BigW

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BigW last won the day on January 26 2015

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  1. Those Reading runs may have been our best show from the brass as well, Fran.
  2. We even had exhibitions the night before finals weekend at one time. One was at Reading Municipal Stadium. I remember that one from 1982 and or 1983 for a specific reason. Frank got Pepe to come out with him and he listened on the sideline 50 to a rather razzed up Westshoremen hornline that really wanted to light it up for him. His comment to Frank-- "Dose kids can play!!!" Most of us weren't tilted to the box, the horns were tilted at him. Meant a lot to all of us- even though we might be a buncha farmers from out in da Midwest. So...no scores the night before prelims at one point in history.
  3. Sky is much, much better this season. An order of magnitude better. So are the Hurcs.
  4. A lot of really pleasant surprises. Everyone presented rather well for this early in the season.
  5. And that's sad, Jeff. One thing I did learn BITD was to have respect for competitors. We did go over to Sun and shake hands in '82 at retreat for that very reason. One of those things where I grew up from doing it, and took with me for the rest of my life for the better.
  6. Seen the posts that also looked at the score gaps out of Wildwood and how those gaps pretty much stayed that way as the season progressed. Definitely unhappy and angry posts.
  7. You mean Florida Vanguard? If you do I have the answer.
  8. Glassmen, the Mello in the Peacock Variations" is really, really tight.
  9. Here you go, John and Adam- One thing we can agree on that I'm certain of-- It means a lot to us as performers when the crowd reacts/goes nuts. For the record, John's younger than me even though the era we performed in might overlap by a year or so. I don't want people to think he's old or something. I'm still young at heart, at least I'd like to think so. As for the people on the field now- here's the hypothetical: I'm sure Andy's set up a spot in the show similar to the massive hit at the end of the 2016 WCU show where they destroy whatever venue they're performing in. The Cabs live for the big strike/killshot. When and not if the corps nails it... if I pump my clenched fist and yell "YEAH!" in response... do the performers want that? I'm pretty sure they do. We did. I'm sure as a staff, you want it. Unless things have changed and you prefer the nice polite golf clap at the end for some reason I'm unaware of. The problem is "THE LOOK" you get from some people in the stands.... especially Aunt Mabel whose kid marches with someone else. That look of "Are you nuckin' futs boy, what is WRONG wit joo!?" The questions then start as the Cabs troop the stands... "Do you teach the Cabs?" "Umm, no." "Did you March with the Cabs?" "No, I competed against them for six seasons and they're good folks." They then wonder what's up. I then keep getting "THE LOOK". They can't get their arms around someone liking a corps that's not theirs, that there's someone who likes several corps... or someone responding excitedly at a show for a corps that is not the host corps. Things seem to have changed somehow at the DCA contests. It was not that way at Chester at 2014 at the DCI/DCA show when everyone went potty for "Tilt". The Coats even put up a crowdcam post on FB after that show in appreciation. I'm in it, man, freaking out and yelling myself hoarse, even though I knew what was coming and was yelling "Come on, come on, make it happen!" as the blocks converged. No one was giving anyone any funny looks after that crowdgasm. I first got "THE LOOK" around 1995ish at the DCA/DCI Hershey contest when I "Blooed" the Blue Coats after a nice, nice run. I'd been getting it from this bunch of folks and I finally asked the kid, "Is something wrong, sonny boy?" and his Dad told me I was the problem, and things nearly came to blows. (Blooing the Blue Coats is a problem!?!?!? This tells you what level of cretins I was dealing with...) I was higher up in the stands and was ready to take 2 guys on full tilt, not a good moment. I didn't want my Mom caught in the scuffle, walked out, and gave them the ol' Double Deuce. I left the stadium then swearing I'd never go to a corps show again. A couple of years later the band staff I was on as the Assistant to the Director and Show Coordinator took me back to Hershey with the promise they'd surround me and bodyguard me from those morons. They kept their promise and I had a good time, enjoyed Madison a lot, they were smokin' hawt... but I felt I had to hold back. Part of me died. It's one of the reasons I carry the notebook and write the reviews. If I'm writing away thoughtfully and in detail, I can't get too excited and get "THE LOOK" from some cluck. If corps want the crowd to react when they make the hit or the big moment... maybe something needs to be done to make sure the crowd understands this from some direction. And that you can cheer and get crazy for ANY corps, NOT just the one your kid is in and that if other people dig a corps your kid is NOT in, don't give them that freakin' look and shut up. Just my tuppence. If corps want the crowd to get down and are wondering in part why they do not, they need to do something to stop "THE LOOK" in its tracks before everyone in the corps wonder why all they hear between numbers or musical pauses are the crickets chirping.
  10. Also doesn't hurt the adjudicators to be able to look, discuss in a more relaxed setting, and also look at the programs using DCA Metrics and Rubrics which are rather different in certain key areas than the Scholastic band ones. I'll yank John's and Adam's chain later about something I think I already know the answer about- but I want to bring up. When the normals in the audience who like their golf clapping and sit on their hands except for the team their relative or kid is in give someone "The Look" when they, heaven forbid... get excited about a big moment that's well done....
  11. During their Championship run? In other Words, he won DCA Championships with Sun, Westshore, and Bucs in 4 different decades? WOW.
  12. Fred- From what I see in the age of Twitter, people appear to seek and desire the quick and glib comments. I take notes during the performance and then try and write something thoughtful- and it usually takes about 4 hours of typing to get it done. People seem to want "OMGS that corps was AWESOME I luffed it They was GREAT!" more than any real thought or balanced thought behind it. Nothing that says other than the performance was GREAT, AWESOME, WUNDERBAR, etc. Even if it wasn't necessarily that wonderful. That's part of why I'm not feelin' it. Some of it could be the way I perceive the way the audience is subtly changing. I think I'm starting to see the Jersey HS Band phenomena creep into the mix. Clap for your kids, sit on your hands for everyone else. I read that at times now with some DCA audiences. Sometimes, I sense now that people stand for everyone because that's what one is supposed to do- not because the performance warranted it. Personally, there were times we wondered BITD why they stood.... there were times we knew it was earned and appreciated it. Overhearing the one corps staff member grouse after the Nazareth contest last year about the lack of crowd reaction after a designed impact point honked me off. To be blunt, the corps didn't make it happen. It fizzled. It went down like a Lead Zeppelin. HS bands train parents to react to certain show points regardless of whether they're sold or not nowadays. I personally manipulated a crowd at a championship once I read the audience and figured out they clapped at nearly anything no matter how good or bad it was when I last staffed a HS unit. Will we see bunk like that now in DCA? I'm seriously wondering. I also wonder whether guys like me fit in anymore. I appreciate just about everyone in DCA and what they present. I'm an old school fan. Now, I see mostly parents, family, and alumni of the host corps, fewer people like myself. To illustrate this-- this happened at a contest last year. I wore my brand-new White Sabres shirt I got from them at a previous contest. I know for at least 2 seasons I'd been on them about trying to get something from them so I could support a good corps that I really like monetarily and show support in the stands. I know from experience we'd read the audience when we'd hit the opening form and go to parade rest and see how many folks were wearing our stuff. As we got better, that number grew. We'd thank people for wearing one of our shirts or caps when we could. It was appreciated. At this show I was asked about 4 times, "Are you on staff with White Sabres?"..... I know Bob Zazzara would have flashed his trademark grin and laughed pretty hard if I told him about that. Donny... would likely groan, shake his head and beat his head on the wall, poor guy. It seemed to me those people were speaking in code and telling me "Why are you wearing a shirt of a corps that's not our corps, the ones our kids are in, the host corps!?!?!?!?!" For God's sake, I didn't think I was going to an Eagles game. That leaves me rather cold. I know at least once last season at the six shows I attended, some band mom... oops, a corps mom... yelled "THEY'RE ALWAYS READY!!!!!" when the announcer asked the Drum Major if the corps was ready... that's part of the band deal, corps is better than that, at least I think and hope so. I believe a cute puppy, kitten, and baby harp seal dies when someone does that at a corps show. I know for certain that part of me dies when I hear that at a corps show. Some of the threads recently in the DCA area have also left me down, out and frankly angry. I really loathe some of the recent comments in some threads that "Music Educators ruined this activity". I am one of "those guys". I decided to change majors and become one in good part from my corps experience. On the other side of the coin, in spite of my strong educational credentials and euphonium resume I've been treated off and on because I'm a corps guy as one of "those guys". Nothing but trouble, musically illiterate (I was asked by a fellow student in college if I could read music, I told them "Yeah, I can. I didn't see you at the last two PA All-State Bands, where were you?"), downright stupid, a "musical jock".... people regarding my corps experience as a serious negative for teaching jobs, what's it gonna be!? It's as if I don't really fit in anywhere right now, and that's a tough feeling to have after the serious work I put in on both sides of the fence. It seems the only place for folks like me to fit in at a show is Finals Weekend, which is more than adequately covered by the heavy hitters and covered live. Just my belief right now. I know a lot of the performers dig what I write. They know someone who isn't a Dad or Mom who claps for everything gets what they do and appreciates it and really thinks about their show. Maybe that's who I'm writing for, I don't know. Maybe Williamsport this year. There's more in the mix as to how I feel, this is the tip of the iceberg and it took 45 minutes to think it out.
  13. Danville, PA was always an exhibition only BITD. However, it was during Memorial Day weekend. Thanks for the review! I may go to only one or two contests this summer. With all the hype in this thread, frankly after some of what went down from several different angles last year... I just ain't feelin' it at all. Worst case- I'll be in Williamsport in 2018.
  14. There are other issues, but those apply to any instrument and sectional playing. I'd talk more but my work schedule's tough right now. From the quick glimpse of the video, someone is showing your team the right direction in terms of those kinds of things and everyone seems to be doing their best to apply them.
  15. Are you using french horn mouthpieces with adapters? That's the first thing I ask when I hear serious issues. The answer is usually yes. The added length from the adapter can make more of a difference than is realized. The basic remedy is to go with a Bach 7C Mello mouthpiece, which will do a lot to remedy the issue. There could be other issues but this solved about 90 percent of the issue with a program I worked for. I'll try and cover the rest later. There are also some other more subtle issues that could be at play, that's for later. Many directors nod their heads, then do nothing... and the Mellos are still painfully out, and then they wonder why the numbers don't increase or reach the top end of the rubrics in performance. I'll watch the video when I have time. This is my bedtime.