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btracht

The Drum Corps Activity is Healthier Than Ever!

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I am glad the High school has taught people to read music. But in the same sense it was not meant to turn Drum Corps into a band. Already Cadets new name for THE MARCHING STORE site is Band Geek. I think you lost the point of the last post you replied about. I took it as though some of the younger members (with attitudes of being elite)of DCP have some overrated opinions that DCI is better than old time drum corps. If it was not for the old time you would not have the new age DCI . You see it breaks our hearts to see where this is going. We love drum corps no matter what the advances were. But know more and more it is turning into a band program. It is becoming a summer extension of marching band and not true Drum and Bugle Corps. Again my opinion.

Drum corps is and always has been a form of marching band.

AS for today's corps being better than yesterday...of course they are. They build on what came before and take it to new heights.

Doesn't break MY heart to see where it's going...it's a highly exciting time for drum corps and it's fans.

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1971 was 35 years ago....it's as different in 2006 as 1971 was from 1936.

But you don't get it Mike. Drum corps of 1971, despite all the massive changes that took place over decades to get it to where it was, was 'true' drum corps. Those fogies that marched in 1936 may have disagreed, but nuts to them. 1971 was the Golden Year, and drum corps was never better than it was then, nor ever will be!

Now I have a feeling that a couple reading this thread probably agree with that. But what happens when we replace 1971 with 2006? What if we say that those who marched in 1971 are now the fogies? Suddenly those same people would be up in arms. For those of you whom the shoe happens to fit, ask yourself how you would have responded. What would you have said if someone who marched before WWII came up to you and said drum corps was dead and that all those marching were "ghosts". ####, it already happened, and there were "drum corps is dead" shirts in 1971, before DCI even formed. Yet now many of you cal that the Golden Era. Why? For no other reason than because that's when you happened to march. Small wonder then that today's youth consider the activity to be as healthy as ever, and I have a feeling that tomorrow's youth will feel the same way about their era.

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It's more akin to the all-state band concept today. Kids are used to trhying out for region and all-state groups. If they do not get picked, they still have their "home" to go back to...and they'll try again next year.

For many the experience in their competitive MB provides the "local corps" experience, so that if they miss the cut with the top group, it's OK.

I don't see it as having a bad attitude at all.

Having said that...if my son or daughter had wanted to do drum corps I would have preferred it be at the II/III level actually. But I can see how others might feel differently...and I don't blame them.

I was thinking of two types that (IMO) display bad attitude.

1) Won't "lower" themselves to march Div II/III even if that might give them the experience to make a Div I corps. And we both know that not all HS bands can provide a good competative experience so perhaps Div II/III is the best chance to get the experience.

2) Those who down anyone who performs, helps, or is a fan of Div II/III corps.

Like I posted above a lot depends on their attitude towards wanting the best in life in general and not just DC.

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But you don't get it Mike. Drum corps of 1971, despite all the massive changes that took place over decades to get it to where it was, was 'true' drum corps. Those fogies that marched in 1936 may have disagreed, but nuts to them. 1971 was the Golden Year, and drum corps was never better than it was then, nor ever will be!

Now I have a feeling that a couple reading this thread probably agree with that. But what happens when we replace 1971 with 2006? What if we say that those who marched in 1971 are now the fogies? Suddenly those same people would be up in arms. For those of you whom the shoe happens to fit, ask yourself how you would have responded. What would you have said if someone who marched before WWII came up to you and said drum corps was dead and that all those marching were "ghosts". ####, it already happened, and there were "drum corps is dead" shirts in 1971, before DCI even formed. Yet now many of you cal that the Golden Era. Why? For no other reason than because that's when you happened to march. Small wonder then that today's youth consider the activity to be as healthy as ever, and I have a feeling that tomorrow's youth will feel the same way about their era.

:music:

I started in 1974 and marched with people who started in the late 1950s. Heard the same complaints then I hear now. (####ing marching bells.....)

And sure I'll hear the same complaints 5, 10, 15, 20..... years from now.

And as been said before there are many definitions of "health". And being from 30+ years ago my feeling are that DC is not as healthy as before but that has nothing to do with the current product being put on the field. It has to do with the ability of corps to survive with rising costs, less interest from the general population, getting harder and harder to start a new corps <$1 to Brian T for bringing that one up>, etc, etc.

Edited by JimF-xWSMBari

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Okay then, I'll say it.

Has anyone considerd that other activities have flourished because there is something to achieve in those areas that can't be achieved in DCI, like actually being competitive for a championship title? I'm far from being a "winning is everything" type, but the corps activity requires incredible sacrifices from individuals and organizations. We've all seen how trying to make such sacrifices has broken many organizations and individuals. It's a great activity with so many benefits, but when one faces the reality that there is only so far that an organization can go, you realize that you're on a treadmill going nowhere. Individuals and organizations don't necessarily desire to simply "win", but they do want to experience what winning can bring, such as fame fortune, etc... Because it is a competitive activity, that's always a factor, regardless of how much we want to talk about the other reasons for doing corps.

Let's see... 8 champions in 34 years, of which two of those units no longer exist (so take away two years for each year they won, 1972 Kingsmen and 1991 Star of Indiana). Two of the remaining 6 champions have only won the title for a combined three years (Scouts twice and Phantom once), so that takes us down to 29 years that FOUR remaining champions have been trading a trophy (B.D, SCV, Cadets, and Cavies)... 29 years! Is this phenomenon a reflection on those four corps, on the remainder of all other competing units during that 34 year history, a reflection of nearly 30 years of adjudicators, a reflection on society, or a reflection on the governing body that sets the standards and rules in our objectively judged activity. Being successful on the field means many things... like survival in an incredibly competitive arena. The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and others would never survive with a track record like DCI's. That's simply hard fact, and when a professional team can't be successful, there's no revenue, with no reveune there won't be an owner, and with no owner there's no team. When corps can't compete, people burn out, give up, or they bet it all in hopes of winning the jackpot toward success... winning championships or at least being a consistent contender. History shows that when organizations leap too far to "keep up with the Jones'", they routinely fall to their death.

To credit DCI with the advancement of WGI and others is an outrage. DCI has simply set wonderful standards in performance and design that others have used to continue to develop. Those other organizations built themselves through hard work and sacrifice, and continue to have to compete with DCI for market dollars. They are successful in spite of DCI, rather than because of anything that DCI has actually done FOR them. From its inception, DCI has structured itself for the "haves" in the corps activity, and there is no real future in DCI for the "have-nots", that is crystal clear. Thanks for being positive, but please be realistic. I think any celebrations should be reserved for the successes within those other organizations, not for the state of a truly dead activity.

It is those other organizations (DCI off-shoots) that are strong and healthy, but the drum & bugle corps activity (not DCI) has suffered beyond repair. And why did those other organizations "off-shoot" from DCI anyway? There's some history that needs to be reviewed here folks. Today we have barely any competing units, and those that are competing don't use bugles, they just use the name "drum & bugle corps". Isolate the corps activity in general from DCI and those other activities, and the only celebrations going on should be appropriately in the form of a wake.

Take that! (Then smile my friends:)

A couple points to make regarding this:

1) I would be careful about defining success for a corps as winning DCI. I think most, or all, corps don't consdier winning DCI their ultimate measure of success, and if they haven't done that yet (or in a long time), then they are on "a treadmill to nowhere". That idea is a load of junk. :)

2) Who is to blame that so few corps have taken the DCI title? The corps themselves? For being consistently great? Or the corps who haven't been able to get there yet? We all know they are trying. Blame DCI or the judges? Have they really been so far off on ANY year that a corps that earned 5th place really should have won? I don't think so. I don't think blame can be assigned to anyone or anything. It is just the way it is. We would all love to see a new corps break into the top 3 and take a championship...there would be nothing better for the activity. But if they don't deserve it yet, then they just don't. It is not Cadets, Blue Devils or Cavaliers' faults that Glassmen, Bluecoats, Crown or whoever hasn't won DCI yet. And it isn't DCI's fault either.

3) I'm not sure that anyone has credited the success of WGI or BOA or whatever to DCI. That is silly. But they influence and feed off each other, so to pretend that WGI built it success without the support of what DCI and BOA does is just wrong. They all have a symbiotic relationship and that should be celebrated.

4) I'll consider attending drum & bugle corps' wake when DCI, DCA and all the corps close their doors and The Summer Music Games cease to exist. And if you haven't noticed, that hasn't happened, and doesn't look to be happening anytime soon.

M

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amen m

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I don't think you can make the analogy the because there are so many bands now that DC is healthier. Yes they are related but they are different beasts. To look at it a different way, rugby and football are closely related, does having more rugby teams mean football is stronger. I don't think so.

That said I think Band and DCI drum corps are closely bonded now. For us old pharts who go back to the 60's and into the early 70's there was a distinct boundary between corps and band. That boundary was that high school band directors of that era did not like drum corps. Many of them penalized or wouldn't allow their students to participate. Drum corps ended up with kids who did not take part in school music programs. I would think that in that time frame probably 90% of the kids involved could not read music or play another instrument.

Today it seems the vast majority of instructional and design staff comes from the high school band ranks. I can't state it for a fact but I would gess at the Div I level and for most of the better Div II corps they would have to be able to read music (how else to gey thru the audition process).

Are today's corps better? Yes, they have better instrumentation, better instruction and more expierence coming in. Yesterday's corps could not hope to compete under todays rules and conditions. However considering rules and instrumentation limitations and the expierence levels of the members they put on excellent shows.

I thins we will continue to see a shrinkage in DCI corps due to the financial requirements to the corps and the to members. The time comitment required of a member to be in a touring corps may be why so many will audition for a top corps but don't want to be bothered with a "lesser" one. The attitude is if I'm going to spend all this money and take up my whole summer I want to be with the best. Right / wrong? that's the way it is.

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...Thanks for being positive, but please be realistic. I think any celebrations should be reserved for the successes within those other organizations, not for the state of a truly dead activity...

Since OMello1 responded to your post with full quote, I'll just focus on this one little part of the sentence quoted above...

"...not for the state of a truly dead activity..." ... wha-wha- WHAT??? :music: Boy...good thing the kids in the corps that we do have left in our activity don't

think that...because then we would REALLY be dead.

You're welcome for being positive, which is certainly better than being as frighteningly gloomy as your post seems to be...YIKES. That's not to say that you

haven't made some good points or that you're a bad guy or anything like that, but why would a kid want to join a corps after reading your take on the activity?

Attendance was good at DCI this year... we had enthusiastic participants in every division... several alumni that came back to have a go at it again (and possibly

felt a resurgence of interest to the activity because of that) across the country... and a pretty decent DCA competition (in spite of the weather!) ...

The drum corps activity may not be "healthier than EVER ever" ... but it is making an effort to continue to find ways to stay solvent, viable, interesting and to move

forward. Perhaps embracing it's past, without letting what it is today fall backwards (no one wants to see glockenspiels and mirrored drills and drumlines up and down

the fifty anymore...and us old pharts would agree with that), is a way to keep everyone who formerly participated in the activity and the kids who are the caretakers

of the activity today find a common way to keep it alive and going well into the future.

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I don't think you can make the analogy the because there are so many bands now that DC is healthier. Yes they are related but they are different beasts. To look at it a different way, rugby and football are closely related, does having more rugby teams mean football is stronger. I don't think so.

But Farve isn't going to play on a Rugby team during Football's offseason. But a great high school trumpet player would go march corps. The analogy is a little flawed.

And I do think one could draw some connections between the health of marching band and the health of drum corps.

M

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i again agree with m

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