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Who in your opinion is the best drill designer in D. C. I's history?


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Late to the Convo here but It has to be Michael Gaines. He was hip and Fresh in 2000 and he is hip and Fresh now. He has the distinction of knowing how to stage Guard really really well. His work in WGI keeps him at the Apex of Trends within the Guard world and he understands how to manipulate and stage Hornlines properly.

His work speaks for itself. 

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On 5/19/2022 at 12:17 PM, ironlips said:

Scene: On a rainy evening outside the Newark Armory in 1970, three instructors in a parked car wait for the doors to open so Garfield's drill rehearsal can begin.

Pete (Emmons): "We need a cool set for White Rabbit, something nobody else would do."

Bobby (Hoffman): "Yeah, well how about this?" (Draws a Peace Sign with his finger in the condensation on the inside of the car's windshield.)

Pete: "Wow! That's REALLY cool, but who's gonna figure out how to get them into that from the previous set?"

Bobby: "You are, Mr. Trooper Circle."

Me: (Speechless, thinking "Nobody's ever gonna believe this".)

 

It was a great move. I got to march that 1970 drill, my first year in Garfield. I still remember the huge number of flash bulbs from the sudience at the Orange Bowl for VFW Nats as we moved forward with the big hit. I also remember your great ending to John Sasso’s arrangement. 
 

Bobby created amazing visual programs all three years I marched with Garfield. We did the Peace Sign all three years, and every year the creation of the form was very different.

The “America, the Brave” show from 1971 was an amazing program, and Bobby’s very different visual design really made the show special. 

Of course, his great visual programs for Bayonne cement his name as one of the greats.


Many people do not remember his great “traffic jam” move when he wrote for the Skyliners.

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Zingali.

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4 hours ago, MikeD said:

It was a great move. I got to march that 1970 drill, my first year in Garfield. I still remember the huge number of flash bulbs from the sudience at the Orange Bowl for VFW Nats as we moved forward with the big hit. I also remember your great ending to John Sasso’s arrangement. 
 

Bobby created amazing visual programs all three years I marched with Garfield. We did the Peace Sign all three years, and every year the creation of the form was very different.

The “America, the Brave” show from 1971 was an amazing program, and Bobby’s very different visual design really made the show special. 

Of course, his great visual programs for Bayonne cement his name as one of the greats.


Many people do not remember his great “traffic jam” move when he wrote for the Skyliners.

oh i remember that very well

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/16/2022 at 11:36 AM, jwillis35 said:

Like Jeff said, I think it depends on the era and also what appealed to you. Writing drill is an artform but one that affects each of us differently. The activity today is more a combination of drill, dance, body movement and character acting, props, staging, etc. It's no longer just straight up drill and music. 

In the 70s Pete Emmons is a name that has to come up. He taught many future drill writers. 

The George Zingali / Marc Sylvester combination of writer / teacher worked its magic in the late 70s and early 80s with 27th Lancers and then Garfield Cadets. Zingali would also work with Star of Indiana in the late 80s and those first two years in the 90s. 

At the same time Zingali and Sylvester were doing their thing, Steve Brubaker was pioneering some beautiful geometric designs with the Cavaliers from 1984 into the early 90s. 

The thing to consider when it comes to drill writing is that everyone was influenced by everyone else. The ideas are fluid and each new germ of an idea tends to lead others to try things. I think most people tend to put Zingali and Brubaker at the top of the list simply because it was so obvious what they were doing and how it changed the activity in the 80s, but all the names below had a hand in the advances, changes, and great designs over the course of DCI history. I don't know if there is a best. There are designers who had more influence, but in the end it comes down to how did the drill work with the music and overall show. 

  • George Zingali
  • Steve Brubaker
  • Pete Emmons
  • Scott Chandler
  • Michael Gaines
  • Jay Murphy
  • Tony Smith
  • Bobby Hoffman
  • Jeff Sacktig
  • John Brazale
  • Mark Sylvester
  • Myron Rosander
  • David Owens
  • Tony Hall
  • Ralph Pace
  • Jonathan Vanderkoff

And many many more. 

I have followed drum corps since 2010 as a super fan, but regretfully have so little knowledge predating that time. I have of course seen videos of shows on YouTube, but never got to experience it. Can anyone shed some light unto which corps each of these greats worked with and what years? I would love to further explore this question quantitatively.

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On 6/7/2022 at 12:09 PM, Sensioto said:

I have followed drum corps since 2010 as a super fan, but regretfully have so little knowledge predating that time. I have of course seen videos of shows on YouTube, but never got to experience it. Can anyone shed some light unto which corps each of these greats worked with and what years? I would love to further explore this question quantitatively.

May I suggest you google each name mentioned. You’ll get more than enough information for your research.

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Michael Gaines 

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