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garfield

Electronics, Costumes, Tarps, and Props...

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I wonder if there's any empirical evidence to support the contention that today's show design with A&E and all the rest have, in fact, increased the participation rate of today's music students?

Well... it certainly would be interesting if all the new stuff hasn't been attracting new blood, when all is said and done. Not saying that is the case... just saying it would be interesting if it were. LOL.

Which would then raise the question: If something isn't attracting new members or new fans, then why use it/do it?

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Expand on this thought, if you'd please, as it challenges for the best descriptor of the point so far.

And I might push back a bit on the notion that the MM's are doing "what they want". In the context of show design as a platform for teaching, it's hard to suggest they themselves should write the teaching plan. They're doing what is placed in front of them - show design was done months before the MM's got involved. Corps culture or "vibe", teaching style, and placements in history are stronger determinants of where a student might march than the toys, tools, props, and unis of next year's show during the design stage. Yes, kids can go where they want, but they don't have fore-knowledge of what's going to be put on the field at November auditions.

I wonder if there's any empirical evidence to support the contention that today's show design with A&E and all the rest have, in fact, increased the participation rate of today's music students? I'd be interested to see, for sure. But kids will eat anything you put in front of them - artificial additives be-dammed.

if they dont like it, they dont have to stay. I know 6 kids that walked away from Crossmen in 95 when they found out they werent playing jazz.

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Bobby wrote Sun's drill in 1980 and '81, and came down to work with us when he could... in particular the weeks after DCI and before DCA championships.

We learned a lot from him, and he certainly kept us guessing on a variety of things. LOL.

I really think, if he were around today, Vince Bruni would have been all over this "new school" stuff. Another "think out of the box" guy, like Bobby.

Mr B was open to change....if it would lead to a win.

take it from a guy in the room when the discussion about changing from matched grip to traditional grip was going on

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Mr B was open to change....if it would lead to a win.

take it from a guy in the room when the discussion about changing from matched grip to traditional grip was going on

LOL!!! I can only imagine!!!

You're right... Vince was all about giving the fans their money's worth... but he also hated to lose. Even a subcaption. LOL

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if they dont like it, they dont have to stay. I know 6 kids that walked away from Crossmen in 95 when they found out they werent playing jazz.

When Bluecoats diverted to a decidedly non-jazz Beatles show for 1992, the prominently featured soprano soloists from previous years ended up as soloists for 1992 Blue Devils and Madison Scouts.

It happens. For sure.

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"Doing what they want" can be taken at a couple of levels...one is the larger scale level of just being in drum corps at all. Just like my day, I "did want I wanted" by participating in drum corps, and moved up the line in corps from parade to class 'B' to class "A". I had zero to do with any of the show designs.

At a smaller scale, today kids who choose drum corps have the ability to "do what they want" by auditioning at a national level as opposed to being limited to the corps closest to their home. Anecdotally I know of one guy from NJ who was a contra in BD.because he wanted to be a Blue Devil due to their culture and shows they produced. He had absolutely ZERO interest in a corps like The Cadets, though he was driving distance to their location at the time.

I think cost and the ability to perform a style they are interested in plays a huge part of this. The members are paying 4x, 5x, or even 6x what we paid in the 90s and earlier. So members are marching fewer years. Hence they are trying to maximize their time in the activity. Plus you can travel anywhere for a relatively low cost as long as you plan ahead in this age. But I keep seeing many who march only a few seasons. One or two in a corps to get them into drum corps, and the next in one of their top couple "dream" corps. The amount of money they spent on tour fees could have easily bought them a Honda Civic, or two.

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"well" is debatable. It ran its course in the US, as then had Shockwave and MIX spin off from it. They didn't do very well here. But it's toured japan in 2014, well... MIX toured japan, and the Disney thing did three weeks out there. There's thoughts of Mason Entertainment Group taking something back in 2017, but again, speculation as the company website looks like it hasn't been touched since 2015.

Funny thing about Eastern Europe and Asia. They are starved for live western music. Ska and punks bands routinely take tours overseas to Eastern Europe and Japan and make killings at the box office. However, in the US, they can't fill 200 seats. Bout time for some drum corps to take a tour of the Far East and make some money. Most of my buddies who are tour techs have each had at least one of their tours in the past few years go to Japan and they're always sold out.

Vegas wants things that sells seats consistently, IMHO Blast is too much of a niche. We can sell DCI to band people, and do ok for a few shows a year. But in Vegas... its tough. Casino's in every state now have really hurt it. Heck, Cirque's Jubilee and Zarkana closed in 2015 when they had to consistently give away too many comps, and now Jersey Boys and Showstoppers closed this past September.

I wouldn't consider shows closing as strong indicators. We change out our shows routinely for as long as I can remember (been here 31 years). Also Showstoppers isn't closed, the wife and I are going to see it this Sunday.

In 2015, more than 40% Las Vegas visitors saw a production show in Las Vegas, rising from 25% just two years earlier. Meanwhile DCI attendance is also on the rise y-o-y (13% at Finals from '14 to '15), and I'll venture to guess that general awareness of the activity is on the rise (I don't have a stat to back that one up). These all scream market indicators to me.

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I wouldn't consider shows closing as strong indicators. We change out our shows routinely for as long as I can remember (been here 31 years). Also Showstoppers isn't closed, the wife and I are going to see it this Sunday.

In 2015, more than 40% Las Vegas visitors saw a production show in Las Vegas, rising from 25% just two years earlier. Meanwhile DCI attendance is also on the rise y-o-y (13% at Finals from '14 to '15), and I'll venture to guess that general awareness of the activity is on the rise (I don't have a stat to back that one up). These all scream market indicators to me.

ahhhh. thanks for the update. I see it got an extension to Dec 31. (that's good, it gives some of my friends a little more income for a bit) Steve Wynn was helping to fund it with 1/2 filled houses for a long time. IDK about the same people attending DCI week, as those who fly to Vegas. I'm going to guess the age brackets of those buying DCI tickets, aren't the same people going to Vegas. I also think DCI sells 20K tickets because its events are seasonal. Like the NFL. You only have so many games to get to. But like in the NBA or MLB, a longer season with more games per week, which might water down ticket sales.

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Giving your viewpoint the benefit of the doubt, what musical tastes do A&E, Props, and field speakers address in the "normal people" audience that analog does not? Is summer marching band competition for excellence not enough to attract the kids and the audience?

What excellence are we presenting, BLAST!? To appeal to the public it must be iPads, props, amps and speakers?

OK, I'll bite.

I'm a HS music teacher, father or two (one a frosh in HS), and 40. I marched DCI WC drum corps in the late 90s and have been a DCI fan since I learned of its existence in 1990 when I was a frosh in HS. LOVE shows from the 80s, early-mid 90s, etc. I wouldn't call myself a dinosaur per say, but I have an affection for shows that were performed long before I knew what DCI is (there are some 70s shows I also like, but not nearly as many as 80s-on).

Now that we got my perspective out of the way...

Right now there are not a lot of audiences who want to see simple marching/playing/spinning on the field anymore: audience want to see some sort of big production of music, visual (not just marching or equipment work). Audiences want multi-media stuff, they want pop-culture references, they want circus-type environment. If you see any sort of big summer concert, music is not just a band plugged into amps and doing their thing: there are screens, lighting coordination, maybe lasers and smoke or fire, etc. We still have traditional symphonies, but many of them also incorporate modern "awe" factors into their shows (maybe not every weekend, but at times they'll show stuff on screens behind the symphony, do a multi-media type thing or educational "lecture" type of thing during a performance, etc). Even at the dawn of, say, 'moving pictures' before color or sound movie exhibitors added live music accompaniment to make the pictures more exciting, even when the pictures were cool space locations, gun fighting, train wrecks, etc. The audience currently seems to want big productions, and that's what DCI is providing them. Synths and speakers to give the sound more depth or interesting alternative music effects (such as sampled dialogue from a movie or other cool FX); props to enhance a visual idea more or to just flat-out entertain (like Bluecoats did last year); maybe we'll eventually see coordinated lighting effects or screens used to display imagery during a show.

In answer to your question

Is summer marching band competition for excellence not enough to attract the kids and the audience?

I would say no, it's not enough. That's not what the kids see on TV watching musical programs, that's not what kids see at HS marching band competitions or WGI events. It's what they likely expect out of modern DCI. It seemed last summer Bluecoats were almost undisputed crowd favorites not just because they performed well, but because they performed well AND had those crazy ramps to up the entertainment value.

As with anything, sometimes this stuff works (2016 Bluecoats) and sometimes it doesn't work as well (2016 Cadets w/the statue guys on wedding cakes or whatever :silly: ). That can be said about ALL elements of a DCI show, only in these cases far easy-to-indentafy aspects other than, say, percussion arrangements. We've always taken the good with the bad though. And when this stuff works well it works amazing for the audience.

I'd personally MUCH prefer the "cheese" or "goofiness" or whatever adjective used to describe Bluecoats 2016 than the same cheese and goofiness for Phantom 08. One, IMO, was far more inspiring and original, and one felt like clown-hand GE.

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Right now there are not a lot of audiences who want to see simple marching/playing/spinning on the field anymore: audience want to see some sort of big production of music, visual (not just marching or equipment work). Audiences want multi-media stuff, they want pop-culture references, they want circus-type environment.

What evidence do you have to support this assertion?...I personally am NOT a fan of a big spectacle to be honest...I miss the days when good ole marching, spinning, and playing would carry the day...but at the same time I do embrace change...just not necessarily ALL of it all the time...

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