totaleefree

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About totaleefree

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  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    1 year
  • Your Favorite Corps
    Bridgemen
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    SCV 1985
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    1985

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  1. Having been involved with one of the few remaining outside of the NE class A corps I can share some interesting information. For Carolina Gold in my opinion the biggest handicap is travel cost and time. The cost of DCA in the south is much higher than the NE mainly because of travel costs and practice time lost due to travel may be considered a competitive disadvantage. What I thin Gold has done to survive as a DCA corps in the south is first they have a great instructional staff, The Guard caption head is in high demand and many people want to work with him in the guard, also they have great Brass instructors, the Brass arrangements the past 2 years have been written by Jesse, the Corps Director and I think especially this years was really great. I think that their championship show could go head to head with any show from a DCI corps of that size (26 horns). So people are attracted to the corps for the learning experience. It is also a fun corps, I know folks won't pay a lot of money for their kids to go out and have fun every weekend, but most of the parents I talked with always told me how the kids looked forward to their Corps weekend and came home tired, but happy. The part where I came in was that they had good food every weekend , I also helped on the Phantom regiment food truck but I think that my food at Gold was better than what PR had and PR had some good chow too. Last year 2018 was a new start for the corps, basically the budget was tight. For many years before the corps had gone to Big Sounds in Motion in Reading the week before finals. In April when schedules were being finalized it was determined that there was no way that the corps could afford to travel to that show. After that call was made the corps had only 1 DCA show (A dci open class/DCA show ) before finals and I and many others questioned whether going forward was viable the members want to do shows and get scores. I do not Know the full story but with the possibility of losing another corps I think that DCA gave them permission and support for a one corps show 2 weeks before finals, which may have saved Gold's season. So though people moan about 1 corps shows I think that it showed that DCA did want to try to save some out of the NE units. Another thing that I was against originally that I think may have kept Gold going was the move back to Class A for 2018., BY writng a show for 65 people and performing it with 65 committed people you get a much better product than writing a show for 100 when only 75 are really committed and the rest are just filling holes. Also you can have a balanced show, 26 brass in a 65 person show is a powerful horn line, 26 brass supporting a 100 member show is struggling. It also makes sense financially since every seat on the bus is filled and you are not paying for 10 empty seats on each bus. From a kitchen viewpoint cooking for 80( Corps, Staff, Volunteers) is much easier than 120 especially with the facilities we had. I think the possibility of winning also motivated the corps. I am sure everyone would put out their best even if they were fighting for 8th place, However in 2018 when after prelims the corps was .06 behind the Govies and becoming class A champs. the kids really went to work and practiced very smartly and then gave the best show of that Season. This year the pressure of being defending champs motivated the kids and they stepped up huge for finals 2 points better than prelims. In spite of the financial challenges the corps still goes to DCI Atlanta every year, which is actually the highlight of the season for many marchers. The corps is the first corps on and has had no practice time since the Sunday before ( it is a 6 hour drive from Raleigh to ATL) and is judged by DCI Judges who give good tips for improvement, but don't really match up to DCA judging. However it is on Flo Marching, and the kids get to see the rest of the show from the 10 yard line and make contacts with DCI corps if they want to march next season. Another thing that I like about Gold is that it is a second choice corps most of out young marchers tried out for Crown or Spirit and realized they weren't ready yet, ot just couldn't afford it and Gold as limited as performances are gives them a chance to perform and step up their game, this year we had a couple from last year who could have made a good DCI corps but opted to stay with Gold because they liked the experience. If you watch the corps from day one of practice until their finals show you see a huge amount of progress and tremendous growth. The first full corps weekend in 2018 we had such a motley crew and I was worried that they would embarrass themselves on the field (Which is why I styed to help that season, I thought at least they will get a good meal out of practice before they have to hang their heads) But 4 months later they were really good . I don't know how this applies to other out of NE corps but it definatly will hurt them eventually if they don't have a good multi year plan that is transparent. And my biggest disappointment with Gold was that they did not have a real plan that possible donors could see. I had wanted to purchase some new Tubas for the Corps but I could not find out if they had plans to buy a matched set in the future, or how many they would need, or even if that was the greatest need for the corps. Everyone had different ideas what was needed but there was no plan on what the # 1 priority was. ANd no guarantee that if you gave money to buy Tubas that it would actually go to that. I wound up using some of that money to buy Tee shirts for the Corps members and will probably give a lot to my local theater group and PR will get some too. However without a visible plan that donors can easily see and understand there is not a very large supportbase and the corps are forced to rely on member dues for most of the corps expenses. I think a lot of the Class A corps did not have a detailed multi year plan and members and donors did not see where the corps was going and the corps wound up ending or dropping from DCA.
  2. So would GHantom Regiment use G Bugles, you know tradition and all
  3. I think this may cross over into about 3 of the current threads here. I am heavily involved with Gold and I am proud of all our "Band Parents" who drove over 9 hours each way to come see their kids band show. This year we had over 20 parents come up to Williamsport, the most support this corps has ever had at finals, They all probably spent at least $500 to come support DCA. So while the overall trend may be lower attendance at finals, Attendance from Gold fans is at an all time high. It has been 13 years since a DCA corps from the North came to visit NC (and people on here still complain about that show) so the parents and marchers have no idea what DCA is and wonder why none of the corps there have every been to Nightbeat. Most of the parents know their kids weren't ready for Carolina Crown and are thrilled to find out there is a cheaper and less time intensive option., We were probably the youngest corps there in member age, but a young corps with lots of enthusiastic parents supporting it is good news for the future of DCA. Since we don't have anyone hanging around to ground these parents in DC tradition, we need all the band parent support we can get, I think the support the kids get from these parents shows up on the field where they put it all out for all the Gold shirts in the stands supporting them,
  4. I think there is a disconnect somewhere with next years dates, I am sure we will get something today at least semi official.. i think a lot for next yearr is still up on the air
  5. I am a big proponent of cymbal lines. SCV cymbals can keep you interest for the entire show. However I spent some time focusing on Spirit's cymbals they were a little sloppy I think they added some good visual effect but they spent a lot of time kinda hanging out not really adding to drum line or doing anything visual I think they may have actually hurt their score.
  6. I had not planned on buying tickets (I have passes) however I had a friend who needed to get out of town for a few days who now will be seeing her first Drum Corps show. I did not want her to sit by herself so I bought tickets to both finals and prelims so I can explain to her what is going on. Speaking of attendance I brought my dad who marched senior corps in the 50 and 60's to a DCA show 4 years ago and he will not go back to another show, he thinks that it changed too much and he doesn't recognize the activity.. (Plus at 85 sitting for hours on a bleacher is tough). So in spite of my issues with DCA I am helping to fill some bleachers this wekend,
  7. This is why DCA will probably be around for a while. The Corps in the NorthEast don't want to spend 10's of thousands of dollars to travel to a DCI All age catagory. All age corps would need a weekend, they could not show up on a Tuesday to share a show with open class.. The Northeast Corps would much rather save the money and have their champs at a High School Stadium that is reasonably close to their fanbase. One of the main reasons DCA started was because sometimes the Legion would have its convention in Seattle or some other far away city and it cost too much to go there so DCA was set up partly to keep it local. However Corps in Texas or Minn or GA who have to spend the big bucks to go to champs at a high school would spend no more money going to Indy and have a chance to perform for a larger crowd, and for the families and fans it is no difference or cheaper and less time consuming to travel
  8. This summer we did 2 DCI openclass/DCA shows one in ALabama with DCA doing exhibitions, the other in GAwith 2 judging panels where both DCA and DCI got official scores.
  9. The score on DCA and on CV site says Southern Knights 73, fighting it out with Sun
  10. I spoke with several corps about bus cost, If you are chartering for more than 30 days it seemed to be about $1,000 a day, but I know 3 day weekends will cost about 5k. I planned 300 mile trip for a local senior center the first bus company I called wanted 4k for a one day trip. that trip we wound up renting vans. AN earlier post from a former MBI member broke doen their cost I think he said 10k for 6 days with long milage and needing relief drivers,
  11. Bus cost depends on distance traveled bus cost is quite a bit higher than that, this issue is the same reason Blue Devil B and SCV cadets didn't go to DCI Finals this year and why many west coast DCI Open Class tours stick to only the west coast.
  12. Just for thought the DCI yearbook 2019 list the following All Age corps that have some relationship with DCI: Atlanta CV, Carolina Gold, Chops, Cincinnati Tradition, Columbus saints, Crusaders senior, Govenaires, Muchachos, North Star, Southern Knights and Sunrisers. Only one is a Northeastern DCA corps and several are I believe alumni type corps
  13. A lot of the posters here are discussing DCA 20 years ago, it is very different today, and very different for corps that are more than 200 miles from PA than for corps within 200 miles of Philly. Most DCA Corps encourage or require their members to avoid this site because of the trolling and because todays corps have little in common with the hard partying DCA corps of 30 years ago.
  14. Star of Indiana was at the top of their game, full DCI member when they left DCI, Just because you are a top dog does not mean you are 100% behind the organization
  15. Much of the frustation for out of the NorthEast Corps is the other corps and not so much DCA admin. It is very difficult to get a Northeastern Corps to travel out of that area for a show. Why pay 10k to bus your corps to Minn and lose a whole weekend of practice while riding the bus, when you can do a local show at very little cost. The same idea applies to Finals. If you can save 20k by having finals near your home you can save your members dues money and help your corps finances. The corps bank account that year takes precidence on the location vote. Having it near saves money for the corps but does not expand exposure for DCA. moving finals out of the region could expand exposure for DCA and help out of market corps, but the NorthEast Corps might have to add $200 to their dues, and many members would rather save $200 than expand DCA's presence and exposure. The Corps vote and the majority of corps is still in the NorthEast, I think they vote looking out for their members, but it makes if more expensive and difficult for corps out of the NorthEast. The added travel time for distant Corpd makes the Labot day thing an even bigger issue since marcher need to miss an extra day of school or work to travel. I think a lot of folks in the NE don't realize the added costs in money and time that out of region corps face