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gregory11

Drum Corps Membership Changes

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I march drum corps back in the 70"s and I remember when your horn & drum lines were 100% male members.    New interested female would automatically become CG members.  I lost touch of drum corps for over 30 years but my interest came back a couple of years ago.  It was a culture shock when I how much corps have changed over the years.  I think it great how DC membership is integrated throughout all sections.  When did the DC changes take place (80's - 90's) with both genders performing with any section they desired?

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Guess depends on the corps. Marched Sr corps in mid 70s and had females in drumlines with Erie and Westshoremen that I saw first hand. As for hornlines probably females in most except for Cabs, Yankee Rebels and Sky who were still all male. 

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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We also have these crazy things called cell phones. Drum corps members no longer line up at Telephone booths. Don't you hate that the price of a call went from a dime to a quarter? Just messing with ya. I marched in the '70s too!

 The change was gradual. I remember each year more girls were joining the brass and percussion lines. I thought, Boy, They must have chops! They did. By the late '80s  early '90s, it was commonplace. You'll notice more women soloist too. Even Carolina Crown who have had some of the best brass lines in recent drum corps history featured an all-female brass segment in their show in 2018. But then again, I marched in Canada ( Etobicoke  Oakland Crusaders) in the '70s. We were ahead of the curve when it came to female brass players. 

Image result for carolina crown 2018 brass feature

Edited by boxingfred
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While your corps may have assigned females to the guard, we have had female horn players, drummers... even entire corps with exclusively female membership, dating back at least to the 1930s.

Most of the de-segregation of the genders occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s, generally speaking.  

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Similar story to yours in that I'm a 70s-80s guy who was away from the activity for a lot of years afterwards before becoming a born-again fan in the 2000s. Similar culture shocks too, but I think I've recovered from that. 

Back in the day, as they say, my corps always had a small number of females in the drum and horn lines. Some pretty darn good musicians they were, too. 

Probably as many guys in the guards today as there are girls. 

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I feel like the battery was slower to adapt and accept females, but there a few great examples. Kelly Houpt from the '82 BD snare line and I believe Carla Azar marched in '84 in the snare line. I met Kelly in 2005 when I started marching again with Corpsvets (CV) and she was with Renegades. Fantastic lady with amazing talent. The battery is still largely male dominated but it certainly isn't due to a gap in ability. The MM's now in all sections see, to come out of the womb with amazing skill sets and drive. 

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The band I was in competed in participated in Boston's CYO Circuit which had drum corps, bands, and drill teams. I do recall hearing of some of the horn lines going coed years earlier , and people saying that the power of the horn line would be diminished because girls did not have the "lung power" boys did, though I am not sure that is what happened. What I do recall with some of the corps there being quite a stir when the corps became more racially diverse. That would have taken place when Boston had it's bussing fiasco and racial tensions were high. 

Edited by Tim K
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Of course there were the Garfield Cadets all-girl guards who switched to horns for the final numbers in 77 &78 shows with Dennis Dewey and someone called Frank Dorrittee doing the horn staffing. Garfield Cadets' Barbara Maroney as mellophone soloist help set the standard with Bonnie Ott out on the West Coast version of the same horn, both were several decades back in the previous century.

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The best hornline in the country in 1971, the Argonne Rebels, had a coed hornline. 

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