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About lcarlton

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  1. They put the word out earlier in the year in back channels. Their most popular shows are DCI Southeastern Championships, and by moving to OC their season will also end much earlier which is better for their area.
  2. I mean DCI has a few full-time marketers, but they also lean pretty on interns. I've been pretty close to some of the team running it, and a lot of it doesn't require full-time staff. Especially with so many templates, and tools; along with heavy desire for interns to work with the organization they are able to scale up each year with paid staff, and interns along with leveraging things like DCI Ambassadors in the past. I'm not really talking about anything close to that; I mean literally something like what DCI does; get a corps director to take over marketing and then build a team around it. Hell, just build a team of volunteers - I'd do it for free and now lots of folks that would - including one who marched DCA, and WGI and owns a video production company. I know DCI does pay World Class, not sure about OC. It was a hot topic at the last director's meeting I attended. In some cases I know some All-Age Corps can get paid at DCI shows. It varies for SoundSport groups on if there is a participation fee etc, and sometimes the host will provide lodging and rehearsal space to make it easier. I just don't get it.
  3. That's what's so weird about the whole thing. You can do SoundSport; not even go to Indy just do Regionals or local shows and people regularly show up a little early to see them, plus the crowds are typically the same if not bigger than most DCA shows. DCI will also generally promote you, or aggregate your content more-so than DCA does. The argument is "fans and show sponsors don't want small corps" but then why is it that DCI has found a way to make it work and many units find a benefit to it? I don't understand it... it seems like it's being difficult for the sake of being difficult all the while not doing ANYTHING to foster new corps in the DCA circuit. So... ok you don't want small corps; then what's your plan for helping develop new corps to sustain the circuit? It's why when a lot of the new rules submitted at the last Congress got voted down, and nothing was really done to promote the development of new groups it just gives the perception of not really understanding or accepting the reality of today. It's not going to EVER be like it was 20 years ago; but it can still be better than it is with a little development and work. The days of corps clustered together in the South and Midwest are gone as WGI has taken over in those areas, and the DCA brand doesn't have the development and promotional power of the past. The option to do SoundSport and get in front of similar size, if not larger crowds is appealing for many as well. Something one of the directors that mentors me said , playing of Zero Dark Thirty - "pre-Youtube"; "pre-Social Media"; "pre-2009" thinking. Having done both; I think they are great opportunities for ensembles and as I said before - it's the best time to start an all-age ensemble because you really have so many options. I'd argue the problem is no one is promoting the idea of "now it's the best time".... *looks for Class A coordinator, or DCA development director."
  4. I think it can be expensive, but doesn't have to be, and you can do it for about $5K if you go proof of concept in SoundSport , DCA Mini-Corps, SDCA and then grow. Specifically, I've worked with two corps closely that started up and made it to the field in DCA, and another in DCI Soundsport then WGI. It's actually relatively cheap especially since you can use band instruments, and there is a sea of costume and uniform options out there for low cost or free. A lot of this is just what WGI ensembles are already doing and it works well for them, so scaling it up for a drum corps isn't too hard. Key points: With many schools switching to costumes; many are giving away uniforms for free. We on average take in 2-3 donations of free uniforms and then turn around and donate them to programs in the Midwest who need help. With so many WGI programs, there is a wash of Battery equipment for cheap; you can get a full line for $1500-3500 in decent condition. In many cases you can also rent from a local WGI ensemble or HS for very cheap. Front Ensemble Equipment is also available to rent, or purchase used at a very affordable cost. The corps I work with only owns one Marimba, so we just rent every year for $500-600 per board which equals out to about 7-9 years of rental to reach the cost of a new board. You can also offset this by using electronics like the Pearl Mlletstation or a Software synth with a Mac Mini for about $400 a synth station + cost of making a cart or just run two synths off one machine. Brass instruments; options to rent to own, or hook up with a new vendor who is looking for a test bed. Even if you buy used you can get a modest line for $12K used; or look to rent excess from corps that aren't using them. You could also use G Bugles and that would get you a full line of 20 horns 3 valve for about $3-4K. Transportation: limit travel as much as possible and do local shows. If you do have to travel look at more affordable options like school buses, church buses, or rental vans with captains chairs for comfort like a lot of the new Ford Transits. Where a bus for 50-60 people costs $3-4K daily, 5 vans for the same amount of people is about $1K daily plus your corps insured Non-Owned Hire drivers which can be a mix of cleared volunteers or contractors. A larger DCA corps of 90 people did this for some of their DCI events in 2017 and saved a lot (though they had to contend with drivers). Facilities: For our org, we never stay in schools or even rehearse in schools as they are way too expensive. Try to find churches, community centers, camp grounds, charter schools, etc that will let you stay. Offer to hold a clinic for an hour for students, or perform some hymns and patriotic selections for the church and that usually is in-kind. We've been doing that for nearly 20 years and have only had one year we had to pay. The largest expenditure for facilities is Finals and we've negated that by using a Summer Camp which ended up being 75% less than hotels, plus gave us on site practice facilities. My personal opinion is this: It's the best time to start a corps; specifically an all-age corps in DCA or DCI SoundSport. With so many options in DCA, DCI, SDCA, MACBDA, and more you can grow gradually and find something that works for your financially or just decide to move in a different direction and become a competitive marching band like AZ's Phenom, or just do WGI like TX Horizon.
  5. A rehearsal clip from the 2019 Columbus Saints before taking off for DCA World Championships.
  6. Columbus Saints average for 2019 was 20.5; and in 2018 it was 21.5. Age spread is 14 - 45 in 2019.
  7. We have to remember it wasn't always like this. There are the ole corps in the NE, up till 2014 there were still a lot of corps and clusters outside the NE. In the last 12 years in DCA we had You had two CA Corps, two Texas corps, two GA Corps, 2 Florida corps, 1 CO Corps, 3 MN corps, 2 Conn Corps, 1 TN Corps, 2 OH Corps, and a few Internal CA, UK, GER corps..look at 2012 - 2014 as a good indicator of how it was and could be. For me, the elimination of the Class A coordinator in line with those drastic changes and slow growth of A corps is telling.
  8. I will point out, for reference since 2013 the first year of SS, more corps have joined OC outside of the program than have gone through it. Since 2013 : Battalion, Golden Empire, Louisiana Stars, River City Rhythm, Heat Wave, Shadow, and Vessel. Les Stentors returned this season without going through SS. So far out of the 12 corps that have applied for OC from SS 3 made it. Guardians in 2013, Southwind in 2016, and Encorps in 2019. A fourth corps joined DCA Class A in 2018 and competes there, with another SS team rumored to be applying for DCA next season. I'm very impressed with the growth and impact SS is having on the all age portion of the activity. If you consider the majority of the consistent participants are all-age like Railmen, Rhythm in Blue, Impact, Star United, Rogues Hollow, Sonus, Lakeshoremen, Columbus Saints, Mon Valley, Les Titans, Rocketeers, Florida Express, and MBI. The fact they also picked up Chops this season and helped spawn a few DCA corps and mini-corps shows good cross cooperation. If anything the gravitation of All-Age ensembles to SS should be a message to DCA that they look to grow mini-corps. IMO making mini-corps its own class, and building a competitive season around them, then create two classes i.e. standstill and a field class. Have standstill class just do the normal mini corps champions. Then have field class go on in Prelims with the champion performing in exhibition. Could help foster a lot of sub 35 corps and those in mini-corps that may want to make that next step without fundamentally changing how everything flows for DCA.
  9. I'm challenging the argument of impact on fostering new corps; there have been more corps started and made it into OC since SS started, than those that did SS and applied to OC and made it.
  10. 1.) Respectfully, Cost and Time are a HUGE barrier to participation; plus the fact you have entire demographics of people not participating outside of clusters like CA, where travel and membership costs are lower. You've seen a slow loss of participation from women, and minorities over the last twenty years along with former stalwart areas of junior corps like NY, OH, and WI now only having one or two Jr. Corps to march while other marching arts like DCA, WGI, and or summer band programs growing exponentially. On the WGI note; a common response when you poll performers is "DCI is too expensive, and I don't want to be gone all summer - I can have a better experience in WGI for a fraction of the cost" and that's a solid case for why that activity is exploding. It's why corps like CT, Saints, and even Carolina Gold pull so heavily from WGI ensembles because they offer an affordable option for members to work, and march. 2.) It worked out well for MBI actually; they were able to recruit enough people to march Class A, but instead decided on SS. They field a full drumline, front ensemble, brass, and guard but opted for SS. It can be cheaper, but it also depends on how you manage your season and what choices you decide in shows during the season. If you just do one local show and go to Indy then you can make it reasonable; but if you try to do a few exhibitions, go to a few regionals and try to structure it like a drum corps season it can be a challenge for groups.
  11. Another thing I think would be helpful would be development sessions. As in, there are lots of Marching Arts education programs and development courses but nothing specific to DCA. Maybe gauge other directors, and staff; then just do some Facebook Live sessions and take about the path to the field. IMO; if you're a WGI Indoor drumline, or WGI Winds the path to fielding a corps should be nice and short and it's pretty affordable especially if you're east coast. In the same way Impulse and Pulse Percussion work. Maybe even a building high level document that lays out why you should join Class A, and a few ways to accomplish it.
  12. I challenge you on those numbers; and the participation with the rate of failure for groups who've tried to move to OC, or the groups that tried to and are moving to DCA.
  13. I'd argue DCA's pool should be different than DCI's pool as there is a HUGE barrier to DCI participation: COST & TIME. IMO the best way to detail this is by the circuit defining, promoting, and owning their differences to control the conversation on what DCA is, instead of letting DCI corps tell young people who drum corps, and what DCA is about. You control your brand and what it represents instead of someone else... When MBI was coming back out they had a GREAT campaign around this. DCA is drum corps for EVERYONE! World Class Staff - Weekend Only Schedule - Affordable - Crowd Focused & Fun! The clearest delineation is the cost, and time commitment.
  14. You're welcome. It really is great. We had this order done for our poster and it only cost $15 and was done in 1 day . If you scroll through you'll see our poster for our show a few images in. Same for the videos; we got them done for $20 and turned around in three days. We attached a ticket purchase link to it, and people were buying tickets online through Facebook using our vendor tickettailor; easy peasy!