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Jeff Ream

dca weekend thoughts

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This review will come slowly....lots to type, and time is crazy around here. A recent medical issue in the family has me very tied up, so I'll get to the corps starting tomorrow....here's hoping work is slow. For tonight, just some general thoughts.

First...as a fan or competitor I have been to every DCA Finals since conception in 1968. While i really don't remember much before 77, I can say for all of the years I do, this was easily, Open or A class, the best talent level across the board I EVER remember. There were years in Allentown where corps on early had me running for funnel cakes so the sugar high would keep me awake, or later in life, in Scranton running for the bar to drown out what I saw/heard. Not this year. 11th place in Class A this year would have been the champion in say 1998. It's unreal how talented all 23 corps were. Oh sure, some will think I'm lying when I review, but remember, performers perform what they are given....and even with some design issues, those corps were still far better than some corps popping 40's at prelims 25 years ago.

Always fun to hit a show with Dad, as he doesnt get to see much corps anymore. The joy of Annapolis was it was a day trip each day, and Dad came along to prelims. Got to see a lot of old faces, and had fun watching a lot of drum corps. At times, he's very old school, but yet with modern design, when he likes something, he likes it a lot! And I quote: " I never thought I'd see the day the Cabs played the music of the greatest rock n roll band of all time, and they did it ###### good!".

However....in spite of the praise for the corps and the talent.....why in the hell at finals weekend am I seeing people bump into each other on the field ( up to the top 3 no less), blown direction changes or blown halts??? Really??? IT'S FINALS WEEKEND......YOU SHOULD HAVE THAT #### DOWN COLD...ESPECIALLY AT THE TOP!

Also...Carolina Gold had the loudest tenors I have heard!! It wasn't that the guys were beating the crap out of them...however they tuned them just made them so loud! I liked it ( tho a few times it was too loud)...teach me your secret! usually thats the one voice I complain I can't hear!

The venue....easy to get to, friendly staff and on site parking,and more food choices this year...I mean the pit beef was box 5 and the crab cakes remained box 6. Not a beer fan anymore, but did hear people say they needed more than Bud products. I didn't care, the water and the freshly squeezed lemonade worked, as did the various ice cream and snow globe options. Jeff Weir and crew, awesome job and I hope we can come back. Bribe the football team to go to Baltimore.

Retreat...I know the sound ordinance is an issue...but what the hell? Took way too long to set up. Instead of parading everyone in corps by corps...and clearly several corps weren't coming in fast or together...bring in 4/5 at a time Olympic style. I debated starting the drive home and looking for scores on my phone. I did Saturday since it took forever for the last scores.

Which reminds me...prelims....can you update scores more often? Going 8 at a time is kind of a pain.In fact, I never heard the scores for the first 4 in Open announced, I looked em up on my phone.

All that said...reviewing the corps starts tomorrow. See ya then!

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However....in spite of the praise for the corps and the talent.....why in the hell at finals weekend am I seeing people bump into each other on the field ( up to the top 3 no less), blown direction changes or blown halts??? Really??? IT'S FINALS WEEKEND......YOU SHOULD HAVE THAT #### DOWN COLD...ESPECIALLY AT THE TOP!

Looking forward to the reviews as always Jeff!

In regards to the comment above, I feel that as the average age of DCA corps go lower and the difficulty of shows go higher this stuff will be happening more and more. DCA corps don't have the rehearsal time to truly make everyone a soldier like DCI corps do. We made a seemingly simple change in June during our opener and changed a horn snap from count 5 to count 7 and that snap was a constant issue all the way up through last weekend. Those of us that are more seasoned in drum corps handle change better. Then when you take some of these kids and put them on a large stage like finals, their brains go funny. We had weird stuff happen finals weekend during shows and rehearsals that never happened the entire season, all because people got stuck in their own heads. At prelims our DM forgot to bring the hornline to attention at the beginning of the show. That's something that never happened all season and something we certainly didn't have a backup plan for. Thankfully we recovered fairly quickly.

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Jeff: Golds tenor tuning was a d-7 in second inversion (d on drum 2)using the Evans corps clear heads.

Edited by trwiggin

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Looking forward to the review Jeff. I hope all is well with your family medical issue.

jP

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Jeff:

We need to know if the announcer for the evening made box 6 and if his shirt started any wars?

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Jeff:

We need to know if the announcer for the evening made box 6 and if his shirt started any wars?

The PA announcer for Finals was wearing a very tastefully-appointed, nautical-themed shirt, in honor of the venue's proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. :tongue:

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Jeff: Golds tenor tuning was a d-7 in second inversion (d on drum 2)using the Evans corps clear heads.

interesting. thanks for the scoop!

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Looking forward to the review Jeff. I hope all is well with your family medical issue.

jP

Joey,

Thanks, it is all good medically, just has me behind in everything else in life!

Great job both days..wanted to get out to say hi/bye to you guys, but just never made it.

Man....I remember you in 01, this skinny kid everyone made fun of every weekend.....jokes about bathing with your dog etc. Look at you now! Of course my favorite memory is the show the day of DCA finals when you took a sip of the drink Gibby made for you.....welcome to DCA kid LOL!

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Jeff:

We need to know if the announcer for the evening made box 6 and if his shirt started any wars?

Well, you do realize effect does not have to be positive....so in that case it was box 6!

:tongue:/>

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A few more thoughts before I dive in since I have 5 minutes....

Why is it DCA allows the 11th place corps to do the exhibition when we had a corps from Germany in the house? No disespect to Sun, as I enjoyed seeing you again....but what's the message? "We take 10 corps into finals, but we let the first loser perform anyways, and oh hey thanks for coming across the pond Heartliner....one and done?" It makes no sense.

And.....So it doesn't get in my way in the review...

To everyone who in any way was connected to the Empire Statesmen,

I have loved you and hated you, beaten you and lost to you. But I always respected you. No other 11/12 place corps that I can remember got called for encores when performing an exhibition at finals. Yeah at times some of the shows got too cheesy even for me. I remember that night before prelims in 88, over at your hotel watching you guys perform for whoever came to watch, listening to Pepe talk to you and being in awe. I remember in 89-90 trading wins with you both summers. I remember in 91 cheering for your first title, and I remember crying when the giant flag tore in 92. 1994...My god what a corps. In 95 and 96, yeah I'd say my corps and your corps didn't get along. And I'm not even counting the #### that was said on many retreats or the time we were spit at watching you troop the stands. Of course in return, when we got all done up in our black and the war paint, we scared even Tommy Allen.

Then 1997 hit.....and my God, IMO, Miss Saigon changed DCA for the better. I so wanted to hate you based on the interactions of the two corps the two previous years, but then I saw that show, and I didn't care.

In 2001, when my friends and I found ourselves looking to teach, we landed in Rochester of all places. I mean I can say I was there when the discussion was held switching from matched grip to traditional...and that was no easy conversation to have ( thanks especially to Rob Summers). You took in "that Westshore guy" and taught me Statesmen Style. Yes, by the end of 2001, even this guy put a lime in the coconut and shook it all about hey! So many great moments with a corps that..well...My god were we horrible early on....and yet the corps and staff never quit....if only we had two more weeks....

I've been a fan and sometimes a critic since then, but I've always been welcomed back, and always got a sweaty hug from David ( usually because he was always pumping his arms when I'd see him). For all anybody could hate you for, and I'm sure many in DCA have their reasons......they'll love you too, and miss you. You always stuck to your mission, win or lose, and in an era where demand for the sake of demand and super deep concepts became the norm, you kept on being the Empire Statesmen.

David, Mr. B up there in heaven, Dave Hawthorne, Ron Abate, the 2001 drum staff ( Murph, Gary, Adam, Mike).......all my friends still there, and the ones who retired ( yes you too Patsy)...thank you for 30 years of kick ### shows and your friendship. You will be missed, and yes, you tuxedo'd ######## made me cry Sunday

Edited by Jeff Ream
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