chris7997

What makes The Blue Devils "great," rather than just "good"?

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The Blue Devils have won 19 championships.

WHAT is the reason for The Blue Devils success?  What sets them apart as a "great corps" versus just a good corps? 

What does the drum corps world see as causes for their success? If you had to explain to a non-drum corps person why they are so great, what would you say?

And a provocative question:  IS at least SOME of this success because of the Blue Devils reputation, history, and mystic as a power-house corps or NOT?  The mystic of being "The Blue Devils" from the West Coast who are now 19-times champions?  For example if a judge knows he or she is judging The Blue Devils, are they more inclined to rate them higher because of who they are not what they are exactly doing on the field?   Like a filtering bias.   Or are the Blue Devils THAT good every year that every body knows it? Just proposing the question!     

 

 

 

 

 

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They get Frosted Flakes for breakfast.

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Great staff writing great shows for the sheets, which helps attract great mm talent.  And the whole organization has a mindset of winning it all at the end of the season.

Edited by Ghost
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Ghost has seen the light:

Excellent Management + Superb Staff + Focused Philosophy = Success (to the 19th power)

This formula is not a secret. Others have used it with good results.

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35 minutes ago, kkrepps said:

They get Frosted Flakes for breakfast.

And here I had always thought it was waffles. 

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10 minutes ago, CrownBariDad said:

And here I had always thought it was waffles. 

"The Blue Devils are not just good, they're Grrr-eat!"

-Tony the Tiger 😉

 

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At the very basic Level: Performance Excellence.

They are the performance standard and have been for nearly three decades.. 

The top talent has always had BD as a destination corps, So if you perhaps started your career at a non top 10 corps and you have aspirations to march at the top of the activity and your talent has increased, BD will always be on your mind because over the last 30 years, they will medal.

Their organic approach to Design allows them to build a show as a living breathing thing. And IMO it has raised the quality of all elements in a show. I have said numerous times this year that BD has mastered the Transition. They are always building for what happens next while the focus at the moment shines.. So what happens is that their shows always feel like your being entertained. Your always getting something to look at, something to listen to that is of top quality.. A quality that SCV and Bluecoats have picked up on.. 

The end result is that the judges always have something "Positive" to look at for 11 straight minutes, To me that is the sign of a great show, and for the last couple of years, they have had great shows.. 

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They helped DCI out of a jam and DCI owes them. Just Kidding! I'm not looking for SMUG reply's. I'm just upset I lost a bet. 

Edited by boxingfred
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1 hour ago, Ghost said:

Great staff writing great shows for the sheets, which helps attract great mm talent.  And the whole organization has a mindset of winning it all at the end of the season.

Plus Hans Kloppert making those great cakes for them down the home stretch!!! :laughing:

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I'd say it's a combination of a lot of things. 

  • The Blue Devils are the largest Drum & Bugle Corps organization in the country, probably the world. They operate an A, B, and C corps. They operate a winter drum line, guard, a special-needs guard, their Yamaha School of Music lesson program, the Diabolo Wind Symphony, and several other programs. 
  • They have the highest revenue earning and profit in drum corps. Money is important in this business. BD is a smart organization that has been wise about their earnings and investments. 
  • The A corps is a destination corps. Essentially kids from all over the country, and the world, have auditioned to be Blue Devils. This sort of popularity was built over decades and was likely due to great instruction, great tour experience, the way they program their shows and feature their performers, and many other reasons I am sure. 
  • Although the A corps is very national/international, the rest of the organization is very local or regional. I'd guess (and I have no facts on this) that they have roughly 350+ kids taking part in year-round programs. Again, I am not even counting the A corps. I am basically just factoring the number of members in the B and C corps, the DWS, winter guard, winter drum line, and the Yamaha School of Music, etc. It's at least 350+ kids, and likely closer to 400 involved in local year-round activities. My guess is SCV is the only corps to come close to this sort of year-round involvement of local youth.
  • The Blue Devils have the most full-time positions for admin, designers and teachers. 
  • From a competitive standpoint, I believe their staff fully acknowledge that they need to know the judging sheets well. After all, if you are going to compete it would be wise to know exactly how you are going to be judged. Everyone wants to be entertaining, but being competitive means showcasing strengths in each caption. In this regard, BD has consistently been outstanding in all performance captions over the years. Brass, percussion, guard, and visual proficiency are fortes of theirs. Once you factor in design, visual analysis, and GE, the combination of their strength across the board makes them tough to beat.

The Blue Devils are a great organization with a passion for helping youth enjoy great opportunities in performance. Like any organization that wins a lot (New England Patriots, Lakers and Celtics back in the day, etc) they tend to get beat-up. Some fans don't like that their A corps gets many members who marched elsewhere and want to finish their drum corps experience marching BD. But this happens with other corps, too. Crown and Bluecoats and SCV, and definitely Garfield/The Cadets from back in the day have all benefited by being destination corps. I think people would appreciate the Blue Devils more if they really took the time to examine all the things they do from a total organization perspective. 

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