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truman

Bayonne Tournament Of Champions

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It was a beautiful afternoon as we headed 2 hours south to the City. It was great to have my drummer brother and my dad with us. After taking me to several shows a year when I was young, it was my Dad who said one Sunday morning, "let's go for a ride". He drove me to a high school where a newly formed corps was getting ready to start a rehearsal and booted me out of the car. I was given a soprano, and have enjoyed this activity in my life for the last 36 years. Living in Arizona, this was his first live show in 20 years.

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I had not been to this show since I marched, and was pleasantly surprised by the clean downtown and area around the stadium. I seem to recall the venue being known for it's odor by the bay, but that was not the case tonight. The small parking lots at the stadium were almost full, with quite a few tents and chairs and picnics set up. We took a scenic walk to the warm up lots.

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As we made our way into the stadium hearing the familiar strains of Fran H, I was kind of surprised at the smallish turn out in the stands, especially considering the amount of cars in the lots. Then I realized that there were alot of people there, it was just that the number of performers was likely greater than the number of paying spectators. Not a good thing for the event I would guess.

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All seats were GA and $15 for adults. Concessions were run by the local Moose club I believe, hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, pizza and soda and water. Not exactly bargain prices, but pretty reasonable. Got a couple slices, they were just OK. We took our seats relatively low, just off the 50. It was fairly sparsely occupied from about the 40 to the 40, with more on side 2 because that was closest to the gate entrance.

Next up: The Competition

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First up was White Sabers, and their Arabian Night show. A nice opening performance for them. Some good work musically, especially by the brass, with the Scheherazade material. Stamina, especially with the feet, will need to get stronger as the season progresses, but the show has some nice moments. The guard work for the closer was not in yet. Overall a pretty solid job and good opening to the show.

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Next up was Fusion and their show Dreamscapes. A big bed prop is the focal point through the show, and it is used to good effect, showcasing performers in several spots. The guard is BIG, and clean. They dominate the visual and color pictures nicely. They had work in for the whole show. The percussion section is also full size, and they have a considerable amount of notes and exposure. During the feature, they rotate playing around some stationary drums and even marimba players rotate around each other. I counted 35 brass players, with a book that has some really exposed and difficult parts. Early season stamina concerns lead to the usual cleanliness issues, but the performers are selling the show very well. Their competitive position at this point of the season should provide all the motivation they need to keep working hard to clean and improve every week.

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The Cabs took the field for Entrapment. First, an attempt at an unbiased review of their performance. They open with the same set that they closed with last year, with some nice back corner solo work that builds in tension with mostly backfield brass. This night the ensemble tempo was never locked in during this section, and the effect definitely suffered until they turned with the opening hit. From that point, the opener was solid. They execute a uniform change, starting with the tubas, as members remove the satin when they become entrapped. They are left in a black top with a red sleeve design, and the kick pleats and sombreros. I personally would like to see some silver or sparkle on the uniform top, as the transition goes pretty dark visually, but perhaps that is the whole idea. It was also still pretty early so no stadium lights were in play. The guard seems to be having a few timing issues in some spots. The brass seemed to handle the demand with good energy all the way through the show. The original music is well written, and is classic Cab style. They amped the pit, and the balance and mixing was done such that it was never too loud or detracting from ensemble blend.

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Now on a more personal note...I can't really describe how awesome it was to see my 2 girls performing together on a drum corps field, especially with my dad there. My oldest had a great show in the front ensemble. My youngest, a mello player, had what might have been the toughest for any performer of the night. She couldn't get her uniform top released in the back when it was time for the change, and had to march the rest of the show with it on, ending up being the only one left in white satin. It was gut wrenching for us knowing what a perfectionist she is about her performance. She marched most of the show in tears. I was really proud of her, as she never let it effect her awesome performance level. We were all so proud of both of them! I am thankful they are part of such a great organization and have a chance to be a part of this really cool show!

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Cadets2 were next with Their Favorite Things. The opening hit for Rocky Point smacks hard. For the rest of the opener, the brass line struggled a little with the demand, but got it back together pretty well for the Z pull and goal line to goal line ending. As has been mentioned countless times, the DCI versions of this piece and of the Cadets set the bar pretty high, almost unfairly for 2. I kept waiting to see "little Jeffrey" during the Children's Dance piece from the Toy Soldier show. The percussion line was very solid. I counted almost 20 holes for brass? They did not have the closer drill done, and performed it in a semi circle. Not surprised by their score as they are considerably behind everyone else from a show development stand point. A lot of potential again in this show.

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Next up: The Exhibitions

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Despite a fairly lengthy INT, we had to watch the end of Raiders from the ground, as we were late visiting our Cabs in the lot. Sorry I can't offer more on them!

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Cabs Alumni were next. I think Dad might have enjoyed them as much as anyone. Echano from our vantage point was SMOKIN! Never disappointed when we get to see them!

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Sky Alumni were next. They performed with typical Skyliner showmanship and some great crowd interaction. They lead a Happy Birthday Sing Along for Fran H before they closed with an energetic rendition of Big Noise. A big night next weekend for the Skyliner name as they return to Open class competition at Barnum. Sock It In Garbarina!

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Last to perform were the host Bridgemen Alumni. They started by recognizing all the 10 year alumni corps members. As always, they have a great time on the field. When the DM forgot to give a horns up before In the Stone, he stopped them and restarted, joking with the crowd. They have a pretty decent field show put together, and a really nice color guard compliments the overall program. To end the night, they invited any Bridgemen alumn to the field to perform the ending of William Tell with them. A really cool moment!

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We headed out before the Drum Major only retreat, to meet for an after show diner breakfast that is our family tradition. The Park West on route 46 never disappoints. It was great talking drum corps with some Cabs and my dad. A great ending to a great night!

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Edited by truman
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Thanks for the review!

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Best review with all the pictures. Great job!!

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The Cabs took the field for Entrapment. First, an attempt at an unbiased review of their performance. They open with the same set that they closed with last year, with some nice back corner solo work that builds in tension with mostly backfield brass. This night the ensemble tempo was never locked in during this section, and the effect definitely suffered until they turned with the opening hit. From that point, the opener was solid. They execute a uniform change, starting with the tubas, as members remove the satin when they become entrapped. They are left in a black top with a red sleeve design, and the kick pleats and sombreros. I personally would like to see some silver or sparkle on the uniform top, as the transition goes pretty dark visually, but perhaps that is the whole idea. It was also still pretty early so no stadium lights were in play. The guard seems to be having a few timing issues in some spots. The brass seemed to handle the demand with good energy all the way through the show. The original music is well written, and is classic Cab style. They amped the pit, and the balance and mixing was done such that it was never too loud or detracting from ensemble blend.

E0A24697-3C49-404C-9223-A002AABBE6DD-205

IMG_4919.jpg

B9ADEB9A-8E36-4F1A-9560-12267118ED49-207

Now on a more personal note...I can't really describe how awesome it was to see my 2 girls performing together on a drum corps field, especially with my dad there. My oldest had a great show in the front ensemble. My youngest, a mello player, had what might have been the toughest for any performer of the night. She couldn't get her uniform top released in the back when it was time for the change, and had to march the rest of the show with it on, ending up being the only one left in white satin. It was gut wrenching for us knowing what a perfectionist she is about her performance. She marched most of the show in tears. I was really proud of her, as she never let it effect her awesome performance level. We were all so proud of both of them! I am thankful they are part of such a great organization and have a chance to be a part of this really cool show!

Tell your daughter that if she does this whacky activity long enough, she'll see virtually everyone go through a performance like that. For me it was my rotary valve break on the opening notes of Procession of the Nobles at Providence in 1976 - I had to yell to another player to play my baritone solo in one piece.

Having that one rough night brings us closer together, plus it's important to remember that the beauty of this activity is the team element. Any one of us can have the worst of nights or the best of nights - it's how the team does that counts.

Did I mention that Sun WON that show my horn broke on? Only time we beat Hawthorne in 1976. As brass instructor I was both miserable and exuberant. it's all about the team.

Watching our kids perform is about as good as it gets in this activity. Thanks for sharing.

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I have to say (WAY, WAY BITD), Moe Knox had taken a picture of a horn player holding his pants up - with one hand - AND try to play his horn (Valve/Rotor or just valve?). I played a few shows with a broken left shoulder and had to use a padded snare stick to prop up my right arm and play. I tied a string to the rotor and my thumb so I could play. The crazy things we do for this hobby!! If you told a psychiatrist what we willingly put our bodies thru, AND we pay for the priviledge, they would bring out the special white jackets.

GOD, I love this hobby!!

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great review as always!

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I have to say (WAY, WAY BITD), Moe Knox had taken a picture of a horn player holding his pants up - with one hand - AND try to play his horn (Valve/Rotor or just valve?). I played a few shows with a broken left shoulder and had to use a padded snare stick to prop up my right arm and play. I tied a string to the rotor and my thumb so I could play. The crazy things we do for this hobby!! If you told a psychiatrist what we willingly put our bodies thru, AND we pay for the priviledge, they would bring out the special white jackets.

GOD, I love this hobby!!

That was a kid in the Smithtown Freelancers (Wayne Downey"s Jr corps from Smithtown LINY) about 1965 66 67 ish

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