Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:11 PM (#1)
Readers can make their own comments.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
To: The Membership of Drum Corps International
From: The Directors of the “7”
Re: Drum Corps International and the Future
Over the past three or so years, there has been a great deal of activity concerning the governance of Drum Corps International. Beginning from the May 2010 events and through recent meetings there have been many challenging discussions, wrought with emotion and with good reason – we are debating the future of an organization our forefathers created 40 years ago.
Many of us here at the table marched in a drum corps. Many of us have appeared at the DCI Championships. Some of us have sons and daughters who have marched and some have a hope that their young children will one day have the opportunity to experience the joy of performance that has been enjoyed by tens of thousands … again, including those of us who sit at the table today.
The challenge is that the economic realities of managing a drum corps, and for that matter, Drum Corps International have changed. It is at best difficult to maintain a corps at a level of fiscal balance, and at worst, it is impossible. Indeed, over the past 20 years many, many organizations have closed their doors. It’s tragic but, if you “work the numbers” it was expected and at some level, inevitable.
Related to this changing landscape …
The membership of Drum Corps International has changed significantly over the recent years. We have but 20 voting members today, and if we can ask all to be honest, the profiles of the members, moving from #1 to #20 has shifted in somewhat dramatic fashion. At the same time, today’s open class participation has dwindled, a product again of economic times, management responsibilities and the world that our students inhabit today, a world filled with possibility and choices.
As the 7, we are united in our concern for the future of the activity. We have individually and as a group examined the financial outlook of the activity, and we do not believe there can be hope for future programming if we maintain the current structures, programs, and methodologies.
Because of these beliefs, the “7” have been working together for a few years now, hoping that we can create for ourselves and for the world of marching music, a better tomorrow. We do not claim to have all of the answers and we do not know that the answers we have will work … BUT WE ARE WILLING TO TRY!
And to be sure, as of today, we are yet to lock into a shared vision. We are working at it, but such is a difficult task. However, we are committing our time, our efforts and our organizational finances to working towards this vision and then the necessary execution to get where we believe we need to go.
What is in place for Today with the 7
We have been meeting every Thursday for the past 6 months via phone. For the most part we have discussed our plans for 2013 and the 6 events we are managing. We have each contributed $3250.00 to the cause, and we are aware that we will need to do more in the coming months.
Three of the events are managed by corps in the “7”, the others are owned by our corporation, Music in Motion (“MIM”). Music in Motion is a California Corporation. We have filed for nonprofit status, and we are awaiting approval. Pat Seidling, a very part time administrator for MIM as the association’s director, and volunteers have done most of the work. We have insurance, bank accounts and all necessary requirements to operate at a basic level; however our organization is in the early stages.
Our goal this year is to run the 6 events we are associated with and to run them well.
Last year we were “marking time” a bit but with our organizational steps of recent months, our commitment to a higher level of program and excellence is clear. We are in action in this regard.
We are committed to our participation in Drum Corps International. We hope and will work to produce an excellent year for each of us, and for the entire organization.
A New Offer
If possible, the “7” would like to remain as active members of Drum Corps International through the years to come. We would like to, if possible, keep our entire effort within the walls of this very organization we have helped to create.
In order for this to happen, we believe that we need to be represented at the table of governance. We need to have a clear voice. With all respect, we believe that the “7” organizations have contributed at most every level for many years, indeed, in many cases for decades. In these challenging times, in order for our efforts to be devoted united, we believe that each of the organizations needs to be represented. Remember, we DO NOT live with a shared vision, and as you know we are not equal in our fiscal and organization abilities. We know that. Therefore, representative governance may not be the best alternative for today.
What we are requesting is a return to the days of the “top 12”. That’s correct. The board of directors of Drum Corps International will be the top 12 placing corps at the National Championships.. Plain … simple … and with a foundation in history – the top 12 are the board of directors of DCI.
The non corps director board members will be asked to serve as advisors to the board. Indeed, these are difficult times and the corps need to be at the table. The corps are making the decisions as to our future and the corps will need to take the actions precipitated by our votes. And for this reason alone, a return to a corps member voting base only makes great sense.
We appreciate the contributions of non-corps directors and such contributions are embraced. That said, it is our opinion that a vote not be attached to a volunteers’ offer of support and assistance. In the future, perhaps adjustments can be made. But for today, these are corps issues and corps need to be at the table.
As Michael Moxley used to repeat at board meetings, and I paraphrase, “we are the ones who put the rubber to the road”. In today’s environment, there is some truth to this sentiment. Frankly, our organizations futures hang in the balance and we need to take responsibility for the decisions that will frame our ability to provide service in the future.
We ask that this matter be given top level priority
Some of the “7” have talked to Mark Arnold. Other members have spoken to Tom Spadaro, and there have of course, been calls from representative to representative. We are all aware that the Music in Motion/Drum Corps International separation is volatile. It has been the discussion of many over the recent weeks.
With this in mind, we offer this alternative as a method for maintaining what we have created.
We believe this matter to be of the greatest importance and therein, we ask that nothing else be discussed until the governance of DCI is resolved. Of course, the resolution of this matter affects most any other discussion that might occur.
We will, as a group, ask for a change in by laws, and we will, as a group, ask for an affirmative response from the entire body. Of course there will be discussion. We understand.
And we will ask, as we do now, that each member considers the reality of the situations we face as individuals and a group. This is not the time for politics. We are asking that we all make the greatest effort to maintain what we, and many others, have worked for 40 years to create and maintain. We believe this proposal enables the possibility of a joined future.
What the future holds, none of knows. But I think we can agree that we all have a better chance of success together as opposed to apart.
We thank you for your consideration and we ask that Mark Arnold inform David Gibbs of the current board/memberships response, before the close of business on Monday the 14th of January if possible. Such will make our own planning all the easier as the meeting dates move towards us.
We thank you for your consideration of this proposal.
The Blue Devils
The Phantom Regiment
The Santa Clara Vanguard
Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:21 PM (#2)
This is quite a change in presentation from the G7 proposal.
Allow me to be the first to suggest that DCP'ers read it two or three times before responding.
And thanks to the OP.
This post has been edited by garfield: 09 January 2013 - 07:21 PM
Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:43 PM (#4)
From: The Membership of Drum Corps International
Re: Your previous failed coup attempt and math
We find it interesting that you are communicating to us by that most impersonal and ineffective means of relationship building, email. But we digress.
Since your failed attempt to overthrow the DCI board of directors in 2010, culminating in your removal from the board, we have attempted to work with you to retain you within the DCI family. The fracture of such a small organzation can only produce negative results, and as such it's our desire to remain together.
To that end we have allowed you, within the DCI framework, to organize, run, and retain the profits from 6 events this coming summer. We wish you well.
Your proposal to return to the DCI board of directors and revise the board membership to the directors of the top 12 corps was reviewed. However, a simple math calculation shows that with 12 voting members, 7 of which likely coming from the "7", means the "7" will gain control of the board of directors. Since you proved yourselves untrustworthy in 2010 and have done nothing to change that perception, we're going to have to say "no thanks" to your very thinly veiled "offer."
With best wishes for the new year,
THE Membership of Drum Corps International
This post has been edited by HockeyDad: 09 January 2013 - 08:55 PM
Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:49 PM (#7)
Ideally I'd like to see a board completely independent of the corps . . . not gonna happen though.
This post has been edited by Rifuarian: 09 January 2013 - 07:50 PM
Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:52 PM (#8)
Alumnus, Blue Devils, Suncoast Sound &
"If it's too loud, you're too old."
Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:58 PM (#9)
The problem I see with that is that many of the best minds in the business for off-the-field type stuff are at corps outside the top 12. Groups like Jersey Surf and Pacific Crest probably offer a better glimpse of the future of drum corps in terms of touring, etc. than some of the top-placing organization. It would be a shame to silence those voices.
Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:01 PM (#10)
First you need to become a Jedi. Only a Jedi has powers strong enough to take on a man who has 6 other corps directors under his direct control.
I could agree with you... But then we'd both be wrong.