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The Madison Scouts Open House this afternoon was a total success.  It featured Pioneer, Capital Sound, Royal Airs and Madison Scouts in concert, each playing their 2002 shows.

Pioneer began the show.  Oliver is a nice show with nice music, played nicely.  The one problem with it is that there just aren't any big impact spots.  

The drumline was the strength--seven snares were quite good.  Unfortunately, the horn line numbered a scant 21. Hopefully they more coming in or it could be a rough summer.

Capital Sound was next.  What a great and fun show!  They're playing music of Elton John, Pink Floyd and Kansas.

The drum line is VERY good....the hornline solid and clean. I think they'll finally be getting notice from the folks with the tape recorders this year.  Can't wait to see this show on the field..it's going to be a fun one to watch!  First standing ovation of the day!

Then came the Royal Airs.  All I could say is WOW..but WOW.

Not all their members were there but they still had 60+ horns that were incredibly loud and technically precise.  

It was really good to finally hear those old RA favorites live instead of on the old Fleetwoods.  

RA received a rousing, very well deserved standing ovation. Can't wait to see them on the field!  Scott Stewart called them a living museum of what drum corps once was...and that was very true!

Then came Madison.  First they played You'll Never Walk Alone.  Always very emotional.  

Then the pit played a rendition of Rememberance, which the Scouts played in 90 and 98.  Very well done!

Next was the street beat into Colonel Bogey...great street beat!

Then they played Ice Castles from 1980 and 1981...and yes..they held out the last chord forever!!!  Standing ovation!

Next was the 2002 field show, titled Conquest.  Guess what their on  field warm up is!!!  It will even cause Boston to stand up and take notice.

Captain from Castille is opener...Conquistador is the closer...and it's all good!  

In the opener, there is a multi-metered section--the drum major conducted both meters flawlessly!

The drum solo was different, using kind of authentic South American percussion....but yes, it was good!

Madison is back....great great show!

It was a good time..1,000 plus in attendence watching and cheering.  The historical displays were outstanding. The Madison corps, Kilties and Royal Airs all had souvies set up and Drum Corps World was there to take orders on their drum corps history book--Steve Vickers did have the book printed out and available for viewing--it is excellent--get yours now, the price goes up $20 on May 1st!!

A great time was had by all...looks like it's going to be a fun year, at least from the corps I saw today.

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Well, I just got back from the Madison Scout Open House held at Madison Area Technical College.

First off, I was surprised that this was a free event. Kudos to the Madison Scouts for hosting a four corps standstill concert for free. It was a great way to whet my appetite. The 2,000 seat auditorium was filled to the brim with fans. My brother, his wife and I sat in the center about twenty rows back - perfect for getting your ears pinned back.

Here's my impressions:

Pioneer - where'd the horn line go?? I didn't get an accurate count, but it appeared to be that less than 30 horns were present. They played selections from Oliver. The parts were there, but the horns were getting overwhelmed by the drum line. Hopefully, they were missing some out of towners who couldn't make it in for this weekend. Otherwise, they could be playing a lot of catch up ball this year.

Capital Sound - Once again, Cap Sound is putting out a nice, straight ahead show, this time based on  tunes by Elton John, Pink Floyd, and Kansas. Based on what I saw, they had a full corps. Can't  remember all the numbers, but I recall the corps director saying they're fielding 44 horns. Should be a nice show to see this summer.

Royal Airs Alumni Corps - SEE THIS CORPS!! Wow! What a sound. They had to have 65-70 horns out there. After a small horn line(Pioneer) and a horn line of younger kids(Cap Sound), it's quite a change to hear 70 men. A great walk down memory lane - My Kind of Town, Ballyhoo March, Watermelon Man, Alexander's Rag Time Band, John Brown's Body, It Was a Very Good Year. HUGE sound - they parted my hair! I'm sure the guys were excited to be in front of an audience, but their intonantion was solid throughout. I would have expected some sharping under the circumstances. Some cracking in the leads, but, hey, these are tough charts, and some of these guys are getting their chops back after a long layoff. General consensus from the members with whom I talked was, "Not bad for a bunch of old farts, huh?" Welcome back! I was also told that 10 percussionists and 20 horn players couldn't make this appearance.

Madison Scouts - Can't remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 65 horns, 35

percussion, and 30 in the guard. Like Phantom Regiment did in the '80s, Madison is playing

themselves onto the field with an arrangement of Conquest. Love to hear them playing Latin music again; they seem very comfortable with this vehicle. It's obvious they've had good camps, the parts are solid, intonation was good, and they played with a lot of confidence. If they march as well as they play, they should be a lot of fun. I won't make any predictions of placements - who knows how the other corps are doing? But, I can say with certainty that this is the kind of show that a DCI finalist does.

                 Jim Anello

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It is great to see so many people excited about drum corps already.  It is also very cool to see the Madison organization making a resurgance from the last two down years.  

This post is in regards to the inquiries on Pioneer.

From what I have heard:  They will field a smaller hornline than last year, opting for quality members rather than for larger numbers, the last time they did this 1999 they really ended up with a very strong showing.

They have a younger corps this year, very similar to their 1999 group so I think we can all expect quite a bit of growth very quickly as these fresh young legs get a feel for what drum corps is all about.

The drum line should help them out, they seem very strong and this section of the corps is the only one that didn't have a full staff turnover.  

Look for a very weak colorguard however it seems.  From the word on the streets they have a very small group and only 2 or 3 veteran girls.  The group was pretty weak last year although they made a surge towards the end of the year and I think we should expect a similar situation this year.

I think you will all find this to be a fairly accurate read for this group as the months progress.  

Good Luck to everyone as you begin your last thirty days of summer preparation!!!I can't wait for the first show!

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In looking over the reviews of the Madison Open House, some things were mentioned about the corps size of the Pioneer.  I think it is very important to remember one thing that may be causing several smaller corps this coming season is the economic downturn following the 9/11 tragedy.  Being a member of the Kilties, I can tell you certain areas of our country have been hit hard.  The greater Racine area, as example, has the 2nd highest unemployment in the state of Wisconsin, only being out-shadowed by the Beloit, Wisconsin area, and Beloit considered actually disbanding the city as an enity to be absorbed by surrounding towns.  I know for a fact some of our Kiltie brothers and sisters are unable to do our competition corps this coming season because of the bad economy and high unemployment in the Greater Racine area.  Their own well-being must come first, and the well-being of their loved ones if that's the case.  So when looking at the size of, let's say, the Pioneer, look at the possible outside occurances that may make it impossible for some members to participate.  There are some areas of our country that are hurting, and hurting badly.  

Bill

Kilties

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I have to say that I was very impressed by all the corps who performed this past Sunday.  This was my first open house so I really didnt know what to expect.  So this is my opinion of the corps.

Pioneer's performance was good considering the amount of people that showed up.  I dont know if some were missing or if that is the  final number.  They did great for what they had.  Sure their drumline is large and the hornline small but that is something that they are going to overcome.  

Capitol Sound was the most improved corps I heard at open house.  I heard them warming up.  They sounded good but shaky.  Once they went on for the performance they got it together and tighten it up.  If they keep it up they are going to start to win some competitions.  I cant wait when they hit the field.

The Royal Airs was the crowd favorite.  Coming back after a long absence the Royal Airs sound was back again.  All I can say it that all of the junior corps members had a great history lesson that day.  Their sound is full and bright.  They sound great for a living museum.  Their field show is going to fun to watch.

Now for my favorite junior corps.  The Madison Scouts have returned to their latin roots.  Conquest is going to be a great show this year.  I really cant say very much except that if their field show is anything like the open house The Madison Scouts  are going to have a great year.

 ]:-)

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Thanks for all the interest in Pioneer. We have had a rebuilding year for the corps all the way around, and I am positive that All will be excited as we are about the 2002 addition.

Show- We are doing Selections from Oliver, with Brass arrangements by Scott Bourma, Percussion Mickey Hartzog. The Drill is written by Tom Acheson, Color Guard designer and caption head Joe Stultz, and Program Coordinator Dave Campbell.

Corps-Yes we are taking an approach similar to 1999 except for this year it is on pupose ! We will field 36 brass, 30 percussion,18 guard and 2 drum majors and the intent is indeed quality not quanity. The corps best year as a whole to date was 1999 when we only marched 27 horns. We are still looking for a few baritones & guard members to fill a few remaining spots but we are determined to reach our goal in membership by the summer.

as far as the open house hornline turn out there were quite a few horn members & a few percussionist missing. Most of our members are cominig from a distance with travel conflicts (long drives or planes to catch), and or had school fuctions. with a lot of younger kids this year we realized that April is the favorite time for end of the year band trips around the country. We also have  quite a few members from out of the country...South Africa,Netherlands,Japan,Canada.

 The show has been designed for our size and written for our needs and to our strengths, and all though we may be a bit smaller than your average Div.1 corps, we hope to compete just the same. We are taking  Pioneer in a new direction and we hope you all enjoy !

Thanks again

Mickey Hartzog

Percussion Caption Head/Arranger

99-present

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