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What's going on with Crossmen?

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4 words.

Bring back Chuck Naffier

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I just realised the title of this thread is "Wharts going on with Crossmen" warts - that's the problem... Gotta be! :worthy:

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Because YOU where making a BIG HOOPLA over 08. Your fact is correct on the score but it had to do with the performance side, that .1 difference in rep amounts to .05 in the over all score. Performance not book cost them their place.

Beating Madison in visual is not a big feat that season.

CH

so, they don't and haven't had a problem in music effect? I don't think I was the one making the hoopla over 2008.....

Beating Madison in visual was the ONLY thing that allowed for them to contend WITH Madison in the finals hunt....nowhere did I imply that it was a "big feat", but when you are head-to-head, every number counts, and visual/CG were the stronger captions for the Crossmen

The results speak for themselves.............the Crossmen have had musical arrangement problems for a long while now.

If you want to think it's all performance and they don't have a book problem....great...we will just agree to disagree.........

GB

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4 words.

Bring back Chuck Naffier

Chuck does a good job, and has a good handle on the craft of arranging.......

GB

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I'm gonna go with MFK on this one (arranger 1986 - 1994). . . I wish the Crossmen the best.

Haven't seen them in a few years now, so I don't really know what they're doing on the field at this time.

Everyone has reasons for what they do, and no one ever purposely programs something they think won't work. From what I'm reading here (always with the requisite grain of salt) the corps is young. From that perspective, my old friend Gary is correct. Better execution would let a product shine the way it was intended to. That's why you see GE REP numbers go up (generally) as you get better at performance.

Someone else compared arrangements. . . 1991. . . 1998. . . 2002. . . 2010. . . and I'll only add a couple comments there.

Drum corps is always evolving. Like it or don't. . . but there is evolution. Evolution is not necessarily something better or worse. . . it is just evolution (change). The 1991 show would not make finals now. 1998 would not either. 2002 might be 12th or 13th.

I think it's possible to have an identity, maximize it, and still be competitive. The style of music just needs to have some authenticity to it -- something at the heart of it that connects -- that can say something that mere words cannot express. Call it what you like, but the "IT" factor is huge -- and you know instinctively when you have "IT" and when you don't.

A word about "book" or "design".

You can arrange a great book, and still fail competitively (I wrote for the Troopers as they were disintegrating in 2005). And you can out-perform a mediocre book (see Spirit or Pioneer this year perhaps?) You can write a coordinated masterpiece (see this year's Cavaliers) and still not emotionally engage your audience. And you can recall the ghosts of greatness (see this year's Madison Scouts) on your way to somewhere else, as long as the plan is solid, and you're already thinking about the next 3 years (rest assured Jim Mason and crew are doing that with the Scouts).

If I learned one thing during my time with the Crossmen, it's that everyone wants to love them -- even the judges -- as long as the corps invites them in to the love-fest -- instead of asking to be "understood".

I wish the Crossmen the best as they continue their journey. May you find what you've been looking for -- always knowing that the journey is the reward.

best,

Chuck Naffier

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The style of music just needs to have some authenticity to it -- something at the heart of it that connects -- that can say something that mere words cannot express.

I just read Aaron Copland's two-book autobiography in which he says something very similar at the end.

Great post, Chuck. Good to hear from an old friend again. Thanks! :worthy:

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OK, I've slept on this and decided to say a few things here...

1) The Crossmen have had their issues with design AND performance the past several years, and hanging the star on *only* one of those aspects as being THE single reason the corps has faced some struggles is foolish. Last year, in particular, I believe was a complete and total organizational programming miscalculation on a grand scale at nearly every level, and couldn't have come at a worse time. But I stand by what I said in that if you want to be a finalist corps, you have to be able to perform and achieve at a certain level. Having one section clearly not at that level hurts your chances, having two sections not at that level really puts you against a wall, having more than that and you have no earthly reason to even talk about laying the blame at the designers (or one specific designer) for holding you back. Design can help you or hinder you when you're in that range and you're at or near finalist caliber performance levels in all captions, but I don't believe the corps has been at that point in a long time.

2) The Crossmen have been, are, and always will be THE BONES, no matter what music they play, what color their uniforms are, where they call home, or what place they come in, period, end of sentence.

3) The implication that some people are making that Carol Chambers is the reason why the Crossmen have not replaced Aaron Guidry due to her being married to the corps director is ludicrous. It's flat-out 100% wrong, not to mention over the line.

4) Bob, my initial gut reaction to some of your comments led me to believe that there was something you weren't telling us that was making this come off as a bit too personal. I mean you're certainly not the first person on DCP to rail against Aaron Guidry as an arranger. He's an easy and popular target around here. But the relentlessness of your attacks and some of the wording made me pause a bit and wonder what could possibly be motivating it all. As is usually the case, people come forward offline and start filling in the gaps, and well, it's starting to seem clear to me that you do have a very personal axe to grind here with the Crossmen administration. Whether that situation is completely behind you or not, I'm not sure and care not to speculate. It does, however, color your comments with a slightly different brush to my eyes. I'm sorry if things with the corps and you didn't work out the way you had hoped. Especially since you're an alumnus and former instructor. And you have every right to voice your displeasure with the arranging team as not being good enough for your tastes, or for what is being reflected in the scores. The corps has issues, that much is certain. They're working to figure those things out, and as they move forward, they'll have a lot of tough decisions to make. They know it. All I'll say is that I hope you have a great summer, Bob, and I'd like to think that despite whatever personal history or disagreements there are between you and the corps administration, you (and everyone here) could at least wish the Crossmen members the best as they continue working hard and trying to make their 2010 show the best it can be.

5) The following is a general comment and not necessarily directed at anyone specific in this thread. When it comes to alumni ranting about their corps online, it's a tricky situation for me. On one hand, I totally understand where they're coming from, as their comments are almost always coming from an area of caring deeply about what's going on with their corps. They've invested much of themselves in their corps and have earned the right to voice their displeasure if they see or hear something they don't like. On the other hand, I also believe in venting frustration and disagreements in the right place at the right time and in the right venue. Hiding behind anonymous screen names on Drum Corps Planet, to me, is none of that. Especially when that anonymity allows the speaker to be more inflammatory in their comments and more personal in their attacks than they would ever be if people knew who they really were. It's the nature of internet message boards like this. And to be clear, there are most certainly aspects of the current Crossmen situation that I'm not pleased with. I don't always agree with the things my corps does, or has done over the years. I almost left the corps (and drum corps altogether!) after my second year as a member because there were things that really upset me in how things were run.

But I like to think that whatever issues I may have with my corps, I can discuss them in such a way, and using the appropriate channels, as to not cause any collateral damage to the people I least want to hurt, and that is the members of the corps itself. Sometimes, they are the ones caught in the crossfire and all they're doing is the best they can with this drum corps thing they've gotten themselves wrapped up in. Yeah, they're big boys and girls and they can handle criticism. But when some of the stuff they read is so nasty and inflammatory, and they see that it's coming from their own alumni, it erodes away at the very relationships and emotional bonds they're trying to build to their own drum corps. When it comes to the Crossmen and their alumni, we're dealing with a very rocky situation to begin with. The formal relationship there has never been consistently solid, and we have so much work to do in order to make the Crossmen alumni collectively a more giving, more viable and stable, and genuinely more reliable group that the Crossmen can count on in good times and bad. And despite disagreements, I believe that alumni should be able to put things aside and be there for their corps when the time comes.

That's all I have to say here. I'm done playing the online game debating with anonymous screen names and getting worked up over stuff like this. I've been doing this far too long and spent far too much time with it as it is. I love discussion, I love debate, but sometimes it becomes too much of people talking at each other and not to each other. There's so much work to be done with the Crossmen and the Crossmen Alumni Association, that I feel my time would be much better spent in that direction. We're working on a series of things right now and in the coming months that will hopefully strengthen the ties we have to the corps, and help grow our own organization both in our geographic birthplace in southeast Pennsylvania, as well as in the corps' new home in the southwest. Hope to see many of you at some shows or down the road sometime. (Great to read your post, Chuck!)

Coming Full Circle

Bye DCP. All the best,

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I forgot to mention in my earlier post, that I do in fact enjoy the Crossmen's show this year and it was nice to hear a groove in the percussion line and some melody in the hornline. Things can always be improved upon, whether you are in 1st place or last, and I think this year no matter what, this year is a good stepping stone for the Crossmen.

Edited by Kyle B

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this seems like a good thread to ask... anyone know they the video on demand performance is missing from this weekend? the one from the previous weekend is still there.

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