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Everything posted by HornTeacher

  1. First, it's been 38 years. But I appreciate the belief on your part that my youthful appearance belies, to a huge degree, my actual Neanderthalistic state of being. Second, since I have never been involved in Drum and Bugle Corps other than for a couple of years in a street marching organization (the Dunkirk NY Patriots, who WERE a field unit back in the 1970's, I believe), I hardly think it's my place to comment upon staffing of contemporary FIELD D&BC. ESPECIALLY at the highest levels as it now exists. But I thank you for your trust in my viewpoint. I am greatly appreciative of your confidence in me. As to your assertion regarding the percussion successes...that has everything to do with the quality of kids I've had the honor and privilege to teach, and far less to do with any innate ability which I may have possessed. In other words, they very well may have been successful in spite of me, rather than due to me (since they were a small-school street unit across several years, and had to endure a stupid trumpet player as their "teacher." They were small lines...usually 4 snares, 4 basses, 2-3 Tri players, a couple of cymbal players, and at most 2 marching melodic. As I said...small line.). Now, having said all that, if you desire my personal point of view on staffing, then I'll try to give you that much. In general, we often think of "a staff" as a collective. Many see it as being a situation where whoever has the greatest number of "all-star" staff members will yield the most successful of results. But I don't agree with this point of view. I've seen many an "all-star" staff which has ultimately crashed and burned because, among other things, the various staff members (maybe because of inflexibility or ego) haven't been able to function as a cohesive unit. Alternatively, I have seen groups being led by staffs who were relative unknowns...yet have enjoyed tremendous success due to the fact that they functioned cohesively and uniformly supportive to a very high level. Maybe a situation of "greater than the sum of its' parts." What is important is that each staff member knows his and/or her place in the organization, and fully trusts that each of the other staff members trusts all the others to be and act in the same manner. For the "collective good," I guess (how TERRIBLY COMMUNISTIC of me, I know!!). Sorry for the mini-lecture. Just my take on things...
  2. Please -- I meant no commentary against another. I was merely exhibiting support of N.E. Brigand's post. Anything else interpreted is in the mind of the viewer.
  3. Being a Trooper fan, I most heartily approve. I might further suggest merging this with the music from the film "Cheyenne Autumn."
  4. Speaking only for myself, I admire your reticence, self-control, and desire for proven fact to come far before mere personal opinion. Most genuinely extended.
  5. As cynical as I find myself to be at this time...I do truly hope that your words somehow find a way to come to fruition. This is a tremendous activity. One which, unfortunately, I never had the chance to experience in the applicable days of my youth. If they can somehow find that "wonderful second act," and do so within the parameters of proper guidance, care, and educational/personal values, then it WILL be to the benefit of 125-150 more of our youth. That is all for which any of us can hope.
  6. Ahhh...the perfect scenario for "The Wizard of Oz" to be their comeback show.
  7. I would think something like "Actions detrimental to the overall Organization" might be a reasonable place to start. Think Pete Rose... If his (RB) various quotes are established as being said, then I would consider them actions.
  8. I'm sorry, Brasso. Not up to the laughter and simplistic conviviality (on MY part) that has been of the "usual" for the previously-known HornTeacher. I am now of the pessimistic and cynical portion of society. I guess I'm just not up to it anymore. And 'tis such a pity. But all that in mind... Your comment did make me laugh. I sincerely thank you for that. Cheers, Good Sir. To quote Professor Morrie Schwartz..."You're one of the good ones."
  9. If he's on land under Giants Stadium...does he go against the salary cap of the Giants...or the Jets?
  10. Thank God it didn't involve "Broken-down" Busses... And to exhibit my own level of ornery, he should be forced to bear his Auschwitz comment on his DCI Hall-of-Fame inscription...
  11. Your words mean much to me, Ghost...as of which I find great assurance, along with the greatest of appreciation and fellow respect by now. But remember, please...mine are only one man's opinion. However...I thank you. With equal sincerity and respect given and intended, Good Sir.
  12. SWriverstone -- This was your introductory statement in your initial posting. If you will allow, I wish to bring forth an opinion. I feel that I must disagree with this, based upon the final 5 words of the statement -- "...you'll start thinking it's good." As you initially postulated, "It means people develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them." Fair enough...I have no problem with this -- in fact, I would tend to agree. Simple enough. However, there still remains a large difference between liking something due to familiarity, and thereby also thinking it's good. One is quantitative in nature (preference through familiarity); the other is qualitative (thinking it's good). Please allow me to go off-topic for a moment, for the purpose of illustration... As much as I hate to admit it, I am a smoker. I smoke because of 1) the addictive nature of the nicotine; 2) the apparent relaxation it brings me in times of stress; 3) the simple effect of habit. Such action on my part does not mean, however, that I am also convinced that it is "good." It is not, and I know that. It's unhealthy. It's expensive. It's unclean. Despite all of that, I still smoke. Maybe -- no, certainly -- all of this speaks more to my lack of will-power and sensibility than it does any inherent judgement on my part of its' detriments. What does this have to do with one's personal judgement of the "goodness" (qualitative judgement) of a work of art? Everything. I can like a particularly dirty, obscene, morally indecent joke based upon...or despite...its' relation and/or adherence to societal standards. I can also fully acknowledge that it is something which is not "fit" for common consumption to a segment of society. I, too, am a musician, going into my 38th year of teaching in the field of Music Education. As I stated on a simple post earlier in this thread, "I like what I like because I like it." When I reach that point, I am not necessarily stating either as a teacher of music or a mere observer outside the field of education. I am stating no opinion as to the relative quality of a given piece of music in an artistic sense. It is much akin to when any of us laugh when we might be exposed to a particularly bad joke or pun. Sometimes we laugh (possibly even "like" it) based on the lack of quality of it. How often do we laugh, then follow our chuckle with "that's SOOOO bad!!"?? I know what I feel is "good" music...what I've been taught as being such. And I know "bad" music...that is to say, what I've been taught to consider "bad" music as being. But I also know that these qualitative judgements -- AND quantitative judgements -- are MINE, and designed as MINE alone. And yes, sometimes I find myself listening to music because I like it...even music which I might not consider to be of "good" in quality. There may simply be something about it which piques my attention -- even if the overall selection, taken as a whole, is something which I would place outside the "good" (qualitative) category. Maybe it has a wonderful melody, but is dry harmonically. I might find it lacking of value melodically and harmonically, yet I find a degree of intrigue in its' rhythmic underpinnings. In terms of Drum Corps, maybe it might be Jim Brady solos in "Spanish Eyes" or "Pagliacci." Maybe it's Barbara Maroney's concluding statement in "A Boy Like That." Maybe it's Zengali's/Star of Indiana's "Cross-to-Cross." Maybe it's the simple, brass-player's thrill to Madison's power and (excuse me) "balls forward" rendering of "Malaguena" in 1988. And maybe it's nothing other than the Bluecoat soprano soloist's "wink" of a couple of years ago. Those two seconds didn't get points. They didn't get GE. But as a brass player, I could both get and admire his internal affirmation of feeling "so THERE!!"...with an accompanying wry smile. Whatever. I can "like" it, yet also do so without any...ANY...consideration to anything other than a most simple...and most human..."WOW!!" Yet...in the end...I "like" it. And to be honest...that's all of which I care. At that point, it is not up to me to educate. Instead, it is merely up to me, as an individual member of the human species...by-and-large, one individual member of a very individual and imperfect human species...to determine of and for myself to "like." And to enjoy. Quite honestly, Sir...that is something of which Julliard...or Eastman...or any Conservatory/School of Music cannot teach us, whether we have the great fortune to attend or not. To ultimately determine what we "like." In the end, as human beings both educated and musically-uneducated alike...we like what we like because we like it.
  13. In my "uninformed" and "unasked for" opinion...BOOM!! Well stated, and supported without the "ivory tower" limitations generally found in such discussions. In the end, many who follow the activity simply base their final judgements of any individual corps' presentation on the basis of "I like it' or "It's not for me." And there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing whatsoever. To me, it is there to be enjoyed and experienced as a product of what is in the mind of the creator of the work. Otherwise, we might as all all assemble at the Louvre and argue over the Mona Lisa. Well done, Terri. I stand with you -- both philosophically, and as a fellow life-long TEACHER of music. And for those who wish to argue the "good music" or "bad music" approach, research the early reactions by the so-called "experts" to Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring." If the public at-large would have heeded those reviews, I would venture that the piece wouldn't have lasted 6 months in the eyes of the public. Sometimes, the scholarly approach is among the very LEAST of bases under which it is considered to be of eventual success or failure. My sincerest apologies for the idiotic rant.
  14. And therein, at least to me, lies a VERY key element. I fully agree. And applicable to far more areas than just Drum Corps. Sad...so very sad.
  15. I like what I like, because I like it. Not because everyone else does...but because I do. Sometimes, it's as simple as that...
  16. It appears a leisurely lunch in Lee, Mass. is in order...
  17. Hope it makes the Monday morning quarterbacking more comfortable...
  18. And if you're uncomfortable in saying it...then don't say it in the first place. Seems simple to me...although I guess I'm a simpleton (shrug)….
  19. Anyone expecting or hoping for Miami Dolphins to be the saviors will be hugely disappointed.
  20. Even the Emperor needed a private place in which he could change into his "new clothes"...