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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/02/2015 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    May very well be. For me (at least) good visual design starts with good music. Even with today's visually-focused programs, I still believe the best designs let the music speak visually. The Cavies winning years certainly reversed that approach (and as a result I rarely just *listen* to any of their programs -- they're crippled without the visual. BD's design is also visually driven and I really don't listen to their recent stuff much -- I watch and listen, but not just listen. Team Allentown has certainly had some winning music designs lately. I adored the Barber show. OTOH they are subject to outright design blunders. l like what I hear this year but any Cadets fan knows that early recordings frequently sound little like the final product. Writing too much material, trying to fix visual snafus, and sometimes really agressive hosing can render a Cadets book unrecognizable at finals. I think part of the reason side-by-side was so wonderful musically was that it was conservative visually. Really they should be 1 or 2 every seaosn -- best arranger and drill designer in the business. But somehow someway they mess something up. Team Fort Mill OTOH seems to be incrementally fixing stuff. Last season was a design blunder but only because they had a bit too much trust in their ability to "figure things out". Nothing wrong conceptually. 2009 -- feet not clean enough. 2010 -- oh I guess we can't spread them out quite that far. 2011 -- I think was under-rated a lot and suffered from too many preconceptions about "rock" shows. Since '09 they've figured out how to clean feet, get clean in drill, stay clean in guard, and win brass. And now I think they might have found the right mix of staff in percussion. If you think about it, Crown with a top level percussion line is a scary thought. They may be able to play the game formerly played only by BD. Establish an early season lead and never let anyone touch them.
  2. 3 points
    "Tick city" Ticks were long gone by 1986, but I have seen migrating waterfowl hold forms a tad better than this.
  3. 3 points
    There are many reasons for the current trends in brass arranging. Chiefly: impatience by visual, percussion and color guard judges and writers, who think of their own compartmentalized piece of the puzzle rather than allowing the music to live and breathe. We've been hijacked by WGI pacing, and designed judging sheets that reward frantic moods and over-writing. It's all VERY coordinated and well-thought-out on paper. In performance? It becomes mangled and generally meaningless musically. I won't speak for all arrangers. Some just aren't very good. Some are. Some do not assert themselves, while others do. Some are more concerned about keeping their gig, rather than making music. And sometimes, speaking up in defense of music isn't a popular thing for a younger generation of writers and teachers who didn't grow up listening patiently and thoughtfully. And sometimes they don't care. It's a paycheck and someone else is responsible for the show -- so they cash the check, and move on because their voice was drowned out a long time ago. Lots of reasons. I'm sure there are more. These are my particular views on the subject. Myself? I like music, but rarely like drum corps anymore. Love the performance levels. Truly over the "every 30 seconds needs an impact" school of thought, and the "cheats" used to achieve "clarity" and the "checklist" mentality of the design process. Double tonguing? Check. 192 bpm? Check. High sticking and a leg kick? Check. Gratuitous 16th note run living outside the musical idea? Check. Blah. Chuck
  4. 2 points
    IMO M. Klesch is always very respectful of the original. Probably the least "over-arranged" material in DCI every single year he's been creating arrangements.
  5. 2 points
    Music teachers don't make great music. They make great musicians. I believe this is at the heart of this issue. While the arrangers are certainly capable of producing works of professional depth and subtlety, this activity is led by teachers, not arrangers. And by led, I mean the directors, instructors and judges are all teachers, not music critics, composers, designers or arrangers. Last year George Hopkins said their goals were, in order: 1. Challenge the members, 2. Entertain the audience, and 3. Impress the judges [my wording]. I believe these values are fairly consistent across DCI. Is this inconsistent with the result? Are they arranging more for the judges than for the audience or students? It does seem that way, but I think these teachers may feel that it's so difficult to express a subtle mood, and to transition from one mood to another, that they have rewarded more moods and transitions over more time expanding on each mood. I'm not saying that's right - I'm saying they do it because they believe it's better education. Perhaps they feel that the kids have the rest of the school year to play it straight. I don't know the reasoning, but I think the intent is sound and since they are by and large teachers the rest of the year, they may have some experience that tells them this is the way to go. I do think the pendulum is swinging back slightly. The important thing about Bluecoats show isn't the pitch bend, it's Hymn of Axciom. They played that piece entirely. All 3+whatever minutes pretty much straight. BD did something interesting; they played the Nino Rota theme from La Strada several times over the course of the show so that while it was broken up, at least the corps had a chance to explore that one theme more fully. And in both cases the audience had one key melodic idea to anchor the show on the way home. Almost like the old days. They got great audience response. And they came in first and second. So maybe we will see a trend toward developing one idea more fully at some point, and cramming as many statements into the rest of the show as possible as they do now. I would like to see this trend continue, more ABABCABC rather than ABC-next piece, but I am also impressed by these corps ability to turn on a dime emotionally.
  6. 2 points
    If it weren't for the pulse I'd never keep up. This piece shifts from 4/4 to 3/4 to 5/4 and back several times. And the splits aren't the really impressive parts - it's the writing! Brichtimp is curious how the percussion matches the horn book and, I can tell you for sure, that drum book matches the horn book perfectly. If they can clean it... But, oh my, what a book.... EDIT: oh, and I should say what the book ISN'T. Not a lot of rim-shots or gratuitous slams for effect as well as what it is: GREAT dynamic styling (watch for the sticks to move to the edge of the drum head, writing as difficult in piano passages as at forte, AMAZING full height (stick beads almost vertical; it takes more time for the stick to reach the head so more power on the downstroke is necessary to stay in time), diddles and drags (single grace notes and double grace notes [a "ruff" in drum-speak) at full tempo in the middle of sixteenth-note triplets, and exactly similar stick heights along with full feet at 180. I'm telling you, as an old drummer with a young hotshot kid - this is an amazing drum book.
  7. 2 points
    Drum Geeks: the _kid and I counted 4 splits in the snare line, and at least one was a double-handed split left to right. Oh my. Oh, oh my. That drum line is the hottest (barely) Feb line I've seen a long, long time. That book is the most difficult thing I've heard, well, ever. Focus on the snares, which are just BLAZING! and you miss the basses (thanks to the gym) but you can hear them and the tenors battling in the background. Unbelievable, astounding writing. A bit a go I was looking for the link to the orchestral version and I ran across Dudamel playing it at, what seemed, an un-Holy 180Bpm. The comment was that Hop had pretty much said they were doing it up to that speed and, by God, that Dr. Beat in banging at 176! AND IT'S FEBRUARY.
  8. 2 points
    Yes but rehashing a legendary show is not what anyone needs
  9. 1 point
    Welcome to the Drum Corps Planet Community! We hope that you enjoy your stay here. Please review the Community Guidelines so you can familiarize yourself with the communities' "personality". Please feel free to contact any of our staff members' if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. Rich
  10. 1 point
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed this trend, but I was watching the "Best DCI Moments of 2012" recently, and I was struck by the surprising lack of cohesion in many of the brass arrangements. It's almost as if a lot of the shows are just "hit - transition - hit - transition - hit - transition - hit" in structure. I'm not saying that they don't contain complete musical ideas, but the arrangers are being fairly unoriginal and cliche'd. I also think that they're not being patient with the music, allowing it room to breathe and stretch its limbs. I'm primarily a brass person, so I can't really comment on pit and battery arrangements, but I have a fair amount of experience with music arranging and transcription; what I've seen of good arrangements has taught me that there are many intermediate shades between loud/bombastic and quiet/subtle. Yet these arrangers just can't grasp that. And what's really puzzling is that many of these arrangers have proven themselves to be skilled in those respects - adding variety to music and using orchestrational techniques to bring interest and meaning to the music. For example, Michael Klesch, currently with Crown and a few others, arranged brilliantly for Garfield in 1985 and 1987 ('85 is my favourite arrangement for drum corps ever), preserving the source music's spirit and vitality while compressing them into 13 and 11 minutes respectively. Scott Boerma, still with Scouts after all these years, really brought out the aggression of Madison's hornline, while still making it musical and keeping the integrity of the sources. Is it that they and the many other arrangers working today just don't care? Or is it that they must bow to the will of the visual team and stretch and shape their music to rigidly fit the drill and guard? If any of you can shed some light on this phenomenon, I'd appreciate it.
  11. 1 point
    I guess that I should not say this, but I'm going to anyway. I actually long for the day when prayerfully the drum corps activity will make a turn from being a visual based competitive activity to a musically based activity once again. But then again, having marched drum corps in the 80's, many of the current youngsters of the activity would call my thinking dinosaur thinking. This is why I had to take a step back from the activity and become more of a spectator than an instructor.
  12. 1 point
    ^^^ agreed to a certain extent however the level of musical performance in the top echelon of DCI is exquisite even if the arranging seems sometimes incomplete. Its still nice to listen to.
  13. 1 point
    I agree with you, Cappybara. I also think that over the years a DCI show design has radically changed from a "music-first" mentality to a more holistic approach, where visual is just-as-important (and sometimes more important) than the music. Not to mention the visual demands placed on the members kind of forces music design's hand to include "transitions" to give brass players a breather as they jazz-run at 210 BPM to make an amazing visual effect. I used to very meticulously buy/collect audio recordings throughout the years: essentially have dozens of discs with TONS of corps recordings from the 60's-mid-00's. But after a while it because apparent that it was difficult to enjoy a 15 minute program without the visual: half of the corps' presentation was missing! People can (and have) analyze difference in arrangement styles over the years, but generally I think shows are better designed now, top-to-bottom/visual+audio than ever before (which says nothing about the amount of demand placed on a MM now vs, say, 1986). It's not a negative, necessarily, but it is an obvious stylistic difference.
  14. 1 point
    CONGRATS!! Happy 46th! Here's to MANY, MANY more my friend!!! (Freddy wishes he was going with youse guys! LOL)
  15. 1 point
    What did you learn in Drum Corps.... not to take #### from anyone..... Shades of our corps bringing in a hired gun to work on our drill. Guy worked with name corps was older than my dad and NEVER used an indoor voice if you get my drift. Sure enough <cutting long story short> we had a major drill screw up at the end of one song at practice (only time all year it was off) and member next to me just puts her horn down and walks to her correct spot. I'm next in line and didn't move. Hired gun chews her out for moving and steams (out of his ears) over to me. All I can think is "Don't BS him" so it was: Him: "WHAT HAPPENED!!!" Me: "Beats the #### out of me". Him: (blinks twice and does a head twitch) "Me either, I'll watch this next time to see". Me" "Sounds good thanks" At the time I was 19 but looked 16 or so. Haven't been intimidated by anyone since.....
  16. 1 point
    Something I unfortunately never got to do with the Kilties: I always wanted to spraypaint the bells blue after prelims. So when the horns came up at finals, there would be the Blue Bells of Scotland.
  17. 1 point
    LOL Yea, that's it. Thanks. lol
  18. 1 point
    OK, Heh, here ya' go... Count sixteenth notes (one, ee, and, aah) in 180 time. Now split every other note so that half the line (or every other player) is only playing the "one" and the "and" and the opposite players are only playing the "ee" and the "aah" of each beat in the measure (a "split"). Now imagine doing it while alternating your sticks (a double-handed split). Suffice it to say that keeping 10 players in time splitting rhythms is incredibly difficult and they do it not once, but 4 times in that 3 1/2 minutes, at 180bpm, They did it twice for four counts, one for 3 counts and at least one double-handed. It's kind of like how the bass drums "Split" five-sixteenth notes between them - I know you've heard it - but with snares and only two splits parts (instead of five as in basses).
  19. 1 point
    HI All, You know...there is very little that George Hopkins and i agree on...but....his corps approach to releasing information about the Cadets program during the off-season is great. They just about stand alone in that department. Bravo George and the Cadets!!!
  20. 1 point
    Pfft and here we have people on another topic complaining about how modern DCI shows don't let shows build a musical idea anymore. That was beautiful and this show will be an absolute beast. They're already nominated for ballad of the year.
  21. 1 point
    Were selling 2 sets of guard units. The 2014 set has 16 uni's made by Effects by Design. They were made for Arabin Nights show theme. The other set has 14 uni's made by Algy. Show them was Fanfare for a New World. There at 40 swing flags. Colors are light blue, white and silver. Email if interested in any of this and pics will be sent. aamico@stny.rr.com
  22. 1 point
    Feels like a Stonehenge-esque type production so far. Cadets don't seem to be playing around this year. Can't wait to see the finished product.
  23. 1 point
    Are you implying, Arranger, that one person's "creative energy" is another person's "balls"? If so...then I'm with you.
  24. 1 point
    hope everyone is enjoying the winter... all's well here as we await another storm tomorrow into Monday... fortunately, late tomorrow morning Karen and I will be heading south in advance of the storm and escaping for a couple of weeks - celebrating our 46th Anniversary... (yes, she's a saint for putting up with both me and drum corps) Cruising thanks to Bob Cardaneo's Cruise One and good buddy Ken MacLean... see you all after the 15th...
  25. 1 point
    After some exciting shows last night, we get ready to head to some of our favorite venues for our third Sweepstakes events of the season. In the midwest, corps will be competing at the venerable Perkins Stadium in Whitewater WI. Dune Battalion has really shaken up the standings with their recent wins in Slinger and Syracuse, and are being viewed as the favorites to win this event. But how will they do against Confederate Regiment as that corps makes its return from out west? Also worth keeping an eye on is the Class A matchup between Hg and Mackinac Island Crusaders. Out east, Les Blanc Chevaliers again host their home show in Montreal's cavernous Olympic Stadium. With all of the Knights Org corps in the house, look for the hometown group to once again wow the audience. Open Class may feature the best matchup of the night between Huddersfield Hundred and Valley Vanguard, two Open Class corps that have been surging up the rankings in that division. In Las Vegas NV, the Buckeye Brass group of corps look to shine out at Sam Boyd Stadium, but will face some stiff competition from Abracadabra Academy in Open Class and Golden Panthers in World Class. And in the south, the Euphony Empire corps group makes their season debut at MTSU's Floyd Stadium. They may be starting late, but I've been hearing very good things from their training camps, and they'll have a great matchup against the Aftershock NZ group to get things started. Also debuting in Open Class are Florida Sound, a newly-created corps that will be doing a limited tour schedule this season.
  26. 1 point
    Most organizations (because most people), not just drum corps, are afraid of showing mistakes, weaknesses, etc. So they don't want to release early clips because (a) they don't want to publicly admit they screwed up if they feel they have to change things later, (b) they don't want to offer an unpolished display that would tarnish their public image and possibly negatively affect recruiting, or simply the buzz of fan-boys everywhere, © they don't want the public to realize they are much farther behind than they should be (i.e. "every other corps is showing clips of their entire show, and all you guys can show by April is your opener? do you even HAVE a show this year?!?"), etc., etc. Lots of reasons for not broadcasting, and in truth I think most stem from insecurity. But that's only my take because I come down on the side of full and open disclosure - warts and all. They're entitled to their position, though, and since they're the ones in charge, they have to do what they are comfortable with. And we have to live with it.
  27. 1 point
    YES! I know I've said it before, but I 100% appreciate how candid Hop & his design staff are in the off-season when it comes to show design. They really let their fans in on the process more than any other corps by A LOT, even if the process means "we have a great idea & our show next summer is X" only to come back in a few months and say, "we changed our minds, simplified the vision, and instead are totally going in a different direction." Meaning, I appreciate their openness, warts & all (and I still really want to see a Bernstein show that mashes-up On The Waterfront, WSS, and whatever else Cadets' original ideas were for their 75th Anniversary show).
  28. 1 point
    I agree! They are creating Drum Corps shows. This is not Coca Cola’s secret formula or Anything that Can Jeopardize a War or Endanger Troops’ Lives.
  29. 1 point
    it baffles me how much scores are dropping.
  30. 1 point
    Ahhhh, let's be careful with the use of the word "old" if you please! We are...let's say....experienced. Yeah, I like that much better. ;) Dan
  31. 1 point
    I would submit that if a multi-year vet comes to auditions and rehearsals unprepared, then they are not being very "loyal" to their corps to begin with
  32. 1 point
  33. 1 point
    Here's another drill move from the next movement in the same show. http://youtu.be/Uvi8k5q_Z2Y There there is the opening drill in their 2008 show. The transitions from triangle to Star of David are from drill heaven. http://youtu.be/mU9KNk8HO1E
  34. 1 point
    They are? Drums is one thing but they need to go outside the box to something new. They have the talent and now have the instructional staff to do this. Phantom of the Opera is not that musically exceptional.
  35. 1 point
    I've always thought that it would be very cool if a show started out in period uniforms with a small number of a corps MM's (like the video presented in the first post) then......somehow merged and melded into a very modern production by the rest of corps, like taking the worm hole to a more practical use. A bit like BD 2010, emphasizing old drill moves vs the newer body movement and scatter drill.....not to mention the contrast of music and productions. Unmic'd, non-electric juxtaposed by the most severe and gooey example of the other....Starting with period and ending with period.
  36. 1 point
    and this my friends, is what many on here (me NOT being one of them) would like to see drum corps go back to. no dance, no artistic guard, no pit, uniforms, g bugles, etc.... etc.... and of course spats!
  37. 1 point
    It really isn't a big deal I guess, and does make sense if there are financial advantages, but I really feel that the corps loses some connection with the community by rehearsing elsewhere. I spent many many hours in Rockford this spring, and local people came out every night to check them out. I know it sounds hokey, but there was a sense of community, pride, etc...
  38. 1 point
    I only know this... if the Madison Scouts do a Christmas Show, or a show revolving around a long ago Italian filmmaker, or an outer space themed show featuring frisbees, trampolines, and exotic costuming, they will find themselves quickly exiting the TOP 12. The current DCI judging community, most of whom have AARP discount cards in their personal wallets, grew up with the Madison Scouts. While they might say they value something out of the ordinary, when push comes to shove, they have certain expectations in shows from the Scouts, and if the Scouts do a show on jungle Iguanas or some exotic themes of faraway forces of nature, or some such, they will play right into the hands of Cesario and his Crew that really doesn't want that sort of thing from the Madison Scouts ( or even the Troopers ) no matter what they say publically. Cadets, Phantom, SCV have all done rehashed themed shows of late as a redo, and it did not hurt them score wise or placement wise in the least. The Madison Scouts should never... EVER.... do a silent, soft ending to their show, as the judges will simply not allow that from a Madison Scouts as it unnerves them from a 50 year image they justifiably have of this particular Corps. My guess, the new staff recognizes this, and that the Madison Scouts will ditch this failed foray into " going soft " with the ending of their show, and will do a Madison Scouts show, and ending that is classic Madison Scouts. Then like all the non G7 corps, its just a matter of cleaning it, and executing it. Thats my 2 cents worth of advice to the Madison Scouts anyway.
  39. 1 point
    Madison should announce they're gonna do a western show, thereby forcing Troopers to abandon that theme and go with something else. Everybody wins! Then a few months before the start of the season Scouts announce they've decided to not do a western show after all, rather they'll be doing something more in the Madison style. But by then it's too late for Troop to change and they proceed with their Bartok show.. Everybody wins again! I did all this without the assistance of any mood altering medication.
  40. 1 point
    In order to do a successful comparison of styles show, you must select only two styles, and do everything in your power to select two distinctly different pieces of music, drill and uniform. The show must contain a crystal clear distinction in styles, and must clarify the moment of transition. (Perhaps creating the rotating company front that transforms into the new style. Boom. A distinct visual cue.) It's also best if you determine a historical moment when the style changed, and root the whole show in that year. "The Year Jazz Changed Forever." Three styles? Too much.
  41. 1 point
    The new ending is brutal. 2 thumbs down to the Scouts design staff for coming up with this anticlimactic snoozer of an ending. Who wants to see & hear a drum corps show end like this?
  42. 1 point
    Hey- I'm listening to that on iTunes right now!!!! I'm at 2:12 (Wheat Dance) in case you cared.. Da da da da da daaaa, da da da daaaaaaah daaaaaaaaaah.......... Da da daaaaa....da da....... (front ensemble).... dadada dadada... (me) "Aaaahhhh..."
  43. 1 point
  44. 1 point
  45. 1 point
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
  48. 1 point
  49. 1 point
    i've never been a huge pr fan (althought the brass performance in intro to 4th ballet suite was so #$(*@&(*$#@ amazing i can't help but listen to it whenever i think about it, and this has been going on for the past 5 years -- i think im obsessed), but 1991 pr is one of my favorite shows of all time. so far, it's actually my favorite pr show ever (though i have to admit that i haven't watched some of the best pr shows, according ot the general consensus, that have been performed -- but im still trying to get some time to watch pr 88, 89, and Tsar Pilato's DM year + 93, lol)...but having kept up with pr from 95 till now, give/take a year here and there (i havent kept up with the activity like i should have in 01 and 02), i really, really love pr 91. it has its faults, obviously, you can pick them out easily so i wont even mention the stuff. but there was so much emotion on that field. and i dont know if i made this up myself, or if someone else came up with this before me, but i honestly believe that in 90/91, pr put a curse on the baccanale (probably why i can't spell it right, nikk), so that any marching ensemble can never play it like it was meant to be played. phantom's 91 finals performance will always have a special place in my mind.
  50. 1 point
    I first saw that show in Michigan City early on, and I was jumping up and down backfield, yelling "They're playing JAZZ! And it's good as he##! That soloist is screamin'!!". It remains one of my favorite shows of all time!
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