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jwillis35

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jwillis35 last won the day on September 13 2021

jwillis35 had the most liked content!

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  • Your Favorite Corps
    *Bluecoats, Cadets, SCV, Blue Devils, Phantom Regiment, Carolina Crown, Madison Scouts
  • Your Favorite All Time Corps Performance (Any)
    Garfield Cadets - 1984
  • Your Favorite Drum Corps Season
    Too many good years to choose.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Austintown, OH
  • Interests
    I love drum corps, orchestral music, jazz, golf, good comedies, and travel

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  1. The Drum & Bugle Corps activity is much more like a semester abroad for marching members. From 1985 to 1987 I attended the Eastern Music Festival in the summer (orchestral camp) and even in the 80s the tuition was in the $6,000 range, and that did not include your flight and extra money for other things. Interlochen, Aspen, Tanglewood and other were at least that or more in the 80s. I believe that in order for drum corps to survive this was the model they needed to take, especially if they wanted the product to be high quality. There are other ways, but I don't think they would attract as many fans or bring in the talent pool. The activity would not be as well liked by the music education community, who these days very much love drum corps and do think of it as the Major League of Marching Music. Drum corps is essentially a roving music camp, and may of the members can get college credit, and perhaps in some cases H.S. elective or arts credits as well. It is expensive and there are not a lot of ways around that. Touring for 2 months on charter busses is expensive. Food, housing, spring training residence, instructors, designers, physical trainers and nurses (some may volunteer), instrument leases and repairs, and drivers, gas, and insurance for equipment and food trucks (again some may volunteer) all cost big dollars. More regional touring could help bring the cost down some, but even in those regions the corps are spread out enough that the distance in travel would still be significant. The difference between DCI and many summer music camps (like the orchestra camps I mentioned) is the later often provide numerous scholarships based on audition and / or need. Could DCI get to a point where they get more underwriting and scholarships that allow tuition to come down to an average $2000 per kid, with the scholarships, sponsors, etc. picking up the other $7,000 or more. Some members do get some sponsorship and that is a good way to go, but a better way would be to setup endowments (music like colleges) that over time grow and provide substantial dollars on the basis of need or merit.
  2. I am super excited to see what they do with this music and the overall show theme. Tempus Blue, at least on paper, seems like an amazing show with so much possibility for exploration of color and sound. I envision a large palette of different blue coloration and the music charts seem to represent a wide palette of colors and styles from a musical perspective. I will have to listen to all the music with the exception of the Dave Glyde stuff. But wow...Carnival of Venice should give the brass and drums some serious technique to dig into. Moon River is such a classy Mancini work and I am excited to see how they bring this to life. And Bruno Mars...very nice! The great thing about this show theme is they are not trapped into a certain style and the ideal of the theme leaves room for interpretation and growth.
  3. Someone else asked this too. Did he do Anaheim 72 - 74? I know they won in 1972, but many show designers and programmers often refer to Anaheim 74 as a benchmark show.
  4. Bobby probably doesn't get the credit he deserves. What he did with Bridgemen and then with Velvet Knights was amazing. I miss both corps but especially VK.
  5. Like Jeff said, I think it depends on the era and also what appealed to you. Writing drill is an artform but one that affects each of us differently. The activity today is more a combination of drill, dance, body movement and character acting, props, staging, etc. It's no longer just straight up drill and music. In the 70s Pete Emmons is a name that has to come up. He taught many future drill writers. The George Zingali / Marc Sylvester combination of writer / teacher worked its magic in the late 70s and early 80s with 27th Lancers and then Garfield Cadets. Zingali would also work with Star of Indiana in the late 80s and those first two years in the 90s. At the same time Zingali and Sylvester were doing their thing, Steve Brubaker was pioneering some beautiful geometric designs with the Cavaliers from 1984 into the early 90s. The thing to consider when it comes to drill writing is that everyone was influenced by everyone else. The ideas are fluid and each new germ of an idea tends to lead others to try things. I think most people tend to put Zingali and Brubaker at the top of the list simply because it was so obvious what they were doing and how it changed the activity in the 80s, but all the names below had a hand in the advances, changes, and great designs over the course of DCI history. I don't know if there is a best. There are designers who had more influence, but in the end it comes down to how did the drill work with the music and overall show. George Zingali Steve Brubaker Pete Emmons Scott Chandler Michael Gaines Jay Murphy Tony Smith Bobby Hoffman Jeff Sacktig John Brazale Mark Sylvester Myron Rosander David Owens Tony Hall Ralph Pace Jonathan Vanderkoff And many many more.
  6. Regarding the 2014 show by Cadets, I think this performance in July in North Carolina is really good and incredibly well performed version of the show that I really liked. Maybe take out the big stage and ramps up front and have the narrator use a smaller platform, and try to keep the narration to the original Lincoln material used in Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." If it were me I might have changed the Simple Gifts ending to that fanfare from the beginning of the show but arrange it to lead into a finale. This show worked and worked well when it was in a more stately, reverent nature while staying away from partisan bias and simply adhering to history and Lincoln's words. As you will see from this video The Cadets, while not quite at the level of the Blue Devils 2014 (who the heck is?), were pretty darn good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofZIAmNG9yY
  7. Very true. I think there was this notion that some random draw, like what happened in Kansas City in 1988 would produce varying results, but that was not the case. And to be fair to Madison Scouts in 1988 they were a corps that simply had to play catch-up after their European tour but ultimately they had a show worthy of winning if they cleaned it. Some thought Madison came from nowhere to win, but in reality they were .4 off of SCV 4 days before Semi Finales in Kansas City.
  8. I think the G7 was SCV, BD, Cadets, Bluecoats, Carolina Crown, Cavaliers, and Phantom. Not positive. The gist of the whole thing was a sort of unionized grouping in an effort to propose and demand certain changes from DCI on everything from how shows ran, what the G7 corps should make per show (vs other corps considering they were the big draw), the future structure of DCI and much more. I believe it was from the G7 talks that we got the TOC (Tournament of Champion) shows, which now seem to have died out. These were not DCI sponsored shows. The one thing I did like about the TOC shows was the random placement of the 7 corps. Also, I seem to remember that at many of the TOC shows they allowed an 8th corps. But I might be wrong.
  9. The 2014 show was wonderful in the early stages. One heck of a corps, too. They were running 2nd place all summer. They were actually undefeated against all competitors except for BD until Finals night, and then Bluecoats nabbed them. The music book is wonderful. Bocook did a fabulous job. I loved the idea of the sort of "Hall of Presidents" idea. The show was more stately in the early part of the summer. What hurt them was all the cheese that found its way into the show in the last 2 or 3 weeks. The pit became overbearing with bass, the big ramp and stage up front never got utilized well enough and it hindered the ability to bring the corps more forward at the end, and then the tarps and the over bearing, overt patriotic symbolism that was not needed in the show killed it. Too bad, because I do love many moments from the show and the music charts are great. They marched their tootsies off too that summer. I remember seeing them live on at least 2 occasions and being just mesmerized by the synchronicity of their legs.
  10. Is this a new thing for them? I thought they typically did spring training at Mars.
  11. I am hoping for a really fierce battle for top 12. Say from 8-17 I'd love to see a real battle where any given night we could see lots of changes and some super great shows. I predict the top 4 or 5 will be very close all summer. I would love to see a different winner at every major regional, similar to what we experienced in 1990 when the top 6 went back and forth all summer. Might we have a dark horse this summer? it would be great to see a sort of Madison Scouts 1988 scenario.
  12. As we wait to see what Blue Devils are doing this summer I thought you might enjoy this video. I think this was put together back in 2015 but I only stumbled on the video last night. It's a recollection of the 80s with some old staff members. So many interesting stories. They are even very complimentary of their competitors and how these things changed them. There is a crazy story about the 2-valve bugles in 1984 that they finally got tuning slides for both valves and how other drum corps directors thought they were illegal and how G Royer, Henderson of SCV and Phantom Regiment staff made Gordon Henderson test a bugle in the parking lot to make sure it could not play an Ab, which was supposedly illegal at that time. Don Pescione was there ready to disqualify them if the horn could produce the Ab. It's like OMG, how far behind the times could we be, but thanks to those advances the quality of the brass got better, even if you still prefer G bugles on the field. Anyway, this is a wonderful collection of thoughts and stories. Enjoy. Blue Devils Staff Remember the 1980s
  13. I was really only addressing the 80s lines because the one poster had mentioned some of the earlier brass sections. Yes, in the 90s I like them all, but I would put 91 and 93 on a pedestal and then go with 99, 94, 97, 95, etc. I actually really enjoyed the sonority and major chord tonality of the 1990 Tommy brass line. The arrangements which were amazing and used more major chords and not the traditional jazz 7 and 9 chords associated with many BD shows. It really gave the show a different and unique feel. But 1991 and 93 are unreal. Right up there with any brass line ever. Star 90 - 93 is certainly up there with anyone too. Even to this day I think I tend to compare brass lines to the BD and Star years in the early 90s. Carolina's 2012-2016 lines are super amazing too.
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