derbydawg

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About derbydawg

  • Rank
    DCP Veteran

Profile Information

  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    marched star 1990-93
  • Your Favorite Corps
    Star, Cadets, SCV
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Star 1993
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    1993, 1997, 200, 2007

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. Bluecoats because the show is so well written and performed. It has an emotional hook from beginning to end. BD is too unemotional, except the ballad, and I have seen this show the past six years or so. Ready for something fresh from the Devils.
  2. Love me some numbers too! Added a few others. BLOO: Aesthetic=10, Intellectual=10, Emotional= 10 BD: Aesthetic=8, Intellectual=10, Emotional= 7 SCV: Aesthetic=5, Intellectual=9, Emotional= 6 CC: Aesthetic=7, Intellectual=8, Emotional= 7 BC: Aesthetic=8, Intellectual=8, Emotional= 8 CAVIES: Aesthetic=10, Intellectual=8, Emotional= 10 BK: Aesthetic=8, Intellectual=9, Emotional= 9 CREST: Aesthetic=10, Intellectual=7, Emotional=8 I really dig this show. New kid on the block? soon? STARS: Aesthetic=8, Intellectual=6, Emotional=7 Dig this one too.
  3. Several judges had them close to Spirit last night and one judge had them over Spirit in a sub caption. 14th maybe?
  4. While I cannot pretend to know the stresses and time management involved in producing a show that is highly competitive in 2019, I do have enough time on the drum corps design and teaching clock to have some opinions as to what some corps need to do now in order to perhaps best elevate their shows knowing that such time for change, balanced with cleaning time, is now crucial. What is your advice for certain corps? My offerings: BD: Make prop movement and uniform change produced and not perfunctory. Year after year of you doing this has gotten old, frustrating. Could be seen as ego-driven and not at all artistic. SCV: Make the styles pop more, especially the funk/rock moments of your show. Add more moments that communicate emotion and not simply headiness and angst. Bloo: Though nearly a seamless and super entertaining show, is there one more notch up at the end that uses some velocity and drive that makes a ring guaranteed? Boston: The ending is the crux for me. The Goliath character and his death comes across as silly, and not a highly produced moment. It is hard to get past. Crown: Bravo. A brilliant show from top to bottom. Stellar, actually. Checks all the current boxes. Is there room to add something that represents an attempt to push the activity forward? Cavies: A clever show, well performed, that seems to need more visual variety and a bit of push toward innovation. BK: This is a stunner. Best since 2015. Fix the balance issues between Front ensemble, battery, and brass and history will be made. Cadets: Your drive is evident. The finesse and clarity of the show narrative is not. The new ending is better but not enough. "Do better" comes across as cliche and bando. PR: Clean, Clean, Clean. Crossmen: Your best offering in a long time. It is hard in 2019 to move up. Cleaning will help, especially on the percussion caption. Mandarins: It's a good one. Your best showing ever. Moving up in 2019 is tough. The public hanging is in poor taste. Really poor taste. Comes across as an immature and shallow decision. Blue Stars: Keep fighting in critique that your are super unique and fresh, yet accessible in the activity. Clean, Clean, Clean. SOA: Cool show. Clean. Emote. Enjoy the experience. While making finals is possible, the overall summer experiences more important.
  5. BOOM! Mic drop. Owned by logic. Go 2019 Scouts, This summer is about you and what YOU bring to the field. NOTHING ELSE!
  6. Some reactions to your three paragraphs offered above (thanks for your civil response to my post): 1. Prior to the events of that evening, I had interacted with Scouts alumni for years. A few I would call friends. Most experiences with alumni were simply one or two-time interactions. It was rare that any discussion regarding Scouts didn't turn negative if not ugly. I appreciate the passion associated with our activity, but there are varying ways to express one's self and a level of control and logical thought that should guide such passion. I have certainly "run my mouth" in regards to drum corps, but never in the way I saw displayed that night. There were a lot of alumni in the stands that evening in 2006. Hundreds. The bad behavior and threats I heard expressed were not those of a few, but a few that had become many. After the 2006 Scouts performed that evening, it took some time to descend from the stands. I felt like I was witnessing this audience quickly adopt a mob mentality. It was unexpected, shocking, and extremely unnerving. About half way down the stands, I left the stairs to walk down the stands on the edge of the crowd to reach the field as soon as I could; I truly became concerned for the current members. I was verbally assaulted on my way down. If not a physical threat, I did anticipate verbal assaults thrown at the members. Upon reaching field level, I saw alumni that had already exited the track area then turn back toward the field and start walking. Several of us staff members began running toward the guys, waving for them to go toward the opposite end zone. The look on their faces was one of surprise and disappointment; they were told they would get to interact with alumni, including having the opportunity in some cases to meet the alumni who's nail they wore around their neck. Some current members did interact with the alumni and as previously stated, had positive experiences. Some did not have positive experiences. Some were confused by the negative shouts hurled at them by the very people the members thought would be the most supportive. Needless to say, we had to do some psychological triage that evening. Did most alumni behave poorly? No. That said, those who were behaving badly was much too many; even one would be inappropriate. Until yesterday, I had not thought about that evening in over a decade. I am surprised how these memories are still emotionally tough for me. Yes, I am sure that single evening has shaded my thoughts toward Scouts alumni. I am aware of this and try to not stereotype. Several years after leaving the organization, a fellow staff member from that year shared a film with me. It was a documentary based on the Scouts. I think is was produced in the early 2000s. I could not watch the entire film. Pretty early in the documentary you see and hear echoes of what I witnessed that night in 2006. I now had a much clearer picture of where all this hate and anger had in part been cultivated. Some of those men may never shake that mind set. It is what they know and is to some degree their Scouts experience. 2. Of course I do have the access nor time to do an extensive investigation of all inner workings of the organization. While doing such would most likely further inform me as to why the corps is not in its best way, I do not think that such is necessary for me to express an informed opinion as to what I see as the corps greatest weakness, its alumni. All components you have listed are of course key parts of a successful organization. But, when these things are "broken", who should step in and with a caring mind set, maturity, logical thought, and education help restore order, vision, and action? I have spent many years in the activity as instructor and administrator. While perhaps not the best expert as to how to run a drum corps organization, I would say my expertise is strong enough to know three main things kill a drum corps: money, administration, and alumni. Unfortunately, it is usually a combination of all these things that do the killing. Are there wonderful alumni of the Scouts that have a clear head, positive intentions, and are the best alumni any corps could hope for? Absolutely. 3. Yes, Sal is flawed as we all are. Perhaps Sal has grown from those times and of course deserves the opportunity to do so. In my opinion, Sal also saved the corps in many ways. His ability to pull positive, creative, and hardworking people together is uncanny. In one year, he had the corps back in finals. Three years later, in 6th (should have been 5th in my opinion). If he is the reason for financial issues, I refer back to one of the three things that kill a drum corps, administration. This includes a board that should have never let the corps get close to having financial issues. That same board fired Sal without considering anyone else on staff. How would the staff that put "The Carmen Project" on the field react to Sal being dismissed? Would they all leave? Would any stay? What is their loyalty level to Sal and the Scouts? How would the staff react if they found out Sal had been fired and their opinions, thoughts, insights, futures, were never considered? Does anyone want to work for an organization that is this clueless, ignoring the future of the corps competitively by not considering that keeping all of the staff or even a majority would perhaps insure some level of stability going forward? Perhaps financial woes were a major issue at that time. But, it was clear to me and much if not all of the staff that the board even at that time was clearly broken, uninformed, and not working well from the MYNWA philosophy. I do not know how a corps bounces back a third time. History shows us it rarely if ever happens. Maybe BAC and Spirit are showing us it can. I do miss the Scouts being a healthy and highly-competitive organization. Fixing it will be a huge undertaking. If the organization desires the corps to be financially viable, that is one thing. If the organization wants the corps to be highly-competitive again, many alums' opinions as to how that happens and what it looks and sounds like will have to be completely ignored. How do you ignore the opinions of strongly impassioned people, brothers in this case? certainly when we are probably not talking about a few rogue alumni, but a large number. Rebuilding will be tough, but I think worth the effort. All my best to the Scouts organization and most importantly, its members.
  7. Yep. Ducking practice has well begun. Helmet on and honesty held as a shield. Bring it !!
  8. Okay. So, I have thought long and hard about this with never finding the impetus, the go-ahead to say what has been on my mind for many years. The sudden and surprising availability to this video (see below) has given me the go-ahead. The video was so great to see. I teared up without expecting to do such. So, here it is: If the Madison Scouts find themselves going the way of 2-7, Anaheim Kingsmen, Magic, etc. the fault will largely fall on the shoulders of the many misguided, un-thinking, and self-indulgent alumni, not the current administration. Drum corps alumni are notorious for creating friction, drama, and controversy. Too many of the Madison Scouts alumni are the poster child for all that can be most bad, wrong, destructive, and caustic about corps alumni, and I dare say they demonstrate that they are the worst of all drum corps alumni in these regards. While the reasons for this are complex, much is linked to the overtly preached message of animosity, distrust, and elitism taught to the corps through much of the 1990s and early 2000s. I was on staff in 2006. We were reeling from a great season in 2005 and trying to find our next move. When you are 14th four years prior and still trying to be a consistent and a bonified finalist, just four years later, nothing comes easy and perhaps the best thing a guy can hope for is a pat on the back from those who may understand the journey, the work, the unique and special environment that is Scouts itself. The week of finals, the powers that be had arranged for the Alumni Project (Madison Scouts Alumni who were to perform at DCI) and the 2006 Scouts to perform for each other at a Madison-Area HS. Sitting in the stands with the alumni while the 2006 version of the Madison Scouts were performing their show, I became more and more uncomfortable and extremely uneasy. The comments from alums regarding the current members were not only negative, but horribly offensive, unfair, uneducated, and threatening toward the performing members. I actually wondered if verbal and physical altercations would take place once the two groups were allowed to interact. Sal Salas (a brilliant and wonderful human being) quickly gathered the staff together and ushered the corps away from the alumni as quickly as possible. Though I did witness some positive interactions between the 2006 Scouts and alumni, I too was concerned and made sure the 2006 Scouts were separated as soon as possible and on our way to a secluded meeting place. Imagine- You have to stand there explaining to the amazing young people you teach day in and day out that they did a great performance and any animosity they may have heard or seen from alumni was not representative of the majority and that most alumni are actually super cool and supportive (At the time and now looking back, I do not think most were supportive. I was lying to try to counteract the negative interactions our members had experienced). Later that night at a Madison-Area bar, several of us on staff were physically threatened- pushed, shoved, asked to fight alumni. It was beyond crazy and such a reminder of the responsibilities we have to teach young people honor and humility, work ethic and service, over popular opinion and suppression. That fall, after Sal Salas as corps director was fired and subsequently the entire staff resigned, the rest is history so to speak. Several years of floundering was followed by the great leadership of Jim Mason. Under his leadership, Scouts were back in finals and a crowd favorite, doing Madison-esque shows but with competitive prowess. Then the alumni again got aggressive and ran the successful design team and instructors off, thinking if they would hire past Scouts members instead, the corps would do better competitively. Well- it is 2019, are your negative actions working for you alumni? That said, I applaud those alumni that remain loyal, introspective and outro-spective, member-centric, and kind. The 2006 Madison Scouts were the hardest working corps I have ever taught. Their show was flawed but aggressive, difficult but rewarding, pushing the envelope, but accessible in many ways. There were many obstacles to overcome that season that should not be discussed here. The achievement level demonstrated on this video and finals is astonishing. Doesn’t that count for something? The work ethic and drive of young people that want to not only to be good, but deserve to be good as well is the Scouts way? Is it not? Alumni, if you think your money, or opinion, or years in the corps somehow entitles you- YOU have 100% missed the point of, MYNWA. Peace. https://www.facebook.com/james.andrzejek/videos/10150155607901248/UzpfSTEyNDAxMjU3NzE6MTAyMTQ4MDg2NjYzMTA0NjY/
  9. Not trying to start a controversy, but I have a legit question. I understand that "wrong side of the tracks" may have different connotations for different people, generations, cultures, etc. I also understand that for some there is a connection to Grand Theft Auto. Does the phrase not come from making a distinction between classes of people? Poor versus not-poor? Lesser people versus elevated people? Specifically, I know the phrase to indicate a racial divide. Not for one second do I think Cavaliers is trying to provoke negative social or class distinction feelings or behaviors, but I am curious is there was ever mention that the show title may be difficult for some to get past. Yes, they can show us through the production components what they think the production title means. Am I the only one having this reaction to the show title?
  10. We have all been punked. Right? Obviously? Please say it is so.
  11. So much for attracting talent. These people have done some good in the activity and that certainly has to be recognized, but in a way that no longer attracts the best talent in 2018.
  12. Well, spent about thirty minutes looking through BOA recaps, WGI recaps, and Texas UIL recaps from the past ten years. Not all of them mind you. No, no sign of Mr. Elvord anywhere. Did not need to spend this time on something I already knew, but I thought "what the hell". My point is not to discredit him as someone who has contributed to the activity in some positive way. My point is to question the Scout's on making this hire if Mr. Elvord has little to no design success or consistent judging track record that would at least place him in the middle of the current activity's goings on. And let's admit that being a judge does not make you a successful designer. I can buy that this hire was made to try to placate Alumni that somehow think the Scouts can only be improved by a Scout. Don't just tell me this is a good hire. Have some evidence to back this claim. The corps has a lot of work to do not only in design, but recruiting, building new fans, etc. Staff change announcements should entice new members, add positive associations that someone in charge understands that the corps' way forward is through two main components, quality of design and instruction, and money. I see no evidence that in 2019, Mr. Elvord can produce any of these things. Go Scouts. All my best wishes to you as you find your way forward.
  13. Please produce recaps where Jimmy is listed as a judge for BOA, WGI, or a Texas band contest within the past ten years. If such exists, how many? Has he been doing such consistently the past decade? If a Texas band contest, is it a UIL event? or a locally sponsored contest where being asked to judge may not be an indication that someone posses knowledge of current design prowess or those who can produce such?
  14. Ummm. Not excited about this at all. Actually, scares the #*^% out of me. Looking backwards to fix 2019. Just no.