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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/01/2013 in all areas

  1. I think we need a few more threads on this topic
    7 points
  2. Show me on this soul doll, where did the music touch you?
    5 points
  3. Someone getting mad about corps being called "marching bands" brings to mind a 7 year old who gets mad because his toy is an "action figure," not a doll.
    5 points
  4. I had a blast traveling with some alumni from the Warren Jr. Military Band up to Erie, PA to watch the DCI show at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The show featured a good lineup and the weather was nice and cool. Our seats were toward the top, stage right, on the 35. 1. Vanguard Cadets (Santa Clara, CA) - a wonderful show featuring young talent. The show is titled The Art of War. They exhibit great control of their program and the designers have given them something they can master and entertain with in a competitive environment. Their Rep included: Unto the Breach (Key Poulan) Night on Bald Mountain (Mussorgsky) Elegy for Dunkirk (Marianelli) Hut of the Baby Yaga (from Pictures, Mussorgsky) Adagio for Strings (Barber) The Promise of Living (from Tender Land - Copland) The corps is large, the music ensemble brings a big sound, and I found their show enjoyable. Will challenge Blue Devils B for the Open title. 2. The Academy (Tempe, AZ) - A large and full-size corps. Clearly these kids can perform and I felt they, as performers, did a good job in the performance department; but I found the content in terms of brass book and show design is holding them back. Show is called Pianoman I've never been a huge fan of Cabaret shows, and this one didn't change my mind (so perhaps it's just me). To be fair, others in the stands did enjoy them, just not the group I was with. The narration at the beginning is fine. The show hasn't started and it does help to set the stage. As the show began I feel there was a gap between what the corps was marching, what we were hearing, and what the guard was doing. It didn't match up. I did enjoy Piano Man (how could you not), and there are some fun musical moments, but the show felt disjointed, convoluted, and they had some marching issues. One tuba went to kneel down during one of the sections in their show and then he fell over and was slow to recover. I do not see them beating Oregon Crusaders from here on out, but you never know. Rep Included: Willkommen (Cabaret) Alabama Song (Weill) Falling in Love Again (Hollander) Piano Concerto No. 2, Mvt 1 (Shostakovich) Piano Man (Joel) 3. Oregon Crusaders (Portland, OR) - I was looking forward to seeing Oregon. They are an up-and-comer and there was no doubt their talent was on display last night. They are big, strong, can bring power when they want to, but they also perform in a very refined manner. I felt their performance levels were better than Academy. The design of their show was only slightly better than Academy. The show title is My Heart, My Battle, My Soul. It seems to be a southern, New Orleans-style drama made for field. I had a hard time figuring out the theme from the opening 2 or 3 minutes of the show. The performance was good, but the message is unclear at first. There are 2 coffins in the back of the field (kinda creepy), and fence posts, but I'm not sure what they were trying to say. The middle portion of this show is where is sparkles. The percussion feature was exciting, fast, eye-catching, and well executed. This was all done to Donald Grantham's Southern Harmony (mvt III) which was very effective. The movement after that was also well done and seemed to grab the audience. The closer was a bit of a let down. One of the problems I felt was a construction issue. There are so many music choices that they tried to include that none of them (other than Southern Harmony for the percussion feature) received much attention to detail when it comes to phrasing, builds, development, simply allowing for the melodies to work their magic and draw the fans in. Rep Included: Going Home (Dvorak) Amy's Lament (Moore) Summertime (Gershwin) Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho Don't You See (Grantham) Southern Harmony (Grantham) Rolling in The Deep (Adele) House of the Rising Sun 4. Troopers (Casper, WY) - An excellent show from top to bottom. There is really not much to complain about with TROOP! The show is titled Magnificent 11. The music is melodious and grabs the audience and pulls them in. Magnificent 7 is wonderful and nicely performed. Battle Hymn is one of the highlights of the DCI season and brought tears to the eyes of many in the stands (and a big standing ovation). Troop definitely had some performance issues last night. A few falls, the feet still need cleaned in a big way, and one of the brass players accidentally dropped one of the American flags while trying to pass it off to a guard member. If they clean this show they could truly be in the hunt for that last spot in the top 12 for World Finals in Indianapolis. The drill is well done and not over-written. The music book allows the fans to grab onto the melodies without them disappearing and moving into other source material before the audience can make sense of things. They draw you in emotionally and technically. Rep Included: Fanfare for the 11th (R.W. Smith) Magnificent 7 (Bernstein, Elmer) John Dunbar Theme (from Dances with Wolves - John Barry) Tribal Spirits (Paul Rennick) Battle Hymn (arr. by R.W. Smith) 5. Blue Stars (La Crosse, WI) - The show is titled Voodoo: I Put a Spell on You. From a performance standpoint the Blue Stars are very talented and march and play the show well. Their drill is over-written (IMO) and it's still quite sloppy. Their percussion was fantastic!!! This was likely the difference between them at Troopers. That and the brass line is good along with their guard. But the music book (brass and percussion) is what holds them back. The musical rep was just unmemorable, not very exciting, and I just felt it lacked thematic development. Voodoo is an odd enough theme to pull off on the field, and on top of that if your music book is disjointed, lacking in GE, lacking in sustained builds that take the themes to a climax, then you're going to struggle. They may make DCI Finals in the 12th slot, but they have the talent to be competing for something much higher. On a year where the Cavaliers have been struggling with brass, Blue Stars could have made a move on them with the right show and design. Rep Includes: Voodoo (Mapes & Grom) I Put A Spell On You (Hawkins) At Last (Gordon & Warren) One Speed (Revell) 6. Spirit of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) - An absolutely wonderful show from top to bottom. The show is titled Speakeasy. Spirit is still quite rough and dirty in the areas of marching. They need to clean. If this show were to fully clean I think they could push corps like Cavaliers, Madison, and BK. They have excellent design, but they also have some clutter. There is one portion of the show, near the end, when they do a silent drill move then finish the show. That section causes the ending to lose steam. I'd get rid of it. That said, there's not much to complain about with this show. The brass is powerful, fun, with some big hits and screaming trumpet solos. The guard is wonderful, well staged, and I love the constant uniform changes. They seem to have the talent to make a run at top 7, but they just haven't cleaned and perhaps tweaked those few little GE moments to ensure higher numbers. Rep Included: Overture (from the musical Chicago - Kander) Concerto in F (Gershwin) Symphony No. 2 (Creston) Songs for Simon (Psathas) Crazy World (Mancini) Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie and Pinkard) All That Jazz (Kander) 7. Blue Knights (Denver, CO) - The show is titled NoBeginningNoEnd. The "camel-casing" is used to suggest no end, and the show seems to utilize a poem about things being ROUND. It seems that all things round are explored. There is a giant blue ball that is dragged all over the field representing both round and the color blue. Honestly, the narrated poem that was read at points of the show just threw me off, the blue ball on the field did nothing for me. The show music itself is not bad, and at times it's excellent. The Blue Knights definitely bring a "big-boy" class horn line and drum line to the field. They sounded wonderful, although I heard lots of timing issues and some balance problems. All that said, they definitely have the musicians to be performing this kind of music but to perhaps a better thematic show idea. With the talent they have they SHOULD be sitting right behind the Bluecoats and Phantom. The demand, the music book, and the drill are there. The show theme and the GE are sadly not. Rep Included: This Bitter Earth (Otis) Circle One (Bocook & Hardimon) First Circle (Metheny) 8. Santa Clara Vanguard (Santa Clara, CA -- that's Silicon Valley to you and me) - So YEAH...to say I was excited to see the Vanguard is an understatement. Did they live up to the billing? OH, you bet they did. IN A BIG WAY!!!! This show is just flat out GE through the roof, pure entertainment, performance excellence, class and old-school drum corps merged with sophistication and new-art design. The show is titled Les Misérables. This Broadway musical brings a plethora of melodies to chose from, and SCV did a superb job of using just enough well-known themes so they could truly build each to musical climaxes or to create the right effect at the right time. They have a mellophone section from Heaven above, their overall brass sound was refined and powerful when needed. The percussion section was amazing in every aspect, and the guard was lovely, classy, and spot on -- especially the high rifle tosses that were nearly perfect. On any other year had I seen something this good I would have walked out and said in my review "I think we have a dark horse." It's been a while since I've seen Cadets live, and I have yet to see Crown and BD live. Once I do I'll have a better idea; but my initial read is this: objects in the rear-view mirror appear closer than they are, and for good reason because the Santa Clara Vanguard, in my opinion, will begin to jump a few folks. My guess is that SCV takes down Cadets and BD on their way to Silver at World Finals in Indianapolis. I still think Carolina Crown wins the Gold, but I would not rule this show out. Very clearly the "dream staff" that SCV has acquired is paying off. The crowd was on their feet once they hit the company front at the end. Rep Included: Selections from Les Misérables (Schonberg & Boubil) Here is my big takeaway from last night: Sometimes when arrangers try to get overly creative and/or cute they tend to lose the fans. The music becomes a bunch of "chop, chop, chop...CHORD, snip, CHORD, snip, chop, fake chord, CHORD." I hear so much of this that I want to get up and leave sometimes. Very little musical development in some of the shows, often trying to cram too much music into 12 minutes instead of giving us phrases that move, build, climax, fall, and end with grace or power. Many of the corps seem intent on surprising the fans with quick hits or lots of material in a short period of time. Look, it's not fast food..."we give you more for less." I don't want you to super-size it and I don't want to go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant. I want quality. Less is better, with more quality put into thematic development. Phrases that take 1 theme and build for maximum effect while utilizing bridges and extensions for visual impact always work better. It's always sad to see talented performers given material that does not give them a chance to entertain and compete with better quality. Overall I still enjoyed the show and I love DCI and Drum Corps. The friends I traveled with all felt about the same way. They liked Troopers and SCV the best. All agreed that Spirit has a good show top to bottom, and we all were very impressed with SCV Cadets. As for the others, they all seemed to be missing something and not engaging the audience.
    4 points
  5. Surely you can't overlook the baritone soloist for the Blue Stars in "I put a spell on you." Great jazz sound. Incredibly consistent. Excellent player.
    4 points
  6. BD Phantom: giant angel statues that are pushed all around the field during the show; tries to explore the meanings of loneliness and love. CC Phantom: Plays the overture 8 different times throughout the show; last visual is the phantom mask with a giant crown on its head. Cavies Phantom: Tries to do a modern-day Phantom story, all guard members wear cybernetic-looking phantom masks. PR Phantom: Doesn't even play Webber's musical, instead plays music from the 1880s because that's when Gaston Leroux was alive. Troopers Phantom: relocates the story to America; closer is Music of the Night mixed with John Dunbar's theme. Spirit Phantom: instead does PotO's sequel, Love Never Dies because of their obsession with the early 1900's. Feel free to add more.
    4 points
  7. At the end of the run, JT asked them about doing another one, and if the lights were causing problems. It was decided that a second one was in order. After a good water break they got a pep talk about how another run through was an opportunity to build positive experience for next week. They were asked to dig deep to push through the fatigue and the lights to find more within themselves. The result was remarkably a better performance than the first. The range of emotions that we are carried through has all the elements of a great fairy tale. I have felt this show draw me in, but now it just grabs you and pulls you in at a so much higher level. I happened to sit in front of a family with a little girl, mom, and grandma. The little girl would not stop talking about the evil queen. "When is she coming out mom?" "She is scary mom" "where did she go mom", "the girl is getting her sword", "yeah!! Take that you mean queen" It was so cool to watch all of them react to the show. A show that appeals to the kid in all of us! Thanks PR!!!
    4 points
  8. What I've seen the past three years from Madison is a wholesale rebuilding of an entire program that was NOT in finals in 2009 and heading South. From 2010 to today, the corps has gotten better each year in each caption, and I don't care what the scores are from year to year... This year, they'll be considerably better than the last three years. I'd bet they're going to break 90, and they'll probably make it to 92. 2005 was the last time that happened. You can't expect to go from 15th to 1st in 4 years... Frankly, they HAVE cranked it up each year... It took Star of Indiana 7 years to win DCI with Mason at the helm; 4 years after they first broke 90 at finals. Yes, it took BD 4 years to go from 24th to 1st, but that was the 70s and they had Santa Clara people... I believe that Mr. Mason and company will get Madison back into the title hunt pretty soon. I seem to remember someone talking about a 5 year plan to get Madison back on top form. That sounds familiar, as I remember hearing Jim Mason and Donnie VD talking about a three year plan for Star in '89 during some of the winter camps. That worked out well for Star. And yes, they were VERY frustrated by the results of 1988 when they were in 7th place and felt they were being underscored, JUST like you feel. Things worked out ok for that organization in the end and they will for Madison as well. They ARE pulling greatness out of the men of Madison, and it's going to payoff in the next few seasons. Have faith in your Brothers and give it more time before bringing out the pitchforks and let the leaders and members execute their plan.
    4 points
  9. Thank you, BAC for honoring the Madison Scouts on their 75th anniversary.
    3 points
  10. BD's Flugelhorn soloist. Its lush, pulls me to the edge of my seat, and makes me want more. I can not get enough of it.
    3 points
  11. Whoever plays the jazz solo in the latter half of BD's show, during the "moaning" balls to the wall section. And the soloist that plays in the middle section where the lush flowing brass erupts out of nowhere. And the pair that leads the call and response that evokes the Rite at the beginning. So much goodness in that show!
    3 points
  12. No need to be overly dramatic and liken this discussion to us cursing your family. You sound like you're hyper-ventilating when you say those kind of things. I think my description of you in this thread is a person who is overly defensive, partisan, self-appointed corps "father figure" who refuses to engage in the actual content of the discussion. Can't you tell by now that your strong-armed tactics aren't repelling those of us with opinions? So, may I suggest you engage in the actual debate/conversation. Your feelings are duly noted.
    3 points
  13. I still say that Crown wins on Saturday 100%. Not because they are better but because DCI can then have another 2008 finals. They are close enough to first that bumping their percussion score up a couple spots on Saturday and dumping BD a bit in guard or some random category will be enough to put them in 1st without looking totally like it was a setup to get the honks to go crazy like they did in 2008 when the wrong show won. Last year was gonna be the next 2008 but the BD show was just way too far beyond Crown's show design and performance wise that it would have looked too obvious if they won that it was a setup to get the current "fan favorite" to win. You will see. Crown wins Saturday and their percussion gets no lower than 3rd despite being a bag of ###.
    3 points
  14. The Troopers one year played " Aquarius " ( from the Stage and movie production of " Hair ". a musical homage to the 60's Hippies Generation. ) Do Hippies and western prairie style Troopers go naturally together in your view ? The Troopers played " Acquarius ". As a central musical piece no less.. their concert piece. The audiences from coast to coast by and larged loved it. The Troopers made Finals. Audiences can deal with the unexpected. Its all in the presentation.
    3 points
  15. So go explain to the kids in BD: "sorry, we weren't booing you, we're calling out the judges because Crown was better than you and everybody knows it, but they put you in first place because they're incompetent/because they're puppets of Gibbs and Hopkins/because DCI is trying to destroy the activity/because back when you guys played jazz and blah blah blah..." I'm certain that once you put it to them in those terms they'll understand. They might even give the trophy to Crown as gesture of good will. It's a lame justification for tacky, low-budget behavior. Please, stop already. Peace, Fred O.
    3 points
  16. For me it is hands down the Troopers. I almost pity the fans that only attend TOC shows or don't bother to show up at major events until the last 5 or 6 corps go on. They are truly missing out on something special. They have put a huge smile on my face while too many other corps have left me reaching for the Tylenol.
    3 points
  17. Not me - I'm happy to respect his reticence.
    3 points
  18. all drum corps are "marching bands" (a subset) but not all marching bands are "drum corps"
    3 points
  19. I'm more concerned that a guy from Mandarins thinks Taiko is Chinese! yikes...
    3 points
  20. Meh: I couldn't care less about verbiage in regards to labeling the activity. I think it's a pretty good article for (and likely written by) someone who knows nothing about the activity. Classifying drum corps as marching band is an easy way to give a broad idea of what the activity is without some long-winded explanation on why drum corps is different to people who will likely not agree that drum corps is very different from marching band.
    3 points
  21. Sorry, but your post is too sanctimonious. I personally have never booed, but I have shaken my head on a number of occasions. An entire generation (I'm talking to you Millennials) was brought up under a sissy system that everyone was a winner: "C'mon. Don't say bad things about nobody...everyone tried the same and had fun, so let's give everyone a trophy." This is a competitive activity comprised of young adults--many of whom are going to be entering "real life" soon enough and they're learning some of the most valuable life lessons right now. They are NOT all winners and drum corps is a competitive activity with scores and winners and losers and stuff. They have staff who yell at them and make them run laps. Expectations are put on them and guys in green shirts and khaki pants tell them they did good or did bad. Booing isn't the end of the world and it's not gonna hurt these young people. If it does, then they need to be booed more. Welcome to life. Sorry for sounding crotchety, but this "everyone's a winner and don't hurt their feelings" sentiment is for the birds.
    3 points
  22. I gotta give my vote to the mello soloist for SCV. Solid sound and musicality. And the corps really supports him well, especially with the back field playing.
    2 points
  23. The Conquistadors All Age Drum & Bugle Corps has officially announced a new donation drive to assist us in purchasing a set of horns. The corps has partnered with crowdvance.com to assist us in securing donations. The website rewards donators for their contributions by allowing them to pick free gifts. With the majority of the funding in place, we are still about $1,700 short. We are asking for help from our supporters to get us to our goal so we can write the check and pick up the bugles! Every little bit helps and donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated. All donors will receive recognition on our website as an additional act of gratitude. To donate please click here: http://www.crowdvance.com/fundraiser/conquistadors-horn-drive/ The donation period ends on September 8th. The Conquistadors Performing Arts Association, Inc. is a Non-Profit Corporation registered in the State of New York. More information about the group can be found on our website: www.conquistadors.webs.com
    2 points
  24. Don't you think the female soloist for Regiment gets some love. Beautiful tone......
    2 points
  25. And Drums Along The Mohawk was even the topic of one question on "Jeopardy" back in 1998. The category was "When in Rome", or something similar, and the question (or answer) was ........ "An annual drum and bugle corps contest held in Rome, NY is named for this river." (Nobody got it right.)
    2 points
  26. LOL So, don't think you can come in here, flash your Harvard MBA drum corps analysis, and make him sweat! The truth surely is that we do NEED someone to pick on, every year. Otherwise, what's the point of the competition. What Plan just doesn't see through his blue-tinted glasses is that BD simply gives us more reasons than any other corps to pick on them. BD is to performance what Hop is to a DCI Board meeting. Finger and all.
    2 points
  27. Doesn't answer the question, but thanks.
    2 points
  28. You are erroneously projecting motivations and thoughts about an organization and MM's you know nothing about. Say what you know.... and keep your superimposition to yourself.
    2 points
  29. A serious question for you: It's no secret know for at least 5 years, BD's programming has been controversial, and has been not well received by a large number of fans.That they continue to program this way, in a way isn't that really giving those fans the finger? I actually know a few people that hate hopkins so much, it has turned them against the corps...butif they come out with a gem like Angels and Demons, even they give it up for them. But the non popularity of BD has been going and growing for a while, and the staff can't be unaware of it. So really....if they keep programming like this, they have to know it will be unpopular with a large number of fans...so yeah, theykinda are flipping them the bird.
    2 points
  30. A couple of highlights from last night's show in Erie... The opening hit (sorry for the portrait orientation :shutup:/>/> when it plays it's not turned, just portrait): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd0JAS5Ed8Q "I Dreamed a Dream" Hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEw9WtbW4Wk
    2 points
  31. ok, ok....i digress. do you people just wait for somebody to #### up and then jump thier ####???
    2 points
  32. Minnesota Brass. I rest my case. :)
    2 points
  33. the trouble is they don't compete enough to knock any of them out. you have to compete on a regular basis.
    2 points
  34. Just watched the Corps Vets from the Dome ,i would think that they have a shot of making the top 5 in DCA .Be nice to see them knock out one of the 5 everyone thinks is going for it.Go Corps Vets this year you make your mark .Breaking in to the top 5 .Don't settle for number 5 your show is better than some others above you at this point.
    2 points
  35. My opinion is that you had a very good seat. :smile:/>
    2 points
  36. It's like getting ###### when someone calls your Corvette a 'car.' It's still a car... it's just a specialized kind of car called a Corvette. I agree with Stu... pretty nice article. The picture at the top also clearly says "drum corps members." I mean, you can get angry if you want. But keep in mind, the (arguably) best group in the activity is hashtagging themselves and selling t-shirts that say #PurplePantsBand... so, just fueling the confusion basically.
    2 points
  37. Well, if you were there, then right a review and let us know what you thought.
    2 points
  38. Don't forget Cadets 1991. The flag work in the opener was amazing. It's no secret that April's guards are my favorite (throw in Star 1993 and Cavies 2007 for some wow). 1994 had SO much going on, and that guard's integration in the drill is incomparable (especially for how they performed). "Don't make me hurt you today." --A.G.
    2 points
  39. Colt Cadets sovies will be with the Colts, as one big family. They house together during finals week, eat about 1/2 the meals together, have some shared staff and lots of shared parents, and will ride back home to Dubuque together at the end of the weekend. You will be able to find "RED" show shirts, Colt Cadet shirts/sweatshirts/hoodies, 50th Anniversary gear, and lots more at the RED TEAM booth. Some of the best support anyone can give is to show up early on Thursday and make lots of noise for the kids! Putting your best show of the year on the field for "10s of people"...yeah...
    2 points
  40. Between that, and some other great rainy Kingston shows over the last 20+ years, if that field wasn't turf, it would be a swamp.
    2 points
  41. I don't know what your point is. That the activity is seen by many as " Marching Band ", both within and outside the activity ? You believe that this is somehow news to DCP'ers ?
    2 points
  42. I haven't boo'd (yet), but to the OP - what other avenue is there for fans to express their displeasure with the product they are paying to see? Email/erite specific corps? - that won't do anything so long as shows people don't like keep being awarded. Stop going to shows? - that hurts the activity and the kids Complain on DCP? - get out personal frustrations and may make an individual feel better, but does nothing to change the activity The adults that run these corps aren't idiots. I bet its pretty safe to assume the BD's staff knows the audiences don't really like their recent shows compared to others.. so they have a decision to make - create a product that makes people jump out of their seats, or make a product that gets golf claps but wins. If these people are really as smart as we seem to think they are, shouldn't they be able to craft a show that accomplishes both? If they/we think the boos are harmful to the kids, they maybe they should understand that and not put their kids in that type of situation, since they know for the most part what type of reaction their designs will get.
    2 points
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