I've been involved with drum corps since 1978. I've seen a lot happen since then. I began my marching career with the Spirit of Atlanta in 1980 and 81 and then the Cavaliers in 1983 and 84. The changes I was a part of were moving the bells and timpani to the front ensemble (the beginning of the front ensemble) and going from loud in your face ALL THE TIME drum corps to a more musical and artistic approach. That was the really big things when I marched, besides the fact that knowable music was played. I thought the best show I've ever seen was the 1990 Star of Indiana "Beltshazzar's Feast". Awesome hornline and amazing run your butt off will playin' that hard crap drill design. The next would have to be "Frameworks" in 2002 by the Cavaliers.
I was okay with being allowed to have the show go off the field without penalty, I was okay when they went from two valves to three, afterall they were still bugles. But then I started getting concerned when they went from bugles to band instruments. No longer in my mind was it Drum and Bugle Corps, but Drum and Brass Band, but I lived with it because it didn't change the fact that it was still brass and drums, but someone please tell me why it is necessary to have amplification? And the shows the past couple of years have gotten so artsy for art sake that there's not a recognizable tune in the bunch or not much time is being spent on a theme before it's off to something else. The Cavaliers show this year is based on the music of Billy Joel. Well I've seen and heard the show and if they played Billy Joel stuff it must have been his obscure stuff because I heard nothin' that called my rememberance to Billy Joel.
Don't get me wrong I love drum corps. The talent of these musicians is awesome. Their work ethic and dedication are to be commended and that has never changed. But I miss the tunes man, the music. I want my drum corps back.