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JimF-LowBari

Pioneer What Next?

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On 8/13/2018 at 10:33 AM, cixelsyd said:

Quality of world class corps is not a problem.  Why punish them because quality of open class is improving?

I doubt the rest of the Open Class corps think of their division as someplace a corps is sent when they are being punished.

 

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Here are my two cents on this topic.

Pioneer is the lowest scoring world class corps.

However, despite that, they still provide music education and drum corps experience to youth under 21.

Yet, the quality of the music education and drum corps experience that pioneer offers is questionable.

In order for Pioneer to continue as a world class corps, they must be able to put all their efforts into making sure that the students there can get through a summer in one piece.  At the same time, they must be able to go beyond that and provide quality music education to their students as well.

If Pioneer can become like Jersey Surf or Seattle Cascades, then they can being to grow as an organization. Nothing against the Surf or Cascades, but when you look at both organizations, both provide quality music education and drum corps experience despite placement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/16/2018 at 7:38 PM, BoyWonder1911 said:

Doing this would sound an alarm to other corps to keep up high quality standards

Yes... From the looks of things in the 'ideal' situation, a corps provides high quality services/amenities to attract solid members and provide quality product to the fans. If a group doesn't, the Darwinian process takes hold. Maybe this is one of those instances.

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On 8/13/2018 at 12:40 AM, CrownBariDad said:

Why?  What if the Corps mission is to provide an education via musical performance?  It's not always about placements and medals.

What I am about to say may come across as harsh. It is absolutely NOT meant in ANY way to demean the members at Pioneer or their efforts. They work just as hard.. and probably harder... than virtually every single corps out there. THIS is aimed squarely at the admin team at Pioneer and specifically at Roman.

Then what's the point of having judges? Why bother having a Top 12.. Heck.. why bother ranking corps at ALL? Let's just give everyone a participation prize and make the finals open to anybody who shows up?

Like it or not.. this is a competitive activity. We have two divisions.. Open and World class. What pioneer has provided it's members is NOT a World Class experience and that has reflected in their placement which is anything BUT World Class. It is blatantly obvious that they absolutely do NOT look after the health and wellbeing of the members. Add to that show design that would be an insult to give to many high school bands... these kids, no matter how good they are can only do so much turd polishing.  This year, Pioneer just BARELY would have made Open Class Finals, let alone being anywhere near competitive in World. It cannot be a fun and rewarding experience to know you are gonna come in last virtually every single night.

I have said for years that being in World Class should not be solely based on your bank balance, rather a whole host of things... World class should include in my opinion...
 

  • World Class administration of the said organisation... to include a stable BoD and finances
  • World Class educators
  • World Class show design
  • World Class logistics... to include nutrition and transportation
  • World Class physical care for members including FULL TIME, QUALIFIED sports trainers

THESES are the MINIMUMS I expect from an organisation purporting to be WORLD Class. To these I would also add competitive placement.. one similar to European football (soccer) whereby there is a promotion and relegation system. Say the bottom 3 from World is relegated and the Top 3 from Open is promoted. The promoted corps should have already proven themselves to be financially and administratively stable by DCI prior to setting out on the road anyways. 

Specifically however, the OP asked what should be done about Pioneer... Personally, I think Roman should be deemed unfit to run the corps and should be removed. I also believe that Pioneer should not be allowed on the road in 2019. AFter a year off to clean house, I think they should be dropped to Open Class until such time as they can actually provide their membership a World Class experience. Once they have proven themselves to actually BE a World Class corps, then and ONLY then should they be allowed back on that circuit.

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You've got it right, @wvu80. I meant that the executive director of a non-profit organization is sometimes an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board. Not always. It just isn't only a rare thing. EDs should obviously not participate in any committee or full board meetings where ED issues, HR, etc. are being discussed. ED should never have a voting role.

There are practical things that make the ED's role important to a board (especially a volunteer board) and to various issues that are discussed. He/she might provide important detailed info regarding budgets, for example, and as you suggest. But the board treasurer should assume full vetting responsibility for finances and the board should approve and oversee finances.

The Pioneer staff-board arrangement looks messy. There are also plenty of non-profit boards out there that are set up properly on paper and yet are still rubber stamps for a non-member ED. It isn't news we're a flawed species.

Sounds like you joined a great board - one willing to educate and train. That's a relatively small cost compared to the benefits of getting good board members.

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5 minutes ago, Cainan said:

What I am about to say may come across as harsh. It is absolutely NOT meant in ANY way to demean the members at Pioneer or their efforts. They work just as hard.. and probably harder... than virtually every single corps out there. THIS is aimed squarely at the admin team at Pioneer and specifically at Roman.

Then what's the point of having judges? Why bother having a Top 12.. Heck.. why bother ranking corps at ALL? Let's just give everyone a participation prize and make the finals open to anybody who shows up?

Like it or not.. this is a competitive activity. We have two divisions.. Open and World class. What pioneer has provided it's members is NOT a World Class experience and that has reflected in their placement which is anything BUT World Class. It is blatantly obvious that they absolutely do NOT look after the health and wellbeing of the members. Add to that show design that would be an insult to give to many high school bands... these kids, no matter how good they are can only do so much turd polishing.  This year, Pioneer just BARELY would have made Open Class Finals, let alone being anywhere near competitive in World. It cannot be a fun and rewarding experience to know you are gonna come in last virtually every single night.

I have said for years that being in World Class should not be solely based on your bank balance, rather a whole host of things... World class should include in my opinion...
 

  • World Class administration of the said organisation... to include a stable BoD and finances
  • World Class educators
  • World Class show design
  • World Class logistics... to include nutrition and transportation
  • World Class physical care for members including FULL TIME, QUALIFIED sports trainers

THESES are the MINIMUMS I expect from an organisation purporting to be WORLD Class. To these I would also add competitive placement.. one similar to European football (soccer) whereby there is a promotion and relegation system. Say the bottom 3 from World is relegated and the Top 3 from Open is promoted. The promoted corps should have already proven themselves to be financially and administratively stable by DCI prior to setting out on the road anyways. 

 

Soccer relegation is strictly limited to the wins and losses of the team. There are no human judges with likes/dislikes which influence the win/loss record. 

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10 minutes ago, Dchristian125 said:

both organizations, both provide quality music education and drum corps experience despite placement.

Agree there is a difference. The focus of Pioneer, as was already stated. Is a bargain basement drum corps experience and has been like that forever. Now we are realizing what that really means and are pointing out that it went too far. It affects the well being of the kids and affects the attitude of the staff and the Director rules with a hammer.

Pioneer seems to be a family business and they are ducking their heads in the sand to protect their own livelihood, sad a structure like this exists and should be prohibited in the by-laws.

The solutions, the steps it will take to fix things (looking in from the outside)  is way outside the financial means of the corps. Changing attitudes or pep talks is not going to make any difference at this point..

Dci needs to step-in now explain to Pioneer what it needs to do to stay active or they are forced to go in-active till minimum requirements are met. Now is the time not after kids pay tour fees for next year. Other corps can absorb these kids and Shadow is right in their backyard. Get it done now.  

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On 8/17/2018 at 10:21 AM, Bluzes said:

Lawyers find ways to expand liability. It would go beyond Pioneer. Look at the advice some schools are getting from their counsel about liability today. We discuss on here school liability issues regularly but if anything really happened on tour.The school district would not be the prime focus of the suit. The Corps, dci would be on top of their list. For the schools to be worried about this is like suing the bus company that brought them there. It is in the lawyers best interest to expand liability to those with deeper pockets, done all the time.

 

On 8/18/2018 at 10:54 AM, Cappybara said:

The whole DCI system should be restructured. I don't understand why a non profit youth activity needs autonomous organizations like this

This is a remarkably correct "pre-answer" to your question, Cappy.  It is the crux of the reason why some, maybe most or all, of the current corps directors are adamant that the corps stay autonomous.  A pristine corps that's leading the way in P&P get stink on it because of situations like this topic.

It is also one of the base contentions from the G7, if anyone was honest enough to read it that way back then.  "Separating liability" might, in fact, be a reason to re-think some of the base conventions of the G7 approach.

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2 hours ago, garfield said:

A pristine corps that's leading the way in P&P get stink on it because of situations like this topic.

Just me again I don't know the term P&P I get what you're saying otherwise but confused that we're referring to any other corps other than Pioneer? 

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