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About trptmagnet

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  1. Thanks. I apologize as I should be more careful. I can't say the mic's were FOR general bleed, or MAY just catch some. Don't know if mic's are operated off/on during show. Am curious. And exactly, they are loud enough, so hopefully no bleed in amplification happens. That to me is where it all goes bad. I don't want to hear a hornline or battery thru speakers at a contest.
  2. Yeah, slacking here on food reviews. For Clifton I left out the quick stop at "Hot Grill", the 50-year-old fast-food joint for Texas hot dogs, burgers & sandwiches. Had just one hot dog, mustard and sauerkraut - perfection. The way the wait staff yells orders to kitchen is classic, like Philly cheese steak, "Wid and Wid-out". (That's wid onions, if you have to ask.) Anyone know the hot dog order language? OK so Boitson's commentary coming soon. Ya know for many years, eating with the core, sitting on the lovely asphalt by Kingston stadium, w/ great meals like the Fusion tacos or pasta, salads and sweet tea. I have earned privilege to go to a sit down before a show, but felt guilty sipping "draft wine on tap" knowing core is out there in full prep mode. LOL
  3. Here is a quick blog style account of my annual Kingston visit. I hope more reviews will be added. Easy drive north for me <2 hrs, and then direct to Fusion rehearsal at the rural Lake Katrine schools area. Beautiful blue skies afternoon, not too hot, strong breeze. Core hard at work. Quite a chunk of time was given to the sound levels adjustment, from a tablet (wireless obviously). Now that I got into this discussion on amplification I pay close attention to the tech (and stay away from any comment!), and watch the process – it is awesome, risky, required, and controversial, I guess it’s where it’s at. Note the prior BigW comment: >>>top end DCI corps are spending literally hundreds of hours of time and serious in getting their set-up and volume levels right. Parking I had time to go for dinner in town, like a Fran Haring tour right, but no hot dogs! LOL (Dinner at Boitson’s will be another post!) But I knew I needed to get a spot early so plan was park and walk. Here’s the trick - as you pull up to Dietz stadium, and it looks like a blockade, you smile and say “what organization sponsors this event?” They answer about the Children’s committee, and you say OH, can I can contribute? You give a nice contribution and then you can park. In past if I said, truthfully, I am with the corps – boom off to around the block for a mile. These folks run a great show but I like parking in the main lot so I’ll work it. Walk to the Show - Warmups Walking in from Front Street I was drawn to the warmup sounds and wouldn’t you know it right there first meet is White Sabers in horn arc. Beautiful focused, dee-ah-dat-dat-doo-yah-dut-dut and down the chromatic valve series. This horn warmup has energy! I had not met Donny Allen prior but was in close proximity with his mini corps, and his visit to Fusion in Rochester a few years ago. Friendly and smiling we had a nice hello. He is proud to point to many Ghostriders alum teaching White Sabers. Btw, staff looks really sharp with baseball pinstripe shirts with name on back – steal that idea! Around the lot to the pit and percussion. Again high energy, focus and confidence. Showdown night it is. I have a few cool pics if I can figure how to post with a link or whatever. The Show Good seat high up, left side 30yd line facing field. It was best reserved seat when I got there at about 7 PM. All seats are reserved – the sponsors do a great job with those sheets of graph paper. Amazing process: select your seat, they grey out the box, then checking available tickets for that section tickets here take this one! (lol, minor mismatches over time). Now go toward your seat and have no clue of row markings, grab a seat, pull your friends with corps badge over – everyone is happy! Just a few show comments, I’ll add more as we go. Sorry when so brief – all I have. (sorry missed Erie and Hurcs due to warmups visit) White Sabers 2 mics on stands at sideline just facing the field, not for soloists. Maybe a soloist used them - not sure, but it is certainly there for general bleed. Is there any rule against it? So there is the #1 corps of the night with a balance of electronic/amp’s sound and acoustic sound. The show seemed quite flat to me – they were on real early (so look out as they will turn it up even more!). I loved the off field warmup and victory concert so I need to listen more to the competition version. A lot of it is move and park – not sure this year how common that is, but has been a peeve in previous years. Maybe 30 yard line seat made me miss a lot of impact. The props, beautiful blue spheres, are really gorgeous – simple and effective. As I saw in victory concert, but missed the impact for the show, the trombones have about 4-5 phrases with beautiful use of the slide – loved it (in victory concert). Sun Gorgeous tone by Paul on trpt solo with the horn mic – he does it with or w/o mic, lush fat sound, pure tone and great intonation. Always a pleasure. I love Caravan and they rocked it. Sun was strong throughout. Bush Full sound. Corps is developing to be able to contend with all. Props are gorgeous, artistic, and impactful when panels are joined for a united mural effect. Feels like an Italian village I would love to visit. Wonder where it is sourced from, if anywhere real. A Mello growl caught my attention – that is skill! Cabs There was the distracting French horn mic malfunctions. (correct me please if not correct – she was muted, like I do to certain web page tabs) As I wrote about Clifton, again the dancer entrance is captivating on that log “stairway”” in reverse. They are hitting some major melodic and harmonic credits with Stairway to Heaven. The chord changes make me want to go and check the original, as Cabs have found some great harmonies there. It is so recognizable, but is really elegant, and original sounding in this format. Congrats. The Cabs’ soloists trio scream at end is “yahhh” – pure drum corps fun and thrilling. Fusion was on last for the competitive corps. Not sure they have ever been on last before. Word has it Asst Dir picked for positions this year - better luck – LOL. Fusion has an aggressive tension as they perform, and it keeps you on edge of seat, and then they deliver. There is constant movement and it does not feel contrived to show movement. The Guard compliments throughout, and so their winning High Guard # means they are an anchor, or cornerstone, not to think of anchor sinking a ship! The ballad was best ever, Sounds of Silence wafting over a gorgeous summer evening in the Hudson Valley – not bad. The pulse for the solo/duet is getting better. At end I got the emotional tug of this great song of my youth – core had a very relaxed feel and was set for the next transition. The bass drummers solo with a mashup of drums stacked up is exciting. Need to check that more next time. The guard has dance features that are engaging, all in the connections theme. Scoring I am as biased as you may want to say, but trying to be unbiased …. I had, in order of performance before Fusion, White Sabers, Sun, Bush and Cabs all about even, maybe Bush a few tenths down, and then Fusion up by at least a point. Well, judges saw it differently. So be it - on to next encounter. Olympic Retreat A thrill for the entrance with Cabs Alumni playing them on. I love Olympic retreat. I marched this show 2003 to 2013 except the one year when they went inactive. It was fun as performer, but better now as a fan. Cabs alumni drumline rocks it. And the tunes they play are sheer Cabs joy – yah? Crazy how I dig the parades and Olympic retreat, the things most Real drum corps folks hate! That’s me. (Andy, West End Av parade 1969, Sky was NOT into the parade right? Those were real “we are drum corps men” peeps). It was real efficient scores and awards timing. The announcer was great all night with a humorous touch. Fran is not peerless! The march yourself off by each corps is so expressive, more than they each know. It is in reverse order of finish. Hurcs with the Mag 7 tubas is anchor. One corps was on the 1st turn of the track on exit, like after Usain Bolt would finish before the music start – missed the timing! Yeah, we don’t spend time on this part of the routine. It is an audible. Fusion rocked out with a vocalization of “Hey Babe!”, but some horns would have been nice. White Sabers Victory Concert Yes I stayed thru the setup and entire encore. So did a few hundred others. They sounded great! Of course we can all sound stronger in the arc but they seemed to build in confidence due to the win and played really well. The pit exudes confidence and groove. At one point Donny Allen threw his arms way high in exuberance – well deserved. That corps has serious momentum. In the Stone was an extra encore encore and it rocked pretty good, not great (hey, it’s been a LONG day of drum corps), but I appreciated hearing it – how many corps have done that fav? Renegades for one right? Inspired me to check some EWF today (copy/paste if you wish, as hyperlink drives DCP editor crazy!) Thinking “drumline” too! Thanks Recap In end, we have many great DCA corps, working hard to polish the shows, bringing great skill, preparation, and entertainment, working on their sound, amplified and natural, and putting in plenty of hard work as drum corps knows how to do. For this show we did not see Bucs, C2, CV, Sky, Gold or Midwest or European corps. Was there drama in the critique, an apology, and it was AMPS related no less? Lol - no further leak here. The judges I understand comment on amplification, good and bad, so regardless of no line item in score, it is seriously impactful, here to stay. Contact your contacts for more scuttle! Season closing fast, go to a show soon!
  4. I think they had mic/mix malfunction last night at Kingston. Please correct me if not so. I could not hear the french horn solo at all. She looked a little frustrated checking her gear as she stepped back when done. <amplification distraction, sorry>
  5. First, Jeff thanks for detailed performance information in your review. Amazing how much you captured. I see many reference to the “mic”, so I’ll add (pile on?) on amplification. There is so much to love about drum corps so I tell myself, don’t get obsessed with the amplification. Btw, I am investigating, “when has a trend been reversed”. This one will be difficult. Important comments <my tag> from above, >>>sitting at the 25 yd line watching the Blue Coats play at the 50 yd line while hearing the music through a speaker at the 5 yd line. <BALANCE of Amplification levels> >>>there were two 5-second stretches when the center speaker scratched <DISTRACTION> >>>victim of the 12 or so speakers on the field. <Financial escalation, BALANCE of Amplification levels> So this is a marker. Will DCA trend toward DCI, with different constraints in budget and staff time. A few years back at Clifton, I was with guitarist from my old rock group – he is electronics expert, at least to me as he can fix amplifiers, and he stayed with trend for example to powered speakers vs. power amp in the rack. He was also a tuba player in HS. So we enjoyed the show, he was amazed by the corps. But there was running commentary back and forth on speaker placement, EQ, balance, etc. My reflection next day, geez very distracting to the experience of watching a show. <it will take time for me for it be the new normal> I also think back to a parade when a West Point sound crew (a contractor) did sound for the after parade party. I think I posted on this prior – that sound board with parametric EQ and all the rest – these guys had a beautiful mix for a rock band playing. I thought, wow if we could have that sound treatment for a corps – oooh. I love a great, powerful mix as much as the next guy. <Financial, skill level> Also think of recording artists, like say Springsteen taking nearly a year to produce a song. >>>Springsteen became bogged down in the recording process while striving for a wall of sound production. Point is that the amplification game is a deep discipline in its own right: recording, small venue, arena. And it is complex, subject to taste. Should the bass drum kick your chest, or rattle your lowers <LOL>. So how much to invest vs. housing, staff, rehearsal space, music rights, equipment, buses? Goal is to be competitive so it must be and is being factored – it is de facto mandatory. Maybe most sound gear today are loaners from dedicated staff and friends of corps. Big Dub, I get your point on physics of sound, and balance with and without amplification. Key point to me though is difference in the sound experience, with and w/o amplification. Is the qualitative and quantitative better overall with amps? Lots of tradeoffs as with any complex decision. Someone will just tell me don’t worry about it, get over it, enjoy the show - I’ll try tonight. I may get my best kicks in front of a horn arc, or “inside the arc”. <g>
  6. (off topic) Andy, Andy, If you check my previous posts, there are 3 with pots and pans (Skyliners love that story!), and the one Jan 17, 2013 recounts Richie W reminding me that Pepe actually jumped on the 6 quart pot at the HoJo, and crushed it! You know a woman came up to me at a club recently and said, do you remember that you sold me those pots and pans! Crazy, it was a good value purchase though. Let's reminisce all of this in 2 years, assuming we all make it - we can celebrate 50 years since that Pepe story, selling pots and pans and marching with the Skyliners in summer of ’69. (on topic) any more amplification observations? I'm OK to leave that topic quiet for now, moving on.
  7. Modern hornlines work on dynamics a lot, and so the very soft parts, and especially the Fp’s and crescendos, and all variations give dramatic impact, and earn effect points. (full disclosure, I can hardly think long on anything without “looking it up”. So thinking about sound, I find a nice list of attributes, or elements …) It starts with pitch and duration, easy enough. Then you have loudness and timbre. Next, sonic texture relates to the number of sound sources and the interaction between them. Spatial location represents the cognitive placement of a sound in an environmental context; including the placement of a sound on both the horizontal and vertical plane, the distance from the sound source and the characteristics of the sonic environment. (see where I am going?) Noise is a term often used to refer to an unwanted sound. (ouch) Soundscape – the component of the acoustic environment that can be perceived by humans. If a tree falls in the forest … no not going there. But who has played a horn outside? (oh yeah this is the drum corps crowd, no problem). I mean say alone in woods, or at the shore (Chet Baker, LOL), in a park, or even at an empty stadium. A single quiet horn can be heard quite far away, and quite well, and can be impactful. Many solos in drum corps have been rather soft, or even backfield, with dynamics, and heard and appreciated quite well, by appreciative, respectful crowds. I am holding out that we don’t race to amplification of horns. It alters many of the attributes: loudness for sure, timbre, spatial location, sonic texture, soundscape, and adds NOISE. Pitch and duration maybe survive! The rest is up for grabs, altered, and even with a great sound system, those pure horns acoustically are far more enjoyable to listen to. OK, maybe we mic’ up a jazz trumpet with Harmon mute. Big stadium, or arena show is different with 20-40,000 screaming maniacs; or just when competing with electric guitars and keyboards and way mic’d up drums, OK it calls for another approach, granted. Yes, there is the escalation of amplification, e.g. if new Marshall stack, then bass player needs the Acoustic 18” reflex cabinet. LOL (Another contest is coming - let's get some fresh perception on the trend)
  8. Maybe we have an opportunity to learn the current technology, as we consider the level of bleed or juicing. And then influence to control it. I heard a varying amount of “amplified full line horn sounds”. Probably dependent on many factors, proximity to microphones being most influential. Truly, when it sounds “juiced”, and not saying by foul intent, it could be 35-40% electronic. So OK, amp SOME soloists (special case should be made) and special instruments like French horn. The quality of microphones today is phenomenal. I remember being amazed back to 1975 at what my condenser mic in a boom box could do, and certainly smartphones for most of the audio the world hears today is quite high quality. Here is general info on microphones (sources easy to find, not a term paper LOL): >>>The most common are the dynamic microphone, which uses a coil of wire suspended in a magnetic field; the condenser microphone, which uses the vibrating diaphragm as a capacitor plate, and the piezoelectric microphone, which uses a crystal of piezoelectric material. Also, there is microelectromechanical (MEMS). So what type of mic’s are on the field, on the horns? Found this … >>>Most horn and reed instruments have a slightly harsh character and sound better through ribbon or large-diaphragm dynamic or condenser mics, especially at close distances. However, small diaphragm condenser mics offer a little high frequency "edge" that can help solo instruments stand out. Several companies manufacture miniature condenser mics with clamps for mounting on saxophone or trumpet bells, and these are ideally suited for wireless mic applications. So, in my experience, a condenser mic will zoom in toward the loudest sounds, esp. if the close sound source goes quiet. There is a lot of potential for field bleed. But maybe our teams are way ahead and controlling it somehow. In future shows, we can observe how much bleed / (bleed + acoustic sound) there is (0-100 %) Do most of us agree we would not prefer going toward the fully mic’d up stage sound, or the arena sound we expect at large audience concerts? There’s probably a lot of discussion, water under bridge, in DCI threads. Post the links if it helps jump to the chase. DCA can be different, maybe.
  9. Fred, you are exactly in tune with some angst I was going through at the show. Early this AM while writing my review, I was looking up “Loud” to try to figure out the evolution since my first experience with 1969 Skyliners, and as I have written prior there was the thrill of blowing out the stands, led by Pepe’s insane French horn (bugle), with sheer power of sound. I did not finish that research, and used my memory of Renegades and Skyliners for now, and then to what we have now with Bucs, C2, and Cabs. They are all loud. But yes as I listened last night, I was in angst over amplification. It came in to DCA to save the mallet players hands, accepted (my director’s kids no less). Then synth! (I used synth in funk bands starting 1975, and that portamento slide to low bass on mini-korg was additive. I love it). And then narration and sound effects, and now mic’ing of brass. Hmmm So now with corps using synth, yes I came around to really dig those slides to low bass. But the doubling of tubas, I cry foul! And last night I heard some of that. And then the whole sound gets to be hybrid of electronic and acoustic. The blend balance meter moves from 10% electronic to near 70% I’d say. That is why I wrote “relax”. It is game over. I ended up this AM at 2 AM listening to 1960 Sky to totally level set my expectations on “what do we expect of drum corps sound”. No comment on that amazing G bugle sound, that war is game over. And so in between that 1960 sound and all the amazing drum corps acoustic sounds thru the years, we are now in an entirely new era. I saw Stevie Wonder (with his amazing road show set of musicians including plenty of brass and great strings) at NJPAC last year, a great birthday present. At one point the mix was way bad and I start internally freaking out. Amplified sound is art in itself. Recording Engineers labor for months to get a sound just right. Now we have these field productions, and btw one corps I think was using remote mix control as I did not see “the board” (could be me). That is probably really smart to optimize the mix from the stands. I have seen prior discussion on the power of 1 producer at the board versus our 70+ performers’ skill to produce and balance. So, short answer yes, some corps way too juiced. Off putting – yes. The sectionals gathered around the mic’, were not that effective last night. The amplified French horns – jury is out. (Still not sure what instruments Cabs are using, sorry). I like soloists acoustic. I do not recall much soloist mic’ effect from last night, it was more ensemble stuff, like 8 trombones. (did not get to hear Paul, assume he did a solo, as usual ;) ) Again what even is drum corps now? It is multi-facet football field-sized music/visual wild 3-ring circus of performance. I want to fight the amplification but we all need to pick our battles. I love that we have these amazing corps and a DCA ruleset to balk about! Juiced up brass is not good when you have the best of field acoustic brass right there. The amplified sound of brass, sorry it s**** as compared. When they juice it I hate it. Walk away – not yet.
  10. Hi All, Here’s some sharing of my night at Clifton. This is way short of a proper review, but I’ll post it here and hope other types of review come in. I like what BigW said about prep on the repertoire. I have not done that, maybe next time. That study could be a summer music course - DCA rep as modern music snapshot. Music educators, flesh out the syllabus; leads to recruitment. Notwithstanding DCI, this could be a valuable: DCA Music Academy. (I digress as always, “Don’t prompt a lecture” the kids at Fusion have said). I’m in my “senior year” now as retired from competitive corps, after a quick 10 year stint marching 2003 thru 2013. Wait that’s 11, wow, recalculating. Arrive – park at Clifton. So, btw, my first performance at Clifton was Band Festival Oct 1966, by bus of course and even years prior with bus trips so we could see the local band. Arriving by car since say 2002, the parking is a trip. This year we have construction, so the usual park on the school grass for $5, even at weird angles of elevation was no-go. Off to remote corner of the school block, next to line of port-o-johns – parked legally, check. As I park I notice a serious horn arc, non-descript in halves. 1st up for my visit … Paul B, trpt for Sun. Then lots of amazing Sunrisers staff to talk with. I have a lots of folks I want to go see warming up … Sky Alumni, Saints Brigade, Fusion, maybe catch Reading, but no - this spot is fun. Gene O taking the horns thru warmup and it sounds great. Oh yeah, Paul says check the new DCA soloist gear – a mic’d up unit mounted on his horn. WOW. I break away from reminiscing and catching up. Next is visit with Fusion percussion warmups, and staff. Catching up with my Fusion peeps. Missed the brass line as they were out for warmups. Finally head to Stadium with intent to catch the contest for Sun, Bush, Fusion, Bucs, C2, Cabs. Sorry I missed the earlier exhibitions (Saints, Sky alumni), and Hurcs, and most of Sun. You know at a drum corps show as a vet you meet SO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE. This is what it’s about after the competitive attainment, amazing sweat experience and comradery to put out the show. I digress. The last outside the stadium conversation was … oh yeah, her son is a chemistry professor on tenure track. Yes drum corps does not damage your kids! The kid marched and now has “Cadets” as students, and yeah he knows drum corps too. How cool is that? So into the stadium with unreserved ticket. Spot friends from HS and break away to grab a seat. Sun - The ending for Sun caught my interest for great brass ensemble, and Paul as the vet is putting out more volume and power than I may have heard in past. Great to see and hear. Need to see Sunrisers next time for full show – sorry. As I think now of the overall brass sounds, maturity of sound is mostly not there. Sun had some of that – appreciated. <mature sound breakout: you know the kids are young, somehow a mature sounds seems to come with age. We proved it in horn arc one day, another topic. If mature sound is correlated to older players, does it still have a different great quality. Is this too complex physics of sound now?> Bush is up – they were a little tentative on opening, but got real strong. Lots of good chord sounds with reasonable dissonance, some great musicianship, as always their signature. Really nice to hear. This is a serious program - want to see it again. Fusion – The corps entrance is confident. The opening cluster of many folks with a sudden guard pop-up was engaging. Solid formations, and sound follow. Guard accompaniment throughout is awesome. Fusion has a big spread of field coverage differentiating from the prior 2 I’d say. They had a show tension esp. in 1st 5 mins to really gain attention. A new trumpet high note impact was added since my last visit for the indoor preview (later I ask, it was an F – yeah). Simple concept but WOW, congrats. I understand the ballad solo was in debate between trombone as I heard it prior and bari now. I vote trombone, but leave it to the pros. Fusion brought it all to a higher level of overall show. Bucs – Drum major up to the podium. Man, she conducts with authority. As when I saw Jimmy Russo in past years pull the best out of Cabs Alumni or Bridgemen Alumni, that’s what see. A big bad corps on the field and she’s in command of the tempos and dynamics. The sound Reading puts out is spectacular. Volume + 2 from Fusion. I looked around the stands and recognizable vets of the activity smile big time at the sheer power of Bucs hornline. Me too. I want to say that the crowd was cheering and applauding and giving standing O’s for all corps. Sorry, was the Reading usual huge fan base there? They can be corps specific fans I’d say, yahhh? I guess most corps fans are that way. But I report otherwise tonight. Again, I have many years at his Clifton stadium, lots of brick and mortar, walls, and to sit side1 at 40 yard line, ½ way up and get my face blown off is sheer pleasure. The summer evening at this point is gorgeous and the breeze is strong. Complete immersion in sound – sorry so many not there to hear and see. Look at our roots, Sky with loud, Renegades, “loud is good”. Reading has achieved full body, undistorted loud. But to me there is a lack of mature tone. Now I am questioning quest for loud, as I know so many other let’s say more refined listeners have for years. These huge block chords (the donuts), with precise releases are a gas, but we need more to be presented now with this amazing potential (like physics, the potential energy). Cadets2 – again, a big sound and power, a level above Fusion and prior. Now here’s a thing – how much is about “the groove”. After watching Boston Pops on TV July 4, I know there is a musical “high groove” to classical, or contemporary, however you classify. I am I guess mostly a funk guy, as bass player, and add in various Latin/salsa band and jazz ensembles from my trpt perspective that I really appreciate. What translates best to the field? This is all subjective, and no one can replace the experience and evolution of the individuals in this activity, esp. arrangers/composers. In recent years I have learned and felt that “contemporary wind ensemble” might be it. The Cabs latin grooves are awesome. To me sorry most rock does not translate. Ok where is this going? Rock does for me does not do it, but see Cabs below as Stairway is close. Samba does it! So hello, First Circle from the Cadets2 (btw, first notes from Fusion ever was that tune in 2007). At moments the C2 First Circle overall groove was spectacular – best of the night (for me). Whatta way to use the venue – congrats! Cabs – this is a show they will build and build. The dance performer was engaging with early entrance glide across the field of “stairway” walkway props. I didn’t see the stairs or ramp toward heaven used much at this point, it will evolve. Stairway to Heaven has a gorgeous sound, esp. with the French horn or mello soloist. The mic’ing of those soloists to me is annoying. I need to relax and let all the changes evolve. Yes, soloists are mic’d now. We have trombones, we have narration, we have electronics, all check. So talking musical genre subjective favorite for corps, for me rock is tough sell, but this sound and feel on Stairway is really good. This tune is in syllabus for DCA Music Academy. Cabs Alumni – so many highlights, the initial drum cadence, Concierto de Aranjuez – worth the price of admission alone, the classic drum solo with snares switching to neighbor’s drum, horn solo working with trios, lip trills, all the entertainment skills are there. The company fronts have my friends cheering, can’t ever get enough of those. (other corps use that well too). The Closing Taps tribute – combined Cabs alumni and field corps beautifully performed arrangement, and led by the composer Larry Kirchner. This in tribute to last original 1946 Caballero to pass. At that moment, again the weather was perfect summer evening, breezy, and what a tribute it was. Scores – OK, with the brass power of Reading, C2 and Cabs, I had my Fusion 4th. But their guard and visual and show impact took them higher. Cabs have so much to grow, as does C2, and all others. It is July 9 now and we are off to the races. I have a feeling of celebration for every single unit for their accomplishment to field a corps, have a corps, and engage so many people in an amazing field show of music and guard as we do! Announcer – Fran has fun with his gig and does it so well! This year the sound system sounded good – I think prior was too loud. All in all, a great night of drum corps at, yes - a storied location. After Parking lot – Fusion has a corps song “For Good”. It is secret sauce but I’ll disclose/leak – LOL. I got to join in, see more vets. And that was the night. Pride in the corps accomplishment, and ready to work. But as the Bucs’ narrative says, be better than your prior day – that is your competition.
  11. 2016 Practice Sites and schedules

    Fusion at new site after shocking results at yesterday's location. new site: 85 Hillside Av, Rochester NY 14610 oh yeah, the shocks were due to some sort of stray voltage effect from transmission lines - wow, new term. Anyone know about this? yikes
  12. 2016 Practice Sites and schedules

    Fusion will be at Aardvark Park, 3625 E Henrietta Rd, Henrietta, NY 14467 Friday 11:35 AM - 4:00 PM Saturday (w/ detail): 8:45 – 10:45 AM sectionals 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM FULL ENSEMBLE 1:10 PM Run through 6:44 PM scheduled - Fusion performs in prelims Sunday 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM
  13. Big week-end coming up

    Schuylerville, NY Aug 7, 2016 5 Excelsior 63.35 4 Bush 81.20 3 Sun 83.80 2 Sabers 85.55 1 Fusion 89.20
  14. Kingston, NY show was successful

    <while my new Dewalt weed whacker battery recharges <<guess I need 2 batteries>>>, … A few thoughts on Kingston to share. <ya know mowin’ and weed whackin’ as medium focus activities gives time for bubbling up ideas so here ya go> So yesterday, me being inactive from Core, I was, yes, in The Pool thinking of all the corps up in Kingston sweating their butts in the last run getting ready to compete. Up at 4:30 AM, get the bus, work all day. So yes it is hard to really relax as inactive member, knowing the work they do, so I got the urge to make the drive and GO. The rain threat made its way north to south, so driving north on Thruway there were dark skies and a short period of rain. Then … Gorgeous clear. And by showtime I’d say weather was perfect. I love that Kingston show: the folks that run it, the crowds, the terrible legendary-bad showers even, the rain challenges, the warmup in neighbor streets - and so I am glad it is back. Looking forward to more great competition and another round of scores, I bought my ticket. Kingston has all reserved seating, so the line can get long and slow as each person selects a seat, and gets that ticket drawn out from the deck. Great folks there doing that ticket work though! Fascinating but obvious that the seating grid (yes on graph paper) fills from 50 up high on out and down. I ended up sitting Side 2 outside the 30, down low with friends so that specially picked seat never got visited. The Stadium was quite full, a great crowd - they love Sunrisers, they love Fusion, They LOVE the CABS, and they LOVE THE ALUMNI. And treat all corps great. I was out with my Core in the parking lot after Sunrisers but came back to see Cabs from backfield. So comments are light, but here goes. Sunrisers are getting stronger every week. I had this impression of old style drum corps even though guard and show concept is very modern. They get into these brass power formations and go all out. The high note guy screams on every tag, but not sticking out of the blend – love it. And the vets solo work rocks. Scottie and Carol as drum majors - ya know I’ve been counting past few weeks – these folks each have been with 5 DCA corps each – can you name them? (Richie W got all 10) Fusion – stronger in all aspects since Woodbridge – the show is brought by all members very cohesively. The sounds are dark and ominous and the gorgeous recognizable ballad is great. They keep you on edge of seat. The scores vs. Cabs show the comparison quite well, essentially for me visual vs brass (leave percussion and guard out for a moment). Cabs hornline is powerhouse and they use it well. Cabs (from backfield) – kick a** energy, force and confidence to the front. Big company percussion line elongated left to right looks and sounded impressive to me; neighbor said dirt, sorry – he’s a drum guy. The tubas are gorgeous – Bubba is back with his bros (maybe ladies too, don’t know). I missed Sabers and Hurcs. Bush is sounding good - recognizable tunes from Billy Joel are fun. Was the pit soloist guy there, maybe not, sorry if he was? (ouch) He is great, but I am not a fan of pit soloist, even Joey P <not as musician/person, as pit soloist functional utility>. Wait I am confused, that is C2 for another show (by the way one theme for me in appreciating corps this year is The Recognizable Tunes <even recognizable by me>. C2’s “Both Sides Now” may be best of the year. Back in the stands for Cabs Alumni. Just great solo work from #1 Sop guy. And the corps grooves better than ever. The crowd loves every minute. Outdoor brass and drums at its best on Summer Night. If you know the sound and the look, no more need be said. Now OLYMPIC Retreat. So the Rio Olympics had pageantry Friday night. But Kingston calls for the drum corps Olympic Retreat. Some corps travel to Schuylerville later that night, but line up and do it. From the stands it is spectacular. Cab’s Alumni playing the corps on with awesome groove. (duhdatdatdadat … doomp doomp) Drum majors leading all serious, each guard person with that arm up and hand gesture and smile, the hornlines and drumlines endless, side by side, corps by corps, uniform colors a blur and a long march to back field. Really folks it is spectacular. The Announcer did a great job getting right to the scores, after some nice education scholarships for various corps members. Serious drama right to end, 2nd place with High Guard and Visual I think <ooops now I knew who won>, and Cabs took it by 0.8. Each corps “played itself off”, in reverse order of placement, and really that should be captured somewhere. Fans yell remarks with vigor for each corps, ’nuff said. OK so I understand at pre-game corps were asked if anyone would not want to do a victory concert if asked. No objections. So I stayed, maybe best part of the night …. Cabs arc’d it up with pit in front and ran the show. This is how you can see the bond of a corps and the well-rehearsed content, in an all-out bring it with b*** performance. My buddy Doc blew the house down with the trio or whatever they had – Love it. A proud moment for the Cabs – cant’s wait to see the next show and show down. Oh yeah, I’m biased as I love the parades and Olympic retreat – dreaded by many marching members - LOL. Schuylerville had a parade today and 4 PM EDT show, scores should be in SOON. Don edited for typos, and to complete .... now I knew who won (those caption results give away the winner yahhhh?)
  15. great - conspiracy laid to rest. Man I got sucked in pretty easily - LOL. I am usually bad at looking around, especially finding all the little icons like the "burgers" on apps these days! Lesson learned. THANKS - Good job DCA - now we have best of both!