Brian Porter-Szucs

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About Brian Porter-Szucs

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    DCP Rookie

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  • Your Drum Corps Experience
    Devoted fan since the 1980s
  • Your Favorite Corps
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Tilt (Bluecoats); Kinetic Noise Bluecoats); Cabaret Voltaire (Blue Devils)
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
  • Gender
  • Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

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  1. I would guess that it would be a toss-up between California, Illinois, and Texas. Someone with too much time on their hands (or someone searching for an excuse to avoid working) should look at the top ten high school bands from, say, the last 20 years, and see who has the most representatives. I can't imagine that there exists a database that would show us the state of origin for all DCI World Class members from any particular year, but that would be another rough measure. Keep in mind, though, that either of these metrics would correlate highly with income (of the school districts for the
  2. I hope some version of the presentation mentioned in this announcement will be eventually made available to us civilians who aren't able to participate in the PASIC convention. Maybe posted online somewhere? It sounds like an amazing show!
  3. There have been lots of online musical performances recently, using synchronization software to allow isolated musicians to play together. One of my favorite examples involved over 700 musicians and singers from Poland ( The artists include a who's who of Polish stars. Have any DCI corps tried anything like this? If not, it strikes me as a magnificent idea to keep members together during this disappointing summer. .
  4. I have three tickets for sale for semifinals on Friday - great seats in section 242, row 5. I'll be in Indy, and can meet up with you at the stadium to deliver the tickets. Best offer. Write to me at
  5. I really appreciate the consensus of the responses so far: let people enjoy the music and the spectacle and the obvious athleticism, without letting the minutia being registered by the judges get in the way. I really do understand that perspective. On the other hand, I will always remember an amazing middle school teacher I had for a class called "musical appreciation" (this was back in the stone age--do that still teach courses like that?) Going in, I had the narrow musical tastes of most teenagers. I knew what I liked, and I knew to scoff at anything I didn't like. The teacher was able t
  6. In a few weeks I'll be taking several family members to their very first DCI show, and I wanted to give them some tips about what to watch for in order to fully appreciate what they are seeing. I'm sure they will enjoy the performances regardless, but it's nice to be able to recognize the little details that distinguish a good corps from a great corps, and to have some sense of what the judges are looking for. If you were taking newbies to a show, what suggestions would you give them so that they could recognize accomplishments and qualities that might not be obvious to the uninitiated?
  7. The original post is a great question, and I don't think it has been answered yet. In a sport like gymnastics, a good TV broadcast will have an expert who will offer insight on why a particular routine got scored higher or lower than another. We might learn, for example, to watch how a foot gets placed on the bar, or whether a knee bends more than a certain amount on a particular move. Viewers might be told that a particular flip was done with significantly more elevation than another flip, thus making it more impressive. It would be magnificent to have some insight of this nature about wha
  8. Last year the Cavaliers pushed the envelope by touching on politics, which in the past has been considered (correctly, I think) inappropriate for an activity like DCI, which draws support from people all around the country and from every ideological orientation. Some people argued that the Cavaliers went too far by implying criticism of building walls, but I think it was clear that they were making an all-purpose attack on propaganda and rhetorical manipulation. Regardless, an interesting question this year will be whether anyone else will follow their lead, and what the fallout will be if th
  9. I've been a huge fan of the direction that the Bluecoats have taken with Tilt, Kinetic Noise, and Downside Up (and even the underappreciated To Look for America in 2013). But they have a huge challenge for 2017 and beyond: building their now easily identifiable style without becoming repetitive or cliched. Great artists can create a distinctive style and sustain it without losing that initial spark. I think there's a lot of space for the Bluecoats design team to do this, but this year will be their big test.
  10. Pardon me if this is a naive question, but why couldn't DCI simply require that every participating corps only use music for which they have already obtained rights? I assume that the corps must get the rights for the actual performances; wouldn't it be possible to simultaneously get permission for the recordings and videos? If such a rule were in place, some corps would move towards public domain music, some would compose their own music, and a few richer corps would find the resources to pay for the rights. That would introduce an inequality in the corps, with some fans preferring the rich
  11. I've received a reply to a query about making it possible to time-shift the shows, so that those of us living outside the US, or those with unconventional work schedules, can participate. The answer is below. This is extremely distressing. I've been a huge DCI fan, but the organization is making it very difficult to remain so. I truly can't think of another institution that gives so little effort to support the needs of its fan base. Since so many other activities with copyrighted material manage to allow delayed viewing, it seems clear to me that there are answers to this problem, if they
  12. Can it really be true that we will still be limited to watching these events live only, with no option for timeshifting? I'm going to be living in Europe for all of 2016, which means that most events will start at 1:00 am for me. Obviously I won't pay $100 for that, but I'd be willing to pay even more if I knew that I'd be able to watch the shows. There must be a resolution for this; how can the DCI administration remain committed to such a self-defeating policy? Is there no limit to how far they will go in the quest to alienate their fan-base?
  13. Thanks! This raises an interesting inconsistency. If the problem with Fan Network has been copyright issues, then these should be just as impermissible as a recording of a full show in uniform. After all, from the owner of the original copyright's perspective, the music is being used whatever the corps is wearing. This suggests that the real issue hasn't been the copyright concerns of the composers, but of DCI itself. From their perspective there certainly is a difference between an official show in competition and a recording of a rehearsal. (Except perhaps for the Cadets, given their uni
  14. I've made a photo mosaic of Finals - enjoy! (When my wife saw it, she said I have way too much time on my hands.)
  15. Thanks for sharing these great pictures. I'm happy to return the favor: mine are at