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29 minutes ago, Brian Tuma said:

Didn’t the director of the Troopers at the time splurge on an entire line of G horns when everyone was switching to B flat? I seem to remember him making a boneheaded decision like that. 

Not all heroes wear capes…

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Look at Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark and tell me heroes don't make irresponsible financial decisions all the time. /nerdcorner

It wasn't like BD won by a squeaker like 1 or 2 tenths. More like a point and a half. There is a difference who you liked and should have won.

Heroes don’t make irresponsible financial decisions. 

On 8/31/2020 at 11:46 AM, Tony Flores said:

2 of the unforgettable things from 2003...the Quarterfinals Rain Delay and the absolute jacked up field after the rain delay and for Semis and Finals. 

I think BD stepped off roughly some time after midnight for Quarterfinals. I was there and seem to remember this happening, but maybe someone has an exact time. I also want to say there were two rain delays for Thursday, but I may be off. I remember one of them being over two hours.

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I didn't have a chance to see a lot of shows in 2003. Maybe Canton and that was about it. So at the last moment (while finishing details for camp and the next school year) I decided to fly to Florida and take a 4-day break. Orlando is not the best destination for DCI Finals. Heat, rain, Florida schools usually start earlier, etc. However I made a good time out of it. One of the nice things about a city like Orlando is that there are so many hotels that you can get a good rate even when flying in last minute. Went to Epcott on Wednesday, did MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) on Thursday, and played some golf. Thursday's quarters were delayed at one point but I can't remember when this happened. It had to be 2+ hours of rain delay and I thought there was another on Friday but I can't remember all the details. 

Blue Devils were incredible and it was easy to see they would win. Clean and effective show. There is one point in this show where the intensity is just insane and the music and drill keep driving and driving. This is a really solid Blue Devils with some insane intensity and quite the visual program. In terms of who would win they were the only corps I saw that had a chance.

The Cavaliers Spin Cycle is not my favorite Cavaliers but I give them credit for originality and effect. There are moments in this show that are stunning (at that time) and they definitely made an impression on me. The speed in which visuals change and perfectly mirror the musical content is classic Cavaliers during this time period. Regardless of what one thinks of this show it is clear their staff and designers had to spend a lot of time working out the details. 

I thought the Cadets would have been 2nd place if they had better GE. I actually do enjoy this show. It's not an innovative show that pushes the envelope, but it's also not an offensive show. The music is good, the drill is good, the guard was fantastic, and the brass and percussion were killer. First in percussion and second in brass. They were also 2nd in guard and 2nd in visual proficiency. Each of their 2nd place caption finishes were only .1 under BD. So this was a very strong and talented corps. Not a bad show to watch, but what hurt it competitively were a few things. Choosing classic music from DCI's past was a mistake (even if you intended to "tip the cap" to those corps). It's like making a sequel in the movies. It is very difficult to do. The visuals were good but some of the moves felt overused and the Z-pull felt old and dated. Fanfare and Allegro and Rocky Point music arrangements felt flat to me. Good music played incredibly well, but lacking something. Malagena was pretty darn good but not enough to save the show from a competitive angle. Trying to find a theme for which to present this music was problematic and the musical motifs from the Sound of Music didn't exactly work. The show simply doesn't take us anywhere, but it is performed DARN well! The uniforms were solid, but not my favorite Cadets style uni.

Phantom Regiment had, by far, my favorite show of 2003. Musically this show was a big WOW! I believe their brass line was winning high brass throughout the season but for some reason came out in 3rd on Finals night. Wonder if anyone has info on that. Percussion was REALLY good too. This is hands-down one fantastic music book and those of you who have not seen much drum corps prior to 2010 ought to check it out. 

...more later

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On 9/3/2020 at 2:07 PM, Brian Tuma said:

Didn’t the director of the Troopers at the time splurge on an entire line of G horns when everyone was switching to B flat? I seem to remember him making a boneheaded decision like that. 

Considering this was the time when their leadership also wasn't submitting annual 990 forms to the IRS, which led to their suspension from DCI for a year, I sense a pattern of poor choices.

Re: Cavaliers 2003, it was on a different plane from every other show that year, and was probably the most complete of their 2000-2006 programs. BD 2003 looked dated five minutes after it concluded. No offense to BD folks, but it felt like judges had a governor on what they were willing to give Rosemont in hopes that someone could help break up the win streak.

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On 8/31/2020 at 10:11 AM, MikeN said:

2003, to me, was a good DCI year, if not really a great one.  Orlando for Finals was a terrible idea in retrospect, as attendance suffered.  Also for us fans, the audio/video quality wasn't great - lighting in the Citrus Bowl is just baaaad. 

Blue Devils had 1/3 of a great show.  The opener belongs in the DCI Hall of Fame as it's own member.  It's virtuosic, precise and absolutely channels the spirit of Brubeck while creating something new.  It's a shame the rest of the show couldn't match.  Concerto de Aranjuez just fell flat, and West Side Story was done to death even at that point.  Honestly, I'd have had them in second. Cavies' show had the legs.

Cavaliers, like I said, should have won.  Spin Cycle was by far the most complex visual package of that whole era, and they nailed it.  The music was more engaging than Frameworks by a county mile.

The Cadets decided to zag instead of zig again, and went with a lot of previously done material.  Honestly, I *like* their version of Malaguena - the battery parts managed to hit the rare intersection of Appropriately Complex and Fun to Play.  (Trust me, that's not a common thing in DCI.)  Rocky Point was much abbreviated from the classic version, but still felt like "classic" Cadets. And for the record, the FJM jackets were fine.  It's just frogging.  

Phantom Regiment kept climbing for a title, one spot per year. Their 2003 show is legendary for <gasp> including a reprise, but that moment - yeah.  (Note from my OCD: the title of the music in the opener was Sanctus, not Pachibel's Canon, BTW.  From a choir group named Libera.)  Paul Rennick made his presence known immediately, as the whole percussion section blew everyone away all summer.  I'll listen to this one anywhere, anytime - you don't need the video.  Which... might be why they didn't score even higher...

(personal note.  Thanks to Chris Maher at DCXMuseum.org, I got to hear Phantom's encore from the track in front of them. They played both Sanctus and Amazing Grace.  It's an achievement on my DCI bucket list.)

Santa Clara's Pathways show is one of my all time favorite programs for them.  It has one of the most amazing battery books I've ever seen / heard in it's absolute spot-on mapping between drums and brass.  Seriously - you can pick out exact brass parts based on what the battery's doing. So coooool.  This was the first corps to use Orawa for Orchestra, and they weave it through the entire show to give it a very driving feel.  And the opening minutes are to die for - the brass starts split on each end zone, trading melodies.  How long did it take them to refine *that* part?!?  Overall, this one's on my SCV Mount Rushmore.  

Boston did a sequel to 2000's Red, and it was ... ok.  The corps was probably a little better than the 2000 version, but the show wasn't as catchy.  That said, it's a *good* show, and has some great moments (ballad is awesome, and the 15 snares in Malaguena are fun!).  Maybe just not an all-world program.

Bluecoats had, in retrospect, what felt like a transition year between their more old-school approach and a more sophisticated "big corps" feel.  It's hard to put a finger on.  They played catchy stuff and visually were more interesting than normal, but they didnt feel like challengers to Boston quite yet.  Worth revisiting by Bluecoats fans, but probably not for everyone.

Madison's new leadership nailed their initial production.  My kids literally played a don't-call-it-ripoff show of this last year in band.  The unfortunate part was that everyone was still mad about Scott Stewart and the new uniforms that they couldn't really appreciate what the corps was doing out there.  They had a tremendous drill program, and they showed they could "play the game" while still adding so many signature Madison Moments.  I do still pull this one out to watch every once in a while.

Crossmen put on a very Crossmen show.  If you like very Crossmen shows, you'll like this one.  They didn't push the envelope, but you'd leave humming the tunes.  I have to keep defending that I *do* like the Crossmen, but this one didn't really raise my blood pressure any.

Crown also reinvented themselves in look and sound, and came closer to the more modern Crown we all know and love.  They definitely doubled down on the "bell" gimmick.  Worth watching if you want to see the evolution of the group.  

Magic of Orlando's real last hurrah came in 2003.  It was definiely a more complex show than the 2002 version, but maybe not as interesting.  The bits from Bernstein's Mass were fun.  

Finally, Spirit made 12th with a more jazz-inspired show that honestly, I didn't like as much as the symphonic stuff the year before.  Joke's on me, I guess - they made Finals with this one.

Honorable mention - BK was soooo close, with a great music book.  Glassmen kept bouncing in and out of the top 12, and Seattle started a slow decline. Honestly, there were a lot of corps that felt like they were on the downswing - Colts, Kiwanis, Southwind, Troopers, Pioneer.  Coming up were Pacific Crest, Mandarins, Capital Regiment.  

Next year in 2004 - Cavaliers wonder what would happen if they adapted their visual program to Cool Music, BD experimented with jazz-but-not-really, SCV caught lightning in a bottle ... and there were also singers and twirlers and amplification.  You know, normal stuff.

It wasn't like BD won by a squeaker like 1 or 2 tenths. More like a point and a half. There is a difference who you liked and should have won.

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57 minutes ago, DFA1970 said:

It wasn't like BD won by a squeaker like 1 or 2 tenths. More like a point and a half. There is a difference who you liked and should have won.

Thanks. I was thinking this exactly. 

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On 9/6/2020 at 8:49 AM, jwillis35 said:

I think BD stepped off roughly some time after midnight for Quarterfinals. I was there and seem to remember this happening, but maybe someone has an exact time. I also want to say there were two rain delays for Thursday, but I may be off. I remember one of them being over two hours.

I remember getting back to my hotel (near Universal Studios) about 1-1:30 ish with a bag of food from Wendys...i never really dried off until i changed clothes in my hotel room...which had a thermostat stuck on 65 degrees...so cold in there i swear i saw penguins 😜 

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On 9/7/2020 at 1:10 PM, DFA1970 said:

It wasn't like BD won by a squeaker like 1 or 2 tenths. More like a point and a half. There is a difference who you liked and should have won.

Or one could disagree with a victory regardless of margin and regardless of preference. 

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