crfrey71

What has happened to the U.S. Open, in Marion, OH

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I was a very young kid in the 1970's and my brother marched for the Buckeye State Caballaros, out of Cleveland, OH. I remember the one huge drum corps show that drew many corps from around. That would be in the American Legion U.S. Open, in Marion, Ohio.

Anyways, you want to know what has become of the U.S. Open? Well check here.

http://www.radiomarion.com/pages/about_usopen.shtml

"How It Began

The U.S. Open Drum and Bugle Corps Competition was started in Marion in the late 1960s as a collaboration of Marion area businesses, civic groups, and Marion Cadet members and alumni as a way to give the activity a national showcase, with large prize monies awarded. The event was an immediate success, as corps made certain Marion was on their summer schedule.

After over 35 years as a part of Marion history, the U.S. Open is now facing change. Changes in the activity, the controlling influence of DCI (Drum Corps International) and a change from these events being staged as competitions for prize money vs. competitions for appearance fees have all contributed to the change. An event that lasted 3 full days with over 40 corps competing has since been reduced to one evening, with about a half dozen corps appearing, and now to where the event has been put on hiatus.

A New Beginning

The U.S. Open was granted a license to operate a community radio station at 97.5FM. This station serves the community, while serving as an awareness and fundraising tool for the US Open. Along with the radio project, the U.S. Open has widened its mission to promote the musical arts in the Marion Area.

The goals of the U.S. Open Commission are to oversee the operation of the radio station, and fund local scholarships and musical arts programs. The Commission can then look ahead to re-establishing a musical competition and show, that may include Drum and Bugle Corps and/or high school bands."

Very interesting. Maybe it's just the way I read it, but I find a little resentment from the U.S. Open towards DCI, "...the controlling influence of DCI" sentence.

I really would love to see this show comeback. I know it will never be what it once was, but Marion, Ohio is such a big stop in the history of drum corps that one should not forget. As a kid, this was the show I always looked forward too. I use to love seeing the General Butler Vagabonds at this show.

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Wonderful memories of Marion - in the 70s our tiny drum corps would always compete in the US Open. For us, it was our 'tour' and our annual big show, prepping all year for the prelims and knowing that we had a snowball's chance in hell of ever making a night show.

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My first exposure to national championship drum corps came at the 1971 U.S. Open. My brother lived just 2 blocks away from Harding Stadium. WOW!! What a great thing that was! And what a way to get introduced to drum corps.....watched class 'A' prelims for 8 hours during the day and 3 hours that night, and watched open class prelims for 8 hours the next day and 4 hours that night. I was immediately hooked. I came back the next couple years.

The article mentions 40 corps. Well, in the U.S. Opens I attended there were 61 different corps in '71, 64 corps in '72 and 84 different corps in '73!

The city of Marion was all for drum corps in those days. And they loved their Marion Cadets.

Edited by Northern Thunder

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I think I read that article a few years ago, or something like that. That was my first BIG show to see in 1972. Before that I saw St. Joe's, 27th Lancers, Boston Crusaders and I forget who else was there...in Batavia, NY (must have been 1971 - Brian, do you have scores from that show?).

I was a very young kid in the 1970's and my brother marched for the Buckeye State Caballaros, out of Cleveland, OH. I remember the one huge drum corps show that drew many corps from around. That would be in the American Legion U.S. Open, in Marion, Ohio.

Anyways, you want to know what has become of the U.S. Open? Well check here.

http://www.radiomarion.com/pages/about_usopen.shtml

"How It Began

The U.S. Open Drum and Bugle Corps Competition was started in Marion in the late 1960s as a collaboration of Marion area businesses, civic groups, and Marion Cadet members and alumni as a way to give the activity a national showcase, with large prize monies awarded. The event was an immediate success, as corps made certain Marion was on their summer schedule.

After over 35 years as a part of Marion history, the U.S. Open is now facing change. Changes in the activity, the controlling influence of DCI (Drum Corps International) and a change from these events being staged as competitions for prize money vs. competitions for appearance fees have all contributed to the change. An event that lasted 3 full days with over 40 corps competing has since been reduced to one evening, with about a half dozen corps appearing, and now to where the event has been put on hiatus.

A New Beginning

The U.S. Open was granted a license to operate a community radio station at 97.5FM. This station serves the community, while serving as an awareness and fundraising tool for the US Open. Along with the radio project, the U.S. Open has widened its mission to promote the musical arts in the Marion Area.

The goals of the U.S. Open Commission are to oversee the operation of the radio station, and fund local scholarships and musical arts programs. The Commission can then look ahead to re-establishing a musical competition and show, that may include Drum and Bugle Corps and/or high school bands."

Very interesting. Maybe it's just the way I read it, but I find a little resentment from the U.S. Open towards DCI, "...the controlling influence of DCI" sentence.

I really would love to see this show comeback. I know it will never be what it once was, but Marion, Ohio is such a big stop in the history of drum corps that one should not forget. As a kid, this was the show I always looked forward too. I use to love seeing the General Butler Vagabonds at this show.

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Before that I saw St. Joe's, 27th Lancers, Boston Crusaders and I forget who else was there...in Batavia, NY (must have been 1971 - Brian, do you have scores from that show?).

Here's the 1971 Batavia contest, Keith:

June 20, 1971 Batavia, NY

Garfield 76.5

27th Lancers 74.9

Purple Lancers 60.8

Marion Cadets 60.3

Marauders 56.3

St. Joe's in exhibition

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Did St. Joe's have a show in late August or early September? Because I know that Mark Twain filled in for Blue Rock. Boston was there but I don't remember Garfield being there. Hmmmm

Here's the 1971 Batavia contest, Keith:

June 20, 1971 Batavia, NY

Garfield 76.5

27th Lancers 74.9

Purple Lancers 60.8

Marion Cadets 60.3

Marauders 56.3

St. Joe's in exhibition

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I was a very young kid in the 1970's and my brother marched for the Buckeye State Caballaros, out of Cleveland, OH. I remember the one huge drum corps show that drew many corps from around. That would be in the American Legion U.S. Open, in Marion, Ohio.

Anyways, you want to know what has become of the U.S. Open? Well check here.

http://www.radiomarion.com/pages/about_usopen.shtml

"How It Began

The U.S. Open Drum and Bugle Corps Competition was started in Marion in the late 1960s as a collaboration of Marion area businesses, civic groups, and Marion Cadet members and alumni as a way to give the activity a national showcase, with large prize monies awarded. The event was an immediate success, as corps made certain Marion was on their summer schedule.

After over 35 years as a part of Marion history, the U.S. Open is now facing change. Changes in the activity, the ontrolling influence of DCI (Drum Corps International) and a change from these events being staged as competitions for prize money vs. competitions for appearance fees have all contributed to the change. An event that lasted 3 full days with over 40 corps competing has since been reduced to one evening, with about a half dozen corps appearing, and now to where the event has been put on hiatus.

A New Beginning

The U.S. Open was granted a license to operate a community radio station at 97.5FM. This station serves the community, while serving as an awareness and fundraising tool for the US Open. Along with the radio project, the U.S. Open has widened its mission to promote the musical arts in the Marion Area.

The goals of the U.S. Open Commission are to oversee the operation of the radio station, and fund local scholarships and musical arts programs. The Commission can then look ahead to re-establishing a musical competition and show, that may include Drum and Bugle Corps and/or high school bands."

Very interesting. Maybe it's just the way I read it, but I find a little resentment from the U.S. Open towards DCI, "...the controlling influence of DCI" sentence.

I really would love to see this show comeback. I know it will never be what it once was, but Marion, Ohio is such a big stop in the history of drum corps that one should not forget. As a kid, this was the show I always looked forward too. I use to love seeing the General Butler Vagabonds at this show.

I remember that was the 1st long trip I took with the corps back in the 60's we stayed at a place in the corn fields and the people were great and the food fantastic.

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Very interesting. Maybe it's just the way I read it, but I find a little resentment from the U.S. Open towards DCI, "...the controlling influence of DCI" sentence.

It's not just the US Open. Think about all the other "championships" that have disappeared since DCI came into being. World Open, Mid-America, American International, North American Open, American Legion and VFW Nationals.

DCI eliminated all the "competition" in a few short years. US Open actually held out longer than most.

Personally, I didn't see these shows as a threat to DCI's dominance. Evidently, they did.

Garry in Vegas

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Wonderful memories of Marion - in the 70s our tiny drum corps would always compete in the US Open. For us, it was our 'tour' and our annual big show, prepping all year for the prelims and knowing that we had a snowball's chance in hell of ever making a night show.

Same here,John. We usually came in next to or dead last,in prelims.

Fun show to see though!

AND, that show was the only time we kids got to see the "big guns".

Edited by hairbear

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Did St. Joe's have a show in late August or early September? Because I know that Mark Twain filled in for Blue Rock. Boston was there but I don't remember Garfield being there. Hmmmm

I don't have record of that show from '71.

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