Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


ironlips last won the day on April 10

ironlips had the most liked content!

Recent Profile Visitors

4,855 profile views

ironlips's Achievements

DCP Fanatic

DCP Fanatic (3/3)



  1. Chalk it up to a youth misspent obsessing about all things Drum Corps. I recall several corps playing Never My Love, Cherish, and/or Windy. The LI Kingsmen come to mind among them. I'm sure if you check the DCX archive you will probably also find Along Comes Mary, and Everything that Touches You, in addition to Requiem. In a day when most corps arrangers worked by ear "off the record" as opposed to analyzing printed scores, the group's charts were easily decipherable by virtue of their clarity of line. They were also harmonically and melodically well suited for brass, clearly a result of Terry Kirkman's early musical training. I'll bet he tried out his tunes on trumpet first rather than keyboard or guitar like most of his contemporaries. Evidence points to a marching background. One can't miss the parade snare in the video from the Smothers Bros. Show.
  2. The Association was an exceptional group that was both musically and lyrically achieving at a much higher level than the vast majority of its contemporaries. Many a Drum Corps found inspiration there, perhaps the most prominent being Blue Rock. One could hope for better audio in this clip, but the essence comes through. I for one will never forget the sound of "Requiem" at Roosevelt Stadium that afternoon in '71 as is reverberated around the covered stands. This video is a mash up, but I believe the sound is from that 1971 Dream Contest. Scroll to about 10:45 to catch the Association tune beginning after the drum solo. Note a very young Moe Knox shooting pix of that huge snare line. Most corps at that time marched only 3 or 4:
  3. Hi, Nate. I am so glad you liked that piece. No doubt you are familiar with the cliche, "write what you know", to which could be added, "and what you truly care about." That's why this little essay was so easy for me to write. Both those conditions were met, long before any keys were tapped. Here's to navigating challenges, for both of us!
  4. My deepest condolences to his family, colleagues and friends. Robert was brilliant, and respected and loved throughout the entire activity. He schooled us all.
  5. True enough. He should get some GE credit for that.
  6. Ironically, I find this discussion simultaneously both interesting and predictable. The same old tropes are trotted out that one encounters whenever a leader must be chosen. On the other hand, the debate reveals some of the thought processes and biases of the posters, which are fascinating. There is an underlying shaky assumption here, however, to wit, the assumption that the DCI Executive Director wields any actual power. That is reserved for the Board, through whom all significant decisions are made and approved. The job of the ED is more closely related to that of a referee who endeavors to keep the players from harming each other by reminding them that they should play by the rules, the very rules they themselves have created. Of course, she/he can only do that with the Board's approval. This is further complicated by the fact that they are all rivals. Now, other than an individual blending the characteristics of Ghandi and Mother Teresa (neither of whom had Drum Corps experience), who would be qualified and willing? Step right up.
  7. My Tennessee colleague makes an important point here. Having taught at various levels for many years (from elementary school through college, and drum corps throughout), using virtually every method in the book (lecture, seminar, clinic, video, symposium, individual mentoring, ...etc.), I am aware that people have a wide variety of learning styles. The best overall strategy for imparting knowledge is to use multiple methods, of course, but even more important is reinforcement. Whether one is learning the F# Major Scale or practical techniques for protecting your charges, once is not enough. The mantra I repeat to my students of every level is "Repetition is your friend. Repetition is your friend. Repetition is your friend". That said, it is also vital to vary the approach to the material when reinforcing the main principles. Watching the same video yearly, over and over, is just promoting OCD. In the particular case of drum corps, their staffs and performers, it will be helpful to utilize live presenters and enacted role play scenarios as well in follow up. As a society we are just beginning to get our collective head around the importance of these ethical issues and how to address them. Drum Corps has made a good start (generally), and would do well to remember the mantra.
  8. Yes, and at least one LI Kingsmen member and probably several other drum corps vets we don't know about. No need to worry that any of them will be forgotten. They are family.
  9. The Fife and Drum activity was quite healthy in the NYC metropolitan area in those days and almost all of the units were church-sponsored. One of the very best was St. Camillus and that team produced many of the top rudimental drummers who later populated corps like Hawthorne, Skyliners, St. Rita's Brassmen and others.
  10. Working with George on the '86 show for the 27th Lancers was unlike anything I had ever experienced. He asked me to use a green highlighter to mark directly on the score which section had the melody at any given time. Understand that the lead voices jumped around like frogs on a pond in a production consisting of Sondheim excerpts: 2 bars of melo lead, 4 for a solo, baris for 2, sops for 1, back to melos...etc. "And you want me to do this, why exactly?", I asked him. "Because you're writing the drill", he replied. "I'll just put those people in the right spots and see wherever everyone else end up...that's it." And that's precisely what he and Marc Sylverster did. "Hey", said Marc, "you've heard 'form follows function', right?" Good philosophy for today's designers, I daresay.
  11. At this point I wouldn't think so. But if a major team left the synths out they might sound a lot better than (not just different from) the rest of the pack.
  12. I must say, I pretty much agree with you, and used to tell people that Drum Corps was the most intense acoustic experience available on the planet. Sadly, that is no longer the case. The distinction now passes to massed pipe bands at the Edinburgh Tattoo. The thing is, it's the designers from the top corps who are making these calls. We ancient reptilians will have little effect here, nor will the adjudicators. A judge is hired to evaluate the teams according to the philosophy and system dictated by the aforementioned designers. That said, there are numerous examples of evolutionary branches that have died out. These are not usually the ones who embrace technology, however. Personally, I prefer the unplugged version of drum corps, but it's almost extinct. Even the Marines use synths in their indoor percussion ensemble. What would Montezuma think?
  13. Evolve or die. (Don't forget, some dinosaurs learned to fly.) https://www.drumcorpsplanet.com/2012/06/inside-the-arc-its-just-not-drum-corps-anymore/
  14. In the category of "Best Concise Description", the Gold Medal goes to: " Bloo is a riot of unconventional thinking."
  • Create New...