Quad Aces

Carolina Crown Percussion

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Of the "Big Three," I have seen only Cadets this year, in late June. I must say, while keeping my DC World objectivity, that Hoppy's drummers are displaying true excellence this year. And yes, I do come from a percussion background. I purport that this line is one of the best I've ever seen in 20+ years of writing about the activity, .

All IMHO: The pit is a more integral part of the show this year. There have been years when the Cadets' pit were somewhere lesser-utilized than say, BD or PR.

The battery just knocked me out. They showed me all the criteria of a great line: articulation, demand, dynamics, musicality and technique. There are some flam phrases by the snares in the feature that border on the impossible -- for ONE player to execute. Yikes!

I also favor some judges over others, in that I concur with the numbers they deliver. These people will go unnamed. When I see scores from certain adjudicators (in all captions), I tend to trust them.

Also, note the consistent numbers from SCV percussion. For me, this is a function of having Paul Rennick at the helm. Just look at his track record.

I cannot directly comment on CC's drums, since I haven't seen them in person. But I can say they are butting heads with a flippin flamtastic Cadets crew.

My fifth of a dime.

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Cadets' snare line is indeed flamulous this year.

Crown's recent percussion score seems to place them in 2nd tier with Madison and Blue Stars rather than the tail end of the upper tier.

All Crown can do is get as clean as possible.

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I want to say that Crown has consistently the last couple years had one of the top front ensembles. I do think this year may be a little bit behind last year but it would be pretty hard to top last year's pit that I would argue was the best front ensemble out there (a bit subjective but they would be my choice).

Also Hannum knows how to write title winning books so I wouldn't blame it on his style of writing.

Really my only theory is that it's an indoor effect. Crown's percussion is by no means shabby but they're going up against corps that have extremely strong indoor groups to feed off of. Not that drummers these days are very local, but when there's a top indoor line in the same area you end up with drummers who do both and are drumming at a high level year round. Blue Devils have prominent members from both Pulse and RCC and Bluecoats have been known to draw from RCC and probably Matrix now as well. Same folks probably head to Cavies and Blue Stars too. Cadets are continuing the momentum they had from last year and I wouldn't be surprised if, like usual, there are several UMASS kids in the line and same goes for SCV and North Texas.

Again, I can only make a guess but I feel this probably at least partly explains it.

Crown has historically had a number of umass guys on the line. Shouldn't that be of benefit to them?

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What's really remarkable about Crown's recent percussion woes is their lack of influence on the Musical Analysis score. You would think that if the percussion's performance was consistently so dirty (their achievement scores in this caption have been placing them in like 7th-11th place), you would think the musical analysis judge would hear this too and drop them. Yet Crown has consistently been winning (or at least extremely close to winning) this caption all year long. Last night music analysis was a full 1.1 points ahead of percussion.

Therefore, to me it seems that Crown's significant percussion problems are only being read by the field judge.... and do not translate up to the box. This is probably why we (the audience) can't hear too many of the problems either, because our vantage point is more similar to the box judges. I'm not sure if this has more to do with how their show is written or what, but I'm sure it is at least slightly frustrating the Crown staff.

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Cadets' snare line is indeed flamulous this year.

Crown's recent percussion score seems to place them in 2nd tier with Madison and Blue Stars rather than the tail end of the upper tier.

All Crown can do is get as clean as possible.

What cracks me up is that someone could call Crown's drumline - or any other DCI world class drumline "2nd tier". Yes - a couple of lines stick out this year (SCV, Cadets) but none of them are remotely "2nd tier". That is all...

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I'm going to be that guy.

There are simply clarity issues across the board when it comes to the battery. Their book is in no way more difficult than those around them. Their execution is just not strong. Its tied stupid well with the show but the kids just cannot handle it.

I don't mean to be rude but it comes down to clean and they are not yet in the ballpark as the folks around them. I feel like their pit is the only reason they are where they are.

The front ensemble is getting ridiculously good however. The book is fantastic and those kids are vibing.

I would love for Crown to win but comparing their battery to Cadets, Cavies, and the Jonz... I worry the battery clarity will prevent the corps from topping everyone come finals.

Keep working dudes. It aint over till August 11.

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What cracks me up is that someone could call Crown's drumline - or any other DCI world class drumline "2nd tier". Yes - a couple of lines stick out this year (SCV, Cadets) but none of them are remotely "2nd tier". That is all...

That would be a relative 2nd tier. It was simply a term to describe recent judges' evaluations and percussion scores, not meant to demean. I saw two groups divided like this:

SCV 18.4

Cadets 18.1

BD 18.0

Bloo 17.8

CC 17.3

Cavs 17.3

Madison 17.2

Blue Stars 17.1

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Also Hannum knows how to write title winning books so I wouldn't blame it on his style of writing.

When was the last time Hannum wrote a winning percussion book? 1993? I honestly don't remember

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When was the last time Hannum wrote a winning percussion book? 1993? I honestly don't remember

Good question. When was the last time you did?

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That would be a relative 2nd tier. It was simply a term to describe recent judges' evaluations and percussion scores, not meant to demean. I saw two groups divided like this:

SCV 18.4

Cadets 18.1

BD 18.0

Bloo 17.8

CC 17.3

Cavs 17.3

Madison 17.2

Blue Stars 17.1

With these numbers, Crown isn't even really ballpark with Top 4 percussion.

Generally, when judging/analyzing recaps, if a corps is 2 or less in a subcaption they are ballpark: with a better performance, or minor tweaks (a little musical phrasing here, a little watering there) that 2 or less deficit can evaporate and overcome the competition.

Anytime a subcaption has 3 or higher spread the judge is saying that the corps really aren't close.

Looking at the San Antonio recaps, Griffin gave Crown 17.4 (88/86) and Blue Devils 18.1 (93/88).

You can interpret that achievement number as Crown being only 2 from BD: pretty close and with a little bit of cleaning and a better run Crown might have a chance at beating BD.

But if you look at the rep spread, 5 point difference = Crown is not ballpark: nowhere near.

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