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1 hour ago, Poppycock said:

The days of drum corps and schools being perfect partners are over. Event planning for a tour was challenging before Corn teen. It will be next to impossible the next several years to plan for a tour of any length. 

I have seen a photo (which I can't seem to find online) of ~1949 Cavaliers boy scout troop in tents w/ the bugles lined up outside.

Everything old is new again....

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I have seen a photo (which I can't seem to find online) of ~1949 Cavaliers boy scout troop in tents w/ the bugles lined up outside. Everything old is new again....

The days of drum corps and schools being perfect partners are over. Event planning for a tour was challenging before Corn teen. It will be next to impossible the next several years to plan for a tour

It’s become evident that the marching arts activity will have to adapt plans if they want to continue to exist. Despite best efforts, DCI can’t find a path forward so it's up to the individual organiz

16 hours ago, garfield said:

I can tell you that it's #### near impossible for even the most enthusiastic band director to convince his school board to allow him/her to "host" a drum corps overnight in their facilities.  Even leasing all of the square footage (drivers' sleeping quarters, corps housing, food truck hookups, showers, gyms, and stadium liability, ad nauseum) the dollars of income to host a corps is scarcely enough to justify the public good-will, let alone profit the district or school for the liability of having 200 people (KIDS!) sleeping overnight ("boys over here, girls over there", are you f'-ing kidding me??) in their middle school.

This part of drum corps has needing serious and enthusiastic attention for, at least, a decade.  Covid will likely force the discussion and decisions. 

Garfield, Jeff, and everyone else are absolutely correct. Go back more than a decade, maybe 2 decades, and housing was becoming a major issue. The size of the corps itself has changed. It used to be 128 max, then 135, and now 155 with all kinds of staff and volunteers often bringing the number to 200 who need space to stay. We all know schools are busy year around and some start their year much earlier than others.

The flip side of this -- once we get a vaccine and can bring back some sense of normal -- is that public schools and colleges can also gain a lot from hosting a corps and also hosting a show. The benefit to the local and regional music program can be awesome when kids get a chance to see the high-end of the marching arts. It presents a great way to get kids interested in music. I do think schools can be convinced to allow for housing, providing everything can be done safely and that their facilities are taken care of and used appropriately, because there is a benefit to the school in terms of financial compensation (if that can be worked out) and developing an interest in their music program.

Also, on average any school that houses a corps only does so one time for roughly 1 to 2 days. We are not asking them to host for a week or longer in most cases. Now those 1 to 2 days can be difficult to schedule when schools are running camps and other activities, but with careful communication between DCI and the schools I still see benefits for the schools.

As Garfield points out above, it is really difficult for band directors to convince their school boards to allow for hosting a corps overnight, or for 2 or 3 nights. It all depends on whether they see the value. It might not be as bad to get them to agree to hosting a show if it pays for itself, brings people to their community (a potential financial benefit) and everyone leaves after the show with no need to use other school facilities. 

As for now school boards and other power brokers are going to be cautious about liability issues, health concerns, space and schedule, cost, and whether or not they have had a positive experience in the past. 

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8 minutes ago, jwillis35 said:

Garfield, Jeff, and everyone else are absolutely correct. Go back more than a decade, maybe 2 decades, and housing was becoming a major issue. The size of the corps itself has changed. It used to be 128 max, then 135, and now 155 with all kinds of staff and volunteers often bringing the number to 200 who need space to stay. We all know schools are busy year around and some start their year much earlier than others.

The flip side of this -- once we get a vaccine and can bring back some sense of normal -- is that public schools and colleges can also gain a lot from hosting a corps and also hosting a show. The benefit to the local and regional music program can be awesome when kids get a chance to see the high-end of the marching arts. It presents a great way to get kids interested in music. I do think schools can be convinced to allow for housing, providing everything can be done safely and that their facilities are taken care of and used appropriately, because there is a benefit to the school in terms of financial compensation (if that can be worked out) and developing an interest in their music program.

Also, on average any school that houses a corps only does so one time for roughly 1 to 2 days. We are not asking them to host for a week or longer in most cases. Now those 1 to 2 days can be difficult to schedule when schools are running camps and other activities, but with careful communication between DCI and the schools I still see benefits for the schools.

As Garfield points out above, it is really difficult for band directors to convince their school boards to allow for hosting a corps overnight, or for 2 or 3 nights. It all depends on whether they see the value. It might not be as bad to get them to agree to hosting a show if it pays for itself, brings people to their community (a potential financial benefit) and everyone leaves after the show with no need to use other school facilities. 

As for now school boards and other power brokers are going to be cautious about liability issues, health concerns, space and schedule, cost, and whether or not they have had a positive experience in the past. 

It was probably easier to convince "administrators" BITD when there was a local Corps, at least local enough that a few students from the school district were marching.  Obtaining housing is yet another area that is negatively impacted by the demise of local Corps membership.    If some of the members are local, and the local Corps is sponsoring the show & needs housing for 4-6 Corps for a night or 2 it would probably a bit easier to get housing for them.

I fear a bunch of decades-old decision by DCI are about to come home to roost.  

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2 hours ago, Poppycock said:

The days of drum corps and schools being perfect partners are over. Event planning for a tour was challenging before Corn teen. It will be next to impossible the next several years to plan for a tour of any length. 

Agree with this too, which brings me to this: What sort of alternative models might work?

For instance, in order for drum corps to continue in some form might it be better for there to be 4 or 5 regional circuits with competitions taking place on Friday-Sunday only? There is still a need for overnight stay, practice facilities and all the other stuff, but far less than what we have now. Can the corps find other types of housing (camp sites, etc.) that would allow them to not rely on schools to the degree they do presently? But also does less travel keep some potential members away from drum corps? 

To me, the travel and busing is not the issue (at least for world class corps and even some open class). Most of them lease professional bus companies to handle that, and those companies absolutely want the business. Feeding the kids is also not an issue (providing the corps is operating soundly). Grocery stores and other food outlets where corps stock-up absolutely love the business. The issue is housing and hosting shows.

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12 minutes ago, IllianaLancerContra said:

It was probably easier to convince "administrators" BITD when there was a local Corps, at least local enough that a few students from the school district were marching.  Obtaining housing is yet another area that is negatively impacted by the demise of local Corps membership.    If some of the members are local, and the local Corps is sponsoring the show & needs housing for 4-6 Corps for a night or 2 it would probably a bit easier to get housing for them.

I fear a bunch of decades-old decision by DCI are about to come home to roost.  

I agree, but even if there are no local students in any of the corps (or if there is no local corps), hosting a show or just housing a corps can still be a benefit to the local music program. Young middle school kids may see these groups rehearse or at a competition and it may inspire them to take part in music. High school band kids also get inspired by these shows and it encourages them and re-affirms that what they are doing is worthwhile. I believe DCI's focus will have to be on the Arts in general and the positive contributions a show or a simple night of housing can bring to the community. Many corps (like Bluecoats, Blue Devils, Crown, and others) run educational seminars and clinics for the local high school kids when they stay at a school. This is a huge benefit. So as bleak as things look now DCI will have to attack the situation from a standpoint of "We Bring Value."  It will be more difficult than it ever was, but what choice do they have?

Edited by jwillis35
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12 minutes ago, jwillis35 said:

Agree with this too, which brings me to this: What sort of alternative models might work?

 

Campgrounds.

KOA has locations in every state, tents are cheap, and there are showers and cookstoves.  What more does a circus need when it comes to town?

Furthermore, there's someplace to plug in the staff bus - 50amp service is usually available to power those A/C units in the staff coach!

 

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7 minutes ago, jwillis35 said:

I agree, but even if there are no local students in any of the corps (or if there is no local corps), hosting a show or just housing a corps can still be a benefit to the local music program. Young middle school kids may see these groups rehearse or at a competition and it may inspire them to take part in music. High school band kids also get inspired by these shows and it encourages them and re-affirms that what they are doing is worthwhile. I believe DCI's focus will have to be on the Arts in general and the positive contributions a show or a simple night of housing can bring to the community. Many corps (like Bluecoats, Blue Devils, Crown, and others) run educational seminars and clinics for the local high school kids when they stay at a school. This is a huge benefit. So as bleak as things look now DCI will have to attack the situation from a standpoint of "We Bring Value."  It will be more difficult than it ever was, but what choice do they have?

Agree WE see the benefit, but we are Drum Corps aficionados.  These days when talking to school officials it now needs to start w/ explanation of what a Drum Corps is.  In the Olden Days that was not necessary.   

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It’s become evident that the marching arts activity will have to adapt plans if they want to continue to exist. Despite best efforts, DCI can’t find a path forward so it's up to the individual organizations. None of us know if or when a vaccine will be developed and available or when capacity restrictions will be lifted or in what cities and states they will be lifted in, but we do know that, for the foreseeable future, it would be difficult to do shows and keep everyone safe. It would be disastrous to learn of any organization permanently shutting down. Drum corps is a sanctuary that bonds strangers through shared experiences, awakens the heart through powerful performances and stirs the soul through transformative stories. So how will this activity recover? 

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1 hour ago, IllianaLancerContra said:

Agree WE see the benefit, but we are Drum Corps aficionados.  These days when talking to school officials it now needs to start w/ explanation of what a Drum Corps is.  In the Olden Days that was not necessary.   

Thinking of my district and one I have family teaching in. Afraid the main question (out loud) would be “how much is this going to cost for these outsiders to use our facilities and will there be damage”. And the (not said out loud) question would be “can this help me in the next election or bite me in the tail”.

How this helps the low percentage of kids in the arts would be low on priorities.

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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38 minutes ago, Poppycock said:

It’s become evident that the marching arts activity will have to adapt plans if they want to continue to exist. Despite best efforts, DCI can’t find a path forward so it's up to the individual organizations. None of us know if or when a vaccine will be developed and available or when capacity restrictions will be lifted or in what cities and states they will be lifted in, but we do know that, for the foreseeable future, it would be difficult to do shows and keep everyone safe. It would be disastrous to learn of any organization permanently shutting down. Drum corps is a sanctuary that bonds strangers through shared experiences, awakens the heart through powerful performances and stirs the soul through transformative stories. So how will this activity recover? 
 

Poppycock -

I do believe a DCI-level product can survive and regroup. However, my thinking is, some sort of touring schedule in 2021 is essential. It might involve a smaller number of corps, but even a group of 8-10 organizations able to pull-off some semblance of the quality we normally see will suffice.

DCI can’t cut loose sponsors, fans, and media exposure for a second straight season. A reduced size public presence would keep interest going and motivate other groups to persevere.

We’ve recently discussed the old G-7 thinking. I’m glad that didn’t take off. However, the activity’s survival now probably does rest with a small group of elite, able, and willing corps to keep the flame burning. Now, will we have 8 elite groups who can manage a more costly, promotional-style, and inspiring tour?

Yes.🤞

Edited by Fred Windish
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