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  #1  
Old 02-22-2018, 11:58 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Marching bands in CA

Hey all,

Not totally off topic as there will hopefully be some amazing drumming involved!

My family are travelling to California in June and I wanted to go see some marching percussion and wondered if anyone could suggest where ?

I am from Uk, currently residing in New Zealand. Iíve never seen marching percussion before, and I have never been to America....so I thought my trip would be a good chance to see some marching up close, as it seems such a strong tradition in the states (does it vary from state to state?). I am loving rudimental snare drumming and marching stuff more and more everyday and hopefully my family will enjoy it too, as it looks like a good show for all.

I know these bands play at sports games. Is that my best best? I have never seen American football so maybe a good time to do both? Other than that I know marching is strongly linked to universities, so do the Uniís put shows on?

We are starting in Monterey, going to Yosemite and San Francisco. June time this year.

Cheers

Andy
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

Check out DCI drum and bugle corps contests going on in June.

https://www.dci.org/events/dci-west

These are some of the finest marching percussion events you will ever see anywhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPxYmS94CYk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg9iwb6sNwE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nealyfXX_2E
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Last edited by pgm554; 02-23-2018 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:09 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

Thank you.

Wow, looks like we looked out with timing. We are in Monterey when the DCI champs are on, so only 1.5 hour drive.

I will be getting some tickets for the family :-)

Cheers,

Andy
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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Originally Posted by AndeeT View Post
Thank you.

Wow, looks like we looked out with timing. We are in Monterey when the DCI champs are on, so only 1.5 hour drive.

I will be getting some tickets for the family :-)

Cheers,

Andy
Yeah, the shows in California are at the beginning of their competitive season. During the summer they all head east competing culminating in their championships in Indiana in August. It would be cool if you went to the California show, and then came back in August to see how much better they'd gotten at the end. Sometimes corps have entirely different shows by then too, but you definitely see a quality difference at the end of the season. It's impressive. The State of the Art on the west coast continues to be The Concord Blue Devils and the Santa Clara Vanguard.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:02 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

Cheers Bo, thatís cool to know. I am genuinely I interested in the marching tradition (I wonder if there is a history book or something on it?). It looks like a great way to bring a lot of people together and also teach kids discipline and routine. Also... the snare drummers/tenors grow up to have monster hands :-)

So itís definitely a summer thing then. I have seen Ďindoorí sticks on Vic Firths website, so is that for the Ďoff-seasoní?

I canít believe they get better at the end of summer. My jaw is already on the floor watching the Santa Clara one Pgm554 posted below!

One thing I donít quite understand with marching is; why do I only see youngsters marching? What happens when they finish their marching ? Is there much of a space for adults marching? There seems to be quite a well trodden path of kids starting in small school, getting better at it in high school, honing it in university and it seems to culminate in the sort of videos below...but where do all these amazing musicians go from there? I am missing something :-/
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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Originally Posted by AndeeT View Post
Cheers Bo, thatís cool to know. I am genuinely I interested in the marching tradition (I wonder if there is a history book or something on it?). It looks like a great way to bring a lot of people together and also teach kids discipline and routine. Also... the snare drummers/tenors grow up to have monster hands :-)

So itís definitely a summer thing then. I have seen Ďindoorí sticks on Vic Firths website, so is that for the Ďoff-seasoní?

I canít believe they get better at the end of summer. My jaw is already on the floor watching the Santa Clara one Pgm554 posted below!

One thing I donít quite understand with marching is; why do I only see youngsters marching? What happens when they finish their marching ? Is there much of a space for adults marching? There seems to be quite a well trodden path of kids starting in small school, getting better at it in high school, honing it in university and it seems to culminate in the sort of videos below...but where do all these amazing musicians go from there? I am missing something :-/
The reason for the age thing is that there are 2 types of corps ,jr and senior.
Junior corps is from 14 to 21 and in jr corps you age out after 21.

Sr corps is basically age agnostic.

Here's a pretty good one you may like(used to be a Jr corps)..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ3qMBNhdJY

A lot of the drum corps history started out as senior corps ,but when they became more organized under Drum Corp International,the rules kind of changed.

i marched with a very good jr corps back in the 70's called the Royal Crusaders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ3qMBNhdJY
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

I marched Jr corps when I was 15-16 with the Anaheim Kingsmen, then did some Sr corps stuff with the Sacramento Freelancers. I think the reason you donít see a lot of sr corps stuff is basically we all have to grow up sometime. Members pay to be a part of the corps, and prior to the summer season beginning we were putting in 12- hour rehearsals for days before going on tour. One must start working and paying their own way at some point!

Senior corps are cool, and itís a luxury for some to be able to continue doing it, but you know, for most people who have families thereís just this point where you just donít exist for yourself anymore, right?
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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I marched Jr corps when I was 15-16 with the Anaheim Kingsmen, then did some Sr corps stuff with the Sacramento Freelancers. I think the reason you donít see a lot of sr corps stuff is basically we all have to grow up sometime. Members pay to be a part of the corps, and prior to the summer season beginning we were putting in 12- hour rehearsals for days before going on tour. One must start working and paying their own way at some point!

Senior corps are cool, and itís a luxury for some to be able to continue doing it, but you know, for most people who have families thereís just this point where you just donít exist for yourself anymore, right?
Too frigging expensive for a lot of folks.

It's like $1k bucks to join a corps these days and many of the top corps bring in ringers from other states.

I knew folks from the percussion pit from WVU that were recruited by Star of Indiana to march with them back in the 80's.
In fact at one point the percussion pit was all WVU students.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:14 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

Wow, I didn't realise there was so much money involved. And I was shocked when you said 12 hour a day practice, but I guess it makes sense when you see the results!

I can see as an adult with others things to concentrate on, how it would be tough to keep that up...

Still, looking forward to seeing the young'uns in June!


Thanks for sharing your stories. I'm looking forward to learning more about marching :-)
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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Too frigging expensive for a lot of folks.

It's like $1k bucks to join a corps these days and many of the top corps bring in ringers from other states.

I knew folks from the percussion pit from WVU that were recruited by Star of Indiana to march with them back in the 80's.
In fact at one point the percussion pit was all WVU students.
I believe today the prices are much higher. Especially when you consider girls in high school are paying on average $3500 for a year in cheerleading, or show choir, or even marching band. The public school systems are just not picking up as much of the tab as they once did and everything costs. The last time I was teaching HS marching drum line back in the 80s, in addition to their member fees, we were charging them $10 per kid to pay for the bus rides. Bless those families that feel it's important enough to have their kids involved, but man, after being involved in it for years, you feel like all you do is beg for money.
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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Wow, I didn't realise there was so much money involved. And I was shocked when you said 12 hour a day practice, but I guess it makes sense when you see the results!

I can see as an adult with others things to concentrate on, how it would be tough to keep that up...

Still, looking forward to seeing the young'uns in June!


Thanks for sharing your stories. I'm looking forward to learning more about marching :-)
Yeah - when I was 15 and in the corps, all of a sudden for two weeks after school let out, I never saw my parents. I'd wake up and go to practice after they left for work, and by the time I got home at 11PM, they'd be sleeping. I think during that one summer I only saw my family when they would drop me off to get on the bus for the tour (which was about three times). And this was all pre-internet- and pre-smartphone. So it was a total disconnect to whatever normal family life a 15-year-old would know. Sleeping on busses, then gym floors in a sleeping bag...rehearsing on endless football fields from California to Montreal (this was 1982)....it's amazing you survived!
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:31 PM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

Bo, that sounds like a blast! Beats what I did all summer as a teenager, which was playing playstation games (though I did pick up guitar when my playstation was stolen....in retrospect I have never been so happy to have something stolen from me!)

I can't believe some of those prices. It's a shame, as it must put a barrier on kids from poorer families participating. But in reality, I guess no government wants to spend a lot of money on something as 'unimportant' as music, so we are left with families picking up the bill. Most school clubs in the UK are free or very low fee's, but then again I don't think the quality is up to scratch compared to the level of competency in the US. You get what you pay for!
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Old 02-24-2018, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

When I marched ,the corps were free to join,but there were obligations in terms of fund raising (hoagie sales,car washes,raffle tickets),but we did manage to put a pretty good product on the field.

Rehearsals were a couple times a week and we had sleep away corps camps on weekends through out the year.

Last time I heard,the top corps had a budget of over a million bucks in order to keep things alive and well during the marching year.

My disappointment is that a lot of members are no longer regional,but from all over the country.

With the $$$ involved ,the rich seem to be getting richer(Concord is marching 3 corps and their B corps is as good as some of the other open corps)

I see Bo marched with the Kingsmen a corps that has long since folded as has my old one,the Royal Crusaders.

They were the first DCI champs in 1972 and and three years later ,were out of the big picture as a contender.
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Last edited by pgm554; 02-25-2018 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:03 AM
AndeeT AndeeT is offline
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

Wow, big bucks there.

I love the idea of the fundraising. It gives a more community feel to it, which is awesome. I think it should be a thing for all ages and types. I can see why it bothers you that people are drafted in from other places, as it detracts from the community of it.

Living in New Zealand now, there is definitely a more community feel here, and music is often involved, and all ages can participate. I might see if there is any marching activity here in NZ. I have certainly seen marching snares for sale...

It was very different growing up in the UK. The most community I got there was (ironically) when the Tour De France went by our street. The whole street was out in their gardens, together, enjoying it, waving flags and playing music.

Another thing I wondered; do the marching bands in America play at events other than competitions? I was under the impression they were kind of linked to football teams, no?
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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Wow, big bucks there.

I love the idea of the fundraising. It gives a more community feel to it, which is awesome. I think it should be a thing for all ages and types. I can see why it bothers you that people are drafted in from other places, as it detracts from the community of it.

Living in New Zealand now, there is definitely a more community feel here, and music is often involved, and all ages can participate. I might see if there is any marching activity here in NZ. I have certainly seen marching snares for sale...

It was very different growing up in the UK. The most community I got there was (ironically) when the Tour De France went by our street. The whole street was out in their gardens, together, enjoying it, waving flags and playing music.

Another thing I wondered; do the marching bands in America play at events other than competitions? I was under the impression they were kind of linked to football teams, no?
Half time shows at most football games ,band festivals ,and parades are some of the activities that high school and college marching bands are linked to.

Marched in hundreds of parades during my misspent youth.

Drum and Bugle corps are just marching bands on steroids.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:11 AM
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They were the first DCI champs in 1972 and and three years later were out of the big picture as a contender.
On a side note, I've always felt that the Kingsmen were good for 1972-1974. They just did not evolve with the times. When I joined the reconstituted Kingsmen in 1982, (looking back on it) their mentality was still from 1972. When they re-convened as an alumni corps in 2007, they still had the same attitude and just could not get with the times. I joked that the corps was cursed to be stuck in 1972 for all of eternity.

This is why the big DCI corps are who they are, they seem to evolve with the times and continue to attract people who want to be involved and that's how the game is played these days. In fact, many people would argue that drum & bugle corps has included so many different activities, let alone the use of regular brass instruments, that it is really no longer drum & bugle corps (which incites a military feeling). But now it's all about dancing, acting, singing, actual band instruments......everything to continue to attract members to join.

The Kingsmen could not do this even in 1982!
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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On a side note, I've always felt that the Kingsmen were good for 1972-1974. They just did not evolve with the times. When I joined the reconstituted Kingsmen in 1982, (looking back on it) their mentality was still from 1972. When they re-convened as an alumni corps in 2007, they still had the same attitude and just could not get with the times. I joked that the corps was cursed to be stuck in 1972 for all of eternity.

This is why the big DCI corps are who they are, they seem to evolve with the times and continue to attract people who want to be involved and that's how the game is played these days. In fact, many people would argue that drum & bugle corps has included so many different activities, let alone the use of regular brass instruments, that it is really no longer drum & bugle corps (which incites a military feeling). But now it's all about dancing, acting, singing, actual band instruments......everything to continue to attract members to join.

The Kingsmen could not do this even in 1982!
I have mixed feelings on the direction corps have taken over the years.

I don't like all the money involved.

Should be a cap on spending per year for corps depending upon their class.


Players should be regional ,say within a couple hundred miles of the corps headquarters.

Electronics?
Keyboards and sequencers do not require the same virtuosity as learning to play a horn or percussion instrument.
Instruments allowed should be acoustic in nature.

The guy that ran Star of Indiana saw drum corps as no longer competing on a marching field ,but becoming more of a Broadway show spectacle.(part of the reason they don't march anymore)

It does something to the purity of drum corps akin to baseball players wearing eye shadow and lipstick.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Marching bands in CA

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I have mixed feelings on the direction corps have taken over the years.

I don't like all the money involved.

Should be a cap on spending per year for corps depending upon their class.


Players should be regional ,say within a couple hundred miles of the corps headquarters.

Electronics?
Keyboards and sequencers do not require the same virtuosity as learning to play a horn or percussion instrument.
Instruments allowed should be acoustic in nature.

The guy that ran Star of Indiana saw drum corps as no longer competing on a marching field ,but becoming more of a Broadway show spectacle.(part of the reason they don't march anymore)

It does something to the purity of drum corps akin to baseball players wearing eye shadow and lipstick.
Ah .....the perennial arguments I hear every year at a corps show. On one hand I agree, it should be pure. On the other hand, they wonít attract future blood to keep the activity alive if they donít.

If corps donít evolve, they become like those ďcivil war re-enactmentsĒ in Virgina. Sad, but true.
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