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2muchcoffeeman last won the day on February 6

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  1. Cancelling, soon, would be less of financial hardship than continuing to operate as if the season will be a go. Sure, losing the opportunity to gain revenue will hurt. But a corps has to burn through a mountain of cash -- about a month of instructional time, staff travel and corps logistical support (food, facility rental) -- before it can even start to bring in show revenue. And while show revenue for an entire season is not nothing, it is less meaningful to a corp's annual revenue total than tuition. If a season is to be cancelled, the No. 1 revenue lamentation is lost tuition, not lost show revenue. Cancellation sooner rather than later at least plugs up the holes in the bottom of the bucket. Less water will flow into the top of the bucket, of course, but the outflow is minimized. The longer a corps continues as if the season is a possibility, the longer those holes in the bottom remain open, and when the season inevitably is canceled, all those tuition refunds will leave less water in the bucket than would have been the case if the holes had been plugged sooner. The headwinds against a 2020 season are mighty. Set aside the armchair hair-splitting about whether the new-case inflection point will arrive soon enough that we could start spring training on time. How many kids, even if they were gung-ho to jump into spring training in May, are going to have the money? Their part-time jobs, which were providing the money they were saving to pay tuition, are gone. Or, their parents, once glad to help with tuition, now either have lost their jobs, or are on such thin financial ice that every last penny is being hoarded to keep the family solvent. Epidemiology ain't the half of it; pure financial self-preservation is making a summer DCI tour look like an extravagant luxury for the forseeable future.
  2. I'm dubious. Members who got their contracts in January have had only 2 months' worth of payments so far. I'd like to see data on this before I agree. No. The bus leases -- a huge chunk of the budget -- have not yet been paid. The food -- another massive slice of the pie -- has not been bought. The instructor wages --- which are not paid in advance, but during the season -- have not yet been paid. The instructor travel costs -- flights in and out of various cities along the tour route through the summer -- have not yet been purchased. Have corps incurred some expenses related to the 2020 tour? Of course, but nowhere near the bulk of the planned expense budget. That said, "cash-strapped" and "drum and bugle corps" are nearly synonymous terms anyway. They are almost never flush with cash -- not for very long. No, I don't think parents/member would "sit by;" nor did I indicate they would. Audition fees and other charges related to camps that already have been concluded would/should not be refunded, but every corps would refund 100% of tuition if the summer tour is cancelled. There are contracts, and there are contracts. DCI corps membership contracts are not those kind of contracts. For one thing, (those that I have seen) are not signed by anyone representing the corps. They are, at most, a terms-and-conditions agreement signed by the customer -- the marching member, some of whom aren't old enough to make legal commitments anyway. And in most states, the amount of tuition at stake for any individual is firmly in small-claims-court territory, not the kind of venue where tort lawyers battle it out in front of a jury over contract terms. But as I said, corps would make full refunds of tuition if the season is outright cancelled full stop. Corps have policies that spell out their refund terms, and of course at some point in the season no refunds will be made. But these terms apply under normal operating conditions, and 2020 doesn't look like "normal operating conditions" will be the applicable term.
  3. Well, yes, there is that. The assumption here being that Bingo resumes normal operations +/- July, so it is throwing off revenue for several months before audition season. Also: Bingo is integral to some corps, not to all. It's a stand-in term for whatever non-corps revenue streams they may have.
  4. Nah. Tuition has only started to roll in; refunds would be a small % of anticipated tuition revenue for the year. Likewise, tour expenses have not yet kicked in. Corps spend 75% of their annual budget between May and August. From a business perspective, drum corps is a cash-management exercise. If a corps cancels its tour, then it also cancels the vast bulk of its expenses: instruction, food, fleet. Bingo will float the admin until the arrival of the 2021 audition season in October.
  5. Whereas: The 2020 DCI season is cancelled, truncated or otherwise fundamentally diminished. Resolved: The member age limit for participation in DCI member corps is raised by 12 months for the 2021 season only, then reverted to its current limit for the 2022 season. Aye? or Nay?
  6. The most recent guidance from the CDC, issued March 15, "recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States." Two facts: 1. A DCI camp involves a group far larger than 50 people 2. Eight weeks from today takes us into mid-May, right on the precipice of reporting for move-ins. Unless DCI wants to answer questions why it is willfully disregarding CDC guidance, this would seem to remove the possibility of any corps holding any kind of camp until mid-May. Many March camps already had been cancelled; it looks like April will have to be scratched, too. Perhaps corps could run 2 or 3 separate camps for the horn line during a camp weekend, then put the drum line over at a separate facility and the guard in 1 or 2 different locations, but running the equivalent of 6 mini-camps in one city on the same weekend, without the ability to circulate the staff among them, and without the ability for full-ensemble time, seems both logistically impractical and instructionally marginal. This raises the prospect that, under the current CDC guidance (and assuming it is not later extended beyond 8 weeks), from an ensemble standpoint anyway, all corps will start the 2020 season essentially from scratch in late May. The members might know their music and guard work; they might have practiced relentlessly, but no one will have logged any appreciable ensemble time before reporting to move-ins. From an instruction and cohesion standpoint, corps will be starting their spring training way behind. And if all of that proves to be true, the arc of the 2020 season will be very different from seasons past.
  7. LOL BTW, not that it's a representative sample, but among the Reddit crowd there is some lip-smacking over the music choices (amid the usual wisecracking; it is Reddit, after all)
  8. A valid question, but Troop's You Tube channel is full of exactly what you're looking for (I provided helpful links to a sample of them earlier). And I'm sure there is more of it to come. They are fully aware, and they do not ignore this important wavelength of communication to potential members. Into this abundance of recruitment material they drop a 20-second vid about their music for the season. This blows a hole into their recruitment how?
  9. I dunno, share some cool news in the cold, cold, offseason maybe?
  10. Pretty much agree with this. With each passing season the distinctives between corps has less to do with iconography and more to do with vibe. I don't think any kid tries for BD because of jazz, or goes out for Bloo because of their origins in police outreach. They try out for a corps because they saw this year's show and they say to themselves I want to be part of that kind of show The strongest recruiting tool for next season is the show you put on the field this season. The show -- whatever ineffable quality it has that a 19-year-old finds attractive -- is what is going to motivate that young person to buy a plane ticket to your November camp. The show is the consummation of everything you are -- the vibe of your corps.
  11. If it is stipulated (and more than that, argued as more appropriate) that music reveals are, and should be, made in May and not February, how can their purpose be to attract more people to auditions? The lines are full by then.
  12. I will qualify my previous statements with this: The video does have a "join" tag at the end. But -- they put that at the end of just about every video they ever post. They are in invitation mode 365 days a year.
  13. Um. . . .do other corps reveal their music lineups as a way to entice more people to auditions? No? Then what makes us think the Troopers are doing it for that reason?
  14. I've said it before: Troopers could hand out $100 bills and they'd get criticized for it. It's not as if Troopers don't know how to speak directly to the interests of its customer base, or how to play from the strength of their own heritage. Jumping the gun on licensing is, indeed, a real concern, and one which the Troopers have had to heed in previous seasons, saving their show reveals until May. They've been around the block. So here's an idea. It's wild, and preposterous, I know, because after all this is the Troopers we're talking about. But here it is anyway: Maybe, just maybe, the corps actually has its licensing sewn up for 2020. Maybe they know exactly what they're doing, and have been able to get their programming house in order good and early, in order to get a stronger start on the season. I know, huh? Crazy talk. And maybe, now that they have their program locked up, they want to share a bit about it with the drum corps world. You know, because excitement about the summer is, on balance, a good thing. Fools! Dupes! Know-nothings! Look, it's not like this video drop is the first and last word Troopers ever have, or ever will, say about themselves, their unique character, their place in the activity and the hearts of their members, or even their 2020 show. It's. One. Video. But no. We can't even enjoy it. /rant