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No they won't. The only WC corps close enough to have a big impact locally is Surf and they don't compete for the same performers. Cadet will be fine talent-wise.

Location has very little impact on recruitment at that level.

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I had the opportunity to see this live recently and found so much of it representative of what had been Cadets' culture for so many decades past and the challenge the Cadets face at present.

Easily the values expressed herein could also be attributed to the corps codes at Cavaliers, Crown, SCV, Troopers and perhaps a few others.This has the gift of being able to bridge the generation gap.

https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/charlie-rose-interviews-michael-phelps-and-mike-krzyzewski/

Edited by xandandl
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I had the opportunity to see this live recently and found so much of it representative of what had been Cadets' culture for so many decades past and the challenge the Cadets face at present.

Easily the values expressed herein could also be attributed to the corps codes at Cavaliers, Crown, SCV, Troopers and perhaps a few others. This has the gift of being able to bridge the generation gap.

https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/charlie-rose-interviews-michael-phelps-and-mike-krzyzewski/

video link given within article is 40 minutes long but worth it.

Edited by xandandl

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Location has very little impact on recruitment at that level.

i'd disagree. while cadets do draw from all over, there's a surprising number of kids who are within 4 hours driving time. traveling to camps is expensive. cost does play a significant factor at audition time -- even at the cadets.

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i'd disagree. while cadets do draw from all over, there's a surprising number of kids who are within 4 hours driving time. traveling to camps is expensive. cost does play a significant factor at audition time -- even at the cadets.

You do realize that JPaul knows quite a bit about WC drum corps this decade don't you? He's been #2 or 3 for Cavaliers summer tour admin for quite a few seasons. He speaks from experience not just theory or recent band parenting.

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i'd disagree. while cadets do draw from all over, there's a surprising number of kids who are within 4 hours driving time. traveling to camps is expensive. cost does play a significant factor at audition time -- even at the cadets.

40% of the USA population lives within a days drive of Cadets camps - one of the strengths they have built in

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No they won't. The only WC corps close enough to have a big impact locally is Surf and they don't compete for the same performers. Cadet will be fine talent-wise.

exactly

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Well auditions will give us lots of info. Either it's business as usual for Cadets or they'll struggle with recruitment if the community feels they've lost their way.

True, but the recruiting world doesn't always give an accurate indicator of quality from a competitive standpoint.

For instance, if Cadets bring in 300 to 400 kids to audition (as I expect they will), and so do many of the other big corps, how do we measure who really brought in the best talent? After all, each can only take 150.

  • Is corps placement the true test? Not really, because the design team and staff have a lot to do with quality of show.
  • Is demand level a test of that? To some extent yes, because it's more obvious what the marchers can or cannot do; but it's still not a true indicator because good teachers can do wonders with young people willing to learn and work hard.
  • Is it quality of show? Definitely no. That has more to do with the design team.
  • Is it word of mouth? No, despite the fact that people love to talk about who has the most talent, etc. We are all just guessing unless we have listened to all the auditions and followed the musicians/performers throughout the summer as they improve.
  • Is it the number of kids that show for your camps? No, although that can certainly help you gauge interest. It does not give a true indicator of talent. You could have 400 average musicians show and another corps could have 200 solid-to-exceptional musicians show. How would we know unless we are handling the auditions?

We All Love the Eye and Ear Test (but even that is subjective)

An experienced DCI fan can get a read on talent and/or quality of learner/marcher when they first see the show, but it's not scientific. The eye test helps us see the physical skills, and the ear test helps us factor musical quality and ability. But having a staff to put it all together (from design to teaching to managing to editing to encouraging) is a big part.

Back in the 1980s I remember seeing and hearing Madison Scouts on many occasions and thinking "WOW, these guys have as much talent as anyone." They always had fantastic brass, percussion was solid, and their guards were incredible. The eye told me they had veteran age, ability, and strong motor skills as marchers (which you will not see in corps with lots of 14 to 16 year olds); and my ear told me they had musicians capable of playing demanding music written in multiple keys and meters with incredible range, a multitude of styles, individual responsibility, and they did so incredibly well. They did take 3rd in 1981 and won a Gold Medal in 1988. But most of the time in the 1980s (and through the 1990s as well) they found themselves in 4th, 5th, or 6th - or lower.

Why? Certainly not because of lack of talent in my opinion. Mostly because of design and/or teaching. This is not to say what they did was bad. I think their instructors did a phenomenal job. They had some of my favorite shows from that period. In terms of locking down a top 3 slot they simply felt short most of those years. Now we can argue whether they were trying (considering Madison's mantra) and also the subjectivity of scoring. You could say similar things about Phantom Regiment from 1980 - 1990. Always talented but just lacking that extra "something" to lock-up top 3 finishes most years. They were top 3 in 1982 and 1989.

Why Share the Above Perspective

From 1980 to 1990 I watched Garfield Cadets win 5 titles with groups that were no more talented than Madison or Phantom (at least not in my estimation). Design, teaching, and for that time being on the cutting edge of something new certainly helped. There were years when they didn't win that I was often even more impressed. In 1989 my eyes told me they had a lot of 16 to 17 year olds in the corps. Some have confirmed that. Yet they took top 5 with a young group. That's teaching for sure. I'm sure they were talented and hard working as well.

Recruiting in DCI is Similar to College Football

Now I said similar, not exactly like NCAA Football, but there are similarities. There is more than enough talent out there for hundreds of world class drum corps (theoretically). Getting those kids does have something to do with location, but also cost, level of interest, reputation, teachers/designers, tour experience, etc. Certainly in college football we can look at a few powers (like Alabama and Ohio State) and say "yeah, they have more talent than most." However, what's the difference between Clemson, LSU, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, FSU, Miami, Florida, Stanford, Cal, Washington, USC, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Michigan St, Baylor, and on and on? The difference is coaching (teaching). Even Houston (despite their loss this past weekend) has shown that the right system and design with the right level of talent and coaching can produce a lot of wins.

Under Brady Hoke people thought Michigan simply didn't have the talent. Jim Harbaugh comes to town and in his first year (without his own recruits) shows us that Michigan had more talent than we thought. They won a lot of games. Beat Florida in a bowl game. Chris Peterson (formerly of Boise St) goes to Washington and now look at them.

The jump that Academy made this past season was huge. Going from being a perennial 13th to 16th place group to 11th may seem minor, but we all know getting into the top 12 is difficult. Go ask the Troopers - who have plenty of talent. Academy has also had plenty of talent for years. The difference was teaching, design, and process.

The Cadets over the last 3 or 4 years have had no shortage of talent. I have enjoyed most of the musical books they've played from 2007 to now. I didn't care for 2008, but the rest I liked a lot. They've placed incredibly well some of those years (by the standards of a perennial top 3 corps). They have a 1st place, 2nd place, three 3rd place, two 4th place, two 5th place, and one 6th place finish over that time span. Not bad. When they took 4th or lower, was it talent? Doubtful.

My point is that we often make a bigger deal about recruiting, talent, and other doomsday scenarios because we think the problems are often these large, insurmountable obstacles. There also seems to be a fear that there are only so many talented kids who can march DCI, which we all know is not true. But we act like it's true when we show concern for recruiting. It's as if, in the back of our minds, we are worried that someone else will get all the talent. But just like in College football there is plenty of talent to go around. It's what you do with it.

In reality it's the little things. It's teaching, design, and process. In terms of design it might just be better coordination of visual and music, better guard staging, better story or thematic development. It might be needing better music design. This all depends on the corps and the show.

The Cadets will be fine. Kids will show up, teachers will teach, designers will design, and hopefully they will have a process in place that allows the kids to be their best. After that it comes down to performance and judging -- and the later can be subjective. Do staff members wear-out their welcome after a number of years with a certain corps? Sure. Do corps directors wear-out their welcome with staff and/or marchers after some time? Sure. Do people bicker and fight in a competitive activity? YES!!! But with all this in mind I would not read much into how many people show for an audition; and few of us will truly know anything about the quality of talent at each camp unless we are doing the auditioning and teaching.

Edited by jwillis35
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True, but the recruiting world doesn't always give an accurate indicator of quality from a competitive standpoint.

For instance, if Cadets bring in 300 to 400 kids to audition (as I expect they will), and so do many of the other big corps, how do we measure who really brought in the best talent? After all, each can only take 150.

  • Is corps placement the true test? Not really, because the design team and staff have a lot to do with quality of show.
  • Is demand level a test of that? To some extent yes, because it's more obvious what the marchers can or cannot do; but it's still not a true indicator because good teachers can do wonders with young people willing to learn and work hard.
  • Is it quality of show? Definitely no. That has more to do with the design team.
  • Is it word of mouth? No, despite the fact that people love to talk about who has the most talent, etc. We are all just guessing unless we have listened to all the auditions and followed the musicians/performers throughout the summer as they improve.
  • Is it the number of kids that show for your camps? No, although that can certainly help you gauge interest. It does not give a true indicator of talent. You could have 400 average musicians show and another corps could have 200 solid-to-exceptional musicians show. How would we know unless we are handling the auditions?

We All Love the Eye and Ear Test (but even that is subjective)

An experienced DCI fan can get a read on talent and/or quality of learner/marcher when they first see the show, but it's not scientific. The eye test helps us see the physical skills, and the ear test helps us factor musical quality and ability. But having a staff to put it all together (from design to teaching to managing to editing to encouraging) is a big part.

Back in the 1980s I remember seeing and hearing Madison Scouts on many occasions and thinking "WOW, these guys have as much talent as anyone." They always had fantastic brass, percussion was solid, and their guards were incredible. The eye told me they had veteran age, ability, and strong motor skills as marchers (which you will not see in corps with lots of 14 to 16 year olds); and my ear told me they had musicians capable of playing demanding music written in multiple keys and meters with incredible range, a multitude of styles, individual responsibility, and they did so incredibly well. They did take 3rd in 1981 and won a Gold Medal in 1988. But most of the time in the 1980s (and through the 1990s as well) they found themselves in 4th, 5th, or 6th - or lower.

Why? Certainly not because of lack of talent in my opinion. Mostly because of design and/or teaching. This is not to say what they did was bad. I think their instructors did a phenomenal job. They had some of my favorite shows from that period. In terms of locking down a top 3 slot they simply felt short most of those years. Now we can argue whether they were trying (considering Madison's mantra) and also the subjectivity of scoring. You could say similar things about Phantom Regiment from 1980 - 1990. Always talented but just lacking that extra "something" to lock-up top 3 finishes most years. They were top 3 in 1982 and 1989.

Why Share the Above Perspective

From 1980 to 1990 I watched Garfield Cadets win 5 titles with groups that were no more talented than Madison or Phantom (at least not in my estimation). Design, teaching, and for that time being on the cutting edge of something new certainly helped. There were years when they didn't win that I was often even more impressed. In 1989 my eyes told me they had a lot of 16 to 17 year olds in the corps. Some have confirmed that. Yet they took top 5 with a young group. That's teaching for sure. I'm sure they were talented and hard working as well.

Recruiting in DCI is Similar to College Football

Now I said similar, not exactly like NCAA Football, but there are similarities. There is more than enough talent out there for hundreds of world class drum corps (theoretically). Getting those kids does have something to do with location, but also cost, level of interest, reputation, teachers/designers, tour experience, etc. Certainly in college football we can look at a few powers (like Alabama and Ohio State) and say "yeah, they have more talent than most." However, what's the difference between Clemson, LSU, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, FSU, Miami, Florida, Stanford, Cal, Washington, USC, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Michigan St, Baylor, and on and on? The difference is coaching (teaching). Even Houston (despite their loss this past weekend) has shown that the right system and design with the right level of talent and coaching can produce a lot of wins.

Under Brady Hoke people thought Michigan simply didn't have the talent. Jim Harbaugh comes to town and in his first year (without his own recruits) shows us that Michigan had more talent than we thought. They won a lot of games. Beat Florida in a bowl game. Chris Peterson (formerly of Boise St) goes to Washington and now look at them.

The jump that Academy made this past season was huge. Going from being a perennial 13th to 16th place group to 11th may seem minor, but we all know getting into the top 12 is difficult. Go ask the Troopers - who have plenty of talent. Academy has also had plenty of talent for years. The difference was teaching, design, and process.

The Cadets over the last 3 or 4 years have had no shortage of talent. I have enjoyed most of the musical books they've played from 2007 to now. I didn't care for 2008, but the rest I liked a lot. They've placed incredibly well some of those years (by the standards of a perennial top 3 corps). They have a 1st place, 2nd place, three 3rd place, two 4th place, two 5th place, and one 6th place finish over that time span. Not bad. When they took 4th or lower, was it talent? Doubtful.

My point is that we often make a bigger deal about recruiting, talent, and other doomsday scenarios because we think the problems are often these large, insurmountable obstacles. There also seems to be a fear that there are only so many talented kids who can march DCI, which we all know is not true. But we act like it's true when we show concern for recruiting. It's as if, in the back of our minds, we are worried that someone else will get all the talent. But just like in College football there is plenty of talent to go around. It's what you do with it.

In reality it's the little things. It's teaching, design, and process. In terms of design it might just be better coordination of visual and music, better guard staging, better story or thematic development. It might be needing better music design. This all depends on the corps and the show.

The Cadets will be fine. Kids will show up, teachers will teach, designers will design, and hopefully they will have a process in place that allows the kids to be their best. After that it comes down to performance and judging -- and the later can be subjective. Do staff members wear-out their welcome after a number of years with a certain corps? Sure. Do corps directors wear-out their welcome with staff and/or marchers after some time? Sure. Do people bicker and fight in a competitive activity? YES!!! But with all this in mind I would not read much into how many people show for an audition; and few of us will truly know anything about the quality of talent at each camp unless we are doing the auditioning and teaching.

Good points. In the early eighties, 2 we had lots of kids who marched when we came in 16th, 10th and then 7th 79-81 so yes, staff talent and innovation were the factors at that time. JWillis has the best posts.

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