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  1. OBSERVATION: THE ACADEMY with its production of "A World of My Imagination" has returned back (not that is ever left) to the Creation of what many are saying is more Fan Friendly Favorite show. However, I find it concerning that the Corps scoring trajectory is noticeably lagging, compared typically to their previous Top 15 shows. All the Elements are there: From the Classic Look in Purple Tux and Tail Uniforms, to a quite Sophisticated yet familiar Music Book, to an extremely demanding and well executed percussion book and battery, along with it's nearly 40 member guard displaying perhaps it's best command of equipment in performance, that I have personally observed from THE ACADEMY since it's debut in 2004. So why the unusually low/lagging scores. Sadly, I believe I can answer my own question. It's become quite evident that the Curse of the Covid-19+ Virus is the one common denominator, negatively impacting THE ACADEMY and many other Corps performances and scores. Such as the approximately 20+ missing MM from The Academy's Annapolis show and worse the reportedly 40!? missing MM from a recent performance by my beloved "Casper Wyoming Troopers," (who inspired me to march 24" Concert Cymbals in my local Corps back in 1969!) I never "Imagined" that the Corps entertaining "Creation" would see it's score trajectory partially victimized by a Virus. Godspeed to All.
  2. 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!
  3. Drum Corps - An Activity To Career In related posts; KeithHall has posted numerous topics in Historical Junior Corps Discussions including How Did You Start in Drum Corps? By KeithHall, February 12 in Historical Junior Corps Discussions https://www.drumcorpsplanet.com/forums/index.php?/topic/172531-how-did-you-start-in-drum-corps/ Skeletor '96 posted: Why I joined the Cavaliers in the 1990s By Skeletor '96, February 20 in DCI World Class Corps Discussions https://www.drumcorpsplanet.com/forums/index.php?/topic/172568-why-i-joined-the-cavaliers-in-the-1990s/ rpbobcat posted: Not Exactly Drum Corps By rpbobcat, January 26 in DCI World Class Corps Discussions https://www.drumcorpsplanet.com/forums/index.php?/topic/172472-not-exactly-drum-corps/ bdkappasig posted: famous corp members (13 pages of posts) By bdkappasig, July 19, 2006 in DCI World Class Corps Discussions https://www.drumcorpsplanet.com/forums/index.php?/topic/82724-famous-corp-members/page/3/ I posted: Not Necessarily Drum Corps - Female Brass Players By Rich Cline, Tuesday at 05:54 PM in DCI World Class Corps Discussions https://www.drumcorpsplanet.com/forums/index.php?/topic/172653-not-necessarily-drum-corps-female-brass-players/&tab=comments#comment-3876900 Besides the usual things learned in drum corps like musicianship and character, marching in a corps teaches you discipline, focus, respect, and to have an open mind. I envy those who have marched and gone on to have professional careers in the music industry. There many famous people that were involved in drum corps going back to "Cubby" in the Mouseketeers, the invent of the "Blue Man" Group and recently and article referencing Chic Corea and a new jazz album which was released. Following is a list complied from various forums listing famous people that are known or believed to have marched. Famous people that were involved in drum corps. (Alpha List Sort) Billy Cobham was in the Sunrisers Chad Sexton marched Skyriders Drum & Bugle Corps Chic Corea marched when he was a kid. A friend of a person met him back in 93 and he (the friend), being a Devils alum, asked wheather he had ever heard Blue Devils' performances of his (Chic's) music. So they got to talking about drum corps stuff and found out that he marched soprano when he was a youngster (the corps name Purple Knights jumps to mind, but I'm unable to verify). Another poster said Chick Corea marched in the St. Rose's Scarlet Lancers (from the Boston area) Chuck Mangione Cliff Klaven (aka John Ratzenberger) played bass drum with the Royal Lancers in Bridgeport, CT in the '60's. Dave Gibbs (Blue Devils director) marched Blue Devils soprano Doc Severinson marched with a corps in Eastern Oregon in his youth. It was an American Legion Post corps (no name is specific). Ed McMahon George (Mr. Sulu) Takei marched in the L.A. Koyasan Scouts. Glenn Kotche marched Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps Maynard Ferguson was said to have marched in a corps from Canada... and one poster said that he heard that Maynard "worked" with Toronto Optimist hornline in the late '60s. Michael Jackson (the football player with the Seahawks in the 80's, not the gloved one) marched with the Columbians of Tri Cities, Wa in the 70's. An article talked about Tommy Lee going through various drum corps' in his youth. But didn't say which Corps he was in. Pat Petrillo marched Bridgemen Drum & Bugle Corps A close friend of a person had a Rush autobiography book..in this book, an interviewer asks Neil if he marched...he said no. He did however say he liked them. Russ McKinnon is the drummer for Tower of Power now. Tower of Power marched in 27th Lancers Skip Prokup(sp?), drummer for Lighthouse("One Fine Morning") marched Optimist; he even pulled out a full size corps snare on a stand during concerts. He does a religion show on local radio now. Steve Gadd marched with the Rochester Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps from Rochester, New York. Steve Rondinaro (corps unknown) Two members of the group The Who (John Entwistle and Keith Moon) marched in a corps in England. Tommy Igoe: New York Voices ...bridgemen..early 80's Wayne Downey (Blue Devils Arranger) marched Sunrisers I'm sure there are so many more. See: famous corp members (13 pages of posts) By bdkappasig, July 19, 2006 in DCI World Class Corps Discussions So, my topic for discussion is: Drum Corps - An Activity To Career Q: How did your time in drum corps impact or enhance your career?
  4. The front sideline boundary is an obsolete anachronism given today's show designs and audience expectations. Let performers go right into the crowd if the writers wish it. Banish all those folks milling around downstage between the field and the viewers, be they photographers, judges, videographers, staff members or other sideline lurkers. This is show-biz. You wouldn't see that on Broadway, in the concert hall or any other professional venue, including the World Wrestling Federation, to which parallels could be drawn to the activity in question. Actual quote from a Rules Congress debate regarding corps entering over the back sideline: Opponent: "But if we give you that, pretty soon you will want the whole field." Bobby Hoffman: "Hell, I want the whole stadium!" It may be time for that.
  5. Scenario: Plato enters and places two objects on the table. "Here is the Ideal Apple, and here, the Ideal Orange. Which is the superior fruit?", he asks. You get the picture. I am grateful nobody asked me to judge last night's show.
  6. As we know the 5 caption trophies are averages of THUR, FRI, SAT. If there is a tie, the Finals number breaks it. GE: Bloo has a .45 lead, so if BD is announced the Angelica winner, it’s #19 in ‘19. Nobody else is close. Visual: the Brazale is just the 20 pt proficiency caption. I don’t know why they don’t add in analysis, but it is what it is. BD holds a .15 lead over Bloo. It’s conceivable that Bloo can pick that up but not too likely. Guard: BD has a .05 edge over BAC, so whoever gets the top score tonight wins the Zingali. Brass: wow, Crown only has a .15 lead over (edit) Bloo. Again, Bloo isn’t out of it but needs a tepid run by CC to gain at least that.15. Percussion: SCV is comfortable at .175 over BD. Bloo is .25 back. Again, BD could win Visual and Guard and get the Silver. Bloo MUST win GE to get the Gold — unless this week’s trends go wrong.
  7. I like that these three words appear on the GE sheets as part of the design criteria. Every component of the production, designed and performed, falls under one, two, and at times all three categories. I think the best shows try to get an equal dose of all three placed within the production, with "Emotional" eventually carrying the most value in my opinion. That said, not every corps has the same approach, nor the same personality. One of these three might steer the ship more than another depending on the corps, the theme, etc. In my trying to rationalize what is missing in SVC's show this season, I have come to several conclusions, including the lack of the Emotional. So, how would you rate each of the top 7 in the these three components of design on a scale of 1–10. I included the top six of course, but BK as well because while I know some do not have an emotional response to the program, I do- demonstrating that humans make the scoring decisions and all humans perceive things differently. Adding the score of each of the three of course does not determine a ranking. How you manipulate these three things more determines that. BLOO: Aesthetic=10, Intellectual=9, Emotional= 10 BD: Aesthetic=9, Intellectual=10, Emotional= 8 SCV: Aesthetic=7, Intellectual=9, Emotional= 6 CC: Aesthetic=8, Intellectual=8, Emotional= 7 BC: Aesthetic=8, Intellectual=8, Emotional= 8 CAVIES: Aesthetic=9, Intellectual=8, Emotional= 10 BK: Aesthetic=6, Intellectual=9, Emotional= 10
  8. DCI World Class Rankings (Caption Compilation) Posted by DCI after 7/29 Going into Allentown I wanted to see how the corps are Ranked by caption so I put this list together to share. The Caption Scores are the latest listed performance scores up to 7/29 from Soaring Sounds, NightBEAT, Drums Across the Tri-State, and DCI Southeastern contests. (Please Note! - I prepared as "TEXT" document so it could be copied if you desire. The columns are adjusted in the post so the columns kind of line up to view but if copy the text to another document, the fields will not be in line. -- Sorry, I'm still learning how to do things in the forum) 😁 Place Corps AVG. MOST LAST LAST LAST LAST Music LAST Music Last Music LAST 3 RECENT GE Visual C Guard Brass Analysis Percussion Contest 1 Blue Devils 94.137 94.625 37.800 28.400 18.900 18.700 19.250 18.900 Soaring Sounds 2 Bluecoats 94.062 94.350 38.100 28.100 18.700 18.500 19.100 18.700 Soaring Sounds 3 Santa Clara Vanguard 93.075 93.400 37.400 28.100 18.550 18.300 18.600 18.900 NightBEAT 4 Carolina Crown 91.079 91.575 36.050 27.525 18.150 18.700 18.850 18.450 NightBEAT 5 The Cavaliers 90.504 91.400 36.500 27.275 18.100 18.200 18.650 18.400 NightBEAT 6 Boston Crusaders 90.308 90.275 36.000 27.675 18.950 17.900 18.050 17.250 NightBEAT --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7 Blue Knights 87.483 87.825 35.450 25.975 17.150 17.200 17.700 17.900 NightBEAT 8 Blue Stars 86.838 86.850 34.800 26.250 17.700 17.100 17.000 17.500 NightBEAT 9 The Cadets 86.217 86.650 34.500 25.700 17.300 17.300 17.600 18.000 NightBEAT 10 Mandarins 85.483 85.750 34.900 25.900 17.500 16.800 17.400 15.700 Drums Across the Tri-State 11 Phantom Regiment 84.317 84.800 34.000 24.950 16.500 17.000 17.000 17.700 Drums Across the Tri-State 12 Crossmen 83.138 84.213 33.700 25.250 16.600 17.000 16.675x2 16.850 DCI Southeastern --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13 Spirit of Atlanta 82.567 83.000 33.100 24.950 16.500 16.700 16.500 16.700 NightBEAT 14 Colts 80.658 81.450 32.600 24.200 16.000 16.400 16.400 16.500 Soaring Sounds 15 The Academy 80.192 81.300 32.900 24.200 15.900 16.200 16.900 15.300 Drums Across the Tri-State 16 Pacific Crest 80.167 81.000 32.700 24.500 16.200 16.500 15.500 15.600 Drums Across the Tri-State 17 Madison Scouts 77.125 77.350 30.800 23.000 15.300 15.500 15.400 16.200 Drums Across the Tri-State 18 Troopers 76.608 76.950 30.900 23.150 15.600 15.300 15.200 15.300 Soaring Sounds 19 Music City 73.500 74.200 30.000 21.950 14.200 14.800 14.900 14.800 Soaring Sounds 20 Genesis 73.200 73.550 29.750 22.250 14.700 14.850 13.950x2 14.300 DCI Southeastern 21 Jersey Surf 71.033 71.150 28.300 21.350 14.400 14.600 13.950x2 14.450 DCI Southeastern 22 Seattle Cascades 69.392 69.650 27.100 21.100 13.800 14.400 14.100 14.400 Drums Across the Tri-State
  9. This discussion has been quiet for a while, but continues to be critical. You be the judge. Whose show has the best "audio transparency", and why? Please note whether you are judging from a "live" or "streaming" experience perspective. My front-runner, based on seeing them live, outdoors in Sacramento (and understanding that things may have changed)...Cavaliers. Why? They played extremely dynamically (ppp to fff, with fine shaping), scoring for synths and other reinforced instruments was tasteful (including periods of tacet!), and the marriage of acoustic and electronic sounds was very well balanced. In short, there was clarity. I recalled standing with Ralph Hardimon the year before amps were introduced, listening to this very corps. "Do you have any problem hearing the keyboards?". he asked. "None at all", I said. "Yeah", he replied. "It's called dynamics." They're still doing it. Discussion continues here:
  10. Previously, I made a private request to a member of this forum for this info but my request was either ignored or it was lost. I tend to believe the latter. Searching for information on DCI's judging sheets led me back to an old post here in the Drum Corps Planet forums. The original post: Judging system/score sheets By JustinDMoore, June 17, 2014 in DCI World Class Corps Discussions JustinDMoore was looking for info detailing How the final score is calculated on the Recap sheets. Thanks to jjeffeory It's Just "Jeff", jjeffeory Posted on June 20, 2014 the following link: Maybe some of this? http://issuu.com/drumcorpsinternational/docs/2012_judging_sheets_full_set/2?e=0 This is a "flip" 34 page docuument outline the judging criteria for the Recap captions. While it is from 2014, it is still useful for those who want to better understand the judges scoring. You should be able to do a screen capture or "print screens" if you desire to save this info. Thankyou to jjeffeory for posting this. If anyone has any current detailed info to add, please add to this post. I think this is useful to everyone who wants to understand The Recap Score Sheet.
  11. I was always told: If you are working on composing, arranging, or transcribing, right after you wake up in the morning is the best time to work as your ears are "fresh". I'll pick on the poor brass judge here (who I truly respect): After hours and hours of in your face brass, will he be able to pick out the nuances of the later Corps? I, of course, have never judged, so I'm interested in your thoughts.
  12. Thanks for considering reading this wall of text. tl;dr No there are no conspiracies. There is virtually no herd mentality on the national level. Money nor reputation matters. Become a judge if you aren't already. Also--thank you if you're a fan of any of the pageantry activities. Not meant to be a dissertation, but a reflection of my many years of experience as a judge on the field and indoor. No I am not a DCI judge but I have been judging with DCI, WGI, and BOA national judges and have had many discussions with said men and women who are actively making these tough decisions. There appear to be several of us on here willing to share information so any input is very much appreciated. I am not speaking for every judge or even any group of judges but SPECIFICALLY to my experience. I'll be available for follow-up questions and concerns for a few days until this account and thread dies--if that's the case. ------------- 1) Herd Mentality Does not exist barring very few situations*. We judge the sheets. Particular to our caption, a unit can hit the sheets according to our eyeballs and our ears or it cannot. Sometimes there are difficult decisions that we have to make on the spot. We all see different things even within the same caption. Some judges are good enough to judge multiple captions. Ranks and ratings change for the same judge because they're judging a new caption. Also, when panels change, numbers will change as you have probably experienced in the past. It's absolutely unavoidable. Please also remember that there are separate numbers in what we see the designers intended to do and what the performers executed on that particular day/evening; i.e. vocabulary vs. excellence. It's the LEFT side and the RIGHT side respectively. It's not rocket science. We all have to trial judge for this and prove we can focus on our own caption and defend our numbers at critique and thereafter. *Note: Interestingly enough, every few shows a newer judge or trial judge will ask where I put a unit at any given point. I give them the neighborhood, e.g. high box 3, mid box 4, etc. but I'm very averse to providing an actual number as is anyone I have spoken with. Remember that we have fans only a few feet away from us in virtually every direction that can hear our conversations and are probably recording us on their smartphones. Why would we be idiots and mimic each other's scores? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. These days we can typically change our numbers for all units at the end of a round due to the mechanics of Competition Suite. It's a magical thing and it makes numbers management so much easier and more equitable. 2) Money We get a few hundred bucks or maybe a little more. It's not much. Expenses are paid if we are lucky. Rumors have it that nationals is just about the same or a little bit more but not much. This is a NON PROFIT activity. Enough said. We mostly do this because we think we can do it better than others and provide better input. We're not in this for the money--heck, we may be better off bartending for an evening. We do get the best view in the venue. That's why I do it--along with providing input to groups who actually give a **** as to improving their units. Most of us want the activity to grow and performers to get better; however, some judges are jerks who just want to criticize and call out things that are wrong because the units are not doing what they did 5, 10, or 50 years ago. It oftentimes gets tiresome in the judge's room and occasionally pisses me off. That's the main frustration I've had. We tend to argue when I encounter a judge who made a number I sorely disagreed with in a caption I've judged; there's a 50/50 chance I'll win and they'll rethink their numbers next time around if they're given the opportunity. We're otherwise complaining as to why we got a baked potato for a "meal." 3) Reputation This gets a little complicated. Many judges have obligations outside of judging. For example, several have contracts with percussion, winter guards, winds, marching bands, drill design, you name it. However, from my experience, it really doesn't matter. Our reputation is founded on the basis that we put down a number, record our commentary, and defend every ounce of it. We sometimes get stuck with a number we put down during an earlier part of the season and have to really back up any changes later in the season. As long as we reflect our APPROPRIATE number based on the sheet of our particular caption during that specific performance, it doesn't matter if we give 3rd place to a 12th place unit or vice versa. I've done it many times, "called" many shows, and still get asked to judge again. Judge's commentary is becoming more and more public, so I make sure to talk about the stuff I want my dear mother to hear as well as the unit staff and most importantly the performing members. When I hear from either the Chief Judge or a director that they played my commentary to their students, it means the world to me. Knowing they sacrificed several minutes of their valuable rehearsal time to listen to my exhausted hoarse voice makes my day. 4) Critique Sometimes a show will have a requirement for the judges to participate in critique sessions with the units. We may also get emails, phone calls, or texts about why a unit was ranked and rated as they were. This can get stressful. This is why we take notes. I keep my notes for at least 3 years. Every show is different. Some times I'll place a unit higher than another, and I take notes as to why (even though it's inappropriate to talk about other units during critique). Focus on your own show on your own caption and unit I always say. However, it's good for me to back up to the Chief Judge why I flip-flopped or made an uncanny or unpopular choice. I do it all the time. Most times people get it--they watch their competitors and see why they have fallen (or risen) in my particular caption. Critique allows us to gather input from the units and provide feedback beyond our recorded commentary. Heck I've unintentionally made a former colleague cry during critique. I've also had a situation when we had to get the Chief Judge to kick out an overdramatic irate director during critique. What really pisses us off is when someone only rants about their score without having listened to the commentary. All I can reference is my notes at that point. The commentary is not a part of my records but a part of yours. Do your homework. Listen to the commentary. 5) State of the Activity Plan on being angered! Many current judges should consider retiring. The activity has changed considerably in the past decade--let alone the past several decades--and corps art is not being recognized properly. The newer judges, about a third of any panel; if we're lucky, have still been removed from the activity for a decade or more. Yes, this is a traditional activity and that I quite understand. Furthermore, most design and tech staff who have been a part of the top competing units are of a separate generation with separate visions working alongside older generations with progressive acuities. There's a lot of subjectivity with the sheets and what is put on the field or floor. A few older judges see this. Most, however, don't. This is, in my honest opinion, the main disconnect between the overall numbers and what the fans want to see rewarded. So where is the activity heading? Which leads me to this: 6) Next Steps Trial judge. Regardless of your age. We need more judges. Many of you are analytical critical jerks and we really could use your help. Whether it's percussion, guard, winds, visual, brass, whatever. We need new blood in every activity. Please consider contacting a local circuit and start trialing. Before you know it, you may be judging state and regional championships and knocking on DCI, BOA, or WGI's doors. Just show up. That's half the battle. You're not running for office--you're helping develop youth and art. We just need new people with deductive mindsets willing to put in their experience and research to current events on the field and the floor. We're no better than you. The activity is changing too fast for most of us. Regardless, please stay a supporting member or fan of the marching & pageantry arts no matter what. The common sports have enough fans. Show up to all sorts of our musical and "artsy" competitions just because, well, reasons. Thank you. Edit: Changed title of thread. Edit: Here's a copy of the 2012 DCI sheets thanks to @Jeff Ream
  13. Thought this would be a good topic for the week. Another great year for drum corps. I do not see anyone winning but BD or SCV. I have started two threads, hoping to keep both from starting as supportive for one unit over another, to becoming bashing of one group under another. DCP admin, please allow the two threads to stand alone. So, I will start here- Why BD should win DCI 2017: (I am using my own measures, though I am aware each lies somewhere embedded in a judge's tote sheet) Even-ess in all captions. Drums, great shot at 2nd-4th. Guard, great shot at top 2. Visual, great shot at top 3. Horns, great shot at 2rd or 3rd. GE- can be 1 or 2- They are second for me in GE Pacing and variety of effects. Pacing is still uneven for me, but variety is killer. Demand versus reward. Yes on the musical side. Though the required skill sets for all performers is high, the simultaneous demand does not even closely match SCV. Individual achievement per second. Second to SCV. The uniqueness factor/not your usual pony ride. They are 100% BD. So not unique in the regard, but certainly unique in regards to their convincing swagger. Show flow and horizontal connectivity. Still an issue for me. The ending lives up to the rest of the show journey. SCV as winners. Bloo is second here. Boston third. PR in there too. I am hoping BD has a big ending change coming. The math of it all/the sheer engineering accomplishment. Not their game for the entire show, but in parts. The show is pretty easy to get in one viewing. Emotional value. BD has their ballad. SCV, everything else. Attitude. Though I would like to compare it to Cadets in their best years, or Cavies, I cannot. It is its own brand of prowess that no one else has. Not even close.
  14. I have participated and have been following drum corps for a very long time. I have adopted the changes over the years with open arms. I love most of those changes and have no wish to turning the clock back. I start with these points because I know some punk will accuse me of being old school or for not understanding modern drum corps. Rest assured I understand it quite well and I am very familiar with the judging sheets and scoring process. Having said that, it is a shame what the judges are doing to BC this year. I have watched closely all season and have seen the bias that is so obvious. It appears to me the judges have a grudge of some sort against them. Is it the guard outfits? I read the corps changed to longer shorts due to complaints about a little butt cheek or two showing. Is it because the judges believe it is destiny for BD and SCV to be fighting it out during their anniversaries? Maybe it is because they don't have enough pretty colors. I noticed BD has pink in their uniforms. That certainly must be worth an extra 3 or 4 points in visual. It apparently outweighs the extreme drill design BC is marching. Unfortunately, the scores are simply the opinion of a select few judges. They are human and have biases. This years "collective thought" appears to be against the Bluecoats. That truly is a shame given the energy and talent this corps has. The message the judges are sending to all: don't do anything risky, keep your drill simple and clean, focus on having a strong palette of color choices and color guard, both have more impact on your overall score then drill, brass, or percussion. Fast is old school. March slowly and precisely. When playing, be sure it is loud and try to stand still while doing so. If you are going to march at a fast tempo, be sure to do it while not playing. And finally, never ever make the young women in the guard where something feminine. Modern women are not supposed to be feminine or sexy.
  15. I have been listening to a lot of Crown years over the past few days and it has me thinking; Is Michael Klesch the absolute BEST brass writer in DCI? I mean is there anyone else who can even touch is fantastic writing? Clearly, this is just a matter of opinion and I am absolutely sure there are writers that are just as fantastic. I am just saying, there is no other brass section I would rather listen to more in today's drum corps than Carolina Crown, and Klesch's arrangements over the years have been nothing less than stellar. And although they placed 5th in that Space show, I still find myself listening to that show relatively frequently. **This is not intended as a bashing session against other brass arrangers, rather, it is a heavy praise for someone who has given us years of spectacular musical arrangements.** I'm loving some Klesch.
  16. Three weeks from today, DCP will have its first postings after we have seen actual performances. In prep for that, anyone interested in offering up a brief - brief - tutorial on how judging works? I’m not a doofus, but also not qualified (nor even interested) in the details necessary at the judge level. Rather, I’d like to be a little more intelligent about what I am seeing and hearing with respect to how scores are determined. Primarily, I want to enjoy the shows. So “be a little more intelligent” is an important qualifier. To put this in context, here is this: I’m a long-time university professor. I know the difference between student work that is (say, for example) 87/100 vs. student work that is 93/100. But the difference between 87 and 86 or 88? I’ve no clue. Or a student scoring an 89 gets a B+ and one scoring a 91 gets an A-. That’s how it works. But honestly, in so many cases, the quality of what either of those students can accomplish is essentially indistinguishable. In 2016 Coats were 97.650 and BD 97.250. Crown 97.088. Is that just the way the numbers shake out and everyone knows that? Or is there some sense that qualified people really can determined the Coats were 0.41131% - yes, that’s less than 1/2 a percent - better than the Blue Devils? (BD was 0.16685% better than Crown.)
  17. I know DCI tried to hide recaps this summer, but I say they should go into the complete opposite direction: complete transparency. 1) Make all judge tapes available for download to the public. 2) Videotape all critiques and make them available to the public. To implement this, maybe all judges should wear GoPro-like video recording equipment (with mic, to catch commentary), so we can see their perspective whilst running around the field (or not). Also, the GoPro would be perfect for recording staff behavior in critique. Furthmore, instead of writing anything down after the show, just speak it into the mic, where everyone can hear it (Currently, the judges keep cryptic notes, reminders, number-management chicken scratch...get rid of all of it) Now, before you say "no judge would ever allow this!" I claim it takes pressure off the judges and puts all of it on the STAFF (where it belongs). After all, if the judge is confident in their process, they'd have nothing to hide. And the real exposure would come whilst watching the staff in critique. (obviously, if the staff knows they're being recorded, the staff might behave better.) I call this win-win for the JUDGES, cuz all of us can hear the performances the same way they heard them, and all of us could see/hear the way the staff talked to them after they got their number! This would only make the judging better, because a judge could learn from all of the scrutiny. Any judge not willing to do this would probably quit, and that's OK. Staffs would certainly behave better, except for the most-belligerent (they can't even help themselves, let's be real). Maybe this would put an end to critique altogether, and that's OK too. Wouldn't that be fun? Heck, maybe DCI could sell this as an extra package!
  18. Over the 15 years of my DCI fandom, there has been a strong move toward explicit theme and direct storytelling. In 2014, Crown did a show about outer space. It's pretty much the consensus view that it wasn't the greatest design, but hear me out. In the beginning of the season, there was the Major Tom introduction, an overly-long but timbrally-intriguing percussion feature, the echo effects etc. One of the (many) great things about Space Oddity by Bowie (RIP) is that it trails off at the end. The listener is left to wonder what happened to the astronaut. Did some small valve on his spaceship fail and cause him to asphyxiate? Did he go into a wormhole? Did mysterious radiation transform him into an interdemensional squid-creature? But in Crown's final narrative with added narration, Major Tom goes into space, some things happen, then he comes home. There's not a lot of space for the audience to contribute to the narrative with their own creativity. One of the reasons that I (and many others) prefer the movie 2001 (an inspiration for the Bowie song) to Arthur C. Clarke's novelization is that it shows, rather than tells. Everything is spelled out in the book, whereas the viewer has to interpret the images, etc. in the film. Drum corps, I argue, is the same way. Would Cadets 2005 been better with giant waterfall props in Liquid? Subtly and discretion can be good things, but I feel like judging is pushing everything to be SO literal and forcing everyone to tell a LITERAL story with a beginning, middle, and end. Drum corps is a ~13 minute audio-visual medium. Hard to tell a simple story in a coherent and compelling way in that time, let alone something deeper, even with narration etc. Even Crown 2013, which some see as the greatest show designer ever, basically comes down to "love is nice." TL;DR: Stop trying so hard to be "deep" and tell some profound story in your show, use music and visuals to create a mood and err on the side of subtly
  19. Reading and listening to podcast now. 9 Proposals here---> http://www.dci.org/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=210617288&DB_OEM_ID=33500 1 - Clarifying Use of Electronic Equipment and Amplification 2 - Allow Use of Metronome and Speaker in Warm-up 3 - Perc 1 Sheet Modification 4 - Perc 2 Modification 5 - Convert Perc 2 to Music Analysis 2 6 - Relocate Perc 2 to Front Sideline 7 - Relocate all Field Judges to Front Sideline 8 - Allow half tenths (.5) for judges 9 - Two Caption-Oriented Music Ensemble judges
  20. Lots of DCI fans have really enjoyed the Sacramento Mandarins in 2015. Some see a bright future for the corps, possibly contending for a finalist spot in the next few years. How have you enjoyed the Mandarins this year? Field Pass Podcast: Mandarins have 'The Edge' in 2015 Link to Field Pass: https://soundcloud.com/drum-corps-international/20150731-fieldpass
  21. A thread about the Clifton, NJ show developed into a discussion about leaving room to squeeze corps in between groups that go on before corps yet to perform. I thought it interesting and deserving of its own thread. Below are the last three posts. Previous ones leading to the discussion are on the Clifton show thread. I agree with the bottom post here from phan771, and like many have said, judging is tough enough between good groups, it has got to be expecially tough when you are dealing with those corps that are neck and neck. I would not want to have to decide those situations. Other's input? Tobias, on 07 Jul 2015 - 09:24 AM, said: phan771, on 07 Jul 2015 - 09:21 AM, said: I see your point, but consider some scenarios: If you think BD is two or three tenths above Crown on both/either side of the sheet, you do have room for Cadets in between. No problems. But if you do that just to have room on both subcaptions (not a "true" rating), that is 4-5 tenths total, enough for one judge to call the show. And, remembering that though trying to avoid reading recaps or to have per-show bias, every judge going into this show knew it would be a tight race. Or, you right down exactly what you think the differece is between Crown and BD. You know that leaves little room for Cadets in there, but it does leave room and allows for a one tenth total spread if he felt that was appropriate: Was- Crown 81, 80 = 16.1 BD 82, 81 = 16.3 Cadets 83, 82 = 16.5 Could have fit Cadets in with: 81, 81 = 16.2 82, 80 = 16.2 80, 82 = 16.2 or other combination, though a subcaption spread given just for the total spread gives the wrong message and falsely represents the judge's exact take on what he heard. Write down true score for BD, being fair and true to where things were in relation to Crown. Place Cadets where they belong in ranking using appropriate rating as close as possible. Avoid false spreads. I get the argument about leaving room in both subcaptions, but think there is a lot to consider, and especially when the groups are this strong. This early in the season, I would want to know to the tenth exactly how a judge thinks I compare to my competitive peers, knowing that winning it all or coming in second is often decided by those same tenths. Edited by phan771, Today, 03:02 PM.
  22. I have enjoyed reading what has been said by various posters on various threads regarding early season scores and placements. I wanted to seperate this discussion out as its own specific topic so that input could be in one place. I am one that thinks early scores matter, and more importantly, that the amount of feedback each unit gets early on in the season may be crucial to final placements. I think this affects BD less than PC, Cadets less than Spirit. A few supportive points: "Top" Groups: In most fans' terms, BD will never have a "bad" year (though they make think so from time to time). They will write great shows that will be rewarded well on each year's sheets. The corps will always be more mature, aged than most. Even before listening to one tape, their staff has detailed show development plans in the works. Because of their maturity in all facets of their organization, they may "need' early input less than other groups. I would say this is true for other "top" corps as well. Early Surgers: A corps seeming to make a early season surge (SCV, Bloo, PC) may need the input and scores more early in the season as a way of reinforcing the staff's view of their corps' potential, the support of planned changes/additions/enhancements, and some due ego boost to members, though ego can work against you. Corps 11-15: This group may need the early input more than any. Besides reasons mentioned for the early surgers, these groups may have design flaws the staff may not see right now, some possibly major. These members and staffs may be more nervous, questioning at this stage. Such is expected, and a mature staff will know how to handle that. Though all grpups want to know how they compare to the groups scoring around them, a good tape/critique often reveals not only what needs attention, but what issues need addressing sooner than later. Ego can be a positive or negative within this grouping. Not going to happen this year group: Though no corps should ever throw in the towel at any stage of the game, sometimes you just know sooner than later that the goal of making finals, semis, is not yet an option (Spirit, probably Colts). Early input may help reinforce what a staff should do differently next year in terms of off-season design and/or training, what the corps needs to look and sound like early season next year. This could allow for the staff to spend the summer making the show as great as possible, but also using the summer to watch, listen, take note of what other group are doing in the live setting, building as much trust and commaraderie in the group as to help with next year's retention (not that all corps do not do this any way). Side Note: These groups can be greatly affected by talent levels, corps' average age, early season rain/weather issues. etc. Bottom line, one group will always deal with these issues better than the others, plan ahead better than the others, write a better show than the others, come out the gate strong- and that is usually the group that makes that final spot and yes, there are extremely rare exceptions. To count on being that rare exception is a gamble I would never want to take. ALL Groups: First place or second, twelth or thirteenth, placements can of course be decided by less than a tenth of a point. Groups are always hyper aware of the corps placing just above or just below them. The more consistently a group out-places you, the more likely that will remain the case come finals week. Another thread discusses how often corps have made a two or even one placement jump after July 1. While it happens, it is not common. I would want judge input when competing with the groups that I am touring with, and especially with my competitive peers that I have not seen. As the early summer progresses, we begin to see judges flying across country to evaluate various groups. Though we can consider differing show dynamics, there is something to be said for same judge, same caption, same sheets. I would prefer a "ballpark" comparison over no compariosn at all.
  23. Percussionists: Please help an old brass player out. I'm normally a trombone/baritone instrumentalist and have played a lot of trumpet, also. I've had a little experience playing drums. I was a Junior in college and they needed 1 more snare (had 9, rank was for 10). I played one football season on snare and barely survived. The next 2 seasons I played bass drum -- really, a lot more fun. This was the old afterbeats/Sousa march style percussion, definitely not Drum Corps. So -- when I listen to a Corps' brass, I'm in familiar territory and think I could assess their ability fairly well. But, listening to today's Drum Corps style percussion, particularly the battery, all I hear is ratatatatatatatatatat (repeat as desired) flam Flam FLam FLAm FLAM FLAM FLAM FLAM ..... BOOM! Yet, here on DCP, there are folks who (allegedly) can pick out subtle difference between Corps X's and Corps Y's drum lines. I know I won't be that good, but I'd like to learn more. What do I listen for? What makes Corps X's battery better than Corp Y's? For those of you who play percussion and have heard the judges' tapes, what do they say pro and con? Inquiring minds want to know. Many thanks!
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