GetOFFmyDot

Will DCA be around in 5 years?

Will DCA be around in 5 years?  

71 members have voted

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

    • Yes
      25
    • No
      46


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3 minutes ago, totaleefree said:

Star of Indiana was at the top of their game, full DCI member when they left DCI,   Just because you are a top dog does not mean you are 100% behind the organization

However, the split still goes largely along  the historical regional cradle. Largely...

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27 minutes ago, KeithHall said:

Losing Empire Statesmen, Rochester Crusaders, Syracuse Brigadiers, Westshoremen, Kingston Grenadiers, Heatwave, Alliance, Kilties(?),  Renegades. Can we go further back to Matadors, Yankee rebels, Les Dynamiques, Chieftans, Generations, Steel City Ambassadors, Bayou City Blues, Night Storm, etc.

Its a lot of corps to lose since 1990. Is there a miracle? I don't think so

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?

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25 minutes ago, Terri Schehr said:

Completely wrong on the eight.  

I was confused by who is in control.  I thought that you were referring to the admin.  Not the member corps.  

Every one of the eight is from outside of the NE except one.  Three of the eight are not competing in DCA this year. One corps has not competed in DCA for two seasons. 

Ah, that makes more sense. Thanks. I wondered if MBI was in the mix. Or Alliance? (Do they still exist?) OK, so the corps who competed in 2018 but not this year are Erie Thunderbirds, Chops Inc., and Highland Regiment. I can't tell whether MBI is or is not part of the three, or is in addition to the three. As for corps outside of the northeast, there are counting recently inactive corps, there are seven or eight. Essentially we're talking about a list that includes some mix of these corps: Minnesota Brass, Atlanta CV, Southern Knights, Cincinnati Tradition, Govenaires, Carolina Gold, Chops Inc., Alliance, maybe the Thunderbirds (is western PA considered "northeast"?), and a northeastern corps.

And they wanted to leave DCA and participate in DCI.

So as far as DCA having "put the kibosh on that" and having "told DCI to not speak with individual corps and only do business through them", how exactly does DCA have this kind of power over DCI? What does Allen Buell know about the skeleton's in Dan Acheson's closet, that he can compel DCI to do his bidding?

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41 minutes ago, Terri Schehr said:

I don’t why I’m commenting on this except that my BS meter went to the red zone.  I gave my tickets away and exchanged my plane tickets.  Chances are I’ll never attend again. 

Well, I'm happy that you're commenting!

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54 minutes ago, KeithHall said:

Losing Empire Statesmen, Rochester Crusaders, Syracuse Brigadiers, Westshoremen, Kingston Grenadiers, Heatwave, Alliance, Kilties(?),  Renegades. Can we go further back to Matadors, Yankee rebels, Les Dynamiques, Chieftans, Generations, Steel City Ambassadors, Bayou City Blues, Night Storm, etc.

 

Its a lot of corps to lose since 1990. Is there a miracle? I don't think so

DCA wasn't to blame for Westshore. They imploded regardless of what DCA did or did not do because of internal malfeasance and an understandable failure to recover afterwards. The Grennies also imploded  from what appeared to a refusal to accept they needed to make some changes in approach in how they performed to make finals. The Brigs imploded regardless of what DCA did or did not do because of finances.  I'll go there and say the Renegades kneecapped themselves, then blew themselves up in Klingonese glory. The Kilties' issues have nothing to do with DCA, more about certain rather poor and foolish decisions now likely coming home to roost upon them in a big way. The Crusaders lost their leased horns in an act of theft/vandalism and had no backup plan or reserve money to cover the sudden, major loss. Y-R failed because of Hamilton Post's racism. The rebuild afterwards just didn't have the necessary underpinnings to be sustained and viable. Empire also ran out of money. The Chieftains appeared to be unsustainable for the long term as well. 

DCA as an organization... as a whole... did nothing to cause any of these failures. These organizations in certain cases, basically committed organizational suicide. DCA's not to blame. I'll throw in the Altoona Mainliners as another group who simply didn't develop the financial infrastructure to survive.

 

I'll throw in Heartliner, too. Wasn't DCE's or DCA's fault some cat made a fatal mistake and blew himself up while working on a gas line in Ludwigshafen and immolated himself and most of a city block which included their rehearsal facility and all of their equipment.

 

Heatwave, Alliance, Matadors, any of the Quebec corps....Generations, Steel City...all the others from Texas and down South, High Country brass (I'll throw that one in) I won't throw in that category because I don't know all of the particulars, though most Quebec corps suffered from various factors that caused their demises that had little to do with DCA per se- L'Odysee were basically the Crusaders and Les Cascadeurs were the Phoenix, for example.

 

The only way DCA could have saved most of the corps in the first list... was if it were some kind of monolithic Daddy Warbucks that could have helped to sustain and keep those organizations running through huge financial bail-outs, and that's not what it's supposed to be.

 

If I stepped on some toes and made some people uneasy about the whys... so be it, but I refuse to make some simplistic connection and blame a group for things that are not their fault at all even if I may not always agree with how things are. That's rather unfair.

Edited by BigW
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Part of the challenge is that there used to be All Age corps who didn't participate in DCA, right?

Instead they had regional associates like DCM.

On the junior corps side, DCI was sort of able to take over the functions of those regional groups -- although I believe some people are still bitter about aspects of how that was handled.

On the senior corps side, DCA apparently never wanted to become a national organization like DCI, which would always have been harder to do anyway given the weekends-only nature of senior corps activity.

Even on the DCI side, we've seen the top two lower-division corps opt out of traveling to the national championships this year. Who says there has to be a national championship? Maybe there would be more drum corps participation if there were multiple regional options with only some limited overlap (as a few corps each year choose to travel outside their area). What if there were ten all-age corps in the midwest and another ten in the south who only occasionally journeyed to the northeast for that event? So maybe what these eight corps were wishing to do was a necessary and parallel step to the return of regionalism.

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Looking at the DCM scores from History of Drum Corps there were a few smaller Sr corps that never went to DCA. From 60s to 80s had Red Carpet (RCA) and International Corps (ICA) Associations where some of the smaller corps did not go to DCA weekend to save money as they would not make top 10. 

As for those 20 or so corps years about 10-15 years back bunch of Class A corps and some from outside of northeast that I remember. Seemed like they lasted a few years and disappeared so no idea how much DCA has to do with their demise. 

And holy crap W, never knew that about Heartliner... and we liked their show

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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26 minutes ago, totaleefree said:

Much of the frustation  for out of the NorthEast Corps is the other corps and not so much DCA admin. It is very difficult to get a Northeastern Corps to travel out of that area for a show. Why pay 10k to bus your corps to Minn and lose a whole weekend of practice while riding the bus, when you can do a local show at very little cost.  The same idea applies to Finals. If you can save 20k by having finals near your home you can save your members dues money and help your corps finances. The corps bank account that year takes precidence on the location vote.   Having it near saves money for the corps but does not expand exposure for DCA.  moving finals out of the region could expand exposure for DCA and help out of market corps, but the NorthEast Corps might have to add $200 to their dues, and many members would rather save $200 than expand DCA's presence and exposure. The Corps vote and the majority of corps is still in the NorthEast, I think they vote looking out for their members, but it makes if more expensive and difficult for corps out of the NorthEast.  The added travel time for distant Corpd makes the Labot day thing an even bigger issue since marcher need to miss an extra day of school or work to travel.   I think a lot of folks in the NE don't realize the added costs in money and time that out of region corps face

Excellent point.  For Minnesota corps, it costs us about $9K per charter bus (yes, per bus -- not total) to transport the corps members plus additional expenses of getting the trailer and equipment moved. Because it's more than a 10 hour drive, we end up requiring multiple bus drivers and multiple CDL drivers for the equipment. For finals, the members had to get on the bus on Wednesday evening, travel for 18-20 hours so that we can have one day to rest and prepare for finals.  Also add into the mix for about $7K per bus for hotels and you can quickly eat up your budget for the entire year for just one trip.  We were enduring the cost of this every year to attend finals because the high cost was still worth the member experience even though there was no guarantee that you might get to play both days.  However, High Schools and Colleges are now starting earlier and earlier each year which meant that college kids usually missed the last two weeks of rehearsals plus we had to make special transportation arrangements just to get them to finals from their college as well as take them out of class.  We then had to ask parents to allow their kids to miss at least two days at the beginning of the school year.  To complicate the matter even more, high school band programs are now starting in August (or sooner).  Band directors are somewhat willing to "share" their kids during the summer but asking for them over labor day conflicts with football and marching band and is a total deal breaker. By losing high school and college members, both corps had membership literally cut in half. When your corps is half the size it needs to be, it degrades your ability to seriously compete, entertain, recruit and made it less enjoyable for the members who actually stayed. I would say that when you factor in the transportation cost for finals is now cut in half, you again can recruit in high schools and colleges, you don't have to yank kids out of school, your show is now about 6 minutes which means that you can better incorporate members with medical issues, you can put a show together with 1/3 less rehearsals (which cuts rehearsal costs), and still give the members the same positive experience, why wouldn't you? I'm an alumni of both MN corps but not an official spokesman so this is my own personal $.02.  With the current DCA arrangement, Sound Sport is the only path to guarantee Chops and MN Brass financial and academic survival as a drum corps.  Sadly, I do not foresee either corps ever returning to DCA without some major scheduling changes. Maybe Sound Sport isn't as glamorous as regular drum corps but I can personally tell you that the members from both corps had a very positive experience in Indianapolis taking 2nd and 4th place and feeling that they satisfied their own personal goals. Most of our kids went to prelims to see the "real" DCI corps or they spent the evening "lotting" and had the experience of their lifetime. Yes, we also worked hard this summer, sweated in the hot sun, got sunburned, twisted ankles, got called out for missing a dot, told that we were too loud, and everything that came with being a regular drum corps but it was still fun and well worth the time as a performer and a music educator. Some people in the east coast wonder why Chops and MN Brass opted for Sound Sport, this is why.

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Thanks Geno, no surprises about what you posted and wondered if MN corps needed change of drivers so thanks for that info.

And going BITD when we had the gas crisis mid 1970s and gas tripled... huge reason IMO for end of Red Carpet Association. Corps needed more prize money for bus bills and smaller shows couldn’t raise ticket prices without killing crowd size. So shows got further away and bus bills kept going up.. repeat vicious cycle. And some of those smaller shows where corps big fund raiser so....

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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Just now, Geno55441 said:

However, High Schools and Colleges are now starting earlier and earlier each year which meant that college kids usually missed the last two weeks of rehearsals plus we had to make special transportation arrangements just to get them to finals from their college as well as take them out of class.  We then had to ask parents to allow their kids to miss at least two days at the beginning of the school year.  To complicate the matter even more, high school band programs are now starting in August (or sooner).  Band directors are somewhat willing to "share" their kids during the summer but asking for them over labor day conflicts with football and marching band and is a total deal breaker. By losing high school and college members, both corps had membership literally cut in half. When your corps is half the size it needs to be, it degrades your ability to seriously compete, entertain, recruit and made it less enjoyable for the members who actually stayed.

The shocking thing with MBI was how suddenly this happened. It wasn't a slow decline. They went from being a perennial DCA medalist contender to ninth place in one year and then gone from DCA the next. To outside appearances, they appeared to be doing everything right.

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