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BG984

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  1. My concern is this....though I saw some fine selections within the corps' repertoire selections, my personal opinion is that if you have eight or more selections within such a short period, it makes it quite difficult for anything to fully develop musically. This "snippets" style of arranging has been going on for quite a bit of time now, though, so I guess it works for some. Also, I believe that those selecting the music believe that everyone will be fully familiar with most or all of their selections, which is likely untrue. For me, musical continuity is key, regardless if I know the work or not, and can be lacking when too many pieces are attempted to be woven into the product.
  2. In 1976, the Madison Scouts took the field as the defending DCI Champions. Recently, I heard an early season recording of their 1976 show. Frankly, not only did they have significant performance issues (even considering early season), the show "wasn't working" for them. In a brazen effort, they scrapped a good portion of the show and drill, and thus had to literally learn mostly a new show during the season. I believe that I heard that they had some days where they learned new show all day long, then did a runthrough or two of the "old show" and had to compete with their old show that night. The move paid off (not in gold, but silver). The 1976 DCI Championships were the first that I attended. Madison came on last at finals as defending champion, and lit it up, and did themselves proud, taking 2nd, as the Blue Devils won their first title. I have some questions regarding this....... 1. I believe that they did do a mid-season camp to finish the new show....is this correct? Did they pull out of any contests? Or were they in-between tours, just doing weekend shows, and learning the new program during the week? 2. When did they unleash their new show? Kudos to them for pulling this off. I bet it was a crazy season for the members. The corps was very talented....winning brass at Championship prelims, and Brass GE at finals, and tying for first by one of the drum judges.....as some have said, it would have been interesting if they had one more week (or had this show at the beginning of the season).....though BD was a machine by season's end, and had a well-deserved first title.
  3. Many thanks to all of those that served and who serve. After WWII, veterans helped the drum corps activity survive and thrive. Many, many American Legion and VFW posts sponsored drum corps, and they also sponsored what were arguably the two biggest championships (AL Nationals, VFW Nationals) prior to the formation of DCI, and the shows continued well after that time as well, although they eventually fizzled out. Many top name drum corps would have never hit the field without the support of these posts.
  4. On a good note......this is a GREAT sounding stadium and a good venue.......stands are parallel to the sideline, and all you have is concrete and metal.........we use to play there every year when WCU played at Delaware.........they may have also had a corps show there once or twice, too........when Allentown was "iffy" because of needing repairs, I actually suggested UD to DCI as an alternative until if/when things were fixed........although the Naval Academy stadium has more seats (35k to 22K) UD still has a decent number of seats between the 40's, and IMO is a better sounding venue (not that the NA sounds bad, because it doesn't). I think it is because the pitch of the stands at UD is greater and also less distance to the front sideline, and it is just one big deck as opposed to multiple decks.
  5. no doubt.....I never heard what it was for.................on a side note, if my memory serves me correctly, I remember seeing Little Robbie, in full uniform, having to be held back, as he was going to jump the fence to try to get after said judge.......I think it would have been a hoot if he made it out there.......................that same year, there was a GE Percussion judge (prelims) who also judged Allentown Finals. I was teaching the Cadets. Our marching was bad (which pretty much ruled out any kind of finals contention) but the corps was starting to play (12th in perc. performance from one judge and 12th from the field brass judge)......we had been getting between 7.5 and 8.4 in GE percussion, and this guy gives us a 6.1 at Allentown finals. Pesceone was called, and was told by a certain individual that we wanted this guy OUT at Brimingham. We were told that it could not be done. Then, the bombshell...."if so and so is judging, we are going to sit the Cadets down on the field and tell the audience why". We were assured by Pesceone that we would get a fair shake, and we had his word on that. The said judge gave us an 8.7, and wrote two words...."nice job"......on the sheet..........I guess he was told..........lol........we did get whammied in PA, but that was probably because we took about a million flams out of the show because they couldn't play them.....lol............
  6. I actually have the video, and no argument that they (the Crossmen) marched a down job in terms of visual performance, and I am not disputing the Troopers beating them in visual performance. You mentioned about the other visual judge also giving the Troopers the edge.....yes, but it was by .6, not 2.7. The number given by judge 2 was a full point lower than the judge in question, as well as five positions lower. (12th to 7th). Musically, it wasn't close, IMO, and Crossmen were 7th in brass......I also did find it interesting that the GE brass judge in prelims had the Troopers in 5th place; they were 11th in finals. In conclusion, visual was the only caption that the Troopers beat the Crossmen in that day, and the very huge spread by the Troopers' drum major's father was the number that put them in finals.
  7. A 16 seat van as a 3rd vehicle is a possible alternative............
  8. I agree..............and the results that day will always be questioned because of this being allowed. Also, this little fact (ie the judge and his son) was largely hidden/brushed under the rug after the show..............even scarier is to this day, I do not know of a rule which would prohibit it from happening again.
  9. In DCA, there was/is a rule that you could not judge a corps that you wrote for/taught for the two season following. I believe DCI had/has this same rule. However, to my knowledge, there was/is no rule about judging family members, including immediate family members. Should there have been? Should there be? In 1979, a visual judge judged the 1979 DCI Championship prelims. That judge's son was the drum major for the Troopers. This is not to take anything away from the Troopers. However, "Dad" gave the Troopers their highest mark/placement in visual for the entire season; an eye-opening 2.7 points ahead of the next competitor, the Crossmen.....as a result, the two corps tied for 12th on the straight recap, and a two tenths edge in penalties put the Troopers into finals and kept the Crossmen out. The Crossmen took the only Associate Championship ever held the following night, with a score that was 4.45 points higher than their prelim score, and would have placed them in 7th at DCI finals. They also did the exhibition right before the competitive corps at Finals....perhaps a slight embarrassment for DCI, as they were clearly better than the first group of competitors on after them. Even the commentators were confused. Is it ethical for a judge to judge his son's corps performance, let alone in what was the most important show of the year? Although there may or may not have been "bias", I think it's safe to say that there could have been a suspicion of "bias" in this case by some. The question remains.....should a judge be allowed to judge the performance/show of their own child's group?
  10. My response was to the statement that claimed that those at DCA only cared about the NE corps and had no interest in expansion. Not true. Growth was decent in the years mentioned......please elaborate on "other stances", and what can be blamed on DCA for the decline The only "stance" that I know of was when a minimum number of 25 performers was made, and 25 is not huge. This rule was made because there were a few "corps" that tried to come out with numbers such as 6 brass, etc........they were not told to "fold", but encouraged to participate in mini-corps/standstill as a starting ground. i can tell you that COVID had quite a bad impact on the DCA corps......many corps members did not come back. Recruiting efforts by the corps didn't earn significant results. Talent levels, especially in brass, fell significantly. The decline prior to COVID was gradual but significant. The loss of all of the NY competitors (except White Sabers) was significant....first Rochester, and then Syracuse and Empire. I know that rising costs, combined with I believe the demise of their bingo operations, were big for Brigs and Statesmen. The Renegades were another matter which I will not get into, but at any rate it was sad to see them stop. Minnesota stopping was a big blow as well, though I am hopeful for their advance from Soundsport back to the field, perhaps as soon as next year. I hope that the corps have improved seasons and can handle this year of transition well.....time will tell, and it's coming up....fast.
  11. I think that you are jumping to conclusions regarding "they did not care or have any intentions".....I can tell you that Mickey Petrone and Gil Silva welcomed all regardless of region......I remember when Atlanta made their first DCA appearance, and Mickey told the judging panel to ignore the fact that they were on first in prelims, and to "judge what's in front of you". You are correct that there were a small handful of folks who were only concerned about "protecting the origins"...but they were outnumbered....yes, moving the DCA Championship to a non NE area, even for one year, might have sounded like an interesting idea........but it was not within the fiscal means of most of the corps......this is not unique to DCA....it is also the very reason that in over 50 years of DCI the championship was held in California just one time....fair?? NO.......but the rest of the country's corps simply were not set up fiscally to do it...............even now, Indy is going to be quite a bit more costly for some of the DCA corps.............. Creating viable competitive seasons for senior corps from across the country was/is problematic. Atlanta is a perfect example. They made some trips North during the season sometimes, but this was at an enormous cost for them.....they started hosting some small shows locally, as it was cheaper and they could fly the judges down and at least get evaluated. In areas other than the NE, a show for these out of region groups consisted (usually) of performing at a junior contest, getting scored, and competing with 0-2 other entrants. Not exactly a rewarding season, with the big highlight being coming to championships, which was/is quite expensive. Take a look at 2010....14 years ago.................only 5 of the 11 corps in open class were from the NE........there were 23 corps there............the fall since then has been staggering.....the "fault" was not DCA's, and I don't know what DCA could have done.......the corps largely controlled their own destiny, and that is also true in DCI.....look at the list: Empire, Brigs (before 2010), Minnesota (hopefully will be back on the field next year), Renegades, Alliance, Kilts, Carolina Gold, Kingston Grenadiers.........plus several "A" corps that showed promise: Vigilantes, Sun Devils, So. Cal Dream, High Country Brass..........also, international corps provided some extra thrills: Kidsgrove Scouts and the Inspires come to mind.... What is done is done, and we will see how it goes. I can only hope that the bleeding stops, and the all-age groups have a good season, with some promise for a future.
  12. Agreed.....I hope that the "bleeding stops", and the senior corps can survive and perhaps eventually flourish again. For what it's worth, I actually sent a letter a few years ago begging that the DCA corps should consider using cost and time commitment as major recruiting points....that same year, I think I saw just one corps using their low fees as a recruiting tool.....meanwhile, DCI (junior corps) has pretty much become a "rich kids" sport. I marched in a DCI finalist in 1977-1978 as a college student.....there is no way that I would be able to come up with the $$$ to march today. I hope that Minnesota is back on the contest field next year. They actually provided me with one of my greatest judging experiences. I was on field percussion at finals. The corps had finished just 7th in prelims. They came on, and the percussion was absolute smoke that night. There was no withholding of scores/changing at that point in time, so I technically had to "leave room" for possibilities involving the 6 corps on after them...however, I remember shaking my head and saying out loud, "somebody is going to have to throw down a very serious performance to beat that".....nobody did......so they won on my sheet.......also the ensemble perc. judge agreed, and they won high percussion. I also hope that maybe someday down the road that there are new and/or resurrected corps from the west and midwest.......anywhere for that matter........the "merger" is certainly going to be an interesting "experiment"..........
  13. I "kind of know" judges, too, since I judged for DCA from 1996 through last year..............disagree about the "feel good", as all the corps wanted to hear on judge's recordings was positive...nothing negative.........and the "tolerance level", especially since covid, has been "outlandish"......ie decent numbers given for very mediocre or substandard performances. I never said anything about "competitive success", just scoring. I can tell you that "dominance" caused some issues, as the other corps felt that they were battling for 2nd, which was actually true a good deal of the time. However, instead of griping about it, they should have worked on stepping up their game. There are many other factors. Back in the day, many corps had a nucleus of older, experienced players, who made it work year after year. As those people "retired" from competing, there were not people in line to take their place. Levels of both performance and entertainment value plummeted, to the point that fans were not coming back to shows.....and yes, the fan base did age as well. I agree that indoor percussion and guard are thriving, and that is carried over into drum corps, including senior corps. One place where DCA, IMO, missed the boat, was membership recruiting. As they always wanted to work in a "complimentary" mode with DCI, they would never do this. Perhaps what was (and what SHOULD be) their top marketing tour was/is COST, with time commitment being 2nd............You can march in a senior corps in most cases for less than 1/4 of the cost of a junior corps, still get a good and fun experience, do pretty much weekends only (and thus hold a job in most cases).......yet you did not see the corps openly pushing these things........also, now that many, many senior corps members are 21 or under, they can directly offer an alternative to junior corps (thus competing for members), but the seniors have hardly pushed their selling points. As stated before, brass has been especially weak in DCA in recent years; very small brass lines, even among the "major players", and also much inexperience there, and a fairly low level of talent in brass, and higher levels of talent in percussion. I will be interested to see what level of numbers are given out in all-age this year; if it will be in line with the scoring of open class, somewhat inflated, or severely inflated as has been the case in recent years. I do wish them success, and hope that there is growth, both in size and quality............
  14. Thanks for the additional info! I was curious myself.....BD went from 24th to 9th............impressive...........also, in 1972, there was only a 3 point spread in prelims between 8th and 14th.......the Cadets, who were 13th, would have been 10th if it wasn't for a substantial overtime penalty.......a member told me that the staff was playing with things right up until the end, and didn't take the time to clock the show!!!!!! Not good..................had to be tough on the members to know that..............
  15. Score inflation in DCA, especially since COVID, has been very substantial, even using "DCA standards".......frankly, I believe it is the "feel good" attitude to encourage members to stick around and the corps survive, not unlike what is done in many band circuits. It wasn't always that way, though, even in DCA......... The demise of major competitors......Brigs, Empire, Renegades, Minnesota (though hopefully Minn. will make their way back)....and others such as Kilts, Rochester........and nobody new came along.........brass has been especially problematic recruiting-wise up until now...............there are 8th place performances from not too long ago that would have placed 2nd last year...........I know that they went with 3 divisions the past few years (which is over with, thank God) , but if you just look at 10 corps, I don't know if the 3rd place corps would have even made finals not that long ago...........hopefully both recruiting and retention will start to improve, and the groups that are around stick around......time will tell. Agreed that inflation will very likely happen....the big question is just how much.............
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