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About PioneerWebmaster

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  • Birthday 02/23/1979

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  1. The way that finals week in 1996 played out will always be a tough one to forget. I remember being cognizant of the fact that Nite Express was only a couple points behind us the last time that we saw them at the Canadian Open... and that we wouldn't see them again until DII prelims. There was a genuine concern that they could close that gap. At the same time, I also remember also being aware that we were within 5 points of Blue Knights at DCI Mid-America. There was a scary thought that we could get the opportunity to perform every day of finals week, and that Saturday night's show might not be an exhibition if all of the stars aligned and we could somehow make up those 5 points to BK. I don't recall ever being overly concerned about Les Etoiles since we were consistently ahead of them by 6 or 7 points, even in the week prior to finals. It was almost unheard of for them to make up that large of a gap in one week to beat us by .2 at DII finals, and then go on to beat us by 5+ points at Quarterfinals a couple days later. I poured over scores a number of years ago and am fairly confident saying that was one of the largest comebacks/point swings in the modern era of drum corps.
  2. When Pioneer was going through our meetings with DCI at the end of the 2018 season, one of the criteria that we were required to meet in order to remain World Class was an operating budget of no less than $750,000. Anything less than that and they didn't feel that a corps could operate at a World Class level. At the time, we were told by Dan Acheson and Kathy Black that the majority of the World Class corps had operating budgets in excess of $1M, and that the couple that didn't were working with DCI to increase their revenue to get there. Take from that what you want, but the operating budget of a World Class corps has definitely increased in recent years.
  3. As Garfield mentioned, corps have to submit the most recent copy of their 990. If an organization's accounting period follows the calendar year, they have to submit their 990 to the IRS by May 15th. That means that DCI could potentially get a relatively fresh copy right before the season begins and spot potential issues. However, if the corps is using an accounting period that doesn't follow the traditional calendar year, then the 990 must be filed with the IRS by the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of the organization's accounting period. That means that the most recent 990 available could potentially be quite dated when the corps takes the field for the first time in a season. Outside of the 990 requirement, the Policies and Procedures Manual has a whole section that addresses the potential triggers for an organizational review:
  4. Now there could be some questions as to who was on the committee at the time the proposal was being drafted. Google comes up largely empty, but I did find references to Rick Valenzuela being on the committee in the press releases about him leaving Regiment & joining System Blue.
  5. If you refer back to the 2017 DCI Strategic plan, it would appear that the "Member Affairs Committee" would be the ones responsible for creating the proposal... which was then approved by the DCI Board and instituted for 2020. I will also add that the vast majority of the new criteria were included in the materials/requirements that Pioneer received during the evaluation/reinstatement process in the fall of 2018. That would lead me to believe that the development of this new structure/criteria was already largely complete (as the timeline in the above plan would suggest) at the time that Pioneer was suspended and going through the evaluation process.
  6. That is an accurate statement. You can read a tidbit more here under requirement #1:,-booster-friends-meeting-recap.html
  7. As others have stated, Pi Percussion (formerly known as Pioneer Indoor) had loose ties to the Pioneer corps in the early years. Adam Hill served as Pioneer percussion coordinator/ caption head and arranger, while also serving as director of Pioneer Indoor. Over the years, that group became more independent of the Pioneer corps and ultimately made the decision to sever all ties last year. The new Pioneer Indoor group will be comprised of members from the Milwaukee/Chicago region. Some of those members were a part of the group that performed in parades & Drum Line Battle this summer. Others are still being recruited. More information will be available in the near future.
  8. No idea how many hours of time donated, but also the hosting & domain registration costs as well. Fun story - Pioneer was actually one of the first corps to have a website back in mid-90's. It was launched by another Pioneer member that I went to high school with. Right around 2000, he handed off the keys to me and I've been taking care of it ever since.
  9. The buses are being chartered on a regular basis for a wide array of groups. Groups heading to concerts, conventions and other uses. As for public appearances, there's been a Pioneer Percussion Ensemble out participating in parades all summer. It's a group consisting of mostly local members (Milwaukee & Chicago). They completed a week-long tour earlier this summer, and most recently appeared in a parade in the Milwaukee area this past weekend.
  10. After 19+ years running that thing, I've taken a little time off the past 10 months to focus on other things. At some point in the coming months, the whole thing will be due for a revamp/refresh.
  11. Thank you for the comprehensive review of the Pioneer website 🙂 Over the past 10 months, I honestly haven't had much time to spend on the website. Between the birth of our first child in September, and everything else that transpired with the organization itself... the website took a back seat on the priority list. With that in mind, I will fully admit that it's in a bit of shambles at the moment. Most of the website content was geared towards the organization being a participant on the DCI World Class tour, and everyone knows where that stands for the foreseeable future. Some of the DCI specific content was unpublished or rewritten, but other pages haven't been reviewed yet. With time, they all will be touched. In addition, there are some other programs in development for the organization at this point in time. Once those are solidified, the website will be completely revamped to reflect said programs.
  12. Thank you for sharing your opinion. You have to understand that we're in a difficult position as a corps when it comes to hype vs. no hype. We have taken a low key approach in some years on DCP and other outlets. But then we hear from fans, alumni and supporters (often loud & clear) that we should be doing more to hype things up for the upcoming season. At the same time, there's plenty of posts like yours that would tend to suggest that we should be doing the exact opposite. It's that awkward spot between a rock and a hard spot... and we've done a great job as an organization of wedging ourselves in there over the years. When all is said and done, we do our best to communicate what's happening with the corps in a positive manner. At times is there hype or spin? You bet... That's part of marketing/PR for almost any organization or business. At times do we inadvertently "step in it"? Yes, we do. But so do a lot of other businesses & organizations. Feel free to Google "social media fails" for prime examples. In the end - there isn't an exact science to how we (or any other corps) should approach things. Everyone has a different opinion, and I can say with 100% certainty that we will never appease everyone.
  13. Having a larger staff doesn't automatically mean better, but it does allow us to more effectively rotate staff on and off tour like many of the corps already do. An effective rotation guarantees that the corps will have more instructional staff on tour and available to work with the members at all times. That in itself will provide a better educational experience for our members.
  14. Andy Grindle has put together a world class brass staff with the intention of teaching a world class horn line. We have 45 brass players registered for our first camp in two weeks, with more expected to come. This is a sizable increase from first camp last year and speaks volumes about what Andy and staff have been able to do in a couple short months. Our visual & guard staff are also larger than previous years with plenty of new talent:
  15. This link explains the 21 databases that comprise NCIC. The Interstate Identification Index, which contains automated criminal history record information, is accessible through the same network as NCIC. One important thing to note: The entry, modification, and removal of records are the responsibility of the agency that entered them. In other words, NCIC is only as good as the data provided by law enforcement agencies nationwide. Some law enforcement agencies do not have NCIC certification, or have lost it due to misuse or abuse. Other states do not send all of their criminal data for various reasons.