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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/24/2013 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Recruiting and retaining new members are among the most difficult challenges any new or rebuilding DCA or Division 2/3 drum corps will face. Although this is an inherent problem seen primarily in DCA and Division 2/3 DCI corps, a comprehensive focus on the elements that make up a solid recruiting and retention program will help any corps be successful in the long run, regardless of its competitive success (or lack thereof). The fundamental elements to a successful drum corps recruiting and retention program has nothing to do with hanging up hundreds of flyers in high school band rooms or single-handedly breaking Jeff Ream’s record for posting on Drum Corps Planet. It is important to understand that the key to success is to focus on improving your member’s experience of being in the corps. The goal is to create a fun and rewarding environment that will make your members want to return year after year, regardless of the ultimate competitive outcome of your season. This philosophy has nothing to do with competitive excellence—an enjoyable drum corps environment does not necessarily mean that it must be a less competitive one. The following principles will help your drum corps recruiting and retention program. You may not agree with some of these methods, or your corps may already incorporate a few. In any event, these steps will make the experience of marching in your drum corps more rewarding for your members, which in turn will lead to a higher retention rate and recruiting success. Principle 1. Create Internal Social Ties. Drum corps is a family. You must encourage and help your members meet people in other sections of the corps throughout the season. If your members have more social ties in the corps, they will be less likely to leave, and they will be more likely to return to march another season. They will also be less likely to leave for another corps if, for example, the two snare drummers on both sides of them decide not to march. Along these lines, breaks and lunch schedules should be coordinated with all the sections, perhaps with the occasional full-corps potluck lunch. Staggered lunches among the sections should be saved for absolutely critical times of the season or if you only have one field, for example, because they eliminate as much as 75% of the corps potential social contact. The basic principle behind this is that if a member has friends in the corps, they will likely return next season. Along these same lines, drum corps rookies tend to be very intimidated at their first rehearsal with a new corps. You should make it your mission to make all new members feel welcome on Day 1. Once a new member is at rehearsal, it falls on everyone – members and staff – to immediately make the potential member feel welcome. As new members join during the season, introduce them to the whole corps, and applaud their presence. Making someone feel like they are part of the team the first time they walk in the door will make a huge difference in the recruiting and retention rate. Also, ditch the “rookie” concept. Once someone is in the corps, they are in. Period. Finally, if a member does not return for a season for whatever reason, invite them to come around the corps whenever they want. Make them feel welcome to come to rehearsal and march in parades etc. Do not shut the door on them, no matter how frustrated you are that they did not return. By doing this, you will stunned by the members who will return this or next season, because they were encouraged to keep one foot in the door, so to speak. Principle 2. Include Family Members in the Experience. The primary reason a member gets pressure from their family “not” to march in a drum corps, especially a DCA corps, is because their family members do not feel included in the experience. The solution is to proactively include your corps member’s family in the experience any way that you can. You should make them feel welcome at all rehearsals, and even host a few events during the year such as Family Day, an Open House or a picnic where the corps plays the show for family and friends, and everyone gets to interact with the corps and staff. This will help keep family pressure at a minimum and keep members in your corps. Along this line of reasoning, the Renegades allow any family member to buy a corps jacket, since they are typically also making a huge sacrifice for their family member to be in the corps (member patches are another story). Principle 3. Zero Staff Conflict. No matter what the issue is, there must be ZERO conflict on your staff in front of the corps, and your staff members must be 100% supportive of one another in front of the corps. A staff in conflict will hurt the morale of the corps, and lead your members to question the abilities of the staff. If a contentious issue comes up, deal with it in a professional manner—away from the corps. Principle 4. The End of Rehearsal Rule. With the possibility of one or two limited exceptions during a season, it must be the mission of the corps director and staff to get the members to leave each and every rehearsal on a positive note, feeling like something was accomplished and excited about returning for the next rehearsal. Sometimes, this is hard to do after a particularly bad run-through, for example, but you must stick to this rule. This is particularly important in a DCA corps. When DCA corps members walk away from a rehearsal feeling depressed or bummed out, the staff typically does not have an opportunity to turn things around for another week (at least). Principle 5. The No Stress Rule. The key to success in any substantial endeavor is not the lack of adversity, but rather, how one responds to adversity. Whether you are the Blue Devils the Bushwackers or the Bananas, things will inevitably go wrong during the season. Your bus may breakdown at precisely the wrong time, as it did for Renegades on the way to 2002 DCA Prelims. Your section leader may forget his or her uniform, law enforcement may kick you out of your rehearsal site for no apparent reason, or the incredible chaotic hurricane may hit just as you take the field. If you establish a culture of supporting one another and “not” pointing fingers when things go wrong, and you allow and help your staff and members recover from mistakes or chaos, you will all have a more rewarding and productive season, and the corps will get better at responding to adversity. Principle 6. Embrace The Internet. The Internet is a valuable tool, one that most drum corps do not understand how to use properly. You should encourage our members to use the drum corps newsgroups and forums. This will help create a sense of community within the drum corps, and will help get the corps badly needed visibility. The key is to make it clear to your members that they cannot and must not claim to speak for the corps on any given issue. Mistakes will be made, but these are easily rectified behind the scenes. There is no need for a collective nervous breakdown when your corps members post on the Internet drum corps newsgroups. Principle 7. Add a Killer Performance and Rehearsal Schedule. You should add one or two non-competitive performances during the season where the corps gets the opportunity to stand still and blow the faces off some people who maybe don’t even know what drum corps is all about. The crowd reaction will be incredible, and the members will have fun performing in a no pressure situation with the fans going nuts. This also is a great way to increase your corps visibility in the community. Along those lines, it is also important to give your corps members some time off. Some senior corps have non-stop summer weekend schedules make it difficult if not impossible for members to remain in the corps if they get married, or take on a significant job or school commitment during the summer. One or two free weekends during the summer where you literally order the corps to take time off and have fun will buy much goodwill with the members and their families, and keeps the burnout factor away. Putting together a schedule with a break in it and the corps being great are not mutually exclusive goals. Simply put, rehearsing each and every possible minute throughout the entire summer is not in the corps best interests. The Bottom Line. The key to recruiting and retaining members is to improve the experience your members have in the corps. © Lee Rudnicki 2007
  2. 2 points
    Staff members always tell the corps at the beginning of the season to not pay attention or even look at the scores from the performance. If it's one thing I have found in the years that I marched, after the show, nearly all corps members are on their phones constantly updating dci.org/scores to view what they received regardless if they were told not to. The score is then yelled out throughout the bus echoing itself down and up the aisles to either the members' dismay or satisfaction. Granted, everyone will remember their finals/semifinals/prelims score. It is the cap-off of the season and probably some of the more enjoyable parts of the summer. I remember my finals scores well and can recall how well the performance went. On the flip side, scores during midseason are, from my experience and others alike, completely forgotten in the grand scheme of things. At the time they are announced, they possess a superficial monumental importance to each member regardless of the stance on the matter.: a) 'I don't care about the scores' (but secretly does) or b) I care about the scores and try to better myself from each judgment. Again, in the long run these midseason scores are typically forgotten This constant bashing of oneself during the season because of what a gentlemen (or woman) says in a green shirt is unhealthy to the psyche to not only the individual marcher but to the corps. Allowing the scores to sway how a performer acts on and off the field is against one of the most repeated statements ingrained in the brain of anyone who has marched a competitive DCI corps which is "don't change your approach." My point is to not get wrapped up in scores during the season as a performing member. Most of the things that are remembered are centered around the people you were with. There are far too many speculations about where a drum corps should be or shouldn't be placement wise and this should not have any influence on the actual marching student. To you who are embarking on the journey starting in November in marching with a corps, remember why you wanted to be in DCI in the first place. -seniorcoolio
  3. 2 points
    I think it *is* a choice. You get to decide how to react to design elements in a drum corps show which might not be to your taste. IMO the props in the Cadets show were an eyesore -- but that didn't stop me from absolutely loving the music book; it may be the best book Bocook has ever written for Cadets! Make a *choice* to enjoy what's out there -- it's pretty cool stuff !
  4. 2 points
    Blood, Sweat, and Cheers
  5. 1 point
    I take your point, but the term "politically correct" was almost unheard of before 1990.
  6. 1 point
    >>> Sad to say we've seen the internet all but create a corps, then rip it to shreds Disagree 10000%. The internet never hurt killed or hurt any corps --- it's the exclusive-club mentality and competitive at all cost dog-eat-dog approach of the activity that rips corps to shreds, not technology. I pointed this out to no avail earlier this year, and the sad predictions have all come to pass. IMO, the drum corps activity has never been harmed by the internet -- it has been harmed by how drum corps people treat one another, frankly. Generally speaking, I think the drum corps activity needs to do more to include people in the activity, at all levels, and it needs to be more supportive of those who are now participating. Until that happens, the numbers of corps, fans and participants will continue to shrink. I have never successfully made this point, so please feel free to disagree.
  7. 1 point
    I 100% agree. When I aged-out in 1998, I got married in December, finished my WGI career spring of 1999, and moved across the country in July. I saw one really early-season mid-west show before I moved, and by the time I got out to Southern CA I had missed the DCI swing. I got caught-up in life after that, turned into a jaded DCI alum who wasn't happy with any-key brass, wasn't happy my corps was on a down-swing competitively, etc. I still had a lot of friends marching and teaching, so I kept in touch and followed scores & news but mostly didn't go to shows. I was teaching middle school at the time, and focused on that more than drum corps stuff. Then in 2004 I took a HS marching band job, and decided to peak back into DCI to see what the trends were. I went to the Tour of Champions show and found a LOT of stuff to really like. I absolutely loved all of the Top 3, and found stuff to really enjoy in the rest. Stepping away from the activity and coming back without a ton of bias, or any expectations other than "trill me" really brought to light for me the things I love about the activity. The performers were all obviously having a blast performing, post-finals without any competitive pressures, to adoring fans. The shows were innovative, technically awesome, and performed well. Of course there was stuff I didn't like, but I honestly can't remember that now. I made the choice to focus more on the positives, and downplay the negatives. And that's how I've approached DCI ever since. There are TONS of things for me to enjoy watching performances: enough so that I can essentially ignore that stuff. And really, that's kind of how you have to go through life in general. I've been married nearly 15 years (15th Anniversary this December), and of course there are things that my wife does that annoys me, there are times we argue, there are times we clash regarding decisions for our son. But the good FAR outweighs the bad, and honestly there is no avoiding the bad sometimes. In any relationship you have to figure out if the positives makeup for the negatives, and if so then you have to figure out how to deal with the bad. Drum corps, for me, has far more positives than negatives and it's worth dealing with some bad narration, or loud synths, or cheesy show designs, or poor execution if the payoff is exciting shows, designs that are so cool I literally can only laugh while watching, witness the passion in a performance where it's obvious the members are giving EVERYTHING for us audience, etc. One CAN focus on the good more than the bad, the only question for that individual is "is there enough 'good' to overcompensate?" If the answer is no, then maybe it's time to find a new hobby. But if the answer is yes, then Heck Yeah one can change their mindset to focus on the awesome aspects while not putting much thought on the negative.
  8. 1 point
    How judgemental of you! And technically speaking ....if you turn the stripes on a Zebra horizontal....you would have an Okapi!
  9. 1 point
    The most important score any corps will ever receive is the most recent one, until the next one is announced.
  10. 1 point
    Let it be noted that everyone on this list left by their own decision as far as I know. Some have been teaching for a very long time and deserve the break. Others have taken on new roles in their professional lives and simply won't be able to be as present as before and have decided to leave rather than disservice the corps with an inconsistent presence. Additionally, minus the brass staff who are new, the people that are stepping up as caption heads are the people who have worked alongside these big list names, and were the real day to day people that the corps members interacted with over the last few years. In the end, I'm just amazed that people think this is the end for Spirit. Sure, there'll be some rubs as is always true for new staffs. But there will be consistency in many of the captions along with some fresh new talent. Not saying Spirit of Atlanta's gonna win DCI. I'm just saying... ... ... ... Spirit of Atlanta's gonna win DCI.
  11. 1 point
    The Hurricanes are excited to kick off our 60th Anniversary Season with the 2014 Open House on December 1, 2013 from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. We have many exciting plans in the works for this milestone season. One announcement we want to share at this time is the dues for the 2014 season will be only $400! Check out the following links to get the latest information on the 2014 season or just email us at info@cthurricanes.org http://www.cthurricanes.org Facebook Interest Group Open House Facebook Event Page
  12. 1 point
    Such a sick world we live in. I wonder if preventative training from police might be a good idea. Not so much for the offender, but for the kids to know signs to look out for such as the "coaching", etc. it seems like these types do have certain common methodologies. The better educated a young corp's member is, the better they are able to protect themselves. I believe some police departments do stuff like this as part of community outreach?
  13. 1 point
    I haven't been on here in a long time but I like the new look of the website. Anyway....2007 was my rookie year in Cadets and in DCI period. I don't know what made me audition for a controversial drum corps other than distance, but I was actually feeling excited and worried at the same time. So at the moment the show was announced to the members, I sat thinking "This is going to have everyone in DCI talking...." But it was somewhat cool I would be a part of history. And I had never marched in drum corps before. I remember the winter camps playing through the opener and hearing the intensity of the hornline and music, I remember feeling the energy of a potentially amazing season in the air. This was clearly not the Cadets from 2006....it was like a different beast. I can remember feeling "This is going to be a ####### good year." If you asked me what the 2007 show means to me, every time I put on the music (and I'm listening right now), it's a part of me like my lungs I breathe with. When you put together the narration, it brought the show to another level by 1000%, so trust me when I say it was necessary, whether you enjoy it or not. So when people mention of their distaste for the narration, it's something I don't fuss over or regret because some like it, some don't, and we can't change anyone's minds. However, there is the power of influence..... I believe we have influenced the DCI activity today by what we did 6 years ago, and for years to come, people will talk about Cadets 2007 like we talk about Star 1993. I think that's pretty cool and something I'll be proud of.
  14. 1 point
    The crowd on Quarter Finals night was the worst thing I ever witnessed from a drum corps crowd......the entire hash mark incident was blown way out of proportion.......people just wanted to complain because it was Cadets/Hopkins/Narration.......if any other corps had asked to have the hash marks redone it would have been a none issue........and if a corps went out before the Cadets and had to perform without hash marks....well that would be their own fault for not wanting or paying attention that the field was in proper condition.........one other thing people forget.......Cadets didn't perform last......Hopkins asking to have hash marks put back onto the field also helped the Blue Devils. I went into that week not having a favorite group....i just personal want to see all the groups do well....like who would ever want to buy a ticket to a concert and hear a bad performance.......but after quarter finals night I was hoping Cadets would have won just so people would have gotten all butt hurt about it
  15. 1 point
    I think a member from that year would have to chime in to give some insight regarding the OP, but I seem to remember hearing that the phenomenon of "show design blues" was more of a factor in 2008 for the Cadets. At least with 2007, the drum corps aspect of the show was outstanding. 2008 was weak with the exception of Vesuvius, IMO. Add the even-worse-than-last-year story line and narration, and I think I could see why some members may have been less than thrilled with their designers. I was at finals that year, and I almost got a sense of "thank god that's over" from their performance. Or maybe that was just me projecting....
  16. 1 point
    Hi Kate, Go to www.crossmen.org and ask for information. Always go to the source - second-hand information is usually inaccurate. best, Chuck Naffier Crossmen Brass Arranger
  17. 1 point
    At least half of the bands mentioned so far in this thread arguably are not mainstream. Radiohead, for instance, has never even cracked the top 30 on the U.S. "Hot 100". That shouldn't necessarily be taken as any sort of judgment on their quality, of course. (Perhaps just the opposite?)
  18. 1 point
    i for one am glad the re / green flags are gone. it was used to hate people.
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