GetOFFmyDot

Will DCA be around in 5 years?

Will DCA be around in 5 years?  

70 members have voted

  1. 1. Will DCA be around in 5 years?

    • Yes
      25
    • No
      45


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18 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

To return to the list of the past 25 years already posted: DCA championships will feature one fewer corps this year (14) than it did in 1995 and 1996 (15). That's essentially static.

And it was just 13 in 1993.

I would love for it to be more!

The miracle may have been that DCA attendance grew to 20+ corps for roughly a decade (2004-2015).

What was going right then that wasn't going right before then or since then?

What was DCA doing wrong in 1993 that it was doing right in 2005?

The biggest thing I see back then was the bump from connected media; having better access to drum corps videos, and online platforms, along with a renewed interest in the marching arts and other "community" activities.

The different now is the marching arts have changed a lot in the last twenty years.

1,) WGI is a major pull for young people. So while many are marching DCI they are also marching WGI so by the time they age out, they might have 3 DCI seasons, and 6 or 7 WGI seasons under their belt. A lot of these performers are just tired, and are happy to step away to begin enjoying all the things they missed.

2.) The finances of drum corps versus indoor - it's significantly cheaper to run an indoor program. Your equipment will last longer as it's not subject to the elements. It's a consistent performer experience at every venue. Drum corps is at times more physical, but the experience varies by weather, venue and by cost. I'd argue why the number of corps in DCI and DCA starting is still so low, while you see new independent ensembles start up every year for WGI. Lower cost of entry, and lower operational costs.

3.) HS Marching programs have grown in skill and variety. Many schools now have competitive marching band, winterguard, and indoor drumlines; so the draw to march drum corps is less and less along with the overall available time. Often directors won't release their students for even DCA drum corps rehearsals, and not even Finals so you're stuck. Many of these directors are DCI Alumni, but their view of DCA is based on the past; without a modern narrative to really counter it.

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For about a year DCA did have access to videos of older shows. Forget what they called it but was part of purchasing DCA Prelims/Finals in 2006 IIRC. Then the copyright legal mess kicked in and bye bye to that. Saw an old link when I was setting up my laptop for DCI. 

And huge reason for 1993 and 2005 improvement it’s one word and one letter.... Class A

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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2 hours ago, lcarlton said:

The biggest thing I see back then was the bump from connected media; having better access to drum corps videos, and online platforms, along with a renewed interest in the marching arts and other "community" activities.

The different now is the marching arts have changed a lot in the last twenty years.

1,) WGI is a major pull for young people. So while many are marching DCI they are also marching WGI so by the time they age out, they might have 3 DCI seasons, and 6 or 7 WGI seasons under their belt. A lot of these performers are just tired, and are happy to step away to begin enjoying all the things they missed.

2.) The finances of drum corps versus indoor - it's significantly cheaper to run an indoor program. Your equipment will last longer as it's not subject to the elements. It's a consistent performer experience at every venue. Drum corps is at times more physical, but the experience varies by weather, venue and by cost. I'd argue why the number of corps in DCI and DCA starting is still so low, while you see new independent ensembles start up every year for WGI. Lower cost of entry, and lower operational costs.

3.) HS Marching programs have grown in skill and variety. Many schools now have competitive marching band, winterguard, and indoor drumlines; so the draw to march drum corps is less and less along with the overall available time. Often directors won't release their students for even DCA drum corps rehearsals, and not even Finals so you're stuck. Many of these directors are DCI Alumni, but their view of DCA is based on the past; without a modern narrative to really counter it.

consistent at every venue in indoor? Wow sign me up for those venues!

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3 hours ago, lcarlton said:

They actually worked with Govies on their international trip in June to much success! They were able to bounce back, though I'm not sure if they'll ever head over to DCA again. I was marching the last time they were here; and they were friendly, and fun. Loved their airplane themed show 🙂

Heartliners' admin/volunteers were a fundamental part of our trip to Austria. We rented their box truck and line of Yamaha horns, and one of their members filled in on cymbals. They were great crew that stuck with us during the trip and gave us lots of insight about the activity in their neck-of-the-woods.

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15 hours ago, BigW said:

That's what happened, man. Some gas company repair guy accidentally blew himself up and a chunk of Ludwigshafen including Heartliner's rehearsal hall that had all their equipment there. and My guess is if you go through the World Drum Corps thread you'll find the whole story hiding in there. I know it sounds crazy, but that's what happened. That's why Heartliner went inactive/folded. That one makes me deeply sad. I hung out with them during their visit... and they were really wonderful people and they had a special corps. I hope Andreas is doing well... Jupp their photographer, Uwe Baum their show coordinator... and so many I got to know and deeply respect but didn't know their names.

Holy crap, that is terrible.  Can't believe I'm only just hearing about this, but I just did a little digging. What an awful story all around.

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The fact only 34 people have registered an opinion on this topic, during what should be DCA's time to shine in the run up to the Championships, is an indicator of where things are going.  I wish DCA the best and would be sad to see it go but economic reality and societal changes have put the handwriting on the wall.  Corps are folding when there is a strong economy.  How will they do when there is another downturn?  More will disappear when the current generation of leaders and administrators retire or otherwise decide the activity is no longer worth their time and effort.  I don't foresee the next generation running with the torch.  IMHO, the best lifeline for DCA would have been a loose confederacy of strictly regional circuits until it was ready to be a national organization but that ship sailed long ago.

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11 hours ago, JimF-LowBari said:

For about a year DCA did have access to videos of older shows. Forget what they called it but was part of purchasing DCA Prelims/Finals in 2006 IIRC. Then the copyright legal mess kicked in and bye bye to that. Saw an old link when I was setting up my laptop for DCI. 

DCA sold videos for years. Then for a few years in the early-middle part of this decade DCA had a fan network where videos were available for streaming, including, as I recall, most if not all of the videos they used to have for sale. They pulled all that not long after DCI and BOA and other band circuits were hit by the copyright trolls.

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7 hours ago, Musicman1084 said:

Holy crap, that is terrible.  Can't believe I'm only just hearing about this, but I just did a little digging. What an awful story all around.

Well, the good news is that no one else was hurt or killed. And the instruments, unis… all were replaced, they have a rehearsal facility- but the point is... things happen to a corps that can't be tagged on DCA.

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4 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

DCA sold videos for years. Then for a few years in the early-middle part of this decade DCA had a fan network where videos were available for streaming, including, as I recall, most if not all of the videos they used to have for sale. They pulled all that not long after DCI and BOA and other band circuits were hit by the copyright trolls.

Fan Network was the phrase I couldn’t remember thank you. Had a pretty good set up for finding the shows and were working to clean up older source. Even had a vid of 1975 Rochester Phoenix as oldest show. Yep and then the copyright mess hit and whole thing was gone. Now can’t even get audio.

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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On 8/18/2019 at 9:01 PM, Jeff Ream said:

the alumni show barely breaks even.

Not surprised, but Alumni corps most likely sell tickets to the Prelims and Finals.  I have four long time friends who are passing up Finals week after 14 years without missing one weekend - and the Alumni event was a factor in going every year.  Fewer corps and a standstill indoors just does not do it for some.  Hopefully DCA has a great weekend anyway.

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