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 Post subject: DCI Drum Line Finals Updated Again
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:52 am 
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Last night we all got to see tha corps in the final 12 World Finals do their thing, and the difference between mid July when I last saw thses corps and lines and last night was amazing.

Lets start with...

1. Troopers - The welcome back to the Troopers was emotionally moving for all of us long time drum corps fans. The field drums were energetic but nervous. This showed as the snare line dropped some consistency points on easier passages that required a little more concentration but also just being relaxed. So, for example, Troopers snares would play an intense snare passage, but then not play eighth note triplets together, which can feel slower even if it isnt. This line needs to be comfortable and focused when it takes the field and I think the return to finals was the main accomplishment this year. The book really was in stright 4/4 time for the most part and the pace of the show overall was quite manageable.

2. Blue Knights - really didnt have a particularly good night on field drums. A better drum line than the troopers but did not play up to their potential last night, also jusy dropping attacks, sistennth notes, short interior rolls etc. The pit did a nice job creating the whole shiver effect of their show. I think they had fun too and the pit played well together.

3. Glassmen - This was the first corps of the night that I felt was "on" as far as their show. They tended to be more aggressive on drums than the first two corps and played into their drums unlike the first two performances which often seemed to the heads play them. The field drums also had a fair number of inconsistencies throughout their show but I liked the energy of the line and the corps overall.

More soon for the rest of the corps......


Last edited by rysa4 on Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: DCI Drum Line Finals Updated
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:06 pm 
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Ok- Wanted to share my opinion on BD, Crown, Cadets, SCV, and Bluecoats;

1. BD won drums this year. The line was good and they played well with minimal errors really. They were great at times. The pit was very enthusiastic, and laid back, and they played their parts perfectly. For most of the time however, what was written did not require intense concentration or focus. How many cymbal hits and crashes does a pit really need to do? Agin, this is high level criticism for a good line keep in mind. I would have liked to have seen a more challenging book for the pit. But they pretty much were perfect for what they did, and it all fit musically as far as I could tell too. The field drums drummed reasonably consistently throughout the show, but still had the Kodak moment approach, were the exposed stuff was usually not done during a challenging moment of drill. They were clean overall, but not as clean as Crown or Bluecoats even in my opinion. A lot of their stuff was played in a non-exposed way, meaning while moving behind the brass or during loud brass passages. Good work though and thanks from a fan! ( me)

2. Crown- Crown came out with the most intensity of any drumline I have seen. They WANTED to be out there. They were not afraid or tight. They wanted to rip the face off of their show from start to finish. And they did. They were shaking with energy. This is the only time I have EVER seen a judge get so enthusiastic that he was standing in front of the snare line at the end of the show, shaking his BODY to their finish, after which he actually walked up to the center snare and TOOK HIS SCORESHEET and SLAMMED IT ON THE SNARE DRUM AND LEFT IT THERE AND LEFT THE FIELD!!! holy impress the judge batman! Comment- instructors-next year write a tougher snare book. They are ready.

3. Cadets- well.... As you can see from the recaps, they came in seventh in drums after battling back and forth with Crown for second late in the season, semis, quarters etc. So heres what happened. first off, they seemed a little tight out there - not relaxed intensity that you want. Not controlled intensity, but on edge. They were doing pretty well though, and they really did have the best performing and orchestrated pit this season; then, in the mid-backfield while the judge was running to get in front of them during the "Kewl", a disaster occurred. The second snare drummer from our left fell down just as they were starting a lateral line drill move. The end guy tripped on him but did not fall. The fallen snare drummer was absolutely on his back. The line adjusted but got thrown off obviously. The end snare half closed the space, and when the other drummer got back up he couldnt get back in the form ( while it was still moving mind you), until the end drummer reopened the space. It was bad. I am glad he was OK and feel badly for him for this to happen, because he will remember this for a very long time. But he will have to let this go and move on. Its harder than you think. I have been where he is, although a little less dramatically. The drumline lost to Crown by a full 1.1 points. Otherwise the HNC had a great show this year.

4. SCV - Dig the show. Dig the line. Heres the negative; the pit book was too easy, although entirely musically appropriate and perfectly performed. Anyway, you all have read my descriptive fascination with how the snare book is written; the catch is that just as their is an impressionaistic style to art, the SCV snare book is written in an interpretive fashion, instead of, lets day, the rudimental style of Phantom. There is a gray area for the drummers to interpret. The book reminds me a bit of Gavin Harrisons Rhythmic visions and his stuff with porcupine tree, where the meter is there but the musical phrasing is offset from the ends and beginnings of measures. I love this stuff because I would never be able to think it up myself! So theye are marching away and playing with this approach using long rolls with crescendos and decrescendos and then popping in rudimental phrases to match upper horn line registers. WHEN YOU BUY THE DVD< CHECK OUT THE DRUM FEATURE. when they actually get to standstill? best single most impressive drumline moment of the night. Period. Really great year for them. Defiently an emotional experience. Congrats to this corps.

5. BLUECOATS This was my top line for this year; again, this is the corps that does the best job at writing pit and field as a single score. Its getting to be a rule with these guys. The other corps are written separaetely for the most part to fit the score. Demand at all parts of percussion was very very high; bass drums, quads, mallets, snares. Everybody got featured and everybody rocked. Not quite as clean as Crown--but a very highly advanced state of musicality and writing. I could go on and on about moments I saw in this show from these guys--but just get the DVD and enjoy them and their music.


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 Post subject: Re: DCI Drum Line Finals Updated Again
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Well I thought I would take a moment and review Phantom and Blue Stars as far as percussion and drums.

1. Blue Stars - so this corps had a good year didn't they? Tom Aungst wrote their snare book and it sounded like his stuff too. ( also the rest of the line). He came in and worked with them on technical performance near the end of the season which gave some improvement in this area of scoring as well. The problem I saw was that there really weren't very many moments of slower performance by the pit for musical expression. The percussion parts seemed to have been written in one gear in essence. The drum line members were pretty aggressive and energetic in their performance I thought, but had a higher level of inconsistencies than the corps that came in ahead of them. It takes time to move into the top tier of drumlines and, hopefully, the Blue Stars are on their way. Given the strengths of the corps and its rehearsal in Indianapolis, they may attract more talent, but in the end, really may need better continuous technical instruction to move to the next level.

2. Phantom- This drumline performed very very well in all areas. I heard maybe four or five moments of fuzzy imperfections in the snare line in the whole show, and the snares played almost continuously as well. The parts are highly technical rudimental writing and like I said, they pretty much smoked their book. The corps and drumline is almost moving into "27th Lancers" syndrome, where as the rest of the corps recedes a bit, the snare line talent sticks out almost to the point of the snare parts seeming to be overwritten. I said almost, because the hornline for Phantom is pretty darn good. Its hard to know where this corps and drumline will go over the coming years. Its going to be tricky to get them back up to the top and will require a lot of synergy at the managerial and staff level.


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