Terri Schehr

2017 DCA Prelims Discussion

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3 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

if we tell you, you won't be able to watch college football ever again.

 

or drum corps

 

or golf

 

 

:whistle:

Well... in that case, I do not need ever need to know!!!  :tongue:

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42 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

well...i'll use this for an example. Way back in the day before you were around TOB, size mattered....smaller bands rarely scored as high as bigger bands. Size can affect perception. it was once said "it's far easier to find faults when you have 50 kids as opposed to 200".

 

So while it's the same sheets, being ranked and rated against similar sized corps creates a sense of fairness, that they won't get buried because they are smaller. and, it encouraged growth in DCA

 

Oh, I understand all that. My point is that it seems A Class corps get the best of both worlds...they compete against the big boys for numbers (and potential votes), but still get to perform in A Class finals should they make it.

It seems like they have to potential to get more than the Open Class corps can potentially get.  If the dilatation is simply one of performer numbers, why not separate the classes completely? Why should a corps with 66 not have the same opportunities as a corps with 65? (Assuming that's the cut-off...I can't remember).

It seems to me like a case of "having one's cake and eating it too". Maybe institute a rule that states any A Class corps making the top ten overall in prelims is removed from A Class for finals night (or has the option to decline membership if they wish to stay in A and go for the win).

I dunno, the whole system just seems goofy.

 

Edited by Kamarag
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28 minutes ago, Kamarag said:

 

Oh, I understand all that. My point is that it seems A Class corps get the best of both worlds...they compete against the big boys for numbers (and potential votes), but still get to perform in A Class finals should they make it.

It seems like they have to potential to get more than the Open Class corps can potentially get.  If the dilatation is simply one of performer numbers, why not separate the classes completely? Why should a corps with 66 not have the same opportunities as a corps with 65? (Assuming that's the cut-off...I can't remember).

It seems to me like a case of "having one's cake and eating it too". Maybe institute a rule that states any A Class corps making the top ten overall in prelims is removed from A Class for finals night (or has the option to decline membership if they wish to stay in A and go for the win).

I dunno, the whole system just seems goofy.

 

The cutoff is 65 members max for Class A... from what I understand, that does not include a DM or honor guard, as long as the DM or honor guard also doesn't perform with the corps proper during the show (on horn, drum, etc. )

But a corps with, say, 47 members can opt to go Open Class if they choose, also from what I understand... as long as a corps has the 35-member minimum, it's their decision on which class. 

That might be a fly in the ointment when it comes to separating the classes.  Unless, like you said, there are the two options for an A-declared corps scoring in the top 10 overall... either compete at Open finals, or decline voting membership (not likely at all... which corps in their right mind would give up a member vote) and stay in A for a win.  But good luck trying to explain those scenarios to the general public in capsule form. :tongue:

I think that's what the "declaring your class status by June 1" thing is about.... a corps committing to either A or Open for a season... and if an A-declared corps happens to end up good enough to get a voting membership and also have a shot at winning the Class A title,  then hey... good for them.

 

Edited by Fran Haring
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1 hour ago, Jeff Ream said:

 and, it encouraged growth in DCA

Yes there are a few success stories, however there are three times as many failures. 

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1 hour ago, Fran Haring said:

I hear that.

For one thing, it's given any number of corps a chance to perform at Finals on Sunday.  A chance they would not otherwise have, if grouped with the Open corps. I agree with Spandy... In this day and age of increasingly higher travel budgets, I wonder how many corps would not make the trip if they knew they had no chance at being more than a "one and done."

I know there have been times when Class A corps have outscored Open corps at prelims...and a few occasions when the A corps have scored well enough to place in the top 10 overall for voting membership... but, on average, that top 10 score (Open finalist-range placement)  hasn't happened much, and usually only for the top one or two A corps. 

it's starting to happen more because the A class corps are designing smarter for what they have, instead of designing for a huge corps. I forget who it was in Annapolis, but trying to do Fire of Eternal Glory with 18 horns spread 4 steps apart at the hit was not going to help the impact

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59 minutes ago, Jeff Ream said:

DCA launched A class in I think 97 or 98, it was a huge help. CV started there if I recall, as did Fusion, Gold, White Sabers...I'm sure I'm missing some. One of the stated goals I remember hearing at the time was it gave smaller corps a place to perform against like corps, and hopefully move up into Open Class.

Yes a few success stories, however a larger number of failures. Since these smaller corps perform on the same day as the others they're essentially performing against everyone, i.e. the highest 10 scores regardless of class are voting members. 

I understand the thinking behind Class 'A' and yes it does award the top three or four corps a chance to perform twice for attending, but I'm not convinced the class distinction itself promotes growth of any organization. That's the responsibility of said organization and its administration. 

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43 minutes ago, Kamarag said:

 

Oh, I understand all that. My point is that it seems A Class corps get the best of both worlds...they compete against the big boys for numbers (and potential votes), but still get to perform in A Class finals should they make it.

It seems like they have to potential to get more than the Open Class corps can potentially get.  If the dilatation is simply one of performer numbers, why not separate the classes completely? Why should a corps with 66 not have the same opportunities as a corps with 65? (Assuming that's the cut-off...I can't remember).

It seems to me like a case of "having one's cake and eating it too". Maybe institute a rule that states any A Class corps making the top ten overall in prelims is removed from A Class for finals night (or has the option to decline membership if they wish to stay in A and go for the win).

I dunno, the whole system just seems goofy.

 

you'd have to talk to the guys that have the votes. I dont necessarily see it as having cake and eating it too. Let's be honest, maybe 5% of the open class that have competed over the years have scored in the top 10.

 

to me, IMO, membership should be all finalists, regardless of class, but what do I know?

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16 minutes ago, Jim Schehr said:

Yes there are a few success stories, however there are three times as many failures. 

and the same can be said for Open Class corps lost in the last 20 years. we lost 2 Open class past champions in the last 10 years. DCA aint an easy beast given the geography issues. And yes, they could move the show etc.....but, with the way they set up the shares, if you move the show and only 2000 fans show up, even if you get the world for free like Rochester and apparently Williamsport are giving them, the corps make money and could lose money.

 

There's no easy solution. Running a drum corps isnt for the faint of heart or the bad at business. I do believe in the years DCA had double digit A class corps more should have gotten in Sunday night

 

 

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22 hours ago, Kamarag said:

Agreed. All of which begs the question, "Why have an A Class at all?"

DCI has some clear definitions when it comes to the purpose of it's Open Class, as do the various marching band circuits. The only definition I can see with DCA is simply numbers. Which again, leads us to the same question.

FWIW, I have nothing against DCA having an A class, and nothing against A class corps. I'm just having trouble seeing the benefit beyond simply rewarding corps for being small (which may indeed be the reason).

You raise a good question. For reference, here's DCI's definition of classes:

Quote

DCI sanctions two classes of drum corps participation in North America – World Class and Open Class. World Class corps generally have older, more experienced students and tend to achieve levels of excellence commensurate with the experience and skill levels of the students and their instructional staff. Open Class corps tend to be smaller groups, often populated by younger students. Approximately 20 percent of students who participate in an Open Class corps ultimately become part of a World Class corps. 

Because scholastic music educators view participation in DCI drum corps positively, most World Class groups now process more applicants than positions that are available. This can necessitate an intense, time-consuming off-season audition process. However, most Open Class corps are able to accommodate nearly all students who wish to participate. 

DCA doesn't have one. It's really all numbers (30-65 or 65+).

That said: I fail to see the real "reward" for being small. The only one I can think of is an extra performance if you make the top 3-4. Beyond that, a lot of it is performing for smaller crowds and dealing with recruiting headaches (I guarantee that no corps in the history of drum corps has ever set out to "be small" for competitive purposes ... not that I'm accusing you of saying that, but that's a perception I've heard from people before).

As for benefits of having more than one class? I'd say it naturally encourages smarter show design and administration from the smaller groups. If everyone is in the same bucket, small groups would need to work twice as hard to recruit/train new people and possibly stretch their resources ... all for the sake of keeping up with the large groups that actually have the infrastructure to operate as such.

It makes sense for any large enough circuit. If it's good enough for WGI's Independent, all-age color guard division to have 3 classes, it's good enough for DCA to have 2.

EDIT: I posted this before I saw your response to Jeff an hour ago. I understand more where you're coming from.

Edited by ShutUpAndPlayYerGuitar
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1 hour ago, Jeff Ream said:

it's starting to happen more because the A class corps are designing smarter for what they have, instead of designing for a huge corps. I forget who it was in Annapolis, but trying to do Fire of Eternal Glory with 18 horns spread 4 steps apart at the hit was not going to help the impact

A good trend, for sure.

Govies every year... White Sabers in their last few years in A (early on, IMO they were one of the "trying to do too much with too little" corps until they changed course) ... and now Cincy Tradition, Erie, among others.  Writing for what they have.

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