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Months of practice to 6 weeks of competition?


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I'm curious... the DCI 2023 competitions run Jun 28 - Aug 12, but between now-ish 2022 and Jun 28 2023, what's the schedule and summary of how drum corps go from tryouts to Jun 28 premiere?

I can only guess that circa Jan the performers get initial music/drill materials, then for months things mature thru a mix of short in-person camps, remote/online practice and DIY practice, and then circa May the field show can be fully matured in-person?

For just 6 weeks of competition, what does the preceding half year look like for the performers, and even the staff?

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I think some corps don't have winter camps and just do virtual meetings/video assignments until WGI season sends. At least for Percussion. I know color guard has done this for a number of years. Everyone shows back up in May camp before move ins.

I'm curious to know how move ins get adjusted if at all with the latest start. 6 weeks of rehearsal with no shows is going to be tough before tour starts.

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My guess schedules will allow ST to start later (making getting out of classes easier).  Rather than start in early to mid-May, ST can start 3-4 weeks later.  This cuts down road costs by reducing actual tour time.   Corps are more proficient with virtual camps.  This means corps and students function differently year to year, thanks to Covid for forcing that(as well as overall costs for corps). Some corps are in a serious financial position right now and may not make it to the field this year, even though they are listed for your shows. There is a reality of insufficient memberships, poor recruiting results. Conversely some corps are doing very well with excellent audition numbers, contracts issued, camps planned and the shows beginning.   It will be interesting to see who gets out on tour but we’ll likely know soon.

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4 hours ago, Phantom56 said:

It's ridiculous to have a six week rehearsal camp, with just a six week show schedule. And still a few corps ( like SCV), will not have their closer in place the first week. In the past few decades, we've gone from a 10 week schedule to an 8 week schedule, and now just 6 weeks. 

shows require much more time to assemble.  its not just march, play, drum, spin.  Its layered demand.  So you need more time to assemble it all.  Also less time spent on school grounds equals more savings to the budget, and less time requiring busses/trucks equals more savings.  (they're rented as one lump sum with a mileage estimate tacked on so its costs the same whether its moves or sits)  

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On 12/5/2022 at 1:11 PM, C.Holland said:

shows require much more time to assemble.  its not just march, play, drum, spin.  Its layered demand.  So you need more time to assemble it all.  Also less time spent on school grounds equals more savings to the budget, and less time requiring busses/trucks equals more savings.  (they're rented as one lump sum with a mileage estimate tacked on so its costs the same whether its moves or sits)  

Not only that, but the proliferation of winter WGI-based programs has skyrocketed nationwide. Many kids are doing high school, college, or corps-sponsored Winter Guard, Winter Percussion, and Winter Winds ensembles. The availability of members in winter time as well as the "need" for the drum corps to keep kids involved has likely diminished because of now-constant exposure to year-round marching arts.

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1 hour ago, Lead said:

Not only that, but the proliferation of winter WGI-based programs has skyrocketed nationwide. Many kids are doing high school, college, or corps-sponsored Winter Guard, Winter Percussion, and Winter Winds ensembles. The availability of members in winter time as well as the "need" for the drum corps to keep kids involved has likely diminished because of now-constant exposure to year-round marching arts.

indoor winds cost much less to operate than a drum corps.  Thus lower fees to the students.   I think there's more to it than this though.  20+ years ago how many activities did schools have? Some sports, some band/choir, some art/theatre.  I marched in 96-01.  Options for students were band, choir, a few sports, one or two theatre shows, an art club, and not much else. 

Now there's so many options, theatre, sports that are more accessible (hockey, lacrosse, etc etc etc).  Sports camps, music camps, arts camps...  My first year teaching open class (back then it was Div 2/3) i had students who had band, indoor drumline, hockey, baseball, ballet, musicals, and religion based performance groups as well.   The amount of activities has steadily grown since then.   So getting time for only truly interested students was problematic.

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21 hours ago, C.Holland said:

indoor winds cost much less to operate than a drum corps.  Thus lower fees to the students.   I think there's more to it than this though.  20+ years ago how many activities did schools have? Some sports, some band/choir, some art/theatre.  I marched in 96-01.  Options for students were band, choir, a few sports, one or two theatre shows, an art club, and not much else. 

Now there's so many options, theatre, sports that are more accessible (hockey, lacrosse, etc etc etc).  Sports camps, music camps, arts camps...  My first year teaching open class (back then it was Div 2/3) i had students who had band, indoor drumline, hockey, baseball, ballet, musicals, and religion based performance groups as well.   The amount of activities has steadily grown since then.   So getting time for only truly interested students was problematic.

Right. My secondary point was also that with lots of corps kids participating in so many more winter competitive ensembles, the need to see the kids ever 3 weeks or so at a drum corps camp like we went to in the 90s is diminished. You KNOW those kids are out doing good things with their winter ensembles, so you don't need them to drive/fly to drum corps camp (and go through the expense of finding a rehearsal site and flying all of the staff in) when you can just send out rewrites of the opener and ask for videos to come in.

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On 12/8/2022 at 1:15 PM, Lead said:

Right. My secondary point was also that with lots of corps kids participating in so many more winter competitive ensembles, the need to see the kids ever 3 weeks or so at a drum corps camp like we went to in the 90s is diminished. You KNOW those kids are out doing good things with their winter ensembles, so you don't need them to drive/fly to drum corps camp (and go through the expense of finding a rehearsal site and flying all of the staff in) when you can just send out rewrites of the opener and ask for videos to come in.

I can get more done in an hour via Skype with a new student than a full hornline in a gym at this point. The drum corps experience is very different than 10, 15, or (aging myself here) 20 years previous.  

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