Ray Kimber

Time to Say Goodbye, after 15 years

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karuna -

You have just provided one of the most brilliant assessments of the situation many enthusiasts are facing right now. Today, it’s use of woodwinds, earlier it was amplification.

Very much agree the uncontrolled introduction of electronic enhancement in DCI is a serious concern to a huge segment of the audience. Beyond limited application to assist projection of soloists, very small ensembles, and for subtle sound effects, these new ‘toys’ have the capability of dominating, even destroying, our appreciation of DCI’s incredible young talent. But, the value of your message lies in your explanation of why such potential monsters can appear.

It’s all a matter of personal taste, certainly. But, egos and financial gain weigh heavily on these decisions. Now, use of woodwinds is seen as a significant threat by some. Yet another monster change that has the same likelihood of misuse.

Small changes are one thing. They often improve the product. Many, including me, fear a significant addition of on-field woodwinds will lead beyond just strengthening an existing product we value, but to its complete erasure. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Fred Windish
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Is there really any “financial gain” in drum corps. 

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The sound of a brass instrument coming through a mic is tinny and crappy. But it’s the toy of preference now because Bluecoats won with it once. Not a lot of new unexplored toys left. Hence the woodwinds discussion. And meanwhile the unique identity of drum corps was left at the curb awhile ago. Oh wait - there’s still “excellence”.  Smh 

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10 hours 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.

  

 

 

When I first started posting here I found you to be quite funny.  Now, although your sardonic wit shows through once in a while, it sounds like you're getting crusty and grumpy.  Maybe that's why you're willing to make nice with MikeD - you're becoming him!  (That there was my attempt at sardonic wit.)

To your points, though, I'll ask you to push hard against the age-related dementia and reorganize your thoughts a little to help me understand, at least, your point.

You think that, of that list, WW would rank "high".  OK, check.  Signifying WHAT, exactly?  That WW are or not "really drum corps".  (Are you saying back then that they'd accept them?)

Those against A&E, who got an audience with Pope Dan, had their concerns heard (presumably that A&E was NOT drum corps, check).  What was the result?  Did they turn the tide or slow the spinning of the earth?

Ergo, if all that griping and canoodling and meeting and gnashing of teeth didn't stop "the change", and they were "10X" more convincing than anyone you've heard here... what?  We, here, are, or are not, going to stop it?  

Do I have that right?

Presuming I do, I don't recall any effort here to organize a task force, call for a meeting, or stampede the gate.  I think this crowd is like much more accustomed to the notion than most fans that it's coming (whether they agree with it or not).  My impression is that mostly it's debating the result and what individuals plan to do when it does happen.

I think many of the posts here are salient and well-considered; some are a hot, bloviating mess, even if they're not as convincing as you remember from decades past.

:fight:

 

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40 minutes ago, cybersnyder said:

Is there really any “financial gain” in drum corps. 

Well if you’re selling stuff....

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42 minutes ago, cybersnyder said:

Is there really any “financial gain” in drum corps. 

I can assure you that the answer is No.  

There is subsistence and breaking even.  A few people make careers but mostly, as Bill Cook said so clearly, drum corps is a hole one throws money down.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, HockeyDad said:

The sound of a brass instrument coming through a mic is tinny and crappy. But it’s the toy of preference now because Bluecoats won with it once. Not a lot of new unexplored toys left. Hence the woodwinds discussion. And meanwhile the unique identity of drum corps was left at the curb awhile ago. Oh wait - there’s still “excellence”.  Smh 

I can agree that in some instances, mic'ing of brass can sound pretty bad. I've seen it used well, and badly. But let's also not fall into a hole that we've crawled out of 1000 times. We've seen the arguments about the death of traditional drum corps when the pit was introduced, when rotor/piston set up's gave way to 2 valves and then 3, when G went to B-Flat, when park and bark changed to far more dynamic drill, when the standard opener/ballad/closer dynamic, when mylar gave way to kevlar...the list can just go on and on and on. 

Look...the activity is bound to change. Playgrounds and stickball gave way to video games. I don't like the change in identity very much either, but I'm not gonna knock changes in how a uniform looks when those changes make it easier and a hell of a lot cooler for MM's during the hot summer months. I don't see any laser light shows happening and I have yet to see Elvis pop out of a moving stage surrounded by 60 dancers in skimpy outfits. The changes we are seeing are a natural progression of an activity that is VERY niche. 

I think the players now have TREMENDOUS talent. Maybe that's just me and I just can't recognize talent anymore...but I doubt that very much. 

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26 minutes ago, Weaklefthand4ever said:

 

I think the players now have TREMENDOUS talent. Maybe that's just me and I just can't recognize talent anymore...but I doubt that very much. 

Yeah it was a lot easier to see the talent when corps were making beautiful music out of modified signaling devices.

And for those of you not from bitd that is not a slam. We had piston/rotor beasts from one of the better manufacturers and still had to be careful not to lose tone or screw up the blend.

Now the musical talent imo shows in the charts.... from the ones I’ve seen... 😯 

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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1 hour ago, garfield said:

I can assure you that the answer is No.  

There is subsistence and breaking even.  A few people make careers but mostly, as Bill Cook said so clearly, drum corps is a hole one throws money down.

 

 

Yeah, 990 filings confirm. Surprisingly, smaller corps can be much closer to profitable than the big boys (or girls, not trying to be sexist).

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1 hour ago, garfield said:

I can assure you that the answer is No.  

There is subsistence and breaking even.  A few people make careers but mostly, as Bill Cook said so clearly, drum corps is a hole one throws money down.

 

 

I remember him saying something like it was the worst business he’d ever been in as far as losing money. 

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