JimF-LowBari

Future Health of Alumni Type Corps?

Recommended Posts

Over the years our biggest challenge to recruiting was that on surface, many thought you had to be an alum to participate, and we got tired of having to constantly explain it away,..............we estimated that for each person that approached us,..............3 to 4 stayed away for that reason alone. So we eliminated the problem.

Now that you mention it....... I wouldn't have bothered to ask about joining Hanover Alumni except I knew when the competing corps disbanded and could do basic math. Saw them at Gettysburg exhibition show and the age range of members was announced. It hit me that if the younger "Alumni" members were in the competing corps... well it must have been a (literal) diaper brigade... so wait a minute.... Lucky on the way out I saw a member with a 3v Bari so that was my excuse to start a conversation.... conversation ended with "if you ever decide to check us out, we'll have a horn for ya".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some corps it wouldn't make much sense dropping alumni from there name . What would the Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni call themselves? The other corps from Hawthorne? :tounge2:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understood,......and have felt it first hand,............Thunderbirds were virtually inactive for a couple years until a major local event caused us to try a "one and done" for the whole year in 2013,...........it was tremendously successful, but we also kept our commitment to old and new participants of one and done,..............late that year a group of younger participants asked about starting on mission to a compeditive corps again,.............many members were supportive of the idea, many not.

In hindsight, we have realized that the corps was bigger than the current board, staff and even many members, it was not about us, it was about the Thunderbirds, and even those that came before us that are now gone..............day to day control and egos needed to be put aside, and let this new idea for an old, established organization happen.

Guess what?,..............it is happening, and it is all good!

The Erie Thunderbirds are alive, well and growing!

Jim, if you recall a conversation we had outside the hotel in Rochester several championships back, Thunderbirds wisely stopped refering to ourselves as an alumni corps long ago so that we could appeal to a younger age group,..... it has worked, well beyond what we even imagined..................

I remember dropping the "Alumni" tag and thought it was a great idea. Come to think of it Hanover and Erie both stopped competing about the same time so figure the youngest age (in 2015) of people who competed back then. Wish Hanover would scrub out all "Alumni" references to themselves but see the website still uses it in places and unless the corps got a new parade banner....... *sigh*

What helped Hanover get younger members IMO was the change made about 10 years back. Members were asked for ideas to help keep the corps going and biggest suggestion was to go off the parade only type music and expand the rep. Members were actually getting bored with same type of stuff and wanted a bit of a challenge. LOL know some BITD people would not consider some of the charts "real drum corps" but it worked so tough ####. Have only been around two Alumni type corps but get the vibes that Hanover considers itself a local music group and not reliving the past. And just got the vibes that the younger members wanted something different and having a wider range of music helps keep them in.

Well, I'm hopefully heading down to Hanover in 2 weeks. So I'll take my youth there and am looking forward to playing, meeting and talking with everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me know when you are sure Mike and I'll check my schedule so we can meet.... Road Trip!!!!!

And LucyGuy... how about Cabs some Alumni and some others who did other corps some where else :tounge2: (think you have to have corps experience to be in the corps...

Edited by JimF-LowBari
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me know when you are sure Mike and I'll check my schedule so we can meet.... Road Trip!!!!!

And LucyGuy... how about Cabs some Alumni and some others who did other corps some where else :tounge2: (think you have to have corps experience to be in the corps...

:thumbs-up::thumbs-up:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Notice: Have not been a member of a corps for a while so out of the loop......

Watched the Alumni Spectacular this part Sunday and some nice sized corps were out there. Saw a few younger faces but lot of 60+ if my less than huge flat screen was really showing HD correctly. So with the average age of some of the groups what can guess about where that part of the activity will be in 10 years?

And more importantly, any ideas on how to improve that picture......

It's the week after DCA, time to brainstorm....

I've discussed this with many friends over the last few years. Where I feel the real challenge is for corps that haven't been competitive for a long time...how to draw in new members that never even got to see the corps compete!

As we've seen, some corps try to change away from their identity, which can turn off older members and fans. With few existing corps doing alumni projects as more than one-offs, I'm not sure where the growth will come from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've discussed this with many friends over the last few years. Where I feel the real challenge is for corps that haven't been competitive for a long time...how to draw in new members that never even got to see the corps compete!

As we've seen, some corps try to change away from their identity, which can turn off older members and fans. With few existing corps doing alumni projects as more than one-offs, I'm not sure where the growth will come from.

Think what has really helped Hanover is they never really had an identity. One of the oldest corps when they went inactive but still a local corps that barely made DCA once or twice. Half tongue in cheek I call it the town band that happens to be a drum corps. No disrespect intended as they seem to promote the opportunity to play music and not the "do olde tyme drum corps" thing and it works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me know when you are sure Mike and I'll check my schedule so we can meet.... Road Trip!!!!!

And LucyGuy... how about Cabs some Alumni and some others who did other corps some where else :tounge2: (think you have to have corps experience to be in the corps...

Jim, last I knew to be in Cabs Alumni you has to have three seasons in good standing in some Drum and Bugle corps in the past to get on board. That and be able to cover your expenses, do the rehearsals, etc. It's not easy. I personally figure with their demanding as heck schedule- I may as well look into an active corps somewhere. :satisfied:

As for Westshoremen Alumni- we've really made an effort to bring on a lot of young folks, which has been very positive for myself, others, and I certainly hope for those young people. They're great! That being said, could Westshore ever reconstitute themselves? Many issues keep it from being feasible, though the all-age Indoor Color Guard has done a lot of very, very positive things competitively. :satisfied:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim, last I knew to be in Cabs Alumni you has to have three seasons in good standing in some Drum and Bugle corps in the past to get on board. That and be able to cover your expenses, do the rehearsals, etc. It's not easy. I personally figure with their demanding as heck schedule- I may as well look into an active corps somewhere. :satisfied:

As for Westshoremen Alumni- we've really made an effort to bring on a lot of young folks, which has been very positive for myself, others, and I certainly hope for those young people. They're great! That being said, could Westshore ever reconstitute themselves? Many issues keep it from being feasible, though the all-age Indoor Color Guard has done a lot of very, very positive things competitively. :satisfied:

That was my understanding on Cabs Alum also from years back.

As for WSM Alumni, not knocks against them but it's funny to me that the main tunes that are rotated are from a small era in the corps existence. Yes the most successful era but still a small era considering the length of the corps existence. Of course BIG consideration is that the corps have the charts so don't have to go thru the expense of having new ones written. But it works... so more power to it....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was my understanding on Cabs Alum also from years back.

As for WSM Alumni, not knocks against them but it's funny to me that the main tunes that are rotated are from a small era in the corps existence. Yes the most successful era but still a small era considering the length of the corps existence. Of course BIG consideration is that the corps have the charts so don't have to go thru the expense of having new ones written. But it works... so more power to it....

the key is A) what the corps has and B) what the membership wants to play. no matter how many times the impossible dream was rolled out, no one liked it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.