OldSchoolCorps

Slotting and Member Retention

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I’m interested to know the thoughts of those that have marched, or have kids that march/have marched. How much do you feel that “slotting” has to do with member retention, more specifically in Corps from 13-18? I hear from some that I know in the activity that, although the experience was good, that some kids tend to wonder what it would be like to match for a finalist Corps. One local corps that is a great organization, loses kids every year to finalist Corps because the kids hate finishing 14-16 every year. And there are years and shows where they could easily be a finalist, but it seems at the same point every year they hit that proverbial wall. I wonder if this is more prevalent than I know? Thoughts?

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12 minutes ago, OldSchoolCorps said:

I’m interested to know the thoughts of those that have marched, or have kids that march/have marched. How much do you feel that “slotting” has to do with member retention, more specifically in Corps from 13-18? I hear from some that I know in the activity that, although the experience was good, that some kids tend to wonder what it would be like to match for a finalist Corps. One local corps that is a great organization, loses kids every year to finalist Corps because the kids hate finishing 14-16 every year. And there are years and shows where they could easily be a finalist, but it seems at the same point every year they hit that proverbial wall. I wonder if this is more prevalent than I know? Thoughts?

I've really wondered about this myself. My initiation to Drum Corps was Spirit of Atlanta 1979 as a 15 year old kid watching my brother march. I've always wanted to see them return to the top of the game like 79-80-81. But I wonder if it's even possible. My son, who is from Atlanta, is in his 3rd year with Cavaliers.He's raised alot of his dues, Corps is expensive, and you want to max out your experience...so I understand why he didn't stay home and march with Spirit. And you can't blame kids who work their butt of to raise the cash to march for that. So is this an unsolvable Rubik's cube? 

 

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5 minutes ago, PopcornEater1963 said:

I've really wondered about this myself. My initiation to Drum Corps was Spirit of Atlanta 1979 as a 15 year old kid watching my brother march. I've always wanted to see them return to the top of the game like 79-80-81. But I wonder if it's even possible. My son, who is from Atlanta, is in his 3rd year with Cavaliers.He's raised alot of his dues, Corps is expensive, and you want to max out your experience...so I understand why he didn't stay home and march with Spirit. And you can't blame kids who work their butt of to raise the cash to march for that. So is this an unsolvable Rubik's cube? 

 

Actually, after thinking about this for 5 more minutes....I'm going to say it's totally solvable. it's done through attracting great staff. Spirit of Atlanta was in the mid-20's until they hired Jim Ott. And then...boom. 

So...yes it is solvable. It's a priority issue for the corps to decide that they are dedicated to hiring cutting edge staff. 

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36 minutes ago, PopcornEater1963 said:

Actually, after thinking about this for 5 more minutes....I'm going to say it's totally solvable. it's done through attracting great staff. Spirit of Atlanta was in the mid-20's until they hired Jim Ott. And then...boom. 

So...yes it is solvable. It's a priority issue for the corps to decide that they are dedicated to hiring cutting edge staff.

I totally agree that it is solvable. For sure! Cutting edge staff and creating a culture of excellence is key. I’m just seeing a revolving door in some Corps that struggle and fight the “slotted” tag. To be honest, you can’t really blame a young man or woman that wants to maximize their experience and abilities and try for a finalist Corps. I just really wonder how much being slotted year in and year out has to do with members leaving and trying out for higher ranking corps?

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27 minutes ago, OldSchoolCorps said:

I totally agree that it is solvable. For sure! Cutting edge staff and creating a culture of excellence is key. I’m just seeing a revolving door in some Corps that struggle and fight the “slotted” tag. To be honest, you can’t really blame a young man or woman that wants to maximize their experience and abilities and try for a finalist Corps. I just really wonder how much being slotted year in and year out has to do with members leaving and trying out for higher ranking corps?

There are a number of variables to a stay or leave situation for a marching member. Some probably are just interested in stepping up to the highest level corps they can. Some look at the staffs and who would be teaching them. Some want to stay and help their current corps, especially if their experience in their current corps is great. 

It is incumbent on the current corps to make the experience as pleasant and rewarding as possible, to foster an environment where members want to stay.

There are probably as many reasons for staying or leaving as there are members, and IMO that is just fine.

 

 

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1 hour ago, PopcornEater1963 said:

Actually, after thinking about this for 5 more minutes....I'm going to say it's totally solvable. it's done through attracting great staff. Spirit of Atlanta was in the mid-20's until they hired Jim Ott. And then...boom. 

So...yes it is solvable. It's a priority issue for the corps to decide that they are dedicated to hiring cutting edge staff. 

And they languished in that mid 20’s spot for a whole year! Lol. Oh the humanity! 😜

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5 minutes ago, desertrat68 said:

This.

My son started his dci career marching the with the local non-finalist and never intending to leave. 5 seasons and 2 corps later, he aged out with 4 finals appearances and one ring. Stuff happens, dreams evolve, kids become adults. He's now a high school band director and uses the different lessons he learned from his three corps in building his program. Heck, he was teaching in a corps this summer and learned something from watching warmups of another corps that he's instituting in his band when they start in 2 days.

It wasn't the "slotting" that led to him leaving, it was the opportunity to push himself, and to learn that led to not one, but two corps changes. 

This is cool! I seriously wanted to know kinda the thought process behind leaving a Corps for another that is a finalist. I have heard some that were frustrated because they seem to end up in the same position every year. Then there were some that simply enjoyed the experience.

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It’s just band.  Great culture, great retention. Lousy culture, lousy retention. Big or small. Doesn’t matter. 

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4 hours ago, PopcornEater1963 said:

Actually, after thinking about this for 5 more minutes....I'm going to say it's totally solvable. it's done through attracting great staff. Spirit of Atlanta was in the mid-20's until they hired Jim Ott. And then...boom. 

So...yes it is solvable. It's a priority issue for the corps to decide that they are dedicated to hiring cutting edge staff. 

it's more than staff. You have to build an organization that treats people right, is financially stable, and makes people care and want to stay. if you plan on kids and staff just passing through on their way to the next gig, thats exactly what happens. if you lay out a plan to show how you aim to build something thats great, in so many ways besides scores, you'll have better success and retention.

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