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KVG_DC

BITD, Memory Bumps, and Drum Corps

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Alright, I'll take a stab at an off season thread topic for once.

A friend of mine posted up some thoughts on this study on human memory.  

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140219095325.htm

The upshot being, when asked to recall the 'memories of their lives' most adults went back to a period between 17 and 24.  And that there is typically a cluster of years between 15 and 30 where people experience positive and negative things that remain formative to their identity in their memory.  This age range was consistent across adults studied from a variety of ages.  

When naming the years for myself, the first thing that struck me were 1) those were my marching years (band for me), and 2) that's the era of shows (both band and DC) I tend to think of as "back in the day" and point to as 'the classics' despite my appreciation of shows of earlier or later eras.

Does this hold true for you all too?  I'm particularly wondering for those may have not been around the activity in those years but come to it later (i.e. I didn't march but my kid got into it and I'm hooked now).  Is your BITD affinity to your own years or "when you discovered" the activity?   And if your drum corps affinity window doesn't match your late teen to early 20 years, then how does your nostalgia of your Drum Corps affinity compare to your nostalgia for your memory bump window?  Are they equally strong sense of nostalgia or does one draw more?
 

Last thought, given that 17-24 window, I am reminded that the most important thing about this activity isn't the placement in the end.  it's the experience and memories.  When the placements we got didn't match our desires and where we thought we should have landed, it stung and stung hard when I was in the moment.  At some point though, it became a "yeah, the placement still seems wrong, but we were #### good and had a great time doing all we did. And I learned a whole lot about working with others to pull off some amazing stuff"  And that's the value of the activity for me in the end, it gave me memories that shape who I am and how I approach life even years later.

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Could it be that it was all so simple then?

Or has time rewritten every line?

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9 hours ago, KVG_DC said:

Last thought, given that 17-24 window, I am reminded that the most important thing about this activity isn't the placement in the end.  it's the experience and memories.

Not having marched in a corps, and thus not having the experience, I tend to think of corps and their adjudication in much the same way as I think about movies and their adjudication. Thus my frequent references to the Oscars or the Sight & Sound polls. Although I have to say that most of the films that I personally consider to be the greatest of all time are those that I first encountered (whether then new or not*) in my twenties, which may support the theory you reference.

In the film world, I find it helpful to read a wide variety of opinions (even if those opinions are in list form). It's fascinating, for instance, to browse the "best" lists compiled by the Japanese annual, Kinema Junpo, whose take on western films was often very much at odds with western tastes.

*Mostly not, given that my ten favorite films date from 1955, 1956, 1961, 1959, 1949, 1946, 1925, 1991, 1931, and 2001.

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Hmm.  The movies thing is interesting too.  I'd say my taste in movies tends to draw from more classics from before i existed actually.  With a fair few international films included.  And more recent stuff.  

But then college was when I had the time (or made the time) to discover classic movies and international cinema with my friends..so...

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22 hours ago, KVG_DC said:

The upshot being, when asked to recall the 'memories of their lives' most adults went back to a period between 17 and 24.  And that there is typically a cluster of years between 15 and 30 where people experience positive and negative things that remain formative to their identity in their memory.  This age range was consistent across adults studied from a variety of ages.  

When naming the years for myself, the first thing that struck me were 1) those were my marching years (band for me), and 2) that's the era of shows (both band and DC) I tend to think of as "back in the day" and point to as 'the classics' despite my appreciation of shows of earlier or later eras.

Does this hold true for you all too?  

No.  

And I cringe, knowing where this always leads.  "When did you march?  Aha!  That is why you oppose (fill in latest activity-wide change here).  Olde pharte!"

Age 17-24 is not the issue, IMO.  It is far simpler than that.  Fans became fans because they liked what they saw when they "discovered" drum corps.  Taking it to the next level of dedication (marching) requires that you like what is being done at that time.  Of course you will see a correlation between time of discovery/participation and what era of drum corps a fan/marcher likes.  If you did not like it then, you would not have become a fan or participant!

But it is only a correlation, not a rule.  Some people like it even better as it evolves, if the changes appeal to them.  Others discover a greater affinity for what came before them.  Then there are the people who grew up around drum corps because their parents were involved - they "discover" drum corps long before they march, and there is no predicting whether they will prefer what they discovered or what they marched (or some other era).

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Anything between 1989-1998 is a blur. way too much life crammed into way too short a time, and yeah, too much stupid partying.

 

i marched many of those years too. I think they were great, i'm still here!!

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20 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

Could it be that it was all so simple then?

Or has time rewritten every line?

Big company front coming up... as that horn line gets ready to knock the stands down!!! :tongue:

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I tend to remember the weird stuff regardless of age. Anything from elementary school when kid was banging the back of his head against the wall in the lunch line and set off the fire alarm. (Think he plannned that.) To weird corps stuff too numerous to mention. To current strange crap day to day.

As for Drum Corps... most people march 17-24 so most familiar with that era of corps. IMO most then vs now preferences come from what people are most used to or comfortable with

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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Involved with the activity since 1967, when my older brothers joined a local junior corps in NJ.

Marched from 1971 through 1982... I was 12 when I joined a local NJ corps, 24 when I "retired" from marching with DCA's Long Island Sunrisers. 

Started announcing shows in 1983... but even if I hadn't, I would not have come back to march. Never really got  a strong enough itch to return. And starting in 1983, I realized how nice it was to have a lot of weekends free. I've had people ask me, why didn't I announce more shows than I did. Simple answer... I didn't want to give up nearly every summer weekend for drum corps anymore.

Had a lot of fun suiting up with the Westshoremen Alumni corps in the 2000s... heck, three rehearsals (before show day) and one springtime indoor concert each year, that was my type of schedule!!! :laughing:

To the OP's question, I guess:  I had a lot of fun... a lot of good memories of those 17-24 years... but looking back, there are times when I wish I had spent less time on drum corps, and more time on family stuff... and on my college work. LOL. Didn't finish college the first time around... after an 18-year gap, I picked up where I left off and finally finished several years ago. Lessons learned.

Yes, I had some family members also involved with corps... heck, my brother was director of the DCA corps I was in for several years.  But I missed some stuff/neglected some stuff I wish I hadn't. Just being honest here.

 

Edited by Fran Haring
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I marched in a CYO band that competed in local circuits and in many of the competitions, the drum corps competed too and I was awe struck. This would have started in 1975 in the summer between 6th and 7th grade. I would attend any show I could, join in conversations with total strangers at shows trying to impress them with what I read in “Drum Corps News” and “Drum Corps World,” which by the way still exists and is available for free as an online magazine. 

Over the years I have maintained in interest in drum corps. Lots of factors determine how many shows I see a year. I can usually schedule summer shows which is perfect for drum corps, Fall and winter are always busy times so I go to very few, if any, high school band contests or winter guard and percussion ensemble contests. If I can schedule my vacation schedule accordingly and my budget allows it, I go to Allentown and Indy. 

I have no idea how many shows I’ve seen though I know I have seen some of the performances considered the all time best, I have seen many corps no longer with us at their competitive height, but if I am asked my favorite year, it is always 1980. Two huge reasons were 27th Lancers had a real shot at the title, especially after defeating Blue Devils at DCI East, and a second reason had to do with knowing kids who marched. I also had my driver’s license which meant I could go to more shows. I saw great performances that summer, but driving myself to shows, attending with friends, it being the summer before senior year, all played a role. Lots of things contribute to enjoying drum corps.

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