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About trptjock

  • Rank
    DCP Rookie
  • Birthday 03/07/1972

Profile Information

  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    Member: Phantom Regiment-1991, 1992, 1993, Instructor: Phantom Regiment-1995, Blue Stars-2002, 2003, Minnesota Brass-2004, 2005, Spirit from JSU-2006, 2008, Santa Clara Vanguard-2007
  • Your Favorite Corps
    Phantom Regiment, Santa Clara Vanguard, Blue Devils, Spirit from JSU
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    1993 Phantom Regiment
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
  • Location
    Auburn, Alabama

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  1. Colts Camp this weekend (March 5-7). If you are still interested in marching this summer with the Colts, come visit the website ( and submit an audition video. We are expanding our hornline this year to 72 and would like for you to be a part of the Colts Family. Hope to see you at camp.
  2. Yeah, I will still be working with MBI if time and funds permit me to do so.
  3. Yes, it is true that I resigned from my position as Co-Brass Caption Head with Spirit. I have had a wonderful experience with the Spirit family during the three years I was with the corps (2006, 2008, 2009). We went into some new directions that were exciting for the fans as well as the members. We gained some new fans along the way as well as re-establish the traditions of great performances over the summer months. I am so very proud of my time with the corps and wish nothing but the best to those members I am leaving behind. The staff that was in place this past year was strong and I will assume that it will not change. As for me, I am looking at new opportunities in the music industry, be it teaching, composition, arranging or performing. I have some responsibilities to take care of over the summer with the International Trumpet Guild amongst other things which will keep me busy over the next few months. I have no doubt that Spirit will continue to make strides to once again achieve new found levels of success within the activity. The foundation is in place. To all of you with who I have worked with at Spirit, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives for a short period of time. For the Spirit Family, you will see me again in one way, shape or form. Best of Luck to Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps. Here is wishing you the absolute best for many years to come. Ray Vasquez Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps Co-Brass Caption Head, 2009
  4. The reason why this has become a problem, is multi faceted. 1. With the increase of members in each corps, fewer are auditioning at more local groups and moving on to "better" situations (Top 6 corps). Some corps are facing this problem, some aren't. Some have figured it out, some may be unrealistic. 2. Gasoline prices are not what they were last year and that can be a reason for the increase in some corps membership dues. If dues are a bit higher than in the past, that could detract from getting members interested in marching. "How much is this going to cost me." 3. The talent pool that is being chosen may have the desire to march but not the funding, so some corps are stuck with a dilema, march someone who can't pay but would be an asset, or march someone who can pay the dues but may not have the desire as the initial candidate. 4. The economy is always an issue to consider. If you can't pay for it, you can't do it. Jobs are harder to come by and most potential members now do not do the fundraising they use to do in order to pay for their summer activity. Most corps cost anywhere between 2,150.00 - 3,000.00 for a summer tour (fees, dues, boot camp, etc.). This is not including trips to Europe that some corps will do for a portion of the summer. The once "semi-affordable" venue for members to march is now becoming so expensive that they are being turned off by it. 5. Some members have an idea on what they are getting themselves into for the summer. Most corps do not go "Full bore" during the winter camp months, so the potential membership may not a real idea on what to expect when the summer approaches. As the summer gets closer, some staffs will turn up the heat and this turns some kids off. It isn't as easy as they once thought it was. 6. Things that come up. Death in the family, family member looses a job and the member now has to work in order to help support the family. This happens. My two cents
  5. To me, it seems that the initial question of instruments has strayed from its original point. I believe the initial discussion was on what each line was playing on instrument wise as well as mouthpiece selection. Here is what I remember from the World Class Corps during the 2008 season: (Alphabetical Order only) Dynasty Lines: Blue Devils (2nd) Glassmen (11th) Pacific Crest (17th) Jupiter Lines: The Academy (18th) King Lines: Phantom Regiment (1st) Blue Stars (8th) Blue Knights (9th) Boston Crusaders (10th) Spirit (15th) Mandarins (19th) Pioneer (20th) Yamaha Lines: Cavaliers (3rd) Carolina Crown (4th) The Cadets (5th) Bluecoats (6th) Santa Clara Vanguard (7th) Madison Scouts (12th) Crossmen (13th) Colts (14th) Troopers (16th) *Mouthpieces, each corps uses specific mouthpiece as determined by their Brass Caption Head. Those decisions are done to help the hornline achieve the resultant sound that the caption head hears in their head when they the hornline plays. This also comes from personal experience as an educator or performer and from relationships that are forged over the years. "What do you guys use" is a question that gets asked amongst those in the activity. There are plenty of mouthpiece manufacturers out there that make quality equipment, the real choice is what do you hear in your head and what will get that on the field. Now here are some questions (and my answers) that may help illustrate the various points in this discussion. 1. Does any one of these instruments give any corps a competitive advantage? No, because the pedagogy taught to the members dictates the overall understanding of the techniques involved in the process of making a sound while on the move. Ability level of the members in the hornline also dictate the level of success of that particular ensemble. A corps made up of college age music majors will sound different than the same age group of people that are only playing during the competitive season. (this doesn't always hold true, but is a means of providing you with the point of talent/training equals better result.) 2. What gives the corps a competitive advantage? *Staging on the field. If the trumpet line is playing a feature and are on the back hash of the field while the rest of the corps is on the front sideline, that is a problem. *Technical Difficulty of the book being played while on the move. If the book is rather easy in terms of its demand on the performer and the collective whole of the hornline executes the music at a high level, they will be rewarded for their performance. Whereas, if the book is very difficult and there are gaps in the sound or inconsistencies in the performance, that line will not be given the points they are looking for. *Consistency of sound from player to player. The Jim Ott trophy is given to the corps that performs their show the best (in comparison to the rest of the field of contestants) on finals night ON THE FIELD, not in the stands. In some years it was determined over three nights. This means, that while the individual members in any given hornline will perform their show the best on finals will win the trophy (under certain guidelines). *Programming. A shows programming from beginning to end will take the audience and judging community on a journey through their show. Using various World Champions as an example, you can see the execution of each show done to a very high level. Recently, the "Show" aspect of their performances really garners more weight than the performance itself. Some hold true to their overall theme while some stray away from it (to a point). Those whose show is very cohesive from beginning to end are usually more apt to being within the top 5 than not. Those that are further down had shows (although entertaining) did not deliver the theme as did their competitors. *Visual demand over musical demand. If you are running around on the field at a beat of 200+ beats per minute, you will not be able to produce the same sounds that were achieved in the 70's and 80's when the drill design was not nearly as fast paced or intricate. If the Visual demand is quite high and the musical demand is quite low, then one suffers because of another. You can not deny that. Some corps have made it an art form in terms of achieving high visual and musical demands in their designs by being leaders in the activity. SCV, Cadets, Star and Cavaliers all did some great things during the 80's and early 90's to set the drum corps idiom onto the path that we are on currently. In this day, you can't go to a drum corps show without some corps marching at 200+ bpm at some point in their production. That has an effect on the music itself. 3. What makes a hornline LOUD? The pedagogy being taught. Although design does have something to do with the instrument and its carrying power in a stadium, the means of teaching to make that sound is really where it all comes from. Some corps believe that volume is an effect and to only be used to garner that specific effect. Other corps use it as a means of pride. (We play louder than any other hornline on the field.) That may be well and good, but the overall issue is are those members being taught how to make representative sounds while maintaining a centered, focussed and resonant sound. The era of playing as loud as you can and breaking phrases to breathe and having gaps in the sound are gone. Listening closely to recordings of those "Loud Hornlines of the past", you will hear exactly what I am talking about. Memory will fade over the years. What sounded loud to you at one specific moment now will not have the same effect 20 years from now. You then begin to believe what you want to believe was done at that moment. You may have been effected by the sheer volume of it and not remember the tone qualities coming out of some of the members in the line. A contrabass can not hold a loud note as long as a soprano player can. So with the argument of 8 contrabasses playing louder than 16 tuba players may be true but at what cost? Tone Quality, Balance, blended sounds, intonation, or sheer volume. 4. B-flat vs. G. The G bugle sounds the way it does not because of the bore size of the instrument (though that does have an effect), but because as you add more tubing to an instrument (1 valve, 2 valves, 3 valves, etc.) you add more resistance to the instrument making appear less free blowing. The vertical two valve instruments of the 70's, 80's and early 90's had a very specific sound characteristic. In the right hands, the sounds were very intense and energetic. The scoring or voicing of the instruments also had something to do with the sound of the hornline. A Jim Ott line sounded different than a Wayne Downey line, than a Jim Wren line, than a Jim Prime line. Each line has a specific way they sounded by means of voicing and show design. In acoustics, higher tones will always sound louder than lower ones. Listening to a piccolo player in an orchestra is easier to hear than the tuba. With a G line, that was made clear by the fact that the B-flat line was never an issue on the field. When the B-flat line became legal in 2000, those that moved to the B-flat side were better in tune to those on the G side of things. Does that make the G line worse than the B-flat side? No, just different. If you listen to Cadets in 2005 and 2007, there were some moments of very loud intense playing. Same with those lines back in the day. Is one better than another, no - just different. So, with adding valves, which added more tubing to the instrument, thus adding more resistance made those instruments a bit more difficult to respond. So to compensate for that, those companies that built those horns adjusted the overall bore size to compensate for the added tubing and "resistance". Plus, those companies were not making money selling G bugles to high school or college bands. With B-flat instruments now, some instrument manufacturers sell instruments that are considered "large bore" sizes to get the same sound that you hear on the DCI field of competition. Some bands don't teach the way that Drum Corps do, so they don't get the same results that Drum Corps get. 5. Performance Training. This is the biggest factor to consider. If you have adult aged members (18-22 yrs old) in a hornline that have been playing brass instruments for a while, the resultant sound will be closer to the quality the caption head hears in their head when they play. The issue then becomes making that sound happen while on the move. Everyone tries to make this happen both on the move and in the arc. Those that do this the best, make it look effortless. The training is paramount to this entire discussion. Now, with the visual (marching and dance...yes some corps do some aspects of dance) and musical demands placed on the members, the training needed to be able to play at a high level is so very important. There are more injuries brought on by the visual demands placed on these members than what was asked for back in the 70's and 80's. Sorry for the tangent. Perhaps this will add some more fodder for discussion. RV
  6. trptjock

    Lean back?

    I should also add one final thing. The diaphragm is an involuntary muscle, meaning that you have absolutely no control of it other than if you halt the inhale or exhale voluntarily. What you experience when you breathe in is an expansion of the lungs in the chest and a semi inflation of the abdomen. That inflation is not that air is escaping into the abdomen from the lungs, but the lungs are now occupying more space inside the body by means of inhalation. This expansion means that the diaphragm now makes room for the lungs by flexing itself and pushing the intestines out of the way for this process. Now, you can also push out your abdomen voluntarily, but that does not involve the diaphragm because you are not breathing to make this happen in a natural state. Saying you can control the diaphragm is saying that you can control your heartbeat at your own will. Physical exercise does effect the heart rate, but you can't consciously control your own heartbeat by willing it to beat faster or slower. Voluntary muscles are those that you have control over. Fingers, arms, legs, toes, back muscles, chest muscles, abdominals and facial muscles are all things that you can control at will. The are also muscles that you can make stronger by means of exercises and physical fitness level. You can't really make your diaphragm stronger or weaker, it is what it is. You can make your heart muscle larger, but that comes from being overweight or obese. The heart muscle has to pump more blood into the body to keep it alive and active. This, of course is not healthy.
  7. trptjock

    Lean back?

    Here is my take on the "Lean Back". I am using my years of experience as a performer and teacher for my answer so take it for what it is worth. You may not agree with what I have to say and that is fine. These observations are of my own playing in what I had to struggle with and eventually overcome in order to get the results I have at my disposal now. "Does this help the trumpet player play higher notes? In some ways YES, in some ways NO." YES, because it does provide the body with another means of tension and compression to move the air through the horn as you play. Those that "Lean Back" are doing so by means of a specific breathing technique called "The Complete Yoga Breath". Maynard Ferguson was a big proponent of this method of breathing and he taught it to the trumpet players in his band and has become a means of sound production and compression ever since. Some take it to the extremes and put undue stress on the body by leaning back. This stress usually comes from mouthpiece pressure on the lips and strain on the lower back muscles. Plus you are not providing the body with any means of stability as your body weight is away from your "Center". NO, because those players that have mastered the art of altissimo playing have done so through practice, selection of equipment and a drive to make that aspect of their technique more profound. Look at people like Roger Ingram, Wayne Bergeron, Cat Anderson, Allen Vizzutti, Bobby Shew, Lin Nicholson, Jim Manley, Scott Englebright, Patrick Hession and Arturo Sandoval (amongst others), these players don't lean back when they play in the upper register, but they do use compression, somewhat modified equipment (within reason, some players play on stock mouthpieces) and a smaller aperture in order to gain the results they are looking for. The body does need to be centered over the feet in order to gain stability and balance. If the body is compromised in one way or another, then it is no longer an efficient vehicle for playing. Just like your band director has told you: "Sit up Straight". We teach this for a reason. Maynard Story. This story is true (and has been corroborated by Bobby Shew) from the various resources that I have come across in my playing career as well as the teachers that I have studied under. He did have a very distinct ability to play in the upper register with great power, stamina and control and made it look easy. As he began to be more in the public eye, he would baffle many audience members in that his horn was adjusted in order for him to play that way. By a recommendation of his wife, she told him to make it look harder and more flashy. If you watch videos on YOUTUBE of younger Maynard and compare them to older Maynard, the change is not drastic but noticeable. Plus as Maynard aged, he wasn't playing the same way he did when he was in his 20's or 30's. But when he did play, it was electric. High notes and altissimo register only comes from one thing and that is practice on exercises for that register. Mouthpiece selection is equally important and should not be taken lightly. I know trumpet players that switch mouthpieces for the upper register (as I am one of them), but do it primarily for the sound quality change and ease of that particular register. I have adopted a technique of practicing the upper register of the horn on my "Symphonic/Classical" mouthpiece (which is usually larger rim diameter and deeper cup depth). If I am able to play in the altissimo register on my "Legit" mouthpiece, then switching over to my "Lead" mouthpiece only makes the sound quality change and the ease of play that much easier. This can also hold true for playing on piccolo trumpet vs. lead trumpet, but that is another discussion entirely. When I play in the upper register my body does tense up a little bit (including my back muscles, abdominal, chest, lips and shoulders-to an extent). They have to. You are not going to play a "Double C" with the same setting you will have for a "Low C". The dynamics of what all is involved in those two notes that are four octaves apart are quite varied. Lip tension, airflow, air speed, aperture size, mouthpiece pressure and sound quality are all going to be different for each pitch. So don't expect the same feeling for both because it is just not possible. Well, it isn't possible for me and my playing up to this point. There are trumpet players that look like they are not working when they move into the upper register because they have mastered the art of making all the muscle groups move the way they need to efficiently and accurately. Using pressure is a starting point, but NOT the ending point. You will eventually want to connect the various registers to make the notes more "Usable" instead of "only under these circumstances". Because then the horn is limited in its flow and the music's connection with the audience. Take it for what it is worth. These are my opinions on how to play in the upper register and its relevance to the original topic of "Leaning Back". I now open the flood gates for intense criticism, speculation, dissection and ridicule which has become commonplace here on DCP. Words to live by. Practice doesn't make Perfect Practice makes Permanent! Perfect Practice makes Perfect.
  8. The show is being moved because of construction of the stadium on the JSU campus which will continue into the summer. At least that is what I have been told.
  9. I was there in 1991 when three DCI Midwest corps were in the top 3 at finals (Star of Indiana, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment). I was there in 1992 to see the Cavaliers win their first DCI Trophy. I was there in 1993 to see the Star of Indiana blaze a new trail of innovation and concept that has yet to be achieved in this day and age. To see this corps perform its last DCI Show in its existence as a DCI member corps. And still to this day is one of my favorite shows of all time. I was there in 1993 when the Phantom Regiment won its first regional of the season after a 4 year drought in Birmingham Alabama to beat the Blue Devils at DCI South. When we had numerous standing ovations for our finals performance that night in Jackson Mississippi. WHAT AN AGE OUT YEAR. At a show in Tennessee (can't remember the location) where we were on the field performing it's show that night with a huge electrical storm going on a few miles away. We reached the final last two notes of the show as a huge bolt of lightening streaked across the sky. At that point, the show promoter came on the loud speakers to ask everyone to clear the field. When the entire corp marched across the field in a crab step, do a 360 and play its final ending to the opener to probably the biggest crowd response of the night. To see the entire pit physically on the field for the first time, as well as march our Ballad around our helmets. It was also a time when Tony Hall came to the corps to influence so many great people to constantly strive for the highest. I was there 1996 to see Phantom win its share of a DCI title to the Blue Devils in Orlando Florida. One of the most proud moments I have ever had with my corps. I was there in 2008 to see Regiment win it's first outright DCI title by beating the Blue Devils by .025 in Bloomington Indiana. Another proud moment for me and my corps. I was there in 2003 to see the Blue Stars go undefeated in Division III Competition and win the Division III Title, win high brass and high GE. The last time the corps was in Division III. Many of the members that marched that year would go on to stay with the corps and see its growth into a "World Class Finalist" this past year. I was there in 2007 to see so many Santa Clara Vanguard Alumni pull for the corps at DCI Finals in California. And to have the corps beat Carolina Crown that same year at finals by .025 And to be a part of SCV's 40th Anniversary year.
  10. Spirit isn't using KANSAS to recapture their past. We are using the vehicle of the music of KANSAS to return to doing shows that could potentially have more audience appeal than the productions of the recent past. Once again, those that have never heard the music of KANSAS will be quick to judge the validity of the decision. Someone with more relevance? I am sure that there are plenty of groups that could be "more" relevant to your ears but your input wasn't part of any design meetings or brainstorming sessions that were held in coming up with this years program. If you want to have a say in the design process then contact the corps director and voice your opinion. I am sure that we would love to hear your examples of stellar programming choices that will make a positive impact on the activity. Many of you are passing judgement on a product that hasn't even seen ink hit paper as of yet. Wait until Scott and Shane get working on the product. I will be something to remember. If YOU like it, that will be left for you to make that observation.
  11. One other thing, if you are not familiar with the music of KANSAS, then perhaps you should educate yourself in the music before making a blanket statement about the show idea. I was not a big fan of the group, but after the initial mention of using this music for a show, I quickly began to listen to more of it. The more I listened to, the more I enjoyed what I heard and the more excited I got about the potential of this show. I am sure that there is a great deal of thought that goes into any design of a show before an announcement is made. I don't think that any corps will realistically go into a design meeting trying to intentionally diminish the corps stature, placement or potential recruiting base. With as many quality bands that have put out sophisticated music in the Rock Genre, there is a wealth of music that has yet to be realized in the drum corps arena. Some of the current "popular" music groups do not lend themselves to performances because they were somewhat studio driven in that the sounds and instruments can only be recreated through electronics. Groups of the 1970's used electronics to a degree, but the main thing to realize is that the MUSIC, MUSICIANS and MUSICIANSHIP is what made the tunes memorable, not the gimmicks or media driven hype. Look at what happened to Disco music of the later 70's. The era ended pretty quickly. Although there were some "hits" for various artists of the genre, that particular type of music had lived its life. There are plenty of artists in this day and age that will go on to make substantial contributions to music. Who knows there may be a drum corps that will dive into an artist (or band) and elect to perform their music and bring it to the field. The bands like Rush, Styx, Boston, Living Colour, King Crimson amongst others have provided some memorable music. The drum corps world is ready for a resurgence of melody, harmony, familiarity, likability, accessibility and programming that were staples of some of the most beloved drum corps shows in history. Wind Band music, Orchestral music and Jazz are all viable forms of music, why cant we include Rock into the discussion and make it work? Just because one drum corps did the music of Kansas and was not successful with it does not mean that it can't work. It is unfortunate that some veterans of Northern Aurora had posted their bad memories of their production in the early 90's. There may have been reasons for the measured success of the show. I encourage all of you that read this thread to think about what it is you want the potential members of Spirit to read before you write something on the thread. I am by no means wanting to monitor your discussion. This is a free country, but some potential members will be swayed (one way or another) to what is written. To make things fair, lets let potential members come to their own conclusions about the CORPS, not the SHOW. One other thing to consider is this. Royalties and performance rights for music have gone up considerably in the recent past making some music almost incapable of being performed unless you can pay the price for the performance rights (not to mention the copyright for an arrangement). This is costly and makes musical selection that much more of a challenge. When this happens, the potential broad scope of music to select from become a bit more narrow. Some composers, artists, groups, artist agencies and "estates" make it very difficult for groups to perform, much less arrange music for the field. Those that can do so by means of money being spent on this aspect of the activity. It is a way for the integrity of the music to remain while giving the arranger/composer license to do with the music what they will. If you are interested, look up ASCAP or BMI for performance rights fees and the like for more information. In Spirit, RV
  12. It is absolutely fascinating to see the varied responses posted here on this thread. Some of you have brought about your likes and dislikes for the show. Some have also posted on the likes and dislikes of the corps previous shows. Some have also brought about their own experiences with similar music but in a different corps to varied success (or failure). Many of you who are curious to know why the corps has chosen to use the music of Kansas is to delve into something that is on many peoples mind. Establishing (or re-establishing) the corps identity. Now will this mean that Spirit will become a corps that plays nothing but Rock music? I have read on here that many people would like for the corps to return to its southern roots (southern jazz, blues, etc.). The corps has produced many memorable shows in its early years and was incredibly competitive. The shows that were produced in the recent decade have been equally as memorable but not as widely accepted by those who yearn for the Spirit of old...the Jim Ott years. Drum corps has changed over the past few years to include music of a less popular (non-rock, rap or outwardly accepted) nature, or that is less recognized (to some degree) by the general public. When Phantom Regiment did Spartacus this past year, was there a marked increase in sales of any of this music off of the shelves at your local music store or music site? Probably not. When the Blue Devils did "Tommy" in 1990, was this the downfall of the corps? When the Cavaliers did Billy Joel in 2007 was this the show that sent the masses away from the souvenir booths and successive audition camps? NO. Because the music of Kansas is not a type of music that some people are familiar with (other than the popular hits) doesn't mean that the corps can not do justice to what has been given to the music community to this point. You must also understand that Drum Corps is really "Souped up Marching Band". I don't know if there is any real market for Drum Corps recordings other than within the small market of people that have marched in one or are fans of the activity. I mean no disrespect to those that have marched in the activity. I enjoy the activity and the many challenges it brings to the corps on a year to year basis, but lets face it. The activity is not going to be winning any Grammy nominations or being recognized as a viable music making ensemble with any sense of longevity. Sure there will be those that buy the recordings to relive some fond memories, but this music does not endure like say...anything that gets continued radio air-play. That being said, the corps is going to produce a show that will be memorable, recognizable and enjoyable to all that will see the corps in 2009. Will this show bring the corps back from the brink of folding because of the "failure" of 2008, that is left to be seen. Know this, the corps will continue to produce shows that will reach members of the audience in one way, shape or form. Was there this much controversy or "Nay" saying when the Cavaliers performed completely original music during the early part of this decade? I would imagine so. Was this the downfall of the corps and its eventual return to the Cavaliers Roots? NO. They continued producing successful shows to a specific formula that worked for them over the decade to become the only other corps to "Three-peat" for a Championship and a powerhouse of the 2000's. People feel the same way about any corps that is struggling. Staff changes, vet return rate, show design/concept, uniform changes, "new" musical direction are all reasons why a specific corps does well or not. The corps does what it can to bring the best experience to its members year after year. With that message also comes people that believe in that message and continue to return to the corps that gave them an opportunity to grow as people and as musicians (to some degree). You leave the corps (not just Spirit) a different person than when you came into it. As a staff member, you see the corps struggle and succeed on a day to day basis while on tour. You do what you can to make the product better in any way you can. You try new things, you experiment with other things, but you are never stagnant on what it is you want the membership to come away with at the end of the season. You see vets leave for the top 5 because of the corps placement from the season happens. In many ways this can be a good thing or a bad thing. Return rate is always an issue for any "Non top 5" corps. Being located in Jacksonville Alabama does not mean that there is a wealth of JSU students knocking down the doors to come march with Spirit. It may have been there when the corps initially moved there in the early part of the decade. Over time, the novelty of having a corps in your backyard rubbed off. Members went to "The top 5" and began to speak ill about the corps and its product over the years. Some vets used the corps as a stepping stone (a training ground, if you will) for the "Top 5". And many strong multiple year vets left. Is this a bad thing, for retention...yes. You don't want to have to reinvent the wheel each year AND you want to potentially build on the success of the previous year. Is it a good thing, for some people YES. You want some of the "power vets" that think they walk on water to go to another corps and get taken down a peg or two. Those attitude problems in the past with Spirit wind up becoming model citizens for other corps. (funny how that all works, no longer a big fish in a small pond). Inevitably those same members will come back and say, "You know what, the stuff they taught us at the corps I moved to was the same as what I learned at Spirit". There are numerous reasons why the corps did not place where I (as a staff member) would have wanted the corps to be. The list is too long to write here and is too late to do anything about it now anyway. With the new additions to the strong core of staff members in place at Spirit, the addition of Mark Waymire to the design team and as Program Coordinator, the corps will do well for years to come. Spirit will do well this year, as it has every year. Sometimes that is given to you in terms of placement, sometimes it is given to you in other ways. You choose the corps because you love what Spirit does and what it continues to do. If you come to Spirit to win a championship, then you are probably in the wrong corps. Does the corps want to win a championship, at some point? YES. But that will happen in due time. Will it happen in the near future? Who can tell. Who knows if even the activity will last another 10 years. With the economy in the state it is in, will the number of marching units diminish? These are the questions we should be asking. Suffice it to say that the 2009 show based on the music of the group KANSAS will be a memorable one. In Spirit Ray V. Co-Brass Caption Head Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps
  13. The K-90 Contra set screws for the bell are the same as what you would find on the King Sousaphone. If you can find some parts off of an old King Sousaphone, those will work. The DEG contras may be a bit harder, I do remember the threads being quite small as well as the screw itself. You may want to take the horn to a hardware store and see if you can fit something to it. Its worth a try. Better to pay .20 than 15.00 for a part.
  14. In no particular order: The Bridgemen The Freelancers Star of Indiana 27th Lancers Suncoast Sound Sky Ryders
  15. do you still have any KING french horns, or the DEG Sops? lemme know. Ray V.