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All Instrument Policy discussion

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I don't typically make any posts, let alone topics; but this was something I really wanted to hear people's opinions and thoughts on.

 

Today, DCI released what rule change proposals were being discussed at their winter business meeting, and one, proposed by one of the board of directors, would "allow the use of any instrument, including woodwinds, effective 2021." I know this was only released today, but I would appreciate hearing anyone's thoughts on this proposal, considering it would undeniably change DCI, for better or for worse.

 

That being said, I personally do not agree with passing this proposal, nor do I believe it would benefit the identity of drum and bugle corps considering that adding woodwinds en masse would effectively not make them (referring to any DBC) a drum and bugle corps. Not to say that they can't use them as soloists if the proposal is passed, (such as how BD used a violin soloist in their 2019 program) and only have the one (or more) soloist(s) the whole show. This, in effect would mean they would likely not actually march and instead be part of the front ensemble. But it seems the way the Drum Corps is moving, that the modern show designer may give them different roles and innovate on how the woodwind(s) would interact with the rest of the corps. Despite these arguments, I still believe it would be a massive change change for the Drum Corps community, because it will have compromised the most important difference between Drum Corps and Marching Band. I suppose it would be good to note that I am a woodwind player still of age to participate in drum corps, so this decision means a lot to me, and likely a lot of you who are reading this that may not have had a chance to experience marching in a drum corps yet.

 

Anyhow, there are so many arguments to be made for both sides, like the benefits of woodwind players learning brass instruments, but I'm on break and don't want to have to write any more essay-esque stuff until school starts back up so I'll end it there

 

Here are the links to all of the proposals if you haven't seen them yet; I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

 

https://www.dci.org/news/2020-dci-rules-congress-proposals-at-a-glance

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It's going to pass. It was proposed by DCI board president Kathy Black, because most corps representatives were too scared of the backlash to propose it themselves.

 

I doubt you'll see many corps implement it this season, and those who do will probably only have a soloist or duet. I for one would much rather hear an actual woodwind instead of more synthesizers mimicking woodwinds. I'm not sure if we'll ever see marching woodwinds like at the high school level — the instruments simply can't live up to a summer of drum corps.

 

I imagine woodwind players will be treated much like most drum corps have treated vocalists in past years. They'll use recordings for daytime rehearsal and only be outside in the elements during ensemble.

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I wish people would actually understand that this rule is not being proposed for large sections of woodwinds. As you lay out, that is not possible. They are treating this the same way as vocal parts, guitars, violins, trombones, French horns, etc. People on social are just so against this and they don’t even understand it.

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I say bring it on! I've been a corps fan since the 1970's and have seen many, many changes since then (electronics, props, front ensembles, recorded content, vocalists, 2 valves, 3 valves, concert brass, stringed instruments). And nearly every time a change is made there are arguments made that this new change is going to ruin the art form. It never does and it continues to evolve to an increasingly impressive level of performance. It happens whether or not we like the changes, so I've found that I just need to keep my mind open for the possibility that it will be really good. So far, it has been every time. Just look at how the addition of adding concert brass has changed the sound palette for the writers and arrangers and adding woodwinds will further add to that palette. And also it gives woodwind players an opportunity to participate in DCI as well on their primary instruments rather than having to play a brass instrument which many do now. I can't wait!

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I say bring it on! I've been a corps fan since the 1970's and have seen many, many changes since then (electronics, props, front ensembles, recorded content, vocalists, 2 valves, 3 valves, concert brass, stringed instruments). And nearly every time a change is made there are arguments made that this new change is going to ruin the art form. It never does and it continues to evolve to an increasingly impressive level of performance. It happens whether or not we like the changes, so I've found that I just need to keep my mind open for the possibility that it will be really good. So far, it has been every time. Just look at how the addition of adding concert brass has changed the sound palette for the writers and arrangers and adding woodwinds will further add to that palette. And also it gives woodwind players an opportunity to participate in DCI as well on their primary instruments rather than having to play a brass instrument which many do now. I can't wait!

 

Thank you for not being a dinosaur!

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Thank you for not being a dinosaur!

 

Age-wise, I'm up there, but I am just as excited about the band world as I was when I was introduced to it in the early '60's. The years don't necessarily make you old, but being closed-minded, inflexible, and set in your ways sure as heck does! But that can happen at any age...

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Wow, I wasn’t expecting these kinds of responses; and I have to say I see a lot of your points and have to be honest; I do agree with some of them! I’m interested to see where having woodwinds would take us; probably more classical music with oboes, or actual big band set ups in the front ensemble? It’s intriguing to think about what may come out of this, and I think everyone here already knows the opportunity that comes out of this for non-brass players, so I’m actually excited to see what may come of it.

 

However, that’s not to say I still completely agree with it, moreso I’m just hesitant to say if I really would want to see these kinds of changes made; maybe I’ve just fallen in love with the shows that are more traditional, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t welcome change. After reading what you’ve all discussed and thought on it, I have faith that it’ll benefit the future of drum corps in the long run, and accepting these changes will be the best for everyone.

 

This is a sensitive topic for some, (which is crazy because it’s just band??) but I personally feel that it’s important we don’t dismiss those who disagree with passing the proposal; they have their reasons for doing so, such as I do. When it comes to topics such as this, I find that they forget that it may be good to understand the other sides’ reasons for thinking otherwise. (Also, I don’t think anyone has actually disagreed other than I on this topic, so there’s that too.)

 

TL;DR I will embrace the changes happening in spite of what I think now and people who disagree have their own argument to make other than mine so we should at least take the time to understand them :)))

 

Please don’t take what I say too seriously, this is strictly my opinion, not much fact!!!!!!

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Only things that passed -

Color Guard Sheet Enhancement

Rule to move judges closer to audience perspective has been moved to Steering Committee to evaluate

The Allow Live Sampling in Real Time proposal

Proposal to make changes to judging during prelims, semis, and finals also being studied further

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All Instruments - FAILED*

Live Sampling/Looping - PASSED

Colorguard Criteria - PASSED

18 Minute Intervals For Corps - FAILED

Finals Judges Picked From Prelims/Semis Panels - FAILED

Press Box Judges Closer To Field - TABLED for further evaluation

 

*Amended proposal to only allow eight “any instruments” during a show also FAILED

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I’m curious what impact the new colorguard rule will have, if any. Evidently they will now not only judge their skills, but also the “big picture,” whatever they mean by that. Supposedly this will make it so that there isn’t such a tiny pool of judges who are qualified to judge colorguard. My question is, how does judging skills AND the bigger picture affect a judges ability to judge? Or not judge? Yeah, I’m lost.

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It's going to pass. It was proposed by DCI board president Kathy Black, because most corps representatives were too scared of the backlash to propose it themselves.

 

I doubt you'll see many corps implement it this season, and those who do will probably only have a soloist or duet. I for one would much rather hear an actual woodwind instead of more synthesizers mimicking woodwinds. I'm not sure if we'll ever see marching woodwinds like at the high school level — the instruments simply can't live up to a summer of drum corps.

 

I imagine woodwind players will be treated much like most drum corps have treated vocalists in past years. They'll use recordings for daytime rehearsal and only be outside in the elements during ensemble.

 

Apparently, there was a major push-back against this change. Too bad.

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Apparently, there was a major push-back against this change. Too bad.

 

dang, I really thought it would pass. As Kathy said in her interview with Dan, it was recommended by a Dave Glasgow-led taskforce and the entire board of directors. From what I've heard, directors believe the incorporation of woodwinds is only a matter of time, but want more time to plan and discuss implementation options. I wouldn't be shocked to see a limited proposal (like the last minute 8 woodwinds only proposal) that does pass next year and full inclusion a few years later. It's still just ridiculous to me that a corps could legally march 153 ewi's and an electric guitar soloist, but can't have an acoustic violin or saxophone.

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dang, I really thought it would pass. As Kathy said in her interview with Dan, it was recommended by a Dave Glasgow-led taskforce and the entire board of directors. From what I've heard, directors believe the incorporation of woodwinds is only a matter of time, but want more time to plan and discuss implementation options. I wouldn't be shocked to see a limited proposal (like the last minute 8 woodwinds only proposal) that does pass next year and full inclusion a few years later. It's still just ridiculous to me that a corps could legally march 153 ewi's and an electric guitar soloist, but can't have an acoustic violin or saxophone.

 

I guess it was just a little to open-ended and needed to be better defined. I respect that they are taking much care with this and are protecting the artform. I still, however, don't think that adding woodwinds will hurt the artform in any way. Like I stated before, many changes have happened over the decades that have changed it drastically, but every time the corps have used the new changes in a manner that enriched the level of performance. It hasn't been a drum and bugle corps activity in a really long time.

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