BigW

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Everything posted by BigW

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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....
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. I'd like one of those-- do any of them ever come up for sale in a playable condition?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Nah, you didn't, you were on the thread with the fellow who kept bemoaning how Drum Corps has been bad since about 1970 or earlier. Maybe my big problem sometimes is I get too fired up about performing. I try too hard if I'm not careful- rather be that way than not give a flip, and that cat insinuated anyone past his era doesn't give a flip. Looking back on things, Dave had a way about him and about how he did things to keep me (and everyone else) in that right place. He worked us hard, we knew exactly what he wanted, precisely how to do it right on the edge, and how to be consistent on that edge with the product he wanted from us. All we had to do was perform it like we practiced it and we'd be successful, we knew this, trusted him. I think he and Frank were so good about that, and ahead of their time about that attitude. Now, it's one of those things everyone "should" know.... and I still find people out there who do not. And then... they wonder why their team blows it in the big shows. Jeff is prolly reading my mind on one of the biggest culprits out there, it's okay.
  16. Yeah, Fran. Questioning people's heart and desire is a so, so, "don't go there" in this activity. I have no problems with people getting on what I can't do or am not doing well, but no one ever accused me of not caring. That's a baseline thing in DCA. Everyone does care about doing very well, more a question of how you get there and if you do. It also dredged up some thoughts I really haven't talked about often nor do I want to, especially about one of the reasons I did march besides the fact I loved it and ate it up, good and bad. It got me out of some tough things to deal with and confront when you're a teenage kid. Mom and Dad knew it, and I'm thankful they realized this.
  17. Well-- I just had a reminder on DCP about unwritten rule 18: Don't accuse anyone who marched DCA of being unable or incapable of throwing down.
  18. Well, now you've crossed the line. You, sir, are the one who has been full of it all along. Period. I'm going to dissect everything. At first I thought you were someone wanting to reach out. I've concluded you were looking for folks who just want to sit and shout at the rain for making them wet. That ain't the way it rolls here. People here do what they can to keep this activity alive instead of grouse that it's not exactly the way they'd like it to be. Corps of every decade have been "so real". Define what you mean. Be specific. Can you do it? Maybe I can. Do you mean provide a great 'experience' for their members? Do you mean to provide chances to perform for enthusiastic audiences? Do you, heaven forbid, mean that learning and personal growth takes place on multiple levels for the membership? If so, Corps post 1972 are "real". Quite, quite real. I've also been offended by your rotten and nasty attitude towards any of us who participated in the activity that ended up getting Music Education degrees. Heavily offended and totally insulted. Has it occurred to your thick skull that maybe my experiences with the Westshoremen were a heavy influence on me to become a Music Educator? Then again-- according to your thinking, I never marched in a "real corps" since I was with a corps that had mallet percussion, tympani and later on- much later on I used a 2 valve bugle. The real legacy of the corps I marched with wasn't the 1996 Championship. It's the fact many of us went on and taught local High School bands and passed on our knowledge and enabled them to be insanely successful. Many of us also went on and became adjudicators, again, passing on our knowledge to others and helping to keep the marching activity alive and vibrant. I was an "everyday kid" in my era. How dare you assume otherwise. I was fortunate to have grown up with very supportive parents who made sure I got away from some difficult and painful family situations by traveling with Westshore and doing somehting I loved and believed I was good at. A place where I could compete against any DCA corps extant at the time and have a shot at beating them- and over the six years I was there- we did just that. I never received any college credit during my six seasons for my performing with Westshore. No one did. And, may I ask, what would have been so wrong with that!? Explain, if you can why that would be so bad. I dare you to try. You're gonna come up empty. I've been on record here as saying I felt my experiences from a fantastic instructional staff should ###### well have been worth at least 6 credits a season in terms of Phys Ed, Music Performance, and Music Theory given I did less and learned less in most of my college performance courses in terms of work and preparation for those earned credits. So, please explain what that would be a negative. Hmm? Do it! I know you can't. It strikes me you have some kind of serious envy for any of us lucky enough to attend college. I humped hard to get scholarships to afford it and take financial burden off my parents. I happened to have learned a lot about working pretty hard in corps and it gave me an edge over those who did not. Wow! You shouldn't have the jealousy you do towards anyone with college credits. Society's evolved, too. One needs post- high school education of some sort today unless they want to flip burgers, toss boxes, or do the checkout at Wal-Mart. Whether you like it or not, Corps is not dead, and if you can get it through your thick skull, and I unfortunately doubt you can- it evolved to survive serious threats to its existence as a whole. Otherwise, it would be nothing more than some amusing curiosity in a few towns that would come out and stumble around for Christmas and Memorial Day, sound awful, and be embarrassing next to the local High School Band. Finally: Let me tell you, pal, I played my freakin' heart out every time I went on the field with the Westshoremen or on stage with the Westshoremen Alumni. I compete. Hard. There are those who know me here that will back that statement. I find it incredibly offensive you would think otherwise about me, or frankly, ANY individual marching in DCA or DCI right now- or in your perspective, since 1972. You can tell me I can't play worth a wick, I can handle that. I'll practice harder and prove you wrong. You might tell me I can't march for s##t- and you might be right on that, I heard that a lot as a kid. I got better at it. But don't ever dare insinuate that I didn't go out there and throw down hard every freakin' time I set foot on a field for a number. With your lame attitude, I could still prolly compete against you on any field, any time. Name your poison in terms of a low brass bugle- G-D, Piston-Slide, Piston-Rotor, and I'll lick you by 15 points with a week of practice on my lunch break sitting on the rear bumper of my VW working it out. And it won't be because I have a degree and you don't. I have way more moxie, period.
  19. Loaded question: 2 contests over last two seasons regarding the site logistics- one would think there should be fair warning about any issues given a fair amount of the Open Class Corps have been there. I know, someone will prolly still gripe who hasn't.
  20. From looking at the open class sheets when they were put up by DCI a couple of years ago, they certainly looked to me like they didn't encourage esoteric design, which the World Class sheets clearly did. They encouraged thoughtful and solid design that was within the ability of a less experienced team to perform, or a team with less time to get it done. That being said- some groups in many aspects of the activity in "lower" classes overwrite for their programs and usually pay the piper in spades. Designing to the rubrics is what usually pays off. I'd love to arrange or collaborate in a package for the 'A ' Class for one of the regional HS circuits around me for that very reason. Keep it clean and accessible- and it would at worst do very, very well. The problem with packaging open units into the big shows is this- I've heard the stories of those corps performing to empty stands before the "name" units appear. At least in the case of an all-open contest-- they know the crowd is there for them. I'd like to go to the Johnsonburg, PA open contest, but it's a bit out of the way for nearly everyone in Pennsylvania, even though it's in state, and weekdays are a bit sketchy for me. Maybe they need to find some venues closer to some larger population centers... which would not be very hard to do in Pennsylvania if you're looking for something larger than Johnsonburg with a modest but decent contest venue that would be closer to Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Erie, NE PA, or Philly.
  21. You mean driving up the hill? As long as it's not snowing...
  22. The class is designed for smaller corps with less experienced personnel, and limited budgets. The expectations and rubrics on the sheets are clearly different. From what I've seen of the Open Class Corps the different rubrics fit the class extremely well. Maybe the proper question is actually this: Should there be a means in place to forcibly promote an open class corps if they demonstrate they are capable of competing at the world class level? And by what means should it be?
  23. Yes. We all in some way deserve credit and blame. With me, some might go more one way than the other. That being said, I'd like to think the young people I've worked with were better for knowing me than not, same for the people who I marched with.
  24. And that is in part why they denote the Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Modern (aka Dark) ages, Jeff. A lot of those era changes do have to do with the plot reboots- as well as art style and design. Most of them are done to bring up different subjects that couldn't be brought up before- supposedly. Some of the reboots are a new generation of artists and story people who want to make their own mark on the industry and tell their own stories in their own way... sound familiar?
  25. Ditto on Annapolis, though I do have to say "wow!" about how much less the cost is for the rooms.