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Everything posted by FLBuzcut

  1. It's not as if I sit and bawl at drum corps shows but there have been a few times in the past where a "moment" has choked me up, usually as a combination of everything on tbe field; music, visual, character. I know I teared up at Scouts 2011 when the corps stopped and looked up in horror (at the towers coming down) and 2003 Spirit during "October" with the flags of designers gone, like Zingali, Jim Ott. I could see it happening for BK and "Saturn", given their treatment of "To Build a Home" and "Fly to Paradise." Now, goosebumps are a totally different story. When Crown hits that big blast of "Medea" in the opener I get serious chills.
  2. Absolutely. It's a really fine art museum set in a beautiful park NW of downtown. When I was there a couple of years ago it was donations only, but they've unfortunately implemented a standard paid admission. Still worth it, if you like your art in forms other than performing.
  3. First, I like the show and I always like the Troopers. Nothing wrong with Americana but this show is a nice departure while still keeping things in the Troopers milieu. That being said, does anyone else find the show eerily similar to Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School's (Lexington, KY) show from last fall? Different music, but basically the same visual package. Dunbar's show was "Unbridled," Troopers is "Wild Horses." Anyone else see the similarity? Also, I'm a bit confused over the final visual. I take it the horns are a metaphor for horses, but if the show is about Wild Horses (being free, etc.) why are they corralled at the end? Doesn't seem like the final statement they intended.
  4. I had seem drum corps on video/TV for the annual PBS broadcast of Finals. It was the late '70s and our band director was a big drum corps fan, which was pretty unusual for a small farm town in central Florida, but she exposed our little marching band to the wider world out there. From video, I remember thinking how good and innovative corps were, but I don't think I got anywhere near the full effect until I'd seen my: First live show: Drums Across America - Atlanta - 1978. I don't recall everyone there, but I do remember the Kilities, who had misplaced their uniform truck and marched in shorts and t-shirts, the Guardsmen-I really responded to that whole British flavor, and a new little group called Spirit of Atlanta and their crazy-powerful horn line. My first Finals was 1980 - Birmingham. Seeing the top 12 for the first time was a transcendent experience...to see that much high quality in the same place was almost more than I could absorb.
  5. Blue Stars in, Spirit out (sorry, Atlanta. I don't want to be a traitor to the south but that lounge act is just not doing it for me.)
  6. Hi old folks! (and I mean that fondly!) I do NOT like to reopen old topics, but as probably one of the few people here with a Squires story, I had to relight the fire. I grew up in a small town in the sticks in Florida where our HS band director turned us on to drum corps. However, aside from watching finals on PBS and going to a few shows, we didn't have a good idea of how or where one would join a corps. So I'm off to Ithaca, NY in my freshman year at Cornell, in the marching band and become friends with a girl from Ithaca who's HS band was also very into the drum corps thing. So we talked corps and went to local marching band competitions and such and laughed at the old high-steppers in our own band (Cornell Band was very loose). Through our corps talk we realize that there's an ACTUAL drum and bugle corps only 30 miles away from us in Watkins Glen and we should check it out. We got hold of the director and he invited us to the last rehearsal before Christmas break. So we go but we were SO nervous about going, thinking we'd have to audition, and how hard would it be to get in, etc. My only frame of reference was those people in the top-12 corps from Championships, who were all grown in laboratories so that they'd all march and play the same way. We didn't think they took "normal" people like us and maybe we could beg and work really hard. In retrospect, I'm sure the director was equally excited about having some fresh talent coming in. So we go and meet people and they try to work us into their "vision" of the '81 Squires: her in the guard and me in the hornline. Uhhh.....no. I'd been playing woodwinds for many years, and had no desire whatsoever to switch teams and pick up a baritone bugle (remember bugles?). My friend, though, was a music major and knew her way around the brass family as well; she was a musician and wanted to play. But for some reason, maybe because she was a thin, pretty girl, they handed her a flag and pushed her into the guard. Well we tried...we made it through the first day and said we'd come back in January. I even took the baritone back with to Ithaca and promised I'd work on it. However, neither one of us were liking the way this was turning out...did we want to give up weekends and the summer like this? Well, it was time for Christmas break so we weren't due back in Watkins Glen till January. While at home in Florida for the break, my best bud from high school hears about ANOTHER small drum corps, only about an hour away at Tampa Bay, who was looking to bring in more members and really expand this year. And so we get invited to another rehearsal/ audition. We get there and there's at least twice the number that were at the Squires meeting, and we ask right up front about the co-ed color guard situation and they say Sure- we want a co-ed guard." So like that, we're now part of Suncoast Sound. So after New Year's, we had to go back to Watkins Glen and politely bow out of the Squires. I was already committed to Suncoast and my friend said she wouldn't do it without me; so that was that. Well, it turned out pretty good for me and Suncoast. Later that summer we actually ran into the Squires at a show somewhere in New York or Pennsylvania but it was little sad seeing the final corps that year. And I DON'T MEAN TO BAD-MOUTH THEM!!n They were a good, solid, medium-sized corps from a little town in the middle of upstate New York, as most of the corps in the Northeast were in those days. That's what they wanted and they ended up doing very well in '81. But Suncoast had close to a full corps (about 110) and we were looking forward to one day being one of the big guys, making FINALS and all that. So that's my long story of almost becoming a Watkins Glen Squire and instead helping to develp Suncoast Sound (ooooh, shivers!). The end.
  7. There are a lot of instances where fans use one term and the "insiders" (members, staff, family) use something else: Vanguard to members, Santa Clara or SCV to fans Lancers to members, 2-7 to fans Scouts to members, Madison to fans just to name a few.
  8. After I spoke with the guy from DCI's office, I did some research and the reason they streams are not more robust is because of the Brightcove Services company, who is coordinating DCI's whole video effort. The 500kbs and 480x360 resolution is the standard for their streaming and on-demand video set up. They give their clients very good guidelines and tools to help with the quality of the video before it makes it onto their network, in an effort to maximize what little bandwidth they're using; and based on most of the reports, this must be helping a bit. But even a streaming standard of 640x480 at about 1200kbs would be a big improvement. I also read on Brightcove's website that they're changing their media players to accommodate higher quality and newer encoding technology. They have an example of a HD source, encoded in widescreen at 720p at a low enough bitrate that it still streams over any broadband connection and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. If only they had that in place now I'd have no reason to complain. Maybe next year... And I'm sure the DVD sales angle is an issue. Oh, and even with membership in the Fan Network, you know you can purchase better quality video, encoded with h.264 with bitrate of 2100kbs and resolution of 640x480 for $4.49 per corps (which I find ludicrous). So for an entire year's top-twelve, it would cost $53.88 to download individual videos...or you can buy the Legacy Collection DVD for $39. Um, okay....
  9. There are so many, but one I always remember is 1990 Cadets, during the bit from Fancy Free Ballet when first a guy in the guard tosses his rifle straight up in the air, followed immediately by a soprano player, who tosses his horn straight up in the air, just about as high as possible, then catches it. Cooool.
  10. Yes, all the banners are very, very nice. Sure would be great if there was one for Suncoast Sound. (I can't be the first person to mention it, can I?) Thanks!
  11. Howdy, Like a few others of you, I've stomped and moaned for years about the Fan Network, dabating whether or not to join, thinking that I wouldn't use it enough over the summer to get my money's worth...then this year they keep lowering the price! Now, at $39 I figure I may as well. My big question is about the quality of the both the On Demand Video and the Streaming Broadcasts? I contacted DCI's office and got a very detailed explanation from a guy there about speed and resolution of the various video formats. The one that really bothered me was the streaming one, since that's primarily what we're paying for. 500kbs speed and resolution of 480x360 is not the highest quality for streaming media. However, a lot depends on the quality of the raw video and how it is encoded in WMV for streaming. Most of those people who mention it say that the picture & sound quality are excellent. Anyone think differently? I don't need it to be HD quality, but I have a pretty nice system with a 24" widescreen LCD display that will magnify the good, bad or ugly of the video. And I don't want to sit hear and be annoyed for 3 or 4 hours because of a blurry picture. So, let's hear it fans! Thanks! Jim