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Paraphrased Thoughts on "Judging" from a newly minted 5-year Age Out


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"For members, undertaking rewrites of music, drill, etc. would be more accepted and palatable if everyone knew it was to make the show more engaging and not the possibility it was just in the name of a 'higher score'."

I'm pretty surprised by this, to be honest. Were it me, I'd probably say "if we're not competing, then what's the point of rewrites?" 

There are other issues - smaller in the grand scheme, but still worth thinking about - that have built up around the idea of competition. Who gets what performance fees? Aren't they usually a function of placement? And also endorsements - if there's no "champion" or "top 6" or "top X," would endorsements work the same way? 

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19 minutes ago, kdaddy said:

'm pretty surprised by this, to be honest. Were it me, I'd probably say "if we're not competing, then what's the point of rewrites?"

To make the show draw a better reaction from the crowd. The ones that buy tickets. That buy t-shirts. 
 

Im not against competition. Many years of posts here will bear that out. I just thought it was an interesting perspective. Said differently… they competed this year. For crowd reaction. To “raise the bar” night after night. To leave a show on the field and think…”I’d hate to have to follow US tonight…”

Just not for a 19.6 in brass versus someone else’s 19.5… in the opinion of one person as opposed to the reaction of thousands of “paying judges”. 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, kdaddy said:

"For members, undertaking rewrites of music, drill, etc. would be more accepted and palatable if everyone knew it was to make the show more engaging and not the possibility it was just in the name of a 'higher score'."

I'm pretty surprised by this, to be honest. Were it me, I'd probably say "if we're not competing, then what's the point of rewrites?" 

There are other issues - smaller in the grand scheme, but still worth thinking about - that have built up around the idea of competition. Who gets what performance fees? Aren't they usually a function of placement? And also endorsements - if there's no "champion" or "top 6" or "top X," would endorsements work the same way? 

Much like regular bands, the biggest sponsorships would go to the acts with the largest audience followings.  ... Actually, I kind of like the idea of corps competing with each other to develop larger fanbases...

Mike

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38 minutes ago, PopcornEater1963 said:

To make the show draw a better reaction from the crowd. The ones that buy tickets. That buy t-shirts. 
 

Im not against competition. Many years of posts here will bear that out. I just thought it was an interesting perspective. Said differently… they competed this year. For crowd reaction. To “raise the bar” night after night. To leave a show on the field and think…”I’d hate to have to follow US tonight…”

Just not for a 19.6 in brass versus someone else’s 19.5… in the opinion of one person as opposed to the reaction of thousands of “paying judges”. 

I completely understand what you're saying. And I'm just saying that it's just surprising to me that a marching member would want to go through substantial rewrites of music or drill if scores weren't involved. If we're talking about "guys, let's change it up so that we scatter to the front sideline during the loud section to elicit more crowd response," then it makes sense. Something more substantial than that seems like a waste, and I get that I may be alone in that opinion.

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1 hour ago, kdaddy said:

I'm pretty surprised by this, to be honest. Were it me, I'd probably say "if we're not competing, then what's the point of rewrites?" 

 

If they're not learning that making something better because it has room to be better is its own reward, then we (the activity) are doing a lousy job of instilling the true value of the work. Fortunately, I don't think that is true; they know that if the show can be tweaked to make it more effective, or a moment focused on to clean it up, then it's worth doing.

As for the scoring, the best corps could take any change in standards we want to throw at them and still excel, so while I'd like to find ways to make it easier for corps in the 13-20 spots to become championship contenders in a few years, they're gonna have to make that commitment on their own, if that's really what they see as their end goal.  

Edited by Slingerland
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4 hours ago, PopcornEater1963 said:

"There's nothing wrong with judging and competition. But I was fine and would be fine in the future without it. Removing the "judging" aspect would make positive changes,  for members, staff, and administration. The staff wouldn't be up all night listening to tapes after every show painstakingly deciding on what to "pay attention to" and what to "let go" from judges in the quest for a "higher score". Judge's insights can certainly make a show better, but in the end, judges just have an opinion like everyone else on what is working and what it isn't. For members, undertaking rewrites of music, drill, etc. would be more accepted and palatable if everyone knew it was to make the show more engaging and not the possibility it was just in the name of a "higher score". For Administrations, it would allow them to focus on Instruction Staff whose primary focus is to EDUCATE members, inspire excellence, and let the chips fall where the chips fall. I can almost guarantee you that there are one or two key staffers inside each organization whose sole focus is on "winning". Winning is fun. Winning is good. But when "winning" becomes the focus of a staffer trying to boost their bonafides in the DCI ecosystem over teaching and inspiring, then we all missed something somewhere..." 

-My son, last night, after our flight home from Indy while watching the Rebroadcast on Flo-Marching. 

No...he didn't say it in THOSE words. But our conversation was in-depth enough that I can paraphrase it with mine. 

Paraphrasing or not, it sounds like your son has learned a great deal from his five years in drum corps.

(And it would not have been quite as educational without competition.)

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5 hours ago, Cappybara said:

Keep the scores. Let individual corps choose how seriously they want to take them

This is what they should be doing/should have been doing for a long, long time. Sometimes, you really need to do what you desire to do rather than chase commentary. I remember learning this as a kid when major show changes were made that we intensely disliked to chase numbers. In the end, it wouldn't have mattered, we were 6th no matter what we'd have done, changes or not. No way 7th was catching us (several point gap)... and while getting to @ .5 of 5th may have been nice, most if not all of us who performed that year would have rather kept things as is to do something far more meaningful and innovative. Those things always need to be kept in mind. 

 

Doing what you deeply and sincerely believe in artistically in spite of a number is worth more in the long term. You don't end up still pretty angry about the decisions that were made 40 years ago in my case. ( I think I reached the half-life a couple of years ago.) At least it was a learning experience that shaped my beliefs for the future, and now.

 

Can commentary and conversation in critique improve the product? That's a deep decision the design team needs to make. I believe it's foolish to just do it for the sake of doing it when there are collective doubts about whether it's the right thing to do/decision to make, or it's believed to compromise what you want to do artistically.

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3 hours ago, Terri Schehr said:

The rabble bourgeoisie ticket buyers. 

..but they always know what's better than everyone one else and speak in the "we" vernacular ...LOL.  Self sustaining bubble realities as it were.  Ah, Drum Corps!!!!

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4 hours ago, Kopeck said:

there has to be some standard to measure everything. Bottom line is the majority of people don't pay good money to see sporting events (in this case DCI) in the hopes that everyone just has a good time.

What about concerts? no fun because it’s not competitive? 
I doubt drum corps is a closer relative to sports than musical groups 

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