GetOFFmyDot

Will DCA be around in 5 years?

Will DCA be around in 5 years?  

84 members have voted

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

    • Yes
      30
    • No
      54


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14 hours ago, Poppycock said:

Like you haven’t taken shots at the on field product of DCI corps. Pot-Kettle-Black!

i have offered criticism yes, nothing like you

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13 hours ago, Fran Haring said:

I agree with you.

"Soapbox Moment" here... (at the risk of sounding like a "get off my lawn" fossil...LOL...and at the risk of looking like I'm trashing today's all-age corps, because I'm not. I know how hard those folks work, and their level of passion is certainly equal to that on the DCI side.)

I was in one of those "DCI-style corps" in DCA. We were a corps that was seen as pushing the envelope on the senior/all-age side for years, starting in the late 1960s. 

But it was a different vibe then. Even the so-called "DCI-style corps" like my old team (Sunrisers), plus the Buccaneers, Westshoremen, then later the Bushwackers, had it.  The personality connection with the drum majors, the soloists, etc. An overall more relaxed, more fun, atmosphere... for the corps and fans.

Not there much anymore. Some exceptions, of course.

I gotta figure, if one top DCI corps... Bluecoats, perhaps... lets their drum major turn around and interact with the audience, talk to the fans, whatever... then it will become the biggest thing since sliced bread, and other DCI corps will fall in line, followed by DCA, as usual.

But the thing is.... DCA had that going on, for a long time. (Something like "The Wink" from the Bluecoats soloist a few years back... a sensation in DCI circles when it happened, and it was a really cool thing... but stuff like that used to be routine at DCA shows.)

It was the circuit's calling card, a draw, a difference between it and DCI (let's face it, the all-age corps, by the very "limited time" nature of the beast, will never match the top touring DCI units in terms of overall quality, and that's fine with me)... but with a few exceptions, DCA seemingly has willingly given it up. 

Why? I have no idea.

I'm still a fan. I tip my hat to my friends who are still involved... great folks, and there are a lot of great teachers on the DCA side.  But it's different now.

Jumping off the soapbox. Carry on. :tongue:

i know....visual continues to slowly take over the game. that and effect

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11 hours ago, lcarlton said:

I think it can be expensive, but doesn't have to be, and you can do it for about $5K if you go proof of concept in SoundSport , DCA Mini-Corps, SDCA and then grow. Specifically, I've worked with two corps closely that started up and made it to the field in DCA, and another in DCI Soundsport then WGI. It's actually relatively cheap especially since you can use band instruments, and there is a sea of costume and uniform options out there for low cost or free. A lot of this is just what WGI ensembles are already doing and it works well for them, so scaling it up for a drum corps isn't too hard.

Key points:

With many schools switching to costumes; many are giving away uniforms for free. We on average take in 2-3 donations of free uniforms and then turn around and donate them to programs in the Midwest who need help.

With so many WGI programs, there is a wash of Battery equipment for cheap; you can get a full line for $1500-3500 in decent condition. In many cases you can also rent from a local WGI ensemble or HS for very cheap.

Front Ensemble Equipment is also available to rent, or purchase used at a very affordable cost. The corps I work with only owns one Marimba, so we just rent every year for $500-600 per board which equals out to about 7-9 years of rental to reach the cost of a new board. You can also offset this by using electronics like the Pearl Mlletstation or a Software synth with a Mac Mini for about $400 a synth station + cost of making a cart or just run two synths off one machine.

Brass instruments; options to rent to own, or hook up with a new vendor who is looking for a test bed. Even if you buy used you can get a modest line for $12K used; or look to rent excess from corps that aren't using them. You could also use G Bugles and that would get you a full line of 20 horns 3 valve for about $3-4K. 

Transportation: limit travel as much as possible and do local shows. If you do have to travel look at more affordable options like school buses, church buses, or rental vans with captains chairs for comfort like a lot of the new Ford Transits. Where a bus for 50-60 people costs $3-4K daily, 5 vans for the same amount of people is about $1K daily plus your corps insured Non-Owned Hire drivers which can be a mix of cleared volunteers or contractors. A larger DCA corps of 90 people did this for some of their DCI events in 2017 and saved a lot (though they had to contend with drivers).

Facilities: For our org, we never stay in schools or even rehearse in schools as they are way too expensive. Try to find churches, community centers, camp grounds, charter schools, etc that will let you stay. Offer to hold a clinic for an hour for students, or perform some hymns and patriotic selections for the church and that usually is in-kind. We've been doing that for nearly 20 years and have only had one year we had to pay. The largest expenditure for facilities is Finals and we've negated that by using a Summer Camp which ended up being 75% less than hotels, plus gave us on site practice facilities. 

My personal opinion is this: It's the best time to start a corps; specifically an all-age corps in DCA or DCI SoundSport. With so many options in DCA, DCI, SDCA, MACBDA, and more you can grow gradually and find something that works for your financially or just decide to move in a different direction and become a competitive marching band like AZ's Phenom, or just do WGI like TX Horizon.

sadly few want to take the time to grow. Why? Well DCA for example only wants to see or hear soundsport or mini corps style finals weekend. going soundsport gets you far more exposure if you venture to Indy than Friday night at DCA.

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7 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

i know....visual continues to slowly take over the game. that and effect

Everywhere, right? Not just DCA.

A different game these days.

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On a bus trip with antique car club and had few conversations on average age of participants getting older and older. Heard it from Central PA, Western PA and Detroit folks. Just drawing lot of parallels with DCA followers

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3 hours ago, Fran Haring said:

Everywhere, right? Not just DCA.

A different game these days.

yes. and that "communication" caption is nothing more than just effect

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On 10/29/2019 at 11:14 PM, Jeff Ream said:

no drum corps, electronics or not, could start up today on a shoestring budget. everything costs too much now, and not just the toys on the field.insurance, facilities, transportation....little is free anymore

There are still units out there trying to do their thing on a shoe string budget. Competitive? No. But they are being active. 

  • Sad 1

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13 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

i have offered criticism yes, nothing like you

Correct! I offered solutions

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1 hour ago, Poppycock said:

Correct! I offered solutions

as have I. right now the on field product is far down the list of issues affecting DCA, and I've touched on those other issues incessantly

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2 hours ago, camel lips said:

There are still units out there trying to do their thing on a shoe string budget. Competitive? No. But they are being active. 

but the world in general has made competitive a priority in any facet of life

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