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oldtimefan

stop the corps folding

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no not really...Ive been at shows where even in WC the beginning of the show is empty until the big guys go on....No matter where these oc shows are theres literally noone in the stands...you can put oc on right inbetween all the others at 1/2 the price and I guarantee it emptys for OC...people then will say well I wanted to go eat , socialize, etc etc......on the other hand put WC on mid week in po-dunk america and people will drive hours to see that show....im not saying thats right BUT its the way it is for sure

Hate to disagree with you here, but I have traveled extensively with a number of corps; both WC and OC. Been to shows with WC/OC and shows with just OC performing. Here is the deal: if these shows are reasonably priced, in an area which has more of a sense of community attributes than metropolitan, the stands are pretty well packed at all of these shows; even the shows where OC performs first then WC under the lights. I cannot remember the date or place, but I do remember an OC only show occurring near a town which had an arts and crafts festival going on at the same time; and many people from the festival attended, enjoyed, and greatly applauded, the OC corps. So, it is really just about venue choices and ticket pricing which promote to just a WC interested audience than it is being about no public support for the OC corps.

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Hate to disagree with you here, but I have traveled extensively with a number of corps; both WC and OC. Been to shows with WC/OC and shows with just OC performing. Here is the deal: if these shows are reasonably priced, in an area which has more of a sense of community attributes than metropolitan, the stands are pretty well packed at all of these shows; even the shows where OC performs first then WC under the lights. I cannot remember the date or place, but I do remember an OC only show occurring near a town which had an arts and crafts festival going on at the same time; and many people from the festival attended, enjoyed, and greatly applauded, the OC corps. So, it is really just about venue choices and ticket pricing which promote to just a WC interested audience than it is being about no public support for the OC corps.

theres a few OC past members that post here that would say different for sure and have. Its a very well known fact about attendence at OC shows and the lower part of WC I saw it all summer as well as other years.

asfar as promoting just WC..well drum corps people are well aware of all classes yet still empty stands....even OC championship.... maybe a few thousand people? considering all the kids, families, drum corps people who know they need support....where is everyone

guess its nothing new though even BITD the stands would fill more as the night went on but i do remember people in and out from smaller corps wanting to watch the big guys ( so to speak) thats a different culture now also..many times corps cant see each other....very different..that part is kind of sad

Edited by GUARDLING

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theres a few OC past members that post here that would say different for sure and have. Its a very well known fact about attendence at OC shows and the lower part of WC I saw it all summer as well as other years.

asfar as promoting just WC..well drum corps people are well aware of all classes yet still empty stands....even OC championship.... maybe a few thousand people? considering all the kids, families, drum corps people who know they need support....where is everyone

Apparently you missed my point; I will state it a different way:

a) DCI tends to schedule shows in or near metroplex cities; these places have a multitude of activities in which the inhabitants have a very wide variety of entertainment choices on any given night; and the DCI tickets are typically priced higher than a common family can justify paying; thus the only people who attend these DCI shows are the ones interested in the WC corps. These are the shows where the stands are rather empty for the OC corps and full for the WC corps.

b) When DCI shows are done in smaller to medium-sized communities away from major metroplexes, where there is limited entertainment choices on any given evening, and the tickets are priced in a family friendly manner, many people not only purchase tickets to these shows but are in the stands for both the OC and WC corps. Unfortunately, DCI is scheduling fewer and fewer shows in these types of communities.

c) Part of this is mere illusion. 800 people in the audience at a smaller to mid level city show to watch both OC corps and WC corps in a venue that holds 900 is an energetic, rocking, packed house; whereas 800 people in the audience at a larger metro type city to watch the OC corps (same number as the other show) and then 4,500 to watch the WC corps in a venue that holds 5,000 is a complete bummer let-down for the OC performers. Again, the people in small to mid sized communities tend to support the OC corps, but in major metro areas they tend to only support the WC corps.

Edited by Stu

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The problem that needs fixing is NOT that top corps are stealing kids. The problem is that kids audition for those corps and don't march elsewhere. The transfer fees do nothing to address the problem. There are PLENTY of kids auditioning -- they just want to march in their chosen corps and not elsewhere. Fix THAT and you're actually making a worthwhile change.

That's also a good point. How many of them hand out audition details, contact numbers, etc, for people they are cutting. I'm guessing they simply do not care.

As so many have pointed out, many of the performers in the top corps have marched elsewhere (at a lower tier corps). So those corps had (and have) first crack at retaining those kids. If a kid leaves a corps to perform next season at another (higher ranked) corps, who do you blame? The higher ranked corps didn't pay or recruit him. Why blame them? The fault (if there's fault to be assigned at all) lies with the lower tier corps who failed to engender the performer's desire to remain.

I would say, from experience, that it isn't entirely true that they do not recruit them. I am personally aware of some famous names in the drum corps world talking up players from some corps to come out for them in the fall. Some even talking to members who are still in uniform at Championships.

Why do those kids want to leave for the upper corps? Largely because those corps write better shows and teach their kids to perform them more effectively. So the magic bullet is: design shows your kids *want* to perform AND that are within their grasp to perform. And then teach those kids *all* the skills they need to perform it. If a performer thinks he's on a team that is ACTIVELY moving up, there's a good chance they're going to want to stay. Being part of a team that's moving UP is exciting as ####.

Which really isn't a magic bullet at all, is it? These are things that most instructors and designers know. So the difference is (IMHO) ....following through.

People want to stay if they prize loyalty above glory seeking. Of the people I've known that wanted to climb the ladder, some were looking for a better experience, some were looking for better instruction, but most were glory seeking for a championship. Let's not pretend it's more than that.

Edited by Tekneek

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No. Lower corps have the participant first. For an ENTIRE SEASON. The kids wears the uniform, sings the corps songs, rides the buses, eats, sleeps and breathes that corps. I can't imagine a BETTER situation for the lower tier corps to KEEP that kid. And yet that kid chooses to leave ...

Why Brasso?

In my experience, most of them were intending to leave from the beginning. They knew they weren't yet good enough to walk into the top corps and hoped they could get one season under their belt and leave. Here's the question... How many of these would the lower tier corps accept as members if they knew the member had no intention of staying? They might take some, but they might choose not to take others, and instead take a kid who never would want to leave (even if they might not be as a good a performer yet). They send some kids home, that never come back, in favor of kids who have no intention of staying. Maybe these kids should be honest and upfront about their intentions, so the corps can make informed choices as well.

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Maybe if David Gibbs, etc. just had to give a speech thanking the lower corps (plural) for the excellent training their members received in the lower ranks, it would at least remind them on a yearly basis that they wouldn't be there without the lower corps. Then maybe their appearance fess wouldn't be at risk, and there wouldn't be shows that exclude them. Ah, pipe dream.

Ultimately, anything that reminds them they are standing on the shoulders of others would be an improvement.

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Parity in drum corps? Anyone think that the usual top 10 corps will allow that? Certainly not Cadets, BD, Crown, SCV, Bluecoats, etc. The top corps must make money to travel and they do pretty well with that it seems. The lower end is tougher as smaller corps re "forced" to travel to major shows.

I think going back to a regional system might work BUT with only a few drum corps left in the US it wouldn't make for a large show. Cutting back might be a good idea. Corps that have the finances by March, that can afford a long summer tour should be allowed to do what they have been doing. A corps that does not have their finances in place should be on a smaller tour. Stay regional until 2 weeks before Championships. I would rather see that and maintain the corps that we have then watch them start to disappear...which is what is happening.

DCI has the ability to save the activity UNLESS the plan has always been to continue to do what they do and have only an elite drum corps organization of 20 corps that travel with the very best student musicians.

My question is....Has DCI addressed the issues of all the corps that have died since 1978? If yes then, what was the answer?

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Open Class corps performing their finals on Tuesday in a city rather far away from the major DCI city where most drum corps fans are going, then having them perform in Indy early on Thursday morning, and we wonder why the stands for the OC are empty; duh! doh.gif However, if we had the World Class corps perform just two, not three, but two shows Finals week: Semi-Finals on Thursday, the top twelve WC then rehearse on Friday, and WC finals still happen on Saturday. Then have all Open Class corps perform just one Finals show on Friday night in Indy, keep the OC tickets very reasonable for a family to attend the OC Finals, the stands for OC will be way more full than they are now. (Good luck, though, on getting Hop and Gibbs to draft a proposal advocating for that!)

Why do you think they wouldn't go for that?

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Thats because some Drum Corps circuits had sensible and reasonable transfers policies in place between member Corps in the Drum Corps circuit. Just like all similar amateur youth groups routinely do now... and have for over 50 years. It worked in Drum Corps too, as intended. Few parents complained. Few MM's felt restrained, nor constrained. Some were able to get around the transfer rules for sure, but it led to stability, to better competition, to better relations between Corps ( at least on this matter ). So we really don't have to guess here if reasonable and sensible ( and neccessary ) transfer rules between member Corps can work in Drum Corps to help add stability to an activity that is rife with instability right now and calling out for more stability across the board. We do know it can work. It has worked. We have examples of its working successfully in Drum Corps where and when it has been implemented. Its just a matter of the will to change, thats all.

BITD kids moved around all the time, esp from smaller corps, such as corps in the GSC here in NJ, to the big corps like Garfield, Blessed Sac, the Muchachos, Bayone, etc....your idea to restrain members from marching where they wish will be very bad for the lower corps in recruiting members. Why would a person who wants to march BD march lower-corps-X if he/she will not be able to eventually march with BD because they chose to march elsewhere first?

The issue is that not enough BD/Cadet/etc interested potential members choose to march elsewhere when their first choice doesn't pan out. The goal should be to attract those kids to the lower corps, not penalize them if they make that choice.

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