chris7997

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

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Money is ALWAYS a factor. People have to be paid. You can't attract top staff with air or the "glory of being a part of something bigger than yourself." I can't think of any corps other than Star and Spirit who ever secured a corporate scholarship. I think Spirit might have reached out also to Delta and Coca-Cola early on but it was always vague. I'm surprised that no one has had any luck with the Ted Turner companies (considering he'll sponsor just about anything.) 

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7 hours ago, ironlips said:

https://bluedevils.org/programs/a-corps/about/https://bluedevils.org/programs/a-corps/about/

The photo in the upper right corner might offer a little perspective.

There was no silver spoon. Their success has been earned, not gifted, just like all the other corps on the field these days.

They have earned everything they have, including a whole lot of money. 

Why did Star rocket to the top of the activity in a matter of three years? A lot of reasons—and they ALL were possible because of the deep pockets of a benefactor. One of the main reasons Cadets has had trouble keeping its best staffers is the constant pressure to raise money. At times senior staffers were required to sell concessions at BOA events. Can you imagine BD doing this?!

Edited by MikeRapp

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I think consistency is the word to use. We look at the current staff and people running BD but they were handed the baton early on. It’s astounding or mind boggling that they have maintain the level they are at since 1975. They did have those few years in the early 90s of  what I’ve heard a bit of turmoil especially percussion but starting in 94 the tide shifted and 2007 it just goes their way. You beat BD and the gold is yours. 

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40 minutes ago, MikeRapp said:

Why did Star rocket to the top of the activity in a matter of three years? A lot of reasons—and they ALL were possible because of the deep pockets of a benefactor. One of the main reasons Cadets has had trouble keeping its best staffers is the constant pressure to raise money. At times senior staffers were required to sell concessions at BOA events. Can you imagine BD doing this?!

Very true Mike. But Star also had the best model for drum corps that could have existed at the time. They were already sustaining the corps with revenue from Star Tours. I don't think anyone would argue that Bill made Star possible with his financial clout...but also with the model he created. ####### brilliant if you ask me. 

Raising money is always the elephant in the room. I know some corps can manage the bingo gig. BD set themselves up for success by cashing in on their status as a world champion group over and over again. Camps, secondary companies and performance groups, etc etc etc. The key to both Star and BD is that they have run their corps LIKE A BUSINESS rather than like a niche activity. 

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1 hour ago, Weaklefthand4ever said:

Very true Mike. But Star also had the best model for drum corps that could have existed at the time. They were already sustaining the corps with revenue from Star Tours. I don't think anyone would argue that Bill made Star possible with his financial clout...but also with the model he created. ####### brilliant if you ask me. 

Raising money is always the elephant in the room. I know some corps can manage the bingo gig. BD set themselves up for success by cashing in on their status as a world champion group over and over again. Camps, secondary companies and performance groups, etc etc etc. The key to both Star and BD is that they have run their corps LIKE A BUSINESS rather than like a niche activity. 

Winter Guard has certainly helped corps have a yearlong revenue stream. It will help corps recruit better and employ staff year around.

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20 minutes ago, MikeRapp said:

Winter Guard has certainly helped corps have a yearlong revenue stream. It will help corps recruit better and employ staff year around.

True. Oddly, in the south, we have about a zillion WGI groups but VERY few DCI / DCA groups. But the revenue is quite good. I think there's something to be said for the model for sure. I would LOVE to see more localized DCI / DCA shows. 

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17 minutes ago, Weaklefthand4ever said:

True. Oddly, in the south, we have about a zillion WGI groups but VERY few DCI / DCA groups. But the revenue is quite good. I think there's something to be said for the model for sure. I would LOVE to see more localized DCI / DCA shows. 

As schools continue to reduce commitments to the arts, plus the rise of home schooling, it certainly makes sense for corps to provide more year around music training and experiences. 

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34 minutes ago, MikeRapp said:

As schools continue to reduce commitments to the arts, plus the rise of home schooling, it certainly makes sense for corps to provide more year around music training and experiences. 

Very true. Decades ago the drum corps activity suffered because more schools offered band programs, etc., and there was less need for kids to get involved in other music organizations. The neighborhood corps died, and years later many more were lost.

Now days, I see a need to go the other direction. I feel public schools (generally speaking) have tried too hard to become a one-stop shop for our youth. They try too hard to offer everything at the expense of allowing kids to get out and experience special training through other means. This forces our youth to accept what the local school offers instead of offering more time to gain other specialized experiences through very specialized organizations.  I personally see a need for the schools to back-off a little. Our youth need more out-of-school activities. This would certainly help activities like drum corps, and in particular it would help corps that recruit more HS students. 

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34 minutes ago, jwillis35 said:

Very true. Decades ago the drum corps activity suffered because more schools offered band programs, etc., and there was less need for kids to get involved in other music organizations. The neighborhood corps died, and years later many more were lost.

Now days, I see a need to go the other direction. I feel public schools (generally speaking) have tried too hard to become a one-stop shop for our youth. They try too hard to offer everything at the expense of allowing kids to get out and experience special training through other means. This forces our youth to accept what the local school offers instead of offering more time to gain other specialized experiences through very specialized organizations.  I personally see a need for the schools to back-off a little. Our youth need more out-of-school activities. This would certainly help activities like drum corps, and in particular it would help corps that recruit more HS students. 

We've been discussing this as well in a different thread. I would agree with what you're saying here. Apparently though, the majority of directors and school boards aren't willing to make accommodations for people marching corps. I marched HS band and corps and college and corps and NEVER had an issue. 

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