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Subject: Drumcorps FAQ 5/6 Miscellaneous info.

This article was archived around: 27 Dec 1998 01:16:14 -0800

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All FAQs posted in: rec.arts.marching.drumcorps
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Archive-name: drumcorps-faq/part5 Last-modified: 1997/1/31
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for rec.arts.marching.drumcorps Part 5 of 6 Miscellaneous drum corps information; Joining a corps, winter camps Table of Contents: 1.0 What is drum corps? 1.0.1 DCI and DCA 1.0.2 Drum Corps International 1.0.3 Drum Corps World 1.0.4 scorelines 1.1 Drum corps on-line 1.1.1 History of drum corps on-line 1.1.2 Rec.arts.marching.drumcorps 1.1.3 Drumcorps digest 1.1.4 FTP and WWW site 1.1.5 Cybercorps 1.1.6 Drum Corps Web Sites 1.2 Audio and video recordings and books 1.2.1 compact discs and cassettes 1.2.2 videos 1.2.3 books 2.0 DCI corps' addresses 2.0.1 Open class corps 2.0.2 Div. II/III corps 2.0.3 DCA corps are listed in Part 6 of the FAQ 2.0.4 Future Corps 3.1 1997 tentative drumcorps music 3.2 1997 drum corps tour schedule 4.0 Historical Information 4.1 Previous DCI Champions 4.2 1992 DCI Scores 4.3 1993 DCI Information 4.3.1 Corps repertoires 4.3.2 Scores 4.3.3 Individual and Ensemble scores 4.3.4 DCA Finals scores 4.3.5 RAMD Readers Final Poll 4.4 1994 DCI Information 4.4.1 DCI Championships in Boston 4.4.2 SEASON Final poll 4.4.3 RAMD Final Reader's Poll 4.4.4 Corps' repertoires in 1994 4.5 1995 DCI Information 4.5.1 DCI Championships in Buffalo 4.5.2 SEASON Final poll 4.5.3 RAMD Final Reader's Poll 4.5.4 Corps' repertoires in 1995 4.6 1996 DCI Information 4.6.1 DCI Championships in Orlando 4.6.2 SEASON Final poll 4.6.3 RAMD Final Reader's Poll 4.6.4 Corps' repertoires in 1996 5.0 The words "drum corps" 5.1 Number of members allowed 5.2 Corps' budgets 5.3 Fundraising 5.4 How far do the corps travel? How many competitions? How long is the season? When are the Championships? 5.5 How can I catch the Championships on TV? 5.6 How does the judging work? 5.7 What is a legal bugle? 5.8 What kind of percussion is allowed? 5.9 What is the "pit area"? 5.10 How long is each show? 5.11 What are all those strange abbreviations and/or nicknames people keep using when writing about drum corps? 5.12 Why do people keep misspelling things? 5.13 How to join a drum corps 5.14 Rehearsal information 5.15 Where to get music for wind ensemble 6.0 DCA and the Senior corps. 6.1 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) 6.1.1 The DCA Story 6.1.2 Corps listing 6.2 Parade Corps 6.2.1 Ballad of the Unsung Heros 6.2.2 Corps listing 6.3 Rehearsals 6.4 Fallen Comrades 6.4.1 Folded Corps 6.4.2 MIA Corps 6.5 DCA Champions 5.0 The words "drum corps" Usage note: "drum corps" (singular) can refer to a particular drum corps (e.g. "I haven't seen a drum corps in years.") or it can refer to the entire activity (e.g. "The future of drum corps looks promising."). It also can be used as an adjective (e.g. "I'm going to the next drum corps show in the area."). The plural "drum corps" only refers to greater than one drum corps. "Corps" is pronounced like KOR (like the word "core"). The plural of "corps" is spelled "corps", but is pronounced KORZ. The most frequent error in spelling "corps" is to leave off the 's'. 5.1 Number of members allowed The number of members allowing depends on the Class that the corps is competing in. The Open Class corps may field up to 128 performers (including the drum majors). This number comes from the fact that when the rule was devised, this was the average number of people that could fit on three buses. The idea was to minimize the travelling costs for the corps. Division II corps may field up to 90 people and Division III corps may field up to 60 members. These are the formal differences between the classes of drum corps, but in reality the Open Class corps tend to be the ones that attract the better instructors, go on longer tours, and generally perform better, while the Division II and III corps tend to be more oriented towards being a youth activity. Note that these are generalities so that any particular corps could be anywhere in the spectrum of youth activity or innovators in performance art. 5.2 Corps' budgets Typical numbers for an Open Class corps are $250,000 to $500,000 per year. This amount largely depends on how far they travel during the season, how expensive the props and uniforms are for the year, and what kind of staff they hire. Division II and III corps spend much less than these amount (probably much less than $100,000) because they tend to travel only locally or for shorter periods of time. Also, because they are smaller, the cost to produce a show is smaller. 5.3 Fundraising Since drum corps are not associated with any school (typically they are non-profit corporations), they must do their own fund-raising. Fund-raising activities include all sorts of events. The Bluecoats from Canton, OH, for example, hold a mini-car race in downtown Canton which raises all sorts of money (as well as publicizing the corps name). Funds also come from corps membership fees, as they are called. Fees can range between $200-$1,000 depending on the corps (if you calculate that out, that could be as much as $50,000). The Blue Devils from Concord, CA, take in about 70% of their $1.5 million operating funds from bingo (the $1.5 million goes to 7 different performing groups in the Blue Devils organization). Prize money is another source of income. The top corps get something like $2500 per performance, which adds up to about $75,000 total in a season. Many corps sponsor their own shows, which raises some more money. Donations and boosters also contribute to the money needed. 5.4 How far do the corps travel? How many competitions? How long is the season? When are the Championships? A typical Open Class corps travels somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 miles during the season, performing in 25 to 35 shows in an eight or nine week period. The season usually begins in the second week in June (the eastern corps tend to start a little later) and culminates in the DCI World Championships, which are held on the second or third Saturday in August. In 1995, Finals will be held in Buffalo, NY on August 12th. 5.5 How can I catch the Championships on TV? In past years, PBS would broadcast the tape that DCI makes of the Championships (DCI produced two tapes: one of the live show and a highlights film). Each PBS station had the option not to broadcast it or not. For the 1994 season, DCI has announced that they will not produce a live video for broadcast on PBS. Instead, there will be closed circuit sites scattered across the country where people can go to watch the four hour DCI Finals broadcast. DCI is planning to produce a two hour highlights video that will be made avaiable to PBS stations later in the fall. 5.6 How does the judging work? For 1994, DCI has moved from a nine judge system to a seven judge system. There will be 4 music judges and 3 visual judges broken down as follows: GE music 20 points GE visual 20 points Ensemble music 15 points Ensemble visual 15 points Percussion performance 10 points Brass performance 10 points Visual performance 10 points The most noticable changes are that visual captions are worth 45 points, up from the previous 35 points allocated under the old system. The GE music and Ensemble music judges will be each be judging the merits of both percussion and brass lines. 5.7 What is a legal bugle? For competitive purposes (i.e. at DCI competitions), a bugle is defined as follows: "By the word `bugle' as used herein is meant a straight bell-front brass instrument pitched in the key of G. All instruments shall have no more than three (3) valves except for the contrabass bugle, which may have four (4)." This is quoted from Drum Corps World (January, 1990) which quotes the rule book (Rule 4.3.1). This rule was passed at the 1989 DCI Rules Congress. The rule used to say exactly the same thing, except that all instruments (even contrabasses) could have only two (2) valves. There is an interesting history to what was allowed on the field. At first only valveless bugles were allowed. Then one-valved, piston-rotor, and then two-valved were allowed, in that order. In fact, there used to be only soprano bugles until the baritone bugle, mellophone bugle, French horn bugle, and the contrabass were invented. 5.8 What kind of percussion is allowed? Rule 4.1.1: "All acoustic percussion membrane and keyboard instruments (those not needing electricity to generate sound) are legal." Rule 4.1.2: "Percussion keyboard instruments may use resonators. A self-contained motor that is battery-powered is permitted to be used on vibraphones only. This motor is not to be used for amplification, but rather to produce a vibrato effect by turning the resonator propellers. Electric amplification is not allowed." 5.9 What is the "pit area"? It is the area between the 35 yard lines on the front side line ten feet deep (outside the playing field, toward the audience). Basically, this area is an extension of the field. Any piece of equipment can be brought into or out of the pit area to or from the "normal" playing field. Corps typically use this area to place stationary percussion instruments, such as chimes, keyboard instruments, tympani, gongs, etc. It is also used sometimes to store color guard equipment. Some drill writers have used the pit area for performers to march through. 5.10 How long is each show? Each corps' performance is supposed to last between 10 and 11 1/2 minutes. There is a 0.1 point penalty for each 6 seconds above or below these limits. A typical show consisting of 7 corps will last about three hours. Usually, the winner of the show will do an encore performance while standing still (i.e. not marching). These kinds of performances are known as standstill performances. 5.11 What are all those strange abbreviations and/or nicknames people keep using when writing about drum corps? It's a lot easier to use an abbreviation or nickname than to have to type the entire corps name every time. Here is a short table of abbreviations: 'Coats or BC = Bluecoats (Canton, OH) BD = Blue Devils (Concord, CA) BK = Blue Knights Boston or BAC (Bad Ass Crusaders?) = Boston Crusaders (Boston, MA) Cadets or Garfield or CBC = Cadets of Bergen County (Hackensack, NJ) (they used to be called the Garfield Cadets until 1989) Cavies = Cavaliers (Rosemont, IL) G-Men = Glassmen MS or Madison or Scouts = Madison Scouts (Madison, WI) Magic = Magic of Orlando (Orlando, FL) PR or Phantom = Phantom Regiment (Rockford/Loves Park, IL) SCV or Vanguard = Santa Clara Vanguard (Santa Clara, CA) Sky = Sky Ryders (Shawnee, KS, TX) Spirit = Spirit of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) Star = Star of Indiana (Bloomington, IN) Suncoast = Suncoast Sound (Pinillas Park, FL) VK or Velvet = Velvet Knights (Anaheim, CA) X-Men = Crossmen 27 = the 27th Lancers (a former open class corps from Revere, MA now an alumni corps) In DCA: Cabs = Caballaroes Sky = Skyliners Emp. or Empire = Empire Statesmen Buccs = Reading Buccaneers Other abbreviations include: contra = contrabass bugle bari or bary = baritone bugle sop = soprano bugle DM = drum major GE = general effect 5.12 Why do people keep misspelling things? Here is a small set of things people commonly misspell. Bluecoats (the corps from Canton, OH) Sky Ryders (the corps from DeSoto, TX) drum corps (TWO words) corps (singular, pronounced "CORE") corps (plural, pronounced "CORZ") corps' (possessive, pronounced "CORZ") There is no such word 'corp'. 5.13 How to join a drum corps Donald Chinn My experience with drum corps has been basically as a spectator. However, I did march in high school marching band (so I have *some* appreciation for how hard the stuff that drum corps do really is :-). Anyway, here's the extent of my knowledge on how to get involved. Junior corps (Blue Devils, Phantom Regiment, etc.) march people who are 21 or younger. A person "ages out" of corps when they become 22. You can legally march at the DCI Championships if you do not turn 22 until after June 1st of a given compeitive season. If you are 22 or older, then you can still play in a Senior drum corps. Senior drum corps are governed by DCA (Drum Corps Associates). If you are still under 22, then the typical way to get involved in drum corps is to contact a drum corps directly. So the big decision is: "Which drum corps should I join?" It depends. If you want to have a reasonable chance at winning the championships, then joining the Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguard, Cadets of Bergen County, Phantom Regiment, Star of Indiana, the Cavaliers, or Madison Scouts is the thing to do. If you want to be more involved in a smaller group (or less well-known), you can try some of the 13th-26th place corps, or even a Class A or Class A-60 corps. It seems to me, the things to consider are location, size of the corps, style of music, and reputation of the corps, and the chance at winning it all. For example, if you like jazz, then the Blue Devils is probably where you want to be. If you like classical, then Phantom is the place to be. WARNING: Tryouts for the top corps can be very tough, since everyone wants to be a part of a winning corps. There are basically 4 drum corps associations related to DCI that handle the corps in their region. These are DCE, DCM, DCS, and DCW (Drum Corps East, Midwest, South, and West, respectively). To find out what corps are in what association, you can contact the associations directly. See the section on "Drum corps associations" for phone numbers. DCI's address and phone is: DCI Box 548 Lombard, IL 60148 (708) 495-9866 There are also a slew of other smaller drum corps associations: Eastern Massachusetts, Drum Corps New York, etc. You can probably ask DCI if you want more info on them. To join a corps, call up one of the associations and find out where the nearest corps in your area are. Or, contact a corps directly (see "Current active corps", part 2). Rehearsals: Rehearsals usually begin in the fall (this is certainly true of the top corps). I suspect that when rehearsals begin largely depends on how much money the corps has. During the winter, rehearsals mostly consist of camps held on the weekends (once or twice a month in the fall and more frequently as winter and spring roll around). However, not everyone shows up to these camps, especially if they would have to fly 1000 miles to go to one. This is one reason to join a corps close to where you will be living. The corps you join would provide you with an instrument, probably with some safety deposit on it. Also, most corps require that you pay a fee to join the corps. This is to compensate for uniform cleaning, equipment, food, etc. This fee can be very cheap or very steep anywhere from $200 to $1,000). When summer arrives (late May, early June), then things really pick up. Rehearsals can last up to 10 hours a day (or more), and the sun beats down unmercifully. Tan lines on the feet are not uncommon. Touring: Corps travel thousands of miles each summer, and the bus rides can be as long as 12 hours. Usually, you roll into some town at 1am and sleep in their high school gym for 8 hours or so (you bring a sleeping bag!). Food is usually prepared by volunteers for the corps. Then you rehearse in the day, do a show (or do laundry), and the cycle repeats. There are numerous parties, as well. 5.14 Rehearsal information Paul D. Herzog I marched four years (1986-1988 Colts, 1989 Bergen County) and am asked one question more than any other: What is a corps' rehearsal schedule like, both in camps and on the road? A corps consistently has their first rehearsal around the weekend after Thanksgiving. This camp has little actual rehearsal, and is used for the corps' veterans to re-acquaint and for the rookies to the get the feel of the activity as a whole. The actual camp schedule afterward will usually be: - 1 camp in January - 1 camp in February - 1 camp in March - 1 (perhaps 2) camps in April - 2 camps in May Most top 12 corps require all members to be "moved in" by Memorial Day camp, after which daily (or at least multiple times per week) rehearsals start. A typical camp varies from corps to corps, but nearly all corps have a camp from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.....here is an example schedule from a top-25 and a top-5 corps: Top 25 Top 5 ====== ===== Friday 6-8:30 PM Members arrive 6-8:30 PM 8:30-9 Welcome from director 8:30-9 9-12 AM Sectional rehearsal 9-1 AM 12-1 Snack 1-2 AM 1 AM Lights Out 2 AM Saturday 8:30 AM Get Up/Breakfast 8 AM 9:30-10 Calistenics/stretching 9-9:30 10-1 PM M & M 9:30-2 PM 1-2 Lunch 2-3 2-6 PM Sectionals 3-8 PM 6-7 Dinner 8-9 7-11 PM Ensemble rehearsal 9-2 AM 11-12 AM Snack 2-3 12 AM Lights Out 3 AM Sunday 8 AM Get Up/Breakfast 9 AM 9-9:30 Calistenics/stretching 10-10:30 9:30-1 PM Sectionals 10:30-2 PM 1-4 PM Ensemble 2-4 PM 4-5 Snack 4-5 5-6 Clean up/pack 5-6 6 PM Get the hell out 6 PM Drummers, since the emphasis is completely on playing as a line, rather than individuals, will often have their own rehearsals, not as strict, more to get used to being around each other than to really learn the summer program. These rehearsals will usually split the monthly camps (i.e. Camp on the 1st, drum practice on the 15th). Once a corps is on the road, the schedule tends to be the same nearly every day, since there are shows (and for the Top 5, clinics) nearly every day. A typical schedule may look like this: 9-10 AM Get Up/Breakfast 10-10:30 Cals/stretching 10:30-2 PM Sectionals (M & M for the horns, usually) 2-3 Lunch 3-5:30 Ensemble rehearsal 5:30-7 Dinner/Clean the school/Pack/Get in uniform 7-7:30 Travel to show site 7:30-8:30 Warm up 8:30 Show Time! 11:00 Finish with retreat 12:00 AM Pull out for next town 4:30 Arrive at next town 4:30-9:00 AM Sleep on a gym floor A corps on the road will usually have about two days a week with no shows, and the day is usually devoted to a little extra rehearsal (2-3 hours), laundry (sometimes!), relaxation time, etc. There are usually two or three free days over the course of a summer, where the corps will go to the movies, amusement parks, the ocean (I still have great memories of two days in Ocean City, MD), where the corps members can spend all their money on junk food and other refreshments (for the age- outs, anyway), souvenirs, and whatever other tourist traps they fall into. 5.15 Music for wind ensemble Corps play a wide range of music including classical, contempory, jazz, soundtracks, and music for wind ensemble. Original recordings of much of this music can be bought at your local record store. But most music for wind ensemble is not widely available. I have found a good source of music for wind ensemble. They are: West Coast Music Service P.O. Box 3501 North Ft. Myers, FL 33918-3501 813-731-0565 I have ordered CDs and LPs from them, and they have been fine. They have almost everything that has been written for wind ensembles available, mostly performed by university bands. ---- Original written by Michael Fath and Donald Chinn Updates and new material by Cathy Doser and Caryn Roberts RAMD FAQ administered by: Cathy Doser (cathyd@halcyon.com) and Caryn Roberts (caryn@halcyon.com) Comments welcome on any aspect of this FAQ. We are especially looking for information on Div. II/III corps, and early drum corps information (VFW and American Legion Championships and pre-DCI corps in general). If you see anything that is inaccurate (such as corps address information or repertoire), please let us know. NOTICE: This FAQ is copyright (c) 1995 by Cathy Doser and is made available as a service to the drum corps and the Internet community. The FAQ may be distributed freely in printed or electronic form, provided that it is not modified. The FAQ may not be sold in any medium including electronic, CD-ROM, or database, or published in print without the express written permission of the authors. Contact Cathy Doser (cathyd@halcyon.com) if there are any questions. ---- Cathy Doser Caryn Roberts cathyd@halcyon.com caryn@halcyon.com