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oldtimefan

stop the corps folding

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Name me a singe youth activity where the participant spends $3000+ for a summer but has no absolutely no control over any aspect of their experience?

I agree with the spirit of what you are saying, but the clear answer is that NCAA sports qualify, since they have the transfer policies that Brasso is recommending. And the students pay an order of magnitude more to attend (granted, many are on scholarships). And, most significantly, the rules affect not only what team they play on, but what college they go to. That's a pretty draconian set of rules.

I think one difference however, is that the ball players have no choice but to submit to the NCAA's rules, because they all want to be pro ball players and that's the path that leads there.

You think that playing an NCAA sport qualifies to the requirements I listed (which I added to your message) ? Not to mention the whole argument that many NCAA athletes actually *do* go to their school of choice on a scholarship and so don't pay anything at all to participate. In fact they're being compensated with free tuition to the school. Many who actually PAY their tuition successfully graduate with a degree (in which case the fees they paid were for their education and NOT to participate in a college sport.)

Sorry -- try again :-)

You should know -- this thread has re-occurred at least twice in the past several years. Never -- not once -- has anyone successfully argued Brasso's point (principally because drum corps is just not even vaguely analogous to a sport. I know on the surface it seems like it is -- but lift the covers and you rapidly see that it's not).

Edited by corpsband

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You think that playing an NCAA sport qualifies to the requirements I listed (which I added to your message) ? Not to mention the whole argument that many NCAA athletes actually *do* go to their school of choice on a scholarship and so don't pay anything at all to participate. In fact they're being compensated with free tuition to the school. Many who actually PAY their tuition successfully graduate with a degree (in which case the fees they paid were for their education and NOT to participate in a college sport.)

Sorry -- try again :-)

You should know -- this thread has re-occurred at least twice in the past several years. Never -- not once -- has anyone successfully argued Brasso's point (principally because drum corps is just not even vaguely analogous to a sport. I know on the surface it seems like it is -- but lift the covers and you rapidly see that it's not).

Name me a singe youth activity where the participant spends $3000+ for a summer but has no absolutely no control over any aspect of their experience?

As to tuition: Are there some NCAA athletes who are not on scholarship? Are they still there (at least in part) for the team? They meet your general requirement.

In fact, I bet there are lots of athletes who wouldn't even go to college if it weren't for the hope of playing ball for a living. If they are paying to be there, they meet your requirement. That's my point. Not all NCAA players by any means, but some.

And of course they do get to start wherever they can get accepted, just like in Brasso's version of DCI (presumably).

Sorry for tilting at this windmill, since we agree on the larger point. I was just trying to anticipate what Brasso might have said, a dangerous game to be sure.

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As to tuition: Are there some NCAA athletes who are not on scholarship? Are they still there (at least in part) for the team? They meet your general requirement.

In fact, I bet there are lots of athletes who wouldn't even go to college if it weren't for the hope of playing ball for a living. If they are paying to be there, they meet your requirement. That's my point. Not all NCAA players by any means, but some.

And of course they do get to start wherever they can get accepted, just like in Brasso's version of DCI (presumably).

Sorry for tilting at this windmill, since we agree on the larger point. I was just trying to anticipate what Brasso might have said, a dangerous game to be sure.

Those kids are *paying* for their education and participating (probably for free) in the sport. Not exactly parallel.

And when you get done tilting, we'll examine the actual affect a transfer-fee policy would have on DCI. It's certainly not what Brasso intends. Because -- while Brasso's intentions may be good -- the effect of a transfer policy would be just to exacerbate the actual problem (kid's who audition at their corps of choice -- are cut -- and don't march somewhere else).

Anyway I'm all for parity in drum corps. But I want to see the quality at the bottom raised up, not the quality at the top penalized down.

Honestly I think Brasso makes a little too much of the talent issue anyway.

Look at Madison -- clearly getting more talented kids (and moving up in the rankings) simply by writing effective shows designed to the kids they had each year. Clearly quality instruction going on. And (I'll wager) getting better talent auditioning every year as they improve. If Madison can do that why can't every corps?

Look at Crown. Div 2 to Div 1 champs. No transfer policy required.

I stand by my earlier statement:

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 ####.

Here's a thought:

Maybe some of the "stagnation" in the standings is because some corps keeps doing to same old s### with same old people (and b####### about how the whole game is rigged ), w00t.gif

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Crown made that move over several years. They also made this move under a much different DCI arrangement than today's corps have. While it is a good example, we're not exactly comparing apples to apples.

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[/size]

You think that playing an NCAA sport qualifies to the requirements I listed (which I added to your message) ? Not to mention the whole argument that many NCAA athletes actually *do* go to their school of choice on a scholarship and so don't pay anything at all to participate. In fact they're being compensated with free tuition to the school. Many who actually PAY their tuition successfully graduate with a degree (in which case the fees they paid were for their education and NOT to participate in a college sport.)

Sorry -- try again :-)

You should know -- this thread has re-occurred at least twice in the past several years. Never -- not once -- has anyone successfully argued Brasso's point (principally because drum corps is just not even vaguely analogous to a sport. I know on the surface it seems like it is -- but lift the covers and you rapidly see that it's not).

Sorry to rain on your parade, but hockey and soccer set me back a good 5 grand a season. Scholastic programs were free, but to be competitive to MAKE the scholastic team required a season long commitment of play at beaucoup bucks in other leagues outside of the scholastic season. Don't like it? Don't play. To participate at a competetive level,one had to accept those terms unconditionally. Talk about no control whatsoever. Teams were set up by geography and left no room whatsoever to try "free agency." I think this scenario fits your challenge. I suspect, with today's fiscal climate, we're going to see this is more and more of the norm.

Edited by 13strokeroll

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Has it come down to this? People out there are sooooo concerned about a corps finance? You guys sound like the grumpy old guys from The Muppets Show!

Let me see.....

Endless complaints about George Hopkins and G7

Still complaining about electronics

Still complain on where shows are going....to hard for most people to understand. Bring back the OTL, Color Pre, concert and exit, right? Sousa marches for everybody!

It's DCI's fault, corps are dying!

G to Bb...Blasphemy!

Hey I love 60's and 70's music and am not a fan of most music today. I do listen to it and I do understand it. So all you older former members don't be so negative about todays drum corps. It's still young people busting there butt to perform for us and compete just like we all did.

Here's how I see it....I am 53, been in corps since 1970, I played on a Getzen valve/rotor soprano. I have seen the evolution of drum corps, yes it's still drum and bugle corps to me! I have watched how shows/corps have improved since the early 70's. The quality of the musicians is unbelievable! I am jealous that corps are so good, even smaller corps! Face it, we from the 70's couldn't hold a candle to what is out there today! I don't care what corps you marched wih back then...These kids are amazing today! Some corps got smart and made sure they had business minded directors in charge of their corps. Just so happened that many of these directors were creative and wanted the activity to go forward. I get it!

I applaud the direction the corps are going! I hate that many corps have folded/died but that was on poor business moves. These corps didn't have to take on a huge tour. Teal Sound could have not toured 2 years ago or did minimal shows that were close by. Glassmen didn't have to do extensive touring to save money and build their financial structure. Corps directors need to make better decisions....tour all summer and go broke? How about keep the corps together, do a smaller tour?

I too blame DCI for the touring model but as I said, if the director is business savvy, they should make decisions that will lead to success for their corps.

Okay I ranted long enough.

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I too blame DCI for the touring model but as I said, if the director is business savvy, they should make decisions that will lead to success for their corps.

So there aren't any changes that could be made, at a higher level, that might improve conditions? All that can, and should, be done is entirely at the level of director for each individual corps? Is that essentially what you're saying?

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...

Anyway I'm all for parity in drum corps. But I want to see the quality at the bottom raised up, not the quality at the top penalized down.

Honestly I think Brasso makes a little too much of the talent issue anyway.

Look at Madison -- clearly getting more talented kids (and moving up in the rankings) simply by writing effective shows designed to the kids they had each year. Clearly quality instruction going on. And (I'll wager) getting better talent auditioning every year as they improve. If Madison can do that why can't every corps?

Look at Crown. Div 2 to Div 1 champs. No transfer policy required.

I stand by my earlier statement:

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 ####.

This. There still seems to be a big gap in design sophistication between the top shows and the bottom (Granted, there are duds at the top too, and clever things done at the bottom).

There also appear to be differences in instructional quality. On another thread a poster described the difference between his unique experience of attending two camps; Spirit's and Star's a week apart (in 92 or 93). He said the difference at Star was incredible; in terms of the presumption of excellence of the marching members, not so much what they were teaching. The sheer pressure to perform was much greater, along with a huge confidence in him displayed by the staff. Sort of, "You have no choice, you're going to be excellent." (All my words, of course).

This is the kind of thing a clinic wouldn't be able to teach well to other staff. It's tacit. DCI would have to ask top corps to do long-ish recordings of their actual training sessions, then sell those according to whatever price the corps wants to put on it.

Here's a thought:

Maybe some of the "stagnation" in the standings is because some corps keeps doing to same old s### with same old people (and b####### about how the whole game is rigged ), w00t.gif

Yes, although on the other hand I do think the show designs have improved a lot at the bottom over the years, but so have the designs at the top. Yet even the top corps put out duds on a fairly regular basis. And while you're right that the show quality curve is steep, that's not really surprising in an activity such as this.

Ultimately I agree with Brasso's description of the reason for the huge disparity in performance levels - talent flow - but his cure (vague though it is) and spending caps, etc. all would seem to be far worse than the disease.

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Has it come down to this? People out there are sooooo concerned about a corps finance? You guys sound like the grumpy old guys from The Muppets Show!

Nothing new about that...

I applaud the direction the corps are going! I hate that many corps have folded/died but that was on poor business moves. These corps didn't have to take on a huge tour. Teal Sound could have not toured 2 years ago or did minimal shows that were close by. Glassmen didn't have to do extensive touring to save money and build their financial structure. Corps directors need to make better decisions....tour all summer and go broke? How about keep the corps together, do a smaller tour?

I too blame DCI for the touring model but as I said, if the director is business savvy, they should make decisions that will lead to success for their corps.

Okay I ranted long enough.

There's a theory of this that's been on other threads but not this one yet. According to this theory It's very hard to do a regional tour, not because the shows aren't available, but because it's not perceived as valuable enough by the customer (the marching members and their parents) to justify a $3,000 tour fee. And you lose the additional performance fees. But you still have to pay all the instructional fees, and feed and house the corps (granted, you can have them show up later or leave earlier).

Look at it this way; how much would a Florida kid pay to tour all the way to Kentucky? A few hundred, maybe. But a "national tour" (I think the term itself is important too) going at least to Texas and up to New York and South Dakota? And the parents open the checkbook.

So, there would be no problem if those fees were enough money; but it's not. Each corps needs an additional fat pipe of cash from some magical drum corps fairy (Bingo, great fundraising drives, Bill Cook, whatever.) It's when that cash dries up that the corps will fold sooner (responsibly) or later (in the red, invoking the fury of the DCP valkyries.)

The only way to go small is to go very small; the local parade corps that practices one or two nights a week. Those are great, but clearly a different animal.

There is no middle ground, because the customer isn't interested in the middle ground (not because DCI doesn't create one).

I don't know how good this model is, but it's plausible.

Edited by Pete Freedman

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I realize fuel prices are a lot higher than they used to be, but what are the other reasons that tour fees/dues/membership/etc for corps have gone up way faster than inflation? Were people really paying close to $2000 (What cost $3000 in 2012 would cost $1916.95 in 1993) in 1993? I don't recall it costing that much to march with anyone back then, but maybe it was. That is the equivalent of $3000 in 2012, based on CPI inflation data.

Edited by Tekneek

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