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Grenadier

We were no performing art majors!

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Money dried up as early as the late '60's for many groups. It became more and more expensive to run a corps and to be blunt, groups like Churches, the Patros in Quebec began to feel that they could take that money or what money they had and spend what they had more effectively. Add to that the flight out of US urban areas in that period that put a dagger in the hearts of a lot of the CYO parishes that ran corps.

One of the fire companies in the town I grew up in in central PA had a Drum and Bugle corps some time in the '50's for at least some time but gave it up. The various fire companies in town can barely afford to provide the services they need to provide to the community. The community's lucky to still have a competitive HS Marching Band, and its main purposes are... guess what? To keep those kids off the street, give them some self-esteem, and keep them away from the all too many heroin dealers that fester in that little town and have given it a pretty bad reputation in the region- besides educating the kids in musicianship. Sound familiar?

 

So, a lot of the survival of this activity comes down to, yeah.... Those guys. yeah, I'm still hot under the collar because I AM one of Those guys- Who have have happened to have taken a heckuva lot of guff and been looked down on from certain cliques within education because I also happen to come from a corps background. Frankly, I tire of the attacks and sniping on Educators such as myself who have worked hard for many years (43 years in my case when I started marching in Junior High School and 38 years since I joined a Corps) to keep this activity vibrant and alive and have given a lot of themselves in the form of performing, teaching, and adjudicating.

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17 hours ago, Grenadier said:

We just had a 4th of July parade in my hometown and there were no high school bands.  Schools out.  The summer was prime drum corpset season.  So what are the kids who like to play and march doing if they didn't get accepted by a corps.  In the 60'same the 4th of July parade had a dozen or more corps and field depth entry bands.  No more.  I think there is a need to bring back the local corps programs.

 

Grenadier

the problem is kids see the big corps and want to do what they're doing. Just marching in parades doesnt have the appeal to kids it used to

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15 hours ago, Grenadier said:

I would like to think that groups like the local volunteer  fire departmentstation or vfw would fund the groups.  The question is if it was funded would the kids join.?

local fire departments are having enough issues funding themselves to fight fires, let alone run a drum corps. It's the same thing CYO's, Legions, VFW's, PAL's and the rest ran into. There's barely enough money for their core functions and charters, let alone to run little leagues, soccer leagues or a drum corps. Life is far more expensive than it was 50 years ago. It may suck, but it's the truth. Equipment costs more, insurance is a lot more, fuel, feeding the kids....A buck used to go a lot further than it does now

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10 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

local fire departments are having enough issues funding themselves to fight fires, let alone run a drum corps. It's the same thing CYO's, Legions, VFW's, PAL's and the rest ran into. There's barely enough money for their core functions and charters, let alone to run little leagues, soccer leagues or a drum corps. Life is far more expensive than it was 50 years ago. It may suck, but it's the truth. Equipment costs more, insurance is a lot more, fuel, feeding the kids....A buck used to go a lot further than it does now

Jeff,  you are correct to some extent.  I was in corps in the sixties and later a volunteer fireman.  We got no benefits.  We did it for the community.  There were no problems attracting volunteers or members for the corps.  Then something changed.  I am talking about Long Island New York.  Today they have a hard time attracting volunteers, volunteers get pensions and benefits.  They have the best equipment, million dollar trucks.  Almost every officer gets a vehicle.  They could certainly support a corps or band.  Maybe I  am tainted by where I live.

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2 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

the problem is kids see the big corps and want to do what they're doing. Just marching in parades doesnt have the appeal to kids it used to

I dont remember it appealing to most of us back in the day either. Iol..It was just part of the game. Different world now.

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1 hour ago, GUARDLING said:

I dont remember it appealing to most of us back in the day either. Iol..It was just part of the game. Different world now.

I hear ya... for me, the only "appeal" of those long fireman's parades was the free hot dogs and birch beer at the end!!!  :tongue:

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4 hours ago, Grenadier said:

Jeff,  you are correct to some extent.  I was in corps in the sixties and later a volunteer fireman.  We got no benefits.  We did it for the community.  There were no problems attracting volunteers or members for the corps.  Then something changed.  I am talking about Long Island New York.  Today they have a hard time attracting volunteers, volunteers get pensions and benefits.  They have the best equipment, million dollar trucks.  Almost every officer gets a vehicle.  They could certainly support a corps or band.  Maybe I  am tainted by where I live.

you think they could. But no, they really can't.

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2 hours ago, GUARDLING said:

I dont remember it appealing to most of us back in the day either. Iol..It was just part of the game. Different world now.

and in many areas today, parades don't pay. 

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Many parades didn't back in the day. Jeff, I know you heard the story of how Larry told the New Cumberland parade committee he could pass the hat to the membership and collect 10 times the money they offered us for an appearance to not go. I remember digging crazily for a fiver as he spoke just in case.

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The kids that march corps today want to march, just like we did! Times have changed and the activity, over 40 or 50 years, has been changing and changing. What you see today is the culmination of all the changes since the inception of DCI. From Timpani's to 2 valves and mallet keyboards to 3 valve horns to asymetrical drills to guard uniforms different than the brass and percussion to...and it goes on and on. What we did back in the day was great for us just like what the kids do today is great for them. What we older corps people need to do is Remember the past and celebrate the future!

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