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WGI temporarily suspends Video Zone
Due to ongoing copyright compliance concerns, Winter Guard International has suspended the Zone until all the necessary requirements to stream performances have been obtained.
Last year Winter Guard International started the WGI Video Zone, a free video service on YouTube that replaced the WGI Fan Network. Due to ongoing copyright compliance concerns, the organisation had to take thw Video Zone down. Fans who visit wgizone.com now only see a short message from WGI.
"WGI is dedicated to following all aspects of copyright law regarding the sharing of video media and is diligently working to find a solution for our performers and fans", WGI states. "It remains our goal to bring you fully licensed performances for all marching arts enthusiasts to enjoy in the very near future."
Kidsgrove Scouts are 2016 WGUK Open Class champions
The Kidsgrove Scouts were crowned Open Class Champion 2016 at Winter Guard United Kingdom in Stoke on Trent last Satudray. The guard takes the title from the Southern Knights, who came second this year.
With their show 'Elastic Heart', the Kidsgrove Scouts had an undefeated season in the Open Class and scored 82.20 points during the Finals, more than five points ahead of the runners up Southern Knights (76.95). Northern Academy finished third in Finals, going from 3.35 to 1.25 points behind the number two. The Avengers finished fourth (69.60).
In the World Class, Mayflower was the sole participant and scored 84.60 points. They have since traveled to Dayton where they are performing their show 'Excess Baggage' in the Independent World Class of Winter Guard International in Dayton - Ohio. The other WGUK champions this year are the Southern Knights (A Class, 87.10), the Anchormen (Junior Class, 89.30) and South West Academy (Cadet Class, 86.50).
Scores and recaps can be found at www.wguk.org.uk.
Besana Secutores run brass clinic with Bluecoats’ caption head
Besana Secutores Drum and Bugle Corps will be running a brass clinic featuring Derek Gipson, the Bluecoats’ brass caption head. The clinic is open to all drum corps and marching band brass players who are interested in developing and improving his technical skills and knowledge.
The event is supported by Italia Marching Show Bands (IMSB), and will take place Sunday 17th April from 2.00 pm to 6.30 p, at the E. Perego Sports Centre in Besana, Brianza, at the address Vvia De Gasperi 89. Derek Gipson will also be in Milan on 15th and 16th April in order to work with the 'Unity show project' hornline.
The staff of Besana Secutores saw a great opportunity for the Italian marching activity to have an open event in order to give any brass player, belonging to any group, the opportunity to join in the activity and get a closer look into the drum corps world.
Although the group was born only last year, the Unity show project has already taken part at the Italian IMSB Championship and at the Drum Corps Europe Championships. The project is the result of the joint venture of Mosson Drum & Bugle Corps, Besana Secutores Drum & Bugle corps, yMe Indoor Percussion and Anima Color Guard.
More information on the clinic can be found on the Facebook pages of the Besana Secutores, Mosson and the Unity show project. There is also an offical event page on Facebook.
Mayflower plans live streams during WGI trip
Maflower Winterguard will enter the WGI World Championships next week. The plan is to do several live streams during the trip.
Mayflower appreciates the support from fans and friends back home and across the world so as they prepare to return to Dayton and the 2016 WGI World Championships. The winter guard will update fans in several ways. When signal allows, they will be broadcasting parts of the trip on Periscope (with the account @mayflowerwg).
Also, the guard will be keeping a blog. (Fans can relive the guard's 2013 trip by rereading the 2013 blog.) And lastly Mayflower will be posting daily video and photos on their Facebook page and Twitter.
Troopers present new, lighter uniform
The Troopers will have new uniforms this year. The new look will be lighter, with rolled up sleeves.
"We had to re-brand and create a new look for the Troopers," Raiford said. "Something that moves us forward." The overall palette is lighter, starting with the cream hats and jackets. The light-blue sleeves are rolled up. Multiplied by 120 musicians, the overall look is calculated to provide greater visual contrast between the drill forms and the green field than was possible in darker uniforms."
At the same time, Raiford said, "We wanted it to feel human, accessible. We were looking for the human quality of it, with clear nods to history." About that history: no matter how much a uniform may change, it needs to be instantly recognizable, Raiford added. "When people see it, we want them to say, 'Who the...?' And then, 'It has to be Troopers.' A moment of intrigue, followed by instant identification."
Sensation is the new CGN Open Class champion
Sensation is Color Guard Netherlands Open Class champion of 2016. The group from Amersfoort peaked at exactly the right time in Almere - the Netherlands, on Saturday. They won by the smallest possible margin, beating The Pride of the Netherlands.
The Open Class Finals were promising to be a real thriller, with only 0.5 points between the number one, The Pride of the Netherlands, and number two, Sensation Performance Ensemble. In the evening, Sensation caught up on its deficit, and scored 83.60 points. Their show 'Angels of Hope' received the highest score from the judges. The Pride of the Netherlands came second by a margin of 0.1 points with its show 'M.C. Escher: Images of Mathematics'. Third place went to Beatrix, their show 'The Queen’s Unsound Mind' was set to the music of Queen and received a score of 71.55.
In the top of the A-Class, the differences were also minor. The coveted champions flag went to The Pride A. The show 'The Bucket List' received 78.745 points from the double judging panel and they finished in first place. Second place went to Avant Courir A. The show about two worlds was awarded 76.205 points. The French guard Red Light became champion in both the Regional A Class and the Cadet Class. The 2Xtreme Kids won the Kids Class.
The Pride won the Junior Class. The performance of heir show 'A Day in the Park' obtained a monster score, the highest ever in Color Guard Netherlands: 99.64 points. Second place went to Passie Junior.
37th Kingswood ceases operation
37th Kingswood Drum Corps have made the difficult decision to cease to operate as a competitive corps and a performance ensemble with immediate effect. The corps made the announcement on their Facebook page.
"We have had a really good run since our inauguration back in the 60s, and so many youngsters have benefitted from being a part of our group and of the drum corps activity", the corps states on their Facebook page.
"But all good things eventually come to an end. We would like to pass on our very best wishes to all of our marching members (past and present), to the army of volunteers and to all of our friends and competitors across the drum corps movement nationally and internationally."
Initial show entries for DCUK 2016 contests announced
Following the announcement last month advising details of the 2016 Drum Corps United Kingdom contest locations has published details of the initial show entries for each of these events.
The Kidsgrove Scouts, The Company and Beeches will be competing in all four contests in the Open Class. In Leicester, the British drum corps organisation is welcoming a guest corps from abroad: Spirit of 52 from Rastede - Germany will be the first German corps ever to participate in a British contest.
The list of participants may not yet be complete. Corps can still register. The list of initial show entries can be found here.
Thurrock Marching Brass shift to winter direction
Thurrock Marching Brass have announced that their new Winter Theatre will be performing at the Indoor Music Games/Soundsport Forest of Dean show on Saturday 30th April 2016.
The shift in winter direction has meant that the staff and members have been able to have fun putting together what they hope proves to be a well paced, fun and entertaining program for everyone to enjoy. The programme is called 'Under New Management' and extends the storyline of the original Bugsy Malone smash hit motion picture starting with a last night at Fat Sam's speak easy, where it is then auctioned off to new management. The audition process then takes over for acts that will hit the first night under new management and a finale that brings all the fun elements together.
The show includes 5 acts: 'Last Night at Fat Sam's', 'Tomorrow', 'The Auction', 'The Auditions' and 'Under New Management'. The young members of Thurrock Marching Brass and the Thurrock Academy Colourguard look forward to making you smile, laugh and engage with their new program.
UK Fan Network reaches milestone
The number of subscribers to the all new UK Fan Network has now passed the total signed up to the original version. The new version was launched at the end of 2015.
To celebrate this milestone, all the paid subscribers as at 31st March 2016 will be automatically entered into prize draw at the beginning April with the first name out the hat winning a 6 months extension to their Fan Network access plus a choice of either the 2016 Winter Guard United Kingdom or 2016 Drum Corps United Kingdom DVD (when released).
The UK Fan Network is managed by Marching & Performing Arts UK and features over 1,500 Drum Corps UK and Winter Guard UK videos dating from the early 1980's right up to the present day. Subscription for a full 12 months access starts from only £9.99.
DCI Open Class continues to bloom with new corps evaluating
Four organisations from across the United States have applied to participate as Open Class units on the 2016 Drum Corps International Tour. The prospective groups include Shadow of Oregon, Wisconsin, Indy Ignition of Indianapolis, the Battalion of Salt Lake City and Horizon of Odessa, Texas.
The applications of these groups comes at a time when Drum Corps International’s Open Class division has been experiencing year-over-year growth. In the last six years, 17 new or re-emerging corps have performed at DCI Tour events.
Open Class Coordinator David Eddleman credits this continued growth to a number of factors including objectives in Drum Corps International’s business plan to engage students in the drum corps experience in addition to the success of DCI’s SoundSport and DrumLine Battle programs which serve as a low-cost, low-barrier entry points for startup teams. He also acknowledges a strong sense of community among current Open Class corps to provide mentorship and support to first-year groups.
“New corps these days are starting using a number of models”, Eddleman says. “One is as a scholastic organization associated with a high school or university. Another is using equipment borrowed from schools in order to keep initial capital expenditure spending to a minimum. Some groups have started as an outgrowth of a winter guard, drum line or SoundSport team.”
Well attended Scandinavian IPE Regional
Last Sunday, more than 600 spectators witnessed the fifth edition of the IPE Scandinavian Percussion Regional. "A huge success", Indoor Percussion Europe said.
With a score of 75.50 Nuclear Devils from Denmark took first place in the Concert Percussion Class, two points ahead of Göteborg Drum Corps (73.50). Third place went to Hule Sharks (71.25), and Mölnlycke Drum Corps came fourth (61.75). Mölndal Drum Corps ended in fifth place (55.25). Gislaved Drum Corps took first place in the A-Class (76.83). GOT Motion was the only competing unit in the Open Class and scored 74.17.
The Scandinavian contest was the only IPE event this year. The IPE Championships have been cancelled due to a lack of registered percussion ensembles.
Laura Pickton appointed Assistant Corps Director at TMB
Laura Pickton has been appointed as Assistant Corps Director to Jay Lindner, Corps Director of Thurrock Marching Brass. She succeeds Cheryl Corcoran whose time has been pressed due to work and family commitments. Cheryl will remain an important part of TMB.
Laura has been with TMB for a good number of years as both front line instructor, musician and drum major. She has also enjoyed performing within Thurrock Academy’s A Guard. Laura has worked in secondary schools as a music technician, teaching music and has a background in technical theatre, drama and music and has provided additional services in her capacity as a freelance theatre technician, actress, prop maker and composer. Her work has been utilised in film, TV, music videos and video games and she will be appearing in a mainstream BBC 1 drama series being aired in 2017.
Speaking of her new appointment Laura comments: “When I joined TMB’s front line music staff all those years ago I had no idea just how rich and diverse the opportunities would be for me. The members here are amazingly talented and I firmly believe that music will enhance all of their lives going forwards. The shift to the Winter Theatre production has brought the opportunity to further develop the members musically and to encourage staff to also develop their own skills, and what a fun time we are all having with it so far. I would like to thank Jay Lindner for placing his faith in me for this important role and Cheryl Corcoran for all she has done previously too and I will be doing my best to step into these shoes and to help the TMB family continue to push forwards in a positive and fun way.”
Corps Director Jay Lindner adds: “First of all thank you to Cheryl Corcoran who has done an outstanding job. We all know too well the constraints on time and I am glad that Cheryl has been able to still stay with us and to continue to help in any way that her time will allow. Secondly, Laura’s appointment just solidifies for me a recognition for someone who has worked tirelessly for all our young members over a number of years. Her dedication to the program, to the musical development and above all to our young members is evident for all to see and I couldn’t be any more pleased to have her by my side as we carve out new paths together here at TMB to provide what I hope to be brilliant experiences for everyone involved. Congratulations Laura and your appointment.”
Wölper Löwen pay tribute to firemen
With this year’s new show 'Guardian Angel', the Wölper Löwen pay tribute to the firemen and women around the world who risk their lives on a daily basis. The theme was chosen for a reason: the corps itself is part of a fire service.
The Wölper Löwen call it a very personal theme. The drum & bugle corps from Neustadt am Rübenberghe was established as (and remains to this day) part of the Freiwillige Feuerwehr (the voluntary fire service). The show 'Guardian Angel' will explore the full spectrum of emotions, from a tragic death to a heroic rescue and any other issues that firefighters encounter in their work.
The music in the show includes tracks from the movies 'Backdraft' and 'The Perfect Storm'.
Spirit of 52 to participate in DCUK
This year, Spirit of 52 from Rastede will be taking part in contests in no less than three countries. As well as Germany and the Netherlands, the DCE Premier Class finalist will also make an appearance in the UK, where they will be participating in the DCUK Leicester show.
In the past, Spirit of 52 has made appearances in Canada, Poland, France and Denmark. Now England has been added to that list. Prior to the DCUK contest, the corps is working on English soil to perfect the show 'Out of the Dark?'. The rehearsal location is close to London, and on the Saturday before the show, the corps has therefore made time for a visit to the British capital.
Aside from DCUK, Spirit of 52 has also registered for the competition at Drum Corps Netherlands, the Rasteder Musiktage and the DCE European Championships. The corps from Rastede is making the most of the European Music Games 2016.
Indoor Music Games and Soundsport get underway in Dublin
The first in the European series of the Indoor Music Games and Soundsport took place in Alexandra College, Dublin on Saturday February 27th. The Irish Winterguard Championships took place on the same day.
An opening ceremony took place with Irish Marching Bands Association (IMBA) chairperson Oisin Molloy welcoming everyone and reading a message from DCI Executive Director Daniel Acheson who had sent a note to the participants and organizers. Drum Corps Europe’s IMG and Soundsport coordinator Andy Hewlett officially opened the games along with two of the youngest performing members on the day.
There were eleven units in total taking part over the three competitions. The Soundsport category brought fantastic variety to the day. Celtic Crusaders Drumline opened with a Daft Punk themed performance, followed by Sheilaghs Ukelele School band and The Flukey Ukes who performed for the first time at an IMBA event. Tallaght Youth Band performed an indoor marching routine, while Knights Academy Brass performed a more loose big band style show, including Jessie J’s “Bang Bang” which received a great reception from the audience at the packed sports and theatre facility in Alexandra College.
Vikings Drum Corps, Inbhear Mor Performance ensemble and Blue Barons took part in the IMG Premier Class, while the Winterguard Championships saw performances from Celtic Crusaders Colourguard, Infinity and Winter Festival.
The IMBA council members also surprised the audience with a performance of Abba music. In their introduction it was noted that the performance was to mark the ethos of Soundsport and its open nature which allows for all skill levels and ensemble types.
Celtic Crusaders Drumline: Bronze award
Sheilaghs Ukelele School Band: Silver award
The Flukey Ukes: Bronze award
Tallaght Youth Band: Silver award
Knights Academy Brass: Silver award
Soundsport Best in show award: Knights Academy Brass
Irish Winterguard Championships
1. Winter Festival (67.21)
2. Celtic Crusaders (46.01)
3. Infinity (45.58)
Indoor Music Games Premier Class
1. Blue Barons (70.05)
2. Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble (61.45)
3. Vikings Drum Corps (57.55)
Record number of European show events
This year, more show events than ever are scheduled by the collaborating organisations within the European Music Games. In addition to the summer events there are now also four shows in the context of the Indoor Music Games/SoundSport, starting today in Dublin.
Normally, the competition season starts at the end of May, but with the advent of the Indoor Music Games, the first competition already taking place today. Nine groups will appear on the floor in Dublin at the first Indoor Music Games/SoundSport show. Over a period of seven months, a total of eighteen events will take place in Ireland, the Netherlands, England, Scotland and Germany.
The full list of the Indoor Music Games/SoundSport and the European Music Games can be found here. Names of participants will be added no later than a few weeks before the event.
A word from DCI Director Dan Acheson to Europe
With only a few days to go before the 2016 Indoor Music Games/SoundSport kick off, DCI Executive Director Daniel Acheson sent a note to the participants and organizers.
"It is with great pleasure that I offer my congratulations to all of the participants and organizers of the Indoor Music Games/SoundSport series. Drum Corps International (DCI) is proud to be a part of a global community that embraces the pursuit of excellence through the performance of music, marching, and dance. It is through this life transforming experience that we all connect in a unique and positive way. The Indoor Music Games/SoundSport series is an outstanding example to us all of the positive impact on both performers and fans when two great associations such as Drum Corps International and Drum Corps Europe combine forces to grow the activity.
DCI is delighted to be sharing our SoundSport program with our international partners as we set out to engage the next generation of marching music students and enthusiasts globally. Through increased accessibility and opportunities for all people, it is our hope that this initiative will bring the World together with new and exciting productions and events.
DCI congratulates all of the participants, music educators, instructors and organizers for your dedication and tireless effort. We are grateful too that family and friends surround you in the audience as well as on the journey that brings you to the Indoor Music Games/SoundSport series. Your passion to achieve your goals through your outstanding performances is an inspiration to us all.
Embrace the moment and enjoy the celebration!
Daniel E. Acheson
Executive Director, CEO"
Indoor Music Games: www.drumcorpseurope.org/img
Interview with Cinderford Academy’s Clive Lewis
As well as participating in the Indoor Music Games/SoundSport competition this year, Cinderford Academy will host their own IMG event. Drum Corps Europe asked Clive Lewis, Bandmaster of Cinderford, about their participation in SoundSport 2016.
Clive explained that "The Cinderford Academy Band was formed in 2006 as a feeder band for the Cinderford Town Band, which was formed in 1879. The CAB has entered many contests and engagements in the past ten years, and has achieved a high musical standard. My goal is to train players to achieve excellence to the highest musical level they can." Band members regularly sit their musical grade exams, taught by Clive and assisted by his wife Rose, who also teaches piano.
Commenting on the bands involvement with IMG, Clive said "Last year the band entered the Soundsport contest in Bristol on the recommendation of Andy Hewlett, one of our bass players. We were a little apprehensive about entering because the contest is a little bit out of our normal comfort zone. But we need not have worried, the band and myself, enjoyed the experiance and everyone made us very welcome."
Cinderford Academy received a Silver Award at Bristol and also played the other groups back on at the end of the event for the retreat. Clive added "We certainly got a great reception from the audience and DCI's John De Novi came over to me to compliment us on our sound. I was particularly please to be awarded with the Gold prize in the music caption, so I hope that we can build on this for 2016."
This year Cinderford will bring SoundSport to their heartland in the Forest of Dean, with an IMG show in Lydney. Clive commented "We think this is something that could prove popular with local brass bands, particularly the training and youth bands, as it gives them an additional performance opportunity in an entertaining and friendly environment. The CAB and myself were looked after very well at the Bristol Contest and we made many new friends, so I'm looking forward to welcoming them to the Forest."
Cinderford Academy have yet to announce their forthcoming SoundSport program, but Clive added that "Our performance for 2016 has a 'nautical' theme. We hope you enjoy it!"
BYBA extends over 25 limit from 5 to 10 members
The British Youth Band Association will increase the number of overage members in a unit competing in BYBA from 5 to 10 for the 2016 season. The rule change is in for the 2016 season.
A maximum of 10 members per band who have reached their 26th Birthday, by the 31st October, in the year in which they compete, will be permitted to compete on any one occasion. The drum major can be 1 of the 10 members. The Associate Division and the Traditional Class has no upper age restriction. This rule does not apply to Cadet Division bands.
BYBA, through its member bands, recognise that recruitment in some areas of the country sees limited success in bringing a small proportion of new members into bands. This means bands have to look towards older members and instructors to march to help support inexperienced members to ensure an entertaining routine can be achieved.
Alongside this, more people over the age of 25 want to continue to march, or try marching for the first time, and this means some will go over the 5 over 25 members. Bands can now march a further 5 individuals over the age of 25 to a maximum of 10 members.
BYBA will review this rule at the end of the 2016 season and will present further options to the membership on age restrictions which could help mould future seasons and which will in turn help carve out future class structures.