The Observer

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  1. I don’t have a dog in this fight but I’ve been following along on this thread. Sorry if I missed it, but I don’t think that the podcast Dan Potter did regarding the new inclusion policy has been mentioned? Some of the topics covered are things I’ve seen people ask about, such as why the announcement was made at this odd time, issues regarding being competitive now, and benefits of this change. I went in very skeptical based on what I’ve read here about thoughts on the current admin and BOD but I came out of it with the sense that they are very self aware of where they are currently as an organization while trying to move forward. Here is the link if anyone is interested. : Or
  2. Do you happen to work for the Trump administration by chance? Edit: deleted double sentences
  3. I can respect different opinions. IMO Crown has a more challenging musical book and their visual demand is higher, while achieving at a significant level. But I’m just a slow southern boy, so what do I know 🤷‍♂️? But if I’m missing something let me know.
  4. Are you talking about this?
  5. Even if the main reason for the email was because this CA Show Choir, that still doesn't explain why it's becoming more impossible to secure mechanical and/or sync rights at a reasonable (i.e. affordable) rate so that videos can be produced once again. BTW, I need to find out how this show choir is raising $500,000. Maybe I'll be able to afford to use more copyrighted music.
  6. Yes, I am a band director. My arrangers secure licensing through them for tunes we use. If you have anything you want to say, below is their contact info, if you are interested. This was at the end of the email. "Feel free to contact us at with any questions or comments." I know we all have strong feelings here for both sides of the argument. Imho though, from a business side of things, publishers just don't get it. Educational entities are typically not making a profit from the use of this music. If anything, it is the music industry that is losing out because of this. The major publishers need to hire educators as consultants to come up with a better strategy for working with scholastic and independent, non-profits. DCI and BOA (or any other marching circuit) actually help promote music. How many of us remember hearing an awesome arrangement of song that we were not familiar with and actually investing time and money to finding the original or other songs related to it? Marching ensembles can act as marketing tools to get people exposed to more music, which can post sales. But I'm just a teacher, not a business man.
  7. I got this in my inbox today due to my use of their services. No doubt this is an attempt to do some major PR control. I'm not sure what specifically made them want to send this out though. Maybe issues related to DCI, WGI, and MFA? "Dear #### I would like to take this opportunity to re-introduce Tresóna: who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Tresóna was started, and is currently staffed, by musicians, educators and music fans. We have created a simple and cost-effective licensing platform and are committed to protecting the rights of songwriters to make sure that they are rightfully compensated for their work. Thousands of hard-working songwriters and publishers are dependent on the royalties collected from the licensing of their music to survive. A vast majority of these publishers are small family businesses with one or two employees; they are not multi-national corporations. They are no different than the arrangers, choreographers, set designers, costume creators and thousands of others whose livelihood is dependent on a vibrant music industry. Music is the key ingredient and the foundation of all performance ensembles. Without songs, there would be no marching bands, show choirs, a cappella groups or any other musical performance group. The licensing of custom arrangements, which is required by the U.S. Copyright Act, is often one of the smallest line items in the budget of many ensemble programs. Most performance ensembles obtain the necessary licenses; however, there are some ensembles and organizations which refuse to do so. The abuse of the system by these groups for illicit financial gain has been shocking. There are large enterprises with ensembles that travel all over the country performing at both nonprofit and for-profit events. They pay enormous sums of money for choreographers, arrangers, contest entry, lighting, costumes, props and a host of other outside services. Despite having budgets of more than $500,000/year and generating surpluses of over $150,000/year, these organizations refuse to get the licenses they need and compensate songwriters for their songs. Rather than pay the relatively small licensing fee and promote proper licensing behavior, some ensembles have opted instead to retain high-priced lawyers and consultants to avoid obtaining the necessary licenses. When the dedication of this small group of ensembles deprives songwriters of their ability to make a living, Tresóna and the rights holders we represent are forced to defend these rights in court. When this happens, it is disappointing and begs the question: How can the community as a whole promote participation in the arts and suggest to students that a career in music is viable if it doesnt support the foundation of the entire music ecosystem - the songs and the songwriters? Tresóna is proud of the work we do and deeply value the excellent working relationships we have developed with thousands of arrangers, directors, music educators, parents and performers around the country. We are committed to partnering with, and listening to, the ensemble community so that we may grow these relationships, as well as nurture new ones. We thank you for your support and look forward to our continued relationship in the years to come. Best, Larry Mills EVP, Tresóna" ..... End of letter I absolutely understand the need for composers/arrangers/creators to be compensated. I also understand that there are groups (both scholastic and independent) that have extremely bloated design budgets. But in my opinion, this copyright situation is getting a bit out of hand, at least in regards to video performances. We are losing an opportunity to share with our younger generations the great performances organizations like DCI, WGI, and MFA have to offer. Our kids (and educators) are missing the ability to see their peers across the country achieve things that they didn't know were possible. I can't even purchase older BOA and WGI DVDs for our library anymore. What are your thoughts about what Tresona is saying?
  8. I am finding out some very interesting things about drum corps' history. Thank you all for sharing.
  9. Good points. Of course, the groups that are going to go that route will have already considered those logistics. Some this idea stemmed from the Hopkins rumors last month about including woodwind instruments.
  10. Please excuse my arbitrary use of Open and World class designations. There would have to be a rebranding of what is currently open class (maybe bring back Div. I, II, etc.) Both the any instrument and traditional divisions would need their own subdivisions to take into account size, finances, etc. Ideally there would be a regional model as well, but that's a whole nother topic altogether.
  11. Let me apologize for the length of this post. About me: This is my first post but I am by no means to DCP as I've been following for several years in the shadows, so I know how heated things can get. I never had the opportunity to march(I got into this around my age out year) but I am an avid fan and supporter, and I very much respect the rich history of the Drum Corps movement. For what it matters, I am also a band director. It is my hope that because of these elements that I can be give a different point of view. Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the point..... Interestingly enough this idea came to me from studying the evolution of the Nation Football League. Surprisingly, if one were to compare early Drum Corps to the early NFL, you would see a lot of similarities: local, community-based amateur teams competing in local competitions. In both scenarios, a handful of successful teams decided it was in there best interest to get together and form their own organization with specific rules and guidlines. Because of this, both groups changed through the years and are not necessarily very similar to what they were when they first started, i.e transitioning from a rugby-based approach, changing point values for touchdowns and field goals for the NFL and moving away from bugles and military-style precision drill in Drum Corps, to name a few. The point is, things typically change if there is a perception that it will make the activity better. Now let me clarify a few things about my own personal opinions: 1) I am a fan of the all brass set-up. It's a wonderful, powerful sound. 2) I am not someone who preaches that things need to "evolve" just for the sake of change. Change doesn't always make for better. From studying history and seeing how progression comes forward, I do think that eventually woodwind instruments and other typical instruments associated with school bands will make their way into Drum Corps. It's a double edged sword: you lose one of the main things that makes the activity different from a typical marching band but at the same time you open up this great experience up for whole new crop of kids. What if we could have our cake and eat it too? What if DCI modified their Open Class to be a true, anything goes category (and I'm not talking SoundSport here)? The groups that feel like they want to go that direction can now do that without being penalized. Leave a World Class Brass category (forgive my lack of creativity on these) for the traditionalists. In terms of competitions,the divisions should be treated like they would at any other competition and be given their own separate scores. The key really is to not allow these two divisions to compete against each other, as you don't want to get into the issue of either orchestration setup working better and comparing the two. Looking at it from a neutral perspective, the benefits seem to outweigh the negatives in terms of letting woodwinds and other instruments into DCI and that's why I see it happening in the future.The move would open up the playing field for many talented musicians who for whatever reason can't/won't learn another instrument and will open up the market value of the DCI brand. It may give credibility and incentive for directors who for some reason don't appreciate what DCI is about to plan trips with their students to shows and purchase DVDs/Blu-rays. A World level Marching Band group would be a great way to get the season started. But most importantly, it provides an educational opportunity and disciplined outlet for more kids. Isn't that what Drum Corps was about when it started? What do you think? Would this setup fly? Do you think this would be in the best interest of DCI?