccellent. Also, we have to keep in mind many DII/III corps had no intention of remaining in this category forever. From what I can see, Carolina Crown was ambitious from day one, and while Blue Stars competed in this category for a while, it was obvious they hoped to return to their former days of glory.


Edited by Tim K, 03 April 2012 - 12:13 AM.




#8 Jeff Ream

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:14 AM

do I think it's DCI's fault corps failed after bumping up? No. Do I think the move was more than some corps management could handle and led to their demise? yes

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#9 Tony Flores

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:04 AM

Unofficially, Nite Express was nearly doomed toward the end of the '96 year. Money and management were atrocious at best. The '95 tour sucked a lot of operating capital having to do a limited D1 schedule after the 21st place finish in 94. Many of us were looking forward to a full D1 tour in 97, however by October 96 we would come to find out that there would be no 97 tour. What a shame for a corps which had its roots in place for decades as the Emerald Knights and even a cadet corps as well. But I can tell you, it wasnt due to escalating to D1.
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#10 JimF-LowBari

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 07:17 AM

Not a expert on Quebec but the French Canadian corps scene almost(?) totally died out in the 90s and early 2000s. Not just the WC but all corps. Have read the chapters on History Of Drum Corps on this and apparently the whole thing just died off for various reasons. And not all of the reasons were influenced by DCI.

Edited by JimF-LowBari, 03 April 2012 - 07:18 AM.

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