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  1. 6 points
    Alright, enough personal attacks and non-staff-changes-related stuff. Let's get this thread back on track. Like I said in the OP, I don't want this thread to become "Staff Merry-Go-Round 2018 Part 2, This Time With Even More Dumb Posts."
  2. 4 points
    why arguing about Pete's life? he chose to move on! wish him the best
  3. 4 points
    Or in the case of most DCP posters, not-having-any-first-hand-knowledge-of-the-reality-going-in-design-meetings is still-grounds-for-complaining-that-every-bad-thing-is-Hop's-fault
  4. 3 points
    Wow! SCV's just went from Awesome to a different kind of Awesome!
  5. 3 points
    Chill, I read it. Doesn't mean he can't design for a corps. JD Shaw resigned from phantom "to spend more time with family" before it was announced he's going to vanguard. And another case was the same, although I forget who it was.
  6. 2 points
    I thought they would deconstruct them.
  7. 2 points
    I am really sorry to see Weber leaving SCV. Over recent years, I've found his to be some of the most musical on the field. Not that SCV isn't in great hands with Gaines, but I certainly hope Pete pops back up somewhere else, maybe after taking a bit of a break.
  8. 2 points
    Everyone seems to hate on DCP yet everyone reads it and being the off season, yeah, it’s down to about 20 of us to maintain the mantle of DCP whack jobs. So of course I’m horribly offended by Flo Marching’s statement. I pour my heart and soul into each and every one of my artfully crafted, historically accurate, logically driven posts. My posts are my very being, my children, my gift to the greater drum corps community and therefor, the ENTIRE WORLD. And to have Flo Marching mock them? To have Flo Marching Godzilla stomp my creations? Clearly, Flo Marching is George Hopkins in another guise trying to destroy all that is good in Drum Corps. Many of you DCP lurkers will be blissfully ignorant of all the artist references and allusions buried within the above post, not unlike BD 2012. And to explain them would only confuse and frustrate you so just accept that the judges got it correct when they award me with all those GE-Posting points that earns me the Lone Wolf vote.
  9. 2 points
    Really? Cadets design lacking so? Compared with the corps finishing above them? I didn't see it. What was the genius in the top 5 (or 6)? It's not as if Boston wasn't literal with the witches. Or Bluecoats who delivered a reprise, only this time with a giant, static black hole in the concept. Or Cavies with all that visual and vocal clutter allegedly aggregating to a manly theme. Or Crown who gave us a level of stridency in the closer we're at pains to forget. Or SCV who used - wait for it - CIRCLES to represent snakes consuming themselves while a tiny fraction of the corps covered the vast majority of the notes. Even BD, the lone show in the top six worth another watch - what was that? By the time the One-Eye Sailor rhythm passed, the metamorphosis was lost on all but the most knowledgeable fans. Not to worry in BD's case - an exception in the top 6 - the product was still good. My view? It wasn't design that held back Cadets. Boston's raid on Gino and Colin cost the Cadets talent, which cost them in the standings. Only a handful of vets return to the brass line for 2017, and you could hear it. The Cadets brass just didn't present the mature sound that the lines above them did. That deficit resounded across the sheets. Percussion suffered similarly, though maybe not as deeply. One final note. Many of you who are criticizing the Cadets design, and in particular the chorus, never saw the show live - or at least didn't see it live in August. It was a different experience live. It was a gorgeous blend of musical textures deserving of more credit than the closed minds of the acoustic past are willing to allow. HH
  10. 2 points
    Mr. Hopkins also mentioned last night something he told insiders a few days ago: Mr. Gwaltney will be the Design Director, while Mr. Hopkins will be retreating into an "Executive Producer" type role.
  11. 2 points
    followed by jose feliciano's version, just in case the audience didn't understand jimmy's
  12. 2 points
    Exciting to see that Gaines was named drill writer for 2018. I like Pete Weber's drills, and wish him well with focusing on his family, but I do like a Gaines drill. The post linked below shows - Michael Gaines, Creative Director & Drill Designer *NEW ROLE IN 2018*Scott Koter, Program CoordinatorDenise Bonfiglio, AdvisorAndy Toth, Visual Program CoordinatorAdam Sage, ConsultantPaul Rennick, Percussion ArrangerSandi Rennick, Percussion ArrangerJD Shaw, Brass ArrangerBart Woodley, Consultant *NEW ADDITION IN 2018*Michael Rosales, Lead Choreographer *NEW ADDITION IN 2018* https://www.scvanguard.org/2018-scv-design-staff/
  13. 1 point
    I took your advice and Oh my. Toxic work environment! Why anyone would work there is beyond me.
  14. 1 point
    This just in: They did laundry and packed up the 2017 uniforms.
  15. 1 point
    I kept on seeing Snarky Puppy thinking it was Skinny Puppy. That Collier kid is a modern Brian Wilson.
  16. 1 point
    By which I meant "Too bad he is not coming back, but I totally understand why."
  17. 1 point
    It definitely did. After having Mass explained to me by many helpful DCPers, I didn’t feel the Cadets captured it much at all. It could’ve been a generic show about Christianity as far as anyone is concerned
  18. 1 point
    Probably was a good night for you too - sounds like a great concert.
  19. 1 point
    If you compare the Cadets design with those of the top 5 and can't see that it isn't in the same league, then I don't know what to tell you. If you think the top 5 didn't have better designed and more compelling shows than the Cadets (BAC and BK too) then I don't know what you're looking at/hearing. The Cadets show was musically beautiful (choir included), but the design staff was completely out of touch with what it takes, from a design standpoint, to compete with the top corps. It was way too literal (the benches, the robes, the bibles, the crosses, the narration - complete over kill. I'm surprised they didn't pass out collection plates through the stands at finals. The changes made that show worse as the season progressed, not better), the props were entirely useless and poorly designed themselves, and just old in it's design. It looked like a relic from the distant past next to SCV and BD. I loved the choir - that was the one thing they did brilliantly. But, if you cannot recognize the massive shortcomings and design issues of the 2017 show, then you either can't get past your bias or you do not understand how a championship show is designed. It's that simple. Cavies and Crowns shows both annoyed me to no end. So much so that I didn't even bother watching them during finals week. The Cadets staff is completely incapable of designing a good show, much less a championship one. SCV's show was the most brilliant thing I've ever seen on the field after 1993 Star. All elements of SCV's show were brilliantly integrated and executed. There was nothing done during their show that didn't need to be done. THAT's what makes a brilliant design - filling a show to the brim with stuff, but doing it in a way that isn't overkill. The Cadets show, by comparison was silly and embarrassing. I felt bad for those kids having to perform that show. 2017 SCV completely blew away the 2017 Cadets in every way, shape and form. Absolutely no contest in any facet of design or execution. I can say the same, with confidence, about the entire top 6 in comparison to the Cadets. It was a terrible season for them any way you slice it, and there is zero indication they will return to the top tier as long as GH remains in charge. You could see the signs of this starting in 2012, but it really kicked into high gear in 2016 and the downward trend continued in 2017. Not looking promising for their future, especially when one person, who's completely lost touch with reality, pulls all the strings.
  20. 1 point
    Wear that hat proudly. Perhaps if people reacted more strongly to the chorus, the Cadets would have placed better? It seems general acceptance; lack of outrage created by the chorus really hurt the Cadets. They need a bigger, more controversial distraction next year so we don’t focus on their poorer design and performance. Just throwing it out there but maybe they should, I dunno, play the Star Spangle Banner as a mash up with some K-pop hit and then have the guard kneel down. The drum line could then attack the guard, have the horns jump in fray, kill a DM or two while the choir sings the hits of Barry Manilow. Then break out the church bells again, they look great in close up and we all love that shot through them on the DVDs. Hit the angel synth sound, feature a guard girl in white, the corps stops fighting makes company front, plays a note, drop the tarps and win DCI I’d call it Weekend in New England
  21. 1 point
    It was a VERY strong 7th place finish.
  22. 1 point
  23. 1 point
    70 miles, plus one of the worst highways depending on traffic, but I see your point.
  24. 1 point
    Very nice. is that your family room, B?
  25. 1 point
    Camp fee only. No registration fee. Reason for reg fees originally, he says, was to cover cost of mailings pre-internet. Now, not needed.
  26. 1 point
    I'm here to see all the horrendous classical music suggestions.
  27. 1 point
  28. 1 point
    Cadets also announced the previous night that there will be no registration fees this year, only camp fees during the winter. Texans and other Southerners will not have to fly in for any camps until Spring Training as parallel brass camps will be held in Texas five times. Percussionists will still be expected to come to camps in the Northeast. This will be a huge saving of flight costs but will also be a challenge to mold the two brass ensembles into one come Spring Training.
  29. 1 point
    https://yea.org/news/1791-cadets-announce-west-coast-tour-for-2018
  30. 1 point
    with an all left handed horn line..lol
  31. 1 point
    Confirmed by Mr. Hopkins this evening that Cadets will be in LA, Stanford and Denver. Other details of tour to be finalized.
  32. 1 point
    Gonna miss Pete Webber's drill at SCV, he did a fantastic job over the past dozen seasons. Excited to see how Gaines will do at SCV, though. That being said, there's one prominent corps I know that, if Webber were to head that way, it would make me ecstatic.
  33. 1 point
    I was not aware of the fall festival...guess this is their first annual for that...according to this flyer...sweet
  34. 1 point
    Gaines is now drill designer at SCV. Talk about a who’s who team. https://www.scvanguard.org/2018-scv-design-staff/
  35. 1 point
    That’s big time, but I’m gonna miss Weber
  36. 1 point
    Gaines as drill writer for SCV: https://www.scvanguard.org/2018-scv-design-staff/
  37. 1 point
    Looks like Kendall Stevenson taking a bigger role in 2018... "Kendall joined The Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps as the Drum Major Technician and served as a part of their leadership development program as well. Kendall is excited to return to The Boston Crusaders in 2018 with the additional responsibly of working with the design team as the Production Manager." https://greateastmusicfestivals.org/2017-fall-festivals/additional-staff/
  38. 1 point
    And here I was pondering which corps was going to ride the current storms and come out doing a Color Pre??? Bobby Hoffman would throw something that traditional in with the Bridgemen after doing some outlandish controversial routine. Maybe the guard would go Blue Star like from the '70's and end with everyone on their knees except Old Glory. Its so dated it would actually be fresh.
  39. 1 point
    7th Regiment is thrilled to announce its Design Team for the 2018 Drum Corps International Season! “7th Regiment is fortunate to have such an amazing group of people overseeing the design of this year’s program,” said Kevin Lowery, director of 7th Regiment. “Great things are in store for 7R, as we embark on our 15th […] View the full article
  40. 1 point
    This is your thread; you posted the article; you claim it is funny; you started this; and then you get all serious with 'no thanks, I decline'. No wonder Flo makes fun of DCP!!!!!
  41. 1 point
    Cavaliers staff just posted that "big things are coming soon for 2018 for Cavaliers Brass". Expect an announcement soon.
  42. 1 point
    i posted on their facebook page while i laughed, that it wasn't good business sense to poke angry bears that paid them for spotty service.
  43. 1 point
    Still got the big show next week end in Holland .the European Drum Corps Championships .7 countrys competing for the tile ,Holland,UK,Germany,Beligum,Itlay Ireland and France Junior and All age Divs.Things can change in a week ,GO KIDS GROVE
  44. 1 point
    When I think of Blue Knights brass as of late, I think raw power and volume. This could be some homerun hires for PR
  45. 1 point
    Looks like Brad Toth will be leading the brass caption in 2018!
  46. 1 point
    If PR does what other corps do then they'll just be another "me too" corps. That's not (or wasn't) PR!!! In the real world you have to continually make and sell value to succeed, and being a "me too" product offers little to know value and those are the products that just fade away without notice. Regiment wins when they leverage their roots!
  47. 1 point
    Preface - So, 2017 is in the books! What an amazing season this was start to finish, Championships or not, Open and World Class, etc. I had a blast following this year, my week in Broken Arrow, Belton, and San Antonio was a blast. When it comes down to it the people and atmosphere fosters is just amazing and second to none......I'm having some battles right now with what I exactly want to do with my life but I know for certain it has to be under the umbrella of this activity. I'm pretty exhausted right now and REALLY need to go to bed, so this might lack some proofreading and details but I just wanna get it out there for everyone to enjoy! EVERYONE deserves some love. Every corps and member does an amazing job every season. There are shows that I might not like and corps that don't place where I might want them but I am not gonna let that get in my way of finding something positive in every show and performance. Congrats on the members, staffs, volunteers, show sponsors, and everyone involved on an incredible 2017. I took on every single show I saw this year, so prepare for a helluva long winded post. But I hope it's worth it for everyone to read through it. Enjoy! I'm gonna do an additional post on my thoughts of the BIG topics of 2017 like A&E, Uniforms, etc. so look out for that too! But for now....... Regional Touring Corps – These make me so excited about the future and growth of the activity. So many great corps weren’t even at championships this year, I had a blast watching a lot of these. Assuming some of these make the trip to Championships some day soon, it’s going to get incredibly exciting in Open Class. Blue Devils C always blows me away for their age, this year seemed especially mature and well performed from them. Always a fun and entertaining show from the most adorable corps on the planet, loved the plane theme this year. Incognito was small but impressive considering the exposure each performer had, they performed very well. Watchmen were a great surprise, loved the Norse thematic material and they had a GREAT percussion section. Only caught a YouTube video of Heat Wave, but man they improved a TON this year, easily the best show in their three year history. It definitely showed in their scoring too, they were right on the heels of Southwind and Louisiana Stars early on before their tour ended. The next three REALLY impressed me, these three are incredibly mature for their age in pretty much every aspect on and off the field and when they decide to head to Indy they are REALLY going to turn even more heads than they already have. Golden Empire’s hidden gems themed show is pretty appropriate, they continue to put out incredibly ambitious and increasingly well performed programs. I really enjoyed the more tangible theme this year and accessible music, “One Day I’ll Fly Away” was very nice. Incredibly successful season for them beating the next two corps. Columbians really impressed me two years ago with their “1942” program and again last year with their INCREDIBLY fun “Clash!” show with one of the coolest props I’ve ever seen. This years “Do Not Go Gentle” show seemed like an attempt at a much more mature and difficult show and I think they definitely succeeded. They’re an incredibly balanced corps with a particularly strong brass line in my eyes...ears? Nevertheless, a regional open class corps giving such an incredibly mature musical moment in the “Adagio for Strings” ballad with that huge and long crescendo is a testament to how far down the ranks talent goes nowadays. Loved their show on the Denver FloMarching cast. Lastly, The Battalion. This was their 2nd year and their performing a show like that that well? Wow. This is the kind of corps that a decade from now could be a huge heavy hitter in Open Class. Incredibly cohesive and well constructed show, use of silence was very clever and the visual design was especially great. Some absolutely fantastic moments throughout the show that were fantastically paced and built into. And they are incredibly strong in every caption, brass especially blew me away. That first big statement with the mellophones…...oof. Gimme more of that! If I had to buy stock in a corps I could see being the next thing, it might be these guys. Second year? That makes me giggle, cannot wait for next year. Open Class - The best set of Open Class shows I have ever seen, top to bottom. The Company - Tomorrow, It's Just Around the Corner 1st Place International Class - 72.325 The Company – So glad these guys made the trip over, have always enjoyed their offerings for DCE, and this show was no disappointment. This is probably the most impressed I have been by an overseas corps coming to the US since I’ve started following the activity, fantastic design and incredibly energetic and clean performance all three times I saw this one online. Very seamless and well constructed music book from Markworth and loved the visual program, especially the use of color and the overall aesthetic. Overall, great job and come back again! Les Stentors - The Red Line of Fate (I think?) 16th Place - 55.2 I always appreciate when corps that are on the small side shrink down their performance spaces, really helps make the performance feel more intimate and energetic and it just stages them better. Very fun start to Open Class overall, really enjoyed the singer in the ballad and the color guard usage, they were definitely the standout section. The level of exposure for groups of this size is pretty astounding, everyone has to be pulling their weight 100% and I think they did a great job of it. Can’t find a list of their repertoire but it was all fun and familiar music I enjoyed. Overall, nice job! Impulse - In the Beginning 15th Place - 58.125 It’s been cool to see these guys be able to make it out to Indianapolis this year and last year, hope they can bring more of their regional Open Class friends in the coming years. Very fun show, particularly enjoyed the “Rite of Spring”/”Eye of the Tiger” mashup, I could get used to this two things that shouldn’t work together but do thing that one other corps I’ll talk about later has certainly mastered. Hornline for their size really puts out a good and strong sound, especially at the finish of their show. Big drumline was very solid and the color guard had some great moments too. Overall, a very fun show! Colt Cadets - The Rivers Edge 14th Place - 61.2 Again, love the shrinking of performance space to fit the corps. This was a big step up, very pretty and gorgeous color and musical palette they worked with in this show. Loved the use of the silks in the guard. Hornline put out some very mature and musical sounds, lots of tasteful dynamic work throughout. Drums were solid as well. Particularly enjoyed the Smetana ballad, love “Ma Vlast” which I think is what they pulled from. Overall, very nice job. This Colt Cadets corps is light years better than the one I saw when I first started following the activity back around 2008/2009. Shadow - Atreyu 13th Place - 62.225 Seeing corps of this size doing this ambitious of a show is pretty awesome. First of all, percussion stole the show for me. From the get go the front ensemble plays with incredible maturity and musicality, they were easily one of the best front ensembles of the day; they were great throughout the whole show. They put out the first BIG sound of the day in Open Class prelims, hornline had a ton of energy and presence. Really liked the use of the fabrics and tarps throughout, I knew back in Minneapolis they were gonna have one at the end and low and behold there it was. I also liked the addition of the white fabric at the end, great transformation that helped bring some thematic clarity. This is a corps in their 2nd year doing great things and with high school aged kids? That’s awesome. Raiders - Iconic 12th Place - 64.975 Very fun show from these guys, loved the eclectic mix of music that everyone knows and loves. They have a ton of great soloists in this show, the talent level of the membership is obviously very high when you feature that many members so well. Particularly enjoyed the “Beat It” and “Let it Be” parts of the show. Really enjoyed the color guard as well, they’re staged and featured well throughout the show. Nice job! River City Rhythm - Misshapen 11th Place - 67.688 Very cool and fun show, they get the morphing/distortion theme across very well communicated through the Beethoven that we all know and the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” ballad is GREAT. The star of this show for me is easily the percussion, the brass had increasingly great performances through Championships and the guard was solid but percussion…...well you can tell they have their roots indoor. Fantastic front ensemble playing from the get go, great features throughout, and I really enjoyed the morphing tenor feature. That was a great variation on the stationary tenor feature we’ve all seen before, nice keeping it fresh AND thematically relevant. Loved the pitch bend at the end of the show. I’ve really enjoyed them every year since their first season back in 2015, and this year was easily their strongest yet. I’m very excited at what’s in store for these guys in the future. Guardians - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 10th Place - 69.737 This is easily one of my favorites from the Open Class slate this year, this show is a blast. The insanity versus sanity idea has been done before but never in a way this fresh through Kanye West of all things. Love the way this show is set up from the get go, tons of great drill and moments throughout the first half but the second half of this show is where the real fun begins. Absolutely loved the Himdemith trombone feature in the closer and then we throw that amazing ramp drum feature on top of it and the energy and excitement goes into overload mode. They have a fantastic percussion section and color guard that’s featured in that portion, the two featured performers symbolizing sane Kanye and insane Kanye are AMAZING performers, they’re a blast to watch. Love the subtle use of the uniforms throughout the show, the different colored legs and flipping of the caps are small things but super effective. Overall this show is IMO one of the more ambitious and mature designs on the Open Class field this year. I can’t wait to see what they do next year, they’re two for two with me. Southwind - Toxic Mind 9th Place - 70.125 I hadn’t seen anything the whole year from Southwind and hadn’t read a ton either, so when they came on and did what they did in the 11th place slot in Open Class prelims me and I think everyone else watching were blown the hell away. Their arrangements and hornline performance were easily some of my favorite of the week relatively. The energy of this show was off the hook; Loved the use of Creep throughout mixed in with all the other music, “Superstitious” was fantastic, loved that trombone feature and the Muse stuff in the closer was amazing as well. This show is just straight up what I love about drum corps. Their brass definitely stole the show, high brass and mello books and performances were amazing for that tier of corps. Percussion and guard were both very solid throughout as well. Seeing these guys back on the national stage for the first time in a decade making that kind of impression is probably one of my highlights of the season, I love getting shell shocked by Open Class corps I haven’t seen all year and this one probably takes the cake for that. I am dying to see where they go next year. 7th Regiment - ...as the Sun Loved the Moon 8th Place - 72.0 Beautiful show this year, love story shows that are very easy to follow and interpret. Fantastic use of color throughout to communicate the sun and moon and both coming together at the end through the guard costuming, silks, and props. Very interesting and eclectic use of music throughout, who woulda thought that “Incantation and Dance” mixed with “Total Eclipse of the Heart” would work so well together? Very nice. Very controlled and clear brass performance from them, loved the ballad soloist. Overall I don’t have a ton more to say other than beautiful show, great job, and I look forward to seeing these guys every year. Fantastically designed show that was perfect for them as a membership. AND THEY GOT THEIR DINO NUGGS!!! Gold - Grow 7th Place - 72.75 This one grew on me every time I saw it this week, they really shined in Lucas Oil on Thursday morning. It was a lot easier to pick up this theme on the high cam in prelims, the growing theme definitely came across. I think it’s all original but some great musical moments throughout, the ballad was especially nice. Brass has great tone and clarity throughout and the color guard really shined in this show. Loved the ending, great drill, bright flags, ramming drums, and that last brass chord were all a great way to cap off that show. Great job! Louisiana Stars - Sanctuary 6th Place - 73.213 They won the most improved Open Class award for the second year in a row, and I can see why. Much more cohesive and better performed show this year. And I enjoyed last years too. The star of this show is definitely the musical program, tons of variety in style and musicality, they really play with great control throughout the whole show. Loved the vocal moments, the duet at the start of the show was great and the full corps singing stuff in the ballad was nice. Percussion really shined this year in addition to the brass, they definitely led the corps through OC Championships. Great visual program too this year that was a huge improvement over 2016. This corps is going places, and I’m excited to see what’s next for them! Spartans - Connected 5th Place - 75.925 This was a huge step up in visual programming and performance in Open Class competition, and it’s ultimately what put them in Semifinals. Fantastic use of choreography and staging, and that guard is fantastic year in and year out. I really enjoyed the show this year, particularly the drum feature with all the cell phone/communication stuff that they turned into an incredibly fun and exciting closer to the show. Congrats on keeping the semis streak going, and I look forward to seeing the show next year! Music City - Tribe 4th Place - 76.763 I can sum it up pretty shortly, this was their best show and corps in their history. After how their season began……...it warms my heart seeing how they finished this year. They earned every bit of that finish this year. They took a huge leap forward to me visually, the drill design and staging was a huge improvement over last year with some incredible field coverage and staged moments. The color guard was also fantastic, loved their use of color and thematic portrayal. Musically they were as enjoyable as ever, the musical texture of the ballad and that HUGE entrance after the drum feature that they nailed every time were amazing moments coming from an Open Class corps, though lets be honest; at this point in OC finals we had already well surpassed World Class levels of design and performance. Huge congrats on an amazing 2017 season and 2nd semis appearance! They’re currently under evaluation for a World Class promotion for 2018, they’ve certainly reached that level as a performing ensemble. They’ll move up soon if it doesn’t happen this year. Legends - The Signal 3rd Place - 77.25 First of all, I’m just glad they made it to Championships. Seeing them raise 100k in about 24 hours was pretty incredible. Just get that in order please! That’s out of the way now. Man, they just keep on improving year after year. This years show was a huge step up in maturity from a design perspective and from a performance perspective. The level their brass performs at is amazing, my personal favorite from Open Class Championships. The color guard and percussion also took big strides this year. GREAT music and drill this year, the “Wall-E” opener and “Sound of Silence” ballad were definitely highlights of OC Championships for me. The lighting trick this year was about as cool as 2016s, very fun theme that they portrayed well. Nice job, hope to see them as strong next year! Blue Devils B - The World the Children Made 2nd Place - 79.625 These guys have every bit as much swagger and confidence as their World Class counterpart and man it’s fun to watch. Their show had the best of what makes the Blue Devils the Blue Devils, incredibly professional and tight performances from all captions, very tight show design, and they perform it at an incredibly high level. I didn’t enjoy this years offering quite as much as last years amazing space show, but it was still an enjoyable program. Loved the weaving of “Pure Imagination” throughout the whole show in different ways. Loved the use of a mbira and the overall musical texture added from the front ensemble. Overall, just a great and solid show as always. Vanguard Cadets - In Pieces 1st Place, All Captions - 80.725 SCVC this year and BDB last year are the peak of an amazing Open Class, and man this was a fun show this year. This show reminds me a lot of Bluecoats 2016 Championship show in the best of ways; it was incredibly seamless, featured simple but hugely effective props, and had an incredibly infectious energy that was hard to deny in terms of effect. In addition to that they were just incredibly solid across the board, their sweep at Champoinships was very well deserved, particularly really enjoyed the percussion and color guard. Loved the use of percussion in the front half of the show and the closer was just a blast…...fantastic trombone and screamer soloists that nailed it all five times I watched the show online; that paired with the Vanguard moment made this show just incredibly exciting to watch. That was an amazing way to kick off SCVs 50th Anniversary on Championships week. 13th - 23rd in World Class - Full of incredibly accessible, fun, and record setting shows across all corps: Pioneer - Irish on Broadway 34th Place - 65.913 I can always count on Pioneer for something that’s very easy to just sit back and enjoy, and this years Les Mis show is no exception. Loved the various showcased soloists throughout, some fantastic guard moments, a great flugel soloist, and that singer is just stellar. Loved the use of the barricade props as well in the latter half. Pioneer has put out some very solid and entertaining shows as of late, last years Joan of Arc show particularly being a highlight. They do what they do very well, and I enjoyed it this year once again. Jersey Surf - Make it Our Own 27th Place - 71.613 This year was a big step up in programming to me from previous years. After 2012s huge success in that amazingly entertaining Bridgemen tribute show I felt like either they tried to recapture that magic and were not as successful or went too serious and lost what made them Jersey Surf. Musically especially this show had tons of depth and maturity to it filled with some fantastic moments throughout. The Snarky Puppy opener was a blast, the Sia ballad is beautiful (that climax is great), and the Basia closer was very laid back and fun. I easily see myself listening to this one a lot over the summer, courtesy of the arrangements and a hornline that can really push some power. Enjoyed the guard contribution as well, loved the use of color from them. Overall, most I’ve enjoyed one of their shows in a few years. I feel bad that they missed semifinals, they had a better show this year Open Class is just explosive in its growth right now. Seattle Cascades - Set Free 26th Place - 74.125 I’ve loved watching this corps grow every year since 2014 and seeing them field their largest corps ever only three seasons later is awesome. This year was the next logical step in a set of incredibly exciting and accessible shows. Easy to understand theme and great music with an incredibly tasteful visual program. I can always count on Mr. Norfleet for some incredibly fresh and exciting arranging and this years closer mashup of “Shostakovitch 10”/”Bird Set Free” is no exception. All captions continue to make strides, and even though the color guard might have been a scoring weakness after them fielding less than ten a few years ago, seeing the field full of flags and equipment is very promising. And like Jersey Surf, I think the explosion of Open Class is just really hard to keep up with. That shouldn’t diminish what was IMO a great season for them. Genesis - The Other Side of Now 23rd Place - 76.213 First of all, welcome to World Class! And I definitely think they belong. They showed incredible maturity in designing a show that is very challenging and taking it on with fantastic performances from all three captions, especially the brass. Their approach to ensemble sound, tone, etc. is very good and with a few years watch out for them. Overall it’s a familiar but very well executed concept that is very accessible and very captivating to general audiences. The music book was very eclectic full of great music that we all know and love in this activity and that visual program was a blast to watch from up top; so many cool sequences and moments throughout it. If this is their first effort in WC, I can’t wait to see what they’re doing down the road. They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. Pacific Crest - Golden State of Mind 21st Place - 78.00 I really enjoyed Pacific Crest last year and I did again this year. Highlight is definitely the very easy to listen to music program, full of very recognizable, fun, and beautiful music. Best part of the show for me was definitely “Alfonso Muskedunder”, that was just old school park and bark jam out fun. The “Lost” ballad was great too, really enjoyed the use of color in the ballad visually. And the “California Dreaming” recap was great too. The visual program was great too, very well constructed and very readable. Great in all captions, brass line especially live because they had some punch. Overall not much else to say other than I enjoy what they do and I can always count on them for an easy to get and easy to watch/listen to show. Oregon Crusaders - EnCompass 20th Place - 79.05 Who woulda thought that U2, Elgar, and Enya would make such a seamless and gorgeous musical program? I’ve always wanted to hear more of “Enigma Variations” on the field, and them supplementing it with the U2 and Enya songs was a great move. By itself it could have gotten a bit redundant (it is a theme and variations after all) but adding those other two elements was a fantastic move that really gave it some freshness and variety. This show is a pretty seamless and organic thought so it’s hard to pick just one moment but that ballad was fantastic. The Academy did this last year in their closer and Oregon Crusaders caught on too…...it’s amazing what can happen when you just let something breathe for a few minutes and let it be what it is. Love what Tim Snyder and his team did with the hornline this year, they sounded amazing. Percussion was as amazing as ever, the bass line (which is always kick ###) and the front ensemble especially stood out to me. And the color guard…….this is the best guard I think they’ve fielded ever maybe? They were great, that’s been a weakness in the past but not this year. Great visual program too with the props and use of the encircling motif throughout. This is gonna be a show I listen to on repeat a ton. Spirit of Atlanta - Crossroads: We Are Here 18th Place - 80.075 Ever since post 2013 it has felt like Spirit of Atlanta has been lost in finding what they wanted to do, their shows felt a little bit safe and familiar until this year. This year had a sense of them trying something new and trying to forge a new identity and I think it was a great start at that. This show was way more exciting than their last three efforts, the very eclectic music program especially. There was enough familiar Spirit of Atlanta in there but also some great stuff that was new territory like the John Mackey, the Vienna Teng, and the Snarky Puppy closer. The ballad was easily a highlight of the show for me, so so beautiful. Very exciting visual program as well, loved the use of color in the guard and I personally really liked the new uniform. Overall I’m more excited about where Spirit of Atlanta is headed than I have been in awhile, almost reminds me of 2010 in a way. I think good things could be in store for them next year. Troopers - Duels and Duets 17th Place - 81.275 Overall it might have missed the mark conceptually and visually but man what a fun show this year form them full of INCREDIBLE moments. They cleaned and transformed this thing drastically over the back half of the season and turned it into something very fun to watch and listen too. The obvious standout here is the Puccini ballad........the transition into and then the payoff at the end is absolutely GLORIOUS! Musically I see this show getting tons of replays when I get the audio for it. So it might not have placed as high as recent years, but still a fun show that everyone seemed to enjoy. Interested in what 2018 brings! Colts - Both Sides Now 15th Place - 83.888 What a beautiful show this year........this was just a pleasure to sit back and enjoy. From the beautiful slow burn opener, to the AMAZING trombone soloist and guard moment in the ballad, to those piercing last notes this was their most cohesive and seamless show in years. I don't have a lot more to say outside of that. Fantastic performances from all sections, and a huge shoutout to what I think was probably their best percussion section in the modern era for them. Huge congrats, can't wait to see the shoe next year! The Academy - By a Hare 14th Place - 84.188 Man, it took a little bit of the season to get it there but what an incredibly fun and just down right entertaining show this turned into. Even if it was quite as competitively successful as 2016s show this was still true to what everyone has fallen in love with in terms of their identity. EASY to get and amazingly fun theme, beautiful melodies and all recognizable music, amazing characters and portrayal by the guard, sweeping huge drill, and just amazing energy all around. This was an incredibly talented corps too, all sections put out great performances this year. Don't have much more else to say other than I loved it and PLEASE........just because this year was a bit of a step back in numbers, don't let it change who you are. You are a voice we need in this activity and I hope they maintain who they are. Mandarins - Inside the Ink 13th Place - 85.55 What a season. When The Academy made finals in 2016 as the first new corps to make finals since 2002 it sparked a discussion of who would be next after them. My pick was the Mandarins. In the recent years they have been putting together some incredibly cohesive and well designed shows that were well performed in all captions and when they announced Ike Jackson and the new visual team joining this past year that feeling intensified. Well, they blew past my expectation of it still taking about five or so years to happen and almost pulled it off only a season later. The design of this show on every level was top tier, it was full of so many perfectly coordinated and paced moments throughout the whole show tied together with a fantastically presented theme that they nailed. The build and payoff of the opening hit, the pillow people and use of color and contrast, the AMAZING ballad that used incredible visual tension in the color guard, my favorite drum feature of the year bringing the best of the indoor activity outside from the amazing vocals of “Crazy” to the overall style, and that closer and ending that just exploded. Brass and percussion took leaps forward and the color guard just stole the show this year……...they were amazing performers that brought this show to life. They grew exponentially this year as a membership and an organization and finals would have just been the cherry on top of this corps best show and season in their history and not making it in doesn’t diminish any of what they accomplished. I’m leaving the 2017 season with a new favorite all time non finalist show and one of my top five favorites of the year from the Mandarins. If they did this after placing 17th in 2016……..what the hell do we have in store for 2018? Cannot wait. 2017 Finalists - An AMAZING slate of top 12 corps, and probably the best top 2 since I started following the activity. Madison Scouts - Last Man Standing 12th Place - 85.25 First of all, welcome back to finals! It just feels good when their name is announced on Saturday night. What a transformation this year………...incredibly bold and sharp direction change that was pretty polarizing, myself being on the more positive side of that discussion. They made a statement this year that they’re ready to be something new and break out of their mold to accomplish whatever goal they wanted to and they did. This was an incredibly unique and off the wall show to watch develop all season. Early on I thought the bones were there but they were gonna have to work really hard to sell it for what it was and by finals they definitely did. Loved the use of trombones in the Bartok, loved the ballad, and that ending was absolutely nuclear. They really brought this thing together in the finals week. All of that said I still think it’s the Madison Scouts, they were not as in your face about it but it was still there. I’m excited to see where they go from here, the possibilities are endless. And when they perform that well across the board...look out in 2018. Crossmen - The Enigma 11th Place - 86.825 It seems my view of this show is the opposite of a lot of others. I was not a huge fan early on and was worried about where they would place but I really came around to it overall in the end enjoyed it. Musically this was just fantastic. Tons of amazing moments in the opener, especially the ballad, and love what they did with the Emerson Concerto in the closer. Ballad was probably the highlight of the show for me, that horn soloist was pretty much perfect a huge majority of the time and when the brass comes in at the peak of it, wow. Love it. Loved the tone and approach to brass this year, they had incredible clarity and control to their playing. Percussion and guard were very solid too. Visually, hmm. I think they ended up using the props in more ways than I anticipated and Ebert did a good job writing around those things for sure but it just have a ton of punch up top. That’s probably the only negative thing I can say though, overall a very high energy and exciting show that solidified their position as a finalist. Blue Stars - Star Crossed 10th Place - 87.938 First of all, their encore in Belton this year live up close and personal with that brass and percussion playing the corps song and some other stuff was easily a highlight of the year for me. That was the essence of what makes me love drum corps musically. Their brass this year blew me away. Pure, smooth, clear, powerful, restrained, etc. Love what Ward Miller is doing with them, they sound like no one else and I appreciate them keeping it unamplified, they might not have as much punch as their peers coming out of a speaker but the purity and clarity we get in return? I’ll take that all day everyday. Color guard is as fantastic as ever, every year they blow me away at what they attempt and this year is no exception. Percussion was great too. In terms of the show, I acknowledge the issues thematically and in terms of flow but that doesn’t detract away from the fact that they were marching some of the most exciting drill and playing some of the most emotionally satisfying music on the field this summer. The opener was absolutely beautiful and restrained, the ballad was pretty stunning, the high brass feature in the last third was AMAZING, and the closer with the mellos soaring over htat amazing brass was a treat this year. These guys are the right show away from a huge hit and soaring up in the placements, every single piece is in place. They just need the right medium to communicate it through. But I’ll enjoy them regardless, have always had a soft spot for them since they blew me away as a new fan in 2010 in Denton Texas. Phantom Regiment - Phantasm 9th Place - 88.125 They took on an absolute beast of a show this year, and they cleaned that thing up way more than I ever expected them to by finals. In the end it wasn't my favorite show of the season but it felt like they were trying to turn over a new leaf and start fresh with something still distinctly Phantom Regiment but new and fresh. Wes Cartwright sure made his mark this year, he gave that color guard one of the most easily identifiable and exciting looks on the field this summer. Loved the closer, the use of color in the guard and kinetic energy on the field paired with that absolutely triumphant music was a sight to behold. Great season, looking forward to next year. Blue Knights - i 8th Place - 90.4 To me, the Blue Knights have found the best balance of what is the best about what drum corps was and the best about what drum corps is becoming. They’re both incredibly pure and progressive, finding an amazing balance of what makes drum corps what it is and being bold and fresh. Musically they’re probably the most refreshing and creative corps out there, what Bocook and Jackson among others are doing with their arranging is incredible. The Schwantner percussion concerto portion of the show this year is absolutely to die for. The drums in this show were mind blowing, they play with an intensity and aggression that is rivaled by absolutely no one else. And the level of variety and musicality in what the brass does isn’t either, there wasn’t a show I saw live this year that hard more control and depth to what the brass did. The extremes they play at is unreal. As a show I’m not sure if this was as strong as 2015s seamless and incredibly fresh show or 2014s amazingly emotional and gripping show but after a season that felt a little lost in 2016 they are back to what made me fall in love with them. If they can get stronger visually…….these guys are going to soar up the ranks as a leading voice of progression and purity in the world of the marching arts. The Cadets - The Faithful, The Fallen, The Forgiven 7th Place - 91.675 First of all, the crap and hate that people have to see regarding this corps disgusts me. It pains me to think about members reading the kind of stuff that gets spewed at them. I know they don’t need my concern and they don’t buy into that stuff but I hate that it happens. I have a ton of feelings about this show, I feel like at the end it got heavy handed and a bit buried by all the additions and symbolism but at its core……..what a unique and fresh show this was. I love them experimenting with pacing and musical textures, they tried incredibly bold things in those regards and I we can argue about if they paid off, but I think they did. Some AMAZINGLY beautiful moments in there, the first "Simple Song" impact was just stunning in every way and that ending.........that's about as big and good as it gets in the pageantry world. Great performances from all sections this year, I particularly thought that the color guard did a fantastic job. I'm excited at the possibilities of Bernstein next year........it fits them so well. Here's to 2018! Boston Crusaders - Wicked Games 6th Place - 92.962 My favorite show of 2017. This show for me is everything that is right and that I love about drum corps; the range of emotions I felt live watching this show is pretty unmatched by anything else I’ve say through in a stadium in the heat of the summer. This show is one I have been waiting for to hit the drum corps field in my time as a fan; something that wasn’t afraid to embrace emotions and themes that are a bit darker and harder to sell in a way that is appealing to the masses……..and man they did it. The level of clarity and cohesion from things as big as the choices of music and as small as how tiny snippets of voice overs lay into the musical texture of the show was just second to none for me. No show for me this year felt so seamless or well coordinated. They nailed the programming of music in this show, the eeriness and creepy innocence of “Moonlight Sonata” woven through the show from the opener into the ballad brought to life by that amazingly dynamic and musically mature front ensemble, the angst and anger of the Prokofiev, Copland, and Ginestara that was portrayed with amazing intensity and power by the fantastic brass and drumline, and the mournful sadness and distress that was personified in that amazing…...stunning singer in the ballad that looked like she belonged on some high end Broadway stage was just perfect. Ryan George, Colin McNutt, Iain Moyer, Michael Zellers, and anyone else who helped arrange and construct this show deserve huge congrats. The clarity, power, and level of detail not just in arranging but how the amazingly done voice overs and singer laid in the brass and percussion writing is just mind blowing. And Gino, the aforementioned two percussionists, and all the instructional staff bringing it to life deserve as much praise. And then Leon May and the color guard staff setting an incredibly emotional, easy to follow, and perfectly coordinated stage to bring the music to life visually? Amazing. The color guard live just took me by the throat and didn’t let go, the level of intensity and emotion they perform with while tossing rifles, sabres, flags, and everything else with was just mind blowing. And it all came together to make a show that is easily one of my favorite shows of the modern era of drum corps. There are too many moments from the rifles set up in a pentagram at the beginning to that absolutely explosive final chord as they are burning and hanging the witches to talk about. I wasn’t happy and didn’t get joy watching this show, but that’s why I love it so much. Tension, dread, sadness, anger, angst, mourning, and just a disturbing darkness. They communicated such taboo and off putting emotions so effectively that it made it impossible to not be impressed and blown away. And the last piece of the puzzle…….the members that made it happen. In 2016 them squeezing that show for everything it had to give is what got it into finals and in 2017 them stepping up to so many expectations and an incredibly emotionally complex show and selling the absolute #### out of it is why they ended up in 6th and with their highest score ever. The designers coulda done everything in their power, but in the end it’s the members that brought it to life. Congratulations on an amazing transformation, building a champion has more than begun. I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store. Bluecoats - Jagged Line 5th Place - 95.162 One of my big questions about 2017 will always be why this show could never seem to get traction in the scores........but that's beside the point. I've been a die hard fan my whole time as a fan of this activity and tonight didn't change a single thing. When they hit that "Psychopomp" reprise and the crowd erupted, that's why I love this corps. 1st or 5th. They keep giving me those moments that make me come back for more. Every. Single. Year. I loved this show, musically it's about the most straight forward and exciting thing I've heard out of a top tier corps in years. A few amazing pieces of music each given their time to breathe and brought to life by a corps that has about as much energy as anyone could ask for. In the end what probably bit them was the incredible depth and complexity of the visual program, the amount of Fosse choreography and content was NUTS, huge props to them for taking that on. Amazing performance from them across the board this year, it might be time for a bit of an adjustment to what they do but I know they won’t lose what makes them so enamoring to watch. Here’s to an amazing 2018! The Cavaliers - Men are from Mars 4th Place - 95.2 Before the summer began I got the chance to be a part of the Marching Roundtable podcast where The Cavaliers were the topic. I talked about one of my favorite things about 2016 and now 2017 has been The Cavaliers finding their voice again and reemerging as an updated version of what made everyone love them in the first place. Incredible drill, stunning and death defying color guard, and a level of swagger and presence that just makes them impossible not to enjoy. And now that they have really began to recruit talent in all three sections again……...they’re soaring. Best brass from them in at least six years, best color guard in maybe a decade, and continually amazing percussion. I LOVED this show, the tones and underlying messaging of what they did was incredibly complex and so much fun to dig through over this whole season. The whole mockumentary section on men was HILARIOUS! I totally got what they were going for; and even if that wasn’t for you the balls to the wall FLYING finish to the “Little Green Men” section of the show with that insane flag exchange was about as old school run and gun insanity as it gets. This is a corps that isn’t afraid to be bold, they’re not afraid to pick a concept that should be incredibly off putting and in your face, and they pull it off in a way that is so complex but still so approachable and enjoyable to the masses. Next year is an Anniversary…and they’re flying high going into it…...and I’m dying to see what they pull out for it. The Cavaliers are BACK. Carolina Crown - It Is 3rd Place, High Brass - 96.575 When I first saw this show I thought they were in BIG trouble. It seemed incredibly cliché, over designed, and almost…….pretentious? But man, they did way more with this thing than I ever imagined they could. First lets get this right, that singer did an AMAZING job this year as a hugely featured member. Any distaste for her is peoples own personal preference and that’s fine, but when you go after her as a performer you’re kinda being pretty petty. Amazing job by the brass once again, they're amazing. Color guard ended up doing pretty well despite the grief they got over the season. And percussion.......that's gotta be their best line in YEARS. They did an incredibly job carrying that second half of the show, it relied on them and man they pulled it off. Overall they've given me a ton to digest and go through this off season. I'm not sure where they go next, and that's pretty exciting! Santa Clara Vanguard - Ouroboros (...and Alumni Corps) 2nd Place, High Color Guard, High Percussion - 97.6 What. A. Year. 50th Anniversary. First medal in over a decade. First caption win outside percussion in God knows know long. The Vanguard is back in Vanguard. I knew over the last few years as much as I loved their shows there was one piece missing. Maybe it was Michael Gaines? Maybe it was them being bold and adventurous with their show. But wow. What a seamless, ethereal, and STUNNING show this was! From start to finish it's just one organic and complete thought. Cyclic. The drill........oh man. Pete Weber at the top of his game, some of those sequences in the ballad took my breath away every time; impeccable staging of the color guard and sections overall as well, and integration of the props was totally masterful. And that guard.......HUGE congrats on the win! Incredible performance from them, that diamond moment in the closer is just to die for. Musically that percussion section is just undeniable, amazing intensity and restraint at the same time. Brass did an amazing job, those twelve featured performers were just absolute animals this year. I can talk about scoring, but watching them watch the alumni corps in semifinals and that connection of so many decades of members it just doesn't matter where they finished. That is what this is all about. SCV is back, and going forward I can't be more excited for them. Blue Devils - Metamorph 1st Place, High GE, High Visual Proficiency - 98.537 So. In my infancy as a fan of the activity I was definitely off put by the Blue Devils. Their shows were too confusing their shows were too easy blah blah. I went through a ton of my time as a fan over almost the last decade annoyed when they would come out and go undefeated. They were beating corps and shows I loved and it didn't seem like anyone else was being given a fair chance. 2014 I still felt the same way but they blew me away regardless. 2015 on finals night I loved a lot of other shows more but defended their win. In 2016 I LOVED my Bluecoats riding high but began to really enjoy what Blue Devils had to offer, their ballad remains one of the moments I consider utter perfection in portrayal of a theme and visual staging. Then this year happened. I saw this show twice San Antonio week in Broken Arrow and San Antonio. I was so close minded and had convinced myself that I was gonna hate it and low and behold.......I didn't enjoy it. Then they started adding things. The voice overs. Stuff started cleaning up. Atlanta weekend.........they had me in tears at the end of their performance. What this show transformed into..........it was an INCREDIBLY emotional, beautiful, and amazing tribute to where this corps came from, their roots and incredible legacy full of amazing references to their storied past. It was an amazing display of who they are now with incredibly challenging staging and depth for me as an audience member to sort through. And it was an AMAZING peak into the window of what this corps future could hold. The thread of time throughout this show and how they paid tribute to their whole history is just...........incredible. And I have no ties to the organization. I can't imagine what this must be like for alums or MMs of this organization. As a future educator the level they perform at in everything is staggering.......the clarity, professionalism, and expertise they do everything with blows my mind. But when it's all said and done, when they hit that ballad tonight with that AMAZING flag feature, the INCREDIBLE music and soloists, and just overall marriage of that moment.........it left me speechless and weak. 2017 made me a Blue Devils fan. Any hate and distaste I had is gone. I have nothing but respect, admiration, and gratitude for what they did this year. I'm just sad it took me this long to get here. Congrats on #18 Blue Devils. What a journey this was for me, I'm dying to see what 2018 has to offer and no more taking a whole season or years to come around to shows. I'm a fan from the get go from now on.
  48. 1 point
    Now, if the BD can have four Javier's, then it might be time for them to do "A Bill Chase Portrait." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPWovTB72u0
  49. 1 point
    Given their location in the southwestern desert and their recent trend of light-hearted shows, this would be a perfect show for the Academy. And dressing the front ensemble as Elvis would be the icing on the cake!
  50. 1 point
    Still can't believe that happened. This will be the example used for years to come...
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