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About Northwest-MikeB

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  1. OC jumped up a couple spots last year. It's pretty difficult to move up two years in a row. However, recruiting has been super solid this year--way ahead of last year. The staff is stable, with a couple good additions. This should be a positive year, regardless of placement.
  2. Does anyone know which corps are not fielding a full 150-member corps (less injuries and illnesses)? I assume that all corps on the posted list that are at 21st and above, are fielding 150 members, or nearly so. The Cascades left on tour with 125 members, including 62 brass (which I have not yet seen all at once).
  3. The Columbians had a really wonderful show--beautifully designed and well performed with its 104 members. It was a treat to see how far they have come in such a short time. A big thanks goes to the Columbians from the Cascades for loaning us (Cascades) two Jupiter tubas and a Jupiter euphonium. We were short of instruments. Eruption is in the similar geographic area as the Cascades’ home base. Eruptions provides a drum corps experience not served by the Cascades. I think this strengthens the local drum corps market, and it has certainly increased attendance at our Seattle/Renton show. OC and the Cascades are together providing Eruption with brass instruments, and the Cascades are providing Eruption with battery. OC serves a different member market than the Cascades. OC has transitioned to a national staff and is recruiting nationally. The Cascades focus on local members and maintains a largely local staff. OC start's all-days (every-days) on June 1st, two weeks earlier than most of the Cascades' members are out of schools. All totaled, there are/were about 460 members competing in Northwest drum corps this year, the most since 1976. There are plans in place to hopefully add a sixth NW corps in 2016.
  4. Yes, I agree. If current World Class corps were pushed into a lower class, and then forced to exclusively compete in that grouping, it would be harmful. The point that I was attempting to make was to allow more mixing of corps, along with providing awards (i.e. winners) within Divisions (or some form of grouping) based on standings, without disrupting an individual corps' status in their class. By strengthening a second tier (e.g. Div II), we then make room to once again create a competitive grouping for smaller corps (e.g. Div III). Yes, I totally agree. The lower-level corps cannot be left to fend for themselves. The question remains, can a positive structure be created for the smaller corps, and if that were accomplished, would it in fact foster the creation of more drum corps? Note that such drum corps may serve younger members and, in many cases, less financially able members.
  5. Maybe someone in a current Open Class corps could add to the conversation about Open Class show profit sharing or performance fees. My experience is: ...In 2007, my corps sponsored an exclusively Open Class show. There was no profit sharing structure, but then no one else shared in show's loss. ...In 2014, I ask about my corps attending an Open Class show. I was told okay, but that there would be $0 fees paid. Maybe it's different for those corps in Open Class that participate in a show?
  6. I pose the question of whether the current structure of Open and World Class, has contributed to the demise of the Div II/Div III structure. Specifically, there are number of World Class corps that typically place 18 or below that would be well suited to complete in Div II, if such a division and option existed. Note that “World Class” is only partially a performance class. World Class is also a class of rights entailed in being a DCI member. (Open Class corps are not members.) Those DCI membership rights include access to shows, higher performance fees, and voting rights at DCI. For a drum corps, those membership rights are highly desired. I would rather see a competitive option that allows all corps within a similar competitive range (say Div II) to at times preform together, keeping DCI membership and membership rights as a separate issue. In addition to providing a better competitive experience to those corps, this may make those "Div II" shows more appealing to fans, thus drive more ticket sales and justify performance fees to the second tier corps. This may then create the opportunity for smaller corps to have their own competitive grouping (say Div III). Of course I could be completely wrong. Such past discussions in my own corps have been considered blasphemous.
  7. I wonder if the elimination of DCI’s Division III has had an adverse impact on the smaller corps? In my own part of the world, when the Cascades won Division III in 2000, and the Oregon Crusaders won Division III in 2004, it gave each corps a boost, both from internal enthusiasm and external interest. Mandarins, Pioneer, and Blue Stars also hold Division III titles.
  8. OC and the Cascades are targeting the recruiting of different members. The Cascades are recruiting primarily in the Puget Sound area, followed by Washington and then the NW. Only about 5% of its members are from outside the NW. Because the local high schools run classes into the third week of June, and the main universities are on a quarter systems, the Cascades do not start all-days after the second week of June. Much of the Cascades staff also teach through the second and third week of June OC has restructured to recruit college-age talent who can start all-days on June 1st. They made some significant changes in staffing to meet the business plan. A late change in the gaurd staff also occured. Given the major changes in OC's program, I am impressed that they are fielding 142 members. I would need to confirm with the OC staff, but to me is seems that the threshold of talent is distinctly higher than last year. When the late joining members are integrated, OC will be at 72 brass. Over the past few years, OC did benefit from a few members from the Cascades moving to OC. This year the Cascades retained a high percentage of vets (~70%). I don’t think anyone went from the Cascades to OC, but I don’t know that for certain. With the growth of Open Class drum corps in the Northwest (3 Open Class corps with a 4th planned for next years), I expect that OC will become a destination corps for many of those graduating members.
  9. OC has considerable of upside potential. Props and flags are now being added to the show.I believe OC has a talent-level higher than that of other corps in their score range. They added a number of members late, who will soon be hitting their stride, and the guard costumes will be added in another few days. I also predict Arizona to be above OC tonight, but it will be interesting to watch scores as the season progresses.
  10. This is the Columbians home show. I saw the Columbians in Seattle and was amazed at how far this corps has come in just three years. They have well balanced corps of just over 100 members. Their show “1942” is very creative and a joy to watch. I expect they will get a huge ovation from the hometown crowd. FYI: Day time temparatures of 100 degrees. predicts 7:00 PM tempartures at 98 degrees. Of course the field tend to be warmer.
  11. To add som substancce to the post, the Cascades have increased in size from a little over 80 members last year, to 125 members this year. The breakdown is 62 brass, 36 percussion, 24 guard, and 3 DM (I think I am right on the percussion and guard counts). Two brass players dropped in all-days, and two added alternates will be fully incorporated by Denver to solidify the full corps. As a comparison, the members of the Cascades are younger than those of the Oregon Crusaders. However, retention of last year’s members is around 70%, which has allowed for the dramatic, yet smooth increase in size. The staff is largely unchanged as well, which furthers the positive jump this year. The show, “Intergalactic,” is a weave of Holst, Sound Garden, Star Trek (old and new), and Beasty Boys. The uniforms are a significant departure from the last several years. I may opinion this is a fun and entertaining show. I will let others critique the show design, uniforms, and performances. Responses have been very positive, and I look forward to seeing comments from drum corps fans across the country. Those involved in the organization are very pleased with the progress that has been made. Regarding the actual Preview event, I had expected attendance would be around 80 people--based on past interest. I was pleased to see what appeared to be about 400 people. The Cascades staff did a fine job with the event. Since I am the Cascades' Board Chairperson and I am on the Oregon Crusaders Board, note than this post is my personal opinion, not the organization’s statement. Mike Bujnowski