Members have changed so why not the activity


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It's just an opinion but I got to thinking about members of the first DCI corps in 1972. Most were kids off of the street with no music backround or education. I don't even think most of them were in high school bands at the time and I know my local corps had very few members that could read music. Also, you may have wanted to play soprano but the quartermaster only had baritones on the shelf, so that's what you played. Many corps had feeder corps to help teach younger kids how to march and play.

Today's DCI members are much more talented musicians and are member ready before they even go to the first camp. I'm not positive but I think almost everyone (if not everyone) that tries out for corps in 2014 has marched in a high school band.

So my point is, as the members change, it would only make sense that the activity would change to better suit and attract band kids over to participate in corps.

And, as the membership changes so will the type of crowd that is attracted to the activity.

I may be way off base but it's just my opinion. I'm really not all that involved with corps these days.

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It's just an opinion but I got to thinking about members of the first DCI corps in 1972. Most were kids off of the street with no music backround or education. I don't even think most of them were in

The activity has changed, quite dramatically, over the years. Look at the audition requirements, the level of music being performed, and the speed of the programs. Look at the types of kids participat

"If the activity wants to survive...then it needs to evolve" Having read this in a thousand postings over the years, I still am left wondering - How does one define "survive"; and how does one def

The activity has changed, quite dramatically, over the years. Look at the audition requirements, the level of music being performed, and the speed of the programs. Look at the types of kids participating. In WC, most of the kids are in college, and many (if not most) are music majors.

I see you're alluding to the discussion about allowing more/different instrumentation and electronics. Drum corps is a different activity than high school or college marching band-different history, different traditions, different types of members. I don't see those distinctions as being a bad thing. Different doesn't mean good or bad, just different.

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It's just an opinion but I got to thinking about members of the first DCI corps in 1972. Most were kids off of the street with no music backround or education. I don't even think most of them were in high school bands at the time and I know my local corps had very few members that could read music. Also, you may have wanted to play soprano but the quartermaster only had baritones on the shelf, so that's what you played. Many corps had feeder corps to help teach younger kids how to march and play.

Today's DCI members are much more talented musicians and are member ready before they even go to the first camp. I'm not positive but I think almost everyone (if not everyone) that tries out for corps in 2014 has marched in a high school band.

So my point is, as the members change, it would only make sense that the activity would change to better suit and attract band kids over to participate in corps.

And, as the membership changes so will the type of crowd that is attracted to the activity.

I may be way off base but it's just my opinion. I'm really not all that involved with corps these days.

There were more talented performers performing in competitive Drum Corps in the 60's and 70's than today ( as well as less talented performers performing as well ). This point seems rather easy to understand and come to agreement with. For every performer doing competitive Drum Corps today there were around 200 more doing competitive Drum Corps in the 60's and 70's. As a result there were BOTH more talented musicians and guard performers back then as well as lots and lots of minimally talented performers as well. The top performers were spread out among the several hundred Corps from back then, not concentrated with the few dozen we have today, thus more diversity among the ranks of the marchers in the activity back then as it relates to overall guard and musicianship talent. So its a numbers game, where BITD had high talent and low talent performing in rather large numbers, and both larger in numbers than today. The top Corps of today are larger and have the technical abilities that are top notch. This much seems clear to me too. But do not extrapolate from this that there are more ( in numbers) talented marchers performing in competitive Corps today than from the 60's and the 70's as you would be incorrect in your personal observation and its assessment in contrasting the two in this respect in my view.

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I agree with the OP that there were a lot of kids who could not read. Myself being one of them. I was taught by them playing me the part or singing it to me. Lucky for me I picked it up fast.

Now days the carts are more involved with a lot more instruments. it's a different time now.

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I agree with the OP that there were a lot of kids who could not read. Myself being one of them. I was taught by them playing me the part or singing it to me. Lucky for me I picked it up fast.

Now days the carts are more involved with a lot more instruments. it's a different time now.

Its undeniable that there were marchers that could not read music that were marching BITD ( ironically, A few could even perform better on their instrument than many that could read music back then too ). Its also undeniable it seems to me that there also was more talented guard , brass, percussion performers BITD than today on the competition field too. ( its a numbers game ) That said, the top DCI Corps of today are much larger and have much, much higher levels of talent in them than the top DCI Corps of BITD... for certain, imo. None of these things are contradictory, nor mutually exclusive either, imo. BITD competive Drum Corps had BOTH more talented performers performing in the activity, AND less talented performers, performing in the activity.

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There were more talented performers performing in competitive Drum Corps in the 60's and 70's than today ( as well as less talented performers performing as well ). This point seems rather easy to understand and come to agreement with. For every performer doing competitive Drum Corps today there were around 200 more doing competitive Drum Corps in the 60's and 70's. As a result there were BOTH more talented musicians and guard performers back then as well as lots and lots of minimally talented performers as well. The top performers were spread out among the several hundred Corps from back then, not concentrated with the few dozen we have today, thus more diversity among the ranks of the marchers in the activity back then as it relates to overall guard and musicianship talent. So its a numbers game, where BITD had high talent and low talent performing in rather large numbers, and both larger in numbers than today. The top Corps of today are larger and have the technical abilities that are top notch. This much seems clear to me too. But do not extrapolate from this that there are more ( in numbers) talented marchers performing in competitive Corps today than from the 60's and the 70's as you would be incorrect in your personal observation and its assessment in contrasting the two in this respect in my view.

This assumes an identical distrubtion of talent in drum corps of both eras.

I'd suggest that this is very bad assumption.

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There is one thing in common, though- a desire to compete at a high level and find out just how good you are and what you're capable of achieving. They also love doing it as much as we did. They also want to light up the crowd and excite and inspire, like we did. I've talked to enough KKY brothers active in DCA and DCI now and with other active performers as well, and it resonates. For me, that seems to override any differences like whether I don't have a cell phone and they do. There's more we share than where we'd differ, and I'm trying to find a conversation of late where we were fundamentally "differing" about the activity. Maybe one last July where someone was griping about their corps and I thought they were being too hard on the corps- but they were there and I wasn't, so I tried to understand and listened.

What I find interesting is that many individuals in Music Education have the serious thought that the High School Instrumental music programs peaked out in quality around the 1975-1982 period, yet the creme de la creme that feeds the top end DCI units is unquestionably solid, capable, and knowledgeable before they get there. Maybe it's the top .1 percent, whatever the number may be.

I can also relate to the music literacy issues in the 1979-1984 period- I know one of our instructors were floored that the entire hornline in the '82 Westshoremen could read music. One of my fellow baris didn't put his hand up, we looked at him:

"Dude, you read music."

"Yeah, but not right away."

"That's sight reading. That's different. He meant you can read notes and stuff."

"Oh, yeah, I can!" *dopeslap* :satisfied:

That sort of thing used to give corps a HUGE edge in period.

I've said before on another thread I think some people need to talk more to the current people, and they'd find more akin than different when you get to the heart of things. I've found it deeply enriching, and I hope others will do more of it.

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This assumes an identical distrubtion of talent in drum corps of both eras.

No, I don't believe that I conveyed that assumption at all with my comments above. If I did, let me disabuse you of that interpretation of my remarks, ie I do not believe that there was " an identical distribution of talent in drum corps of both eras ". Quite the opposite as a matter of fact.

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