Tim K

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Everything posted by Tim K

  1. Tim K

    Staff Merry-Go-Round 2019

    My concern is “great music.” Since 2008 and “Spartacus,” the only show that was entirely classical was “Turandot,” which was the last time they placed in the top three. Venturing into film music has been nice, I’m not sure I would call it great. There are many “deep cuts” in the classical repertoire that have never been performed by a drum corps. I think focusing on design is critical but in doing so, use the guard more effectively. I had great hopes for the coed guard last summer, but it seemed like a lot of talent was wasted.
  2. Tim K

    Crossmen 2019

    I moved a few months back and only unpacked my drum corps DVD’s last week. Over the weekend I did some binge watching. I probably watched about twenty shows spanning the 70’s-90’s, then 2011-2016. In the earlier shows, those playing the cymbals were much younger than the snares. I know looks can be deceiving, but I do know at least one northeast corps had a cymbals performer who was 14, I know him and he eventually worked his way up to the snare line. I do understand this was a very different era. In the 80’s you saw some corps use cymbals, for others the front ensemble had cymbals. In one of the shows in the 90’s cymbals were clashing but the cymbals on the field were at the cymbals players sides. In more recent years cymbals have been featured by some corps on the field for both musical and visual purposes. What has evolved is that corps are either using cymbals on the field or not using them based on what they are trying to present. It’s not new, and you never know, Crossmen could uses cymbals at a later date.
  3. Tim K

    Question About DCA Culture

    I can remember back in the late 70’s the Connecticut Hurricanes had a member of the color guard who marched well into his 80’s. I can’t remember the first name, it was either Harry or Harvey, but the last name was Olderman which as a high school kid I found amusing that the oldest member had the last name Olderman. Back then, I probably thought all of DCA was pushing 80 even though they were much younger. Now that I’m a few days shy of 56, even the members of the alumni corps look younger!
  4. Tim K

    Sunrisers suspended

    If it is as you say, and I do not follow DCA that closely, so I have no reason to question what you say, why didn’t the corps collect the money prior to check in? In the case of the younger members, my thought is every band director and anyone who has organized a youth trip would agree, you never trust they’ll have the money at check in. You collect it before you leave, actually you collect it well ahead of time. The same should hold true for the adults. And if it is a question of using credit cards, a corps could easily get a device that allows them to accept credit cards. Now I have never used Marriott hotels for a group event. I have used Best Western, Holiday Inn Express, and Choice Hotels. If the group is not paying the bill, I can’t imagine the hotels reserving rooms for adults without a credit card for each room and if kids were involved, not expecting payment prior to arrival. I know about ten years back, I helped organize a service trip involving three different groups of high school students. It was a two day trip to the work site and we decided we would stay in Hershey, PA so the kids could get to know each other in a social setting (great idea, by the way, Hershey Park is very accommodating with lots of perks for youth and school groups). The hotels required payment in advance, and since it was in the summer and school was not in session, proof of insurance and waivers signed by parents. All this is not difficult to do. It involves a quick call to the insurer and a certificate is faxed and the waiver is put in a packet with all the other forms a parent has to sign. This is not to excuse the Sunrisers if they stiffed the hotel, but I’m surprised the Marriott did not have procedures that allowed this to happen. I stayed at the Marriott Fairfield in Indy last August and my credit card had a hold on the funds prior to my check in.
  5. Tim K

    Sunrisers suspended

    That was my first thought too, but usually when an organization books multiple rooms in a hotel, the bill for the rooms is paid in advance, usually by check, and the check has cleared the bank prior to arrival. At least that has been my experience with middle and high school students. However you usually do not have to pay security fees for damages though the contract that is signed basically gives you 48 hours to pay for damages. Perhaps there were damages and Sunrisers refused to pay. Reddit posters claim it was the bill, others damages, and there are other things mentioned as well.
  6. Tim K

    Sunrisers suspended

    This is a shame. I saw Sunrisers in exhibition last July at a DCI show in Cranston, RI. I was surprised at how young the corps was, so young, I wondered if there would be a future for the corps as a DCI OC corps, though when I saw photos throughout the season, it did show more adult members and I assumed some of the marching members may have had to work and could not be in Cranston. I was impressed with the comments of some parents who had young first time members in the corps. Whatever the issues are, I hope they get solved soon.
  7. Tim K

    Boston Crusaders 2019

    On the DCP Facebook page, there is a post by a Scott Miller who stopped at his local Starbucks (Wesley Chapel). He noticed a sign featuring an employee and highlighted Brendan Serrata who wants to march with Boston Crusaders next summer. Thought people would enjoy and I hope Scott Miller does not mind his photo being used.
  8. Tim K

    Staff Merry-Go-Round 2019

    Did I say that Madison ws not dedicated and that's why they did not win? No. As a matter of fact there was no mention of last year's show, explicit or implied, or the young people who marched. Your original comment seems to imply too many alums from 1975 and 1988 are gaining control of the corps. For any corps that can be an issue and it seems that has been at play with Madison over the years. So bringing in alums from the past where so many are saying Madison needs to return to the past can cause concern. That being said, it does also make sense to bring in folks who know the corps and were a part of what made it great.
  9. Tim K

    Staff Merry-Go-Round 2019

    I could see where bringing people from 1975 or 1988 could seem like moving backwards, but it could also be moving forward. No question, what works well on the field has changed since 1975 and 1988. If you look at Madison in 1975 and Blue Devils in 1976, what worked one year changed the next. Yet if you look at what works off the field to make a champion: team work, hard work, dedication, drive, determination, pursuit of excellence, that never changes, at least in essence. Madison could have the greatest show ever planned for 2019, one that could eclipse not only Madison’s glory, but Cadets in 83-85, PR in 2008, BD in 2014, Crown in 2013, Bloo in 2016, and Star in 1991, but if there is not team building and developing a sense of a common purpose, it won’t work.
  10. I enjoyed watching a young Gabe Gallegos mature into a fine drum major. His love of the corps was evident and he knew how to be a showman without making it about himself. His final thank you after semi’s last year was emotional for the Troopers fans sitting behind me. I saw a similar spark in the charismatic assistant conductor last season and thought she’d make a fine drum major. I guess Troopers do too! All the best Savannah Light! You will no doubt be a tremendous asset to the corps.
  11. Tim K

    Crossmen 2019

    Some of the comments on the Facebook page make it seem like getting rid of the cymbals is worse than the move to Texas and events that preceded it. For some alums, it may be more of "the straw breaking the camel's back" than anything else. I think too that this past year has been a bit challenging for Crossmen. Prior to the season's beginning, reports were not great about the upcoming year, There was anger over a hiring decision, and as the season progressed, Spirit knocking them out of finals was not an impossibility and some thought Academy could make a late season surge. Now the anger could be over getting rid of a tradition, but other things may be a factor as well. I do find it somewhat difficult to believe that many dreams are shattered by Crossmen not having a cymbal line as a few commentators on Reddit made it sound, and it is not as if they have had auditions with kids trying out for the cymbal line and then being told they were not needed, but so often how news is delivered is what is key. Perhaps if it was said "we will not be using cymbals this year but we are adding to the brass, drumline, front ensemble, guard, etc., it would have come across better. For some it came across as "we don't need you, good bye."
  12. Tim K

    Crossmen 2019

    It’s all over Facebook too, with all sorts of threats of losing fans, alums not giving, etc.
  13. I know of a couple whose son worked at a business at the WTC, I don’t recall which building. He realized in the way to work he forgot something at home and had to go back to his apartment to get it. If this had not happened, he would most likely have perished. He did go to the towers to see if his coworkers survived (most did, a few did not) and was moved by the acts of heroism that day which made him re-evaluate his life. He entered the military, and after his service returned to college to get teaching credentials and has been teaching for ten years now.
  14. I have followed drum corps since 1975 when I was finishing the 6th grade. Outside of shows I saw while marching in a Boston area CYO band, I attended local circuit shows with small corps with only a few members, regional circuit shows (DCE), national contests such as World Open and CYO Nationals. I have attended many shows that come to the Boston area which since 2010 have featured just about every WC corps except Blue Stars (I’ve hounded them about this for years) and Pioneer. I also get to Allentown and Indy when possible. In 43 years of following, I’ve never been to a show where the quality has not justified my time and money. Remember, first time attendees don’t always see the corps that win as “the best.” How many times have people attended shows in the past where Blue Devils performed a less than audience friendly show and a non finalist uses a popular tune that wows the audience. We may all know why Blue Devils won, the difference in difficulty, etc., but we’re watching with trained eyes and ears. People new to the activity are not always wowed by difficulty. Entertainment is often what grabs people.
  15. Other posters have already mentioned Madison 2011 which I too believe was a moving tribute. I would add three other shows as well. Boston Crusaders 2002 “You are my Star.” The history buff in me has to recommend Cadets 2014 “Promise: An American Portrait” which reminds us of our ideals and another Madison show, 2013 “Corps of Brothers” reminds us people are still in service to our country fighting for our freedoms.
  16. Folks like George Dixon, xandandl, or Jeff Ream may be more informed about this matter, but I recall Cadets alums stepping in prior to DCI stepping into the situation. Regarding DCI assistance, my guess would be that if folks from the Pioneer interim board contacted DCI for recommendations for board members rather than advertising on their website, DCI could provide the names of lots of qualified and talented folks who live within the vicinity of Milwaukee. It could serve a dual purpose. One it would assure the folks who are skeptical of the interim board that new outsiders are part of the reorganization, two, it would show DCI is committed to marching member safety by recommending qualified folks.
  17. As I'm reading these comments for a second time, I don't think the concern is that we do not know the names of the "interim board" as much as whether the unnamed "interim board" is still connected to the former director. To say there is little to no trust is an understatement. as I said, my concern is advertising for board members, and while Jeff Ream pointed out that George Hopkins used to do the same thing, that's hardly a ringing endorsement given the critiques by some of what they believed was a rubber stamp board. With a nameless interim board, and no one to do key tasks, I think we are missing something obvious. Is there a corps to save? Do we know if any young people who marched with Pioneer would have returned in 2019 if there was no suspension? Do we have any idea if the reputable staff (as opposed to the unqualified staff) intended on returning? If the answers are no from marching members and staff, we need to ask why is it worth saving? We could say it's for the sake of alums, but how many great corps have stopped competing? Alums could form a Pioneer alumni corps and if they can't use the same name, they can come up with a new one. If there are a good number of kids who marched with Pioneer who live in the Milwaukee vicinity, perhaps something needs to be done and a new corps formed. Starting a new corps is a huge task. If marching members who do not live near Milwaukee travel, I know the other Midwest corps are more than a stone's throw away, but they could be great options. If Madison is on the upswing, that could make for a wonderful experience for the young men in the corps. Colts extended open arms to former members of Teal Sound. Jersey Surf requires more travel, but it's pretty open to working with kids of all abilities if they are committed. I know Michigan, and Minnesota are a hike, but I expect to continue see great things from Legends, and River City Rhythm. If kids who march Pioneer are from the South, why not consider Louisiana Stars? I realize that Legends, River City Rhythm, and Louisiana Stars are OC, but Pioneer claimed it was all about experience and improvement which these three corps can provide. I do not suggest starting a new corps or sending the kids to other corps is an easy solution, but a great deal l more is needed than just good will to get Pioneer back on the field again. If there are kids who want to march, that is an important beginning, but if there are not, what is being saved?
  18. Given Pioneer’s problems last year, I’m not sure the concern should be who is on the interim board, it should be the fact they are advertising for volunteers to sit on their final board. That to me is what raises red flags. I don’t recall any drum corps at any point, whether in trouble or not, advertising on their website the key advisory positions Pioneers is searching for at this time. Personally, I’ve never volunteered to be on a board, I’ve been asked, and on boards where I’ve served or chaired, new members are nominated. I also wonder if Pioneer parents have unanswered questions. They know better than most of us what happened. They may have issues they are angry about and need to be heard, perhaps an interim board should hear their concerns, as well as those of the marching members, and staff that was qualified without issues, but a final board with decision making authority is who really needs to hear things. Where are you getting information that the former director is still calling the shots? As you mentioned, the website is full of to be announced, he had to resign, and there is no way DCI will lift the suspension if he is part of the corps’ future.
  19. Pioneer said an interim board is in place, not a new board. They are also beginning to review what DCI has to say about their suspension. Where they are looking for volunteers that have expertise in non-profit boards, I would say this is just the beginning. I think we also need to stop comparing every negative situation with Cadets/YEA. While Cadets/YEA handled their situation with great skill, Cadets problems came to light in April with the season about ready to begin. Cadets not only needed to clean house, but convince marching members and their parents that there would be a corps competing in the summer. If they did not have the situation under control as soon as possible, Cadets could have collapsed. They had to move and act fast. It is only September. Pioneer is suspended and does not have a corps ready top field or parents wanting answers. They have to start without a great deal of resources available. Let's give them time.
  20. Tim K

    Staff Merry-Go-Round 2019

    Would short sleeves and no sports coat in the summer count?
  21. Tim K

    Staff Merry-Go-Round 2019

    My bosses and equivalent important industry professionals never change their minds about what I wear to work!
  22. While the bus drivers in 2014 is in the past, it is inexcusable and does show a pattern of behavior regarding marching members complaints being ignored. What could be done during the tour? I’m not certain. If a corps uses a larger charter bus company, you could probably request a new driver. If it’s a smaller company, fewer drivers may be available so that may not be an option. Changing companies mid tour would be very difficult. A local company that books Spring and Summer tours to local tourist sites, Fall foliage tours (I’m from Boston) and school trips to DC and NYC books busses two years in advance. I’m not sure you could get busses and drivers for a length of time on such short notice. That could differ in areas where there are not as many tourists. I would think the best option is if you have a bad experience with drivers, use another company, and make sure the driver you have does not freelance. This is common. Be specific about what is expected of the drivers. Also, make sure the marching members are respectful to the bus drivers. There should also be a point person who handles bus issues. Where bus drivers are not corps employees unless the corps owns the busses, I could see situations escalating if marching members, staff, and other employees all seeing it as their job to keep bus drivers in line, which could make matters worse.
  23. Potential lawsuits could be part of why posts are deleted but are probably not the only reason why DCP has taken down posts. If you don’t have accusers to come forward, you don’t have allegations. It’s that basic. You may know it’s true, but people have to come forward first, otherwise it’s not much better than hearsay and rumors. In general, defamation of character lawsuits are getting harder for people to win and often lots of dirty laundry is aired. The court of public opinion tends to favor those who make accusations. Unless a person has a better than spotless record, I’m not sure anything would be gained. If DCP is sued, it could cause havoc and perhaps the forums could be shut down though that is questionable, but what else could happen? I may be wrong but I don’t think DCP is a Fortune 500 company rolling in the dough.
  24. I hope what you say is correct, though if what Reddit folks are saying is true, it involves criminal behavior and privacy issues are mute. I do wonder if Oregon Crusaders has a grasp on what is happening because at best negative publicity is exploding, at worse they are not recognizing serious wrongdoing. They may need some outside help because as anyone who has faced serious problems knows, you can’t alway see straight when you’re in the middle of a storm.
  25. I’m not sure we know exactly what is happening at OC. Lots of peoplehave “heard things,” including some of the more knowledgeable posters on DCP, but I’m not seeing a great deal of consensus except something is very wrong. At the end of the summer it sounded like bullying by an instructor and when complaints were made, it was handled in a manner similar to Pioneer. It also sounded like a mishandling of sexual harassment. There also seem to be complaints about a staff member but the complaints are being ignored. However when I hear words such as “sensitivity” and “cultural training” it may deal more with racial issues and sexual identity issues. It sounds as if there could be a racist, homophobic, sexist staff member whose an equal opportunity offender. I’m not seeing the GH and Cadets connection yet. My thought is when an entire staff quits and many marching members vow not to return, it is sometimes a protest action and the difficulties can be resolved if issues are addressed. This is what I hope is happening with OC.