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About Gabe92

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    Academie Musicale 1983-1991

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  1. Gabe92

    Staff Merry-Go-Round 2019

    Sometime it could also be manpower. The Stentors fold their feeder program in 2009 because we did not have enough people willing to invest time in it. Money was not a problem... well... of course with a million dollar available we would have hire somebody, so money is ALWAYS the problem!! But it wasn't an immediat cash problem. I wonder what are the true immediat reasons for SCVC and BDB.
  2. Dutch Boy 1990.... great showman soloist!
  3. The results are in: The annual fundraising campaign of the Canadian Stentors drum and bugle was tremendously successful. Thanks to all who have donate. This will go a long way in our effort to bring a bigger corps to championship in 2019. While the campaign is over, the GoFundMe page is still functional for those willing to contribute. Bring back the Stentors du DCI championship Graphic are in french but I am sure you can figure out most of the numbers out there. If not, feel free to post a question! And congrats for all the corps who compete in 2018. It was a fantastic season and a difficult one to watch from the sideline. See you in 2019!
  4. There were 9 Stentors alumni marching with US corps this summer! I tought to salute them before the season end!
  5. Members I spoke to, parents, staff, board and even volunteers are missing being on tour. I don't see any obstacle on our way back in 2019 (other than the usual). But of course, a donation here and there will allow to grow bigger, better and faster! Have a good championship week all!
  6. 2018 probably is the first time since 1972 that no Canadian corps will compete at Championship. With 2 days left to the 2018 DCI GIVING CHALLENGE, help bring a Canadian corps back to DCI in 2019. Make a small donation towards the Stentors drum and bugle corps from Quebec Canada! The team here is working hard and every day, to be ready bigger and better for our return. 20$+ can go a long way... and coming from many donors, it sends the message: ''keep pushing; we appreciate the work being done, the corps and the commitment in giving your kids the tools for a happy and successful life! English for our fundraising campaign is at the end of our GoFundMe page. Happy DCI week !! Gabe Francoeur President Stentors Drum and Bugle Corps Fundraising Campaign link: Video link:
  7. You how it works... blame all you can on the others! lol If memory serve me well, we did arrive there around 14h/14h30 for a show start at 17h? We were on a rush not because we were late but because everybody knew that we needed to stay on schedule every step of the way to gain maximum time everywhere. A few things to consider along the way... It would have been best for us to get to Manchester the night before but the city often have problem offering housing and as a team player, we do our part by not to asking the sponsor to spend a few extra thousand $$$ on housing while home is only 4h30 away. Leaving on tour for 24 days (2016) on that very morning makes it difficult because leaving on time the first morning of tour IS always a challenge. The corps is not in training so kids come from home with the usual consequence. People shows up too tight to be able to leave on time. First travel of the year, everything is not lock up. Moms and dads want to kiss good bye.... Etc etc etc. Border: Border is a stress for 2 reasons. You don't know how long it's gonna take to cross if any officer have a bad morning that day ... And you don't know how long it's gonna take to get to the border, depending on how many people want to cross at the same time as us. The last mile before entering USA could take 15 minutes or 2 hours. First show of the year with half a corps who has never done any marching competition in their life... you want as much time as you can to prepair. So 3 hours before a show on tour is way too long. But 3 hours before the first show ever for half the corps, comprise of 13-17 years old kids is tight. Now, we can leave at 3h00 AM and avoid all this, but what you gain in border crossing and prep time at the show site, you lose it on the other side by being exausted before you even start the tour. All in all, I think we took the right guess for the corps we had in hand (age, experience, vehicules, staff, volunteers, housing cost, etc.). I hope you don't mind the long post but at least it give you a look from inside the corps. Which I am always please to share!
  8. The corps is not inactive. Suspension of rehearsal and withdraw of the summer schedule has nothing to do with the minimum requirement. As stated by BigW, drum corps in Canada have outgrew the traditional sponsors. To survive corps had to find extra source of revenus. In the case of the Stentors since 2001, that extra revenus has come from our lobster dinner (started during the Academie Musicale period 1983-2000). History of that dinner is quite something. It started small with 300 guests in the basement of a church to an high point of 2000 guests in 1994 and still going strong with a bit more than 1700 guests just 2 weeks ago. It became so big that even the Prime Minister of Quebec have joined us in 2007 and Canada's leader of the official opposition two years later. Banks calls in to know the "date" in order to plan for national meeting with a "night out" with us or to make sure their calendar allow them to be in attendance. Nearly 3 tons of lobster are cooked and served in 2-3 hours. A spectacular sight! It started with a team of parents, but when their kids moved along, so did the parents. It rapidly became a "Francoeur" thing. And mostly has been since 1984. Last november, out of nowhere, Mr Francoeur died of a hart attack. Came January... Mrs Francoeur entered hospital for 5 five coronary artery bypass. You now have a corps director who has to take care of his mom, replace his parents in running the lobster dinner and the family manufacture. The decision to withdraw have been made to allow me to take those challenges succesfully and secure the financial future of the corps. Trying to do more would have been a corps suicide... Now, 1 of the next 3 things could have save the season: 1) Having people ready to rise in leadership and invest the require time to fullfill the empty space. Leading a drum corps, whatever the size, is no easy task anymore. No one felt ready to invest 20-30-40 hours a week, every week. 2) Having 100 members in the roster. That would have provide for more volunteers but also stimulate people that is was worth it to invest a large portion of time in running the corps while not having to worry about membership. 3) Having sufficient funds to hire capable people to lead the corps for 1 year (at least). Here you have to take in consideration that somebody with the require qualities would have to leave a "safe" and well paid job for a "not so safe" job that required way more time but also a much wider and complex knowledge on multiple subject. However, with a 80 000$ salary we may had been able to find somebody for 1 year. Not sure still!! Nothing here was a secret at any time during the decision process. Parents, members, friends and sponsors have been notified by meeting, e-mail, facebook and phone calls at the beginning of February. 2 weeks after my mom surgery... and 2 weeks before the first camp of the season. From personal perspective, it was not a fun decision to take, nor to annonce. But on the good side, since then, about 20 (additional) persons have joined committees and work weekly in order to use that time to build a stronger organization. There is at least 1 meeting a week (except for the lobster month) and the corps is very active on many levels to prepare for 2019. Gabe Francoeur President Stentors
  9. Border story are always exagerated... probably because it make for a more spectacular story to tell!!! To my knowledge, the Stentors never had any trouble crossing eitheir way. Time have changed. So yes, we now need passport (16 years old and over) and yes we all need to get down the bus, get inside the office for a passport scan which take about 30 secondes each (3-4 officers a the same time to proceed everyone). We categorize as "difficult" when an officer ask 3-4 questions, or a kid forget his passport home, or when they look inside the kitchen trailer. All in all, it takes between 15 and 30 minutes everytime for the entire corps. It actualy take way more than that in any airport of the world. But we still make stories... and they get exagerated a lot while traveling in the stands. Now we sometime wait in car lane for an hour before reaching the bus exit to custom. That is another story. Of course, as an organizer, there is a major stress as there is not much we can do if somebody wants to be a j.... to us. We do bring food... the entire tour food (1 month) accross the border and follow all the direction the border office provide on their website. We do have refugee now in the corps as well as a lot of people with foreign origin. That makes it a bit harder on paper work prior to crossing. And... sometime... an officer (who's having a gun) is having a bad day and enjoy to play tough on a 13 years old, 85 pound kids who doesn't speak english. That is sad and always become a legend! But it wouln'd refrain the corps to enter USA. It is just sad that somebody feel the needs to show their power to well behave and polite kids who is already quiet and shy to be in there.
  10. Great post BigW! I agree with a lot of it. Quebec indeed have a great indoor season with a lot of winter guard and a rapidly growing drumline circuit. We went from 1 show (drumline) about 3-4 years ago with 3-4 drumline (+ competing team from Ontario) to a 3 shows season and a championship of approx 15 drumline a few weeks ago. FAMQ still run a two days happening with the summer unit from all horizon in 2 differents cities. The Stentors started it in 2011 if my memory serve me well. FAMQ co-organise it now with whoever is the corps sponsor. We try to move from city to city every few years to give everyone the opportunity to shine home!
  11. That's for sure!!! While I can't talk for the entire province of Quebec, in and around town here, I see a decrease of approx. -75% of the music programs in about every school since the time when I started to visit them for recruitment purpose in 1993 (25 years).
  12. Thanks for your good words. I understand your point of view as I am myself a traditionalist. The pressure to change and add equipement often come from ourself except when it's really broken. Believe me when we buy things here, it's for the long run! However there is other source of pressure such as housing, food, gas, insurance, transportation, ect.
  13. Xandandl, Merci beaucoup... ;-) It's in Canadian $$. Let say you make a 30$ donation, only about 22$US will taken on your credit card (0,70$US = 1$ CAN) Of course we also accept more from those who can!
  14. I specifically choose the World Class forum in order to reach as much people as possible. The Stentors drum and bugle corps have launch their first annual donation campaign on August 13. The goal is simple: raise enough funds to replace aging instruments. While many may not know who are the Stentors or have never witness us live, we have the priviledge to be the sole Canadian representative in competition. We are also the smallest corps on the field (33 in 2017), with the smallest fees (700$ US), one of the longest DCI tour amongst our Open class peers (31 days last summer), we probably do it with the the smallest budget out there but also play with the oldest instrument! We are still using G bugles, many bought by Star of Indiana in the falls of 1984!!! We have been receive with enthousiasm everywhere we went last summer despite our small size and lower age of our members. As we are turning 30 in 2018, we launch our campaign 30 DAYS to raise 30 000$ for our 30th Anniversary. There is 2 weeks left and much more to raise to get to our goal. We pride ourself on being responsable and operate within our means. But with the raising cost of fuel, food, housing, and such, replacing instrument become a challenge that we can overcome with your help. Most people just follow the lead of the campaign and give 30$. Just imagine the 30 000 people attending championship, each giving 30$. What a difference it would make to us! It would not only replace aging instrument but give us the tools to grow every aspect of our operation, starting with the membership size! The link to the campaign is here and... it is in french! But I am sure everyone can understand all the necessary to fill up what is needed! If not, feel free to send an email or text me. It will be my pleasure to help you out step by step. Together for our youth! Gabe Francoeur President Stentors Drum and Bugle Corps Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada (819) 578-5008
  15. It is true that some composer are "friendly" towards smaller organisation... That is not the case of them all.... And "rights" can sometime be in the range of 1000$-5000$ to perform 1 to 2 minutes of music. In my case... we do perform 8-10 time a year in front of usualy 100-200 spectators, without receiving any type of monetary compensation. In fact it does cost the corps 3000$ a day to be on the road. So... we are sometime ask to pay more to play 1 minutes of music / 10 times during a summer, than what most of our staff gets to teach 600 hours during that same summer. Yes... we change repertoire to adapt to that new reality. I am writing to let all know true numbers. And of course if you are a million dollar organisation it is a different problem. But if you are a 5 figures drum corps, rights holders should also bend a bit in the process and be reasonable.