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 Post subject: Jeff Prosperie and Son
PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:07 am
Posts: 43
Rudimental drummers frequent this site to gain knowledge, to be entertained, and even for camaraderie. I have learned several things from this thread and share some thoughts as follows:


It is amazing to me how an individual can enter a discussion with their mind already so made up that there seems no possibility to learn from, or consider, a view point other than their own. Accompany that mindset with a blatant attitude of childish disrespect then the result would certainly become one of irrelevancy, dismissal, and lack of growth. It has been my experience that individuals who posses such characteristics typically do not last long in our activity as a performer, clinician, writer, adjudicator, staff person, designer, or instructor. Probably the only work for such an individual would be a solo act in small local venues. Sadly the talent or knowledge they could have contributed for the greater good is dismissed due to lack of mutual respect and tact as they fade into the shadows of irrelevancy and are quickly dismissed by current leaders in the community as a side show oddity. This thread has been a great teaching tool for my children regarding such concepts and for that I am thankful for such a clear lesson.

To a certain degree art (drumming) should speak for itself; therefore I have attached a performance link below for your consideration/entertainment/discussion. The solo is approximately 7 minutes long and in that performance you will see what you are willing to see through the lens of your predetermined prejudices or the possibilities of the open mind perspective. I guess some may see a heavy laden Moeller approach and be able to determine the social/political perspectives of the performer as well as the quality of his character, his lack of intelligence, and the quality and incompetency of his friends. One may even be able to determine if he is a coward who is hell bent on ruining the activity we all love. As ridiculous as that may sound, sadly that may be a reality for some. Others may see a performer selflessly sharing a free performance as a gift representing his Country and the Army, to a room full of fellow drummers who communicate back through standing ovation as well as a compliment from the president of that organization for an “Outstanding” performance. Those two responses are severally different. We are all entitled to our own opinion; however, the way you communicate that opinion will greatly determine its effectiveness. Certainly if someone has a different opinion they can effectively share it through performances at events like USARD, DCA, youtube videos, and respectful intelligent discussions. This will increase the relevancy and validity of that point of view. Performers at USARD, DCA, DCI, PAS, etc demonstrate courage when performing in front of a knowledgeable audience and that should be respected. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS WITH A PERSPECTIVE THEY WOULD LIKE TO SHARE FOR THE GREATER GOOD TO WORK UP A PRESENTATION AND SUBMIT FOR INVITATION TO THESE ORGANIZATIONS. Otherwise the “Man in the Arena” speech by Theodore Roosevelt comes to mind. (If you are unfamiliar with this speech please look it up, it is worth your time). Perhaps performance presentations are not your desire or strength but you excel in respectful analytical discussion, great....we need and value that too. If all you have is selfish venom for the purpose of self gratification, then two quotes quickly come to mind:

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”

George Bernard Shaw: “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”


For reasons stated above I will not engage in discussion with disrespectful people and I encourage others to do the same. Rick has selflessly provided us a site to learn, be entertained, and gain camaraderie. I ask that we focus back to that mission and be the change we would like to see. I really hate to see this forum become irrelevant and a mockery of the next generation of drummers. It seems I frequent this site much less now than I used to because the content and relevancy seems to be fading and is sometimes honestly not worth my personal time. I write these thoughts to hopefully inspire myself and others to re-commit to the possibilities of this forum.

As far as the tired old rants about “emotion” blah blah blah......that I have read for a decade now used as ammunition to prove some point, perhaps a bit of perspective and context may help. The emotion comment has been used out of context and twisted. The truth of the matter is that those who are relevant in the DCI activity (Instructors/Designers/Judges) work together to determine the evaluation criteria. Certainly as the activity evolves the evaluation process will change as well. The stake holders mentioned above have determined that effect should be evaluated as Intellectual, Aesthetic, and Emotional for a more entertaining product. The overuse of one type of effect creates a lack of depth/variety for the program (obviously). That was the context of the comment. These are not my thoughts but rather the contents of the GE sheet as developed by those actively relevant in the activity. I do not deal with these sheets because I judge field percussion and not GE; however, part of the criteria of my sheet deals with depth and range as it relates to technical and expressive/musical qualities. Certainly excellence is excellence as we evaluate the what and the how, but occasionally an emotional element of expressiveness occurs when the technique/writing/clarity/communication/tuning, etc all click in a moment of time and the “goosebumps” rise and tears swell. I have had the honor and privilege to evaluate such performances and you know it when you see it. If you don’t THEN YOU SHOULD NEVER BE A JUDGE” A great judge as told to me by my mentor Dennis DeLucia as he learned from Dr. Baggs ,....”A great judge has the ability to recognize a great performance when it occurs and the courage to reward accordingly” I feel sorry for those individuals who cannot acknowledge, experience, and give credit to the emotional element when it occurs.

It has even been said on this forum by an uninformed poster that I take away points for those who do not perform Moeller. The statement in itself is pure ignorance since that would be impossible as our current system has not “taken away” points for 32 years since 1983, before some of you were born. A performance starts with zero and as the evaluation progresses the adjudicator rewards/adds points and matches the achievement levels observed with the criteria of the sheet and the consistency of the criteria being demonstrated according to what box the performance most closely matches. The judge then assigns a number according to the rating (correct box with National perspective) and ranking (other groups in the contest, spreads, value of a tenth etc) all done in real time through a digital recorder and then discussed in critique after the show with the corps instructors/designers. The judge assumes the role of either “Teacher, Counselor, Critic”, or a combination thereof when speaking with the groups on the recording and in critique depending on the maturity and experience level of what that unit needs. Of course I would reward groups who demonstrate more depth, range of technical and musical qualities. I would reward even more if it is in conjunction with the simultaneous presentation of the three demands of “physical, environmental, and musical” layering of demands the community has agreed to be evaluated by. That is what I am hired to do, regardless of my own beliefs. If you don’t like the criteria then become relevant enough to have a voice of influence. If you can’t demonstrate that your product or ideas are better through tact and respectful discussion or performance presentation then you will become what some would call an “irrelevant curmudgeon” as we have so sadly seen. DCI/WGI is not the only activity you can use as a vehicle to express your style and techniques. Create or join a fife and drum corps. Create or join a drum line battle group, Soundsport group etc. Create or join a non-competitive/exhibition All Age DCA Drum Corps. Your imagination is your only limit. Use your imagination to create and contribute instead of creating ways to belittle the next generation. It’s simply not very becoming to do so. Put out videos that will encourage the next generation to play the way you believe to be best or would like to see. Perform at USARD, youtube etc.

Sadly, I recently posted a video on FB encouraging the next generation (in this case my 13 year old son). The video was of my son playing a solo. Sadly, some individuals named William Bennett and Joseph Middleman used this video to belittle the young performer and tout their own accomplishments when they were his age. So very sad and classless. Not sure who these people are but seemingly they lack the courage to even use their real names. Furthermore, they used my unfortunate recent incident with the axe to somehow say it was “Karma”. Class Act for sure, NOT...simply pathetic.

I believe each day is a new day for us to learn, change our attitudes, ask for and receive grace and forgiveness, to change our hearts (repent), and to become a positive contributor even if your views are very different from mine. I would love to see this happen on this forum. Imagine how much we could all learn, be entertained and gain camaraderie. Be the change you want to see.

Thanks for reading my thoughts and I hope it is of some benefit.

The solo starts at 7:15 and if you search hard enough you will find ticks, flubbed visuals, etc. This solo expressed what I wanted to share with that audience at that moment in time and did not serve as a competition vehicle which perhaps may have been structured differently. I hope you enjoy.

http://usard.org/annual-con/usard-conve ... e-son.html



Jeff Prosperie


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