KeithHall

What Year or Corps Changed Drum Corps?

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Was it Garfield Cadets, Blue Devils, Santa Clara, Star of Indiana, Phantom Regiment, Bridgemen, Carolina Crown, Madison Scouts, Anaheim Kingsmen or another corps?

 

Was it 1972? 1976?Or 1960's? 1982?

 

There's no right or wrong answer. Just give us your reasons why?

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Funny thing - I haven't been here in ages, but was recently listening to 1967 Boston Crusaders, which I believe was the first time a double bass drum was ever used. I think that started the big changes in the drum lines that followed. M&M changed with the emergence of the West Coast Corps like SCV and Anaheim Kingsmen late 60's, the sounds and tone of the bugles/horns in general seemed to be more "in tune" around 68/69, but the advent of DCI in 72 started the big changes in the activity with all the corps. I confess to not paying further attention after 72 due to a military career commitment, so I'm far from an expert on this!

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"Drum Corps Watershed":

1970.  The Mid West tour by the Santa Clara Vanguard.  Almost "Out of Nowhere", they managed to defeat all three reigning National Champions : VFW,  Racine Kilties, American Legion the Chicago Cavaliers and World Open/CYO Casper Troopers, as well as several other nationally prominant units such as the Chicago Vanguard, Garfield Cadets, Blue Stars, and Madison Scouts.

After this, things would never be the same.

Elphaba      

Edited by elphaba01
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I'm with Elphaba. SCV was a monumental game-changer. And, a few scant years later, in 1976, so were the Bridgemen and the Blue Devils.

There have been some notable seismic shifts since, like whatever George Zingale touched, and a big one last year, 2016, when the Bluecoats took tech special effects into hyperspace.

One thing for sure: the activity isn't through re-inventing itself, and not everyone will be thrilled about it. (OK. That's two things.)

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All of the above!!! And I'll add these....

1969 Yankee Rebels and their "Requiem for an Era" color presentation production.  First use of a "split corps" and multiple tempos within one production.  Changed what was possible, from a music and visual standpoint. A template for SCV's "Young Person's Guide" several years later.

1969 Boston Crusaders and Long Island Sunrisers... bringing mallet instruments to the field. (One could also point to Preston Scout House and their use of glockenspiels, years before 1969.)

The advent of the "pit"... the front ensemble. Marching percussion has never been the same since.  (It's better now, IMO. Feel free to disagree. LOL)

 

Edited by Fran Haring
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I think, for better or worse, the formation of DCI, showed that this activity should evolve. Obviously there were clear goals to start and over the course of time the activity changed and changed. If corps were still doing the same thing today as we did in the 1970's, I don't think there would be a drum corps activity. There are good things and not so good things about change in anything in life BUT staying the same year after year would just be mundane and turn people off. DCI reached out to band directors, band directors used the corps model for their marching bands. More educators are (probably) more involved in drum corps than ever before. We have Soundsport, WGI guard and percussion, etc. The activity is still trying to go to the next level. Kudos to Royer, Jones, Seawright, Hopkins, Fiedler, Gibbs, the list goes on and on........

 

It's not the same thing that we did in the 60's or 70's but #### it's fun to watch and listen to and THE KIDS are so darn talented!!!!

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  • I'm going to say 1970.  Not only due to changes in rules and instruments. But, the attitude of the nation.  There was the Vietnam War and kids didn't want to march with the local corps.   Many of the children of fellow corps members including myself never wanted to participate.  I guess it wasn't cool anymore.  Corps was more then marching and music.  It was being part of a team.  With the loss of the smaller feeder corps, the larger corps also died off on Long Island.  We know have the larger regional corps, with a more band sound and professional choreography.

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1984 when the tick system went away.  With ticks, the casual fan could tell whether a corps was having a good night or not.  But from 84 on it was left in the hands of judges who supposedly knew more than the fans, and over time evolved into what we have today where there is little, if any drama as to who will win, who will & won't make finals, etc.  There are exceptions, like 2008, but for most part the final placements are pretty much set by the end of the first regional

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1993 Star of Indiana - They changed the game in design. Demonstrated that you can bring abstract and minimalism to the field successfully. Other corps soon follow and temporarily, in my opinion, made drum corps less entertaining in the mid to late 90's. Definitely a pandora box opener. In the end, it was for the better. Some may argue it wasn't. 

2016 Bluecoats - I know it's premature, but time will tell what effect this show will have on the activity. Especially because it brought them a title. Will traditional uniforms go away or become optional? Will designers change the front ensemble set up? Also, I would argue, in terms of electronics, they have push the envelope and been creative with its use the last 3 seasons.

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Amen Jeff! I think we'll see what happens this year and then we can say whether or not B-coats where a game changer!

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