by H. Worth Ake
The Senior World Championship circuit, Drum Corps Associates, has had an illustrious history of 32 consecutive years of international competitions, although no title show has yet been held outside the continental USA.
DCA was organized in 1962 at Scranton, Pennsylvania under the guidance of the late, great, Henry A. Mayer, and motivated continuously down through the years by many-time DCA president, Vince Bruni. Current circuit president Michael Petrone has inspired the continuing success of the circuit.
Ed Denon’s eulogy as delivered by George Oliviero, St. Paul’s Church of Hingham,
Monday, July 24, 1995
“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and the muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.” *
It is a devastating and very sad time for us. Our long time and dear friend, Ed Denon, passed away, peacefully, Thursday, July 20. When he retired a year ago, he took even more pride in his lawn and garden area. That day, after some time doing the cutting and trimming, he came into his home, sat down and his very warm, big heart stopped.
by John Fitzgerald
Recently a contributor to the Netscape Drum Corps Newsgroup on the World Wide Web raised an interesting issue. She inquired as to what people thought was fundamentally more important in the activity, the music or the marching? This is a question I have been pondering since the end of the season, and it is, I believe, a question that merits some serious scrutiny.
As I formulate it, the question is: what is primary, the sound or the sight, music or marching? My response, as a thirty year observer of the activity, is that sound, in particular brass, is primary today. Now, before all you M & M freaks hit the ceiling, let me defend my position. To do so, it is necessary to examine a bit of drum corps history.
by Eric Reasoner
Film Scoring: the “art” of creating music for motion pictures – music that will “underscore” the dramatic moments on screen.
Drum Corps: the “art” of creating a musical and visual entertainment experience … (well, you fill in your own definition if you like).
Film scoring and Drum Corps, an interesting pair – different worlds, yet some familiar ground…opposite methods used in development, yet alike in overall intent.
Musical form and visual form, which comes first? The scene or the score, the drill or the arrangement, which one is the primary element? Good question. The answer is … it depends. Let’s see.
The Ever-Changing Face of “Excellence”
by George Oliviero
“Have We Abandoned Excellence?” was a question asked of American society and workers, in general, more than ten years ago, in an essay by Lance Morrow in Time magazine. The question is still relevant in society and is heard more and more in our activity. The story is that we are no longer as “clean” as we used to be. There is a longing for the good old days when we say precision and we knew, and the audience knew, that there were very few mistakes. How beautiful, how nostalgic: why did we ever get rid of the tick, which was the preeminent force to foster such precision?
Observations of a Drum and Bugle Corps Drummer
in the World of Fife and Drum
by Michael J. Cahill
As I grow older, I am truly amazed that I continue to learn a great deal – a fact that is astonishing considering that I was quite certain that I knew it all some 35 years ago. One of these revelations is that almost nothing is what it is for no reason. If you trace anything backwards in time, there is almost always a person or an event that starts, alters, or puts something on a path where permanence is established. Although we are told that drumming is as old as man, the adoption of the drum by the military is one of those momentous events.
By Gerry Shellmer
In my opinion, listening to a drum corps percussion section is as musically boring as a politician’s campaign speech. Imagine how interesting and musically rewarding a drum corps contest would be if the instrumentation were not limited to mere drums and cymbals. The contest would evolve into an enjoyable show and therefore a more saleable product which would realize more $$$ for the corps.
Honestly, consider the amount of musical orientation drummers receive who play in even the finer lines in the nation. Hopefully they will at least learn how to read music and play in time. They learn to play with precise execution – the snare drum, the tom tom, bass drum, cymbals and tympani. Whether or not they learn to play these instruments with the proper technique is in serious doubt.
Before a percussion student is accepted into any good music college, he must demonstrate a degree of proficiency on a keyboard mallet instrument, usually the marimba. Where does he get the training? Certainly not in the drum corps!!!