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Your Drum Corps Experience

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  1. I am creating an experiment to see what the community views as the top 100 DCI shows of all time. This can be based on personal preference, show difficulty, show concept, or anything you feel! Please format your answers correctly; otherwise, it is unlikely that your votes will count (Corps Year - Show Title) (Ex. Bluecoats 2023 - The Garden of Love). There is one required answer, but feel free to type up to ten responses! I will post the results once enough votes come in to create a definitive top 100! I am very appreciative of the first 190 responses and am ready for more! The link to the form is here, I'm excited to see the results: https://forms.gle/Tte3o46NBC2tF8yv7 Feel free to share this form around!!
  2. If you could hand pick Dan Acheson's successor as DCI's CEO, whom would you pick? I have seen people mention Dave Gibbs and David Glasgow already, but was hoping for people's thoughts and reasoning behind the picks. I'll go first. Robert Morrison - formerly of The Cadets, Music for All, VH1 Save the Music, Pearl Percussion, NAMM, etc. https://musicforall.org/board-of-directors/robert-b-morrison/ Bob ticks off a ton of the boxes that I would like to see. 1) Familiarity with drum corps (as he was former staff - the first front ensemble caption head for the C-Pit). 2) Experience in non-profit management. 3) Highly successful in business. 4) Very well respected by many within the music/arts community.
  3. I SWEAR this is not related to me "hypothetically how would you start a drum corps" thread I've been thinking about this for a while. If you were in charge of a drum corps, what would you call it? I've had a lot of ideas floating around. I would love to have an edgy or fantastical name like Midnight Faction, Witchhunters, Nightmare Riders or Black Magic. Or I'd just do some obscure pop culture reference whose fanbase has a 0% overlap with the DCI fanbase.
  4. I'm a very creative person and I love coming up with imaginary concepts for drum corps shows. I am far from the only person in this community that does that, so let's hear your ideas! I love reading people's imaginary show concepts and having people with more experience to bounce ideas off of. My first concept is one I literally came up with an hour ago. I was listening to a podcast talk about the movie Scream, and that gave me an idea. A DCI show that is aware it is a DCI show and plays on your expectations of what we know about drum corps from all of the activity's history. If that sounds complicated, I've got some examples. I imagine somewhere towards the end of the show, all the horns will form a straight line while there's a soloist/duet, in the exact same position as Babylon. We hear the buildup and prepare our ears to be blasted off, but wait. There's no sounds coming from the horns. The drums are really jamming out though. What we expected to be the ballad turns into a high-energy dance break. Another idea I have is having a big space chord, which is going to turn into a major chord, right? They always do that, right? Nope. It just ends on an unresolved space chord (maybe with a little flourish or something from the pit.) We can even do something crazy like having the pit step away from their instruments for a couple minutes and having them actually march (sans instruments). Honestly, the sky's the limit with this one. I don't have any songs or titles in mind though.
  5. No matter if the fanbase at large loves them or hates them, I freaking love gimmicks. They're what brought me into the fandom. So I made this thread to discuss ideas/predictions everyone has. I don't know if this would get penalized, but I'm honestly surprised no one's ever had marchers walk down the aisleways on the stands. It's so common in musical theatre that I would have thought a corps would have done this by now.
  6. Hey all, I've been working on a fun little personal project of making fanmade "judge tapes", making an audio recording of my reaction and analysis to a video of a show. I've already done Felliniesque and Tilt, and I plan to do some more fan-favorite shows along with my personal favorites. That being said, I do want to mix things up a little... What are some strange, funny, obscure, or even downright awful shows I should know about? (it doesn't have to be all those things at once but it's interesting to try and imagine one that fits all the criteria🤔) As well as celebrating the triumphs of my favorites and witnessing the beauty of the marching arts, I also want to explore the "weird side" of DCI. Thanks in advance everyone!
  7. Any other forum members march with a Long Island Drum and Bugle Corps. If so, what corps and era did you march with the corps. I marched with the Medford Golden Grenadiers in the 60's. We went from a fire department parade corps with drums, horns and glocks to an M&M corps. Grenadier.
  8. Anyone else getting bored with the doom & gloom? Any new topics for discussion? Here's a video to watch The Rolling Stones -- Doom And Gloom (Lyric Video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPFGWVKXxm0
  9. Any history on St. Vincent's? They went head to head with the Cavies in the '50s. Did they become someone else? Where were they from?
  10. For several years my delight with Drum Corps has been waning. My first experience with Drum Corps was in 2004 at the invitation of Dr. Thomas Root. It was electrifying for me. The sound had majesty, grace, and purity. I went to the souvenir trailers and purchased every CD I could lay my hands on. The quality of the recordings were much more variable than quality of the Corps on the field. None of the CDs were electrifying to me. Then for many years I endeavored to record all those elements, with various success. Along the way I provided yearly support for the Ogden Corps Encore Show. I recall clearly when I was faced with the first instance of canned show program, I was incredulous. In subsequent years the shows got even more canned and more amplified - rather than a race to have great musicians it was a race for expensive mixer boards, equalizers and speaker systems. As a side note there was also a race to incorporate props and scenery. During the last show in Ogden, I listened carefully - I was not electrified. I was electrified during some of the rehearsals that didn’t have the amplification running. It could be that there is a cumulative million+ hours of devotion within the members of a corps, and then all that majesty, grace, and purity is stuffed through a PA system. Now I have lost any interest in attending or supporting. I don’t like listening to amazing musicians through a vitiating PA system. Moreover I feel guilty about any of my efforts, donations, or support that subsidizes PA systems. It might be valid to compare the use of PA systems to steroid use, for my taste it sounds bad and feels like cheating. I sorrow for those million hours of musician devotion that I don’t hear with majesty, grace and purity. Ray Kimber, Ogden Utah
  11. How did you get involved in drum corps? What was your corps like? I became interested in drum corps indirectly through my parents. My farther and mother were part of the greatest generation. My father fought in WWII. Drove a tank through France into Germany. Came home. Didn't talk about it much. He and my mother settle back on Long Island, NY and he joined the local volunteer fire department. Our home town fire department had one of the best bands (not drum corps) in the state. As a kid, I went to all the local fire department parades and fairs. In the summer, there must have been at least two a week. The left me by the fire department finish line as the marched in the parade. I got to hear the local corps like the Selden Cadets, and Smithtown Freelancers. From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to march with a drum corp. I joined a local corps sponsored by a fire department, in the next town. I joined because I wanted to march and play bugle. But, the bonus was being a part of the corps. Sure, there were the clicks, and the corps politics. The inner circle versus the members from out of the district. But, still we were a part of the whole. It wasn't a big corps like the Skyliners or Sunrisers. Not even like the Selden Cadets. But, we tried our best. It was one of the best memories I have. But, when it came to my children, they never had any interest. Maybe, it was the time, maybe it was the fact that we were the children of the greatest generations. Also, maybe it was the fact that each town had a corps and all it took was desire to join. You didn't have to audition. Grenadier
  12. Remember those hot summer nights after a parade walking hand with your best girl or boy friend who marched with you in the drum corp. After a parade walking through the fire department fairs, going on the ferris wheel and later going out for pizza. The bus rides home, your best girl or boy friend next to you in the seat on the bus. I was always a sucker for a girl in a skirt and boots with bom, boms. I know of at least two couples who got married and lasted a life time. I didn't end up with the girl who marched in the corps with me. "Thank God" I met a wonderful girl and we've been married for almost 50 years. But, how many of you married a girl in your corps and did it last? Grenadier
  13. 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.
  14. Hello Group, Have this crazy idea. I know this info is available on the DCI website but, I'm thinking it could re-posted here in the forums. It could be modeled after Liahona's 2019 Official Programs & Playlist if he does not object to borrowing his post format. It could be a place to announce Shows, times, locations, lineup, ticket price and be a place who may want to request a ride share to attend an event. In my mind, it might be a fair amount of work to maintain the post. It could also be a place where attendee's could post their reviews of a show with scores Any thoughts or interest from someone who wants to tackle this project
  15. Please list some of your most favorite/memorable drill moments from shows in the past. Mine is watching Cadets’ closer in 2008 which I believe to be the most physically demanding and visually appealing moment in DCI history. Cavaliers 2002 also had many memorable moments. Others?
  16. I just discovered something cool: Flo has all of the World Class performances (high cam) from the Rose Bowl show available to watch. But every single one of them has this message below the video: It's a new world, a new activity. Our activity has evolved greatly over the last few years, and we now have the capability to have shows from the current season available on a subscription basis on demand! But this entire function doesn't work because of copyright laws. Now, copyright laws have a place, I'm not debating that at all. But corps need to own their music. It's not a matter of 'just getting through the season' anymore, they're developing marketable content that unfortunately cannot be effectively marketed. And that's because they don't own their music. They basically rent it, and only a part of it. The first solutions is simple: Want more? Spend more! But this is a cash-strapped activity, so that solution doesn't fly. In my mind, this leaves only one solution left: corps need to play all original music every year. Just like how the drill is written for them, just like how the guard work is written for them, the music needs to be written for them! What say you, DCP?
  17. With the availability of various You Tube videos available soon after performances, and the different perspectives they provide as compared to official broadcasts, it seems like the perception of how a show should be judged is highly influenced by the perspective of the viewer. Reading some of the comments about the tour premiere, you get the sense that the same performance elicited vastly different opinions depending on if the viewer was in a theater or watching the show live. In the broadcast, you are so much at the mercy of the director calling for the cuts that your experience may be significantly different than the live viewer. But insta-media seems here to stay. And organizations even have media departments now offering their curated experience to the viewer. I wouldn't mind seeing an award at the end of the season to the best depiction of the show as edited together by the organization itself. That is, each corps gets to edit together the show however it likes and present a visual package made available to the judges that represents how they feel media best presents their show. And an award for the best such presentation. Sort of like the Grammys have the awards for liner notes / packaging, etc. From a perspective of pure selfishness, I as a viewer would enjoy such a product. It would be the corps' respective visions of their own programs, calling the shots on how the remote viewer should see it (rather than making suggestions of cuts / focus of shot / etc. to the broadcaster). Assuming they own the visual media, that is.
  18. Its common for a corp to experience a downfall after winning a championship (except BD of course), but I'm sure am excited to see where the Bluecoats are gonna go this year after falling to 5th last year (2017 )trailing of the Cavies at Finals. As much as I'm hoping they'll jump back to their traditional uniforms, it seems unlikely cause of the dramatic shift Corps are experiencing in visual prospect. I sure am expecting an exciting repertoire this year. What are your hopes, desires, expectations for Bloo this year?
  19. I read in Unpopular Opinions that a few people think Indy is a bit stale compared to the old traveling Finals model. Indy's not going away, that's the home of drum corps Finals now and probably forever. So I'm curious, if you had unlimited resources, what would you do/want to see happen to make an every-year-Indy-Finals as interesting/exciting for out-of-town travelers to help generate some new excitement? I started to reply to a few folks in the Unpopular Opinions thread with this question, but thought this might warrant its own topic.
  20. Every year around this time a bunch of us FMM get together for some good bbq and beverages. WE talk about the times we marched together etc. LOL Usually a fun topic comes up as it did today. What if a corps, say Cadets decided to say, screw it, we are gonna do 1987 App spring as originally done. Devils say, ya know what, we are gonna do 1982 One More Time show. Madison says 1988, bring it to us. How would that score today????? No flash, just old school drum corps. If perfected would these shows score with current corps. It would be interesting if a corps went this direction and just said screw it, I know it is never gonna happen, was just a fun topic that came up.
  21. DCI is a little dry during the off season. I thought it would be cool to start a weekly thread about what performances we loved and didn't love about each corps. I am starting with the Cavaliers because I think they are easy to discuss without things getting out of hand or dying quickly. What are your top 1-5 all time Cavaliers shows? What are your 1-3 least favorites from them? You can go into as much or little detail as possible but please please try to keep things positive!
  22. Just wanted to know what the Drum Corps community thought of the Guardians 2017 program, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy". I had a blast this past summer and would like to see things from a different perspective and maybe be able to answer some questions while I'm at it.
  23. When I was in drum corps back in the "good ole days", the 1960's, there were dozens of corps in a 10 mile radius. There were the Blue Point Blue Jays, Holbrook Skylarks, Medford Golden Grenadiers, Selden Cadets, Smithtown Freelancers and Plebes, West Sayville Golden Eagles, Port Jeff Portsman and Bohemia Czechmates to some. Now there are none. What happened to the interest in drum corp. This is not a rant about the corps of today versus the golden age of drum corps. But, it is a question of why interest died and we lost a great activity for the youth to be involved in. Is it that drum corps is just not cool? Is it the fact that it has just got to complicated? Did the evolution into a three valve bugle make it harder to teach kids to play the bugle. I remember instructing the junior members who never played how to play a bugle. Is it the fact the American Legion, VFW, Churches and Fire Departments stop sponsoring? The instrument companies should be interested in promoting local corps. More corps more sales. It is a shame we lost a big part of drum corps, the local corps. Ever go to a parade lately. There used to be dozens of bands and corps. Now it's just fire trucks. Or is a fact that we just lost the feeling of "community"? But it would be nice if we could bring back the small local corps.
  24. Please answer honestly. If you choose a tie, post for what place it is, and who is involved.
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