PhilSCV

DCI membership votes overwhelmingly to allow ALL brass instruments in

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On a more serious note, I don't quite understand this drive that DCI seems to have towards wanting to be more like marching bands. As far as I knew, the marching bands of the world were the ones that were busy copying us, not the other way around. At least that's what it was always like in my marching band.

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On a more serious note, I don't quite understand this drive that DCI seems to have towards wanting to be more like marching bands. As far as I knew, the marching bands of the world were the ones that were busy copying us, not the other way around. At least that's what it was always like in my marching band.

this has been discussed alot ........for years ..bottom line there is no them and us anymore...hasnt been for a very very long time......many of the same staffs, judging etc ec

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Jeff,

I marched from 1990-95. I went to all three nights of DCI championships in 97, 99, 01, 02. I've witnessed finals 10 times, which is probably more than most of the people who post on this board.

I donated to my corps about ten years ago so a guy could march for free. I own various corps cds and the legacy dvd series and 00-06 and 08. I have not purchased merchandise since.

Sure, I've been to a few local corps shows in the PacNW since I aged out but only to see specific corps that I knew would be worth my $ and I've taken drum corps noobies to see some of the theater shows.

I wouldn't have paid money to see BD's 'Yowza', or Cadets narrated shows, or some other 'garbage' (and I use that term focused entirely on the design teams putting a product on the field that, for me, is not drum corps, NOT the kids performing).

I don't believe that Internet petitions hold weight. DCI will just look at show attendance numbers and theater numbers and think 'aha, we must be doing something right, let's make it more band-like!' After all, every single ludicrous change lately has been to bring in 'more fans' or 'make it more entertaining'.

I wasn't a big fan of marching band when I was a student after I did corps. The DC activity is unique because it is NOT band. DC is bad ###, like Sameul L Jackson. Woodwinds are not. No one has ever had their face blown off by them. Or by people talking/singing. I think people forget that.

Yeah, if I read that 'x corps' has trombones, french horns, sousaphones, on the field in any fashion, I think I'm done forever. I'm 40 years old now and I just can't support an activity that has changed so much and become band. DCI won't lose just my $, but any potential guests I would have brought... they won't come to a show if I don't go. I doubt they'll even know one is playing, if our area gets one, let alone the movie theater show.

Thanks for letting me rant.

You're welcome to rant here, of course, but I'm wondering what, exactly, DCI will lose from you? Unless I'm misreading your post, you haven't contributed minute-one or dime-one to the activity in more than a decade.

No particular offense intended, but I'm not seeing what your protest of this decision will cost DCI. You and the host of other participants who didn't support the activity after you aged out.

Further, as a distant, relatively infrequent viewer of the activity, I wonder how this decision affects you in any way, too.

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Words from SCV arranger JD Shaw-

Ok, guys, I guess I better stop with all the shenanigans and give you my take on the latest DCI rule change. If you're my friend on here, you know my sense of humor is a bit warped but I'm also extremely passionate about this activity.

My friends in the classical music world always ask why I am involved in something like marching band and DCI. I simply tell them that from a teaching standpoint it's one of the purest teaching environments: you get highly dedicated students putting in hundreds of hours to achieve a common team-oriented goal. There's not much paperwork, angry parents, or daily distractions to get in the way. The students are focused and obsessive in their strive for excellence. Also, these students get to play for not just hundreds and thousands of people but TENS of thousands of people.

In terms of the rule change, I really don't care one way or the other if they include trombones, French horns or sousaphones. Personally, I don't plan on fielding any of these sections anytime soon. But I also don't see any need in limiting these instruments either. I love brass, ALL brass. If an arranger is playing jazz and wants to include a trombone sound, why not? If an arranger wants to play Richard Wagner and include a French horn sound, why not? The natural evolution of these instruments on the field have already determined their usage. Trombones are hard to deal with from a visual standpoint and French horns are a monster to negotiate from both an accuracy and projection standpoint. The marching world, whether it is BOA or DCI have already figured this out. Using them in a targeted, featured fashion could be really cool. I do prefer the sound of a bell-front tuba to a sousaphone. But I am certainly thankful that we have the sousaphone to help in the development of young tuba players that could be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the shoulder mounted tuba.

I don't think anyone goes out to design a show to anger an audience. I spend a lot of time during the season at contests studying the audience and adjusting my scores to achieve the maximum amount of effect and engagement. If I were to put a trombone solo on the field and the audience hated it, I would change it. However, if I were able to make the audience love that moment, then we've created something new and exciting. The market (audience) will drive the success and failure of this rule change.

Some people say this makes us too much like BOA. To that I say, the difference lies in the general maturity of the performers, the number of rehearsal hours AND the level of excellence able to be achieved. The other obvious difference is the inclusion of woodwinds. For me personally, I like the all brass nature of our activity. I love BOTH DCI and BOA but prefer DCI to stay all brass. I, myself, would not wanna see woodwinds in DCI. I don't want to listen to woodwinds in English Brass Bands or a trumpet in a woodwind quintet. These are personal preferences. But, I'm NOT going to tell other arrangers that they cannot explore other options of artistry that they see fit. I will let the consumers (audience) decide if it works or not.

I am humbled to be involved in an activity that is so important to people that they get passionate about their beliefs. I wouldn't change that for anything. The traditions of the activity are extremely important to me. But I do believe the traditions are not merely based in the instrumentation, rather in the level of excellence, commitment, innovation and the life-changing performances that students experience. Whether you are a self-proclaimed dinosaur or a risk-taking modernist provocateur, you are welcomed with open arms into this debate. The thing we have in common is our love for this activity and no one's opinion is invalid. We can trust that not everyone will agree %100 of the time but that no one is seeking to destroy an activity which has given ALL of us so much. DCI is made up of people not electronics, not G bugles, not sousaphones, not flags in harnesses, not body movements, but people. Let's not just run away and dismiss ourselves in the debate. We need to work together and trust that the right decisions will be made and that, if they prove unsuccessful, we will make the necessary corrections.

Please realize this is just my $.02. I can't wait to see all the shows this summer. I know they are gonna be fabulous regardless of the instrumentation. I sincerely hope to see everyone there cheering on these kids that REALLY are the ones who make the magic happen!

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Most likely, had such a study been undertaken and even a preponderance of the evidence taken from the study had supported their position, they would have cited the study.

As someone else pointed out earlier in the thread, most (if not all) of the previous changes like this one have only cited as the reason, "It's about the kids." "It will grow the activity" What would lead anyone to believe anything is different this time around? Did they not allude to just that in the podcast?

Others suggest that despite the "it's about the kids" argument, the preponderance of evidence from the other changes appear to indicate that it's actually about the designers and arrangers.

And when the results of the exhaustive study come back contrary to what was anticipated, the answer from DCI's leaders before they summarily reject the results is "You asked the wrong people".

Just ask Vaticinate about Project Persona.

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You're welcome to rant here, of course, but I'm wondering what, exactly, DCI will lose from you? Unless I'm misreading your post, you haven't contributed minute-one or dime-one to the activity in more than a decade.

No particular offense intended, but I'm not seeing what your protest of this decision will cost DCI. You and the host of other participants who didn't support the activity after you aged out.

Further, as a distant, relatively infrequent viewer of the activity, I wonder how this decision affects you in any way, too.

Yeah, you misread my post. I've been in touch with the activity all the way to finals night last season. I brought new fans to a live show and to the theater show.

People say hit them where it'll hurt most - take their $$$ away - and it looks like that's all I can do at this point.

Dude, when you've worked your ### off for six years and spent THOUSANDS of dollars doing it, and some of the same people who were around then are making these decisions now to change the activity that pretty much created you as an adult.... it affects you.

Edited by JohnZ
offensive comment removed

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All - we appreciated the lively discussion this development was going to generate, and the passion on both sides. The moderators have been 'hands off' up to this point but it is time we start reining it in before it gets ugly.

Please discuss respectfully, and debate the topic and viewpoint, not the poster. this goes for all discussion threads.

we'll begin with editing any questionable posts and please help keep the conversation going by reporting any questionable comments for review by using the report button.

thanks.

z

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And when the results of the exhaustive study come back contrary to what was anticipated, the answer from DCI's leaders before they summarily reject the results is "You asked the wrong people".

Just ask Vaticinate about Project Persona.

Indeed.

It's not just the DCI leadership that has this response when the reports return with undesired results.

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Oddly enough, I was thinking about this a lot today. What about Johnny One Show? Does he keep up with the changes like the rabid fans here do? Most likely not. How will he, his family, and his friends react to these unexpected changes? Will it make him want to come back next year?

For me I keep flashing back to the local Sr show we ran for years. I worked as an usher in the same section and got to recognize and talk to some of the same people each year. Local people so our local show was the only show they saw. And they only knew the show was coming up because it was in the newspaper.

Also 1984 my corps had a turnover in management and restarted from scratch. Got a corps together for Prelims just to prove we were still alive but no chance to make Finals. Sure as Hades between Prelims/Finals we see a family at a resturant who was going to Finals but did not go to Prelims. The 10 year old boy sees my shirt and says "I can't wait to see you guys tonight".... Hoo boy.... had to leave him down gently and tell him no he won't either.

Doubt if the Internet would have made a difference for those folks.

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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You make some good points but lets put this in the context of the last few years. We know that the attendance has been increasing for all of DCI's major events. Now, isn't that a sign that people are starting to turn back and enjoy drum corps more?

What? First, you will have to direct me to where you are getting this data. I know finals attendance was up in 2013, but where do you get the idea that all major events are up - or that their attendance has gone up for a few years running?

While we wait for that data, say we pretend that attendance has risen in 2013, maybe even 2012 and/or 2011. What does that indicate? These were years with no instrumentation rule changes going on. So maybe that is a sign that people enjoy drum corps more when it is not changing instrumentation rules.

I mean if we want to continue to have corps we need to have designers that are excited enough to want to put together a production. We need kids that are willing to spend thousands of dollars and months of time practicing, and we need fans to enjoy it. The people who enjoy old school corps aren't the same people that are designing the shows. If the designers don't enjoy designing shows they will stop doing it. If fans don't enjoy the shows they will stop watching. I mean, if we're thinking about this in terms of supply and demand. You can't ignore the needs of the suppliers. Drum corps isn't just about the fans buying the product. It's also about the designers/directors putting the product together and the kids performing it and they do have different needs than some of the fan base. It's a give and take.

Aer you seriously suggesting that DCI would run out of designers if they did not make rule changes?

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