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Madison Scouts 2018

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On 8/24/2017 at 4:36 PM, mjoakes said:

Loads of fun. Thanks.

It could be fun. Could have some decent music general effect scores. But I'm not so sure the peice would bring high musical content scores. I could be wrong.

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7 hours ago, MotoSurfBass said:

If you mean changes over several years that brought in a metric ### ton of money for Boston, then yes that process took several years. Competitively, it took one year and a lot of spending, period. They don't draw nearly the amount of talent they did this year without Gino, Colin, and Michael. 

Money is the part everyone seems to focus on. The other things that changed were more challenging. 

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12 hours ago, Ediker said:

Money is the part everyone seems to focus on. The other things that changed were more challenging. 

To the common fan on the outside looking in, money is absolutely the area of focus. Are you able to elaborate on the other parts? On the surface, it appears that Boston was struggling competitively until they brought in the new crew this year. If those guys coming in wasn't the biggest advancement Boston made this year, I simply want to know more.

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On 8/26/2017 at 0:09 PM, MotoSurfBass said:

To the common fan on the outside looking in, money is absolutely the area of focus. Are you able to elaborate on the other parts? On the surface, it appears that Boston was struggling competitively until they brought in the new crew this year. If those guys coming in wasn't the biggest advancement Boston made this year, I simply want to know more.

Yes, there is a lot more.  I'll attempt to be brief.  Everyone noticed the staff migration to Boston, and the corps' improvement.  While the staff is being paid appropriately (as any recruiter will tell you) it takes more than merely money to get/keep an A-list staff.  There needs to be organizational stability, a good work culture, and the chance to grow.  Before the success of 2017 could happen, Boston needed to create the right environment by getting clear about their mission, making some leadership changes, and increasing what was beneficial in their culture.  

The G7/TOC movement shook up DCI.  It was conceivable that DCI might dissolve if the G7 broke away.  In response to that risk, the leadership at Boston examined who the organization was, and what it was about. The leadership believed that musical and artistic education, with a focus on the pursuit of excellence, provided unique and important benefits to young people.  BITD, the corps was smaller and had a higher percentage of kids from the local region... as Colin McNutt explained in his recent interview, it was his chance to pursue his musical ambitions.  To return to providing such benefits to the local region, Boston formed a larger organization, Inspire Ars & Music (IAM) that would consist of far more than the drum corps. Programs such as the Hyde Park Youth Percussion Ensemble (HYPE) and the Great East Music Festivals (GEMF) benefit over 20,000 young people ranging from kids who've never even touched a musical instrument previously, to kids who are intermediate/advanced and looking to improve. In short, IAM expands the reach of the organization and raises visibility to the kinds of benefits many of us experienced in drum corps. This has translated into revenue streams, volunteers, and fundraising opportunities.  

After years of changes and adjustments, the leadership at BAC has settled into a successful combination of people.  There is deep competence, deep love for the activity, a bedrock of trust toward the leadership from alumni/friends, and a solid commitment to giving the current MMs an awesome marching experience.  Many of these changes were in place before the 2016 season.  It was the reason the homers were so hyped.  Most everything was going well, behind the scenes.  Debt was being retired.  Great ideas (some learned at DCI board consortiums) were being implemented successfully.  The board was being expanded, which lessened director fatigue and opened new avenues to bring in expertise and raise money.  A management consulting firm (I believe donated by a board member) was brought in to evaluate how the organization functioned, and provided detailed feedback and advice (kind of like a judge's critique!).  Things were starting to click in a big way: board members served on internal committees and raised money, the executive board focused on the org's direction, designers designed, admin staff killed it, instructors taught, and volunteers were worth their weight in plutonium.  On the field, the corps was not as competitive as expected.  Because the organization was functioning so well, the leadership was able to quickly evaluate what was needed (design and staff changes), and take swift action.  It was clear to prospective staff and designers that the organization was headed in the right direction.  In addition to money, they saw stability, commitment, sustainability, freedom, and the chance to take on new challenges. More money and a better staff were "symptoms" of a deeper (good) condition at Boston.  

Talk to any of the current staff at BAC.  You will hear the same things.  They are happy and energized to be there.  They love working with the other staff members.  They want to stay on.  The summer was great.  The kids worked hard and had a blast.  They feel very much like family, instead of like an expense.  They are allowed to do what they do best, without interference.  It's the same kinds of things workers say in the business world... a great work experience is just as important as money.  This was not always the environment at Boston.  It took years of work, behind the scenes, to create a culture that would attract great staff and marching talent.  

More than ever previously, Boston's leadership is trusted and sound.  The management of finances is stable and improving.  IAM has a mission that can survive independent of DCI (or the G7).  People have clear responsibilities and are enabled to deliver results.  Getting those things happening was no easy task.  Once they did happen, the increase of money and staff improvements seemed incidental.  Top level staff and designers were not going to migrate to Boston for money alone.  They were also responding to much deeper things that the organization could provide.  

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On 8/21/2017 at 5:20 PM, FlamMan said:

I have a show idea...just play great music.

Quite interesting that the alums who moan about Madison's placements are also the same alums who make proposals regarding show design that would only harm their placement further. 

Ignoring a well thought out show design for the sake of "just play(ing) great music" would be a mistake. 

Not to go all armchair psychologist, but methinks you all are angry and bitter over modern DCI and are misdirecting your anger towards an organization that you all love (Madison Scouts). 

Edited by Cappybara
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3 hours ago, Ediker said:

Yes, there is a lot more.  I'll attempt to be brief.  Everyone noticed the staff migration to Boston, and the corps' improvement.  While the staff is being paid appropriately (as any recruiter will tell you) it takes more than merely money to get/keep an A-list staff.  There needs to be organizational stability, a good work culture, and the chance to grow.  Before the success of 2017 could happen, Boston needed to create the right environment by getting clear about their mission, making some leadership changes, and increasing what was beneficial in their culture.  

The G7/TOC movement shook up DCI.  It was conceivable that DCI might dissolve if the G7 broke away.  In response to that risk, the leadership at Boston examined who the organization was, and what it was about. The leadership believed that musical and artistic education, with a focus on the pursuit of excellence, provided unique and important benefits to young people.  BITD, the corps was smaller and had a higher percentage of kids from the local region... as Colin McNutt explained in his recent interview, it was his chance to pursue his musical ambitions.  To return to providing such benefits to the local region, Boston formed a larger organization, Inspire Ars & Music (IAM) that would consist of far more than the drum corps. Programs such as the Hyde Park Youth Percussion Ensemble (HYPE) and the Great East Music Festivals (GEMF) benefit over 20,000 young people ranging from kids who've never even touched a musical instrument previously, to kids who are intermediate/advanced and looking to improve. In short, IAM expands the reach of the organization and raises visibility to the kinds of benefits many of us experienced in drum corps. This has translated into revenue streams, volunteers, and fundraising opportunities.  

After years of changes and adjustments, the leadership at BAC has settled into a successful combination of people.  There is deep competence, deep love for the activity, a bedrock of trust toward the leadership from alumni/friends, and a solid commitment to giving the current MMs an awesome marching experience.  Many of these changes were in place before the 2016 season.  It was the reason the homers were so hyped.  Most everything was going well, behind the scenes.  Debt was being retired.  Great ideas (some learned at DCI board consortiums) were being implemented successfully.  The board was being expanded, which lessened director fatigue and opened new avenues to bring in expertise and raise money.  A management consulting firm (I believe donated by a board member) was brought in to evaluate how the organization functioned, and provided detailed feedback and advice (kind of like a judge's critique!).  Things were starting to click in a big way: board members served on internal committees and raised money, the executive board focused on the org's direction, designers designed, admin staff killed it, instructors taught, and volunteers were worth their weight in plutonium.  On the field, the corps was not as competitive as expected.  Because the organization was functioning so well, the leadership was able to quickly evaluate what was needed (design and staff changes), and take swift action.  It was clear to prospective staff and designers that the organization was headed in the right direction.  In addition to money, they saw stability, commitment, sustainability, freedom, and the chance to take on new challenges. More money and a better staff were "symptoms" of a deeper (good) condition at Boston.  

Talk to any of the current staff at BAC.  You will hear the same things.  They are happy and energized to be there.  They love working with the other staff members.  They want to stay on.  The summer was great.  The kids worked hard and had a blast.  They feel very much like family, instead of like an expense.  They are allowed to do what they do best, without interference.  It's the same kinds of things workers say in the business world... a great work experience is just as important as money.  This was not always the environment at Boston.  It took years of work, behind the scenes, to create a culture that would attract great staff and marching talent.  

More than ever previously, Boston's leadership is trusted and sound.  The management of finances is stable and improving.  IAM has a mission that can survive independent of DCI (or the G7).  People have clear responsibilities and are enabled to deliver results.  Getting those things happening was no easy task.  Once they did happen, the increase of money and staff improvements seemed incidental.  Top level staff and designers were not going to migrate to Boston for money alone.  They were also responding to much deeper things that the organization could provide.  

This is very well presented and summarized.

Around Finals there appeared an internal BAC video of what that corps' members did during their time in Boston city and hub communities before pushing out on the last weeks of tour. One of the synocopes showed the mms all seated in Most Precious Blood Church, the original founder of the corps. The mms were being addressed by someone of middle age who engaged them well enough that the kids were laughing, focused, and receptive. It showed to me an excellent transition from the corps at its roots to the corps of the present. It could only happen when the well developed strategies and personalities mentioned in the above post were in sync. Nicely rounded.

 

Edited by xandandl
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7 hours ago, Ediker said:

Yes, there is a lot more.  I'll attempt to be brief.  Everyone noticed the staff migration to Boston, and the corps' improvement.  While the staff is being paid appropriately (as any recruiter will tell you) it takes more than merely money to get/keep an A-list staff.  There needs to be organizational stability, a good work culture, and the chance to grow.  Before the success of 2017 could happen, Boston needed to create the right environment by getting clear about their mission, making some leadership changes, and increasing what was beneficial in their culture.

....

Thanks for that. It was long but interesting and gave me some insight into Boston.

Relevant to Madison, I think, is the need for the Scouts to keep working on creating a modern non-profit organization to support the corps itself. The moves this past year were positive ones, I thought. The name change, and the expanded reach into new activities. That follows what the Cavies have been doing. And certainly other corps - BD and SCV - have had much experience with an broader mission.

I'm optimistic that FMA sees the right path and is headed down it.

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13 minutes ago, mjoakes said:

The name change, and the expanded reach into new activities.

Did Madison change its name?

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19 minutes ago, Ediker said:

Did Madison change its name?

I probably confused things using FMA when it should have been FPA. Back in February, the organization name was changed to Forward Performing Arts. The former name was Madison Drum and Bugle Corps Association (I think). Scouts are the huge and premier program. But FPA allows for the organization to pursue a broader range of musical arts and educational activities.

http://www.madisonscoutslive.com/mainsite/2017/02/announcing-forward-performing-arts/

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35 minutes ago, Ediker said:

Did Madison change its name?

The Scouts are still the Madison Scouts but their BoD and corporation have changed their name and mission becoming another one of the Fine Arts umbrella organizations which include a DCI drum corps and other entities for youth in the fine arts. One of the motivations for the umbrella organizations was that it would network with more funding possibilities for the corps and organization and not be disparaged by the artsy-fartsy deep pockets who looked down at fife and drum corps and "marching bands", etc. as not being true arts organizations. It also networked corps' staff and faculty for better (and enlarged) salaries and perks. 

Today the question might be what DCI drum corps isn't part of one of these Fine Arts umbrellas such as BDPerforming Arts, YEA, Inspire, Aspire, Ascend, Santa Clara, Crown, Spirit, Pacific Crest, Oregon Crusaders etc., etc. For instance Crossmen today include the corps, a link with a wind symphony, a drum line, a color guard training, etc. Bloo has drum corps, Cavalier basketball team drum line, 2 guards in WGI, and local clinics and concerts for local kids. Of course Cadets even include a drumline for "The Ironpigs" minor league baseball. BD started all this over decades ago by housing both the Suzuki training for budding string players in elementary school as well as the marching band circuit for Northern California. Madison is the latest one to the table.

Here's how SCV describes it: Vanguard Music and Performing Arts

The second half of our campaign will be rooted in performing arts education. Our organization began as a neighborhood drum and bugle corps, and we now have the chance to rebuild our Santa Clara foundation once again. Offering music and dance education classes will be the next step in creating a strong bond with families and students in our area. 

Edited by xandandl
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