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March or Die thoughts 2021....


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1 hour ago, Continental said:

We've seen examples of shows where it was up to the audience to interpret what the show was about.   Case in point, Phantom 2010.

The music was wonderful, the show was modern.  

They never really explained every aspect of that show.   Many audience members watched it and gave it their own meaning.   Yet, somehow,  so many were moved by it. 

 

True but I also remember PR as well as Cadets ( mike can vouch for the no more war show ) who gave a hand out at shows. With that said, and this also goes to judging. One can watch a show they completely do not understand and appreciate so many aspects of it, musically visually, emotionally.......If they want to IMO

PR was a fav. of mine this year for many reasons , including visually and musically. I think it was a fine moment for them in a while BUT so was Bluecoats and others. Sometimes ( again to judging a product ) one looks beyond the obvious to enjoy many many layers that make up a program.

There's beauty in simplicity ( meaning stripped down and a raw focused program ) as well as a full on extravaganza . Both can be done exceptionally as well as some done not well at all. 

I really don't like ( although I tried not to and did..lol ) over think anything from this year because I believe this year IMO shouldn't be a year of picking anything apart but celebrating every single person on that field for just being there. It didn't have to happen and every single program is not just a winner but  a testament to so much more than just a drum corps show. These MMs especially are ALL gold medal winners no matter the program and people I think showed their appreciation as they should have to these incredible young people during one of the worst times in our lifetime.

Bravo to them ALL !

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1 hour ago, GUARDLING said:

True but I also remember PR as well as Cadets ( mike can vouch for the no more war show ) who gave a hand out at shows. With that said, and this also goes to judging. One can watch a show they completely do not understand and appreciate so many aspects of it, musically visually, emotionally.......If they want to IMO

PR was a fav. of mine this year for many reasons , including visually and musically. I think it was a fine moment for them in a while BUT so was Bluecoats and others. Sometimes ( again to judging a product ) one looks beyond the obvious to enjoy many many layers that make up a program.

There's beauty in simplicity ( meaning stripped down and a raw focused program ) as well as a full on extravaganza . Both can be done exceptionally as well as some done not well at all. 

I really don't like ( although I tried not to and did..lol ) over think anything from this year because I believe this year IMO shouldn't be a year of picking anything apart but celebrating every single person on that field for just being there. It didn't have to happen and every single program is not just a winner but  a testament to so much more than just a drum corps show. These MMs especially are ALL gold medal winners no matter the program and people I think showed their appreciation as they should have to these incredible young people during one of the worst times in our lifetime.

Bravo to them ALL !

I agree with your sentiment here. Bravo to all who participated in DCI 2021. I think there’s a lesson to be learned here. Let’s try boiling down drum corps to it’s essence…. It may just be a refreshing change.

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6 hours ago, cixelsyd said:

There is still plenty of time for such proposals to be made.  Deadline for submittal is not until October 15th.

 True. However,  I dont expect any changes in the judging sheets currently utilized to be either approved, nor even proposed. The current sheets went through minor tweaking changes in 2018, and percussion judges removed from the field.  My guess, Corps are happy with the current sheets, and the work of the judges in their application of the sheets approved by the Corps. But... time will tell.

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7 hours ago, Fred Windish said:

Good discussion! 

After more than 50 years attending drum corps events, I observe less AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT in today’s programming. By engagement, I refer to earlier shows that had cheering and standing ovations several times throughout each corps performance. From everyone, not just parents and family members. Much of it, spontaneous and predictable.

To me, certain elements of a ‘show’ seemed to reliably cause joy and standing O’s. One, still does, the long company front driving toward the front sideline. Another, is straight line, horizontal movement done perfectly. Everyone KNOWS what ‘straight’ means, and they look for it, naturally. In their mind, they are playing along, evaluating and looking for success. I’d like to see a little more of these mixed in. Of course, loud brass chords never miss getting a rise out of people. But, NOT from electronics! Too fake.

MOST OF ALL . . . melody that lasts more than just 15 seconds. Give the crowd time to be pleased with the flow, not annoyed by chopped salad noises. How many in the audience can relate to that?

 

 

 There is no mention of " melody " anywhere on the current judging sheets that the Corps themselves have approved however. If Corps wanted " melodies " to be important in how they are judged in competition, they would have proposed and then received majority support from other Corps to have this included on the sheets to secure points. Had this occurred, nobody could disagree that music arrangers would have copious amounts of " melody " written into their arrangements.

 As for the quest for " audience engagement " the GE sheets make only a glancing minor mention of such if one reads the current GE sheets the Corps have adopted for themselves. Judges are advised to gauge demand, flow, creativity, sectional integration, and even performance execution to bleed into the General Effect Music and General Effect Visual captions.  " Audience engagement " can naturally be found in the home town corps with fans at local shows. Judges for years have been advised to disregard the local fans standing O's, and to focus instead on a more holistic approach, ie how well integrated was the show design compared to others before them in competition, and how well did the show design and performance impress that Judge at that show compared to the others. I'm not saying that this is the way it should be assessed... just that this is how the GE sheets are currently written, and to which the Corps are satisfied that this is how it should be assessed.

Finally, while fans ( including myself ) still enjoy seeing " company fronts " executed well ( even after seeing these hundreds of times over the years from dozens of Corps ), judges will tell us they are far more impressed with seeing something new they have not seen before, or only rarely, if its executed well. If its hard to pull off ( called " demand " on the sheets) but is executed well, that is even more impressive to most judges on the GE sheets. Creativity and innovation that is fresh and new to judges seems to get their attention ( and points ) more than seeing the same ol, same ol, done again on the field of competition, no matter how well executed, or how well fans might like something seen or heard before, or over and over again, over the years.

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On 8/28/2021 at 10:53 PM, Mello Dude said:

I'm sorry.  But sheets and interpretation of said sheets is completely different.  Laws of unintended consequences.  Funny thing is that I don't think judges are voted on.

the people the corps appoint to recruit train and hire judges give them the power. and if they suck, well, the people appointed to hire and train them know about it. with digital recording, a caption head can hear any tape from any show at any time and from anywhere they want.

 

and they do listen

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22 hours ago, Sutasaurus said:

So I guess we, as supporting fans, don’t matter anymore with current design trends?It’s the “new way” or the highway? This activity has always had a foot based in it’s history. Is it a bad thing to celebrate that history from time to time? Oh hell no. There’s plenty of room on that football field to award diverse approaches to entertainment. I won’t put the onus on the judges to do this, but on the design community to showcase musicality and movement once again. The sheets need to reflect this.

no offense, but fans never counted with design trends for the majority of the corps in existence. 

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9 hours ago, Sutasaurus said:

I understand where you’re coming from and I agree with you for the most part. Your comment about throwback shows was an interesting one. Who gets to decide what “done correctly/done well” means? 
 

 All I’m asking is that design staffs be a bit less esoteric in their approach. Take the opportunity of the exhibition season to see what was popular, what the audience reacted to and build from there. You can present fresh ideas, and still create a fan friendly show.

the judges decide based on the criteria on the sheets created by the corps.

 

BD 14 is the best example of picking esoteric stuff yet making accessible for all. and hmm...record high score to boot

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35 minutes ago, Boss Anova said:

 There is no mention of " melody " anywhere on the current judging sheets that the Corps themselves have approved however. If Corps wanted " melodies " to be important in how they are judged in competition, they would have proposed and then received majority support from other Corps to have this included on the sheets to secure points. Had this occurred, nobody could disagree that music arrangers would have copious amounts of " melody " written into their arrangements.

 As for the quest for " audience engagement " the GE sheets make only a glancing minor mention of such if one reads the current GE sheets the Corps have adopted for themselves. Judges are advised to gauge demand, flow, creativity, sectional integration, and even performance execution to bleed into the General Effect Music and General Effect Visual captions.  " Audience engagement " can naturally be found in the home town corps with fans at local shows. Judges for years have been advised to disregard the local fans standing O's, and to focus instead on a more holistic approach, ie how well integrated was the show design compared to others before them in competition, and how well did the show design and performance impress that Judge at that show compared to the others. I'm not saying that this is the way it should be assessed... just that this is how the GE sheets are currently written, and to which the Corps are satisfied that this is how it should be assessed.

Finally, while fans ( including myself ) still enjoy seeing " company fronts " executed well ( even after seeing these hundreds of times over the years from dozens of Corps ), judges will tell us they are far more impressed with seeing something new they have not seen before, or only rarely, if its executed well. If its hard to pull off ( called " demand " on the sheets) but is executed well, that is even more impressive to most judges on the GE sheets. Creativity and innovation that is fresh and new to judges seems to get their attention ( and points ) more than seeing the same ol, same ol, done again on the field of competition, no matter how well executed, or how well fans might like something seen or heard before, or over and over again, over the years.

Audience engagement does not mean throwing burning babies onto the field. an audience can be engaged in many ways that have nothing to do with hootin and hollerin and banging cowbells and basting airhorns

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 My pet peeve is that if Corps are going to have " show themes", then its imperative that at the conclusion of the show, the audience/ judges understand what , via music and visuals, the show theme intended to communicate in performance to the audience. Its even ok if there could be even 2-4 different interpretations by the audience/ judges of what the show was about.

 But its NOT ok ( imo ) for the audience/ judges to be confused or found scratching their heads as to what the Corps was attempting to communicate to an audience. Its not ok to for judges to say..... " well, ' not sure what they are attempting to communicate here to me with this show and theme,  but they performed the heck out of this show compared to others in their peer group, and it flowed well, and with sufficient demand, so I am going to give them a high GE score".

 I see not much merit in giving undo credit to Corps with shows that might be performed well, but its communication skills to the audience via its theme chosen was not reached as the audience ( including judges ) are confused at the end with what, via music, visuals, you were attempting to convey. We should not be rewarding potential future music educators that music and dance and visuals need not communicate effectively a chosen theme, if performed well. Music and Dance ( and Visuals )are after all, at its most basic fundamental level throughout human history,  the substitute for the spoken or written word. You communicate via song or dance, or music. If the spoken or written words are not intelligible, no matter how eloquently delivered or written, it is understood that the communication failed from the sender to the receiver. It should be the same with music, song and dance.  Especially if you tell us beforehand that you have " a show theme ".  I see not much value thus in rewarding shows where the audience... including GE judges... are confused with the show theme. I also see little nobility in rewarding such sterile and empty shows filled with ( as Shakespeare himself might posit ) " Wonderful Sound and Fury, but, in the end, signifying nothing. "

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