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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/13/2015 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Also, and really importantly. Unlike a lot of people tied to Regiment. Will Pitts is REALLY good at shaking hands, making friends, and generally not being one of those "inside looking out" types you see a lot of at Regiment. He is a good face for the organization that people WANT to reward and WANT to like.
  2. 3 points
    I rarely post in these threads and mostly observe, but I feel an aspect of this conversation isn't necessarily being discussed and I believe needs to be. With all the talk of "how to beat the Buc's" or anything like that one key aspect of drum corps is being completely overlooked by these blog posts... Drum corps is not all about winning championships. Here's a few examples, Example 1, I've been fortunate enough to have marched Bluecoats 2014. You know what part of that I take away as the greatest success? Not that we got 2nd and were the highest scoring Bluecoats ever (although I would be stupid to say that wasn't awesome too). But that score will be beaten, (hopefully) one day that placement will be beaten. What I take away from that year was I marched in a show that made and will make countless of younger people want to march in that organization. I participated in a show that inspired other's to join this activity. Does that happen in DCA? absolutely it does. Does it happen on as large of a platform or reach as many people? No not really, but that's because of so many other factors. Example 2, I have marched 10 years with the Connecticut Hurricanes. In my opinion one of the greatest years if not the greatest year in current history is 2009. After Prelims we were tied with Minnesota for 2nd. Finals we were passed by Empire and landed in 4th. Heartbroken? Yeah. Did everyone want to come back the next year and try again? Heck yeah. Just because we didn't win that year doesn't mean that we didn't all love every single second we spent on that field. In fact it fueled us to come back. I'm seeing the exact same fire, family atmsophere, and positive views from the people I know who marched Cabs this summer. Example 3. This season for the Hurricanes was a particularly special one. Why? Everyone though we were dead. People on this website though we had folded. We put together a corps, put together a show, and made finals. Was it our best show in history? Did we think we were going to win a championship? No. Did we end the season with a greater love and appreciation for the corps, the activity, and each other? 100 times yes. People forget what this activity is about. Some people paint it as a lesser DCI, some people paint it as anything else entirely. Yet what a lot of people don't realize this circuit is about, is for the people IN the organizations. This activity is our hobby, this activity is our break from the 9-5's. This activity is one where we can get together with friends and play, spin, march, or whatever. That's always what it's been about, communities. A lot of people can't afford to go over to Reading, they live too far away. So they join a corps closest to them and they become part of a family. Sometimes your family wins, sometimes it doesn't. That's why the Bucs aren't killing DCA, I don't even think it's dying. With a stronger top 10 then there's been in a little while, the fact that we still have two thriving classes, corps from oversea's competing, DCA is fine and everyone needs to stop worrying about who should or should not win and advocate for DCA for the right reasons.
  3. 3 points
    I want to chime in on the Will Pitts selection by the PR admin. Will already well knows and has the trust of those who administer and decide the life of PR. Besides his noteworthy career there as conductor, he also was the corps' tour mgr. for several seasons after aging out. Few other possibilities other than Michael Martin of Cavies' brass staff know better the insides of the PR culture and process. His love for his alma mater will challenge the bar of his composition amazingly. He is a man much driven by honor and character. PR has certainly had excellent hornlines over the years. Perhaps Will will meet a greater talent level than he experienced this summer at SpoA; definitely the age at Rockford was older this past season than the Georgia corps. His name is already known (and proven) to those who wish to audition for Regiment. Auditionees will not be as anxious about the Regiment image that drew them as his sense of Regiment is not "an experiment." He will not need to mark time "adjusting" to the Regiment way or persons. To the Madison homer who keeps knocking Mr. Pitts' band arrangements (and thus is putting down Madison's neighbor to the south, perhaps writing between the lines to audition for Madison instead,) Will's arrangements have particularly been to educate and elevate younger scholastic lines, not the usual challenge level of top 10 finalists for DCI who play with college age maturity.. But he is given a new altitude to attain for Regiment beyond what he has written for much younger ensembles. To me it is interesting that the same DCP posters who so often criticize the lack of new blood and the re-cycling of the same old names and faces propose exactly that to fill the vacancy at Rockford. I anticipate that the Warrenites on the Rock River will be quite happy with their selection come this winter and future.
  4. 3 points
    Congrats to Will!!! I have a ton of respect for him as a person and an educator. For the few folks that say this was a"safe" decision.......I guess the same could have been said about JD Shaw and we all know how that turned out. As for going outside the organization.... Don Hill had a very respectable run with the Regiment and I personally wish him the all the best in his future endeavors and thank him for what he did for the Regiment....however, folks weren't satisfied with that decision either! Looks like the corps is ###### if they do and ###### if they don't. It will be exciting to see what Will brings to the table and offer him a hearty WELCOME ABOARD/WELCOME BACK!!!! Who better to bring back that Phantom sound than someone who understands it from the inside out? Anxiously awaiting the 2016 show announcement.
  5. 2 points
    (disclaimer: I'm not fired up about the Pitts hire - I've heard some of his wind ensemble stuff and like it, and I've heard some of his HS arrangements and don't like it) Buick brings up a good point: What had Shaw really done prior to being named arranger in 2002? He'd arranged for Boston Crusaders at some point in the 90s, I think. He'd arranged for a brass ensemble that he participated in. Other than that, had he done much? Granted, he was older, and he'd served on some staffs. Shaw was primarily a performer, Pitts is primarily a composer - I think there are positives for each perspective.
  6. 2 points
    Also happy to see that Kuhn and Ferguson will be writing the percussion book again
  7. 2 points
    On one hand I'm disappointed that PR has once again shown that they aren't willing to go outside of their 'network' for the best talent available. On the other hand, I think there is potential that this could be a very very good thing. I actually liked a lot of what he wrote for spirit last year, especially the ballad. The show was a hot mess still, but there were some good things going on with the brass arrangement. He is a young writer, and if he is this talented in his 20's I'm excited to see what he will grow in to. I was crossing my fingers for Frank Sullivan, even though I know that would never happen, but this MIGHT be a home run for phantom in the long run. He chose and fell in love with phantom regiment for the same reasons many of us have. I have high hopes that he will make phantom sound like phantom again, and I'd bet money that this will be an upgrade over Hill. Time will tell
  8. 2 points
    Having judged at many levels for over 30 years, it bothers me that people seem to feel like all judges are corrupt and incompetent. As a whole, judges are highly trained, educated, honest people that are making a call based on their own history and a set of criterion spelled out on the back of the sheets. Whenever you are placed in a position of ranking groups somebody is going to be upset by your opinions. Are there those that are better than others? Of course. Are there some that maybe shouldn't be put in the position they are in? Possibly. But on the whole, they get it right more often than not. We may not like the outcome, but when taken as a whole, they do a pretty amazing job. Having listened to all of our tapes from finals, I was very impressed with most of the commentary. Did I agree with all of their rankings? No. But when all is said and done, I am not prepared to throw them all over a cliff and say the system is flawed and needs to be abandoned. I am a firm believer that if you are putting a good product out there on a consistent basis, people are going to take notice. After all, that is all the performers can do anyway, and that is where I choose to place my efforts. As always, just my 2 cents. Dan
  9. 2 points
    After reading, or at least skimming I don't think its the Bucs, or Blogs, or anything else killing DCA except DCA. This is a really long response, so I won't take it personally if you skip my post. But this is something that I think the people up top need to hear, and they need to see the comparison of both circuits. For you who don't want to read, the morale of the story is, I know what DCI is marketing and what it wants to be known as, but I don't know what DCA wants to be known as. DCI has figured out what, and how to market itself. There was a period where it started to falter. Lets call DCIs dark years the early 2000 until 2012. Because they tried lots of different things. They had to combine Div 2 and 3 into one division because small (or new) corps were dying like they had the plague, and Div 1 wasn't expanding either. In fact they were losing groups that had been around for ten years and even twenty years plus. Attendance was starting to fall. So they added G7, and other terrible ideas that started to alienate corps, which eventually became the Tournament of Champions. Which is only slightly better for marketing and corps relationships. But after a period where DCI was becoming something many people didn't want to be a part of anymore, the ship has righted itself, and DCI's tickets sales have been growing, in a city that while easy for many to travel to, stinks. Indy stinks, and DCI is now locked in there for ten stinky years. Yes you attend for a week of drum corps, but if you've been there more than once, you want to see other stuff. And the same old same old gets really old. If you work with BOA bands, you get the joys of attending that stinky city twice within four months. groosssss. BUT... DCI found a way to market its product. Not just to ticket buyers, but to future marching members. And it found a way to help jumpstart new corps. Soundsport. Thanks to soundsport (a mini corps like pseudo competition) it now costs VERY LITTLE to get a group up and running, and performing at shows. Heck, you can use any instrumentation you want in it. Star United plays in it to get their practice runs in for Mini Corps competition. There's no maximum performer numbers. Only space constraints. Its the perfect opener to help get butts in seats for other events, and to get other musicians interested in the activity. As for programming, DCI has found a way to market weird, arty shows, stiff competition, and the most elite of elite performers under age 22 on the fields. And its not only feeding ticket sales, its feeding corps auditioning members. Now the host city, is as white bread 'mericuh as they come. But it has a mall downtown and lots of restaurants near the stadium so that when I'm tired of sitting in quarters, I can go walk down the block and get a real meal. And every place we went, the staff of the restaurants knew why we were there. Asking us how we liked visiting. They saw our badges and chatted with us a bit. I didnt have that experience in Rochester. Seemed like no one at any bar or restaurant I went to knew there was a "major event" going on in their city. This is something DCA needs to fix. They need to make relationships with the local businesses, and find a way to get butts not only in DCA's seats, but encourage DCA attendees to go to places. Heck, work out a deal. "show your ticket stub and get 10% off your bill". But this takes work. Even corps in DCI work with local restaurants to host alumni events during finals week. Does the groups in DCA do this? It gives former marching members additional incentive to show up and hang out with old friends. Now lets look at DCA. What is it REALLY supposed to be. Is it trying to be "Marching Music's Other Major League"? Is it trying to be "America's Entertainment"? yeah, i stole that from the Statesmen. I never saw them except on Youtube, but hey, that's something to market. Is it trying to be "The NEXT Best Thing to Marching Music's Major League", or a cheap alternative. I can't answer that, and I'm going to bet that neither can anyone in the DCA offices. How do you get butts in seats for an organization's biggest event when you can't find a way to hook people? If corps are dying, its because funding isn't coming in to cover expenses, or members arent showing up to audition. (or a combo of both) Now I see the young faces of DCA and it feels to me like it wants to be an alternative to DCI. Maybe its the whole "march here, its cheaper/less time consuming". But really, do you want that on DCA's website? I think I've stated this before about DCA being at a crossroads, and I still think its there. Its not sure which direction to go. It has to keep butts in the seats, and members auditioning overall. And if it doesn't evolve to keep new faces and minds interested, it will die off as the current ticket buyers get old and stop attending. If the corps don't find a way to grab faces and bring them in, they too will die off as members get older and find its no longer good for their body to march anymore. I think some of the older faces seem alienated already by shows that don't feel like DCA shows. And while I'm the first to tell the "this isn't drum corps" dinosaurs to go Eff themselves, I do realize that you do need to find a way to market this activity to those who, though may be hesitant about the evolution, still love it enough to buy tickets and bring friends. Its those who just complain and scare off business that can still go Eff themselves. Yknow, in DCI, you can get the whole week in one ticket package. You can also buy an Open Class only package, or a Super 3 which is quarters, semis, and finals. You cannot get a package in DCA. Call me crazy, but if you can get people a discount by buying all the events at once, you'll get more tickets sold to all the events. People enjoy the idea that they are saving money, even when they are spending more. So to be honest, I dont know the answer, but I do know, that whatever the old regime did, wasn't working that well. And I love this activity, I'm new to DCA, but it doesnt feel like the governing organization gives two sh*ts about anything. Its just... eh. At least in DCI the governing body knows its job is to sell, and treat the activity like a business. In DCA, i'm not sure what its MO is. That could be a problem.
  10. 2 points
    So, he didn't die after all. Amazing.
  11. 2 points
    For the love of God...don't forget the double and triple-tonguing, cross-handed playing, and a line of notes so solidly black that they actually form a dark streak, wafting across the field like a flock of diarrhetic doves of peace wafting across Lebanon with olive branches in their beaks. Oh...and the semi-squats resembling a baby with poopy drawers (is that the move that many refer to as "bug smashing"????). Oh...that isn't "musical." Which, by the way, is my point exactly. But...while I'm on here...yeah....something similar to Brady (not Tom...Jim...the one with the expansive sound, not deflated) and the Bridgemen screaming "Spanish Dreams" definitely wouldn't be met with disapproval...in this mind, at least. Ok...call me simple and perverse. But I know what turns me on...and what doesn't quite "do it" for me. Edit: Sorry...forgot...you said "new" music. My mistake. Never mind (tum-de-dum-de-dum.....)....
  12. 1 point
    Hi All, While surfing around on this cloudy weather day I stumbled on to this one. How bout we ditch some of the classical, symphonic and wind ensemble stuff (We can use a depature a bit...can't we?) and rip in to some really different styles and pacing of music with a style this... Beginning to 1:05 and then check out 2:06 onwards.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qV2EgzkgD0 By the way, Arturo S. is my all-time favorite trumpet player....
  13. 1 point
    Wut. I would say 2004 is my favorite. 2009 is my second-favorite.
  14. 1 point
    Whoa. Key Poulan over Will Pitts? What the hell is in the water. All you need to know about Key Poulan was his writing at SCV, outside of one season, was terrible, and the music caption was some of their worst in that era compared to the corps overall.
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    I'm sorry, so what is it? Instructors or writers???? I'm speaking to the choice of Will Pitts to the Regiment design team. As for instructors, ask the marching members what they think of their instructors? i'm not buying that argument about the instructors as we have all seen the incredible strides the corps has made from beginning of the season to the end. That took great effort on both the instructors and the marching members parts. I applaud them both.
  17. 1 point
    People voiced their opinions about the corps missing their signature sound. Don's arrangements were thoroughly entertaining but did they lend themselves to that sound????? Could it have been the Jupiter brass? I'm not sure, but what I do see, by the corps, is an effort to regain the identity that so many people said went missing and that involves some risk.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Personally, I was hoping for Frank Sullivan. Also, Key Poulan would do nice things as well for them. With the amount is flack people have thrown out about Don Hill, who I do think is talented, I would have gone with someone with a proven track record at the DCI or BOA level, not a decent up and coming nice guy.
  20. 1 point
    I am very interested to hear how Will Pitts arranges for Phantom next year. I haven't been very impressed with any of the music arranging in the past few years at Phantom, and some fresh ideas could be just what the doctor called for. Looking forward to seeing this develop!
  21. 1 point
    I respect your optimism, bur for me, based on his writing for marching band a and the DCI level, I'm not sure this is the best choice that could have been made. Rewind to when JD got the gig and I might have said the same, but this is now and that was JD Shaw. Different people, different talents, can't compare.
  22. 1 point
    As far as I am concerned, this is a powerful team. Tony Smith was integral to the corps' survival during the lean times, and has been a design innovator since the late 70's. While people speak of SCV's groundbreaking asymmetric drill design in 1980, check out some photos of Boston in 79 and 80....both of those shows featured asymmetric drill throughout. And with his involvement with the corps since being a percussionist in the mid 60's, his institutional memory is unmatched by anyone in the visual design category to this day. Brian Murphy's success with the corps in the early 2000's, as well as his designs more recently represents the apex of BAC's visual scoring reach. (Core of Temptation, anyone?) While I only know Jay Murphy by reputation, that reputation speaks for itself. He also, has been involved with BAC in the past and I should note that all three of these guys know each other very well. Having said of all of this, I would add one more note. The climb out of back to back 10th place finishes at Finals won't be easy. Boston will have to somehow design and execute a program which will be an entire level above the last two seasons. This staff announcement is a GIANT leap to that end. I do think that this team, along with the recent announcement of Chris Holland as Exec Director, represent Boston's most aggressive commitment in years to "bring it" in August.
  23. 1 point
    Jeff, spot on. One thing I take intense pride in is that in my time at Westshore I beat everyone at least once. It was a big deal for us to beat the Bucs in 82 and 83, believe me. What Dan Detwiler has said here on this thread is a LOT like the things we started to realize and think about as members at Westshore 35 years ago when we sat down and talked with each other. We realized we needed to be more disciplined like them. Rehearse harder like they did. Perform with greater quality like they did if we ever wanted to be anything. Note that we never felt nor did we want to copy them in terms of musical or visual programming, in look, or on-field personality. I think that some folks think the other competitors have to copy what they do programmatically and aesthetically to be successful. Then they gripe a lot. It's how things are done, it's the methods behind everything that are the main element to the success. What's scary is at a KK-Psi get together, some of my brothers at WCU are active Bucs- and I told them- look around. I'm the only corps guy in the room who's ever beaten your corps at DCA. And... look how freakin' old I am. I told them they should always be proud that they're part of that successful of an organization. Another thing worth noting regarding the organization there, from my observation is this- and personally this is the one BIG thing I think is the real key for every corps wishing to be successful- they place a heavy priority, if not THE number one priority on long term sustainability. They do everything in their power to make sure the Bucs will be there and providing the experience they desire to provide to its members for many years to come. Some folks have hit on this in the thread and I think so many people who criticize the Bucs don't truly get this: In no conversation that I've had with anyone at the Bucs- Staff, Administration, support, membership, has "Coming in first place every year" been part of the experience they desire to provide to the members. It's something that might/could happen as a by-product of that experience. Their priority is to provide the very best instruction they can, design and arrange the very best on-field presentation in their style that they can, run the business end of the corps smart and prudent, and treat everyone right. When a group puts coming in first place over the other stuff- that's when serious problems can start eating away at a corps and wrecking it. What's even crazier, Jeff-- A couple of years back at Big Sounds, You, me, and my sister might have been the only three people in the whole stadium who could say that who weren't on the panel. Have to go. Some other good stuff from Chris earlier I'd like to get to but I need to turn in.
  24. 1 point
    Are you equating Pitts to Shaw?
  25. 1 point
    well, when say maybe 3o of those groups are 5 or more hours away from the destination, it does make it harder
  26. 1 point
    and the judges direction comes from the corps telling them what they want
  27. 1 point
    Well blue stars visual caption head has a post on Facebook about teching Madison this year. Chris Kaflik out and nobody announced yet. " Andrew Ebert September 6 at 12:36pm · Philadelphia, PA · Very excited about two new additions to our visual staff at the Madison Scouts. I'm so lucky to have Chris Kaflik and Dusty Del Moro agree to be on board and help us develop the program. These are two of the brightest stars in the activity and I can't wait to see what they do with Blake and the crew."
  28. 1 point
    I'm waiting for the day someone decides to to this as their ballad, but maybe it's a little too "bando"...not that there's anything wrong with that (Seinfeld reference) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3R_sO91-iU
  29. 1 point
    Nobody EVER got better by eliminating or handicapping the competition. If you don't want the Bucs to win, beat them...... otherwise, when we announce corps' scores for the Finals, the winner would be announced as ".....and in 2nd place, the 201x Champion............"
  30. 1 point
    Really hope this is the case!Also, Will Pitts announced as brass arranger!
  31. 1 point
    I think you owe Hopkins a dollar... excellent choices for Boston '16; will this be another Dada/Animal Farm or the shows that brought Boston on the verge of medaling like the Bolero show?
  32. 1 point
    Hmm... system favoring the Bucs? IIRC, when they added the communication thing, a few pundits here were rubbing their hands with evil glee and drooling over their keyboards because they felt the Bucs couldn't do that and that other corps would steal that subcaption. Maybe the problem was that the Bucs weren't communicating to them in the way they desire to be communicated to. They seem to be communicating well enough with the judging panels.... As for C2, it's already been mentioned that many of those same pundits figured they'd immediately take over DCA and smack everyone into oblivion forever and ever amen and their panic was amusing. This year was a big one for them. Now, they have to sustain that level. It could be tricky to do so. They have some unusual variables in their equation that aren't in the others.
  33. 1 point
    1. Reading Buccaneers 2. Predicting scores based on last years score without ever seeing a show. 3. A missing 3rd place trophy. 4. Tropical Storm Ernesto 5. Yardlines 6. ABR 7. Mysterious white powder and trashed rooms 8. #Conch-shell-gate 9. Shadow 7 complaining about Ernesto 10. 11th place corps
  34. 1 point
    Very cool. Beats the heck out of the old days... when each circuit, for all intents and purposes, would not acknowledge the other's existence. LOL
  35. 1 point
    Everyone is entitled to form their own opinion about who was best, of course. But there have been precious few comments here claiming that Bucs were not the best corps last Sunday. There were more doubts expressed as to whether C2 deserved to be ahead of Cabs (personally, I say yes) and whether Cabs deserved to be behind MBI (I say no). Furthermore, on Sunday, I found that I was sitting just in front of a lot of Cadets2 family and friends, many of whom had not seen the other corps this year. They were so proud of C2's achievement this year and cheered loudly--but they were very impressed by the Bucs' performance and expected them to win. (I kept hearing, "They're so fast!") Are other champions "out there"? I think in almost every year there are a few shows that, if they were executed at the highest possible level, could contend for the championship. And in some years that execution is achieved by two or more of those corps, so that it's a case of who puts on the extra heat any given night. Last year there were, in my opinion, three corps whose design and execution put them at that plane. At Prelims, they were ranked 1. Cabs; 2. MBI; 3. Bucs (personally, I would have had it 1. Cabs; 2. Bucs; 3. MBI) and at Finals, setting aside the penalty, they were ranked 1. Bucs; 2. Cabs & MBI (too close to call between all three for me; I thought Bucs and MBI both stepped up their game but that Cabs had done enough to barely hold on). But no results in the past four seasons (since I started following DCA) suggests that "bureaucratic hypocrisy" has played any part. Meanwhile, Blue Devils have been nearly as dominant in DCI as Buccaneers have been in DCA, and yet DCI's attendance is rising.
  36. 1 point
    Seconded - Madison tangoing would be pretty awesome. Mike
  37. 1 point
    Will the horns they play really help if the show concept continues in the same manner as the past couple of years?
  38. 1 point
    Awesome news. Can't wait to see God's Hornline get back to being God's Hornline again. Now, if only they brought in JD Shaw...
  39. 1 point
    I know it's been mentioned in the staff change thread, but why not bring it here too..... Ian Lewis and KC Perkins to head color guard but, for me, the "WOW" is Van Mathews and Bill Zeier coming back to Scouts brass staff. Boerma, Van, Bill.........
  40. 1 point
    Veda is caption supervisor. Hanggi is the caption head. What's the difference? I do not know, but that is what's written on the Scouts' staff page.
  41. 1 point
    I definately want Madison to avoid angry and dark shows. Let the other corps present shows/music like that (Which they usually do)
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