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On 4/21/2017 at 2:52 PM, BigW said:

 A lot of this reminds me of a conversation I had at DCI East prelims circa 1982-4... 33-35 years ago where someone complained about the Bridgemen, and I responded,

"Strip away the Pimp hats and Raincoats, all the extra stuff on the field, and put that show out raw musically and visually. Is the drill well written? Say it... YES. Are the Horns and drums well played and are the arrangements really, really good? Uhhhhhuhhhh... the basic elements are THERE."

I hear ya... those Bridgemen corps could flat-out play... fundamentally sound, no doubt about it. Honest to God, I thought they won DCI Finals in 1980. They were absolutely stellar that night.

And on the visual side... they took their share of heat for "not doing much drill"... but their visual show was exceptionally well-staged and coordinated.  It was like watching a Broadway show, with the horn line and drum line serving as sort of a backdrop "frame" for the color guard and the various storylines/scenarios/schtick that were woven in.

And like Bobby Hoffman once told me.... "All that 'spontaneous' stuff going on in our show... we spend a lot of time rehearsing that 'spontaneous' stuff."  They made it look easy... when it wasn't.

Edited by Fran Haring
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" the groundwork for modern arranging for the field. (Frank! Can you help me with that!? Am I nuts!?!?!?) " Neither you nor Grenadier are nuts. Someday, I suppose, someone will figure out how to

I marched in a DCA champion corps.  We were great... for our era. But the corps of today would mop the floor with us. They are doing stuff I can't even imagine doing. I disagree that "today'

It all evolved from those shows. The activity couldn't remain static. DCA was formed because the founding members wanted more. Competitors wanted to find an edge over the competitors. It had to evolve

On 4/21/2017 at 2:52 PM, BigW said:

There's a reason that the style of the brass playing was different. Ticks. You played differently back then to be tick-proof. The style corps played was also bent to that. Being a bit more musical, bending things, phrasing more subtly, etc. meant a lot more of a risk of a tick.

Seems to me that this has always been true, whether tick or buildup.  In fact, hornlines became more conservative as/after the tick system went away.

Style is much more determined by the people creating it, and judging it.  When those people were military, so was the style of corps shows.  When musicians replaced the military men, corps became more musical.  As music educators took precedence, corps gravitated toward the music of academia.

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On 4/24/2017 at 7:37 AM, cixelsyd said:

Seems to me that this has always been true, whether tick or buildup.  In fact, hornlines became more conservative as/after the tick system went away.

Style is much more determined by the people creating it, and judging it.  When those people were military, so was the style of corps shows.  When musicians replaced the military men, corps became more musical.  As music educators took precedence, corps gravitated toward the music of academia.

And then, it seemed, the crowds went away....

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As a Music Educator, I really don't like the smell of that old saw that "Them daggone Music Teachin' types wrecked the activity and no one likes it anymore!!!!"

 

I went into the field largely because of my experiences in the marching Arts. Okay?

 

I'll get into my thoughts on the subject later, but to be blunt... I really loathe and detest that insinuation.

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On 4/25/2017 at 10:51 AM, fish66 said:

And then, it seemed, the crowds went away....

BUNK.

Modern Wind Band music began  to be part of the show repertoire for several corps in both DCA and DCA before 1982 where there were 30+k people in Montreal for DCI Finals.

 

Sorry for letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

 

1975 Yankee-Rebels, 1975 Blue Stars, Mid 70's Troopers... I can start there with examples of serious Wind Ensemble music in show repertoire that somehow, heaven forbid, worked in spite of the claims.

 

I'm sure Jim Jones, Tru Crawford, and David Kampfscrorer had killing the activity in mind when those programmatic choices were made, hmm?

 

Edited by BigW
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It's not the fact that the music teachers got involved, it's a matter of taste in music and marching style.  I particularly like precision, not the modern dance style of today's corps.  I enjoy marches by John Philips Sousa.  I like the sound of the old time corps and  I hate the sound of the modern corps.  It's just a matter of taste, and you'll probably say I have none.  But, it's my taste.   I'll give you that the new corps are comprised of more talented individuals.  But, in my opinion they lack soul.

Grenadier

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Actually, it is an interesting point that from the 50's till the end of the tick system...  one factor over every season that was rarely mentioned was how much time was spent watering down the charts before the championships based on the judges input via WHERE they were ticking us...  this watering down often left the musicality by the wayside and gave a "sterile" program...  just a random thought...

and I won't even go into taking out passages that were played as well as the New York Philharmonic but had to be watered because many of the judges were simply "over-ticking" judge-able situations rather than REAL errors...  

I could go into many more reasons why "ticks" were a BIG negative...

from one who taught judges how to tick....

 

 

 

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Fran, 

Your observations of 1971 Blue Rock, ( in which I played lead sop), are spot on. Our horn line was hot and cold that year. Hot: Dream, CYO Nationals, Cold: VFW Nationals, World Open as two examples. But as you stated the overall coordination of the show was amazing. We were fortunate that we marched really well, had an extremely well- designed , innovative show, and had an outstanding drum line.   I remember member watching an early season video ( filmed by Charlie Haas, who had two kids in the corps), and thinking, Wow I didn't know our drill looked like this, ( racetrack, expanding crosses, etc) and it was all extremely well coordinated. Instead of watering things down, we actually upped the difficulty level over the course of the season ( i.e. our concert of Midnight Cowboy).  I'll never forget we were at an early season parade in North Jersey somewhere watching out drum Instructor Joe Marella conduct the drum line, leading dynamcs tempo changes , etc. i had never seen anything like that before. Proud to have been a member of this trend-setting corps.

Bob Cook 

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On 4/20/2017 at 9:11 PM, Fran Haring said:

I marched in a DCA champion corps.  We were great... for our era.

But the corps of today would mop the floor with us. They are doing stuff I can't even imagine doing.

I disagree that "today's drum corps basically sucks."

here here. it's only been 20 years since i stopped marching and I couldn't touch what they do today.

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