Groove

DCI 30 years ago, and the decline of Drum Corps.

Recommended Posts

Have you seen the high school bands out there? There are some pretty amazing ones out there.

High school marching band has replaced local drum corps and done a much better job of it.

If you support drum corps, support high school band and winter programs... these are the essential to drum corps these days as they are the feeder programs.

A solid % of kids follow instructors from their high school, university and winter programs to drum corps. This isn't new. This is how it was 20 years ago when I marched... was sort of newish then.

There's that justification thing again.

I wasn't talking about quality of the bands - I was talking about how adults try to run with this argument as an excuse not to try, and to accept the extreme low numbers we see today.

It's a cop out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More entertaining.

More demand from more talented/athletic performers. Like the all sports - bigger, faster, better as time moves forward.

More accessibility to create and deliver a design aka electronics.

DCI is about the 16-22 year olds, don't forget that! What appeals to them is probably far different than what was appealing to us when we were 18.

Embrace the theater on a football field now, it's beautiful, fun, powerful, and done at an extremely high level.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's that justification thing again.

I wasn't talking about quality of the bands - I was talking about how adults try to run with this argument as an excuse not to try, and to accept the extreme low numbers we see today.

It's a cop out.

It isn't really a cop out. Schools have facilities, infrastructure, a minimal core of funding (supplemented by parent groups), and a built in community. It makes A LOT more sense to build local organizations around these than independently. Support shifted from independent local organizations to bands around the schools.

In the early days of drum corps, groups were built around churches, scout troops, VFW posts, etc. ... things with an existing structure and broader network of support.

Marching bands are absolutely no different. Only difference is they're in the fall and have a broader instrumentation simply due to logistics.

Again, marching band does a much, much better job of serving youth in local communities than local drum corps. If you want drum corps to grow... support marching bands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you seen the high school bands out there? There are some pretty amazing ones out there.

High school marching band has replaced local drum corps and done a much better job of it.

If you support drum corps, support high school band and winter programs... these are the essential to drum corps these days as they are the feeder programs.

A solid % of kids follow instructors from their high school, university and winter programs to drum corps. This isn't new. This is how it was 20 years ago when I marched... was sort of newish then.

Maybe my school district is evolved because only Freshman and slow Sophomores are in the marching band. They view it as "doing time" or earning their way into the concert bands or the jazz band, pep band, pit orchestra or any of the "fun things" to come later in their high school career. Being in marching band is starting at the bottom. Also as they advance in high school there is more demand on their time with all sorts of other activities both academic and social, so the amount of time available to give to a marching band just isn't there. Maybe because I'm in a Northern climate, the school just doesn't support it like it might elsewhere; although it is not as far North as Sweden. :omg:

If LIVE performance continues to decline and dci doesn't seem to have a pay-per-view scenario on the horizon, I can't expect drum corps to grow or even survive much longer. Who is going to fund the next 30-years? No Legions or VFW sponsorships. No Bingo. And now Mr. danielray tells us, no LIVE shows. Again, I use the Blue Stars and Troopers as examples. How much longer do you think they can field a corps and get kids to put out for a full season when they fail to make the finals? It is asking a lot from their parents, sponsors and alumni.

Maybe the sky IS falling? :lookaround:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't really a cop out.

It's absolutely a cop out. You just don't want to believe you're guilty of copping out.

Look - I understand it's hard to start a DCI corps, but all along I've advocated for local corps with regional competition. By all means go to DCI if you can afford it, but for most startups DCI is not affordable. This past season, for 4 DCI corps, DCI was not affordable....

I'm on the board for one such local startup, and I will be teaching another starting September. We may or may not succeed but I'm willing to try. I am most definitely NOT willing to sit back and pretend it's someone else's responsibility.

If you want drum corps to grow... support marching bands.

Cute line but like so many of these sound byte moments, it obscures the point.

I want drum corps to grow - so I'm supporting drum corps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want drum corps to grow - so I'm supporting drum corps.

This is deeper than it sounds.

DCI is not drum corps and is actively trying to kill it.

DCI is an entertainment corporation that used drum corps to get where it is now.

If DCI wanted to be marching band, they should have split off and done that. Instead, they bastardized the activity that we all knew and loved and turned it into WGI on steroids.

The biggest problem with HS band "filling the gap" is that you are geographically bound to your HS whether they have a good band or not, and you can't go across town to march in the good one.

Local drum corps filled that and many other needs that HS band never will.

Edited by breezemont

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If one is old and from the North East, the decline in the number of local corps is sad.

I'm glad that corps are still able to raise enough money to go on tours.

I do think that DCI should vacate the name and go as BBI ( Brass Band International ). * Or, maybe FBI ( Field Band International ).

That way, I wouldn't have to feel sick when a corps director allows the keyboard player to cover over an entire contra line. ( Not the keyboard players fault )

But wait !! Maybe there should be a new organization - "Drum and Bugle Corps International".

Here's the most important thing ( in my opinion ) - the kids are having fun doing what they are doing.

To me, that means - everyone is a winner !

When I meet somebody who marched with a small local corps - We still have a kinship.

Maybe the biggest lesson is that winning isn't everything.

Maybe it's enough to be able to say - "I had fun, made friends and entertained folks".

Love, Peace and Joy To All,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nowhere near the number of competitive marching bands, winter guards, winter percussion ensembles, drum corps in europe or asia that have popped up since.

Sweden now has a quickly growing winter percussion circuit... ####### Sweden!

Broaden your perspective. While independent competitive drum corps in North America has had a decline in the raw number of units... there are more kids (and adults) participating in marching music globally than at any time in history.

I thought we were talking about drum corps. At least, that's what you said previously:

If you look a bit beyond the surface, you'll also see the massive growth in marching music, and yes... drum corps.... around the world. On a global scale, there are more actual drum corps in the world than there has been at any point in history. A LOT more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drum Corps is just a part of the larger marching music community, which includes winter guard, winter percussion, and marching band. In our activity/sport, DCI is the NFL and marching band is high school football. High School marching band is doing FAR MORE for Drum Corps as a whole than local community drum corps could've hoped. That's just the reality of it.

So no, there's no massive difference between drum corps and marching band. Really, drum corps is the pinacle of marching band, just as Independent World groups are the pinnacle of the winter guard and percussion activity, which also have Scholastic counterparts.

Downvote this all you want, but it's the truth that many of you are refusing to accept.

Edited by marchingartist
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drum Corps is just a part of the larger marching music community, which includes winter guard, winter percussion, and marching band. In our activity/sport, DCI is the NFL and marching band is high school football. High School marching band is doing FAR MORE for Drum Corps as a whole than local community drum corps could've hoped. That's just the reality of it.

So no, there's no massive difference between drum corps and marching band. Really, drum corps is the pinacle of marching band, just as Independent World groups are the pinnacle of the winter guard and percussion activity, which also have Scholastic counterparts.

Downvote this all you want, but it's the truth that many of you are refusing to accept.

There is nothing you have said in this post that I "refuse to accept". That's your viewpoint, and in the manner it is stated, it doesn't contradict any of my viewpoints. If everyone could choose their words as carefully as you, discussion would be far more constructive here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.