chris7997

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

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On 8/14/2019 at 12:17 PM, ironlips said:

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.

lets add jerry seawright, above average talent, and weather.

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10 hours ago, chris7997 said:

Just drawing this out ... but other corps have great staffs...what is it about the Blue Devils staff that makes them a cut above other staffs? 

Other corps have excellent management...what about the Blue Devils management makes it a cut above? 

They pay better, offer career opportunities and not just one or two summers, and their design staff knows how to work together without stepping on each other.

As was said earlier, success in DCI is a self fulfilling prophecy. If you can develop a year around business model that makes money, you can have enough cash to build world class shows that attract world class talent. You then can attract and retain world class teachers who see career rather than job.

BD probably always has THE oldest, most experienced marching members every single year. And they recruit away from other corps that are competing against.

So do the math: odds are 100% you are going to have better talent and therefore better performances and therefore you can design more advanced shows that lead the pack from day 1.

Because of the crazy weird way Dci scoring works, once you land in the lead In a season, the gold medal is yours to lose. 

You also can not deny that history played to their advantage. Every judge knows who is supposed to win.

Edited by MikeRapp
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On 8/14/2019 at 11:38 AM, Cappybara said:

I second everything that has been said but also just how great they treat their members during the course of the season. Plenty of rest days, ample floor time, good food (so I've heard), professional environment. Who wouldn't want to come march for a corps that takes care of its own so well? 

Do not underestimate this. My son joked that they called themselves the retirement corps. They do their best to program their tour to give members the optimum chance for recovery time. The get more half/full days off than other corps. This pays off the last two weeks of the season with a better rested corps ready to clean the **** out of their show. About the only thing they could do better, and maybe they have in the last few seasons, is improve their nutrition a bit to cut back on the carbs and add more protein. (Just about every drum corps can probably do better at this!) That said, there is always as much food available to the members as they desire each meal. 

Also, they preach every year about becoming the best blue devil corps ever. If they do that, then things will take care of themselves. 

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3 minutes ago, desertrat68 said:

Do not underestimate this. My son joked that they called themselves the retirement corps. They do their best to program their tour to give members the optimum chance for recovery time. The get more half/full days off than other corps. This pays off the last two weeks of the season with a better rested corps ready to clean the **** out of their show. About the only thing they could do better, and maybe they have in the last few seasons, is improve their nutrition a bit to cut back on the carbs and add more protein. (Just about every drum corps can probably do better at this!) That said, there is always as much food available to the members as they desire each meal. 

Also, they preach every year about becoming the best blue devil corps ever. If they do that, then things will take care of themselves. 

When you have as much money as they have, you can afford to take days off and serve endless good food.

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3 hours ago, MikeRapp said:

They pay better, offer career opportunities and not just one or two summers, and their design staff knows how to work together without stepping on each other.

I think it’s the dental and vision plans.

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5 minutes ago, MikeRapp said:

When you have as much money as they have, you can afford to take days off and serve endless good food.

While I agree about the later, I disagree about the former. Fatigue, both mental and physical, is a huge part of the DCI experience. I believe that they make the decision to give their corps time more time off so that they are mentally and emotionally at their best for the grind that is the push to finals. 

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On 8/14/2019 at 1:31 PM, jwillis35 said:

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. 

you left one staff continuity. the major names have been there for years. There's no revolving door

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1 hour ago, desertrat68 said:

Also, they preach every year about becoming the best blue devil corps ever. If they do that, then things will take care of themselves. 

Beat the Blue Devils was the motto even way back when I marched. 

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7 hours ago, MikeRapp said:

When you have as much money as they have, you can afford to take days off and serve endless good food.

They perform right at the average number of shows compared to other corps every year. It's a myth that they perform one of the fewest number of shows per year. They just maximize their rehearsal time really well. 

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8 hours ago, desertrat68 said:

While I agree about the later, I disagree about the former. Fatigue, both mental and physical, is a huge part of the DCI experience. I believe that they make the decision to give their corps time more time off so that they are mentally and emotionally at their best for the grind that is the push to finals. 

The goal of BD A is to win titles. 

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