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Tom Brace

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Tom Brace last won the day on December 13 2010

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  1. no. The employee of the Board is generally the Executive Director or...in some cases the Corps director. I believe the Board should never be meeting directly with anyone other than their direct report...Executive Director or Corps Director. Board = Fundraising - Long Term Sustainability - Global Policy Making Executive Director/Corps Director - Reports to Board - Answers to Board - is Responsible to Board. You want Board out of the day to day operations of the drum corps. In fact, by this time of year, they should be working on their season ending and after season fundraising efforts. By know...schedule has been out a month so they know the timing on these events. Also, all the long range planning..where will the activity be in 5 years...in 10 years should be continually discussed. Also banging on the doors for more grant money. Write those grant proposals! In your scenario, this issue would only come up in an annual audit of procedures and practices. That would be timed as soon after the season as possible and with the corps accounting and legal help.
  2. I think there are/were Board members in drum corps who aren't qualified to be Board members. I also think there are many in management positions who aren't qualified either. I think most of the instructional staff is qualified to do what they do. But, beyond that...I've seen my share of messes out there.
  3. To be honest with you...it's been a long time since I have been at corps' rehearsals or been on the road with corps. My current occupation does not give me opportunity to tour much. The corps here in Tempe had members reside at homes/volunteer parents' homes and rehearsed during the day and did not have "camps" per se. They do more camps now at local high schools starting last year and I do not know how this issue is handled. Since I have no kids in the corps and since I am not part of the corps management or Board, I don't concern myself too much with it. But, let's say I was on the Board of a drum corps...it would be one of those issues I would be bringing up which would cause many to think, "Why did we get this guy on the Board?" I would also say this...the corps here in Tempe does travel with a large volunteer (lots of parents involved) group on the road. I think this helps as parents tend to think like...well, parents.
  4. it really comes down to due diligence. That's what the organization is going to have to show. Did they do their due diligence when acting "in loco parentis."
  5. Here's the simple legal issue. Did the corps...acting "in loco parentis" create an environment where something illegal occurred between an adult and a child. For instance....let's say a staff member...and I'll take this out of the sex arena for a moment...was caught smoking marijuana out behind a school with a 16 year old corps member. 1. Both would be charged with possession charges. 2. The staff member would be charged with contributing. 3. The corps would no doubt dismiss the staff member and provided they did all the necessary background work and showed reasonable due diligence, would be able to successfully defend their actions should the courts get involved. Now, that's because the staff person was checked out. As far as I know, students in drum corps go through no background check. So, let's say we have a 19 year old corps member and a 15 year old corps member taking showers or sharing sleeping bags, etc. The question that's going to come up is...did the corps do their reasonable due diligence in preventing this activity from occurring...and in most cases, the corps is deeply at risk here. Accomodations for a minor in a corps would involve separating all members of adult status away from members who are still minors. Also, never pairing adults with minors as seat partners, etc. Finally, a separate shower time or location for minors/adults may need to be accomodated to show evidence of due diligence when accting "in loc parentis."
  6. I know kids who took out "education loans" for drum corps. I even know a kid who got a credit card with over 18% APR and put the whole season on a card. NOTE: DO NOT DO THIS. Do not risk your long term finances on a summer in drum corps. Your participation in drum corps should be part of an overall plan you have put together. It is an expensive semester...many private colleges are cheaper. And if you have to travel to camps, it will involve missing some school and extra travel expenses. It is already January 2012 and if a young person was my child, our plan would already have been in place last summer for this year. I believe it's very late in the process to be putting together a successful plan for the 2012. But, it's been done before. It all depends on how hard you and your family work at it. But, if your family is less than supportive of you being in drum corps...it's going to be a heck of a lot harder.
  7. I would add...volunteering as a parent is a very great idea and almost every corps out there can use more volunteer help. That said...a very sound piece of advice was given to my wife and I when we started volunteering for a drum corps...it's a very simple concept. They are all your kids, now. You are not just there for your kid. You know the parent type I'm talking about. Little Johnny needs an orange in the afternoon so the parent takes out the little ziplock bag of peeled orange segments for little Johnny. In drum corps...if Johnny gets orange segments, the entire corps gets orange segments and that's because it's a scheduled snack break. Little Johnny cannot be your precious little snowflake and be a productive member of a drum corps simultaneously. Save the orange segments in their special little ziplock bag for autumn, when Johnny is yours again. NOTE....this is a broad generalization and in now way implies you...or your wife are ..."these kinds of parents." But, when you have 100-150 kids in corps, you are bound to have a few "hovering orange segment peelers" among them.
  8. This helps. Yeah, I would not suggest closing on Music of the Night...risk too much comparison with a 1980s show by a certain corps from California. I do like the concept of Phantom of the Grand Ole Opry though. My concern is merely how clunky it can be when a ton of different musical selections are crammed into 10 minutes. I'll take a look near the end of the season as I am planning to be in Indy this year for finals. Michigan City has always been a great location so I might start the week there this year.
  9. If it's Jersey Surf....I heartily endorse him going for it. And tell Mr. Bob Jacobs to get that corps out to Arizona someday so I can see them! He's a great guy and has always run a top notch organization. I remember in the mid to late 90s when my sons performed at their show in New Jersey. They are a classy crew.
  10. Most World Class corps I know do not offer a spot to a 14 year old. There's just too much social difference between a 14 year old and an 18-22 year old. There's a good chance he could feel isolated socially. As much as a drum corps can be a family, there's a reason why the young adults don't appreciate sitting at the kids' table at holidays. I think you see what I am getting at. Also, in my experience, he'd be in for a tough summer marching wise. There is just no way a 14 year old can march like an 18 year old. Play...yes...I've heard 14 year old phenoms on almost every instrument. The separation is when you add that extra step of moving and playing. Then there's all the memorization, the show changes...so much to keep in the head of a hormonal 14 year old young person. It's a very tough age to grasp so many adult concepts continually. My kids were fortunate enough to march with a Div. II/III (now Open Class) corps with members more their age and on a far less competitive level with a much shorter season. It was the only way my wife and I would let them march. When my youngest was 14, he auditioned for the Phantom Regiment. It was nearby. We wanted him to get the experience. Albert Lo was his auditioner. Our son played very well as he had prepared for the audition since August. One of Mr. Lo's first questions was to ask his age. Our son answered 14. Mr. Lo asked him if it was his father outside and he invited me in for our son's critique. There was so much education given in the next 10 minutes...as a brass player myself, I was really impressed with the depth of his suggestions. Then he said to our son, "If you were 2-3 years older, we would take you. Please come back." The long and short of it was, our son did not go back there but marched nearby in Madison as a 17 and 19 year old. I'm glad he went back and marched a smaller corps with members closer to his age as a 14 year old. His time with a World Class corps could wait.
  11. I would certainly consider cutting down this list. Although, it would be genius writing if all these melodic and thematic elements could be seamlessly weaved together to make for a cohesive show. Sadly, that is seldom the case with so many different musical elements. It usually ends up sounding like a herky jerky mishmash of goo. Since so many of these melodies are infinitely familiar...try cutting the number in 1/2 so the corps can take a couple minutes to fully develop each musical and thematic idea before transtioning to the next musical thought. Nine songs is just too many to try to accomplish that in a standard 10 min. program. Also, in Open Class, it's desirable...scoring-wise to push closer to the minimal time and not the maximum time. The more time a new young corps is on the field, the more mistakes are seen...especially as their endurance wears thin. Also, there are just too many slow tempo music selected. I actually like establishing the Phantom theme into Ring of Fire. I think that's the best part of what I see above. Then several slower tempo numbers will most likely drain my enthusiasm rather quickly as an audience member. Then...the tempo doesn't really ever pick up. I mean Stand By Your Man is at what? 94-100 BPM at the most. Not a great closer tempo and then the Music of the Night...I like the theme tying it all together, but it's a really tricky slow piece of music the corps would have to play beautifully...while at the end of a 10 min. show. I contend...playing a beautiful ballad at the end of a drum corps show is a more serious challenge than playing some balls out loud fast chart. But, that's my assessment from someone with zero skin in the game.
  12. I would agree wholeheartedly with your assessment. Many changes from last year. When was the last time Ken Norman wrote for you guys? Does he still write the Kilties brass book?
  13. Have you talked to the folks in Milwaukee about rolling out in 2012 with your product? They might make a logical World Class get...Midwest...lots of shows...good R&D opportunity.
  14. Thanks for offering some information, Roger. Did I hear Premier was going to do horns as well or was that an unfounded rumor?
  15. Yeah, I think the costs you quote seem more in line with what I would expect for an Open Class corps.
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