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jwillis35 last won the day on October 12 2016

jwillis35 had the most liked content!

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About jwillis35

  • Rank
    DCP Fanatic

Profile Information

  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    No Corps. Performed with the Warren Jr. Military Band from 1977 - 1981
  • Your Favorite Corps
    Bluecoats, Cadets, SCV, BD
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Garfield Cadets/Cadets - 1984, 1987, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2011 ; Santa Clara Vanguard - 1985, 1987, 1988, 2009, 2016; Blue Devils - 1982, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2014, 2015 ; Bluecoats - 1988, 1989, 1995, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2014, 2016 ; Phantom Regiment - 1984, 1987, 1989, 1996, 2008 ;
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Gender
  • Location
    North Canton, OH
  • Interests
    I'm a professional trombonist, music educator, love drum corps, band, jazz (combo and big band), composition, drill writing, and attending great music concerts. I also love Golf, Web Programming, and Travel.

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  1. Staff Merry-go-round 2018 Edition

    While we are off topic for a while -- probably until after labor day -- I will add to this. I agree with what you said. When Baltimore lost their team in 1984 it did indeed sound like NFL commissioner, Paul Tagliabue, wanted to move on without Baltimore. He was positioning the NFL to be a league for upscale cities who could afford teams. He didn't quite get his way, but the NFL continues to move in that direction. As a longtime Cleveland Browns fan we new things were going to be shook up in the early 90s when it was apparent that the city needed to get the Indians and Browns out of the same stadium. The old Cleveland Stadium was no place for baseball so the city moved to build the new baseball stadium. In hindsight it was a great move and Jacobs Field, now Progressive Field, is one of the better MLB parks in the country. But this move ###### off Art Model who had been begging the city to build his Browns a new stadium. They promised they would get that done, but baseball had to come first. The Browns could play in the old stadium for a year or two more (as bad as that stadium was), but the Indians could not. All of this happened at the perfect time for Baltimore who saw what was happening in Cleveland. They knew Art Model could be persuaded to move his team. Art offered the city a last chance to make the stadium happen, but by then the city had committed to the Indians stadium first. Baltimore officials met with Model and that was about all she wrote. In order to smooth things over, the NFL stepped in to make sure the new Baltimore team would not be called the Baltimore Browns, but the Ravens. Cleveland was almost immediately guaranteed an expansion team by the NFL when the league was ready for the next expansion, and that team would again be called the Browns. Cleveland was also able to keep their records and history and colors. What I've learned is that it's very hard to root for an expansion team. It never felt the same. Of course, throw in the losing records and poor management and my interest in the NFL has waned considerable over the years. More teams continue to move and football seems to be under a lot of scrutiny. I will always love football, and the NFL is still #1 in TV and total revenue, but I wonder how long that will last.
  2. 2018 Prediction Thread

    My hunch is everyone will have great shows. Another hunch is electronics and amplification will still be there, but perhaps more caution will be taken. Hoping to continue to hear better balances between brass and battery vs pit. I hope to see strong offerings from Phantom and Madison, but also hope to see Academy and Mandarins keep up their successful runs. Hope Troopers find a visual design and theme to go along with that terrific brass line of theirs. I think the top 4 prior to Finals will be mostly intact. Blue Devils and Santa Clara have everything seemingly working in their favor, but Crown and Bluecoats should be strong again. We may see Blooo back in the top 3 next year. Cavaliers were wonderful visually, but they will need a better overall music book, especially in brass, if they wish to go any higher. I imagine Boston will be vastly improved, and they were incredibly good this year. They will have better content numbers next year and could be dangerous. I felt if Boston had better content and construction numbers this past summer that they might have passed up the Cavaliers. Cadets will also be improved. As always it will be fun to watch with some great battles over the season.
  3. Cadets 2018

    I think this will be one of the nice challenges for the Cadets. There is less pressure when you're not in the top 3 and are trying to follow up your great show with another great show. Bluecoats were very daring and risky this year with that monumental production of theirs, but ultimately it made things difficult for them to repeat or even stay top 3. There was a lot of pressure on Bloo, but I am glad they took the path they did. Cadets will not be considered a contender next season, and almost no one will pick them to be top 3. I think they can relax and develop a fun show without worrying what people think. They can clean and tweak and edit and clean some more...and maybe over time push back into the mix. Despite their 7th place finish this year, it was a very good show that made BIG improvement over the summer. But only being 1 year removed from the 2016 show, even 2015, I feel their was still pressure on the Cadets (members and staff) to fix the wrongs of the past 3 seasons. That never should have been the mandate. To me this was a new Cadets, a new era, even with GH still at the helm. I personally am not one in favor of him retiring. If he decides to, good for him and he will be remembered fondly for decades to come in this activity. But if he stays on 1 or 2 more years I do not have a problem with that. I'd like to change his mind about narration and gimmicks, but I also must give him credit for hiring some fine staff who created this show, for an amazing vocal group and the best use of ensemble vocals I've ever heard in DCI, and for the Cadets continuing to have a wonderful and lyrical music book. We don't get enough of those in DCI. The Cadets played beautiful music that also had some edge to it in a few spots.
  4. I didn't say that to you. :) I did not tell you to not even bother. Come on. I am simply presenting a reason for why things did change and where we are now. If you want to make a difference then you need to get involved. Your comments here are certainly welcome and will be discussed and argued for sure, but posting these things on DCP is not strong enough. You need to be in a position to influence change. Executive directors, program coordinators, designers, staff, and marching members have the biggest say. They are the creators and performers. The fans also have a say. If they stop attending shows, that tends to say a lot. If attendance goes up, that also says a lot.
  5. As for your first paragraph, these kids do have a choice. They get to choose the corps they wish to march with, or they can stay home and march with their HS bands, or they can do something else. Those that are marching DCI seem pretty happy. Some of the changes made to DCI were done so because of student/marcher evaluations. I taught marching band techniques for many years during my college band director days. Over my last 8 years it was obvious that today's students have way different taste. I remember showing a class some Madison Scouts (1995, as part of drill vs music discussion) and while they liked it, they thought it was too old school and awkward. They liked the modern corps much better. DCI cannot be all things to all kids. If it's not what some kids want, well too bad. Go find something else to do then. Life is tough and it's not DCI's job to ensure every kid who has a desire for a specific type of show gets what he/she wants. There are a variety of styles going on in DCI, and even more in HS/College marching band. Not everyone gets their way. As for paragraph #2, I am sure there are young people that want those things. Why don't you do a survey of all the high school band kids in America and collect data on what they want in marching band and drum corps. Find out what kind of shows they like, styles, types of music, uniforms, etc. Until you do that you have no proof that somehow these kids are suffering and that somehow the kids presently marching DCI are also suffering and being forced to do things they dislike. I mean, for crying out loud I probably disagreed with any number of things when I marched with a competitive youth band, my HS band, and my college band. So what? I still had fun and learned. But until you start providing real evidence of some horrible circumstance in which DCI is keeping away thousands of poor souls who just can't stand today's styles then you're just guessing. To put it another way, you do not get to decide what is best for these kids. Neither do I. The collective whole of the activity and the kids decide that. If audition camps are empty and corps begin struggling to find marchers, then they will adjust. Market 101. A single person with an idea on how things "SHOULD BE" can only do so much, and if you wish to be one of those people then get involved and start designing, teaching, administrating. Until then you're just another person with an idea. I don't hate your ideas. Look, I grew up loving the 80s and early 90s. That doesn't mean I want to see them now. I don't. I am also progressive when it comes to art. Nonetheless, I have no problem with your ideas, it's simply that you want the activity to emulate YOUR vision. It will never do that. It will become what a collective of thousands of people make it. You have no control over that and neither do I. We can have a teeny bit of control if we get involved, but even then it's only a small fraction.
  6. Death to the Seat Poachers

    I have certainly sat in my fair share of empty seats at DCI shows. Mainly for regional championships when they had prelims, or for quarter finals and semi finals. It was easier then because there were usually tons of good open seats at prelims. BUT, we were always polite and respectful once the true owners of the seats showed up. At a show in which a packed house was expected there was no way I'd even try. In most cases I have had good tickets to shows, so there was no need. But like many DCI fans finding a good seat is important because of how the corps project sound. For things like prelims to big shows I often had no problem with it because there were many good seats left open. I had no problem with the smaller corps being able to perform for more people sitting in the middle, even if some of them were not in their proper seats. But seat hoppers need to be respectful and must quickly leave those seats once the rightful owner shows. IF they make a scene about it that is even worse. I honestly have never had anyone argue with me over seats when I have been the rightful ticket holder. Having said that, it can be frustrating when fans do this at major regional championships or Finals. They know the stadium is going to be packed, so why bother?
  7. Social media apps and the WWW have absolute helped drum corps. I see that as a great thing. Whether or not today's shows would have been successful in the 80s or 90 -- and vice versa -- is anyone's guess; but it doesn't matter. It's only the present time that matters, and it seems to be working today. Youth today seem to like the activity. Who are we to tell them what they should like? The activity back in the day had plenty of faults and I, for one, have no interest in returning to those days.
  8. How do we know it was changes that DCI made in the 70s and 80s that caused the attendance to decline? Maybe that had more to do with societal changes, things that were beyond anyone's control. Maybe some people got old and moved on in their lives. I think it's unfair to lay the blame at DCI's feet. I know for a fact that society will always have an influence on the arts, the same way the stock market affects companies. Sometimes things are good, and other times the market will correct itself. Things were bound to change -- that is an absolute fact.
  9. I get what your saying, and we can argue numbers of fans at shows until we are all blue in the face. In the end, we are talking about different times, places, different models for running a corps in the 21st Century, and the cultural climate today is vastly different. As Jeff mentioned in one of his posts, part of the reason the attendance was great during the Montreal years was the number of Canadian groups that took part for those 2 years only. But there were other reasons too. I was there in 1982 and also feel part of the big attendance numbers were due to having Finals in another country, and Montreal is a wonderful city with great history, food, things to do, and that stadium had just been used for the Olympics and I think people thought it would be cool to see a DCI show there. Even today, with numbers going up and all -- and I am pleased for DCI that this is the case -- I still clamor for an occasional Finals somewhere else. And I think numbers would continue to be good. However, I feel nothing is proven when people argue over attendance figures. In the 50s and 60s drum corps had a more local flavor. There were lots of rivalries that may have driven attendance (among other things). I always go back to the following questions when arguments like this break out: 1) If everything was so good back in the day, then why did all those corps disappear? 2) Regardless of what your reasoning for question #1 might be, we are where we are. What did you expect to happen? No Change at all? 3) Did we all expect DCI to not mirror present-day culture and to stay firmly implanted in the 60s or 70s?
  10. I think some would just like a little of both worlds. Perhaps Finals only on PBS, but we still have FloMarching (or whatever DCI uses) for the regular season, quarters, and semis; and we still have YouTube, Facebook, etc. for some quick enjoyment. PBS's broadcasting capabilities are first rate. They can produce a super high quality broadcast (with the help of Tom Blair and others) that would be worth -- but it would cost money no doubt, and PBS would want to know the financial end is covered.
  11. Seriously, this is too much whining for me. Whatever your family situation was is your business. The point made was not to offend you (I don't believe) but to say that PBS is really not free. Many of us did donate, for years in fact. That made it possible for you to watch for free. I am glad you were able to watch and develop an interest, and ultimately march. The $4,000 you are appalled by is what it costs to march with some organizations in 2017. What should the cost be? Nothing. $300, $600, $1200? Why do you think many of the corps from your era have died? Poor management, poor finance, not keeping up with the times, and people wanting a lot for nothing. Drum & Bugle Corps is a niche market. Always has been. It's not a commodity that everyone has to have, it's not a utility like electricity, and it's not something that has to be given away for free. Some people will be exposed to its' awesomeness and some will not. Such is life. If drum corps, and DCI specifically, was in the "we are here to help poor children who need something to do" business then they would most likely be working with our government at the local, state, and federal levels. They would be given a budget that would likely come from our nation's tax dollars and they would also exist on donations from fans. Still not free. The people of the country would collectively be paying for it along with those who donate. There is a similar service these days...it's called public education (paid for by the public) which in most cases provides opportunities for music education in band, choir, orchestra, and other ensembles. In the case of high school bands, band parents often raise tens of thousands of dollars extra (or more) by operating fundraisers in the local community. In other words, some in the local community are kicking in even more dollars to help local youth get an education and performance experience. Still not free.
  12. PBS was nice, but not free. I always donated money because it's important. The government gives them next to nothing. They count on local and regional support. Maybe if more fans had donated back in the day they would have stayed with DCI longer. It would be nice to see a PBS Broadcast of Finals only. Full top 12, plus the Marines and the Open Champion.
  13. Cadets 2018

    It was a great corps this year, and you could tell even from the FloMarching webcasts that these members were driven by this show and their passion to bring it to the people. The corps places one spot lower than last year, but I think the general sentiment on DCP and among many fans is that this was a VASTLY better show than 2016. A huge step up. Come Finals I feel Cadets looked cleaned and polished and put on one heck of a show. The closer was gorgeous with the BIG ending that all drum corps fans come to love. Kudos!
  14. Corps Income/Revenue Stream

    I love the phrase "buy a championship." Isn't everyone trying to buy a championship? I think so. No matter how small or large, you are trying to run your organization the best you can. That means making as much money as possible for things like great staff, housing, food, travel, facilities, instruments, equipment, and on and on. The more money you make the more opportunity for great staff, better travel, great instruments and equipment, and great performance opportunities. Ultimately all those things add up to being competitive - yes? I think so. That's called buying a championship. Everyone is trying.
  15. Blue Devils 2018

    The Blue Devils Big Phat Goodwin Show! :)