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burdettsky

DCA Championship Idea-old discussion rehashed

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I'm not reinventing the wheel here folks, just throwing out some things I've seen elsewhere.  With the loss of Minnesota Brass for the upcoming season, and with Kilties, Alliance and Exelsior not performing, to name a few, DCA, while still more stable as far as number of corps compared to say 20 years, will see less folks on the field this year.

There were 13 open class corps last year, of which Minnesota Brass and Kidsgrove won't be returning.  If any of the other 11 were to say, drop to A Class, or god forbid not make the competition field, Finals in Open would be set at 10 corps.

The complaints of many organizations are valid.  Indoor programs have become bigger and go later which hampers recruiting and attendance for DCA corps.  The struggle of attendance for Labor Day weekend is a tough one as college and high school organizations are becoming less cooperative with allowing their members to miss, which forces kids to make tough decisions.

So, the discusson I am trying to start has a few moving parts I've read elsewhere, but will try to lump together.  

Putting together a quality early season product is becoming harder and harder, so here are some talking points to consider for DCA.  The two main ideas are:

1.  Shorten the DCA show itself.  Instead of a 10 minute minimum-12 minute maximum, lower to an 8 minute minimum, 10 minute maximum.  The opportunity to polish things sooner would be a positive here.

2.  Shorten the DCA season.  Move Championships to the third weekend of August, or the week after DCI.  This would allow students with school conflicts the week before and of Labor Day to have that flexibility.

Discuss.

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Throwing out for history and discussion sake. When DCA started hardly any schools started before Labor Day. Now hardly any start after it. Only college conflict I had (1977) was band camp week before DCA. Thank goodness I was only a few hours away.

And don’t forget DCI has moved their Finals week up over the years. Can anyone fill in the details here?

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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4 hours ago, burdettsky said:

Putting together a quality early season product is becoming harder and harder, so here are some talking points to consider for DCA.  The two main ideas are:

1.  Shorten the DCA show itself.  Instead of a 10 minute minimum-12 minute maximum, lower to an 8 minute minimum, 10 minute maximum.  The opportunity to polish things sooner would be a positive here.

2.  Shorten the DCA season.  Move Championships to the third weekend of August, or the week after DCI.  This would allow students with school conflicts the week before and of Labor Day to have that flexibility.

Discuss.

IMO and this is just my 2 cents - idea #1 makes some sense. If anything lowering the minimum and maximum time for Class A corps could be of value. 

Idea #2  Finding the common ground - change the dates or not? If there is an agreement on changing Championships to another date, then why not consider merging DCA Championships with DCI Championships during the same week?

Prelims on Wednesday beginning early afternoon and Finals on Friday beginning sometime in the morning? All indoors. I know there would  be logistical concerns, but the possibility of a larger captured audience might be realized with more exposure. Negotiate a percentage of ticket revenue in the performance agreement be paid to DCA particpating corps based on travel distance. This would off-set travel expenses and might encourage DCA to consider giving it a trail run - then evaluate the results to their previous Championship revenues. Is there some risk to be mitigated - sure. Doing the same thing, the same way and expecting different results, doesn't seem to be healthy for the all-age activity as it sits right now.

I'm not convinced piggy backing DCI Championships in one location and DCA Championships in another two seperate weekends apart would work. 

Edited by Jim Schehr

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2 hours ago, JimF-LowBari said:

Throwing out for history and discussion sake. When DCA started hardly any schools started before Labor Day. Now hardly any start after it. Only college conflict I had (1977) was band camp week before DCA. Thank goodness I was only a few hours away.

And don’t forget DCI has moved their Finals week up over the years. Can anyone fill in the details here?

it was moved up because many college move ins were the week after DCI finals....which is a weekend proposed in the original post. Please don't take me saying this that i'm opposed to moving off of Labor Day, I'm not if it makes sense. Just stating that DCi moved for a reason that runs into one of the ideas here.

 

shortening shows IMO isn't a fix that will help. Corps being prepared sooner is the key and not trying to be DCI lite visually on a weekend schedule.

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38 minutes ago, Jim Schehr said:

IMO and this is just my 2 cents - idea #1 makes some sense. If anything lowering the minimum and maximum time for Class A corps could be of value. 

Idea #2  Finding the common ground - change the dates or not? If there is an agreement on changing Championships to another date, then why not consider merging DCA Championships with DCI Championships during the same week?

Prelims on Wednesday beginning early afternoon and Finals on Friday beginning sometime in the morning? All indoors. I know there would  be logistical concerns, but the possibility of a larger captured audience might be realized with more exposure. Negotiate a percentage of ticket revenue in the performance agreement be paid to DCA particpating corps based on travel distance. This would off-set travel expenses and might encourage DCA to consider giving it a trail run - then evaluate the results to their previous Championship revenues. Is there some risk to be mitigated - sure. Doing the same thing, the same way and expecting different results, doesn't seem to be healthy for the all-age activity as it sits right now.

I'm not convinced piggy backing DCI Championships in one loactaion and DCA Championships in another two seperate weekends apart would work. 

IF this was to ever happen (this has been discussed several times over the last several years), DCA corps and DCI Open Class should at least be the same.
A plus would be to combine schedules and have a lot more shows. DCA shows could be combined with some Open Class touring shows.  If the DCA corps want to tour, they can with the Open Class Tour. This year there are some Open Class shows with only 4 corps competing. DCA could keep their championships but offer more performance possibilities to their members.
Just a thought.

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8 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

shortening shows IMO isn't a fix that will help. Corps being prepared sooner is the key and not trying to be DCI lite visually on a weekend schedule.

I'm guessing that, right there, would to be a factor if the DCA title show is moved into early or mid-August.

As things stand now, the all-age corps seem to design and prepare their shows based on the fact that they have those last couple of weekends in August to make a "championship push." 

Without those extra couple of weekends... I would venture a guess that all-age show designs, and perhaps even rehearsal schedules leading up to the start of the season,  would need to change to accommodate a shortened season.

 

Edited by Fran Haring
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2 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

shortening shows IMO isn't a fix that will help. Corps being prepared sooner is the key and not trying to be DCI lite visually on a weekend schedule.

I’m thinking more along the lines of stamina of these smaller corps within Class A. Most are not full (65) and many have less than 16 - 18 brass. I’ve seen them run out of gas during  a 10-12 minute performance. They’re not future corps. 

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I have no beef with the shorter program. But... as Jeff intimated, will it mean designers try and pack 20 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound sack?

 

There may have to be some re-thoughts on what DCA looks for in design. That being said, some manage to get things done, others do not. Go to three classes... one having less visual challenge? Don't know.

 

Shortening the A class minimum time, I think would be good.They seem to operate on a more restricted rehearsal schedule than do the big Opens.

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34 minutes ago, Jim Schehr said:

They’re not future corps. 

And Future Corps moved very, very little....

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1 hour ago, BigW said:

Shortening the A class minimum time, I think would be good.They seem to operate on a more restricted rehearsal schedule than do the big Opens.

That's an interesting thought. In DCI, the minimum time for Open Class is shorter than the minimum time for World Class.

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