thatguywiththehat

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thatguywiththehat last won the day on January 25 2013

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  1. hmm... Helping one corps 5 years ago vs not helping the rest of DCI today. How their perspective has changed. Also, there was more internally going on to rescue the troopers, including a great effort to relieve their massive tax issues, which was helped by alumni of the troopers. Granted, it took help to restructure their business operations, but it was needed, they hadn't had a stable corps director since Jim Jones. Don't mistake competitive success and stability in a corps to one organization directly helping them. There were a few, and most of the complicated money issues were taken care of by alumni volunteers and the BOD.
  2. Posted this on the G7 topic, but I was leaked an official response letter from the Troopers that is going to be presented this weekend. 1/23/13 The following is the Troopers Board of Directors' response to the 1/9/13 e-mail letter from the Directors of the "7", titled "re: Drum Corps International and the Future." As the leadership of a founding member of Drum Corps International, one of the very few who initiated the effort to create an independent, viable structure that would allow American Drum & Bugle Corps to thrive, we are greatly saddened by the current divisive state that exists within our activity. Our founder has been oft-quoted as saying "We are the show." The "we" to which he referred was not the Troopers, but to the drum corps of the era. DCI was created as a collective, an organization to work solely in the interest of American Drum & Bugle Corps. We, the leaders of the youth whom we serve, are responsible for maintaining that collective spirit. Therefore, in the name of that spirit, we firmly reject the claims and requests contained in this letter. We believe the claim that the current "tragic" economic realities of operating a drum corps was somehow "inevitable" and out of DCI's control is disingenuous. Obviously, many of the "7" have been responsible for it to a significant degree as they've advocated changes that have made competing more and more expensive while working to maintain a status quo where revenue is concentrated at the top. Equally disingenuous is the claim that the decline of open class corps is a "product of economic times." Times are clearly difficult as we all know too well, but we see this argument as a red herring. The decline is due to a failure of stewardship over the activity as a whole, a failure aided and abetted by the philosophy espoused by the "7", that has funneled the resources to the "haves" while ignoring the need to build capacity at all levels, and has indulged the whims of a few influential corps directors, preventing any real sense of community and mutual ownership of the activity, driving up expenses, and leaving corps without the skills and means to survive the tough economic times. While the "7" seem resigned to, if not even proud of it, we are not content with a situation in which there is a large disparity in "fiscal and organizational abilities." We believe true stewardship demands that resources should be allocated in a way that lifts the level of these capabilities throughout all strata of the activity. Similarly, we disagree with the argument that the governance of the activity should be exclusively in the hands of corps directors. In addition to representation from competing organizations, the governing organization needs to include voices that have demonstrated excellence in nonprofit management and who are motivated solely by a passion for keeping the activity alive and free from the pressure to advance the interests of individual drum corps. Competitive success is simply not the same thing as organizational capability. We are predominantly nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit world is a precise industry with benchmarks and best practices of organizational competence that have nothing to do with scoring well in a stadium. As an example of this, we believe board representation must be gained in legitimate fashion in a manner that is fair to all. Even though the initial DCI board was determined by competitive placement, the leadership of those very finalist corps, which included members of the "7", agreed to change the board to be an elected body. It was a selfless act on behalf of the collective that they easily could have refused to do in the interest of protecting their individual power. The current situation, where none of the "7" are represented on the board is due in no small part to their own deliberate non-participation in the electoral process that those twelve similarly situated drum corps established many years ago, and that we have all agreed to over time. Ultimately, if the "7" truly have some valid claim to superior qualifications, organizational ability and vision, we feel it is incumbent on them to act like it. This means running for election, honoring and following procedures outlined in current bylaws, ending petty bickering, refraining from issuing ultimatums, and participating in the process. To summarize, the Troopers' Board of Directors stands by the efforts of the greater drum corps community to bring stewardship, fairness and parity to the activity, as opposed to the self-serving and divisive demands of the "7". We reject the tactics currently employed by this group, its disregard for due process and parliamentary procedure, its lack of respect for duly established organizational bylaws, its penchant for resorting to disrespectful and aggressive behavior at the expense of mature and mutually respectful deliberation, its lack of professionalism and all of its attempts to undermine the unity of the activity. We are heavily and wholeheartedly invested with our colleagues in governing in a way that will strengthen and grow the activity as a whole and at all levels, including the organizations represented in the January 9 letter, not diminish it as the very name the "7" seems to endorse. To this end, we applaud the recent proposal to create a regular opportunity for board members of DCI member corps to meet, engage in mutual problem solving and share best practices to better serve the activity and the respective members as a whole. It is thanks to the collective of volunteer board members in each of these organizations, who truly bear the fiduciary responsibility for this activity, that all of our organizations are able to put "...the rubber to the road," and it would only serve to strengthen our organizations by allowing the free exchange of ideas between those bases. By tapping into this broad and diverse experience, we are confident that we will soon see an age where our activity will be united once again as a collective, and that the numbers of organizations, experiences, and opportunities for young musicians involved with DCI will flourish and grow. Respectfully, The Troopers Board of Directors Milward Simpson, President
  3. This is certainly an interesting discussion and will be exciting to see where DCI stands after this weekend. Here is an official response from The Troopers organization that was forwarded to me last night. I wonder how this letter will impact any voting for this weekend... 1/23/13 The following is the Troopers Board of Directors' response to the 1/9/13 e-mail letter from the Directors of the "7", titled "re: Drum Corps International and the Future." As the leadership of a founding member of Drum Corps International, one of the very few who initiated the effort to create an independent, viable structure that would allow American Drum & Bugle Corps to thrive, we are greatly saddened by the current divisive state that exists within our activity. Our founder has been oft-quoted as saying "We are the show." The "we" to which he referred was not the Troopers, but to the drum corps of the era. DCI was created as a collective, an organization to work solely in the interest of American Drum & Bugle Corps. We, the leaders of the youth whom we serve, are responsible for maintaining that collective spirit. Therefore, in the name of that spirit, we firmly reject the claims and requests contained in this letter. We believe the claim that the current "tragic" economic realities of operating a drum corps was somehow "inevitable" and out of DCI's control is disingenuous. Obviously, many of the "7" have been responsible for it to a significant degree as they've advocated changes that have made competing more and more expensive while working to maintain a status quo where revenue is concentrated at the top. Equally disingenuous is the claim that the decline of open class corps is a "product of economic times." Times are clearly difficult as we all know too well, but we see this argument as a red herring. The decline is due to a failure of stewardship over the activity as a whole, a failure aided and abetted by the philosophy espoused by the "7", that has funneled the resources to the "haves" while ignoring the need to build capacity at all levels, and has indulged the whims of a few influential corps directors, preventing any real sense of community and mutual ownership of the activity, driving up expenses, and leaving corps without the skills and means to survive the tough economic times. While the "7" seem resigned to, if not even proud of it, we are not content with a situation in which there is a large disparity in "fiscal and organizational abilities." We believe true stewardship demands that resources should be allocated in a way that lifts the level of these capabilities throughout all strata of the activity. Similarly, we disagree with the argument that the governance of the activity should be exclusively in the hands of corps directors. In addition to representation from competing organizations, the governing organization needs to include voices that have demonstrated excellence in nonprofit management and who are motivated solely by a passion for keeping the activity alive and free from the pressure to advance the interests of individual drum corps. Competitive success is simply not the same thing as organizational capability. We are predominantly nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit world is a precise industry with benchmarks and best practices of organizational competence that have nothing to do with scoring well in a stadium. As an example of this, we believe board representation must be gained in legitimate fashion in a manner that is fair to all. Even though the initial DCI board was determined by competitive placement, the leadership of those very finalist corps, which included members of the "7", agreed to change the board to be an elected body. It was a selfless act on behalf of the collective that they easily could have refused to do in the interest of protecting their individual power. The current situation, where none of the "7" are represented on the board is due in no small part to their own deliberate non-participation in the electoral process that those twelve similarly situated drum corps established many years ago, and that we have all agreed to over time. Ultimately, if the "7" truly have some valid claim to superior qualifications, organizational ability and vision, we feel it is incumbent on them to act like it. This means running for election, honoring and following procedures outlined in current bylaws, ending petty bickering, refraining from issuing ultimatums, and participating in the process. To summarize, the Troopers' Board of Directors stands by the efforts of the greater drum corps community to bring stewardship, fairness and parity to the activity, as opposed to the self-serving and divisive demands of the "7". We reject the tactics currently employed by this group, its disregard for due process and parliamentary procedure, its lack of respect for duly established organizational bylaws, its penchant for resorting to disrespectful and aggressive behavior at the expense of mature and mutually respectful deliberation, its lack of professionalism and all of its attempts to undermine the unity of the activity. We are heavily and wholeheartedly invested with our colleagues in governing in a way that will strengthen and grow the activity as a whole and at all levels, including the organizations represented in the January 9 letter, not diminish it as the very name the "7" seems to endorse. To this end, we applaud the recent proposal to create a regular opportunity for board members of DCI member corps to meet, engage in mutual problem solving and share best practices to better serve the activity and the respective members as a whole. It is thanks to the collective of volunteer board members in each of these organizations, who truly bear the fiduciary responsibility for this activity, that all of our organizations are able to put "...the rubber to the road," and it would only serve to strengthen our organizations by allowing the free exchange of ideas between those bases. By tapping into this broad and diverse experience, we are confident that we will soon see an age where our activity will be united once again as a collective, and that the numbers of organizations, experiences, and opportunities for young musicians involved with DCI will flourish and grow. Respectfully, The Troopers Board of Directors Milward Simpson, President
  4. The Blue Knights and Troopers are the only corps in the rocky mountain region and still manage to tour the whole summer. The closest corps to them are, respectively, the Academy in AZ and The colts in IA... and there are only a few shows a year in colorado/wyoming... 2 per year? same amount as in AZ. As i might have mentioned in my first post, DCI is trying to add corps which will add more competing groups at shows, thus making the shows more appealing, which in turn allows DCI and show promoters to increase the ticket prices and make more money. DCI isn't in the strongest financials right now and the biggest way to recover from that is to allow a larger number of shows with more corps at those shows. If corps were to take that tour model of the academy then the tour wouldn't start until July and a lot of shows would be cut out. Based off of this year's numbers it would eliminate 22 shows on the DCI tour.... and DCI isn't about to cut shows when they take pride in the fact that they are adding more and more shows every year. My "club med" comment is referring to taking time away from the tour responsibilities, like performing almost every night, traveling, rehearsing a short day, you know... the rigors of an actual tour. Again, my comments maybe directed at the academy, but it goes for these other corps that are "victims" of their current situation. A full tour with buses, fuel, food, and everything else runs $750K-1million. With tour fees not helping much you have to do a lot to get that money. And i know that Mr. Brace will be requesting another check from me, but i already contribute to my two teams in my rocky mountain backyard. I respect both organizations because they put up with all day schedules that are tough as well. As a previous poster had said about the academy, the Blue knights do the same thing! members fly out and house, drive to rehearsal with bag lunches and dinners, and then drive home. The troopers have a lot of hardships locking down rehearsal sites in wyoming for more than a week at a time and bus a lot during all days to and from rehearsal sites... sometimes housing and rehearsal fields... and not to mention the SNOW IN JUNE that happens every year... yet they still manage to produce a fully touring world class corps. If it's a money issue to these organizations then maybe you should be in a different division until you are ready to tour full time. The Bluestars in 2004 and 2005 toured a full 35 show tour and managed to be very financially responsible. They moved to division 1 without any real issues. Also if money is the issue maybe the Academy, PC, etc. maybe should have attended seminars at the DCI meetings to increase sustainability. I know Troopers director put on one last year that highlighted the corps being in huge financial debt, folding, and coming back to a strong financial foundation.
  5. i guess my point is that why doesn't everyone just take weeks off in between shows and see how good things are at the end? if it's such a great financial choice why doesn't the G7 do it? and why did they vote to become their own unit playing more shows? it seems idiotic to label a corps as "world class" because they only have financials figured out... According to the definition of "world class" you have to achieve a balance in both. That's part of the game. If you can't play, then don't try. i consider the pioneer a better example than anyone for being a fully touring drum corps while having a great balance of financials. granted they don't make finals, but they figured it out. I would feel very bad about getting topped by academy night after night now knowing that they were at home rehearsing all day. Weather has nothing to do with it, they had another all days to prepare while other corps were getting beat up by the demands on a fully touring organization, injury, sickness, and all the other stuff that happens on tour. this "club med" drum corps vibe has to go
  6. from DCI.org from DCI.orgor they could act like a real WORLD CLASS corps and tour with every other WORLD CLASS corps. i know DCI is trying to keep it competitive by adding more corps to the WORLD CLASS but these shorter tours aren't fair to the full touring corps that have to do the whole thing from mid june till mid august. Granted, WORLD CLASS corps get a better show % of ticket sales, but that's the motivation to get a well planned tour with performances and side stuff along the way. A well planned tour could be lighter on the amount of shows and extra performance while still being cost effective and touring the WHOLE SUMMER. Further more isn't finals placements based off of regional scores averaged? you take off one or two and you automatically have a higher score total than the lower scores from a week or two before. and last point, i thought the DCI panel was suppose to analyze a corps' sustainability financially with the burden of a full tour as part of the guidelines for being moved up to WORLD CLASS. if you can't hang, don't!
  7. wasn't phantom in the top 3 of the bottom 6? good boys club of DCI... don't know why bluecoats are there
  8. i think everyone has played battle hymn of the republic... and the Troopers have played it more than any other corps in their show repertoire. Here is a run down of the corps who have played battle hymn of the republic, that are currently active DCI competing units: Blue Knights (1976) Blues Stars (1973) Boston Crusaders (1970,1971) Cadets (1969) Cascades (1970) Cavaliers (1959-1966,1969) 9 times Colts (1973) Madison Scouts (1954-1956, 1973) 4 times Troopers (1960-1974, 1981-1984, 1986, 1993) 21 times Here are the DCI corps that competed at one point in DCI, but are no longer an active drum corps: Bridgemen (1972) Skyriders (1971) and there are several other corps, both junior and senior corps who play this very stock tune, so calling it one corps' identity isn't completely accurate.. especially when it isn't even the corps you chose to represent that song with their identity
  9. With the exciting conclusion to this season for the fight for the coveted twelfth spot for the 2009 DCI finals i have heard members of the Colts say "I hate the Troopers." This isn't a big deal, an opinion is an opinion and they were edged out by the Troopers so i believe it. When you are in the top 12 you usually have a target on your back. When asked why they hate the Troopers here is one of the responses i've heard "DCI politics is what put them into finals and they didn't beat us fair and square." Now there is my problem. Even if it is one person that said it this politics statement it sounds completely ridiculous. If that is what the members think in the Colts i feel it makes it an undesirable place to march or support. If the reason for their season is to make finals then they might have a pretty hard season full of disappointment, and it isn't just the Colts, i feel that in the modern drum corps activity it is a challenge to make finals. Some corps have a lot of help on their sides, older more experienced members, show design, etc. but i feel that politics shouldn't be an excuse for not making the cut. If the whole reason for your season is competitive success then what is the point in marching a corps that isn't usually there? Why would anyone try out for anyone below the top 6? I believe that politics is the reason that people say when they don't want to look within their own organization to place blame for something happening, in this case placement for the colts, but it can be applied to any situation in DCI... BD won, it must be politics why Crown or Cadets or Cavies didn't win... This leads to an actual discussion point, Is it really acceptable for any members in any corps to believe that politics is the reason that something happened? and to go further is it acceptable for staff and administration to openly say these things in front of members? To quote someone i don't remember who said it: "You cannot leave a doubt in anyone's mind, the judges, the fans, and yourselves. When you leave a doubt it is easier for people to disregard the stuff that you are accomplishing."
  10. Isn't it weird to support a corps that has been in the bottom of the bottom competitively until recently? I mean, i thought their show was higher in difficulty and they achieved it very well. Colts and Academy had great performances, but their shows were easy. Colts had a show about water and had nautical themed visual elements. They seemed to have stood still a lot as well. Academy had great musical selections, but they were all from recent shows from the most part. Their opener was used in two 2005 shows (Troopers and Carolina Crown?) and their closer was the opener from BAC 2008. Great adaption of the tunes, but how about some variety or some different musical selections? Now to counter people with their "well the Troopers played WSS and so did the Cadets" here is my opinion, the Troopers originally selected those tunes to be worked into their show, where as the cadets decided to abandon a Bernstein show to all WSS. In addition to the music they stood a lot as well. I feel that the Troopers moved a lot, maybe it hurt them a little in cleanliness, but they definitely upgraded from their 2008 show design. At the Top 12 level i feel it is more about show design and GE than execution. Maybe the colts and academy were cleaner, but their shows were weak from a design stand point. Water, boats, fish flags, i get it. I don't have a connection. And academy, i have no idea what their show was about. A lot of their drill reminded me of the cavalier's drill from this past season. ... also i'd like to note that the Troopers score were one of the few corps to drop score every single show at finals. From an 86.050 to an 85.9 to an 85.1. They had great performances each night and it wasn't a huge margin of victory over the colts, but they did it. The true task is repeating it next year to ensure that it wasn't a fluke.
  11. Also i'd like to point out that some staff changes aren't for the better and that it might not work out. Colts in 2006 had a killer percussion staff head up by Nick Angelis and the Colts percussion wasn't that stellar. IMHO the only reason they didn't make finals in 2006. It didn't help that he left or was asked to leave midway through either.
  12. I would argue that finding the right staff mix and keeping them is what makes a successful impact. The Troopers are a good example. It is their second year with Dean Westman, Gordon Henderson, Ralph Hardimon, Mitch Rogers, and Daniel Wiles and look at the show design between 2008 and 2009. I can only imagine what this design package will deliver next year. Another point worth mentioning is that i feel a consistent staff is really what makes a drum corps successful. Look at the Blue Devils. For the most part the educational staff has been the same an the design team has been the same for a while... and look at their success. Carolina Crown is another success story. They have had a pretty consistent staff over the past couple of years and they have been successful. These aren't the only corps too, but a few off the top of my head
  13. at least it wasn't the long haul that the Columbus people had last night for their allentown performance tonight... long drive!
  14. I feel that the Colts execute their show better but have a suspicion that they will be running out of show design changes as well as other characterizations to really boost that GE up. The Nautical themed colorguard uniforms and flags with the drill put you in a connection to the show, but it isn't that big. I saw them from up top at Atlanta and said "Hey, phathoms, water stuff, fish flags... neat" But that was it. I can't remember a single musical melody in their show. It was kinda boring as well. I saw them in Denver a few weeks earlier and they have improved a lot, but who hasn't? I feel that the few times i've seen the Troopers have been far more superior on a design element, especially the new ending with the "Tony and Maria" cowboy and indian love story ending. It was a great connection to me, someone watching in the stands... or online, with the one hand one heart reprise into a strong ending with the two appearing again after getting pushed apart. It has a beginning, middle, and end as an earlier comment stated and it was one of the shows that i can remember walking out of the show. When it gets to the higher rankings it becomes more about show design as opposed to execution. Everyone at that level can perform at a very high level, but the show design is that vehicle to really highlight what the corps does best. A solid design team is what separates good show design from a great show design, which is something that the Troopers have over the Colts. (Dean Westman, Gordon Henderson, Dan Wiles, Mitch Rogers, Ralph Hardimon... to name a few) .. just my two cents.
  15. I don't understand how SCV has not yet been mentioned in a ranking in the top 4... 1.) BD 2.) Cavies 3.) Crown 4.) SCV 5.) Cadets 6.) Bluecoats 7.) Phantom 8.) Boston 9.) Blue Stars 10.) Blue Knights 11.) Glassmen 12.) Troopers 13.) Colts 14.) Madison 15.) Spirit 16.) Crossmen 17.) Academy 18.)Jersey 19.)Mandarins 20.) Pacific 21.) Pioneer 22.) Cascades I think the 7th-10th rankings are going to be a battle all season. Also the 12th-15th will be tight so who knows what will happen... but with show design and ability to grow within the show without very much rewriting is western side story. It has a great story line compared to colts and madison. Both of them have solid shows, but it doesn't have that story line factor. I saw them in colorado and didn't feel as connected to their shows as i did with the Troopers. The Troopers just need to clean that show up and it will put them in that higher ranking. Best of luck this season!