Fred Windish

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Fred Windish last won the day on December 23 2012

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About Fred Windish

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    DCP Fanatic
  • Birthday 04/19/1951

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  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    Many DCA, DCI projects since 1966
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    Male
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    Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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  1. Fred Windish

    DCI survey

    This is also my impression! As far as I'm concerned, preserving the viability of national touring corps is an important objective going forward. Not the only objective, of course. But, Drum Corps International (the organization) functions on the revenue generated from its self-sponsored, focus events. This means Indy and the other Regionals. These are the events DCI puts together. The balance of the national tour dates serve to link together the major events, both to and from. It is increasingly more difficult for DCI to find corps housing to accommodate its focus events. Recent news and events could make finding enough space in public school districts an impossible task. So, what might happen? Perhaps, corps being housed in college dorms and hotel rooms. If the age 18 minimum serves to help DCI better manage its own events, I'm all for that. It's the DCI focus events that produce significant funding to Drum Corps International. The ticketing, sponsorship, souvenir sales, and digital media income from these events help to make related marching arts functions healthy, too. That includes every smaller, probably younger, drum corps. To repeat, if an age minimum would help to extend the viability of distance travel then that's what needs to happen.
  2. Yes, attendance figures are a total mystery. So many variables. By the way, I read a Wall Street Journal article one day last week that dealt with declining attendance at live events due to more people deciding there is much less hassle and expense to just stay home in front of our large screen tv. That's what I do, actually. No more trips to Tuscaloosa for me! If we are throwing around estimates about Williamsport, based on certain personal research, I saw about 2800 seats occupied at Finals during the last half of the event. Again, I did not attend, just watched on Box 5.
  3. Fred Windish

    DCA Livestream

    I was mostly pleased with the broadcast. The biggest problem we had enjoying the video was something only Mother Nature can solve. The glare from the sun shining directly from behind the corps created giant shadows making it difficult to discern drill patterns. Had to be difficult for the camera operators to keep things in balance. For the final 5 corps, it was like watching an entirely different show. So, hope for a cloudy day next year???? I suggest Box 5 makes their ever present, on-screen logo much smaller. It was as if a cube of cheddar cheese was suspended in the sky. A little annoying at times. Also, the still DCA Championship graphic was on screen too long. Much more interesting to watch movement throughout the stadium even if it's just fans milling around in the distance. The "Dave and Joey Show" between corps struck the proper tone. I would suggest a third/fourth member on screen who would be better prepared with scripted material to keep some pressure off the other two in filling time between corps. The lighter, more entertaining nature of the whole thing was a good way to handle this task. DCA has always been a little more personable than DCI. This was the appropriate flavor, no doubt, but it could use further development. It was nice to see the broadcast in full HD. I did experience a few buffering issues along the way. My (very capable) laptop was connected to a 65 inch TV with superior cables. The buffering and occasional freeze are problems I don't experience with DCI broadcasts using Roku. Perhaps, a Roku channel will be available next time. Again, broadcast revenue could be very important to DCA going forward. In-person crowds are definitely shrinking at all kinds of events. This DCA Championship wasn't able to fill an even smaller venue than Rochester. No idea how many purchased the broadcast this year, but it would be helpful if thousands more viewing from home could become a sizeable revenue booster for the corps. On a related matter, the stadium expansion (so far) doesn't help to entice more people to attend. Both new sections added are well beyond the goal line. If only those spaces between the goal line and the 20 yard line would be completed, there might be more flexibility with family-friendly seating. Finally, if any corps was to top Buccaneers, my guess would have been Atlanta CV . Good job, CV!
  4. I attended DCI in Montreal. Also several other DCI Championships. Montreal was the biggest Finals crowd I ever witnessed. I can't guarantee whatever number went up on the scoreboard that night was 100% accurate, because audience counts have way too many variables to influence the balance between reality and the visual appearance. We need to consider, for instance, the width of each seat, the distance between rows, and the number of aisles. Indy DCI is over capacity now for all practical purposes. The additional revenue will need to come from other sources besides the nightly gate. This is precisely why broadcast revenue is so critical to DCI's improved financial health. Hey, I actually prefer enjoying DCI through broadcast. Must be nuts, right?
  5. HA! Fran and I have discussed this very point on several occasions. Filling the grandstand should not be the primary objective, as strange as that sounds. The important goal is to give everyone who does attend a very good experience to make them want to attend yet another time.
  6. Fred Windish

    Uh Uh Oh Oh Cadets

    Story refers to an instructor of Cadets2 whose name was included on a Catholic clergy list of offenders. Important to note, YEA said a prior background check WAS undertaken. It revealed nothing that would indicate this potential. These are not easy situations to guard against!
  7. Fred Windish

    Drain The Swamp, Dan

    I visited Don Pesceone in Villa Park, IL in 1976 at the DCI Office. That might have been the very first location. Thank you for remembering the late, great Don Whiteley. He was extremely important in making DCI what it is today. Very talented, well-connected guy. Above corrected from Lombard to Villa Park. Sorry.
  8. Fred Windish

    Putting it all in context

    I believe you make a good point. This is such a difficult (even depressing) situation to explain, but I agree there is something to be said for having a "Certified DCI Class Organization." Some seal of approval that means this corps has undergone a thorough review of its organization to verify its suitability to carry the Drum Corps International banner. To represent DCI by having a record of responsible management that meets or exceeds certain minimum standards of participation. The standards would include not just health and safety protections for members, but also demonstrated financial and legal stability. What we are beginning to see are sore points identified with the entire marching music activity, DCI as well other groups outside DCI's purview. There must be a way to differentiate responsible management practices and success found in DCI, from any similar organization who might be guilty of less than satisfactory conduct. To me, the challenge is to reduce DCI's exposure by exercising greater control. Even if that means managing fewer organizations.
  9. Fred Windish

    Putting it all in context

    Forget starting another topic. I'll just add this: Three controversies have caused levels of damage to what can be called the DCI brand, and drum & bugle corps generally. Some here have expressed fears the entire activity can go down over some of these incidents and the poor impressions they can create in the minds of members' parents, adult volunteers, and the general public. I do not believe that will happen, but significant changes should be expected. More must be done to protect the integrity of the brand itself. That might mean downsizing to be more manageable, better to monitor. At the risk of sounding too G-7 like, I contend DCI's highest, most visible level is from where all else flows. Call it World Class as now, or maybe, DCI Class. This to be the most exclusive group. Most difficult to enter. The reliable, stable, and best traveled groups. Look, this elite level is what best attracts large corporate sponsors, millions of dollars through gate admissions, product purchases, etc. DCI (the collective and its office staff) is the mothership that must be preserved. This is not a call for less drum & bugle corps throughout the nation! Newer, smaller, randomly operating throughout the nation are still encouraged. But, full DCI membership status is more difficult to achieve. No "Good Houskeeping Seal of Approval" merely by scoring more points from the judging panels. The "DCI Class" distinction, the right to wear that logo, etc. is earned by also meeting high standards of organizational performance. This class can be limited to members over the age of 18. These are the groups who are structured by DCI to embark on a national tour. We can't expect DCI to be held responsible for the operations of every group that picks-up brass, percussion, and other performers. That's not possible, and much too risky. There has to be a better way to differentiate those groups who carry the DCI banner from every other group operating under different management. Yes, the present issues have come from what is called World Class. There can be more to come. We need to consider ways to lessen the DCI brand's exposure to negative news. "Button it further up" You can't eliminate this type of thing, but can develop better safeguards. If DCI ever falls, regaining the current, prominent level of our beloved activity could takes many years to achieve. So, what changes would you make?
  10. Fred Windish

    Putting it all in context

    I think we are somewhat in agreement here! I am going to begin a new topic now. In the mood to write, and this is such a critical time that demands full discussion.
  11. Fred Windish

    Putting it all in context

    Every change will create a different challenge somewhere else, no doubt. At the highest level of "official" DCI participation (World Class only, Top 12?) I'd be more comfortable promoting what's going on as a YOUNG ADULT division, rather than simply Youth. Tough topic!
  12. Fred Windish

    Putting it all in context

    Yes, I realize the difficulty here. Abuse is still abuse, etc.
  13. Fred Windish

    Putting it all in context

    As to the age thing . . . . I'm thinking more about national touring groups who hold a DCI designation. Surely, there will be groups throughout the nation with younger participants. Just seems too risky to embark on official DCI "6 week long camping trips" with underage youths.
  14. Fred Windish

    Putting it all in context

    Certainly changes will be coming. It is necessary to further insulate the "brand" from damaging conduct that makes moving into the future more difficult. A few ideas: 1. Make DCI Membership (Seal of Approval, etc.) a more difficult standard to achieve. Score at Championship should not be enough. I'm sure there are underlying qualifiers beyond just this, but are they as rigid as needed? 2. Limit participation in sanctioned DCI events to just 25 corps (Open and World combined). 3. Minimum age requirement to perform as a DCI corps set at 18. Maximum age 22. Everyone over the age of consent. 4. Reduce the size of certified corps adult instructional staff. Way too many techs these days to monitor. 5. Independent safety inspections of all rolling stock. 6. Legally Certified medical person with corps at all times during group travel and participation in DCI events. 7. Firm guidelines on practice hours and rest time. To clarify, it just seems the "elite level" of DCI performance groups have way too much at stake to be tarnished by smaller, kitchen table managed corps.
  15. Fred Windish

    SCV's show was an epic musical fail.

    danielray- thank you for sharing the above portion. It is excellent! An assessment I never had a chance to consider. I still believe, however, what DCI designers must always remember, they ARE marketing a product, too! A steady stream of willing purchasers of tickets and digital media is essential for the organization's survival. Millions of dollars are created by being appealing to the broader audience. Funding makes this all happen. Without an embracing effect upon viewers and listeners the means to present on such a wide scale is missing. We'd be left peddling physics lessons, so to speak. I'm sure you understand, we are a segment of the entertainment industry, too. Finding a sweet spot between both (art and entertainment) is the challenge. Success in doing that will forever be debatable.