Drum Corps in the Post-Covid World - What Role Does DCI Have?


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21 minutes ago, Poppycock said:

It would be a good start! A staff salary cap would too.  Does any organization really need five marimbas or eight towers of speakers and countless microphones? What more is achieved with 154 members vs 128? Is new instrumentation and costumes necessary every season?  What exactly is DCI marketing and to whom, and at what cost? There are guidelines and boundaries for the majority of competitive sports but for drum corps it’s an arms race. So yes a fresh face or independent organization to manage, promote and market may very well be a good thing. 

I truly hope others chime in to your post.  It is, in its spirit if not its specifics, the central and core question to who gives how much power and money to DCI to accomplish the goals.

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Just because you say so doesn’t make it so! A lot of organizations, independent show sponsors, and numerous regional circuits were eroded instead of supported by DCI. It wasn’t until just recentl

You are a nonprofit arts/education organization and you have the resources.

What is needed are visionary leaders like Jim Jones, Don Warren, George  Bonfiglio, Gale Royer, etc.   I’m not sure that they exist in Drum Corps these days. 

24 minutes ago, garfield said:

 

I don’t think Jim’s experience is unique, there are lots of kids who only try out at their dream corps.  This has been a problem, in one form or another, since drum corps began.  But who’s responsibility is it to try to fix that problem, DCI’s or each drum corps?   Kids moving from HS competition and indoor to beyond in their musical career respond overwhelmingly that they know and want the DCI brand, not their favorite corps.  The Vaticinate study clearly showed that the activity has the brand and kids, first, want to march drum corps.  Individual mileage may vary and that study is several years old.

The vast majority of MMs are music majors or have such aspirations.  Doing drum corps is a fun burnishment to music/performance resumes.  Most school districts and many band directors don’t know PC from BAC, but they might know that DCI is the musical Major League.

To clarify it wasn’t my experience. About 10 years back some OC corps were still looking for members while top corps had 100s at try outs. So I asked why don’t people go to OC or non top corps if they miss the dream corps cut. Got some good responses which cleared up the mystery. And most of the responses came down to it wasn’t worth the cost to march non dream corps. Especially if the marcher is only able to do one season.
 

Lol my experience was joining a Sr corps that was trying to get back on the field. Went from last place at DCA prelims my first year to 6th in finals my last year so had two extremes.

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20 minutes ago, garfield said:

 

I don’t think Jim’s experience is unique, there are lots of kids who only try out at their dream corps.  This has been a problem, in one form or another, since drum corps began.  But who’s responsibility is it to try to fix that problem, DCI’s or each drum corps?   Kids moving from HS competition and indoor to beyond in their musical career respond overwhelmingly that they know and want the DCI brand, not their favorite corps.  The Vaticinate study clearly showed that the activity has the brand and kids, first, want to march drum corps.  Individual mileage may vary and that study is several years old.

The vast majority of MMs are music majors or have such aspirations.  Doing drum corps is a fun burnishment to music/performance resumes.  Most school districts and many band directors don’t know PC from BAC, but they might know that DCI is the musical Major League.

Why is it a problem to aspire to March somewhere? I actually do auditions for groups summer winter and fall. Those who want to do drum çorps either by influence or whatever do know whàt they want and where to be. Realistically not always attainable but a Dream for sure

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3 minutes ago, JimF-LowBari said:

To clarify it wasn’t my experience. About 10 years back some OC corps were still looking for members while top corps had 100s at try outs. So I asked why don’t people go to OC or non top corps if they miss the dream corps cut. Got some good responses which cleared up the mystery. And most of the responses came down to is it worth the cost and ability to do more than 1 year of corps. 
 

Lol my experience was joining a Sr corps that was trying to get back on the field. Went from last place at DCA prelims my first year to 6th in finals my last year so had two extremes.

 

2 minutes ago, GUARDLING said:

Why is it a problem to aspire to March somewhere? I actually do auditions fro groups summer winter and fall. Those who want to do drum çorps either by influence of fact or whatever do know whàt they want and where to be. Realistically not always attainable but a Dream for sure

And your comments among many - who is charged with fixing this?  The corps?  Stand in (insert your favorite corps director's) shoes and ask if they're promoting the activity or their corps?

This is the crux of the issue and, I think, why the wise founders created the central DCI to begin with.

Should DCI promote the activity or should the corps?

Who funds DCI if it is to do it?  How much should the corps dedicate to fund DCI or its own, central tour manager?

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7 minutes ago, garfield said:

 

And your comments among many - who is charged with fixing this?  The corps?  Stand in (insert your favorite corps director's) shoes and ask if they're promoting the activity or their corps?

This is the crux of the issue and, I think, why the wise founders created the central DCI to begin with.

Should DCI promote the activity or should the corps?

Who funds DCI if it is to do it?  How much should the corps dedicate to fund DCI or its own, central tour manager?

Think we’re skipping a few steps. Instead of jumping in at who should fund or fix, the discussion should start at what is causing the problem and can anything be done. 
 

Sounds like my old church when I was on council. Membership dying off and not getting many new members (typical city church). Created a task force with synod to determine what the hades was going on and what could be done. After 18 months of study and serious soul searching learned there wasn’t anything that could be done to save the church outside of moving the building and the elderly locals to another location. IOW we were SOL (stuff out of luck). End result was church had a combo 125th anniversary and closing the doors dinner for about 80 people (including guests).

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Just now, garfield said:

 

And your comments among many - who is charged with fixing this?  The corps?  Stand in (insert your favorite corps director's) shoes and ask if they're promoting the activity or their corps?

This is the crux of the issue and, I think, why the wise founders created the central DCI to begin with.

Should DCI promote the activity or should the corps?

Who funds DCI if it is to do it?  How much should the corps dedicate to fund DCI or its own, central tour manager?

Dci was formed  for the purpose of deciding their own future as well as how corps would move into the future and not under the  archaotic thumb of the VFw and Legion rules. As for who should be promoting..the corps as well a the office.

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I'm sorry I gave the impression that I thought that the actual G7 was in play. That ship has most likely sailed, though I'm not an insider.

My idea was that if DCI could not find a way to make its traditional tour happen in the future (because of costs, housing issues, lack of show sites, insurance, health concerns, etc.) there might be a small group of corps who might see if they could try something different. Such as what almost happened in 2010-13 when a group of corps thought it might be a good idea to leave DCI. The new thing would undoubtedly be partially sponsored by the musical instrument companies, etc. who need advertising for their products. I can see a scenario where this could be not field shows but instead a combination of individual/small ensemble/full corps performances. It could involve entertainment venues trying desperately to make new things happen in a post-COVID world. This is just where the OP's post led me - for whatever reason. I have no idea how likely this is.

I prefer the DCI tour. There would be so much lost if the long tradition of the American drum corps competitive summer tour went away. It is indeed part of our American culture. But many things which were part of our culture are no longer.

Much depends, as it always does, on the DCI Executive Director. Can he herd the cats in a similar direction? I happen to think that Dan Acheson has done an incredible job. Certainly he has not done everything right. But under his leadership, DCI has survived and in some ways thrived. We all would like more corps. I have confidence that Dan is doing his job. But this situation is probably the hardest he's had to face, and he's had to face some really tough ones. It may not be solvable.

 

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Here's a most enlightening and encouraging article in The Atlantic - "the plan that could give us our lives back".   "How to test every American for Covid 19 every day."

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/08/how-to-test-every-american-for-covid-19-every-day/615217/?fbclid=IwAR15chGLAhIheiWVWsmYByMUB-213E9ZIrZs1kUUW_4hNBTntjsqXzLSxmk

 

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On 8/13/2020 at 2:45 PM, garfield said:

But wait, Greg, is that DCI's doing?

 

No, not entirely.  Comorbidity includes COVID-19, increased entertainment options, and decrease in religion and patriotism (in terms of a support structure).

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17 hours ago, cixelsyd said:

The G-7 proposal did not say a single word about member safety, harassment prevention, or even ethics.  

The G-7 proposal was authored by the person whose offenses made the member safety revolution necessary.

We have all been critical of the DCI response on these topics.  But would you rather have entrusted Hopkins, Fiedler, and company on those issues?

actually the core of the G7 announcement was authored by 7. that one you refer to made a ton of changes they didn't even know about

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