jwillis35

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jwillis35 last won the day on May 26

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About jwillis35

  • Rank
    DCP Fanatic

Profile Information

  • Your Favorite Corps
    Bluecoats, Cadets, SCV, Blue Devils, Phantom Regiment, Carolina Crown
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Garfield Cadets - 1984
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    North Canton, OH
  • Interests
    I'm a professional trombonist, music educator, and Web Designer/Programmer. I love DB&C, great orchestral music, jazz, golf, and travel. I mostly love food. :)

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  1. This may all be true, and I will take your word for it; but...to be honest even if the judges thought Garfield was the one corps that truly had a championship caliber show it must be noted that Garfield was extremely dirty early season. They had to hose some things and really clean to get that beast to the level it was come Finals. There was no guarantee they would clean that show to a high level, and I do think SCV had a championship caliber show. They just ran into a corps that was pushing the envelope to a point that once the show was cleaner it became evident that SCV was in for a fight. I remember seeing SCV and Garfield in Canton in August and I think SCV won by 1 point. Then I saw them again at U.S. Open in Marion, OH and Garfield beat SCV in prelims and they tied at Finals. It was at prelims that I saw the Garfield that made my head explode with the demand and artistry in music and visual. At that point I was shocked they tied at Finals, but I had a feeling that Garfield would win their 3rd in a row at that point.
  2. I was kind of hoping they would get out of Allentown, but at this point that would take more money I imagine. If the new housing for offices is cheaper and allows them to operate more efficiently then I say good.
  3. Clearly one of the best in the long history of music for films. A Giant!
  4. Garfield, SCV, Blue Devils, and Madison were all amazing in 1985. Cavaliers in 5th with Planets and you could tell they were pushing their way to the top. Suncoast Sound was easily one of my favorite shows of the night. Once again, as with 1986, this corps' brass line was stellar. Star of Indiana made top 12 in their first year (10th) with a fantastic show that by Finals had more fans than doubters, who early in the season were not sure the Disney theme would work. Freelancers were amazing too with a fantastic brass line. Troopers were one of my favorite shows of the night. VK was great, Spirit of Atlanta was great -- heck I think I liked everyone. Phantom was good, too, but a bit disappointing with parts of the show -- and probably not the placement they were hoping for. A look at scores from Finals and show music: 1) 98.4 Garfield Cadets Jeremiah-Make Our Garden Grow-Candide 2) 97.2 Santa Clara Vanguard Festive Overture-Tender Land-Red Pony 3) 97.1 Blue Devils Lovecraft Earth-Karn Evil 9 (ELP)-First Circle (PM) 4) 95.0 Madison Scouts Ballet in Brass-Rhapsody in Blue 5) 94.1 Cavaliers Planets (Mars-Mercury-Uranus-Jupiter) 6) 92.7 Suncoast Sound Florida Suite 7) 91.0 Spirit of Atlanta Gershwin Concerto in F 8) 90.1 Phantom Regiment Symphonie Fantastique 9) 86.7 Troopers Symphonic Dance#3-Copland#3-Buckaroo Holiday 10) 85.8 Star of Indiana When You Wish-Zipidydodah-It's a Small World 11) 85.3 Velvet Knights Peter Gunn-NBC-Chimes Festival 12) 83.2 Freelancers Immanuel-Minotaur-Island-Forest-Bells In terms of competitive standing I didn't have a problem with scores and placements. I imagine it was hard on Gail Royer and SCV to lose that one. I'm not sure if Don Angelica's comments had anything to do with how SCV was scored. I did not realize he was in the booth with judges. I heard the comment that he stated on the PBS broadcast with Rondinero. SCV was .2 off of Garfield after semis, but on Finals night they fell behind by 1.2 which means a number of judges must have seen/heard some issues that pushed them back. All I know is I personally thought it was close. I could have accepted either corps as champion, but Garfield stood out a bit more. By Finals Garfield was a polished machine that pushed the boundaries of demand and visual. The Bernstein music they performed was downright demanding and it was played very artistically as well. It also pushed what an audience would listen to and perhaps appreciate. That first half of their show was complex and not easily hummable. I felt Garfield had won after Finals, but I will still expecting a .2 to .4 spread. The 1.2 was a surprise. On the other hand, SCV was also spectacular. SCV 1985 was for a LONG TIME my benchmark in show openers. That whole production of Festive Overture was absolutely amazing. The prop, the pants change, the timing of it all, the musical arrangement, the brass sound, guard, it was all there. Loved Grover's Corners, and the Tender Land is still one of my favorite closers. Seriously, this show was a championship worthy show; but Garfield just had one of those shows that came together in the last few weeks and managed to take the title. Incredibly this was the first year in a stretch of 4 in a row where SCV took 2nd place. The next year they would take 2nd with BD in 1st. Then Garfield beat them again in 1987 in one of the all-time great shootouts of top 2 corps, and then they take 2nd in 1988 when Madison pulled a surprise victory and BD fell to 3rd. Finally in 1989 SCV reigned, and it was Phantom Regiment who felt the sting of another 2nd place finish (though 3 of them were in the late 70s). I still love the Blue Devils 1985. That is another show that just worked. Different for them, but great stuff. Seeing the guard in wings was cool. First Circle (Metheny) was great, and I was such a huge fan of Emerson Lake and Palmer, so it was nice to hear Karn Evil 9 on the field. I thought coming into Finals that Madison had a chance to take BD. The Mad men were seriously amazing in 1985. Ballet in Brass was a great opening chart. Cavaliers were captivating with their kaleidoscopic drill (nothing like what we would see in the 90s and 2000s). I had not seen anything like that up to that point. Suncoast did Florida Suite, which I believe was one of the first original music shows, and I believe Robert W Smith composed the music and the book for SCS. One of my favorite shows of the night. SCS had this killer brass line in the 80s. I really miss them. Overall I think 1985 was strong. Good shows top to bottom. Many of the units were beginning to explore new concepts and styles. For much of the season I felt SCV was the best corps on the field, and I saw a good number of shows that summer. But in the end, Garfield put the polish on a very demanding and well designed product and simply elevated to a slightly higher level.
  5. I think this is an important thing to remember. The last true "Concert" numbers were likely in the mid 80s. Garfield kind of broke the mold with WSS in 84. Nonetheless, I agree with what Wayne Downey eluded to just briefly which is the trend of marching faster and faster was only going to go so far. Eventually you hit a barrier where the kids cannot play the parts as accurately, and if you're doing that sort of whiplash drill most of the show cleaning is going to be a huge problem. Now imagine that you also need to rewrite part of the show for better effect, etc., you have even more to deal with. I think even the Cadets began to pull back some by the late 90s. I enjoyed "run and gun." It was a nice era, but how far could you really go with tempos, speed of the music, and length of playing time before you destroy the show and kill the marchers? I think drum corps was ready for more peaks and valleys, more musical expression played at a higher level, and more artistry in design, staging, and musical writing. Every corps does some park and bark or whatever you want to call it. It's been part of the activity since the beginning. It's a great time to let the music shine whether were talking a specific section or the entire brass and percussion. As others have said there are musical phrases that just cannot be played moving, at least not to maximum effect. And if you are too spread out that could be another problem. I also thought Bocook was correct, too, (and Wayne agreed) that the new style of visual has placed greater demands on the arrangers. It's a different game and it's not an art-form that most music majors who study some composition in college are taught. Maybe if you're doing some film scoring or theater work you will have an idea, but the traditional band director, teacher, arranger has often not experienced these demands until they get out of college. And I liked that Michael Klesch said that young writers need to write often and offer their services for free if need be. They need to develop a portfolio (a real one and not just some MIDI mock-ups). I am kind of hoping these guys meet again, or perhaps a different group, and discuss the process, the tools, the collaborative end of things, and even the timeline.
  6. Fantastic discussion by everyone tonight! Hearing about their early years in DB&C and the shows that inspired them was worth it. I could have listened to this for 2 more hours. It was nice to hear some of the corps that we no longer see today that inspired them, like Argonne, Chicago Royal Aires, old Boston Crusaders, even a number of senior corps. Also nice to hear them speak about many of the other arrangers that influenced them.
  7. I tend to agree with this. But it was nice to see and hear the upgrade in talent. Glassmen definitely had a nice run in the 90s and early 2000s.
  8. I thought 2000 was the first year for Bb/F instruments, not 1999.
  9. The Cavaliers show, 1998. What an effective opener! Cavaliers show 98
  10. Glassmen percussion warm-up in Nashville, TN in 98. Glassmen Percussion Video
  11. My reflections on places 4 - 5: 4th Place: The Cavaliers really had a total show package with excellent design. Their show "Traditions for a New Era" was an appropriate title. After winning the title in 92 and 95 I felt the corps was good in 96 and 97 (and 93, 94) but were searching for that next "thing" that would propel them yet again to the top of the activity. They found it with this show. The title did not come until 2000 (a tie with Cadets), but you could see that the Cavaliers were onto something. The drill and music were masterfully coordinated. They didn't have the brass that BD or Cadets did (yet), and percussion was always a strong point for Cavies, but you could see the visual elements and guard integration that made this show a home-run for the corps. Their 1999 show would be even better, and then we all know what happened (5 titles in 7 years). I don't think anyone saw 5 championships coming, but many could tell they were heading in a slightly new direction while retaining those unique qualities that made them a fan favorite in the 80s and 90s. The Philip Sparke music was perfect for this show with beautiful melodies and rhythmic grooves that perfectly matched the visual program. 5th Place: The Glassmen put together the talent, brass, percussion, guard, and a total visual and music program to finally compete in the top 5. They were the first Ohio corps to make top 5, and they would achieve that 3 times in 4 years (98, 99, 2001). To be fair, there was a big gap between 4th and 5th place. The Glassmen were 3.4 points behind Cavaliers. Having said that the top 5 placement was a HUGE achievement. Their show, Dreams of Gold: The Music of Alexander Borodin featured some great orchestral music. The show felt like something you might see SCV or Phantom do, but credit to Glassmen. They had great arrangements and performed the heck out of this show. The corps was certainly powered by a top-flight percussion ensemble that I believe beat the Blue Devils in field perc on Finals night. As an Ohioan I was thrilled when the Bluecoats became the first Ohio corps to make top 12 (1987), so I was just as thrilled to see Glassmen be the first to make top 5. The 1990s were an incredible decade for the Glassmen, and I enjoyed so many of their shows. The 1993 show always stands out to me because I love how they did the Arkenstone music, but I honestly enjoyed everything from the 90s. Some thought the corps could be a little boring and the corps even made T-shirts to poke fun at themselves, but in truth they had many shows in the 90s that were flat-out good to great drum corps entertainment. Obviously there has always been a friendly rivalry between the Glassmen and the Bluecoats. If you had asked me in 1995 who I thought would be the first Ohio corps to break into the top five I would have said Bluecoats. By the end of the 90s it was apparent that Bloo was struggling a little (they were still talented and played great music) in terms of placement. In 97 Bloo had fallen to 11th. During the 98 season they were good with some excellent music, and did move up to 10th, but then fell out of the top 12 the next year (99). All this while Glassmen would enjoy top 5 in 98, 99, and 2001. The Glassmen seemed to have things rolling along. Not sure who arranged the music for them during the 90s, but I was a fan for sure. Percussion was killer. By 2003 however things seemed to fall apart and the corps went from top 5 to 14th place in just two years. But as of 1998, the Glassmen were riding high and the Bluecoats were definitely taking notice.
  12. Hey, I'm with you. I've gone back and read some of my old reviews and thought to myself "I said that?" I did enjoy your review though.
  13. It would have been Massillon on August 2. I often just say Canton, but that was the show. To my knowledge I am not sure Canton had an early show that year. I did not see one listed on DCX, and on sCorpsboard what they have listed is a mistake. The June 13 show was actually in Toledo. As for the corps that appeared at Massillon on August 2, I think DCX is correct. Not that I can remember that far back when it comes to every corps that appeared at a show, but I think there were 8. I have mostly used sCorpsboard and DCX for looking up rep and scores. I have not used FTP much but glad you mentioned that. I just checked it out and it looks good. Definitely added that to my favs. I used to go to a small site called Sound Machine of the Inland Empire. From what I could tell back in the day it was a local youth arts competitive band in SoCal. I think one of their alumni or staff put together a nice website for the group, but he/she attached a link on the left column for DCI scores and rep. It has most scores from 2008 and back. In the 90s and 1st decade of the 2000s they used to update scores on the site, and I think they had a blogging/chat style area for discussion. People chimed in on shows and wrote reviews. It was a less-known alternative to DCP or RAMD. Check it out: https://www.soundmachine.org/
  14. A few reviews for you all to read if you did not catch much from 1998. July 11, Hershey, PA - Nice review of Hershey July 15, Pittsburgh, PA - http://www.scorpsboard.com/scores/98jul/july15.html#Pittsburghscores July 28, Cincinnati - Review of Cincy with an alumni perspective on Bluecoats that year July 31, Ypsilanti, MI, day 1 - Two reviews of the show August 1, Ypsilanti, MI day 2 - Long detailed review of day 2 August 2, Canton, OH - Review