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Everything posted by bayareafan

  1. I can't believe how good these high school lines have gotten. These guys are just super impressive. I feel like I'm watching a drum corps, but it's just a high school band. I'm kinda blown away by this.
  2. Drum corps has been ahead of the curve on accepting all kinds of people, but that itself might be a good reason for the OP to pursue this project. There are actually still many places where young people who not straight might face discrimination. For example, how many out gay men do you see on high school or college football teams? I think because of that showcasing the drum corps approach to diversity might be a good thing. This is a tough, demanding activity in every way imaginable. And it's an ideal example of an activity that is merit-based. If you aren't good enough, you don't make the corps. And no corps cares the slightest bit about your orientation these days. If there's one thing drum corps proves is that LGBTQ people are just as strong, talented, etc. as their straight counterparts. I wish the rest of the word would be as evolved as drum corps. If so, we'd be way better off.
  3. From what I can see in most respects drum corps has been ahead of the curve in terms of diversity. In terms of membership we see lots of both men and women. People of all colors are widely represented. People from many countries come to the US to march in corps. There are rich kids and some pretty poor kids. And all of these corps now have a good number of out LGBT members - most likely more than we have in the general population. So certainly among the members it seems to me like drum corps is very diverse and I think that is really very important. The staffs are less diverse. They skew male, and they skew caucasian though there are certainly still a lot of female staff members in key roles and a lot of non-caucasian staff members as well. But clearly it is dominated by white males. My instincts are that this is mostly just the natural way that thing have settled out. Sometimes there are biases involved, and other times for whatever reason men will prefer some activities, women others, etc. I expect these staffs will slowly get more diverse. I don't think we should get too uptight about it or try to set quotas or anything because I think that with diverse membership we will - over time - have more diverse staffs. From what I can see - at least among the top tier corps - there seems to be a pretty enlightened group of people in leadership. I truly can't imagine the BlueDevils, or Bluecoats, or most any of the other top corps discriminating on the basis of gender or race for their staffs. I think they just look for whoever they can get that is the best in a particular area. So we're gonna get naturally more diverse staff over time and we will get that more diverse staff because those staff members will be the best in the respective fields. That's a very good thing.
  4. Great job BD. One of the all time great show IMO. Bloooo also had one of the all time great shows I think, so winning this one is quite an accomplishment. Also glad to see that drum score. I’m a big SCV fan as well, but I’ve felt all along that BD really had the best line this year. Glad that finally was recognized the last show of the season.
  5. Well said. These are two of my favorite shows ever. Both incredible corps. Both high class organizations. Both really take care of their members and their fans. I’ll be happy however it turns out and I’ll listen to both these shows over and over once we get official recordings. I guess we could say “Go Blue” and that would kind of cover both.
  6. I was critical of their horn section early in the season. But now I'm getting it. They are not as aggressive as the other horn lines, but they are actually cleaner and I'm starting to really appreciate that now.
  7. All I would like to say is “thank you” Vanguard for such an awesome show. This is the 3rd year in a row that you’ve pushed the boundaries of show design and it is fantastic. Don’t get worried about placement. You’re doing what a corps called “Vanguard” should do. You have tremendous talent and each section could win their caption any given night. I love the attitude, the aggression, the staging, all of it. I like the uniforms too. Yes they seem odd at first, till you understand what’s happening and then they make perfect sense. I also like how every corps member has come up with their own style of counterculture hair, piercings, etc. That’s an entire corps - 154 members - that have totally committed to this show. Very impressive. I’m from California. I love all our corps. But this year I’m particularly proud of Vanguard.
  8. Perhaps that’s some of what’s happening, but it’s kind of expected at this point. It’s a subjective judging system and this is the first time all of the top corps have met the same panel. This is exactly where you’d expect each judge to go through and finally decide who they think is really best in their caption. And they should space them out a bit unless they really think two corps are virtually even. This result looks to me like what I would expect. Congrats Bluecoats. Love your show. But I also kinda want one of our Bay Area corps to give you at least a good run for your money now 🙂
  9. This and your other thread are the best two threads on this site. Thanks for the comparisons. These are two great shows by two great corps.
  10. All I want to say is thanks for doing this. Very interesting analysis. I think the overall trend in DCI has been to much greater variety in programming. I love watching great shows from the past but also really dig the new variety of stuff being done by Bluecoats, SCV, etc. Realistically today’s shows truly are harder than the shows of 20 years ago. As you pointed out the music really is harder across the board. They actually do still do a lot of drill - yes even BD. But these performers are also doing dance, all kinds of body work they never did before, and they are almost actors at times. Add to that electronics being used for all sorts of effects, props to run and climb on, vocalists to be integrated, BD is even using a violin this year, etc, etc. Put it all together and this is a lot of complexity for the performers and the design staff. Let’s give the corps of today their due. They’ve taken the work of great past corps and built on it to make something that is fresh and relevant for today’s members. Now let’s all get out to Indy and cheer these awesome young people on.
  11. Let's all not be too quick to react to this and pass blame. There's a lot that seems suspicious to me here. 1. Given everything that has happened in the past I can't imagine that there's any way that The Cadets management didn't take this very seriously. I expect that they did take serious action to handle the matter. If they didn't, they would be wholly incompetent and you'd have a hard time convincing me that they don't have competent management at this point. 2. If I understand this correctly the mother of the alleged victim did a mass emailing of a bunch of documents about this case to other people involved with the cadets. I gotta tell you that's a parent that is NOT acting in their child's best interests. If this is still a matter under investigation it would seem to me that this sort of action would undermine the investigation. On the surface, I would view it as a parent trying stir up trouble - possibly with the intent of getting some sort of financial settlement from The Cadets. This really is not what you do if you truly care about your child and about doing what is right. 3. From what The Cadets have said - and with no evidence to the contrary - they did not know that the alleged attacker re-entered the room where the alleged victim was staying until just recently. It seems like that would be important information. If that was withheld till just now I would again question why the accuser did not provide this information sooner. I'm sorry to say this, but it is simply the fact that there are people that try to take advantage of situations. In this case The Cadets are particularly vulnerable given what was alleged to have happened with Hop. When I look at how this has been reported I can't really make any judgement about the assault that has been alleged. But it sure looks to me that at least the parents of the alleged victim are not handling this in the way that a parent truly interested in the truth would handle things.
  12. If there weren't a slew of other co-ed corps out there, then I'd view this as a positive development. However, every corps out there is co-ed except for two, so it's not like there aren't a ton of choices for women that want to participate in this activity. And as others have noted sometimes Phantom and others have elected to have all female guards and that hasn't really been controversial. So I don't think there's a diversity issue in DCI. I note that in other performing organizations there is often segregation based on gender. There are all-male and all-female choirs for instance. So I don't see diversity and inclusion as a problem for the activity as a whole. I do think this creates a new problem for Madison and that is a matter of identity. Madison has been since it's inception viewed as a masculine corps. That's a key part of it's identity. That will now be lost and Madison will need to create a new identity. That's isn't the end of the world. Corps have done so. BD in my view is the most notable case of this. For years BD was the Jazz Corps. Every show featured hard-driving jazz music or jazz-oriented latin music. That was their thing. You never looked to BD for great GE or anything like that. They just played challenging jazz music and marched really well (though yes I agree they marched "less" than some others.) Back say 12 years ago or so they simply changed. No fanfare about it, they just changed. Today they are by no means a Jazz Corps. I'd say that today their identity is probably as the most artistic corps in the activity. Their entire approach to shows is now choreographed, props are used extensively, and their design team is led by a person that comes from a background in guard. They haven't played a truly jazz focused show in years. So a big change for them, but they clearly did it well. But they were also a very successful corps before they ever started this change. The challenge Madison will face is they've struggled a bit these past several years. They now have to build a new identity while also improving their performance levels, show designs, etc. That's doable but it's another thing to worry about and to be blunt Madison's biggest problem - what lead them to their current challenging state - has been an inability to produce well designed productions. The problem at Madison, from what I can see, has not been it's members, but rather it's leadership. I'm sure they are all capable leaders, but the reality is that their leadership has not been able to orchestrate a breakout moment from Madison. I don' think this change to co-ed is necessarily going to help with that. I'm from the business world and you give a management team a few years to sort things out, but you don't give them forever. The people that support Madison are right to be questioning the composition of the current management team. Whatever happens, I certainly hope that the "New Madison" that emerges next year will be successful and will produce entertaining shows for the audience and for its members. Over the years Madison has been one of my favorite corps to watch. I would like to see it flourish with this new direction.
  13. And we seem to have our own BD360 water bottle scandal. Does this mean BD360 will be as big as Game of Thrones?
  14. As simply a fan it’s been frustrating to watch Madison decline. From watching what’s happened with staff and the reaction of alumni that financially support the corps I’d say there is a big problem with staffing. In particular I think Madison became too insular. They have insisted on hiring staff that in most cases are former scouts. They seem to do this because they look back at years like ‘95 and say that they need to do that again. That’s one of my favorite shows ever, but you know times change. At this point honestly they have to stop living in the past and hire staff with experience teaching other successful corps. Hire some of the younger hungry staff members at BD, Crown, Bluecoats, etc. Get entirely new staff that has experienced the way successful modern corps run their organizations, create their shows, etc. They need to learn from others how to be relevant and successful in today’s version of the activity.
  15. Until all the corps perform in front of the same panel you can’t really draw any conclusions. About all you can say right now is that the panels on the east coast and west coast have both started to identify their top tier corps and those corps are the usual suspects.
  16. I don’t see SCV as playing safe. I think they’re pretty #### impressive. But their approach to programming is very different than BD. Each is hard in its own way. I too think that BD was actually better in drums last night though - and last year at finals for that matter.
  17. As I said in an earlier post I think this is really the best concept that any corps has on the field right now. I note that they won GE last night in Sacramento. But you're right the music is not connecting as well as it should. Maybe that's why I perceive their horn line as weak (by BD standards - most corps would love to have this line). They need to get the music/horn line stuff sorted and then this show should really sell. When I listened to Vanguard again last night their horn line just grabs you. Clean. Powerful. Doesn't let go. Cavies did not impress me as much on my second viewing last night, and I think that judges are reacting to the shear power that Cavies are projecting. They have some serious problems with balance and intonation in parts of their show. I didn't hear those kinds of problems with BD, rather BD's horn line just doesn't do anything to really impress me yet. Hopefully they'll get there. Whatever happens I will be thrilled if BD and SCV are 1 and 2 again this year in either order. I enthusiastically and monetarily support both corps. Three years in a row of California corps in the top two spots would be awesome.
  18. The show design is actually very good. BD created more moments last night at Stanford than any other corps. They have a bunch of things you remember - much more so than the others. The problem BD has though to just be blunt is the horn line isn’t as strong as the other sections. I remember some great visual moments from the corps. I remember the guard impressing with a bunch of tosses - many of them very exposed. The drum line killed it and IMO bested SCV. The design is clever and true to the theme of the show. But nothing memorable from the horn line. After hearing Cavs and Vanguards horn lines BDs line just didn’t stand out. Time to woodshed those horns and get em up to BD standards.
  19. It's hard to reach any real conclusion from rough videos shot on a camera phone at a relatively low angle with the corps not performing in uniform. It looks like a mess frankly in the videos, but I expect most all of the corps would look like a mess filmed this early and at a relatively poor angle, not in uniform, etc. The show does look really interesting. Music sounds interesting. Horn line - particularly the trumpets - sound good. The drum line sounds good as always. And yep they seem to be pulling all the stops out on the guard. So we'll see. I hope that they do use the entire field. This looked a bit like last years SCV show which had very limited field coverage, but the clips I saw did not show the entire production. I don't agree with the statement above that BD is always a bare bones show and a mess at the start of the season. In fact I would argue that their legacy is exactly the opposite. They usually start the season cleaner than any other corps and they always start with a complete show (many others don't have a complete show at first) though they do layer and layer and layer on that show throughout the season. Looking forward to seeing the full production in uniform next week. I expect it to be quite a treat.
  20. While they still have a great horn line, they haven't been quite the same I think since Wayne stepped away. I'm afraid that Carolina Crown now rules the roost of horn lines. Through all the Downey years I always felt like the BD horn line just commanded your attention more than any other in the activity. They were always just a notch cleaner and more powerful than the others. And I think Wayne knew how to write in a way that accentuated their abilities. They are still awesome, but now Crown has the same impact on me that BD used to have.
  21. I think it's cool that three of the four brass leaders mentioned in the article are women. And all four these folks are apparently super smart based on what they're studying in college. SCV really has great talent. Looking forward to seeing them this year.
  22. Cool to have a female executive director. The Cadets seem to have done a great job righting their ship. Glad to see them coming back strong.
  23. Perhaps a bit late to this thread, but I think that people that criticize these corps for not moving enough are missing a lot. The sense I get is that people somehow feel there's less challenge and less accomplishment involved in what these corps are doing versus more traditional show designs. I don't agree with that at all. This is the first year that Vanguard fully gave up dot-to-dot designs and of course they have now - very deservedly IMO - won a championship. I'm quite sure Vanguard didn't choose this design approach because they thought it was easier. Vanguard has never been one to do easy shows. They did this because it offered the ability for them to be more creative than a traditional show design would allow. When I watch all these corps I certainly enjoy watching more traditional shows. The Cadets, with the exception of their uniform, were in IMO the most traditional of all the top 12 this year and I enjoyed their show. But there's also no question in my mind that the top 3 deserved to be the top 3 and that when I watched their shows it felt more modern and fresh than any of the ones that came before them. The other corps were all great, but many of them looked like - sorry - just very good marching bands. The top 3 corps looked like something else entirely. Something more creative. Something very fresh. Something very fluid. I expect a lot of people felt that way and I'm sure next year even more corps will move the direction of BD/SCV/BLOO. But this thread springs from the criticism that some corps don't march enough and more to the point that some people feel that makes such corps less deserving. I don't see it that way at all. Now, I'd need to listen to all the shows more carefully to say for sure, but it sure seemed to me like the top 3 corps all had very difficult music books - more so than the other corps. If you just sit back and listen every section of these corps was challenged like crazy in what they were playing. Not only that, but all the corps were mixing in sampled music as well that had to be synchronized. Whether you like that or not it's hard to do. Now when I watch these corps I also see all kinds of movement and a lot of the time they are playing. There's actually still a lot of marching in these shows, but in a traditional show most of the time there is more or less one giant drill that is evolving throughout the show. In these modern shows there are a bunch of smaller sets of drill playing out all at once. The members are also doing all kinds of body movement, and oh BTW they even climb props, jump off of props, etc. That's all very hard to do. Yes there is some "pose and play" out there and you notice it in Vanguard because they do it on top of those props. But seriously very few corps have members with the skills needed to do all this variety of stuff. So, IMO, the right corps made the top three and for that matter they finished in the right order. I do believe that not only were their shows the most entertaining of the night from a GE perspective, but also that their members were likely challenged at least as much if not more than the members of all the other corps. I personally hope these corps stay with their modern designs because they are insanely cool to watch and I think the embodiment of the future of DCI. Times change. Tastes change. I believe the marching members of today thrive on these modern shows and that is awesome in my book.
  24. Way to go Cadets. Glad to see you on top of your game. Loved watching that. I think one my favorite Cadets shows.
  25. No offense, but to me this thread is kind of much ado over nothing. BD has been the most consistently strong corps, but I don't think that has been bad for the activity. If anything, it makes other corps work harder to try and beat BD. I've been watching drum corps shows since the early 80's and while the number of corps has shrank, the performance level across the board has improved dramatically. DCI shrank because it wasn't sustainable to have so many corps. DCI has now right-sized to what is a sustainable number of corps for the activity. Participation and attendance at shows has been growing for quite a number of years there's just no doubt that corps today perform better on average than ever before. So corps have gotten better and fan interest is rising despite BD being the most dominant of corps. I don't think they've hurt the activity at all - they've helped. You should also remember that while BD has been the most consistent corps, there have been times when other corps dominated for several years. Back in the 80's everyone starting following The Cadets lead because they went on a tear and were the strongest corps for several years. In the 2000's for awhile The Cavaliers arguably dominated the activity. And anyone that watches Bluecoats or Crown these days knows that there are championship titles in their future, and almost certainly one for SCV this year. DCI is alive and well and while I think they should always be looking for ways to help corps that are not as strong get better, the activity overall seems to be moving in the right direction. I think if you ask the members of almost any corps they'll attest to how meaningful their experience as a MM is to them. So, to me, this is a bit of a non-issue.