Ray Kimber

Time to Say Goodbye, after 15 years

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1 hour ago, MikeD said:

No real reason they should not be part of DCI corps in this day and age, IMO. 

Stephan said the day Vanguard has tweety birds in their corps he’s gone. I’m in agreement, no band corps. 

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If you look at the I and E schedule, or happen to be in Indy when awards are given, you can see that many of the young instrumentalists are woodwind players, and they are either performing on brass or percussion instruments in DCI, so many already know how to play more than one instrument proficiently.

Adam Vinatieri loved soccer, and as a punter his soccer skills are evident, but he wanted to play football. Should his high school coaches changed the rules and allowed him to use a soccer ball when he played instead of a football?

If a flute player who also plays trumpet  and makes the cut is not allowed to march because he/she plays the flute, that’s discrimination. If the same flute player cannot play an instrument used in drum corps so cannot march, that is not discrimination.

Edited by Tim K
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13 hours ago, garfield said:

I'm following along but don't want this point to go unnoticed:  Today's competitive HS marching programs give the same, and probably better, experience and make them more qualified to make the BD horn line than a musician that has switched his instrument several times.  Sure, there are exceptions, but MikeD is consistent in saying that band programs today prepare kids to multi-levels-higher talent levels than did band programs of the 50's and '60 just before DCI was formed.  Compare the path you took to Kingsmen to that of most MM's who started on a brass instrument in 5th grade and auditioned that instrument to make a corps.  Yours was honorable and developed/shows character.  The other gave lots of practice time. 

Please return to your regularly scheduled discussion...

Agree 100%. My brother was an All State clarinet player who picked up Baritone (why does it always seem to be Baritone???) and got good enough for Southwind. He probably could have marched Spirit but DCI just wasn't for him so he chose to just march one year. I got smart (debatable) and switched to percussion  by 1985 and just stuck with it. I didn't have to relearn anything. I think the ONLY reason why we got such an excellent education in our HS band program was because every single one of our directors was a drum corps guy (Cavies, Troopers, Spirit,) and taught our HS program in such a way that it was easy to transition. 

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Re woodwinds - we're about 85% against them, but 95% sure they're coming?

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22 hours ago, Poppycock said:

Stephan said the day Vanguard has tweety birds in their corps he’s gone. I’m in agreement, no band corps. 

So the actual bird calls in the pit for Force of Nature weren't enough to trigger this clause?

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I don't agree with much of what MikeD says regarding instrumentation, but he says it eloquently and sincerely, and deserves the respect of everybody on here. 

anyway, I really wonder if you surveyed performers and fans 50 years ago asking them to rank what the biggest deal breaker would be regarding whether a drum corps is really a drum corps, how would they rank these?

- amplification of soloists 

- amplification of entire sections

- mic'd vocalists throughout entire shows

- a mic'd violin

- a mic'd solo woodwind

- a woodwind section

I think both of the bullet points regarding WW would rank high, but I'm not so sure they'd rank higher than A&E.  fans were so passionate in their belief that going non-acoustic was fundamentally not drum corps, they got an audience with the DCI board to have their concerns heard.  i assure you, they argued their case about what is and is not "real" drum corps 10X more strongly than i've seen from anybody in this thread regarding WW.

  

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Lance said:

I don't agree with much of what MikeD says regarding instrumentation, but he says it eloquently and sincerely, and deserves the respect of everybody on here. 

anyway, I really wonder if you surveyed performers and fans 50 years ago asking them to rank what the biggest deal breaker would be regarding whether a drum corps is really a drum corps, how would they rank these?

- amplification of soloists 

- amplification of entire sections

- mic'd vocalists throughout entire shows

- a mic'd violin

- a mic'd solo woodwind

- a woodwind section

I think both of the bullet points regarding WW would rank high, but I'm not so sure they'd rank higher than A&E.  fans were so passionate in their belief that going non-acoustic was fundamentally not drum corps, they got an audience with the DCI board to have their concerns heard.  i assure you, they argued their case about what is and is not "real" drum corps 10X more strongly than i've seen from anybody in this thread regarding WW.

  

 

 

There has always been those walking away. The biggest was the formation of DCI. I still remember the T shirts saying, DRUM CORPS WAS DEAD . There are samples of this every decade.

Nothing new

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2 hours ago, Lance said:

i assure you, they argued their case about what is and is not "real" drum corps 10X more strongly than i've seen from anybody in this thread regarding WW.

You have it backwards. The “strong argument” has to come from the side that wants to pretend the addition of marching woodwinds doesn’t change the definition of a Drum and Bugle Corps. So far, 74 pages and counting, I can assure you no one has come close due to reality. 

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On 11/1/2019 at 3:43 PM, Ray Kimber said:

I have attentively read every reply to my original post.  I have learned some aspects that were unknown to me, I appreciate the opportunity to learn and hear from so many.  From time to time I started typing a bit more of the story, it ended up being quite lengthy.  I attempted to post the reply but was getting some error messages that I guess might be because of the length.  So I have put my comments on a website.  Here is the link to it http://weberafterdark.com/dcpfollowup/

Best regards to all

Ray

The (bad) attempts at amplifying drum corps are linked to a few things:

1) Loud as an effect (without loss of quality tone) takes quite a bit of skill.  Many corps were infamous for BLATTING.  Many corps now resort to the volume knob  and avoid having to teach their horns to play loud well.  So it's an "easy button".

2) Mic'ing large groups of performers simultaneously relieves the visual designer of all staging responsibilities.  Since placement on the field no longer matters, you can place performers willy-nilly and have them heard (albeit with a loss in fidelity).  Of course one of the most difficult things to do in visual design is getting the right players at the right places at the right time so they could be heard.  So again another easy button.

3) New toy fetishism.  A certain segment of the instructor population is notorious for loving new toys.  50 simultaneous wireless audio links is just the latest and greatest.  These guys will bankrupt you if you let them because there's ALWAYS a newer, better, fancier toy to be found. 

4) Broadway wannabee-ocity.  There's a narrative among some old farts in the activity that "hey we're doing Broadway on a football field".  This is of course ludicrous.  Most of what makes a Broadway production a Broadway production is missing (talent, training, writing, technology, venue, lights, stage crew -- the list is endless).  And yet the narrative persists and many others  are "buying in" because mentally it moves them from "marching band instructors" to "broadway outdoors instructors" (which is apparently much more legitimate sounding).  

IMO what is most impressive about drum corps is the effect acoustic brass instruments, percussion, and colorguard in motion can create.  It's a unique, expressive art form.  Hopefully this is just a fad and designers will take up the challenge of creating something new WITHIN the art form instead of complaining "it's all been done" Because it certainly has NOT all been done.  And if you think it has,  maybe you're OLD and should RETIRE. 

I'm fine with amp'ing the front ensemble.  And if you wanna mic a soloist or small ensemble sure put the mics on a stand on the sideline and have at it.  

But stop trying to mic the entire ensemble.  It sounds bad.  Fidelity matters. 

Edited by karuna
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10 hours ago, GUARDLING said:

There has always been those walking away. The biggest was the formation of DCI. I still remember the T shirts saying, DRUM CORPS WAS DEAD . There are samples of this every decade.

Nothing new

Thought that was year before DCI formed.

And amps were allowed so mallet players could play with proper technique. Amazing how small changes work out to be a lot bigger...

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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