Fred Windish

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Everything posted by Fred Windish

  1. Craig - your suggestion is pretty much the same solution I see. Again, I believe there are current organizations who are in position to make necessary changes to their operating budget. Adjustments that would not necessarily be obvious in the level of production displayed to the audience. I don’t see the need to hold back the creative efforts of any group to make the entire genre ‘Drum Corps Lite.’ Because other groups might not be able to field at the same level it would be best to focus on making the Open Class tier even more practical and sustainable. Making Open Class a more attractive option could pay-off for everyone years later. I am not pessimistic as to the continuation of the activity. Obviously, the format will change in certain ways, but do believe a rebound is coming. All anyone can do now is speculate. That’s mine.
  2. In my view, there will be 5-8 remaining World Class corps who can manage a next season just as they had been doing in 2019. But, even if the number of capable survivors is less, my opinion would be the same. It is not plausible to expect the highest tier groups to willingly downsize their abilities and quality of presentations because other corps are having (what we hope) to be temporary setbacks. If DCI is to remain marching music’s ‘Gold Standard,’ it must allow that level to exist and rise unfettered. Certainly not forcibly restrained. Any 2021structure must allow the ‘best and brightest’ to do what they always do. That is, raise the bar. Perhaps, modify the size and scope of a defined limited division that will be more accommodating to corps who will be greater damaged by today’s challenges. Focus more on preserving groups with the highest need to be saved. This tier might find greater comfort in a membership limit of 100, for example. Across the board restrictions on staging props, electronics, staffing, etc. More assistance with regional, 1-2 day, performance opportunities. Separate Regional Championships for this tier only. Each Regional Champion is invited, but not required, to perform during DCI Week in Indianapolis.
  3. Of course everything is ‘up in the air.’ We’ve never faced the same situation before. I can say this with certainty, however. The highlighted ‘product’ will not become anything less than the strongest, most innovative, highly talented display of marching music. Such is the elusive, enduring goal. To occupy a place of accomplishment where few can ever achieve. Yes, our number of competing organizations might lessen, but the mission of ground-breaking achievement will remain in place. It’s human nature. Some groups will find a way. The ‘industry’ of music manufacturing equipment and support requires its ‘shining stars’ to display their wares at the highest imaginable level. The audience consumers of this genre demand the best for their money. They’ll get it. Have you stopped to think, a small group of, say, 8-10 heavy hitters can satisfy the need? That number of survivors CAN fill the void, and we’ll all pay to enjoy it. It might be time for a new Drum Corps International Unlimited Division. Yes, other corps performing at various levels, too.
  4. Bob - I am grateful for your excellent and thorough examination of the challenges facing our corps for 2021. I am in tune with most of your ideas and know they will help guide our leaders going forward. Like many, I have grown weary of all the (to me) unnecessary ‘Virtue Signaling’ that has consumed this site. Nice to talk drum corps at this depth! It is with utmost respect for your efforts, I took the liberty to make minor edits and layout adjustments to your piece, for clarity. I had difficulty reading the original format used. This former educator, admitted perfectionist, couldn’t help myself. Hope you understand that ‘sickness.’ ______________ Having previously expressed thoughts similar to yours, one concern remains in my mind. That is, through it all, DCI possibly continues to include 5-6 corps who will not be as hard-pressed despite the newer environment ahead. I believe a small group of competitors will still be in position to operate as they did in 2019. Call this the Elite Group. Much like the old G-7 philosophers. I can envision such an advantageous ‘Elite Group’ choosing to maintain their present higher standards . . . . because they can ! The desire to recruit members worldwide, hire the best team of managers, be the ultimate, state-of-the-art spectacle of its form, will remain as strong in the hearts of participants as it always has been. That enduring human quest for a ‘perfect 10,’ so to speak. Please comment on the possibility of a smaller group ‘going it alone.’ Thank you.
  5. John, and other Moderators - Thank you for trying to keep Drum Corps Planet a viable resource for discussion. Discussion about drum corps, hopefully. We’ll need a place for that when this nation recovers from this destructive period of time. I’ve got plenty of time these days for research. With the internet, and all its digital capabilities, manipulation of information and discussion has never been easier to participate in. Drum Corps Planet is being used as a tool for some personal, political objectives. Some posters are better at hiding it than others, obviously. Fellow DCP Members, we can lose this valuable site going forward. More and more active participants are moving away from this source. This should be apparent to longtime enthusiasts. Our nation is being mired in great confusion. My hope is, each of you understands, and respects, the complexity of the societal and political issues before us. Naturally, we all want a voice. But, understand, no matter what we espouse here, can easily be disputed, and just as convincingly, by someone else. There are many other sites for purely ideological keyboard battles that have no, or little connection to the Marching Arts. Try out some of those. We are running the risk of reducing DCP’s audience to a small handful of ‘Gotta Have the Last Word’ warriors. That’s tedious and boring for most, over time. No useful purpose in ‘looting, burning down’ the DCP neighborhood.
  6. It’s important to understand we see 2 major ‘protest’ groups operating in places like Seattle. Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA. Both groups do not always have the same goals in mind when they present themselves. I’m not so sure everyone on the streets really understands this. Nor, people at home watching this all go down.
  7. We should recognize, disinformation Is a key ingredient to times like this. So are changing the meaning of words and symbols. Guilt is a biggie, too.
  8. Not a musician by any stretch of imagination, but have been in the presence of hundreds of G brass lines over the years. I did prefer the audience impact of G lines over today’s configuration. To this untrained ear, the G equipment projected stronger, in a more ‘soaring or cutting’ way. The major, well-instructed, G lines of the past really ripped through in a unique way. No doubt, the utility of using those older brass instruments today has passed, and for good reasons. Brass charts are now written for a more diverse objective, it seems. For me, the epitome of G brass was the writing and instructional style of New York Skyliner’s Hy Dreitzer. I couldn’t care less if his product was technically ‘clean,’ or proper. It just worked for me at the time. Today’s lines are quite impressive, for sure. I am not complaining about how the craft has evolved. For someone else who is a true musician, today’s product is understandably superior in many ways. In the end, what’s better for the musician of the era is of greatest importance. I remain grateful continuing on as an ‘innocent bystander’ watching everything unfold over time.
  9. Yet, the human instruments of sound (voice) are kept more in check. Nothing ugly about suggesting the pit ensemble could well be made a smaller, more subtle delight. 🙂
  10. I’m someone who also believes the pit component has become too dominant. I am also old (so hate me). These days, I enjoy DCI almost entirely through media and live broadcasts. With multi-cam and a variety of images from different angles, plus close-ups, these performances are much different. In a good way, to me. I am most interested in enjoying young adults performing their “craft’” to the best of their ability. Doesn’t matter to me what instrument they play, or guard work they display. I need to see them up close, and to share their dedication and joy for those moments. The faces, the beads of sweat, the intensity, the smiles at conclusion. To anyone disillusioned by changes to DCI, I say try looking at it from a different perspective. There’s great stuff going on you’ll never see, or hear, from the bleachers. I guess it really is a Dino thing.
  11. Ah, those 1960s Era New York Skyliners. Nothing quite like that ever since! That classic uniform, the G bugles, the Swing Music, that BIG, BOLD Big City sound with Gotham City Swagger. Standing ovations popping-up throughout the show. Not just polite applause, but tear-filled roars of delight. I feel Blessed to have enjoyed those moments many times . . . in person. So, beyond Happy Birthday to Tommy Martin, I’d like to say thanks to that wonderful legacy that changed my world. To the thousands who wore that iconic uniform. This was the ‘Big League‘ of early drum corps. 👍 ‘Dare was nuttin like dat!
  12. No. I listed some items that could become drivers of SAVINGS. Here is a moment for introspection. To understand what we valued most about this wonderful activity. In stressful times, we should realize many of those same values will remain. Should it become necessary for our corps to temporarily ‘scale down’ in effort to survive, our past has shown, a more ‘generic’ version will do. Our foundation is rock solid . . . .ready for rebuild !
  13. Thank you for reminding us of this key point. The ‘Arms Race’ witnessed over the past couple decades had a negative side, too! Someone had to pay for all the new toys. Progress created an environment that only a handful of organizations could manage. Other organizations decided they had no choice but to keep-up, putting their own efforts under increasing stress. But, when times get tough? My purpose in starting this discussion was to consider our past. The product, the marketability, the expanse of earlier days. A time when budgets were much smaller, productions more basic. A time when . . . many thousands of fans, across hundreds of events all over America, and Canada, were just as wildly enthusiastic in support !
  14. . . . 2021 drum corps performing with 25% fewer marching members. minimal props. smaller pit equipment requirements. multi-year uniform designs. 3 year old brass and percussion instruments. limited, basic amplification. occasional re-use of a music selection the following year. just one extended traveling tour. ____ I sure will ! Older, long term, fans jumped out of their seats screaming for many years with that same product. Who knew? 🤔
  15. I do not share your opinion on political posts. DCP was not/is not provided to serve as a political ideology weapon. People come here to discuss news, etc. related to Marching Music. Thousands of other Message Board opportunities exist to espouse whatever view point one desires, including many sites that are not moderated. I suggest some posters here just go to those sites. There is NO politically-motivated message posted here than cannot be discredited in some way, with EQUALLY valid counterpoints. Many who post here merely parrot what they have seen/heard elsewhere. Some are trying to “work this audience.” We don’t need that. It will be tough enough to keep this site going until the corps are performing again, without turning-off half of all users due to political garbage taking over. Moderators here are doing the best they can. For the first time in 15 years, I have now used the “REPORT” button a few times and will continue.
  16. I will be Discouraged if the Encouragement thread is destroyed by more (not so) hidden political agendas. Just give it a rest.
  17. Nice post, Bob984 ! Agree, operating budgets have grown much too fast. I think this emerging problem began when . . . . the “Creative Group” was given full control of the “Checkbook.”
  18. Oh, OK ! American Airlines. By the way, even the airline agent on the phone wasn’t sure of all the options. She had to go and get authorization from her Supervisor.
  19. Like so many of you, I cancelled a flight for later this month. No change fees for re-booking at a later date. So, this morning, I re-booked. Here’s what happened. Since I re-booked for a later date, there will also be no change fee, even if I later have to re-book the new tickets! I receive a full purchase refund on the old tickets, to use towards the new tickets. Now, the real surprise . . . All tickets for the summer and beyond have already been reduced. My original April trip is now happening in October. But . . . I will now fly to the same destination in First Class, rather than Main Cabin Extra . . . . and with a savings of $400 from the original tickets! No, I will not name the airline. I’ll be changing a different trip tomorrow! If you have a re-booking to make, I suggest you check your airlines’ options now. Any other savings tips to add due to the unusual situation we find ourselves in?
  20. Yes, Jeff. But, haven’t been there in years. For you, though, I’d go something much more upscale. Seriously. 🙂
  21. Good one! I use my real name to help keep myself under control. The reality is, if any Drum Corps Planet poster finds themself in the Allentown Area, I’ll probably buy their drinks and dinner!
  22. I’ve watched a few Message Boards washed away for good because relevant topics were continually sent adrift. Please, not here!
  23. My expectation of a small group of ‘Elite’ organizations (the G-7 reference) emerging to create a better-functioning 2021 season that CAN keep everyone on track for future years is further explained. A single-tour of extensive travel, all roads ending in Indianapolis, for a 1-2 day Championship, can produce significant revenue. The key will be income from that ‘smaller’ re-entry back to normal. An attractive Championship Weekend will continue income from admissions, souvenir sales, and digital media products. Sponsor exposure and benefits remain. I believe a smaller, but adequate, number of existing DCI corps (if that’s where this goes) can conduct a travel schedule without requiring public school housing. Deals on hotel lodging can be made, particularly in Indianapolis. Our bigger organizations can cover the use of hotels. Remember school housing, itself, is more expensive then many realize. Perhaps this. A 15-17 corps total assemblage in Indy, featuring ‘day-camp’ travel distance corps and those ‘elite’ touring ‘overnight’ groups. At least 2 Premier Tour Events included along two routes of travel, leading into . . . Friday Indy Prelim event. Saturday Indy Finals event. A “Road to Indy Tour” must happen in 2021.
  24. From time to time, we need to recognize those who continually attempt to manufacture hysteria are hurting, not helping. Difficult as it may be, ignore providing them opportunities. Drum corps is NOT ending. Drum corps, and you, will be making adjustments. This situation is like going on a ‘drum corps diet.’