beenthere

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Everything posted by beenthere

  1. I agree with the poster who suggested slowing down a little. Why must everything be done at warp speed. I don't think we need to go back to symetrical drills or anything like that but it seems that speed and constantly changing patterns are used to obscure poor marching (just an opinion). On the subject of design, to me it seems like designers are coming up with a visual program first then forcing the music to fit the visual. This coupled with the speed might be what is creating the "chopped" up music theat we hear so much of. The visual progam should be designed to fit the music. I also agree that the music does not have to be recognizable, but it does have to be recognizable as music. It should have some type of melody or line that can be followed (I'm not a musician so I don't know the technical terms). I've been at this activity since 1963 and have had my ups and downs with it but keeping hanging in there. I guess my drop dead point would be the addition of woodwinds. At that point Drum Corps would be marching band.
  2. Interesting discussion First off I don't believe DCI needs to have a hard and fast written rule about performance order. What has been quoted here is a policy decision made by the board and as a policy it can be changed, deleted or whatever by the board. Is it fair? maybe, maybe not. I would prefer a rando draw for position for all corps below the top 6 or so. Maybe then we would see more movement between positions than we have today. The Star of Indiana example from 1985 of having to go on firest in every show is not a valid comparison. In 1985 there were more Div I corps and not all of them did full tours. As a new corps Star did go on first in all their shows. I assume that Academy as a new division I corps has been on first in all the shows that they have participated in so far.
  3. The way to increase the number of corps is to go back in time. This wouldn't please many of todays members and fans. Once upon a time, in the dark ages all the corps were local, they were relativily small, the vast majority of the membership had no musical background, the staff was mostly volunteer and or low paid (for the love of the activity) and most never traveled more than a couple of hundered miles from home except for a trip to VFW or the World Open or such. With that said, and all the moaning about the lack of quality music programs why wouldn't it be possible to go back to that model. Get some people who would be interested in starting a corps (say the NYC area with the big population). Just start with a couple parade corps and short field show and expand. The whole idea would be to keep it local, less time intensive and inexpensive. If you had this some of the local kids might spin off to DCI. Just a thought.
  4. Very intersting topic. I'm one of those "ancients". Started in 1961. I have all the respect in the world for today's marchers. The amount of time required of them, the complexity of the shows and music and the difficulty of living conditions on a two month tour are deserving of respect no matter what era you marched in. The shows are different. the instrumentation is different and the kids who march are different. For one they are all musicians, whereas back in the dark ages the vast majority of us had never touched an instrument couldn't read music etc. As far as the changes I like today's visual programs but would on ocassion appreciate an "off the line" or color pre just wouldn't want anything mandated. Horns, I don't care how many valves. I must be tone deaf because I really can't tell the difference between Bb and the old G's. Amplification, some of it's good some is bad. Vocals, I've really enjoyed some, tolerated some and thought some was perfectly horrible. But this has nothing to do with the kids, it's on the arrangers. I guess the only problem I have with the modern shows is in the music. It seems to me a lot of it is over arranged so that even when it is a familiar piece I don't recognize it, and I don't think a lot of it stands alone (without the visual). Since I spend more time listening to tapes and CD's this is a sticking point to me. But again this has nothing to do with the perfomers who oviously like what they are doing (otherwise why would they do it). So my answer is I'm not buying the CD's anymore. Peace everyone.
  5. 1964 - Troopers, Company front, circle WOW 1965 - Chicago Royal Airs - Whole show (One of GR's favorites) 1981 - 27th 1987 - Santa Clara 1995 - Madison
  6. I don't think you can make the analogy the because there are so many bands now that DC is healthier. Yes they are related but they are different beasts. To look at it a different way, rugby and football are closely related, does having more rugby teams mean football is stronger. I don't think so. That said I think Band and DCI drum corps are closely bonded now. For us old pharts who go back to the 60's and into the early 70's there was a distinct boundary between corps and band. That boundary was that high school band directors of that era did not like drum corps. Many of them penalized or wouldn't allow their students to participate. Drum corps ended up with kids who did not take part in school music programs. I would think that in that time frame probably 90% of the kids involved could not read music or play another instrument. Today it seems the vast majority of instructional and design staff comes from the high school band ranks. I can't state it for a fact but I would gess at the Div I level and for most of the better Div II corps they would have to be able to read music (how else to gey thru the audition process). Are today's corps better? Yes, they have better instrumentation, better instruction and more expierence coming in. Yesterday's corps could not hope to compete under todays rules and conditions. However considering rules and instrumentation limitations and the expierence levels of the members they put on excellent shows. I thins we will continue to see a shrinkage in DCI corps due to the financial requirements to the corps and the to members. The time comitment required of a member to be in a touring corps may be why so many will audition for a top corps but don't want to be bothered with a "lesser" one. The attitude is if I'm going to spend all this money and take up my whole summer I want to be with the best. Right / wrong? that's the way it is.
  7. The only problem with comparing era's is that in the 60's and into the early years of DCI not every corps attended Nationals. The VFW was the "big" contest for Juniors in the 60's. In 1963 the Cavaliers won the championship in Seattle, Washington. The Troopers who were a couple of years away from being a power were 2nd. Would the Cavaliers have won if the other powers of the time were present. Nobody knows and there never was a single contest that year that had all of the eastern and midwestern powers. Another probelm was you had to be sponsored by a VFW post. If you wern't you couldn't go, so corps like the Muchachos were exlcuded as were al the Canadian Corps. That said the Cavaliers did have an enviable record in the 60's which they are now duplicating in the 00's. The difference is that all of their titles are now coming against the best competition.
  8. The same thing happened to DCE, except it was a slow death. The big corps would be around in early June, but wouldn't have completed shows. By the time the show was finished they would be off to the south or midwest. Then they would come back between tours do a championship and maybe one or two other shows. The little corps needed a couple of "headliners" at each show to make a go of it. With those corps on tour they were hung out to dry. A large number of those defunct corps came from the east and died off either from trying to keep up with the big boys or from lack of support if they stayed close to home. The DCI tours had a lot to do with this BUT the corps themselves made the decision to tour.
  9. Over the past five or ten years I've left shows feeling kind of down. The performances seemed to be lacking in emotional impact from what I was used to (or remembered). Maybe it's because they are moving so fast. Maybe it's because we have so many more music majors and bandos now and technical ability has taken precedence over the old raw emotional power. But the strange thing is if you put on the cd's with headphones on it comes across differently. Just wish I could get the same feeling when actualy viewing and hearing the performance. Would love to be able to get up and scream and holler.
  10. In many threads and now with the Madison situation the subject of "Corps identity" comes up. IMO there are two kinds of identity. The first is internal to the coprs. This involves the traditions that fans don't see or hear. This could be corps songs, initiation rites etc. I think this is what the Scout alumns mean when they talk about traditions and brotherhood. It's also similar to what George Hopkins said a few years back when he said the Cadets would still be the Cadets even if you added woodwinds and electronics. The second identity is fan expectation. Madison; loud and accesable (sp), Cavaliers; great visuals, Devils; driving jazz. As fans this is what we expect form a corps and if we don't see or hear it we are dissapointed. Again IMO a lot of corps have lost the fan identity in search of higher scores. I look at judges as being like movie critics. The movies the critics like generally don't do well at the box office. The ones they dislike the paying customers do. Opinions?
  11. I've been lurking in the background for the past six months as a guest. Bit of background, been following Drum Corps since 1962. Never marched but did volunteer work. This whole tradition vs innovation/evolution thing has me perplexed. I certainly don't want to go back to the days of a prescribed program, ie off the line, color pre, etc. Nor do I want to hear the same song played by four different corps at a show. On the other hand it would be nice if a corps like Casper could get credit for doing a more "traditional" show, or Boston could play more than a few notes of "Conquest" The amp thing will probably work itseld out over time. I think amping the pit is a good idea. for voice I'm not so sure. There has been some well done singing without amps in the past. For the most part narration doesn't do it for me. BD over did it last year and Crown was short and decent. I do miss retreat, not for the sake of having it but for its entertainment value. DCI alots 17 minutes for each corps. Since a show is 11 minutes in length that means 6 minutes is for setup/breakdown. If a contest has six corps that is roughly an hour and a hlaf in length with 30 minutes given to setup and only one hour of actual performance time. From a consumer point of view is this a reasonable bang for the buck considering ticket prices, travel cost, etc. A full retreat would add more entertainment value to the show. If corps played themselves off the field maybe additional tradition would come back and we could here "you'll Never Walk Alone", "Conquest" and other Corps theme songs. Then the winning corps which is already on the field could play their encore. Just some thoughts.