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Tim K

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Everything posted by Tim K

  1. Ii’m not criticizing Blue Stars and I know the history of the rebuilding years, if anything I’m giving them credit for their accomplishments. That being said, being a one time runner up at the first DCI finals to having a time in the mid-80’s where all competitions were local and there were no scores to report, at least according to DCX, kind of qualifies as falling off the radar.
  2. After finals in 2019, I ran into lots of Cadets folks at the airport, some I knew, others knew people I traveled with and the conversations were sad. Staff members and volunteers were discouraged. The issues have been mentioned in the past, so we don’t need to go over them again, but I expected 2020 to be a disaster and wondered if we were seeing the beginning of the end of the Cadets. We’ve all heard there were too many folks who would not let that happen, but realistically many great corps are no more for a variety of reasons. Star never returned, there was not a changing of minds regarding 27th, Troopers and Madison have held on but have never returned to their glory days. Glassmen had a fund raising campaign because they were going to take a one year hiatus. Blue Stars are really the only corps that had a glorious past, went off the radar, then returned. People seem worried about Cadets rehashing old shows. Cadets pulling off 2021 could very well be the biggest accomplishment of drum corps last summer. It may have been a greatest hits show with a familiar look, but that does not mean they will be looking to the vault for 2022. Cadets are in a different place this coming year. I’d probably enjoy an old school show, but I don’t expect to see one. Personally at this time of the year, i don’t worry about a corps rehashing old shows. I am more interested in objective reports from camps, not the public relations everything is great, but the potential talent, the enthusiasm of staff regarding recruits, maybe a bit about the show though more often than not show info is more speculation until an official announcement is made.
  3. The year I went to Atlanta, it was a beautiful day, sunny, about 82 degrees. I found it perfect, friends who live in Atlanta found it too cool, though not quite chilly. I wished the show was outdoors that day. A few years later, I got caught in the infamous deluge of Allentown, which reminded me of a show at Met Life Stadium in 2012 which seemed like Armageddon was about to begin. Since that time I’ve concluded shows that are within driving distance which in my case is usually less than an hour, let the rains fall because you can’t control Mother Nature. If I have to travel and stay in a hotel, domes whenever possible, even though I’ll complain about too much amplification at the domed stadiums.
  4. There has been a decline in the number of shows in the Northeast for about ten years. Each year one or two shows will be removed. DCI would like to see fewer shows in larger venues that are centrally located. It does make sense on paper, but paper and reality can be two different things. I can’t speak for Buffalo or Rome, but most of the Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Eastern PA shows are in small to midsized venues with loyal and dedicated crowds who, as show sponsors will tell you do spend money and do donate to two corps that host many of the shows (BAC and Cadets), however the shows do not appear to be as crowded as they used to be and parking seems to be easier. So unless people have lost weight and are carpooling, numbers are down. I am also basing my observations on 2019 and prior, not 2021 which was an exception. What I have noticed over the years is the newer shows tend to be where high school bands are strongest. I also attended NIGHTbeat and Atlanta a few years back and kids from high school programs fill the stands at both shows. That’s a demographic many of the Northeast shows have not been able to tap, even Allentown.
  5. This is speculation on my part, so if someone has a different explanation about the later start date, they could be correct. I know someone who works for the housing department at a local college. He said summer programs that offer housing will be starting a bit later in 2022 because of new cleaning protocols due to Covid. The protocols could be unnecessary in May, but they are scheduling as if they would still be in place. Where so many corps use college campuses for their Spring training, the hourpsing facilities might not be ready until later which could be the reason for the later start date. However, where California is starting a bit earlier than the tour opening show, maybe that’s not the case.
  6. Bingo can be a cash bonanza for an organization or a bust. Much depends on competition. Are there other successful Bingos in the area. Bingo players are often creatures of habit and will not go to other venues, so if there’s competition, it may not be successful. Do you have enough volunteers to staff a Bingo game? You need the callers, the people who sell the scratch tickets, the people who sell the concessions which is usually more than snacks. You also need set up and clean up. It takes time to establish a profitable Bingo, usually four or five years. Can you staff a labor intense activity when you may see meager profits for a while? Then there are also other factors. In Massachusetts there were profitable Bingo games that funded churches, schools, athletic booster programs, VFW, K of C, American Legion posts. A hugely popular and successful one was sponsored by the 27th Lancers. Though 27th was no more prior to laws changing, smoking was no longer allowed in public places, and that, along with Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods opening all but killed Bingo. Telling Nana that her Virginia Slims were no longer welcome at Bingo games was the same as telling Nana to stay home. Though based on the number of Bingo games I worked at, Nana’s voice often sounded like she preferred Lucky Strikes, no filter.🙂
  7. The 2020 season that was canceled did not have the Lawrence/Quincy, MA show (depended on the year where it was held) prior to Allentown scheduled and I believe a NJ show was not scheduled. The Buffalo show after Allentown was still scheduled. With new safety guidelines corps had to give more off time which meant fewer shows. I can recall in 2011 there were six opportunities to see drum corps in New England: prior to or around July 4th one show in Connecticut, one in Rhode Island, and two in Massachusetts. There was an Open Class show in New Hampshire in mid July and one more show in the Boston area just before Allentown. Connecticut and Bristol are no more. Whether the two shows in Massachusetts was just a 2020 thing I can’t say but for me, the more shows I can drive to, the better.
  8. I haven’t been on DCP in a few days and am just getting caught up. Since I last posted, there have been posts on about background checks and mandated reporting. No question criminal background checks are an important tool even if they don’t solve all problems if a person has never been charged. Mandated reporting for minors is the law. Some have suggested training in mandated reporting. Yes, it should be covered but as anyone who has been a teacher or school administrator can tell you, if you can dial 9-1-1 or if it is required you file a report with child/youth services, you can fill out a basic form which is usually just a name, address, and brief description, you know how to file a report. There’s no excuse for not reporting. A major area we are forgetting is supervision of staff and volunteers. In drum corps, everyone knows everyone else and this can be a problem. We’re less likely to watch people we know. This has to change. Observing and monitoring are critical. We need to be careful and watch those who spend too much time with the young people outside of rehearsal time. Do these folks have mature, appropriate interactions with adult staff and volunteers? If not, that is a sign of a problem. Which staff or volunteers are the rule breakers? Which folks undermine supervisors, directors, caption heads? Which are the ones who have an answer for everything? Predators are often master manipulators. You also have to observe the young people. It’s important to determine which might be most vulnerable. Criminal background checks, along with mandated reporting and vigilant supervision are ways to keep predators away. The one situation it doesn’t solve us everybody knowing everyone else.
  9. Prior to the pandemic, the tentative plans were that each year San Antonio will be three weeks prior to finals, Atlanta two, and Allentown the week prior. Again prior to the pandemic, the plan was to keep the tours relatively similar from year to year, though there is talk of eliminating some Midwest and East Coast shows. If I remember correctly, if the 2020 season had taken place, there would have been only two early shows in New England and no East Coast swing between Atlanta and Allentown.
  10. I believe it changed from a summer program for Oregon High to Shadow between 2015-2016. To compete they replaced woodwinds with brass and opened the ranks to high school students outside of the district. My understanding is that while not all Shadow instructors and volunteers were involved with the school program or employee by the district, the school vetted employees and volunteers of Shadow. Prior to this situation, Shadow was viewed as a positive direction for drum corps, it limited the age of members from 14-18 and offered what many believed was a great experience. At least that’s how it appeared to me. It shows that even with the best of models, you cannot be too careful about employees and volunteers.
  11. Personally if I were not at a drum corps show and I saw someone wearing a t-shirt with a Maltese styled cross on it similar to that of Crossmen, I would assume it had some religious significance. I think that’s the case with many drum corps symbols that are symbols for other things as well. When I see what appears to be “Waldo” bumper sticker on a car in a parking lot I wonder if I’ll run into a BAC alum, more often than not it is a symbol of Scotland. Some people who flew into Indy in 2018 may share this memory. I arrived in Indy for finals and the airport had quite a few men wearing what looked like a duplicate of the headgear of the Troopers’ drum major. When I spoke to one of the gentlemen wearing the hat, I learned they were in town for a West Point reunion and when I spoke about the Troopers, he assumed I was talking about state police officers.
  12. The reason for reporting is so that a professional can investigate the situation. You will be asked how you learned the information, whether it be direct knowledge based on something you heard from the victim or something observed. In most cases, the observed would be signs of physical abuse or neglect. If you hear from another young person about something that happened, report it. In theory, rumors should be reported. Remember if you know something and do not report it, you could face charges. In my state the recommendations for schools, churches, youth organizations, etc. is to report it to the state youth services who will instruct you to call the police. You want a documented paper trail. Usually the verbal report to the state and police is to be made within 24 hours. The call to the police should be made immediately following the call to the state. A written report is usually due within a week. In most states, mandated reporters for an activity such as drum corps would include the director and any paid instructional staff that has direct contact with minors. Volunteers with direct contact with minors are mandated reporters. Some volunteers may not have direct contact due to their jobs with the corps, but it’s still a good idea to train them in spotting and reporting incidents of abuse. Making a report does put many people in uncomfortable situations. Keep a few things in mind. First of all, reportable situations are rare and when it comes to reports, the most common is neglect, followed by physical abuse and third is sexual abuse. With older young people such as drum corps, you may have a higher chance of inappropriate individuals, but reporting will more likely be the exception rather than the rule. In school settings, teachers often feel uncomfortable making reports. Often an administrator will do it, but you need to be present when the call is made. This is more for your protection than anything else.
  13. The sad thing is that today may be the “at least things are better days.” Most people I know who marched had wonderful, life changing experiences. I also know of people who have told stories of verbal abuse, bullying, degrading comments, fighting off unwanted advances, and cliques. Often there was unfair treatment of superstars. One corps I know of had zero tolerance for drug use and sent people home if they were caught using drugs, except a soloist who was often stoned during performances. If you complained about things and were valued by the corps, something was done about it, otherwise you had to toughen up. Sometimes these situations are not as they seem, no question, but too often they are as bad or worse.
  14. This is a sad decision, but one that may be in the best interest of the corps and most especially the young people involved. For corps that did not participate in the 2021 season, restarting will be a challenge. I recently spoke with someone who knows the director of an OC corps that is comparing it to competing for the first time. I might add that while this corps has not had a camp, it is a well established corps that already healthy interest in the 2022 season. For Shadow, add to this rebuilding the trust factor and it’s all the more challenging. My understanding is that Shadow is made up largely of high school sophomores who will be entering their junior year and juniors entering their senior year. Some schools call them ascending juniors and ascending seniors, but we’re still talking 15-17 year olds. Parents are not going to trust an overnight traveling music program. There is also another factor to keep in mind. The article states that Oregon High School checked the credentials of the man who has been fired. Most likely this would involve the people who check the background of new teachers, new aides, new support staff, the coaches for athletics, etc. The erosion of trust will involve more than the school’s summer music program, it will probably impact the entire high school, perhaps the school district.
  15. The article is somewhat vague about many things, including reporting the incidents to the police, though it does mention Shadow being contacted by detectives. It could mean one of two things. Shadow did contact the police but the article failed to mention it, or the first young woman contacted the police prior to contacting the former director. I am basing what I say on Massachusetts reporting law which is among the strictest in the country. Reporting grooming or what we call grooming is not always mandated BUT a mandated reporter should never make that decision for him/herself. In our case the recommendation is you call youth services first to get a determination. The intake worker will most likely direct you to the police. This not only backs you up, it creates a paper trail that can be critical if conduct is deemed to be criminal. If DYS says you do not need to call the police or the police say no crime is involved, document it by making sure you have names of who took the complaint as well as dates and times. Since DCI has standards in place, and where Shadow deals with 14-18 year olds and prides itself on the experience it offers, it most likely also has to have policies in place, so it can easily remove a person from employment if grooming is involved as they did. If you have actual proof such as actual texts, there should be no problem. You cannot say why the person is terminated to future employers, but there are ways around it. One is that in the contract it states if a person is terminated, no references other than verification of employment will be given. You can also put in writing that you will not give other employers a reference when the person is terminated. It is best to send it by registered mail. In this day and age, future employers will know the person was terminated either for inappropriate behavior or stealing. Regarding Ms. Compton-Allen, the actions most likely took place during the 2019 season, perhaps earlier, maybe at Winter camps for the 2020 season if there were any prior to the cancellation of the season. I would think that if the potential “red flags” Mr. McGlauchen mentions were missed and is something Ms. Compton-Allen should have noticed, that’s problematic.
  16. I think there were some who wanted to see Cadets 2018 season canceled due to contempt for the former director, but there were also those who thought things were such a mess that the season could not be salvaged. Big difference between the two groups. The potential cancellation of the Cadets 2018 season is not an example of today’s cancel culture. The possibility of the corps being in shambles and serious financial difficulties during the tour were major reasons. So too was the possibility of members not wanting to be associated with the corps and parents who more often than not pay the dues not wanting their sons and daughters to march. Fortunately good people stepped up to the plate to alleviate concerns and people donated to make the season a reality. I think many who donated did so to say Cadets is not GH.
  17. If you posted this in maybe, 2010, I would have agreed 100%. For much of 2001-2010, I thought I was witnessing the end of drum corps. That’s not to say there were not great shows or moments, but I thought with so few corps and an activity that to me at least appeared to be losing steam, I figured it was over, and the G7 debates only strengthened this belief. Fortunately I was wrong. To be fair, WC has only lost two corps due to an inability to compete due to finances since 2012, the Glassmen and Teal Sound. Yes we lost Pioneer and Oregon Crusaders, but in both of those cases it was not due to financial issues, at least not specifically. There are newer OC corps. However there are also serious challenges. Some of the corps that did not participate last year may find restarting more of a challenge. We also don’t know what some of other challenges the future could have. One thing I wonder is if the troubles with the supply chain will impact drum corps. It looks like the pandemic could at least be under control next summer, we’ve learned Covid is unpredictable.
  18. The cross used by the Crossmen appears to be a variation of the Malta Cross. The Knights of Malta opposed totalitarianism during WWII and Malta itself voluntarily became part of the British Empire during the war and played a significant role in restocking Allied supplies during the war. It’s pretty safe to say there is no connection with the Malta Cross and Nazi Germany. To the best of my knowledge there is no historic connection with Crossmen and any religious group. That being said, any kind of religious symbolism can start a fire these days, so some with the corps may feel it is too religious and needs to be changed. To me, Crossmen has had identity issues for years. Some may trace it back to the move to Texas, I would date it back to YEA. However some corps do update logos, others bring logos out of retirement, so maybe they are trying to establish a new identity, maybe they think it’s time for a change and no big deal.
  19. Lots of interesting comments on fundraising. I give to some corps, three regularly, two occasionally, and in a few cases to special appeals. I have said before drum corps in general does a poor job when it comes to fundraising/development, especially in the public relations area. I understand that many corps cannot afford to hire the people needed for these efforts, but many corps appear to be secretive when it comes to how money is spent and how much is needed. I know I’ve heard from donors to some corps that when questions are asked, the corps can be defensive. I’m sure there is not misuse of funds (though that has been the case at various times) but that is how it comes across. For two of the corps I donate to, it is for travel expenses. I am not always in agreement with how the third corps spends its money, but the corps is transparent and well run so I still donate. None of these organizations runs to the bank smiling believing all financial woes are over due to my donation, but I do get prompt thank you’s.
  20. We’ve focused quite a bit on the increased size and some of the reasons for fewer drum corps today, but in the press release it also mentioned how SoundSport is growing and becoming more popular. As someone who has attended all but two SoundSport events in Indy, it was news to me it was growing in popularity and in 2019, I thought I remembered far newer participating ensembles and even fewer in the audience except when Madison performed for the last time as an all male corps. A great deal of effort goes into SoundSport, no question, and Steve Rondinaro is more than an enthusiastic host, but my feelings on it are mixed at best. Instead of expanding SoundSport to include scholastic groups, DCI should have better outreach to the existing band circuits. One example, the week prior to finals, high school bands compete at the Indiana State Fair. It is an evening event because schools are already in session. Why doesn’t DCI reach out to the fair? It would be great for the evening before prelims. I go to the fair on the Wednesday prior to prelims and see tons of people wearing drum corps t-shirts, so people are already in town and are at the fair for entertainment. Some of the OC corps that will be participating in prelims who are not expecting to place in the top 25 might enjoy performing abbreviated shows. Since prelims has so many unsold seats, Complimentary tickets to discounted tickets for prelims could be given to participating bands.
  21. My understanding is that audience reaction is a something a judge can take into consideration among other criteria but I’m not sure how much of a role it actually plays. I don’t say this to be cynical. Like many, I do not always agree with the judging, but I can usually set my bias aside and understand why a show places where it does. However I’ve said before, if audience response really played a significant role, Bloo and Crown would have more than one title each. I would even venture that if audience response played more of a role in 2019, Bloo would have topped BD, Crown would have surprised SCV, and Cavies and BAC would have been battling each other for spots higher than 5th and 6th. As I say this I also know someone sitting in another section of a Lucas Oil and saw Atlanta rather than Allentown may believe the audience reacted differently than I claim.
  22. OC corps do follow the lead of WC corps regarding design, electronics, etc., but I don’t think it’s for a keep up with the Jones’ reason. It’s the direction drum corps is headed. How the increased size with impact OC remains to be seen. Nearly every corps in OC and WC reported higher interest at winter camps prior to the pandemic so if that holds up for 2022, the increased size may not impact OC corps too much. I don’t think the increased size will impact SCVC and BDB negatively. Spartans, Gold, and Legends who have placed higher than some WC corps after prelims may have some challenges. My thought is that WC corps that usually find themselves between 13-17 and maybe some who place between 10-12 will be more impacted.
  23. I’d rather pay $45.50 for an omelette at Lucas Oil than have to endure their so call Italian roast beef sandwich again, which no Italian would recognize as Italian.
  24. I’m one of the seven! If you’re not in your seat for that first corps at prelims on Thursday morning, you don’t know what you’re missing. Well you’re missing the opportunity for a half frozen blueberry muffin and not the greatest coffee (Lucas Oil needs a Dunkin Donuts), but you’re also missing heartfelt performances and some entertaining shows.
  25. When it comes to Open Class, we’re talking about a greater variety of corps that share tours and competition opportunities but are very different and have different concerns. Some OC corps know that a good number of its members are marching for a year or two to get experience to march in WC corps. There are also members in these corps who want to march OC and stay with the corps their entire career. The ages are varied in these corps. Some OC corps tend to have older members, usually college age, who find the OC schedule works better for them. One only accepts high school age marching members. Some are working towards moving to WC. One is primarily a stepping stone to other corps and has the youngest members. For at least one corps the education aspect is the top priority. OC has many strengths. One which Terri mentioned is the family like atmosphere. Many balance traditional drum corps and innovation well. I can recall speaking with folks involved in an OC in 2012 and the supervision and safety issues that were so hot button a few years back had been addressed years earlier and policies were in place. OC should have more of a voice and brings a great deal to the table, but I would wonder if the issues that impact WC corps have that much of an impact on OC? I also wonder if issues that do impact OC such as minimum corps size or more equitable appearance fees get input from OC directors.
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