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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:19 am 
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This might be Ken Mazur's worst nightmare. What a terrible thing to charge people money to do. Were they proud to show this to people?



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:52 pm 
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I thought it was kind of a Bridgemen/Velvet Knights type show. The whole thing is obviously silly. I didn't take it as being seriously competitive. It was their first year out, and they had fun with it. I would prefer a "concept" like this over many of the artsy-fartsy shows any day. Just my opinion though.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 6:21 pm 
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James, you would be ok asking kids to dress up like dandelions? These kids are paying money to be a part of this....

Obviously it's their choice and I guess they weren't too upset about it. But I think the rudimental drumming community would be better off if people were encouraged to not do shows like this.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:30 am 
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This thread has made me think about writing that essay I've been thinking about for a while, on the topic of why adding the GE caption back in the early days of DCI was a bad idea and how drum corps and WGI has evolved into a totally subjective GE oriented activity. The kids no longer compete, it is an adult-staff activity.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:33 pm 
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Rick do you think that the GE caption can be altered or redefined to help prevent these types of shows or does the caption just need to be done away with? I'm sure they won't ever get rid of it, so I wonder what can be done. I know this is actually a pretty old topic....but when you see shows like this Dandelion show...I mean how ridiculous is this going to get?

That show made finals and scored an 87.813. I know these numbers don't have a lot of hard evidence behind their value. But I think any WGI official would state that if your group scores an 87 in the WORLD classification...then there is outstanding playing and show design elements. There is nothing outstanding about this. NOTHING. But the adult-staff were able to cash some checks and the kids ended up with a performance that they probably don't share with their family when they go home.

I just wonder if the kids knew what the show theme was before they paid their membership dues. I hate the argument "oh it's just a silly fun show". Kids drive hours and hours on the weekends, take off time from school, spend thousands of dollars on travel and paying staff, put in tons of practice time, ask friends and family to SPONSOR them.....but it's ok if this is just a bunch of silliness. Is this something to be taken seriously or not? Ask the Santa Clara Vanguard to dress up like Dandelions...I bet those kids have a problem with it. But I guess these MN kids just aren't as good and should just be ok with it.

Is this an activity of pride, tradition, excellence, or is it a silly game?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:19 pm 
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NateSilv wrote:
Rick do you think that the GE caption can be altered or redefined to help prevent these types of shows or does the caption just need to be done away with? I'm sure they won't ever get rid of it, so I wonder what can be done.


I don't think we will get rid of the GE caption. If anything, the activity will continue to morph from a competitive activity completely over to something that falls between entertainment and slapstick. And then when it finally collapses, people will wonder why and offer all sorts of reasons.

NateSilv wrote:
Is this an activity of pride, tradition, excellence, or is it a silly game?


When I first marched drum corps the GE caption completely confused me. I asked many people from all walks of drum corps, including top-rated drum instructors, what GE meant to them and how do you incorporate GE into a show or solo. Most people couldn't explain it, a clear sign that the caption is totally subjective and from a competitive standpoint, meaningless. If a solo or show is judged on execution and difficulty, and competitors seek to achieve new heights, which they will, then audiences will be spellbound by the achievements. We've reached a point where difficulty isn't even considered, and if it were, I'm not sure how qualified the judges would be determining the difficulty level. Gymnastics is the sport that closest matches what I'm talking about. World class gymnasts are judged on execution and difficulty only. Imagine how silly it would be if general effect were added to a gymnast sheets. The gymnasts that compete today are doing much more difficult routines than the gymnasts of say just 20 years ago.

Now with that in mind, since corps are no longer following a military-bearing, perhaps the names of the corps should be changed to better reflect the type of shows performed. Here are some corps name change suggestions.

Phantom Regiment - Phantom Randomness
The Cadets - The Dance Team
Santa Clara Vanguard - Santa Clara Rockettes
Carolina Crown - Carolina Court Jesters
Blue Knights - Blue Rooks
Madison Scouts - Madison Brownies

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:33 pm 
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So last night Crown took home the honors at the DCI Southern Championship in total corps but fielded the 5th place drum line.
Something seems wrong with that. As a side note, they were high in G.E. Go figure.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:37 pm 
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And BD won drums in Atlanta and was 4th the next night. What's with the judging system? Can't figure that out other than different panels have different backgrounds and thus different experience levels. ?????


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Rick your comparison to Gymnastics is spot on. That's a great way to explain to someone how ridiculous GE can be.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:00 pm 
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NateSilv wrote:
James, you would be ok asking kids to dress up like dandelions? These kids are paying money to be a part of this....

Obviously it's their choice and I guess they weren't too upset about it. But I think the rudimental drumming community would be better off if people were encouraged to not do shows like this.



I guess I was putting my comments in the context of typical WGI shows. Probably over 75% of the shows every year have certain elements that I don't care for, and I would consider most show designs as having nothing to do with true competition.

However, from an audience member's perspective who just wants to be entertained, I would still much prefer a "silly" show like this than the overly bizarre, scratch-your-head kind of themes that no one understands or the sappy, sentimental shows about how much a boy misses his puppy that died last week. If I had to choose a show about dandelions or a show where everyone cries about a grandmother dying of cancer (or some other overly serious theme), I'll take the dandelions any day.

But I completely agree that such things have nothing to do with assessing the playing and marching skills of the performers. It's all about how "novel" your concept can be. It's a design contest. WGI says it on the front page of their rule book--it's 50/50 performance/design.

I personally have serious issues with this judging format. But if you're going to watch WGI indoor, you understand that's what you're getting. In light of many other terrible show designs, this one actually didn't bother me that much. Maybe I've just been so numbed from scores of bad show ideas over the years that this one seemed pretty decent by comparison. I still wouldn't say that it's the worst WGI show of all time. I would put many other shows on that list before this one. But that's just my personal taste. I can see how this show could get under people's skin.

--James


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:42 am 
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Do we not drum to be dandelions?

(for those unable to tell, yes, that was a sarcastic question).

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:24 pm 
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James, I get what you are saying. Super-serious concepts (cancer/suicide/child abuse) are just as absurd as the dandelions. It's all bad to me. I'd just prefer they didn't exist at all rather than one or the other.

I remember a show back in the early/mid 2000s I saw in Indianapolis. I could be wrong, but I BELIEVE the group was called Legacy (I could definitely be wrong about that). Their show consisted of parents arguing in front of their kids, and eventually the kid closing a door leading you to assume that he killed himself (or something to that effect -- it was a long time ago, but this was the idea). Later on I overheard a staff member of the group complaining about their low score to someone on the phone (yes I was eavesdropping). He was essentially upset that the judges weren't crediting their G.E., saying "We had a kid kill himself for Christ's Sake!"


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:39 pm 
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I guess here is why I think the Dandelions is worse than some overly serious show about death and cancer.

The director who develops the cancer show just has an extremely bad idea. He may truly feel that this show is special and touching and will provide the kids with spiritual enlightenment throughout the year. He's wrong. Really wrong. But he is trying to do what her perceives as the right thing. Again --- he's totally wrong and he is full of bad ideas.

The director who develops the dandelions show does not care about the paying members at all. He did not put much thought into creating a decent show. He probably thought this up while really high the night before. There's no way it took more than 30 seconds to come up with "Hey let's dress up the kid in dandelions costumes and have them chase a pink flower around. How funny would that be? I mean seriously, this is hilarious. We are funny. People are going to think we are super funny.".

Did that director REALLY use every last brain cell coming up with a show that would serve his paying members to the fullest extent? Did he really give it his all? THIS was his best idea??? No, of course not. No one is that bad. This was just a silly joke to him. And he took a bunch of kids' money. That's why he's worse than the super-serious show guy who just has really thoughtful, but bad ideas.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:11 pm 
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What ever happened to the show concept "let the drumming speak for itself" ?
Get rid of the smoke and mirrors. The group that drums the best wins the show.
What a novel idea!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:09 am 
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Spirit Snare 80 wrote:
What ever happened to the show concept "let the drumming speak for itself" ?
Get rid of the smoke and mirrors. The group that drums the best wins the show.
What a novel idea!


Unfortunately when GE is the major caption, the result will be performance art or an attempt at such from amateur artists.

The audience suffers, the kids suffer (as they are no longer the ones competing), and the staff who are not part of the design staff suffers.

Isn't it waaaay past the time where competition returned to the field?

And hey, doesn't this sound like a Ken Mazur post minus the barbs?

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