BigW

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BigW last won the day on October 6

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About BigW

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  1. Regarding Blue Stars, performing Mennin's "Canzona" in the mid 70's was pretty cutting edge for that era. Recent dealings with an individual on DCP would indicate from them that awful music of that sort from those overly edjamacated wind band people destroyed the activity. At least in some ways Blue Stars led the activity down the slippery slope to ruin. I think one has to consider that perhaps in terms of musical innovation... what we hear then may not be thought of as particularly innovative when it actually was for its day. I sense an underlying thought in the premise--- that people on top didn't feel as much a need to innovate as the ones who had to do something more aggressive to get noticed and make finals? (read as perhaps Kilties, Optimists as examples?)
  2. Just finished my first bottle of Sammichlaus Schwarzes from Schloss Eggenberg. Breski's has it. If you can get it, and afford it... DO IT. This stuff was at one time the record holder for the most Alchohol content in any beer at 14%. It's really delicious. It's the bee's knees. Definitely a 2 thumbs up for me. If we'd have had this BITD... Either we'd have gone broke drinking it, or just never rehearsed.
  3. Actually I was with the Westshoremen when we performed at one of the LLWS games in '82 and '83. Great crowd, actually, and we had a lot of fun taking the field with the Phantic raising Cain amongst us as we performed. It's a pretty big deal with people coming from all over the world. People seem to like having the event there- it could be tradition, unknown why.
  4. I still remember that the food stand at DSU ran out of chow, even after they'd been warned you will have x thousand starving kids in the bands and x thousand family/spectators that are also hungry. The actual stadium was very nice, though there were parking issues, and nearby US 13 traffic noise could interfere at times with the event. The thing is, Jeff... and this is the loaded question-- at least 6 member corps had to say in effect, "Yes, this is a more than acceptable venue." Why? Was it all about the cost and convenience? I don't know. That's beyond my pay grade. I'd think people brought up and had to think hard about what I've been thinking within the member corps, though. If they didn't....
  5. Good question. Let me explain-- I've been through an instance where a Scholastic championship event had that problem roughly a decade ago, I think. Many parents, directors, and performers were left rather unhappy/dissatisfied. Steps were immediately taken to change that. It had to be done. People are far, far more satisfied now, thankfully. So-- I do know from experience that competitors at any level want a venue that they feel is worthy of their championship event. Looking back at my DCA experience, I realized I felt the same way and wasn't really cognizant of that until that incident happened. I figure the DCA members made this decision and also feel the venue meets their standards. I think it's got a solid view from the stands and plenty of room. I've been there a few times over the years, deliberately checked out the night scene in town after this year's regular season contest, I thought it was pretty nice, I enjoyed the food and libations, though I really haven't done that scene since I left Corps. The location is fairly accessible by car from a lot of directions. I remember talking to Dan Detwiler in 2016 at the Ijamsville contest when he asked where the heck it is, and I told him it was literally about 3-3 1/2 bus travel hours up the highway off US 15 from where we stood. The people in town heavily support the event. The area has a very strong history of appreciating the Fine Arts and this activity. I think reading through this thread there are people who have liked and disliked about every place DCA's held a Championship, I figure Williamsport to be no different- I think the final say will be what the member corps conclude for themselves about it and what consensus they reach.
  6. I felt all of them I competed in whether Philly, Hershey, or A-Town were good venues. Perhaps Philly being a third place, but not far behind the other 2. In terms of what most people want now, Annapolis is just better in terms of the clean stadium, all the nice amenities. Performers also want a place that they feel respects the fact they're performing for a Championship title.
  7. I think it's healthy to be have some skepticism. People who do swindle others get away with it because they take advantage of the victims not thinking anything is wrong and that they can be trusted. I figure if there is anything questionable, the Dutch authorities will take things from their end, if all is as it appears, then things will have to move on from a certain point. I appreciated DCUK's thoughtful and timely response to the situation. My guess is one option may well be that certain teams will end up under some form of DCUK's umbrella in the future. The big question might be how much the entire Brexit issue would cause any potential legal obstacles or impediments. One of those things that will sort out over time, just have to sit back, munch popcorn, and see where it goes.
  8. He still plays that way, Jim. Did a New Cumberland town band fill-in and sat roughly ahead of him. I realized that there was no way I could try and level up with that on my Euphonium playing into the stage ceiling and curtains and just kept tight and played within the horn. Corps instinct told me to try and match... but I knew that wasn't gonna work. J.B. said I did a nice job sight reading the charts, made me feel good. They play some nice, nice stuff in that band, not the normal town band fare, but very good stuff. The "Mary Poppins" medley arranged by Alfred Reed they did is wicked. Grade 5-6 stuff, bizarre key changes- 5 sharps kind of stuff... I was hanging on and thankful I practiced sharp scales religiously as a kid which saved me through some parts of that piece.
  9. And speaking of Pardubas... they still make and sell them. Read one review that everything below 3rd space E Flat in Bass Clef was like... non-existent. Nawwwwwwwwwww.. can't be. Dunno if I have 79 bucks to toss at one and use it for amusement and to inflict pain on listeners, though. A school I subbed at in the mid 80;s had one in a file cabinet and I tried it, was a real laugher. Got my 2-B back. Hadn't touched it in years. It sounds great, but my slide fu is extremely weak.
  10. I'd always hoped to see Tom again. He was kind of around, people kind of knew where he was... Just never that opportunity. I've missed him since 1983. That pic of Tom in that human pyramid in the RIT cafeteria with all of us might be the best pic of him. In his crazy way, he did bring us together, and we did love him.
  11. True, very true. Also, I see more from every end of the activity teams trying to be more compelling, trying harder to really reach and communicate with the audience, which ties in. It's not a sterile intellectual show where it's like you're watching their lab project unfold anymore. I know some may argue, but even BITD there were personalities and moments where that was also done.
  12. I'd like one of those-- do any of them ever come up for sale in a playable condition?
  13. A lot of that nasty sound had to do with gear- the student quality instruments, folks using some pretty nasty mouthpieces like Jet-Tones, Parduba Double-Cups, the Schilke 13 A4As which were about as bad as the Jet-Tones.... I'm certain no one's using crap like that anymore in a competitive corps. We were steering everyone away from that at Westshore in 1982 for God's sake with the mouthpieces. Still... I see some HS bands using some bad stuff. Bad mouthpieces on Mellos and Low Brass in particular. "It came with the horn". Yes it did, and it makes a great paperweight, knickknack, or pencil holder! Usually when mid voices are chronically under pitch, it's a mouthpiece issue.... learned that the hard way about 20 years ago now, and it fixed things easily.
  14. It's an art form, so if someone liked everything about it or every show, there would be a problem. That being said, I found DCA real, real watchable this season. The Bucs' show was really good- maybe not my total cup of tea, but very good. Wasn't fond of the rocking chairs, either. But I think that the percentage of what was really good outweighed the kinds of stuff that would turn me off by a large margin. I was put off by DCI a few years back- it got to where some of the shows were pretty pretentious. That was a design issue, and I think enough corps have worked to solve that issue enough where I can find some good stuff in there that's exciting and inspiring. SCV last year, was unexpected and pretty cool.
  15. I discussed this on a recent thread. In 1983, Mel Stratton discussed this at the WCU Director's clinic. With Competition band, there was the "Traditional Era" (post WW2 to @ 1970-1975) Cascavant-style stuff, Ohio State, etc. Then the "Presentational Era" from 1970-1975-to about 1982) Early Corps style shows based on Drum Corps of the era. Opener, production, Concert, Drum Break, Flag Pre, Closer, Lots of company fronts, music loud, come at the stands, music soft, turn aorund. 1982ish on, the "Eclectic Era" where many different artistic ideas and concepts were borrowed and combined. I said there I'd like to see what Mel thinks what the situation is "Post Eclectic" and how he would define it.