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About lcarlton

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  1. The community center started a drum corps last year called the Chicago Hornets and participated in DCI Soundsport, using the uniforms we donated with many of the alumni of the former corps St Andrew's Hornets. We've never run a GoFundMe, but we did run a campaign to replace items that were stolen. We raised $4K in March which went towards rental trucks to move gear, renting front ensemble equipment, and after recovering the trailer and equipment repairing the damaged instruments. We finished the season without any issues and the equipment fundraiser merely replaced our regular fundraiser.
  2. The primary reason we went to Whitewater and Racine was because originally it was the only SoundSport show in early July after the Bowling Green show ended in 2016. We continued going in 2017-2019 for outreach, community relations, and to allow for an early season read of the show before heading to SoundSport, then DCA shows. From a financial perspective we got to perform at 2-3 shows ; on the field with a full judges tapes and the ability to make $300-500 in souvenirs; for the price we'd pay for exhibition and tickets for 2 DCI shows as an exhibition corps while not being able to sell souvies
  3. 1.) Consistently corps travel to shows at a loss because the payout is not enough to cover travel. Whether it be a DCI or DCA show, if you get a bus the payout for corps will not cover the transportation costs to get to the show. As such, most corps that provide travel will be operating at a loss of revenue greater than what they'd make at the show. The difference is they get a score so I guess that's fine in your eyes. The corps went to a June DCA show last year six hours away at a net loss of $1K - but we got an early season score. 2.) Community outreach is very important to the Saints
  4. Not quite, MACBDA isn't just bands from Wisconsin, it also has units from Canada and other drum corps like Shadow participating still in exhibition. The larger issue was around the loss of our Chicago lodging relationship that made travel more difficult and doubled the cost.
  5. The Saints withdrew from the MACBDA circuit for 2020 which removed our three day tour including our Urban West Side Chicago Clinic/Outreach, MACBDA Prelims in Racine, and MACBDA Finals in Whitewater allowing for a cost savings of nearly $3K.
  6. With changes to the summer tour, the corps was able to reduce fees! We've also worked out an agreement to move to B-Flat Brass Instruments for 2020! Learn more in this video!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. A rehearsal clip from the 2019 Columbus Saints before taking off for DCA World Championships.
  12. Columbus Saints average for 2019 was 20.5; and in 2018 it was 21.5. Age spread is 14 - 45 in 2019.
  13. 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.
  14. 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