kevingamin

2011 Drum Corps Associates World Championships Finals Competition

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We were some of the last ones out of the stadium and it stopped raining and turned back into a "spritz" (that's for you, JohnD) for a bit right as MBI was done getting off the field.

We were on our way down the stairs, the skies opened up again, and it was coming down worse than it was during Retreat I think. We had to run for my car in the President's Lot and I think I leaped over a few rivers that were at least 4 ft wide. Whew. We had enough plastic bags to wrap up all the electronics.

Great job by you and the team of conveying the experience through the forum threads. Now I really want to go to a DCA show next year.

'Does this need to be said right now by me?' "Yes, I had to say it." :smile:

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Congrats to MBI on their giant slaying. I know exactly how your members are feeling this morning.

From a member of a corps that slayed the last giant.

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Some very important history being made here tonight.

8 out of the 14 corps in finals were from areas outside the NE. Both the Class A champion and the open class Champion are from areas outside the north east.

Surely after this season some people are going to have to recognize that DCA is no longer primarly a NE based activity.

I think the point that you're missing (and I say this respectfully), is that DCA is a NE SUPPORTED activity.

Ken

(who lives in Florida)

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It doesn't matter where you're from... if you're good and clean...

plain and simple... you win!

If you perform better than all the others... you win.

After all, that's what Competition is all about, no?

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I think the point that you're missing (and I say this respectfully), is that DCA is a NE SUPPORTED activity.

Ken

(who lives in Florida)

This will be my final rant for the season (unless anyone else defames one of the judges for "incorrect" placements last night - still gets my blood boiling):

I have feared the geographical expansion of DCA since the first time I saw (and loved) The Chicago Connection back in Allentown in 1977. I'm not really a Xenophobe but I still fear this "expansion" and here are my reasons:

The end of prehistoric drum corps came in 1965 when the Chicago Royal Airs and Truman Crawford brought the weekend activity to the state of "art".... I don't mean to take anything away from other fabulous prehistoric corps such as St. Kevins, Sac, Madison, Boston (the list goes on and on)... I just think Royal Airs were the logical outcome of that activity.

Now it's 1966 and 3 or so coach buses pull into the parking lot at Gaelic Park in the Bronx and out onto the field marches a group from Casper Wyoming and at 15 I can see the activity will never be the same again. None of us had ever seen a show like that, and they weren't alone - The Cavaliers from Chicago introduced us to a sound so dark and rich that we wondered if they had newer more sophisticated instruments. The handwriting was on the wall - within 5 years all the major junior corps (as we called them) were touring and the skill level was heading places we had never imagined. Sure, with the exception of a couple of hold-outs like the Bridgemen the activity had moved out of the reach of middle class city kids whose folks needed them to work during the summer for the family to thrive, but it was part of evolution.

The DCA all this time was still evolving more slowly, and on a local scale. Senior corps sprang up here and there around the country but there were few if any local circuits and difficulty maintaining an interest level. Fast forward (or backward depending on your reference point) to 1977 and those pesky Chicagoans I mentioned earlier. Unlike the Trooper and Cavies, the Connection didn't storm the DCA and bring the competition to its knees but they were good enough to set off a warning light in my head. It was only going to be a matter of time (although not 5 years like the kids) before these non-Eastern corps would not only compete, but eventually win in the DCA.

Over the years two disturbing (to me) trends evolved: on the junior level DCI thrived (after cleaning up the early mis-management) but corps disappeared at an alarming rate taking many of our favorites with the toll. Another bothersome point for me was that the identity of many DCA corps began to morph into pale copies of the DCI corps - drills were written emulating the breakneck movements of Zingali, Pace, and Brubaker without the time to perfect them. Weekend warriors began to squeeze their less toned torsos into the same spandex suits as the junior guards, occasionally giving the impression of a moving sausage. DCA corps began to lose a critical element of their own identities. BTW I get how much of this is my own take on things - you may read this - or more likely stop reading it saying to yourselves "what a moron!" and you're totally within your rights.

The canary in the coal mine should have been the demise of perhaps the greatest Senior corps of all times, especially with respect to the fans who supported the activity - the NY Skyliners. They wouldn't bend to fit their identity to the new DCI clone version and began to lose their appeal not to audiences, but to younger players and spinners. The drummers seemed to continue to come, but it wasn't enough. Plus the economics of this ever expanding DCA "tour" got to be too complex. Alarm bells and whistles should have been going off all over the place when Sky ceased to take the field, or even when they ceased to be a serious contender for the title.

So where am I going with all this? We have a mid-western DCA champ - it is well deserved and only a matter of time. If they hadn't done it the Renegades or Corps Vets or someone from a galaxy far far away would have done it. But what happens next? In my opinion what happens is that local shows become harder and harder to put corps into and the costs for the travel get passed along at least in part to the paying audience. So we see shows with ticket costs of $40 - $50 and just a couple of the competing DCA corps on the marquee, augmented by local Alumni corps who give their all, but at $50 a ticket show-goers want to see some competition - they want to see the reigning champs show up on buses and storm the field.

In short I fear the summer shows will dwindle and the talent will be diluted. The folks who foot the bill will get less for their money and seeing as they're in their 60s now and have grandkids to visit and their parents to torture they will slowly show up in smaller and smaller lots. I guess it has been inevitable, and the seeds were undoubtedly planted long before 1977 but that's just the first time I noticed it. I just hope that the well-deserved victory for the Minnesota Brass is not the drum corps analogy of the meteor hit in Mexico 60 million years ago that wiped the dominant dinosaur class off the planet after a reign of over 100,000,000 years - hell that's longer than the Brigadiers' streak and Reading's streak added together.

Like everything else that ever swam, slithered, crawled, flew, knuckle-dragged, walked, or marched on this lovely planet, once we're gone, we ain't coming back.

Congratulations MBI and hopefully not yet condolences DCA.

Did anyone actually read all the way through this? Hard to imagine... I wouldn't have...

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This will be my final rant for the season (unless anyone else defames one of the judges for "incorrect" placements last night - still gets my blood boiling):

I have feared the geographical expansion of DCA since the first time I saw (and loved) The Chicago Connection back in Allentown in 1977. I'm not really a Xenophobe but I still fear this "expansion" and here are my reasons:

The end of prehistoric drum corps came in 1965 when the Chicago Royal Airs and Truman Crawford brought the weekend activity to the state of "art".... I don't mean to take anything away from other fabulous prehistoric corps such as St. Kevins, Sac, Madison, Boston (the list goes on and on)... I just think Royal Airs were the logical outcome of that activity.

Now it's 1966 and 3 or so coach buses pull into the parking lot at Gaelic Park in the Bronx and out onto the field marches a group from Casper Wyoming and at 15 I can see the activity will never be the same again. None of us had ever seen a show like that, and they weren't alone - The Cavaliers from Chicago introduced us to a sound so dark and rich that we wondered if they had newer more sophisticated instruments. The handwriting was on the wall - within 5 years all the major junior corps (as we called them) were touring and the skill level was heading places we had never imagined. Sure, with the exception of a couple of hold-outs like the Bridgemen the activity had moved out of the reach of middle class city kids whose folks needed them to work during the summer for the family to thrive, but it was part of evolution.

The DCA all this time was still evolving more slowly, and on a local scale. Senior corps sprang up here and there around the country but there were few if any local circuits and difficulty maintaining an interest level. Fast forward (or backward depending on your reference point) to 1977 and those pesky Chicagoans I mentioned earlier. Unlike the Trooper and Cavies, the Connection didn't storm the DCA and bring the competition to its knees but they were good enough to set off a warning light in my head. It was only going to be a matter of time (although not 5 years like the kids) before these non-Eastern corps would not only compete, but eventually win in the DCA.

Over the years two disturbing (to me) trends evolved: on the junior level DCI thrived (after cleaning up the early mis-management) but corps disappeared at an alarming rate taking many of our favorites with the toll. Another bothersome point for me was that the identity of many DCA corps began to morph into pale copies of the DCI corps - drills were written emulating the breakneck movements of Zingali, Pace, and Brubaker without the time to perfect them. Weekend warriors began to squeeze their less toned torsos into the same spandex suits as the junior guards, occasionally giving the impression of a moving sausage. DCA corps began to lose a critical element of their own identities. BTW I get how much of this is my own take on things - you may read this - or more likely stop reading it saying to yourselves "what a moron!" and you're totally within your rights.

The canary in the coal mine should have been the demise of perhaps the greatest Senior corps of all times, especially with respect to the fans who supported the activity - the NY Skyliners. They wouldn't bend to fit their identity to the new DCI clone version and began to lose their appeal not to audiences, but to younger players and spinners. The drummers seemed to continue to come, but it wasn't enough. Plus the economics of this ever expanding DCA "tour" got to be too complex. Alarm bells and whistles should have been going off all over the place when Sky ceased to take the field, or even when they ceased to be a serious contender for the title.

So where am I going with all this? We have a mid-western DCA champ - it is well deserved and only a matter of time. If they hadn't done it the Renegades or Corps Vets or someone from a galaxy far far away would have done it. But what happens next? In my opinion what happens is that local shows become harder and harder to put corps into and the costs for the travel get passed along at least in part to the paying audience. So we see shows with ticket costs of $40 - $50 and just a couple of the competing DCA corps on the marquee, augmented by local Alumni corps who give their all, but at $50 a ticket show-goers want to see some competition - they want to see the reigning champs show up on buses and storm the field.

In short I fear the summer shows will dwindle and the talent will be diluted. The folks who foot the bill will get less for their money and seeing as they're in their 60s now and have grandkids to visit and their parents to torture they will slowly show up in smaller and smaller lots. I guess it has been inevitable, and the seeds were undoubtedly planted long before 1977 but that's just the first time I noticed it. I just hope that the well-deserved victory for the Minnesota Brass is not the drum corps analogy of the meteor hit in Mexico 60 million years ago that wiped the dominant dinosaur class off the planet after a reign of over 100,000,000 years - hell that's longer than the Brigadiers' streak and Reading's streak added together.

Like everything else that ever swam, slithered, crawled, flew, knuckle-dragged, walked, or marched on this lovely planet, once we're gone, we ain't coming back.

Congratulations MBI and hopefully not yet condolences DCA.

Did anyone actually read all the way through this? Hard to imagine... I wouldn't have...

I don't quite see the demise of DCA.... But,

DANG this was a great post!! Thanx for sharing!!!

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I don't see DCA dying either, but I do see the need for higher "purses" and budgeting for increased travel for those corps that traditionally haven't left the NE. I agree the fan base won't pay big money for two DCA corps and a couple of alumni corps, but they will pay for 4-5 DCA corps with at least two of these being top 5 contenders.

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This will be my final rant for the season (unless anyone else defames one of the judges for "incorrect" placements last night - still gets my blood boiling):

I have feared the geographical expansion of DCA since the first time I saw (and loved) The Chicago Connection back in Allentown in 1977. I'm not really a Xenophobe but I still fear this "expansion" and here are my reasons:

The end of prehistoric drum corps came in 1965 when the Chicago Royal Airs and Truman Crawford brought the weekend activity to the state of "art".... I don't mean to take anything away from other fabulous prehistoric corps such as St. Kevins, Sac, Madison, Boston (the list goes on and on)... I just think Royal Airs were the logical outcome of that activity.

Now it's 1966 and 3 or so coach buses pull into the parking lot at Gaelic Park in the Bronx and out onto the field marches a group from Casper Wyoming and at 15 I can see the activity will never be the same again. None of us had ever seen a show like that, and they weren't alone - The Cavaliers from Chicago introduced us to a sound so dark and rich that we wondered if they had newer more sophisticated instruments. The handwriting was on the wall - within 5 years all the major junior corps (as we called them) were touring and the skill level was heading places we had never imagined. Sure, with the exception of a couple of hold-outs like the Bridgemen the activity had moved out of the reach of middle class city kids whose folks needed them to work during the summer for the family to thrive, but it was part of evolution.

The DCA all this time was still evolving more slowly, and on a local scale. Senior corps sprang up here and there around the country but there were few if any local circuits and difficulty maintaining an interest level. Fast forward (or backward depending on your reference point) to 1977 and those pesky Chicagoans I mentioned earlier. Unlike the Trooper and Cavies, the Connection didn't storm the DCA and bring the competition to its knees but they were good enough to set off a warning light in my head. It was only going to be a matter of time (although not 5 years like the kids) before these non-Eastern corps would not only compete, but eventually win in the DCA.

Over the years two disturbing (to me) trends evolved: on the junior level DCI thrived (after cleaning up the early mis-management) but corps disappeared at an alarming rate taking many of our favorites with the toll. Another bothersome point for me was that the identity of many DCA corps began to morph into pale copies of the DCI corps - drills were written emulating the breakneck movements of Zingali, Pace, and Brubaker without the time to perfect them. Weekend warriors began to squeeze their less toned torsos into the same spandex suits as the junior guards, occasionally giving the impression of a moving sausage. DCA corps began to lose a critical element of their own identities. BTW I get how much of this is my own take on things - you may read this - or more likely stop reading it saying to yourselves "what a moron!" and you're totally within your rights.

The canary in the coal mine should have been the demise of perhaps the greatest Senior corps of all times, especially with respect to the fans who supported the activity - the NY Skyliners. They wouldn't bend to fit their identity to the new DCI clone version and began to lose their appeal not to audiences, but to younger players and spinners. The drummers seemed to continue to come, but it wasn't enough. Plus the economics of this ever expanding DCA "tour" got to be too complex. Alarm bells and whistles should have been going off all over the place when Sky ceased to take the field, or even when they ceased to be a serious contender for the title.

So where am I going with all this? We have a mid-western DCA champ - it is well deserved and only a matter of time. If they hadn't done it the Renegades or Corps Vets or someone from a galaxy far far away would have done it. But what happens next? In my opinion what happens is that local shows become harder and harder to put corps into and the costs for the travel get passed along at least in part to the paying audience. So we see shows with ticket costs of $40 - $50 and just a couple of the competing DCA corps on the marquee, augmented by local Alumni corps who give their all, but at $50 a ticket show-goers want to see some competition - they want to see the reigning champs show up on buses and storm the field.

In short I fear the summer shows will dwindle and the talent will be diluted. The folks who foot the bill will get less for their money and seeing as they're in their 60s now and have grandkids to visit and their parents to torture they will slowly show up in smaller and smaller lots. I guess it has been inevitable, and the seeds were undoubtedly planted long before 1977 but that's just the first time I noticed it. I just hope that the well-deserved victory for the Minnesota Brass is not the drum corps analogy of the meteor hit in Mexico 60 million years ago that wiped the dominant dinosaur class off the planet after a reign of over 100,000,000 years - hell that's longer than the Brigadiers' streak and Reading's streak added together.

Like everything else that ever swam, slithered, crawled, flew, knuckle-dragged, walked, or marched on this lovely planet, once we're gone, we ain't coming back.

Congratulations MBI and hopefully not yet condolences DCA.

Did anyone actually read all the way through this? Hard to imagine... I wouldn't have...

yes Ray, I made it all to the end and I must say was a bit disappointed. Disappointed because I have nothing but the utmost respect for you... You tried to draw correlations to "ancient times" to explain our current problems... the reality of the situation is that DCA's problems are rooted in the same problems as the country... heck the whole world... You make it sound like it's MN's fault that ticket prices have increased... do you know how many people complained to me this weekend about not having enough advertising for championship weekend... ??? MANY... do you have any idea how much that advertising now costs? ###### if you do - ###### if you don't... that's only the tip of the iceberg... honestly, while you and I lived through all the historical stuff you mentioned... I have to say, you don't know the real problems faced today in drum corps. They are primarilly economic and social and are the same problems effecting every walk of life... I'm a bit tired of blaming everything on drum corps... blame the invention of the computer... blame the internet, blame the demise of 8 tracks, blame the current cost of a college education... blame Al Gore for me getting wetter than I've ever been in life last night... but only when the management continues to try and figure new ways to survive in our new society... only then will things get better... remember the drum corps activity is hardly more than one drop of water in that giant pond nature created last night on retreat... hopefully, things like the success of the streaming video and even the positive ticket sales for Annapolis are the types of changes that will allow the activity to survive... and with a little luck and a lot of brains... flourish...

Blaming Jim Jones for owning a huge construction company and being able to fund raise to afford 3 great buses in the mid 60's - sorry buddy... no comparison to today's problems...

Oh and I was corps director of a corps that marched Brubaker drills... The brilliance of the man was obvious... the trained eyes KNEW it was a Bru creation, but while they were not easy and did challenge, they were tailored to fit the weekend warriors... and helped put us into the top 5 after many years absence... to imply that dca is dying because they hired guys who wrote for junior corps??? very disappointing and wrong...

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I don't quite see the demise of DCA.... But,

DANG this was a great post!! Thanx for sharing!!!

Well doll ... Ray hit on some very poingnent points ... I have a deep concern for the "circuit" aspect of DCA, which allowed the NE corps to have a "season" ... MBI has introduced a paradigm shift in how a championship winning show gets evaluated with a minimal amount of direct competition and "reads" by judges ... analogous to what the Skokie Indians were able to accomplish in the 50's at the AL Nats with a limited amount of contests under their belts each year ... hmmm ... maybe we're coming full cycle and we don't even realize it ... maybe a limited amount of head-to-head contests will emerge as the "main event" at a show, giving a W-L record for corps rather than a "1-2-3-x placement" ... better keep those Alumni groups, local HS bands and Open Class Jrs going if show sponsors want to fill out a slate ... it will be interesting to see how corps struture their budget if increased travel becomes the norm ... they can possibly look to MBI's model for guidance ...

:-)

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Ray, very profound as usual. I have been away from the activity for a very long time now but always seem to follow the season, and most importantly, the successes (or lack thereof) of my alma mater (very proud to see them back, by the way). I seriously doubt the crowning of a Midwestern Champion will have any negative effect on the DCA and agree wholeheartedly with Tom that the economy and the same things that have us in this mess have taken their toll on drum corps.The additions of DCA members from all over the country, allowing real competitive regional competition throughout the season with a final championship at the end makes it a very viable entity.

MBI's championship ended a six year (or so) dynasty that was NOT good for the DCA in my opinion(no disrespect to the amazing accomplishment of the Buccaneers).

I see this as a milestone of a stronger DCA in the future.

Pete

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