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New Open Class Corps

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"NO no no no it's dying! Drum corps is dying"

:dancin: You were saying drum corps alarmists?

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"NO no no no, it's dying! Drum corps is dying."

You were saying, drum corps alarmists?

What is it we were saying? Oh, that's right:

--Last fall, Music City, who had just reached their DCI Open Class highest placement and score ever, announced they were folding. A couple months later, their revival was announced, but I think we can agree that was a close call. (As it was for the Bushwackers, six-time DCA champions, in the previous fall.)

--Last fall, Glassmen, fifty years old, sixteen-time DCI World Class finalists (with three times at fifth place in the previous fifteen years), who a year earlier had announced that they would be taking off the 2013 season to regroup, announced they were filing for bankruptcy.

--Last fall, Tampa Bay Thunder, who had just placed fifth in DCA Class A, announced they would be moving to DCI Open Class this year (where I think they could have done reasonably well, probably finishing around tenth). In February, they apparently decided to cut back to just running a SoundSport team.

--Last fall, (Spokane) Thunder, who for four years had limited themselves to a partial-season DCI Open Class tour, announced that they would be returning to O.C. championships for the first time since 2008. (In my opinion, they had a shot at finishing eighth or better.) Last month, they apparently decided not to field a corps at all.

--Last fall, SoCal Dream announced their intention to travel to DCA championships, for the first time in four years. In May, they announced they wouldn't be competing at all this year, not even locally, as they had every year since 2003.

--Last fall, High Country Brass competed in DCA Class A; this year they're only doing DCA Minicops.

--Last fall, Empire Statesmen, five-time DCA champions and finalists for 29 straight years, decided to shut down.

On the other hand, as noted in this thread and elsewhere, this year there are two returning DCA Open Class corps (Alliance and Skyliners); six new, or newly competing, DCI Open Class corps (Coastal Surge, Eruption, Golden Empire, Guardians, Louisiana Stars, and Watchmen), one returning DCI Open Class corps (Incognito), and one returning DCA Class A corps (Chops, Inc.).

And that's a good thing: after a two-year decline, we're back to the number of corps there were in 2011. But let's not lose perspective. There was a big drop in the number of competing corps in 2005, and we've had no rebound from the 2006 numbers.

Here are the number of corps who competed in DCI or DCA or the past ten years.

(In this list, DCA Minicorps and DCI SoundSport teams are not shown. DCI Div. II and Div. III are both included in Open Class. Numbers following a plus sign indicate corps who competed but didn't appear at championships, or if in parentheses, overseas corps who appeared at championships.)

2004 - 83 corps

DCI World - 24

DCA Open - 12(+1)

DCI Open - 27(+1)+8

DCA A - 7+3

2005 - 89 corps

DCI World - 24

DCA Open - 16

DCI Open - 27(+2)+8

DCA A - 10+2

2006 - 70 corps

DCI World - 23

DCA Open - 16

DCI Open - 17(+1)+5

DCA A - 7+1

2007 - 71 corps

DCI World - 22

DCA Open - 13

DCI Open - 21(+1)+4

DCA A - 9+1

2008 - 72 corps

DCI World - 20

DCA Open - 12

DCI Open - 21(+2)+4

DCA A - 12+1

2009 - 71 corps

DCI World - 22

DCA Open - 13

DCI Open - 19+5

DCA A - 11+1

2010 - 70 corps

DCI World - 23

DCA Open - 10(+1)

DCI Open - 15(+1)+8

DCA A - 12

2011 - 69 corps

DCI World - 23

DCA Open - 11

DCI Open - 16(+2)+6

DCA A - 10+1

2012 - 66 corps

DCI World - 22+1

DCA Open - 11(+1)+1

DCI Open - 14+7

DCA A - 8+1

2013 - 64 corps

DCI World - 22

DCA Open - 12

DCI Open - 13(+1)+4

DCA A - 10(+1)+1

2014 - 69 corps

DCI World - 22

DCA Open - 14

DCI Open - 14(+1?)+10

DCA A - 7+1

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We are in the Infancy stage of forming a new organization in Florida called Heat wave Of Florida. Again, we're just getting started, so please be patient. The plan is a two part organization 1st being a kidette group 12-15 yrs of age, and a more advanced group age 16-22. Hopefully, this will emerge as an opne class corps in the near future. We're moving slowly & methodically to make this a sustainable entity which will last. Thanks!!

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Small steps are good. The important thing is that there be more steps forward than backward. From last year to this year the number of competing DCI Open Class corps increased by seven, the number of competing DCA Open Class corps increased by two, while the number of DCI World Class corps held steady, and the number of DCA Class A corps decreased by three. That's a net of six new competing corps. Let's have that trend continue, please.

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And let's not forget that half of the junior corps that were active in 2013 never competed, or performed on a football field.

I expect that this year will be similar.

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And let's not forget that half of the junior corps that were active in 2013 never competed, or performed on a football field. I expect that this year will be similar.

How can one learn more about these corps? Is there a list you can point me towards?

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How can one learn more about these corps? Is there a list you can point me towards?

I've been keeping track of the North American junior corps that are active each year since DCI's first year.

Digging up the existence of some of the more obscure units is a challenge. Once you know of their existence you can follow up in later years

to know if they are still active or not.

To give you an idea of some of the "unknown" corps that are active in parades and other performances aside from field competitions:

Ambassadeurs (QUE)

Annapolis (MD)

Bataan Military Academy (NM)

Brooklyn Park Lions (MN)

Brother Dutton (WI)

Burke High School (NE)

Cranbrook Girls (British Columbia)

Culver Academy (IN)

Exodus (IL)

Forgemen (PA)

General Butler Vagabonds (PA)---returned as a parade corps back in 2008, and have been active ever since

Impact (Alberta)

Julian Middle School (IL)

Legacy (NY)

Lowell High School (CA)

Mackinac Island Scouts (MI)

Missouri Gold (MO)

Missouri Military Academy (MO)

Neptune's Guard (NJ)

Royal Court (NY)

St. John's Academy (KS)

St. Patrick's Blue Lancers (NY)

Titans (QUE)

Villa Park High School (CA)

Warriors (IL)

Windsor Diplomats (ONT)

Four other Scout corps besides Racine, Mackinac and Madison

Nine RCSCC corps from Ontario

There are still others that I haven't listed, but this gives you an idea of what's out there.

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2014 - 69 corps

DCI World - 22

DCA Open - 14

DCI Open - 14(+1?)+10

DCA A - 7+1

Well, Centurions just announced they won't be appearing in DCA this year, but on the other hand, DCI announced that Patria from Guatemala would be traveling to championships, so if North East Technology really is also coming, the number of competitive corps in DCI or DCA this year now breaks down as follows:

2014 - 69 corps

DCI World - 22

DCA Open - 14

DCI Open - 14(+2?)+10

DCA A 6+1

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The east coast hasn't grown at all in new open class corps. Other area's throughout the us has but not the east coast. I wonder with some of the highest per capitol income in the country, you would think there would be one or two new competing corps in this region. Don't get me wrong, I live in the Wash DC area and it's very expensive to live, just like the rest of the east coast. Maybe having an All-Age corps is the way to go because of the cost. Just like to see maybe some new corps growth on that side of the country. Take care!!!

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I am HUGELY impressed with Golden Empire, holy cow! Watch out for them in the future.

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