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Eleran

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A mere two decades ago, there were 29 drum corps shows in Canada (albeit only 1 that was attended by any top twelve DCI World Class corps), and up to two dozen actual drum corps, of varying levels.

Today, there are zero shows in Canada, and only one corps still active of which I am aware (Les Stentors), after Blue Saints elected not to participate this year. I haven't seen Les Stentors member numbers this year.

Query:

  1. Recognizing that DCI's mission statement is "to promote and inspire unparalleled excellence in music and performing arts throughout the world", are there any reasonable steps which DCI might take to help revive drum corps in Canada?

Discuss.

Edited by Eleran

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I think finding show sponsors willing to pay for importing of corps would help to bring more interest into the activity. If they could start with Open Class, and yes, likely would need to provide some funding for it, it might be a good start.

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Today, there are zero shows in Canada, and only one corps still active of which I am aware (Les Stentors), after Blue Stars elected not to participate this year. I haven't seen Les Stentors member numbers this year.

Minor detail: Blue Saints not Blue Stars.

There were at least two Canadian SoundSport groups this year. Maybe the start of something?

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Minor detail: Blue Saints not Blue Stars.

Oops! Edited to correct this.

Guess I thought Blue Stars took a nap this year ...

Ba-dump.

Which two Soundsports groups?

Edited by Eleran

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A good friend of mine that is from Canada told me that one of the biggest reason for a lack of Canadian corps is a lack of instrumental music programs in the schools. This limits the talent pool to recruit from for Canadian corps. It is also much more difficult for non-Canadian members to travel across the border to participate in Canadian corps.

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In addition to Stentors, Quebec has the Titans and Eclairs. Titans do Soundsports, while Eclairs are a parade unit.

Ambassadeurs Monteregie have added woodwinds to their former drum & bugle corps.

Edited by Northern Thunder

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I'm fairly certain that Academie Musicale still exists, but its drum corps of the same name does not. (even in parade form)

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I had neglected to look at the DCI Soundsport page, which indeed lists a handful of Canadian outfits:

  • Calgary Stampede Showband (ages 16-21; not sure how much they perform outside of Calgary Stampede Week; they were at Indy last year)
  • Edmonton Sabers Marching Band (ages 6-14; played at DCI Sacramento in July)
  • Les Titans de Quebec (I think they did SoundSport at Atlanta this season)
  • McMaster Marching Band (students at McMaster University; I believe did SoundSport in Indy
  • Optimists Alumni (all age; mostly grey-haired members - nothing against that, but looking for avenues to develop junior corps for DCI)
  • The Diplomats (ages 8-22; no tuition; 2 SoundSport events in 2016 and a score of local community events )

In trying to gather info about the above, it highlighted again for me how much more - even with minimal effort - that DCI could do to support groups like these. Simply trying to find where a SoundSport group might have performed is extremely difficult. The SoundSport page gives the names, towns, websites and facebook pages of 33 SoundSport groups, but very little other information. Under the Events Schedule, it list an upcoming event at Indianapolis, but absolutely no details about which groups are making the trip. It lists no prior events. Under the Events Results, there is nothing from 2016. On the DCI page, you can find the individual schedules of World and Open corps, and some over-age corps, but no SoundSport groups. Some DCI shows will list a SoundSport corps appearing - but you have to look at each event's details to check. And some other events, such as the Atlanta Regional, just mention "SoundSport" without any info about which groups. You're not helping build interest when you fail to put out any information about the performances.

So with seed groups like some of the above ... what else can DCI do to help. Chris mentioned the need for shows to generate interest, and I agree that is one thing that can be done. DCI led the way into Florida this season (from my understanding, it was DCI's decision to commit to the 3 shows, then they coerced the corps to make the trip). Can they/will they do something similar for Canada? Corp members might appreciate the cooler weather more than they appreciated Florida's weather.

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