Welcome to Glenn's Blog!

Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Drum Corps Season

Well here it is drum corps season again, as I sit at my desk on a sunny Wednesday afternoon in June. I've already attended the DCI Preview in the theatres as well as the Moonlight Classic. It's the first time I've been to the Moonlight Classic, or really any major live drum corps show, in several years. I've really just been attending the theatre broadcasts since 2013. But the trend this year's shows seems to be for groups to shove massive, loud, dissonant chords in your face as much as possible. Honestly it gets a little overwhelming. I was sitting at the Moonlight thinking, this is just too loud. I mean, then amps don't help in this regard, making everything abnormally loud and mushy. I'm all for impact, but if more than half of what you do is big loud chords lacking in musical clarity, it tends to lose its effect.

Mandarins are on a tear though, looking to break the coveted top 12 for the first time ever. They have a good, solid group. Stronger than they've ever been. I think they'll certainly make 12th place, maybe even 11th. They're certainly making a lot of noise in the drum corps world; they seem to be the story everyone wants to hear about. And good for them. I did my part and bought a $35 polo shirt from their souvie booth. I felt like I should buy something, especially since I went to the show wearing a Troopers shirt. (It's not every year they come out this way, and I did like their show). But that Mandarin polo was actually the only souvenir I bought that night. Though I've since ordered some Blue Devils CD's from their website.

Anyways, the Mandarins show is just about as formulaic as everyone else's is, but it's a good show, especially in the last 3 minutes of it. I do wish the hornline got to play a little more of True Colors; a majority of it is a prerecorded dark vocal arrangement of it. And I hope they add at least some movement into the opening sequence, during the pit feature that opens the musical part of the show (it starts with a solo dancer to pre-recorded voiceovers from Stravinsky talking about the Rite of Spring). The show concept is essentially: what happens after the dancer dies in the Sacrificial Dance of the Rite of Spring. But although there's a couple of horn solos which sound reminiscent of Stravinsky, it is not a show of his music. Honestly I hope the hornline gets to play a little more in the show, and ultimately will spend a little less time running around the field doing quasi-modern dance moves (another typical DCI 'thing' in recent years). But we'll see what the next 6 weeks will hold for the development of their show.

I don't think I've ever said this before, but one of my favorite shows so far this year is from the Cavaliers. Their show is based around Ravel's Bolero, various iterations of which keep popping up throughout the course of it. Bluecoats have a pretty good show too, and a real good solo jazz vocalist. (But of course, what's a vocalist doing in drum corps?). But I digress. The next big drum corps show I'll see will be the Quarterfinals in the theatres, and that's not until August, so for now I guess I'll just be watching the scoreboards every week. Maybe I'll make it out to the Mandarins home show on July 6, though they're the only Division I corps there. We'll see, we'll see.

In the meantime it's still slow and mostly quiet at work; workshops start here on July 9, and then it will be busy and summer will fly by. Still waiting on the lighting replacement to start on our concert hall. And still got some work to do getting all of the calendar stuff officially scheduled with the University, and our website updated, and our brochures ready to go to print, and so on. Back to work!