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Found 50 results

  1. From the red team to one of the 4 top 12 corps with blue in their name...this week we are headed to chilly Wisconsin to discuss a corps with an extremely interesting history: The Blue Stars. What are your top 1-5 Blue Stars shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13 Corrps that are no longer with us. Every show is a winner! Week 14 Genesis TIE 2016 Hell Hath No Fury and 2017 the other side of now. Music City 2017 the tribe Week 15 Madison Scouts- 1995 A Drum Corps Fan's Dream: A Day in the Life of a Bull Fighter. Least Favorite 2009 Relampago Week 16- The Academy- favorite 2016 Drum Corpse Bride Week 17- Seattle Cascades- favorite 2002 City Riffs Week 18- The Blue Devils Favorite 1986. Least Favorite-2010 through a glass darkly Week 19- The Colts- Favorite 2007 Equinox
  2. It's officially Valentine's season so what better time to head to Iowa and discuss THE RED TEAM! What are your top 1-5 Colts shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13 Corrps that are no longer with us. Every show is a winner! Week 14 Genesis TIE 2016 Hell Hath No Fury and 2017 the other side of now. Music City 2017 the tribe Week 15 Madison Scouts- 1995 A Drum Corps Fan's Dream: A Day in the Life of a Bull Fighter. Least Favorite 2009 Relampago Week 16- The Academy- favorite 2016 Drum Corpse Bride Week 17- Seattle Cascades- favorite 2002 City Riffs Week 18- The Blue Devils Favorite 1986. Least Favorite-2010 through a glass darkly
  3. It's week 18 and what better corps to honor than the one with an unprecedented 18 championship titles. On an ironic but unrelated note it's Superbowl week and the Patriots are in it again What are your top 1-5 Blue Devils shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13 Corrps that are no longer with us. Every show is a winner! Week 14 Genesis TIE 2016 Hell Hath No Fury and 2017 the other side of now. Music City 2017 the tribe Week 15 Madison Scouts- 1995 A Drum Corps Fan's Dream: A Day in the Life of a Bull Fighter. Least Favorite 2009 Relampago Week 16- The Academy- favorite 2016 Drum Corpse Bride Week 17- Seattle Cascades- favorite 2002 City Riffs
  4. Let's go 2 weeks in a row with corps that have had 1 finals appearance. The Cascades have been around a long time and we will take this week to honor and celebrate them! What are your top 1-5 Cascades shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13 Corrps that are no longer with us. Every show is a winner! Week 14 Genesis TIE 2016 Hell Hath No Fury and 2017 the other side of now. Music City 2017 the tribe Week 15 Madison Scouts- 1995 A Drum Corps Fan's Dream: A Day in the Life of a Bull Fighter. Least Favorite 2009 Relampago Week 16- The Academy- favorite 2016 Drum Corpse Bride
  5. I don't know about you but it's super cold and snowy here- let's head to Tempe Arizona where it will be sunny and 72 today and spend the week celebrating the Academy! What are your top 1-5 Academy shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13 Corrps that are no longer with us. Every show is a winner! Week 14 Genesis TIE 2016 Hell Hath No Fury and 2017 the other side of now. Music City 2017 the tribe Week 15 Madison Scouts- 1995 A Drum Corps Fan's Dream: A Day in the Life of a Bull Fighter. Least Favorite 2009 Relampago
  6. With 10 corps left and the holiday season over it's back to the old grind. This week we are headed to bitterly cold Madison Wisconsin to celebrate the Madison Scouts. What are your top 1-5 Scouts shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13 Corrps that are no longer with us. Every show is a winner! Week 14 Genesis TIE 2016 Hell Hath No Fury and 2017 the other side of now. Music City 2017 the tribe
  7. Happy New year! Let's dedicate the first week of 2018 to the 2 newest additions to World Class. Considering we only have 10 years or so of repertoire to choose from for each corps- give me your one favorite show from each group and tell me what you are looking forward to seeing from them in 2018. No least favorites this week. I don't want to pick on the new guy. You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13- Corps that are no longer with us. Everyone gets a trophy!
  8. Happy New year! Let's dedicate the first week of 2018 to the 2 newest additions to World Class. Considering we only have 10 years or so of repertoire to choose from for each corps- give me your one favorite show from each group and tell me what you are looking forward to seeing from them in 2018. No least favorites this week. I don't want to pick on the new guy. You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite. Week 13- Corps that are no longer with us. Everyone gets a trophy!
  9. 2017 is winding down and an all time show list wouldn't be complete if we don't honor great shows of the past from corps that are no longer with us. Besides I don't want to curse anyone with the week 13 title. You can use any show from any corps not current. Some examples include Star of Indiana, the Glassmen, the Bridgemen...etc it i s up to you. What are your top 1-10 all time shows? (Optional) What are your 1-5 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite Week 11- The Crossmen- 1992 Songs for the Planet Earth is the favorite. Week 12- The Cadets- 2011 Between Angels and Demons is the favorite. 2006 The Zone Part II least favorite.
  10. This week we are headed to Texas to celebrate a corps that is extremely regular to the top 12 but rarely makes the top 6. The Crossmen. What are your top 1-5 all time Crossmen shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite. Week 10- Oregon Crusaders 2014 Nevermore is the favorite
  11. We are staying on the West Coast this week but going north of California and celebrating one of the newer corps to world class competition the Oregon Crusaders. What are your top 1-5 all time OC shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite. Week 9- Santa Clara Vanguard- 1999 Inventions for a New Millennium favorite. 1995 Not the Nutcracker least favorite.
  12. Let's kick off the holiday season with the Corps with the most festive colors: Santa Clara Vanguard. What are your top 1-5 all time SCV shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite. Week 8- Pioneer- 1996 Celtic Twilight is the favorite.
  13. Happy Thanksgiving! This week we are headed to Milwaukee for Pioneer. This group has been around a long time and had a lot of A60 and DII success. Looks like their best WC/DI success was 16th. What are your top 1-5 all time Pioneer shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite. Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite.
  14. The first Thanksgiving was in Plymouth, Massachusetts so let's do Boston this week. What are your top 1-5 all time Boston Crusaders shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite.
  15. Let's hit the west coast this week and discuss a corps coming off their most successful year: the Mandarins. What are your top 1-5 all time Mandarin shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is
  16. Interesting that someone would dig up the Carolina Crown thread overnight as I have been planning on doing Crown this week for awhile since I will be spending a long weekend in the Charlotte area this weekend. What are your top 1-5 all time Carolina Crown shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite. Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least 2001Blue Toons Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite
  17. I thought it would be cool to start a weekly thread about what performances we loved and didn't love about each corps. For week 2 we are headed to Denver to celebrate and discuss the Blue Knights What are your top 1-5 all time Blue Knights shows? (Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive! I am a huge BK fan so my long answer will come later today- I am pumped for this thread. For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions: Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite...for now. Week 2- Jersey Surf- right now the favorite is 2012 Bridgemania... it's pretty unanimous.
  18. DCI is a little dry during the off season. I thought it would be cool to start a weekly thread about what performances we loved and didn't love about each corps. I am starting with the Cavaliers because I think they are easy to discuss without things getting out of hand or dying quickly. What are your top 1-5 all time Cavaliers shows? What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as possible but please please try to keep things positive!
  19. Thanks for considering reading this wall of text. tl;dr No there are no conspiracies. There is virtually no herd mentality on the national level. Money nor reputation matters. Become a judge if you aren't already. Also--thank you if you're a fan of any of the pageantry activities. Not meant to be a dissertation, but a reflection of my many years of experience as a judge on the field and indoor. No I am not a DCI judge but I have been judging with DCI, WGI, and BOA national judges and have had many discussions with said men and women who are actively making these tough decisions. There appear to be several of us on here willing to share information so any input is very much appreciated. I am not speaking for every judge or even any group of judges but SPECIFICALLY to my experience. I'll be available for follow-up questions and concerns for a few days until this account and thread dies--if that's the case. ------------- 1) Herd Mentality Does not exist barring very few situations*. We judge the sheets. Particular to our caption, a unit can hit the sheets according to our eyeballs and our ears or it cannot. Sometimes there are difficult decisions that we have to make on the spot. We all see different things even within the same caption. Some judges are good enough to judge multiple captions. Ranks and ratings change for the same judge because they're judging a new caption. Also, when panels change, numbers will change as you have probably experienced in the past. It's absolutely unavoidable. Please also remember that there are separate numbers in what we see the designers intended to do and what the performers executed on that particular day/evening; i.e. vocabulary vs. excellence. It's the LEFT side and the RIGHT side respectively. It's not rocket science. We all have to trial judge for this and prove we can focus on our own caption and defend our numbers at critique and thereafter. *Note: Interestingly enough, every few shows a newer judge or trial judge will ask where I put a unit at any given point. I give them the neighborhood, e.g. high box 3, mid box 4, etc. but I'm very averse to providing an actual number as is anyone I have spoken with. Remember that we have fans only a few feet away from us in virtually every direction that can hear our conversations and are probably recording us on their smartphones. Why would we be idiots and mimic each other's scores? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. These days we can typically change our numbers for all units at the end of a round due to the mechanics of Competition Suite. It's a magical thing and it makes numbers management so much easier and more equitable. 2) Money We get a few hundred bucks or maybe a little more. It's not much. Expenses are paid if we are lucky. Rumors have it that nationals is just about the same or a little bit more but not much. This is a NON PROFIT activity. Enough said. We mostly do this because we think we can do it better than others and provide better input. We're not in this for the money--heck, we may be better off bartending for an evening. We do get the best view in the venue. That's why I do it--along with providing input to groups who actually give a **** as to improving their units. Most of us want the activity to grow and performers to get better; however, some judges are jerks who just want to criticize and call out things that are wrong because the units are not doing what they did 5, 10, or 50 years ago. It oftentimes gets tiresome in the judge's room and occasionally pisses me off. That's the main frustration I've had. We tend to argue when I encounter a judge who made a number I sorely disagreed with in a caption I've judged; there's a 50/50 chance I'll win and they'll rethink their numbers next time around if they're given the opportunity. We're otherwise complaining as to why we got a baked potato for a "meal." 3) Reputation This gets a little complicated. Many judges have obligations outside of judging. For example, several have contracts with percussion, winter guards, winds, marching bands, drill design, you name it. However, from my experience, it really doesn't matter. Our reputation is founded on the basis that we put down a number, record our commentary, and defend every ounce of it. We sometimes get stuck with a number we put down during an earlier part of the season and have to really back up any changes later in the season. As long as we reflect our APPROPRIATE number based on the sheet of our particular caption during that specific performance, it doesn't matter if we give 3rd place to a 12th place unit or vice versa. I've done it many times, "called" many shows, and still get asked to judge again. Judge's commentary is becoming more and more public, so I make sure to talk about the stuff I want my dear mother to hear as well as the unit staff and most importantly the performing members. When I hear from either the Chief Judge or a director that they played my commentary to their students, it means the world to me. Knowing they sacrificed several minutes of their valuable rehearsal time to listen to my exhausted hoarse voice makes my day. 4) Critique Sometimes a show will have a requirement for the judges to participate in critique sessions with the units. We may also get emails, phone calls, or texts about why a unit was ranked and rated as they were. This can get stressful. This is why we take notes. I keep my notes for at least 3 years. Every show is different. Some times I'll place a unit higher than another, and I take notes as to why (even though it's inappropriate to talk about other units during critique). Focus on your own show on your own caption and unit I always say. However, it's good for me to back up to the Chief Judge why I flip-flopped or made an uncanny or unpopular choice. I do it all the time. Most times people get it--they watch their competitors and see why they have fallen (or risen) in my particular caption. Critique allows us to gather input from the units and provide feedback beyond our recorded commentary. Heck I've unintentionally made a former colleague cry during critique. I've also had a situation when we had to get the Chief Judge to kick out an overdramatic irate director during critique. What really pisses us off is when someone only rants about their score without having listened to the commentary. All I can reference is my notes at that point. The commentary is not a part of my records but a part of yours. Do your homework. Listen to the commentary. 5) State of the Activity Plan on being angered! Many current judges should consider retiring. The activity has changed considerably in the past decade--let alone the past several decades--and corps art is not being recognized properly. The newer judges, about a third of any panel; if we're lucky, have still been removed from the activity for a decade or more. Yes, this is a traditional activity and that I quite understand. Furthermore, most design and tech staff who have been a part of the top competing units are of a separate generation with separate visions working alongside older generations with progressive acuities. There's a lot of subjectivity with the sheets and what is put on the field or floor. A few older judges see this. Most, however, don't. This is, in my honest opinion, the main disconnect between the overall numbers and what the fans want to see rewarded. So where is the activity heading? Which leads me to this: 6) Next Steps Trial judge. Regardless of your age. We need more judges. Many of you are analytical critical jerks and we really could use your help. Whether it's percussion, guard, winds, visual, brass, whatever. We need new blood in every activity. Please consider contacting a local circuit and start trialing. Before you know it, you may be judging state and regional championships and knocking on DCI, BOA, or WGI's doors. Just show up. That's half the battle. You're not running for office--you're helping develop youth and art. We just need new people with deductive mindsets willing to put in their experience and research to current events on the field and the floor. We're no better than you. The activity is changing too fast for most of us. Regardless, please stay a supporting member or fan of the marching & pageantry arts no matter what. The common sports have enough fans. Show up to all sorts of our musical and "artsy" competitions just because, well, reasons. Thank you. Edit: Changed title of thread. Edit: Here's a copy of the 2012 DCI sheets thanks to @Jeff Ream
  20. I'll start again by talking about what I've been listening to corps-wise and my thoughts about some of the reactions. The ones that have really killed me lately are the comments surrounding some of the Blue Devils programs, notably from 1985 and 1991. Got to love the Geiger-counter tenor feature at the beginning of the 1991 program, especially when you can get the digitally remastered copy. I read comments like... "THIS IS THE WAY BD SHOULD BE...." "THE REAL BD"..... Obviously, there's a short institutional memory bumbling around the Drum Corps internet. I remember that both of those shows were pretty controversial and thought of as downright weird in their day. It took several views for me to really appreciate what was in those programs. Now... people WANT them to be like that? Some folks are downright fickle, forgetful... or a bit too nostalgic. I figure some people want to know about STA Stadium. You can find pics of it on the net. It's pretty much a nice by the standards of Pennsylvania High School stadium. Bleachers, clean. Get there early to park. In the evening, sunset can get in your eyes due to the stadium facing, so have sunglasses or a hat with a wide brim for daylight portions of shows. The stadium view is quite good- I've had top 2 rows on the 50 seats the last 2 years as well as seen some fall shows from the box- you have a good unobstructed perspective and is plenty high enough- the only HS stadiums I've seen that might be better is Red Lion HS Stadium from a HS perspective. People with physical issues will want seats near the top of the stadium since you enter from the hilltop, not from field level. As for stadium food, it's inexpensive and typical fare, though I save serious eating for afterwards. The local homemade ice cream stand is excellent and when they have the Root Beer Floats, they're superb. Make time to stand in line for the ice cream. Driving to the venue, at least for me, is far less adventurous than for a Jersey contest or driving to work. It's not far off the main highway network. There are some slow areas up US 15... but you can make up for that if you have the car and are so inclined. (I do.) It's not Annapolis. in terms of venue. No other DCA venue was. I think the field is far better than Scranton for the performers and the view is superior to it, and I also think better acoustically just to compare. On to the actual contest...
  21. I will continue to edit this post to add more thoughts on the shows and also on various issues over the season. Fantastic DCI Finals overall! Congrats to all the marching members. You were all amazing and put on your best performances. Here is a quick synopsis of my thoughts. Madison Scouts - Excellent brass sound. Really got into the music. Was never sure about what I should be looking at or viewing visually. Sometimes just too much going on. Overall a mature sounding corps that with the right product will excel I believe. Crossmen - one of my favorite music books of the summer. Incredible control in the brass. Guard was wonderful and what a fantastic snare line. Blue Stars - LOVE the music, the drill was amazing and very demanding, and overall this was one of the more emotional shows for me. Phantom Regiment - You guys rocked the house. Most improved corps of the year. That closer...OH MY GOODNESS! I was in love tonight. Classic Phantom!! Edit, Aug 16: The show we saw from Phantom on Finals night was a show that might have placed higher had they been able to achieve that construction by late July and then clean more. It simply took them all summer to "hammer" things out. I love what they did with the guard this year, and I found their performance incredible, but I'd like to see a few less in the guard and more in brass. Blue Knights - Loved the color of this show. Your brass is seriously one of the better lines on the field this summer...and percussion was no slouch. Visually maybe not my favorite BK show, but the ending was fantastic with those flags. Edit, Aug 16: The talent in this corps is close to or on par with many in the top 5. The brass and percussion were indications of that. For BK to push up the ladder I believe they need to clarify and reinforce certain melodic phrases in a way that is less chopped and with more impact. As I watched their show I enjoy it so much, but I never quite get those 2 or 3 big impact moments that pull me emotionally into the show. They seem to like these modern, esoteric, playful show themes. They do work well with their uniforms and visual style, but often I just find myself need a bit more in music construction and music GE. The Cadets - One of my favorite shows of the summer. Here is another corps that started slow and finally found their swagger and took off. Scoring aside this was a fantastic show with serious GE and a killer ending! Bravo! Edit, Aug 16: I felt Cadets began the summer under some pressure to try and relive history and restore the iconic and legendary history of the Cadets to top 3 status. I'm sure this wasn't the case, but it had to feel like that for some. For designers to come into a tough situation following all kinds of turbulence after last season, and for the marching members to tackle this show amid that turbulence and those unrealistic expectations I feel may have caused the corps to work slower at camp to ensure a better overall product as the season progressed. The show was vastly better. Their Finals performance was outstanding. In many ways the Cadets were cleaner than some corps above them, and there were some excellent GE moments in this show. A few things that could have helped this show are 1) do not overdo narration, 2) don't be so literal, and 3) spend more time cleaning when you come out of the gate from Spring Training. I almost get the impression that they listened almost too closely to judges comments in those first 6 to 10 shows. I respect the judges and would certainly listen and make notes of what they were saying about the show, but with partial panels and the knowledge that your show isn't clean yet and their minds may change once they see things more clearly I would not make lots of changes to the show in the initial days after spring training. I would spend more time cleaning what you have on the field. Come July 7 or 8 I would then begin the process of making small changes here and there, with major changes set to premiere in late July. I will say that despite all the criticism they got early season for costumes, I thought they looked fantastic! That was a bold show to attempt and the priest robes, the choir robes, the 2nd costume with Maroon and Gold top (gorgeous), to the 3rd costume was really key to the show and the theatrical presentation. Best use of Trombones this year. Boston Crusaders - Holy cow were you guys clean and the sound of the music ensemble was outstanding! Loved the guard, enjoyed the theme, and you get the award for best use of a prop. Certainly the most deadly use of a prop. Edit, Aug 16: What can you say about Boston! That is what you call making a jump. I think we all expected it, but most of us (certainly me) felt they would be a year away from making that kind of jump. I was thinking 8th or 9th. But no, 6th. You do not makes jumps like that in DCI competition without serious designers, teachers, and talented members. Boston has made a commitment to great teachers and to their members. They have always run a wonderful drum corps and are now simply expanding on their dreams. This show was an outstanding vehicle for them to make another leap. They will need a show with slightly more demand in the content/construction areas to make the next jump. With the direction their brass, percussion and guard took this is not out of the question. When Boston hit you this year with their first big brass attack you could tell it was a Gino line with the kind of control and power we have come to expect of his lines. Their percussion was stellar by season's end! Very clean. Same with guard. Guard was top 3 or 4 at Finals. Amazing. Anyone in the 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 area of placements will have to deal with these guys. Can they move into the top 2 next year? Not sure. But 3 to 5 I would not rule out. Cavaliers - You get my crazy, zany visual award. Visually this show was stunning and marched incredibly well. Fabulous guard. Music ensemble was very good, but I did not care for the music construction. To choppy for my taste, and the closer was an odd mashup. However, you want to talk about a corps selling their show. These guys did. Bravo! Bluecoats - This is what I call a high-energy show. Some killer GE moments with some mighty tasty playing and marching. Solos were on tonight. Edit, Aug 15: From the beginning of the season it was apparent that Bloo was taking on a huge risk with this ultra-challenging show. Who has ever tried a prop like that, in that manner? RISKY and BRAVE! The timing and impact challenges in this show were off the charts. A very difficult show to clean. In the end this may have hurt Bloo to some extent, but the fans did not mind as Bluecoats once again thrilled fans everywhere. They were one of, if not the most, entertaining corps of the summer. It's nice to see and hear a corps do something so complicated and challenging, yet be so entertaining and still be top 5. edit, Aug 16: As for the 5th place finish, I was not a fan of the judges for that, but I do realize they just didn't get things as clean as possible. Having said that I feel the judges rewarded the Cavaliers too much for a poorly constructed music book and average music GE. Visually the Cavaliers were stunning and I heaped plenty of praise on them for their excellent marching, drill design, and amazing guard. Their percussion and brass were good, but I did not feel they were at Bloo's level. More to the point, Bloo's content numbers in brass, percussion, music analysis, and overall music GE should have been the deciding factor. The Cavaliers simply did not look top 4 to me. I have more to say on that in coming days as I update my Cavaliers comments. They are an excellent corps and organization, and I just feel Bloo was better this year on the field. Carolina Crown - What an amazing brass intro!! All season long this was my favorite intro. Sadly the ballad was ruined tonight by mic malfunctions. So sad this happened, because the young lady is a tremendous talent and good person. But this will always be the risk with electronics in big venues. Just go ask the audio guys that handle things like large rock concerts, Super Bowls, college Bowl games, etc. Why do you think some Super Bowl pop star appearances have to be lip synced? The dynamics of outdoor electronics can be very risky and dangerous, and tonight I heard that with not only Crown but a few others. Santa Clara Vanguard - A truly amazing show top to bottom. The opener does not grab me until three quarters of the way through, but from there to the end is simply dynamic programming, The last 2 to 3 minutes are HEAVEN!!! I noticed a mic hiccup with SCV tonight as well. The first entrance of the solo brass ensemble did not come through. It was quickly fixed, but I also feel they may have turned the mics off at one point. At least from the FLO perspective it seemed the solo brass ensemble was not cutting through like they normally did. At any rate, Bravo for captivating the drum corps world this summer with a stunning and modern show that also had some wonderful old school moments. Blue Devils - To me, this was BY FAR AND AWAY the best corps all summer and this evening. They constructed a show that began with MUSIC. It was clearly music first and the construction was masterful. BD put together a music ensemble that blew my mind all summer, and tonight laid down an amazing performance! The showmanship of their visual program, which I feel so perfectly matches the music, is one of the hallmarks of BD. Some call it swagger, but to me it's showmanship, and BD really understands how to add that element to a show. Way to go, Blue Crew!!! What a FANTASTIC show, and your performance was thrilling on all levels! Bravo to all! I had a blast watching everyone this summer!
  22. The 2017 drum corps season has started, and so has my show review season! I reviewed two shows for the June edition of Drum Corps World. The first was the DCI Tour Premiere cinecast on Thursday, June 22. The focus of that review was on the technical aspects of the cinecast. A separate review of the performances is also in the June issue. The second review was of the Innovations in Brass: Massillon show on Saturday, June 24. That review was a performance review of all 5 World Class and 2 SoundSport corps which performed that night. http://www.gaminnet.info/?p=3054
  23. This will be quick, mostly because I'm at work, but also we got back at 1:30am this morning and tiredness is setting in. Haven't reviewed for a few years, had no plan to this year, but a few things are worth mentioning. And as a special treat I will point out the big props used by each corps, as that has now become the norm. Apologies to Salinas Drum Line, Freelancers Alumns and Golden Empire. After an extended stay in the will call line we finally sat down just before BDB took the field. BDB: Liked the Wonka song mixed throughout the show. For whatever reason, their bottom base seemed like the loudest of the night, which is much appreciated as a former bottom base player. Good sound. Too many vocals for me, but I'm old. PROP: Flag holders scattered about SCVC: Honestly the only thing that comes to mind is their show didn't seem finished, and that any SCV cymbal line is always a site to see. My wife liked their show more than BDB. Wish I remembered more. *yawn* PROP: Rolling white mini-stages w/ tall backdrops BDC: Always cute, always fun. Airplane/flight theme complete with propellers. Danger Zone was cool. Love the mini-guard classic flight attendant outfits. PROP: Airplane Intermission: 20 minutes did not seem like enough time to get some grub, but alas we acquired what we needed to get us through the 'meat' of the program. Btw, $7 for soda and $5 for water. Someone call the police, I've been robbed!! So glad I brought water. PACIFIC CREST: CA corps doing a CA-themed show. Music was good. First big hits of the night. Very enjoyable. At stand still the corps was clean, but while moving things were a little shaky. Just needs more practice. PROP: Tilted gold circle left of center. MANDARINS: The good: brass is amazing! Most power I've heard from my home team maybe ever. And "Sound of Silence" was great! The bad: not so much bad, the drums just need more time to clean. The ugly: Let me say the guard is very good and really brings home the "Ink" theme. However, at one point a portion of the guard wears...um...zippered up sleeping bags that are red on one side and black on the other, with arms, legs and head all inside. An interesting concept, but really hard to clean, visually and perhaps physically throughout the season. PROP: 4 GIANT classic ink pen tops laid on their side. My dad said they looked a bit like giant silver sun fish. Actually used pretty well...get it? THE ACADEMY: Love the uniforms, both classy and a bit cheeky, Half the guard are bunnies, half are hunters. Hence the show name *By a Hare*. Super fun fan-friendly show with recognizable music throughout. Drums were very good. Really quick tempo. Brass had some highs and lows dealing with that, overall pretty balanced. Actually thought they played better in their company fronts all spread out then in the increasingly popular big ball-o-brass. Great show! PROP: Rabbit holes all over the field. Kind of "Whack-a-mole"-esque. BLUE KNIGHTS: Bright color-by-section uniforms, huge brass hits and a thunderous drum line (second best of the night imo). But the music, or what there was, reminded me of BD ten or so years ago. Blasts and blurts, no real melody or musical theme. Sounded very clean, just not particularly engaging. Also, corps didn't wear hats (more on that later). PROP: Two tall '" i " shaped mirrored towers. Also some large tiara-shaped metal structures that looked like burning man left-overs. PHANTOM: Awkward. Very doom and gloom during the first half of the show. Corps is black and white while the guard has skin-tight red onesies initially covered in long black gowns. Guard also covers their entire head with a red wrap, that at one point is being pulled by brass members in a very "dominating" way. And then, suddenly, the corps dawns the familiar white-plumed helmets and the show perks up, both in music and feel Needless to say we enjoyed the latter half of the show much better. The corps seemed to perform the second half better as well. Overall, not my favorite Phantom show by a long shot. PROP: Nothing big, white helmets scattered over the far right of the field. VANGUARD: Before they entered the stadium, they showed a video about their new uniform and how it incorporates their "Serpent" theme. At the end the member doing the voice over said "I hope the fans will enjoy the change" or something like that. Hate is a strong word, so maybe I'll go with really really strongly dislike. Let's get this straight, there is ZERO connection to the crimson and green of old. I don't care if you kept the shielded V-badge because "you thought it was and important tradition". The hats and feathers are gone...GONE, what was more traditional than that! But most of all, their show is freaking awesome, and they don't look a thing like the Vanguard! Brass..amazing, loudest of the night by far. Drums..terrific. Guard uses the rolling stages magnificently. I thought initially they would be distracting, but the are used really well. Championship quality show, uniforms...argh!!! PROP: Masterfully created large round stages that look like those dangerous yard trampolines. BLUE DEVILS: If it's not broke don't fix it. Lots of high brass, drums throw down during every break. The opening sequence is really cool with the all snare line and the corps entering from left to right vertically. As BD does now there's a dance break in the middle, this year set to Rihanna's "Diamond", though not too lengthy. Lots of stairs, used to give different heights to different sections through the show. Flight of the bumblebee is fast and needs lots of cleaning, but will be BD brass at it's finest. Over use of the low end synth. Corps "Morphs" into not wearing hats and removing jackets making everyone look like the guard. Guard was not as clean as I'm accustomed to seeing, but it's also only their second show. Jazzy music, lots of scatter drill will feed the trolls. Liked it, didn't love it. PROPS: 14 sets of stairs...all white of course. VANGUARD ALUMNI: Wow, just wow. I was brought into this activity during the Phantom of the Opera years, and have always loved and appreciated the rich musical history of drum corps. Their "show" is called Send in the Memories, and the huge guard does a lot of work as the drums and horns blow your face off with hit after hit. Beautiful, just beautiful. I would have had every corps that performed last night come back out just to listen to how beautiful brass and drums can sound on a field. Worth the price of admission all on their own. Two words...bottle dance. Well, that got a bit long. Oh, my thoughts on the hats. I don't like it and I'll tell you why. What it does is it creates an inconsistency with the uniform. From the neck down, everyone is wearing the same or very similar uniform, for better or worse. But without a hat or shako or helmet or whatever, now everyone looks different, even if playing the same horn. Visually it looks less professional and borders on looking messy and unfinished. What's funny is, on the long drive home, I joked to my wife and dad that, drum corps is no different than professional sports. Do as the winner does. Just like what happened with synths and vocals and more recently giant props, drum corps has become very copy-cat from a design perspective, in that if the championship winning corps is doing it, then we should too. So I joked that Bluecoats must have not worn hats last year, not remembering if they had or hadn't. Sure enough, wifey looked it up...no hats. So, in an activity that rolls with the changes, or sometimes lives to do so, I hope it doesn't forget it's own motto. If this is truly "Marching Music's Major League", then I would expect everyone involved to not forget about the professionalism and the history of the activity. I'm very thankful there is enough perspective to showcase last night what many of us fell in love with decades ago, and I hope to see more of it in the future.
  24. I am having trouble posting to this site today for some reason. I keep getting a 500 server error. Go to the following link and read my full review on my Facebook site. https://www.facebook.com/notes/jonathan-willis/drum-bugle-corps-massillon-oh/10154434340700806/
  25. Maybe some of you have interest in sharing reflections, thoughts, or reactions to viewing the DCI Finals performances on your recently acquired DVD or BluRays? I attended shows at the Tour Premier in Indy, San Antonio, and all three days during Finals week. After a viewing of the shows on video (both multi-cam and high cam), here are a few of my early thoughts. Obviously, this is FWIW: The top five shows are all really wonderful and different. Five different corps’ personalities. Except for The Academy, shows six and below blur together a bit. I am disappointed, a little sad, and then also somewhat guilty that I still can't find much memorable about Phantom's show. Oh, right, some good featured horn players. Hey, thanks to Fuse, I know that girl in the BD guard and that guy in the Cadets guard! Bluecoats were stunning and Blue Devils were their usual quality executioners. For me, Crown had the winning show. I didn’t think that about Crown late on Finals night in LOS. But also: those featured horns in Bluecoats! Liked the Blue Knights music much more than I remember from seeing them live. Liked The Academy music, but didn’t hear it as well played on video as I thought it was live. I even remember in Indy thinking the group ought to have scored higher on music than it did. Now not so much. (Though, I’ve nothing special in terms of audio playback.) I think many shows use props unproductively, and so ineffectively. The Cadets, Crossmen, Blue Stars. Just wasted time and effort with many of those props. I don’t buy the need to simply stage stuff - those mannequins and lamps. I am not anti-props. Crown, Bluecoats, The Academy, Cavies used props genuinely effectively; the props were integral to the show. (To the show, not just the theme.) I got kind of irrationally annoyed that the horn statue for the Cadets stayed on that wedding cake all show instead of getting down and doing some drill. I wondered whether the judges weren’t compelled to ask, WT* do we do now? at Bluecoats and parts of Cavies show. If they did, I liked their answers. Missed the Scouts.