Madison Scouts: fan base/alumni philosophy


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I haven't been satisfied at all. Not finishing above 9th place since '05 is not good. If you said 20 years ago that the Scouts would be 9-14 place for 9 years in a row fans/alumni would tell you that you were absolutely out of your mind. Visual/show design is where there is the biggest gap imo. Visual to me doesn't mean more body movement, or filling the field with pointless props though. I'm very excited about the changes so far. I feel the brass/drumline are in great hands. I don't know much about the new visual guy, but his resume speaks for itself. I'm really hoping for a top six finish next year.

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As an alumnus, would i like to see another trophy in the corps office? Sure. But do I want to see it at the expense of the tradition, philosophy, and upholding of the corps' values and brotherhood?

Here is what I posted in the other thread. ### For me, In want them to perform the show that the crowd talks about/sings as they leave the stadium. I always want them to be the crowd favorite. Y

To ask what the Scouts alumni base feels about what direction the corps should go is like asking what the people of the United States feel about politics. Some feel we should screw tradition and play

What I would REALLY like to see, is for them to lead a resurgence in shows that play to the crowd and have big, powerful, WOW moments (in my mind at least). Can DCI turn in that direction, who knows. If it can, I would like to see Madison to lead the way.

Here's where the problem is. Crown. BD. Bluecoats. Cavaliers. Vanguard. All of them HAD shows that appealed to the crowd and were quite successful, competitively. Where Madison's fanboys fall down is in assuming that the corps who beat Scouts on a regular basis actually suck, when it comes to entertaining the masses.

But it isn't true. The others do quite well on both fronts, the judges and the crowds.

So the first step toward moving toward a new paradigm is to drop the ones that don't work, and the "we're entertaining, and that's better than winning" is one that needs to be taken out behind the shed and whacked for good. They're not mutually exclusive, as this year's top corps clearly demonstrate.

Edited by Slingerland
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I don't know, maybe its because a few dozen Corps not named.... " Blue Devils "... are STILL trying to figure out the consistent winning formula " that works both musically and visually" that you apparently believe its not difficult to do.

I guess I should have chosen my words differently. My main point is it seems some feel the Scouts should just get back to the great Wow moments of years gone by and not give in to the score sheets.It is my opinion you can have that along with a great visual package because several corps ahead of them are doing just that. I shouldn't have said it's not difficult to design like that because surely it is, I meant it shouldn't be difficult deciding that's the direction you need to go if you want higher placement.

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I'm certainly no expert but I'm not sure why people think it's difficult to design a show that works both musically and visually. So if you have to write a show that DCI rewards with scores, and you would like to be more competitive, then clearly that's what you need to do.

With 70 points for GE and Visual, and only 30 for music, the sheets would probably have to be changed again to give back more importance to music. Edited by Ghost
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I speak to the corps with my dollars. I usually get to one show plus the cinema broadcasts every year. I visit the souvie booth/online store of the corps that entertained me and spend some money and let them know that I appreciated the entertainment. I have been hitting Madison’s souvie booth/online store pretty regularly over the past several years because they have been the most entertaining to me (obviously my personal opinion). If they continue to entertain me they will continue to get my money and I will be happy regardless of where they end up in the placements. Last year was also SCV, and I am currently wearing my “Tilt” shirt from this year (and believe me I never thought I would ever wear a Bluecoats shirt).

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Madison needs to figure out how to electrify fans with design and performance being top notch. right now the issue is Madison is trying to appease two beats that are in constant conflict:

re-create the Madison of old

score well.

they don't always go hand in hand, and the talent pool in DCI is far better than it was 10 years ago

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Madison has created some of my favorite drum corps memories, and while I have enjoyed many of their more recent shows, the best memories are those before 2000. I think that's the feeling for many others as well. While Madison's brass has always been it's strength, in the past the guard and percussion were formidable as well. In recent years I've thought they rely on their brass too much to cover for weaknesses. In some recent seasons, the guard has been good, other years a bit weak. Percussion seems to lag most years. I think they need to focus on having a more consistent overall show. I think the pieces are the, but they are not in place.

Also, before we pan all of Madison's recent placements, in 2013 they almost placed 7th. Their finals show lacked the fire of prelims and semi's, that combined with a powerful BAC performance and a much stronger than expected Cavies show did edge them out, but only tenths separated 7th, 8th, and 9th. 2013 was competitive and pretty close to the good old days.

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As an alumnus, would i like to see another trophy in the corps office? Sure. But do I want to see it at the expense of the tradition, philosophy, and upholding of the corps' values and brotherhood? Hell no. But do I want them in finals...? You bet your butts I do, that seems to be attainable. To hold your corps values and identity while loosely playing into the game. ugh, i hate using that expression. playing the game. there shouldn't be one. the score sheets aren't even written to create a game. its all invented by the Joffreys in DCI.

Off topic thought in 3... 2... 1...

I don't want to point a finger and say DCI is messed up, the score sheets are messed up, the direction of the activity is messed up and Madison is all right. That would be silly to say. Because its not all one thing vs the other thing. And as Jurassic Park taught us... life finds a way. Evolution is inevitable.

To be honest with all of you out there in the virtual marching pitch of DCP I am less proud of the later 2000's when the corps started to lose its identity. I am proud of the work that the gents did, whether in finals or not, Im proud that they took it all in stride, and kept the brotherhood alive, and their values stood the test of time, but there's a bit of "playing the game" that had to happen to bring them back into finals consistently. Which I understand, but as an activity that is presented as educational, I feel very little of that happens like it did ten years ago and the scoring and ideals are at the top of the concern pile for me. And it stinks to feel that to participate in an activity you have to give up part of yourself and your identity. Seriously, that stinks like a laundry bag coming to the end of the tour week.

But I will say that the trend of getting all new stuff every year bothers me. (unis, horns, drums... etc) That is wasteful, which is not how I remember the corps being. Its not how I remember ANY corps that I marched or taught at operating. Its probably why we see less corps ever year, but that's a different thread to start in DCP.

You'll hate hearing this but they aren't the only corps struggling to keep their identity in an activity that is in constant fluctuation and striving to "push the envelope". Heck I pushed a manilla one the other day across the desk. It wasn't that hard. I didn't need space pants or a new uni to do it either. (see what I did there... bwahahaha) I know several corps directors of the same box have been told to buy into the new way or expect the same results. Which stinks.

that my friends is frackin' annoying. Actually it makes me want to turn big and green and smash stuff wearing only purple shorts. To see so many corps that had developed great identities over years (even you spacepants), and now are struggling to fit some model that is set by a bunch of dorks in polos in an office in Indiana. (think aboot it... I may be onto something here) Its like a big guessing game of what the big secret company wants to present to the public every season and less about what you the ensemble want to present and educate your youth with.

ok, enough propaganda and back onto topic...

I am proud that they are in finals. Do I want a higher placement, sure, doesn't everyone want that for their corps or even a show they like every season? I know for a fact that they are getting the talent. You can see that in the videos. Will they get more talent with a ring, probably. Will they also get more ego filled applicants? Probably. will they then get members who aren't there to buy into the corps values? probably.

I am extremely proud of the corps at this moment. After talking with my little brothers, and how THEY feel about the corps, the show, and what they get out of it, I am actually relieved that it feels like things have come full circle. I liked the last couple shows. Empire, Corps of Brothers, and Time Trip because it had music I can listen to. To me, when you take away the visual and cup-cakey frosting like fluffiness, the show itself should still be able to be listened to on its own. And over the last few years it now feels like we are getting back to that with Madison. We went away for a bit, but we are back. Each corps regime was an extension of the director's persona to an extent. I love all of the directors simply for taking the job on. And year by year, we've gotten a little closer to the Madison of yesteryear, and the addition of the new staff will help to give us the Madison we all know and love. I'm not saying we are going to bring back Malaga, Malaguena, or any other chart the guys in green are known for.

In fact... i say leave them be. Make new Madison Classics! They became classics when we played them first, maybe a second time. But don't dig them out. Be the Madison we can be, and make another classic. They names being announced are people who helped create the original classics, let them make new ones in the style of Madison. Less footwork, less BK style dancy-ness (yeah, i know what you're thinking, i shouldn't say it like that, but BK to me has always been the dancy corps, and it works for them) and go back to a strong marching program, tough drill that makes the members hate running that same spiral set of death over and over again, and Boerma's famous last three weeks of tour from the scaffolding "take it back... play louder".

Do I want higher placements in the DCI Game of Thrones? sure, do I want the corps to devalue itself, its history or the values and brotherhood instilled in the members. No. Do I want it to gain the throne only to choke to death on the cake on its wedding day? NO. But it feels now, after several years of fluctuation, that they are coming back full circle. Which I believe starts at the top. The guys in charge, like the Starks hold the value at the top of their priorities. Which makes the corps what it is. And this coming season, I feel we'll see something we've not seen in a while. A new Madison, like the old Madison.

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All the corps are good. Some of the design is better than others simply based on logistics and opinions are all valid.

As an alum I would like to see them place better and do some crazy things the top groups are doing. In my opinion props and singing and synth are all valuable when used to make the majority of the audience freak out...also makes those elements not gimmicks. I remember marching in the days of the Madison score announced and "booed" followed by standing ovations for us. Not that the reaction was PC but I will admit it was cool getting that ovation and multiple throughout the show almost every night.

I will continue to follow the corps and am excited to see them come out with announcements and light up these forums with positive feedback. Have a great "off season" Madison!!

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As an alumnus, would i like to see another trophy in the corps office? Sure. But do I want to see it at the expense of the tradition, philosophy, and upholding of the corps' values and brotherhood? Hell no. But do I want them in finals...? You bet your butts I do, that seems to be attainable. To hold your corps values and identity while loosely playing into the game. ugh, i hate using that expression. playing the game. there shouldn't be one. the score sheets aren't even written to create a game. its all invented by the Joffreys in DCI.

Off topic thought in 3... 2... 1...

I don't want to point a finger and say DCI is messed up, the score sheets are messed up, the direction of the activity is messed up and Madison is all right. That would be silly to say. Because its not all one thing vs the other thing. And as Jurassic Park taught us... life finds a way. Evolution is inevitable.

To be honest with all of you out there in the virtual marching pitch of DCP I am less proud of the later 2000's when the corps started to lose its identity. I am proud of the work that the gents did, whether in finals or not, Im proud that they took it all in stride, and kept the brotherhood alive, and their values stood the test of time, but there's a bit of "playing the game" that had to happen to bring them back into finals consistently. Which I understand, but as an activity that is presented as educational, I feel very little of that happens like it did ten years ago and the scoring and ideals are at the top of the concern pile for me. And it stinks to feel that to participate in an activity you have to give up part of yourself and your identity. Seriously, that stinks like a laundry bag coming to the end of the tour week.

But I will say that the trend of getting all new stuff every year bothers me. (unis, horns, drums... etc) That is wasteful, which is not how I remember the corps being. Its not how I remember ANY corps that I marched or taught at operating. Its probably why we see less corps ever year, but that's a different thread to start in DCP.

You'll hate hearing this but they aren't the only corps struggling to keep their identity in an activity that is in constant fluctuation and striving to "push the envelope". Heck I pushed a manilla one the other day across the desk. It wasn't that hard. I didn't need space pants or a new uni to do it either. (see what I did there... bwahahaha) I know several corps directors of the same box have been told to buy into the new way or expect the same results. Which stinks.

that my friends is frackin' annoying. Actually it makes me want to turn big and green and smash stuff wearing only purple shorts. To see so many corps that had developed great identities over years (even you spacepants), and now are struggling to fit some model that is set by a bunch of dorks in polos in an office in Indiana. (think aboot it... I may be onto something here) Its like a big guessing game of what the big secret company wants to present to the public every season and less about what you the ensemble want to present and educate your youth with.

ok, enough propaganda and back onto topic...

I am proud that they are in finals. Do I want a higher placement, sure, doesn't everyone want that for their corps or even a show they like every season? I know for a fact that they are getting the talent. You can see that in the videos. Will they get more talent with a ring, probably. Will they also get more ego filled applicants? Probably. will they then get members who aren't there to buy into the corps values? probably.

I am extremely proud of the corps at this moment. After talking with my little brothers, and how THEY feel about the corps, the show, and what they get out of it, I am actually relieved that it feels like things have come full circle. I liked the last couple shows. Empire, Corps of Brothers, and Time Trip because it had music I can listen to. To me, when you take away the visual and cup-cakey frosting like fluffiness, the show itself should still be able to be listened to on its own. And over the last few years it now feels like we are getting back to that with Madison. We went away for a bit, but we are back. Each corps regime was an extension of the director's persona to an extent. I love all of the directors simply for taking the job on. And year by year, we've gotten a little closer to the Madison of yesteryear, and the addition of the new staff will help to give us the Madison we all know and love. I'm not saying we are going to bring back Malaga, Malaguena, or any other chart the guys in green are known for.

In fact... i say leave them be. Make new Madison Classics! They became classics when we played them first, maybe a second time. But don't dig them out. Be the Madison we can be, and make another classic. They names being announced are people who helped create the original classics, let them make new ones in the style of Madison. Less footwork, less BK style dancy-ness (yeah, i know what you're thinking, i shouldn't say it like that, but BK to me has always been the dancy corps, and it works for them) and go back to a strong marching program, tough drill that makes the members hate running that same spiral set of death over and over again, and Boerma's famous last three weeks of tour from the scaffolding "take it back... play louder".

Do I want higher placements in the DCI Game of Thrones? sure, do I want the corps to devalue itself, its history or the values and brotherhood instilled in the members. No. Do I want it to gain the throne only to choke to death on the cake on its wedding day? NO. But it feels now, after several years of fluctuation, that they are coming back full circle. Which I believe starts at the top. The guys in charge, like the Starks hold the value at the top of their priorities. Which makes the corps what it is. And this coming season, I feel we'll see something we've not seen in a while. A new Madison, like the old Madison.

That right there is a great post. Well done.

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