One n Done

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  1. Apologies for any offense. I get a little displeased at the negative commentary from fellow fans who talk the talk without walking the walk. Especially when placements are down. The only ones truly in the know are those getting a check from YEA or wearing the uniform. I’m no insider or representative of the drum corps. Just someone with an objective view, despite having a keen interest in the corps. You too seem to be a committed fan. But, your frustrations aired here, in the manner you have, will do little good. In fact, they may do just the opposite. I hope you share your concerns directly with the group’s administration. Might be good for the both of you.
  2. George, you seem to fancy yourself as quite the insider at the Cadets. As I’ve never met you, I highly doubt the “insights” you hint at and dangle here. The group is only funding at a “totally competitive level” if the goal was to simply assure a finals appearance. A comparison of IRS 990’s for the top 6 vs. the Cadets would show, in almost every case, a rather large gap. Money matters. Especially now with the top 12 as proficient and competitive as we’ve seen. If competitive success is a precursor to supporting the corps, you will likely be found wanting for the very near future. The corps is pulling itself from a hole not of the making of its current employees. This takes time. I will continue to sponsor and donate because it was NEVER about winning. Winning was simply a byproduct of helping produce great people and great Cadets. This, they still do quite well.
  3. It’s not a monarchy there anymore. Decisions aren’t made by the director alone. Not when it comes to money, staff, designers, etc...In addition, the current director is very hands off about the design process when compared with his predecessor. Something many here had been begging and pleading for the past several years. It’s been nothing but transition since ‘16, going back to the departure of Gino and Collin. Stability is as much in need right now as are a new drill writer and program coordinator. Despite all the group has been through, they are but 4 placements worse across a span of 4 years. And just 2 placements since the GH scandal and subsequent tenure of the current director. Change in the director position at this time would probably be one of the worst decisions they could make. Be patient, there will be is no easy button that will land the corps in medal contention next year, or the year after that. The top 6 are sooo good right now. Just cracking that nut will likely take 2-3 years, IF good choices are made and a little good fortune shines on the corps for a change.
  4. There are plenty of adults making money from the activity. Not unlike ultra competitive youth sports. The biggest winners in both are product and equipment manufacturers and retailers. No conspiracy. But it would be naive to think that money doesn’t play a part in the direction of the activity. I don’t think it’s anywhere near being the prime driver for A&E. I think groups want an edge, want to stay in sight of that edge, and yes....sound better. But, don’t think for a moment that money doesn’t matter. I somehow doubt that our corporate partners are in this solely as a result of their altruistic principles.
  5. At the time of the first audition camp there is little that can be shared about a show. The group will definitely have a new drill designer and possibly other new design staff. It may take a little time to hire these people. Even if this weren’t the case, there is very little that can be set in stone by November. A lot of listening and talk of concept has to take place, and then there’s the fun of securing rights to arrange music. February is more realistic for any sort of program “reveal” to potential members. First drafts of a movement or two may be in members hands by December or January. The best assurance any corps can provide to potential members is the design and instructional staff they secure. For the Cadets, I imagine there will be change here. Hopefully, careful, smart change.
  6. Yeah, we got a few real “peaches” holding court in here don’t we? ✌️
  7. Not so sure it’s quite as black and white as your questions, Brigand. Certain people on here need things to be THIS or THAT, but life is more often shades of gray. I think teams are taking rules right to the edge with sound reinforcement. In a couple instances, they’ve actually crossed that line. Placements matter. Competitors always seek an edge. Do I think it’s NECESSARY to mic 30 odd brass players wirelessly? No. Does it violate a rule? No. Do I think it provides an advantage? Yes. Can all in the top 12, let alone the “have nots” well outside the top 12, afford this? No. So, does it seem a bit disingenuous and/or unfair to do what the group in question is doing? I think so. There have been some well presented cases in this discussion for the pro’s to audio engineering in the activity. Better quality sound, players not having to blow the horn apart, greater freedom in staging, etc... These seem like valid and plausible points to me. The activity left the VFW, tick system, and other things behind (in part) in a quest for greater creative freedom over the years. Reaching for new ways to engage an audience is nothing new. Again, for me, it’s a question of competition and “fair play”. It is overly simplistic, given the disparity in corps budgets, to say that since a certain group has the means and isn’t breaking a rule that they can mic 30+ brass players individually, and that it’s truly “fair”. Do I begrudge any corps for their financial strength? Absolutely not. It means they can tour, teach, and learn well and hopefully have a great experience. It IS the member corps that ultimately decide their own rules. So, it’s a head scratcher as to why a majority would sign on to something when their 2-3 million dollar operating budget is up against a small minority of groups operating with 3-4 times that funding. I’m not one for putting a leash on art, but I do think sound reinforcement could use more regulation than what has been opted for at this time.
  8. Not sure what you’re trying to convey with your response, besides a need to be contrary.
  9. You prove my point, somewhat. Ten years ago we began seeing and hearing the obvious amplification of full ensemble brass. We still have groups that consider amplification’s purpose as primarily boosting the front ensemble and generation of sound effects. The best, Bloo, uses amplification to enhance ALL voices in their ensemble as well as create staging possibilities that would be impossible otherwise. I don’t believe that either group you mentioned has the money, audio staff, or philosophy of use that the top 3 have.
  10. I had information that I trusted (and still do). Though I, like others, have had suspicions-I got confirmation from participants whom I do not doubt. It was a little shocking. Especially having recently heard that group. A group without field mics and one that was remarkably louder than it’s close competitors. I shared the information I was comfortable with. Naming such a group is not something I’d do, as there are kids on the field to consider. It’s the actions of the adults that I question and one that I wanted explored in the community. I felt the best way to generate discussion was in the manner I did. I’ve largely stayed out of the back and forth, but appreciate the views shared by all. I’ve no expectations beyond that some of us may be a little more knowledgeable at this point and perhaps a bit more discerning in how we consume the activity.
  11. Groups use tents for electronics in rehearsal and always have tarps at the ready as well for weather. Loading/unloading will beat anything up over time. More costs of playing this game of ours.
  12. As a refresher, the question of the post wasn’t whether or not amplification was a good or bad thing. I don’t believe anyone is wrong for liking what they like. The intention was more to get folks to consider obvious differences in audio engineering abilities and budget in a competitive setting. At points, I also tried to get people to consider what diverting limited resources might mean for groups and their members. There are more resources demanded than just that of money. All that sound equipment, on average, is unloaded , assembled, moved, disassembled, and loaded TWICE a day. It’s not roadies that are doing this, it’s members. The same is true of props. They are needed to rehearse and perform. We have kids burning upwards of 3-4 hours each day loading and building props. It is obtuse to imply that sound and props don’t impact perception and even placement. It is callous to say, “well, go make more money”. Fans are seeing and hearing an unbelievable level of entertainment. But, consider the cost and what it might be taking away from the member experience and strain it places on each organization.
  13. Well.... It’s finals week and in a day this discussion has generated 30 pages. Trust me, those within the activity are aware of what happens on DCP. If nothing else, it definitely provides some “entertainment”. Change a rule? Yeah, no. If some earnest discussion here helps brings about questions and dialogue within the member corps about audio engineering...probably a good thing. This discussion has had its share of the expected snark and defensiveness one would expect. But, there has also been decent, respectful, well reasoned, and even technical talking points exchanged. Which is great. You are the consumer. They listen, but don’t always respond as quickly or in the manner as some would like.