DCI partnering with Varsity Performing Arts to launch "SoundSport Scholastic" events


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2 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

i am amazed they want involved in a non profit business.

 

but face it, DCi needs $$$.

They likely don't want involvement in a non-profit. They want to gain control of the non-profit and monetize it, for profit. "Opportunities for students," are opportunities for Varsity to make money.

But let's not be naive about the fact that this is the path it's all been on for a while. Less than 20 years ago, a good number of corps still made their own flags, customized their own uniforms, reused instruments and had kids jot down their spots.

Now a village of industry has sprung up to supply flags, costumes, "planned obsolescence" uniforms, props, electronics, electronic consulting, pre-made drill books, fitness training, etc. etc. If you're not getting it supplied by someone else, you're not doing it right.

The money is not so much in the corps as it is in the legions of copycat bands, and this is Varsity's way in. BOA and WGI are in the crosshairs as well.

They picked a good time to make their move, with DCI at its most vulnerable. It's been a few years, but apparently no one in the DCI office remembers the 2006 Regiment show....

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So much for DCI becoming a mission-driven organization.

Really? Seems like we are missing the point of the latest Nadolny article. This is not the Hopocalypse of cheer.  Rather, it is a parallel to the post-Hopkins situation where we chafe at the

Plan 9 from Indianapolis  

22 minutes ago, NakedEye said:

They likely don't want involvement in a non-profit. They want to gain control of the non-profit and monetize it, for profit. "Opportunities for students," are opportunities for Varsity to make money.

But let's not be naive about the fact that this is the path it's all been on for a while. Less than 20 years ago, a good number of corps still made their own flags, customized their own uniforms, reused instruments and had kids jot down their spots.

Now a village of industry has sprung up to supply flags, costumes, "planned obsolescence" uniforms, props, electronics, electronic consulting, pre-made drill books, fitness training, etc. etc. If you're not getting it supplied by someone else, you're not doing it right.

The money is not so much in the corps as it is in the legions of copycat bands, and this is Varsity's way in. BOA and WGI are in the crosshairs as well.

They picked a good time to make their move, with DCI at its most vulnerable. It's been a few years, but apparently no one in the DCI office remembers the 2006 Regiment show....

nor do they realize the music restrictions Varsity has. design teams will love that!

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3 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

This strikes a chord for me.

 

Brief :lol:

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3 hours ago, N.E. Brigand said:

This strikes a chord for me. Just this week I took part in an installment of an ongoing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion discussion among the leadership team of the non-profit performing arts company where I work. One concern that has been raised in previous EDI discussions was the transparency of our decision-making process, at all levels, and in the course of considering that subject, we moved into a conversation about how artistic and financial decision are made.

A few years ago, as part of an effort to respond to a long-term structural deficit, we cut our overall expenses by a lot compared to what we'd spend in previous seasons. Subsequently, board members told our executive directors how impressed they were that those cuts weren't evident in our artistic product, which looked as impressive as ever. But if you peered behind the scenes, you might find exhausted staff scraping by on very little pay, who stick around because they believe in the mission, even to the detriment of their well-being and personal finances. (And that further ties back to EDI concerns: for various historical and systemic reasons, people of color are likelier to come from poorer backgrounds, with fewer savings to lean on, and thus, no matter how much they wanted to sacrifice for an organization's mission, they would be less able to do so.) So in this discussion we asked ourselves a question:

Historically, we start our annual planning process by identifying the artistic work we'd like to bring to our community, and then we consider what it would cost to produce that work, and whether or not we can afford it, and then if we really think the project is important but it's too expensive, we  look for what we can cut: how short a period can we employ the already underpaid staff, for instance. But what if instead we assumed a different starting point? What if we never planned a season where anyone in these positions was employed for fewer than, say 32 weeks, and every person made a reasonable wage? And only then did we choose the productions, still selected as those that would best serve the community, but with this new constraint.

There would be trade-offs, to be sure. For example, the physical aspects of the work might not be as good: those board members I mentioned probably wouldn't be able to say they couldn't see the cuts. Maybe the audience would too. Would they be less likely to support work they deemed inferior? Is there a way to bring them along on this journey with us?

Surely there a parts of that conversation like that applies to drum corps. And there also are aspects of treating people right beyond finances and workload. Turning to one recent point of controversy in this field: did Mandarins, for instance, prioritize competitive success above members' well being and therefore give less credence to complaints about abusive behavior? If so, did they do so in response to fears that their long term survival depended on scoring better? Turning to a more general point of concern in drum corps: is there money being spent on equipment, props, costumes, even instrumentation that would better be spent on staff or member well-being? I do know that some of that is purchased via arrangements that pay off financially for the corps, but is that true of all corps, or only the best corps? Do judges reward corps for spending more money? Does that perpetuate a system where the corps who are already financially successful can afford to treat people right and those who are struggling cannot? No easy answers here, I'm sure. But to bring this back full circle to the subject of transparency:

DCI's leadership cannot be so ignorant as to have been completely unaware of the concerns about Varsity that others have raised here. Should DCI explain how they decided that those concerns were either overblown or worth the risk in getting involved with this company?

Or did DCI decide the way your preceding paragraphs suggest?

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21 hours ago, Jeff Ream said:

for now...revenue maybe.

 

long term....control

Absolutely! They want it all 

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1 hour ago, NakedEye said:

They likely don't want involvement in a non-profit. They want to gain control of the non-profit and monetize it, for profit. "Opportunities for students," are opportunities for Varsity to make money.

The money is not so much in the corps as it is in the legions of copycat bands, and this is Varsity's way in. BOA and WGI are in the crosshairs as well.

They picked a good time to make their move, with DCI at its most vulnerable. 

These decisions are always about the money 💰 

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I was under the impression that Bands of America was formed at least in part thanks to a uniform company. Does anybody know if that's true?

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8 minutes ago, N.E. Brigand said:

I was under the impression that Bands of America was formed at least in part thanks to a uniform company. Does anybody know if that's true?

It was started by Larry McCormick, of https://www.mccormicksnet.com/ - but I always got the impression it was much more about the musical mission with him.  He was also a longtime sponsor (and staff, IIRC) for DCI.

Mike

 

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Answering my own question - he's in the DCI Hall of Fame.

https://www.dci.org/static/larry_mcCormick

Quote

 

Larry McCormick
Inducted in 2000
A discussion of the great percussion instructors, arrangers and innovators would not be complete without the name of Larry McCormick.

Larry was an instrumental leader in the formation of the concert-sounding percussion on the field. His work with the Cavaliers and the Madison Scouts has long been considered some of the most innovative and well known in the early years of drum corps and DCI. One of his ideas he is best remembered for is his use of the video recorder to enhance the educational process. He tried to find ways to integrate the drum line into the visual aspect of the show and to expand on what they could and in some minds should do.

Larry was also the founder of Bands of America. He is truly a leader and reformer in the marching world and has helped to lead drum corps and marching bands to where they are today.

 

 

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