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Found 126 results

  1. My perspective is different than most on this board. I'm a trained musician, but not a professional. I have been a DCI fan since I marched in high school, but I no longer have a dog in this fight. I am writing because I want the corps that I've loved since 1987 to survive and thrive. I have no inside information. I can only applaud the strength of the community to keep the corps alive and thriving through the last five years of narcissism, neglect and predation from one person (and much of it continued for over thirty years, but the organization was so strong, people swallowed the pain and persisted). So I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, since we all must move on. So people understand a bit about where I'm coming from: I have degrees in four different fields, so I’m a generalist more than a specialist, and my areas of expertise are social entrepreneurship, writing, education and the arts. I've taught a few thousand students over the years at the university level, but I'm no longer an academic and exclusively am now an entrepreneur. I've worked as an open innovation consultant and management consultant for small businesses and non-profits, as well as for non-profits that have over one-thousand employees and for-profit companies valued in the ten figures. I've co-founded three successful companies and two successful non-profits, and three others that failed. I know what usually works, and even more, I know what almost never does. If I were brought in as a management and innovation consultant for YEA and The Cadets, I'd make the following general recommendations. Take them for what they are worth. Since they are freely given, maybe to some they are worth nothing. But if change is to occur, nothing is more important than diversity of ideas. 1. Someone commented recently, quite brilliantly, that a certain former director still seems to be "living rent free in everyone's heads" in the organization. Exactly. Two years of reacting, and as such, some steps forward, and perhaps an equal number back in other areas. Reminds me of 2011 Angels and Demons, great achievements despite the terrible drag on creativity and achievement from the one guy at the "top". The imagery in that show reminds me of a famous quote by Walter Benjamin: "A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress." If The Cadets continue to try to "heal" or represent "healing" or do anything more than just create art, if they try to reckon with the past, or remain too traditional, they will resemble this Klee angel, but I am not even sure they could aspire to Benjamin's hope that it will result in "progress". And on the other hand, if The Cadets continue to try to innovate by imitating - which I believe they are, unsuccessfully and demoralizingly at times - we will have nothing but watered down WGI or Crown/BD/BC wannabes, so they will never exorcise their demons through imitation. 2. The Cadets have the largest, most influential, and longest-tenured group of alumni in all of DCI. No one else is even close. It is unclear how many of them have been engaged beyond volunteering or donating money (and for many of them, not donating money. Yet.) Years of neglect of the alumni because of the way the previous exec director treated them have yet to be fully addressed or mended, it seems. 3. Creative people have big egos, staff included. Great staff have that Achilles heel, and so do mediocre staff. Usually the mediocre people in any organization are mediocre in large part because they are unaware of their own limitations, and overcompensate by being wary of involving others either in the creative process, or in management and execution, or all of the above. So mediocrity can easily breed mediocrity, and in such situations, few want to take a big step back, let ego go, and truly evaluate how and who and what to do differently. New staff are brought on board and they are handed the keys and told to drive. Ego and a desire to change cause a new approach to be followed. Design decisions are made by a very small group of people, and by the time there is a product to respond to, it's too late to change fundamentally, making innovation all but impossible. 4. Potential MMs don't care much about tradition, unless that tradition is recent success. They care even less about having to bear the burden of organizational trauma. In fact, that's the very last thing anyone new would want to deal with. The MM's just want to learn, grow, be great, and will go to that organization which has the best ideas, the best organization, the best leadership, the best alumni support, the most involvement, the most dynamic and different and distinctive experience they can have. Most young people want to look forward, and want to connect with tradition that always has been looking forward. And will go where forward thinking and proven execution and culture empower just that. 5. This year's "closed door" design policy has so far mostly been a disappointment, based on consensus of show reviews as well as scores. Alumni and potential MMs had nothing to go on to get them excited other than join a mostly new staff and "trust them" to come up with something extraordinary. The earlier potential MMs in the Cadets find out about show design and music, the better. In this situation it’s the only real recruitment tool to continue to attract great talent. 6. Most organizations must hit bottom in order to fundamentally change. Cadets have hit bottom. Several bottoms in the last few years. Failure is instructive only if egos can be set aside enough to learn though. 7. Success depends very much on the following: engaging alumni not just for financial support and volunteering, but for creating an engaged environment that is unlike any other corps. Transparency and accountability are key. But that doesn't just mean financials, conduct and governance. It also pertains to creativity. 8. The Cadets should try Open Innovation. In business and the creative world, and across industries, competitions are launched, prizes offered, ideas gathered and evaluated, and in that way, many people are empowered to have a hand and contribute. The wisdom of the "crowd" is a powerful one, especially when the crowd is empowered. This is an oversimplified description of Open Innovation, for sure, but it's basically how it works. You break down organizational walls, invite many others to contribute - some a piece here and there, others much more - continually solicit feeback, iterate and improve, and successful execution is much more likely. And you've created new community along the way. 9 How to conduct show design with Open Innovation? Set up a prize for the winning idea or ideas. Solicit proposals - theme, music, narrative, even drill / staging concepts. Appoint a blue ribbon panel that includes staff - potential staff and actual staff - as well as alumni. Reach out to alumni who work with other corps. If they can't come "home" by joining the Cadets staff and leaving their own, at least they can participate. Simple NDAs/NCAs can be executed to disallow any other corps from "stealing" the ideas generated. Several finalists could be named and as many alumni / donors as possible given a vote, or they pay for their vote (I've seen fundraisers like this, including crowdfunding multi million-dollar movie productions). 10. The Cadets could also host a similar competition for identity and approach. How to move past the current dictatorship of WGI, the ubiquity of spandex, the supposed "simultaneous demand" of body movement, the cliches and overwrought "message", the tired preachiness, the preciousness. Let the alumni and the fans have a voice in deciding what Cadets they want. Maybe traditional uniforms for the hornline? Custom unis for everyone else? So many possibilities. In the organizational world, this would be called a "know your customer" survey, simple market research, but for the Cadets, it's much more than that. There is a disconnect between what management and staff are doing, and what alumni hope for and want, and clearly, what's happening isn't inspiring new members to join as they would five or ten years ago. None of the above has been tried in DCI before - to my knowledge. If the Cadets are to remain and become again the Cadets many of us have loved for decades - the thinking person's drum corps, the vanguard of the vanguard, balancing tradition with innovation, the corps to which all other corps look to imitate - they have to see how everyone else is zigging. Openly, innovatively, the entire Cadets community needs to be empowered to ZAG, just like the tee-shirt from the 80s and 90s. I hope this helps. I'm so proud of the current MMs, and last year too. Incredible work ethic, effort, faith. They've already won the championship in my mind. Now we need to keep learning the lessons from their efforts. They only deserve the best from all of us. Let's make this happen.
  2. Hello! I'm thinking about auditioning for BD synth, and had a couple of questions. 1. About how many people usually audition for synth? 2. Do you have to know MainStage? 3. Would a piece like Chopin's Prelude in B minor (op. 28 no. 6) be okay? (https://musescore.com/classicman/scores/68550) If not, what kind of piece would be suitable to audition with? I assume that it shouldn't last more than 2 minutes, but I could be wrong. 4. What is the audition process like? 5. When did you hear back from BD? Thank you for all your help!
  3. I made a list of DCA Corps Open Houses and dates to aid in people finding more details. Please update with details once you have them and I'll edit the main post. I don't really know how to import a table so I'm just going with a bullet list. Here is the GOOGLE DRIVE SHEET : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bAqyTfrAe98lMS24xke_C1Bt4l7iKm16cZqdJd60H2k/edit?usp=sharing . DATES ARE IN BOLD | FOLLOW THE LINK FOR DETAILS I removed the bullet list below because it was too much to update. I've updated the list and added info from five more corps. I'll create some graphics and maybe a short video too.
  4. In 1 month, we start our 2019 quest for excellence! Come join this wonderful family ❤️ #biltsk Southern Knights Drum & Bugle Corps October 3 at 10:26 AM · We are just over 1 month away from the start of the 2019 Season!!! If you are interested in becoming a Knight and want an Experience like any other come check us out on November 17th and 18th!! With our amazing staff returning for another season and adding some new faces into the mix this will be a season you do not want to miss!!! Feel free to print this out and post in your band rooms or share via social media!!! We look forward to seeing you in November!! #SK19
  5. Haven’t seen a thread for audition dates yet....would love a “go-to” spot for dates as they are announced. Thanks!
  6. Hey beautiful people! So here are my thoughts. I've been living in Vegas for a year now and there is not much of a WGI presence out here. UNLV has an IO guard but that's the extent of it. I want to start an IW guard here (and maybe IO, IA and scholastic if the interest dictates). My previous groups used bingo halls for funding as many do. I have some connections with a number of businesses out here that may be willing to help with initial start up. I was thinking that since the casino/gambling industry is so large out here, perhaps one or more companies would be willing to sponsor us if we advertise for them. There is a strong sense of community and local support in this city and it could potentially make the difference. I am also curious as to how many people in the area would be interested in this. Are there others here who want a world guard? Has this been attempted before in this area? Are there people who want to teach and march? Help with competitions and the like? Everything in between? I marched Bluecoats, Empire Statesmen and Patriots IO (including others that do not have name recognition so I won't list them). Drop some words if you have the desire! Let's make something cool!
  7. Im super pumped to be marching my first year in World Class DCI! Probably be signing off this forum for good. Thanks to everyone for helping me learn more about the activity.
  8. Watchmen open the 2018 season with a successful 1st audition with 80+ potential candidates for a brass, guard and percussion position. Executive Director, David Becker, welcomed everyone for attending, introduced this season’s staff, and presented the plans for the 2018 season. https://www.watchmenartsassociation.org/a-successful-first-audition-day-for-2018/
  9. What solos in The Rudimental Cookbook would be considered High School Level?
  10. Hey all, I am a college junior who has been a marching percussionist for 7 years. I was interested in getting into DCI before my freshman year but was unable to due to military commitments. However, I believe I will be able to march this summer and am trying to figure out what the best fit for someone like me would be. I am fairly experienced and realistically consider myself to be a pretty good player, but I know that making a top 12 corps is very hard without prior corps experience. This will be both my rookie and age-out year, and making a corps will be fulfilling a goal and hope I've had for years. What corps is a good fit for a college student who has played snare for 7 years in a competitive high school group and a college band but not in a corps before? I would love to audition for as many as I can, but as with most people, time and money are a factor. Thanks for your help in advance!
  11. I would like to march in a corp in the future, but am far from being corp quality. I want to go out for auditions this year anyways to get experience on how the process works and what I should work on (I play trumpet), but the only corp remotely close to me is the Bluecoats (yikes). I don't want to go in there looking like a fool and them to think that I am wasting their time. Is it normal for people to audition without a good amount of experience? I have only been playing trumpet for three months and just sound like your average high school player.
  12. Some friends and I are planning on trying out for some drum cores (crown and SOA more than likely) and were wondering if there is anything we can do to prepare ourselves for audition camps, what materials to know when going in, what to practice, and where to find the materials and exercise to practice (not talking about audition packets).
  13. I'm in a complicated situation but I will try my best to explain it. I am a woodwind player primarily but I am trying to learn mellophone for the purpose of marching in dci one day. My dream corps has been bluecoats since '08 but me being 18 years old and having no dci experience and being pretty bad on mello as of now, that dream seems to be fading (especially now that they're defending champs). My first question would be what kind of skill level on my horn should I be at before going to any audition camps? I don't want to just show up and waste everyone's time and make a fool of myself. Should I be able to play previous show music? Sightread at a good level? As of right now I'm working on the basics of the instrument but I have absolutely no clue what to work on to prepare for auditions. Second, if I do get to the point of auditioning, what should I do rookie year? Let's just say for argument's sake I'll march bluecoats before I age out. I heard carolina crown requires previous world class experience or they wont even let you audition. Are the bluecoats the same way? My second favorite corps is phantom regiment, which would probably be a better rookie audition? Finally, the age out rule states if you turn 22 during the season you are still allowed to be in the corps. Does this mean you can audition as a 21 year old? Thank you for reading and any advice on anything even if not mentioned specifically above is welcome.
  14. No one has started a topic on the Crossmen. So, I figure I'll start one with this Instagram I just saw: https://www.instagram.com/p/-_t51wlGlk/
  15. Hey guys, I marched baritone last year and I regret not marching again. I hate looking in from the outside. That being said, are there any baritone or euph holes at any world class corps?
  16. I plan on trying out for spirit of Atlanta for my first year in DCI and was wondering on how selective it was for mellophone in particular. I'm going to give it my all no matter what but I was just curious. Also, any tips for preparing for auditions and the auditions themselves would be incredibly appreciated!
  17. Watchmen Summer Auditions January 7th & 8th, February 4th & 5th Check in 8:00am - Audition Fee: $40 Auditions 9:00am - 9:00pm Location: Patriot High School 4355 Camino Real, Riverside, Ca 92509 email: director@watchmenartsassociation.org http://watchmenartsassociation.org/
  18. Heat Wave Of Florida The auditions this weekend were an overwelming success. Many, Many new faces, more volunteer support, and an interesting mix of interested folks. The staff is doing a GREAT job in preparing the corps for an exciting 2017 season. Stay tuned for further updates and information. Kudos to John Otero, Chris Johnson, Ed Wakerley, Fray, and of course, all the instructional and support staff. Be prepared for an amazing season. Benny
  19. Florida's DCI Open Class Drum and Bugle Corps We are preparing for our audition camps coming shortly. If you would like to audition, we invite you to register on our website at: www.heatwavedrumcorps.com Registration and other important information is available on the website. Heat wave Of Florida www,heatwavedrumcorps.com
  20. Heat Wave Of Florida We are accepting applications for auditions for our 2017 season. For more information, locations and more details, please go to our website at : www.heatwavedrumcorps.com Don't let the Wave pass YOU by!!
  21. Heat Wave Of Florida Audition information is posted on our website at: www.heatwavedrumcorps.com If you are interested in performing with Florida's DCI Open class corps, Please go to the website. Lots of GREAT plans in store for the 2017 season, and YOU can be part of it.
  22. Brass and Battery Percussion Audition Packets are now available for $25 in the corps Square Store: http://squareup.com/store/appsound/ Prepay your Audition Fee and purchase your packet at the same time and receive a $10 discount. Audition location and dates in the Metro Atlanta area will be announced very soon.
  23. I am starting an independent drumline in Corpus Christi, Texas known as the "Sparkling City Drumline" We will practice at least once a week until we get the music down and ready to perform for events and such. We will go to events to provide entertainment and so on. I've purchased Matrix's 2015 drums. We have 3 snares (14x12) 2 tenors (6-10-12-13-14) and 4 basses (18-20-24-28) Looking for 9 people. If you're interested in joining contact me at 361-557-1529 or mkarptv@gmail.com for further information.
  24. Do any drum corps late in this season have any Bari euph holes? I'm sure they wouldn't advertise it but I just figured I'd ask and find out.