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On 8/19/2017 at 7:53 AM, waliman4444 said:

I'm a former brass mm (St. Rocco's, Brooklyn and N.Y. Skyliners)..love the Cadets!..BUT with the drum line the cadets had everyone expected higher placement..Watching the 2017 show(finals) I realized how little the drumline played for the first 3 min. or so of their program(not including the battery)..perhaps a more significant role, early on, in 2018 would give judges a  greater opportunity to appreciate their efforts..I know "Simple Song" does not require BD style OTL  drumming, but Bernstein in 2018 could provide the drum line an opportunity to really shine..particularly if they do "Waterfront"..JMO

Yes.

For whatever reason Aungst and the percussion caption failed to deliver for the '17 season.

Even if it were a matter of the book and field design, the performance scores were not there and did not show consistency. (Too busy making videos, cheering on BD's line, the interplay between the pit and choir, Dartmouth duties, or merely not super excellent in a year of phenomenal drum lines?)  Some blame the staging but can't deny or assert that maybe the drill designer was told to follow certain patterns of field placement for special reasons; I agree that the drill design was focused on the total show not showcasing the battery. The pit/choir dynamic was addressed and seemed to work better in the later season. Still the percussion scores did not excel. Listening to Crown's percussion tapes for Semis and Finals by Marty Griffith and Jeff Prosperie reveals that a minimal but musical book can still do wonders to the total score. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XmMBdu2MXIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV_Co3CXbsM 

Cadets will have to pick music that gives percussion a better highlight, will have to do phenomenal recruiting in an off-season where the higher placing corps and others will also be salivating for the better talent, and will have to tweak all efforts to restore Cadets (and Aungst's?) reputation as a contemporary contender in percussion and not a has been or winter gymnasium junkie.  Waterfront may be too predictable regarding today's percussion especially when one considers A&E factors, front ensemble depth, and more than fancy stick tricks to impress the ladies.

The 2018 design team will have quite the challenge and the responsibility during the season to bring the corps back to stature. People have harped on the guard and a young hornline. Percussion will have an equal journey to master.

Edited by xandandl
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^ this

In all sections Cadets must recruit top 3 talent to fill in with returning/experienced vets

I'm actually the least concerned in percussion. Due to the young techs and all the connections into the percussion world via the caption head and team. Do changes happen on FE? Seemed to start strong and then didn't grow much during the season? Again, could have been a symptom of what was asked of them/design/features. They were almost covered up by vocals the entire show and that "costume" really didn't help IMO

Guard needs to bring in top techs and members from the top WGI units. Brass team is being reinforced (I imagine) this off season and the recruitment/auditions process must be highly competitive and may stretch into April for those last few lead spots. This is extremely key

Guard carried a few alternates this past summer. Brass needs to carry 4-6 in 2018, say a tuba, a mello, and 2 each bari/sop. Too many instances of searching for replacements mid season the last several years. If you have them on tour they know the music and the visual tech and the day-to-day, only need to learn dots at that point. HUGE.

Finally - Waterfront. The reason I particularly love that choice for Cadets is it is instantly recognizable as "Cadets like" - it is very entertaining and dramatic - but it (somewhat uniquely) offers BOTH massive moments of brass centered sections and percussive driven sections. Some music is more one of the other - this year being brass/vocal

Just my opinion as an outsider 

Edited by George Dixon
changed too for typo two

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2 hours ago, George Dixon said:

^ this

In all sections Cadets must recruit top 3 talent to fill in with returning/experienced vets

I'm actually the least concerned in percussion. Due to the young techs and all the connections into the percussion world via the caption head and team. Do changes happen on FE? Seemed to start strong and then didn't grow much during the season? Again, could have been a symptom of what was asked of them/design/features. They were almost covered up by vocals the entire show and that "costume" really didn't help IMO

Guard needs to bring in top techs and members from the top WGI units. Brass team is being reinforced (I imagine) this off season and the recruitment/auditions process must be highly competitive and may stretch into April for those last few lead spots. This is extremely key

Guard carried a few alternates this past summer. Brass needs to carry 4-6 in 2018, say a tuba, a mello, and 2 each bari/sop. Too many instances of searching for replacements mid season the last several years. If you have them on tour they know the music and the visual tech and the day-to-day, only need to learn dots at that point. HUGE.

Finally - Waterfront. The reason I particularly love that choice for Cadets is it is instantly recognizable as "Cadets like" - it is very entertaining and dramatic - but it (somewhat uniquely) offers BOTH massive moments of brass centered sections and percussive driven sections. Some music is more one of the other - this year being brass/vocal

Just my opinion as an outsider 

All of this is very true.

I just struggle to find the way that they will make it happen.

If you look at number of views of the (nonexistent) videos of finals.  Cadets have BY FAR the lowest number of views of the top 7.  How do you bridge that excitement gap and recruit the best kids?  The only way to me is to bring staff in with followings from top WGI and BOA groups.  The local Northeast approach taken this past year will not do it.

Our activity, and pagentry in general is Midwest/Texas focused.  Its been that way for a long time, and I got a chuckle when GH said on a recent video that they were holding auditions again in TX "after a few years not doing it"  Why in the world would you stop having auditions in TX, particularly for Brass??   And at this point, what kids in TX will come to a Cadets audition?  Do you think they are going to go to Cadets audition or Bluecoats and BAC...hmmmm.

You have to start by fielding a show that gets people excited even if performance levels are not top tier, then the talent comes.  Template Crown used with much success, and now the template BAC is using.

Exasperating to follow Cadets ATM.

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1 minute ago, cadet93 said:

All of this is very true.

I just struggle to find the way that they will make it happen.

If you look at number of views of the (nonexistent) videos of finals.  Cadets have BY FAR the lowest number of views of the top 7.  How do you bridge that excitement gap and recruit the best kids?  The only way to me is to bring staff in with followings from top WGI and BOA groups.  The local Northeast approach taken this past year will not do it.

Our activity, and pagentry in general is Midwest/Texas focused.  Its been that way for a long time, and I got a chuckle when GH said on a recent video that they were holding auditions again in TX "after a few years not doing it"  Why in the world would you stop having auditions in TX, particularly for Brass??   And at this point, what kids in TX will come to a Cadets audition?  Do you think they are going to go to Cadets audition or Bluecoats and BAC...hmmmm.

You have to start by fielding a show that gets people excited even if performance levels are not top tier, then the talent comes.  Template Crown used with much success, and now the template BAC is using.

Exasperating to follow Cadets ATM.

They are fighting against the trend in terms of recruiting

So - "how do you make it happen"? Work smarter

Offer, say, 10 lead needs-based dues scholarships. Bring in the ringers who are unable to easily afford marching elsewhere. That's about a $75K responsibility us fans and alumni would gladly finance. So run a campaign

They are doing some other good things they've announced so far:

1. the "big splash" early MetLife Stadium (wow!) early November tryout/experience camp = some early bus, tied in with all the USB bands, buzz-worth venue and gets them a bit ahead of the other NE corps

2. the "high school" targeted experience camp in early November - helps identify very talented rookies, gives them a head start on the C/C2 actual tryout camps

3. the "Texas Auditions" have made an announced return - that's a plus! Even if it garners - so, 5 or 10 eventual members. It gives students in Texas a way to audition for a top corps without all the air travel etc. Could tip some scales toward Cadets

Some other things I would suggest:

1. An Indiana audition weekend as well (like Texas) -- huge BOA programs they need to draw from big time. Crown has been drawing from these ranks for a decade now. Time to zero in better on this talented/experienced bunch. For the tech/teaching/design ranks also! A summer "Music is Cool" 2 day camp there would also help going forward

2. The scholarships I described above

3. Techs = members. They know this - but honestly help tip the scale in your favor by drafting in some additional techs from the top college, WGI guard/percussion programs. It's not just about "who wants to teach HS band college grad students" ranks that Cadets seem to be currently favoring. A mix is key

4. Be more approachable. Stop with programs such as "ten" and announce timely and fun/impressive offerings instead. Please no "choir" or "vocals" in 2018 - high school and college kids get it better than some of the grown ups seem too - "if you have to sing it or explain it, Houston we have an issue"... You could see the younger audience growning and eye-rolling at Crown's ballad onward. The stark difference in reaction to their normal annual fan-boy band member love fest was obvious for anyone paying attention.

5. Stop talking and start listening. On tour "lesson speeches" are ok now and then. But a daily "affirmation" just doesn't cut it with today's youth. Time to stop talking at folks - or at the very least have younger/cooler/more relatable folks do it! Drum corps should be fun - not a boring lecture after a 12 hour day. But what do I know?

As you mention the "views" on YouTube are a painful reminder/indication that the buzz just isn't there

Remember the much-watched 2011 videos? Tremendous talent/tryouts in Cadets the next several seasons - all from one show

The 2011 victory-run YEA.org produced had 285,000 in views!

Most 2017 Cadet videos top out at around 8,000 views - my own preseason percussion snip topped 21K

The best view count is the "learn the music" drum video from Vic Firth, also pre-season has 100,000 plus views (but their post season finals week run slipped from 100,000 to only 8,000 = ouch). Not good

So in short - to do this one must "work hard" & "work smart" and out-hustle others

JMO

George

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41 minutes ago, cadet93 said:

All of this is very true.

I just struggle to find the way that they will make it happen.

If you look at number of views of the (nonexistent) videos of finals.  Cadets have BY FAR the lowest number of views of the top 7.  How do you bridge that excitement gap and recruit the best kids?  The only way to me is to bring staff in with followings from top WGI and BOA groups.  The local Northeast approach taken this past year will not do it.

Our activity, and pagentry in general is Midwest/Texas focused.  Its been that way for a long time, and I got a chuckle when GH said on a recent video that they were holding auditions again in TX "after a few years not doing it"  Why in the world would you stop having auditions in TX, particularly for Brass??   And at this point, what kids in TX will come to a Cadets audition?  Do you think they are going to go to Cadets audition or Bluecoats and BAC...hmmmm.

You have to start by fielding a show that gets people excited even if performance levels are not top tier, then the talent comes.  Template Crown used with much success, and now the template BAC is using.

Exasperating to follow Cadets ATM.

Totally agree. Once Cadets get past their archaic style of shows, they will start recruiting more talent, regardless of where they place. I'm rooting for them to take that step. This year, I feel like they tried to step into that modernized pool, but due to the theme, it came off as awkward and half-*ssed (half new, half old). In 2016, they also tried a go at being modern, but ended up way too far on the esoteric spectrum. There's a fine line that needs to be walked and the Cadets are still trying to find that balance. I'm rooting for them to find it. 

Personally, I don't think OTW is the answer. But then again, I don't think Bernstein in general is the answer. I don't want to generalize, but I don't think OTW is going to get as many young people excited, coming from someone who is in that age group and interacts with band kids of that age pretty often. Don't get me wrong, the score is fantastic and much more intricate than typical film scores of this decade, but I don't know if it's going to make an 18-21 year old get off their feet and get excited about auditioning for the Cadets. 

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21 minutes ago, Cappybara said:

Totally agree. Once Cadets get past their archaic style of shows, they will start recruiting more talent, regardless of where they place. I'm rooting for them to take that step. This year, I feel like they tried to step into that modernized pool, but due to the theme, it came off as awkward and half-*ssed (half new, half old). In 2016, they also tried a go at being modern, but ended up way too far on the esoteric spectrum. There's a fine line that needs to be walked and the Cadets are still trying to find that balance. I'm rooting for them to find it. 

Personally, I don't think OTW is the answer. But then again, I don't think Bernstein in general is the answer. I don't want to generalize, but I don't think OTW is going to get as many young people excited, coming from someone who is in that age group and interacts with band kids of that age pretty often. Don't get me wrong, the score is fantastic and much more intricate than typical film scores of this decade, but I don't know if it's going to make an 18-21 year old get off their feet and get excited about auditioning for the Cadets. 

Elements of OTW could be part of the answer, but they are too hand tied by the Bernstein foundation probably.  They need to be able to weave in bits and pieces from various tracks to create a well coordinated show.

They will not be able to do that with such strict limitations on how they have to arrange the music.  Just doesn't fit the current state of the activity.  Of course, I could be wrong, and Cadets could change the direction of the entire activity back by succeeding with a show built on one piece of source material.....don't see it happening.

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20 minutes ago, cadet93 said:

Elements of OTW could be part of the answer, but they are too hand tied by the Bernstein foundation probably.  They need to be able to weave in bits and pieces from various tracks to create a well coordinated show.

They will not be able to do that with such strict limitations on how they have to arrange the music.  Just doesn't fit the current state of the activity.  Of course, I could be wrong, and Cadets could change the direction of the entire activity back by succeeding with a show built on one piece of source material.....don't see it happening.

Could or could not be true. My main focus is, as you mentioned, for the Cadets to win back the future members and talent. To become the cool corps again rather than the boring one or the one that people poke fun at. 

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58 minutes ago, Cappybara said:

Could or could not be true. My main focus is, as you mentioned, for the Cadets to win back the future members and talent. To become the cool corps again rather than the boring one or the one that people poke fun at. 

Well let's not get overboard, the 2017 corps wasn't THAT poorly accepted by audiences. 

As far as corps corps for millenials, well being awesome and winning would help!

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1 hour ago, cadet93 said:

Elements of OTW could be part of the answer, but they are too hand tied by the Bernstein foundation probably.  They need to be able to weave in bits and pieces from various tracks to create a well coordinated show.

They will not be able to do that with such strict limitations on how they have to arrange the music.  Just doesn't fit the current state of the activity.  Of course, I could be wrong, and Cadets could change the direction of the entire activity back by succeeding with a show built on one piece of source material.....don't see it happening.

I have zero reason to believe that they are hamstrung by the Bernstein group about arrangements. If you start with his own "suite" arrangements you aren't far off from a well timed and compelling 13 minute show arc 

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