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When I was in drum corps back in the "good ole days", the 1960's, there were dozens of corps in a 10 mile radius.  There were the Blue Point Blue Jays, Holbrook Skylarks, Medford Golden Grenadiers, Selden Cadets, Smithtown Freelancers and Plebes, West Sayville Golden Eagles, Port Jeff Portsman and Bohemia Czechmates to some.  Now there are none.  What happened to the interest in drum corp.  This is not a rant about the corps of today versus the golden age of drum corps. But, it is a question of why interest died and we lost a great activity for the youth to be involved in. Is it that drum corps is just not cool?  Is it the fact that it has just got to complicated?  Did the evolution into a three valve bugle make it harder to teach kids to play the bugle.  I remember instructing the junior members who never played how to play a bugle.  Is it the fact the American Legion, VFW, Churches and Fire Departments stop sponsoring?  The instrument companies should be interested in promoting local corps. More corps more sales.  It is a shame we lost a big part of drum corps, the local corps.  Ever go to a parade lately.  There used to be dozens of bands and corps.  Now it's just fire trucks.   Or is a fact that we just lost the feeling of "community"?  But it would be nice if we could bring back the small local corps.

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16 hours ago, Grenadier said:

When I was in drum corps back in the "good ole days", the 1960's, there were dozens of corps in a 10 mile radius.  There were the Blue Point Blue Jays, Holbrook Skylarks, Medford Golden Grenadiers, Selden Cadets, Smithtown Freelancers and Plebes, West Sayville Golden Eagles, Port Jeff Portsman and Bohemia Czechmates to some.  Now there are none.  What happened to the interest in drum corp.  This is not a rant about the corps of today versus the golden age of drum corps. But, it is a question of why interest died and we lost a great activity for the youth to be involved in. Is it that drum corps is just not cool?  Is it the fact that it has just got to complicated?  Did the evolution into a three valve bugle make it harder to teach kids to play the bugle.  I remember instructing the junior members who never played how to play a bugle.  Is it the fact the American Legion, VFW, Churches and Fire Departments stop sponsoring?  The instrument companies should be interested in promoting local corps. More corps more sales.  It is a shame we lost a big part of drum corps, the local corps.  Ever go to a parade lately.  There used to be dozens of bands and corps.  Now it's just fire trucks.   Or is a fact that we just lost the feeling of "community"?  But it would be nice if we could bring back the small local corps.

Have you checked out the marching band activity in this country lately? I believe the high school bands have replaced the "community " corps you remember. Most are funded mostly by parent booster clubs and in some cases you have 2 to 3 quality bands in towns and cities that never even heard of drumcorps back in the day. Add in the indoor activity with the high schools across the country and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say today's high school marching band activity , outdoors and indoors is 20 times the size of the drumcorps activity in its heyday. IMO of course.

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HBD,   

On Long Island, New York schools have marching bands, and yes there is a once a year competition.  But, the ones I know of march only during the school year and only in the town they are located in .  It just seems that small corps have disappeared.  I'm not sure if it is lack of interest by the organizations or the youth of today.  Corps was a big part of my youth growing up.  It was a positive influence on a lot of young people growing up.

Thanks for your input.

 

Grenadier

 

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11 hours ago, Grenadier said:

HBD,   

On Long Island, New York schools have marching bands, and yes there is a once a year competition.  But, the ones I know of march only during the school year and only in the town they are located in .  It just seems that small corps have disappeared.  I'm not sure if it is lack of interest by the organizations or the youth of today.  Corps was a big part of my youth growing up.  It was a positive influence on a lot of young people growing up.

Thanks for your input.

 

Grenadier

 

You certainly are not aware of the high school band activity on a whole throughout the country. There are dozens of shows on Long Island each fall from various band circuits, I'm guessing you only know of the one show that is sponsored by the Newspaper, I've seen that on the local channels on cable a few times. Do some quick research, check out BOA, US BANDS, TOB and countless others across the country, if it weren't for these band programs and circuits you wouldn't have what's left of the drumcorps during the summer.

The marching band activity and indoor guard and percussion activity IS the grassroots drumcorps activity of years past.

Jay

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With all due respect to the OP, I'm with Jay on this... he is correct.

Marching band to kids today is what the "local corps experience" was to us back in the day.  Heck, there are several high school bands today, in particular the ones in the Bands of America circuit, that would give many top drum corps a run for their money.

Local drum corps and marching bands are/were a good thing. I grew up in that "local corps" era, as did Jay... but it's just a fact of life that times have changed.

 

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6 hours ago, Fran Haring said:

With all due respect to the OP, I'm with Jay on this... he is correct.

Marching band to kids today is what the "local corps experience" was to us back in the day.  Heck, there are several high school bands today, in particular the ones in the Bands of America circuit, that would give many top drum corps a run for their money.

Local drum corps and marching bands are/were a good thing. I grew up in that "local corps" era, as did Jay... but it's just a fact of life that times have changed.

 

I agree Fran.  The high school band I marched with was taught by people who marched in DCA corps.  Our drum instructor came from the Buccaneers.  He was teaching us stuff that was written for Reading's drumline.  Our big thing in band was to have a drum corps style show.  This was back in the late 1970's.  We went to the BoA finals in Whitewater, WI and saw a lot of bands at that time would give some of the DCI corps a run for the money.  A bunch of us drummers wanted to see some of the lines warm up and found a few DCI jackets, most notably Blue Devils and Kilties.

 

  As to the original question that was posed, I believe that the cost factor is the main reason you do not see the local corps on the field anymore.  Between that and all the distractions that are out there.  That is just on the Junior side.  On the senior circuit which is what I grew up watching since the tender age of 4 weeks old, there is the same issue of corps that are no longer around that were here back in the day.  But again, it is because of time and money that corps went inactive and are no longer around.

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As Jay suggested, I did check out the bands sites and noted that in many parts of the country, like New Jersey the band circuit seems alive and well. But, there seems to be no activity on Long Island, New York.  In the past Long Island was more rural and perhaps more community oriented, maybe that is why it died.  In the summer, local fire departments would have a parade and fair or carnival.  There were at least one or two parades a week.  In those parades local corps would march.  Either for the sponsoring fire department or paid by another department or group.  Out of these corps evolved local M&M circuits.  I joined my corps when I was twelve.  Yes there were and are school bands, but nothing like the drum and bugle corps back then.  I'm glad to see in other parts of the country, music is still alive.  But, as you all know corps is more then music. I have a 9 year old grandson who is aspiring drummer who I would like to see experience it too. 

Grenadier

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Hanging out at home with the stomach flu, I've had some time to do a little research.  Bored as hell.  But, further on this topic, I check out corpsreps  page and it listed over 1400 junior corps and 700 senior corps.  And checking into a sampling of them a lot of these corps existed in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  A lot of them were local corps.  Some large some small.  Drum and Bugle Corps were a live and well.  Does any on have any stats on the number of today's corps?  Locally, on Long Island, NY there used to be dozens.  Now there is only the Sunrisers.  Heck the NY Skyliners even moved to Pennsylvania.  And don't give the line about high school bands.  They don't keep the kids off the street in the summer.

Grenadier

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Bridgeport CT as the hot bed of drum corps back in the 60's, just like Newark and central New Jersey areas And of course the Greater Boston area. If you wanted good competitive drum corps show every weekend, you had to be here.

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The east coast is dead.  That's the bottom line.  Because of DCI Soundsport you see smaller corps all over the map like UT,ID, NM and other area's except the east coast. Even with Soundsport the east coast has hardly any.  No junior corps growth.  I believe the last new eastern corps was the 7th Regiments in 2003.  Soundsports is the answer just take baby step.

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