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Drumcorps FAQ 5/6 Miscellaneous info.

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Archive-name: drumcorps-faq/part5
Last-modified: 1997/1/31

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for rec.arts.marching.drumcorps
Part 5 of 6   Miscellaneous drum corps information; Joining a corps, 
winter camps

Table of Contents:

1.0 What is drum corps?
        1.0.1    DCI and DCA
        1.0.2    Drum Corps International
        1.0.3    Drum Corps World
        1.0.4    scorelines

1.1 Drum corps on-line
        1.1.1    History of drum corps on-line
        1.1.2    Rec.arts.marching.drumcorps
        1.1.3    Drumcorps digest
        1.1.4    FTP and WWW site
        1.1.5    Cybercorps
        1.1.6    Drum Corps Web Sites

1.2 Audio and video recordings and books
        1.2.1    compact discs and cassettes
        1.2.2    videos 
        1.2.3    books

2.0 DCI corps' addresses
        2.0.1 Open class corps
        2.0.2 Div. II/III corps
        2.0.3 DCA corps are listed in Part 6 of the FAQ
        2.0.4 Future Corps

3.1 1997 tentative drumcorps music
3.2 1997 drum corps tour schedule

4.0 Historical Information
        4.1 Previous DCI Champions
        4.2 1992 DCI Scores
        4.3 1993 DCI Information
                 4.3.1 Corps repertoires
                 4.3.2 Scores
                 4.3.3 Individual and Ensemble scores
                 4.3.4 DCA Finals scores
                 4.3.5 RAMD Readers Final Poll
        4.4 1994 DCI Information
                 4.4.1 DCI Championships in Boston
                 4.4.2 SEASON Final poll
                 4.4.3 RAMD Final Reader's Poll
                 4.4.4 Corps' repertoires in 1994
        4.5 1995 DCI Information
                 4.5.1 DCI Championships in Buffalo
                 4.5.2 SEASON Final poll
                 4.5.3 RAMD Final Reader's Poll
                 4.5.4 Corps' repertoires in 1995
        4.6 1996 DCI Information
                 4.6.1 DCI Championships in Orlando
                 4.6.2 SEASON Final poll
                 4.6.3 RAMD Final Reader's Poll
                 4.6.4 Corps' repertoires in 1996

5.0  The words "drum corps"
5.1  Number of members allowed
5.2  Corps' budgets
5.3  Fundraising
5.4  How far do the corps travel?  How many competitions?  How long is
         the season?  When are the Championships?
5.5  How can I catch the Championships on TV?
5.6  How does the judging work?
5.7  What is a legal bugle?
5.8  What kind of percussion is allowed?
5.9  What is the "pit area"?
5.10 How long is each show?
5.11 What are all those strange abbreviations and/or nicknames people
          keep using when writing about drum corps?
5.12 Why do people keep misspelling things?
5.13 How to join a drum corps                    
5.14 Rehearsal information           
5.15 Where to get music for wind ensemble

6.0  DCA and the Senior corps.
        6.1  Drum Corps Associates (DCA)
                6.1.1  The DCA Story
                6.1.2  Corps listing
        6.2  Parade Corps
                6.2.1  Ballad of the Unsung Heros
                6.2.2  Corps listing
        6.3  Rehearsals
        6.4  Fallen Comrades
                6.4.1 Folded Corps
                6.4.2 MIA Corps
        6.5  DCA Champions
        5.0 The words "drum corps"

        Usage note: "drum corps" (singular) can refer to a particular drum 
corps (e.g. "I haven't seen a drum corps in years.") or it can refer to the
entire activity (e.g. "The future of drum corps looks promising."). It
also can be used as an adjective (e.g. "I'm going to the next drum corps
show in the area."). The plural "drum corps" only refers to greater than
one drum corps.

        "Corps" is pronounced like KOR (like the word "core"). The plural 
of "corps" is spelled "corps", but is pronounced KORZ. The most frequent
error in spelling "corps" is to leave off the 's'.

5.1 Number of members allowed
        The number of members allowing depends on the Class that the corps 
is competing in. The Open Class corps may field up to 128 performers
(including the drum majors). This number comes from the fact that
when the rule was devised, this was the average number of people that
could fit on three buses. The idea was to minimize the travelling
costs for the corps. Division II corps may field up to 90 people and 
Division III corps may field up to 60 members.
    These are the formal differences between the classes of drum
corps, but in reality the Open Class corps tend to be the ones that
attract the better instructors, go on longer tours, and generally
perform better, while the Division II and III corps tend to be more
oriented towards being a youth activity. Note that these are
generalities so that any particular corps could be anywhere in the
spectrum of youth activity or innovators in performance art.

5.2 Corps' budgets
        Typical numbers for an Open Class corps are $250,000 to $500,000
per year. This amount largely depends on how far they travel during
the season, how expensive the props and uniforms are for the year, and
what kind of staff they hire.
        Division II and III corps spend much less than these amount
(probably much less than $100,000) because they tend to travel only
locally or for shorter periods of time. Also, because they are
smaller, the cost to produce a show is smaller.

5.3 Fundraising
        Since drum corps are not associated with any school (typically
they are non-profit corporations), they must do their own fund-raising.
        Fund-raising activities include all sorts of events. The
Bluecoats from Canton, OH, for example, hold a mini-car race in downtown 
Canton which raises all sorts of money (as well as publicizing the corps 
name). Funds also come from corps membership fees, as they are called.
Fees can range between $200-$1,000 depending on the corps (if you
calculate that out, that could be as much as $50,000).
        The Blue Devils from Concord, CA, take in about 70% of their $1.5
million operating funds from bingo (the $1.5 million goes to 7
different performing groups in the Blue Devils organization).
        Prize money is another source of income. The top corps get
something like $2500 per performance, which adds up to about $75,000
total in a season. Many corps sponsor their own shows, which raises
some more money. Donations and boosters also contribute to the money needed.

5.4 How far do the corps travel? How many competitions? How long is
the season? When are the Championships?
        A typical Open Class corps travels somewhere between 10,000 and
15,000 miles during the season, performing in 25 to 35 shows in an
eight or nine week period. The season usually begins in the second
week in June (the eastern corps tend to start a little later) and
culminates in the DCI World Championships, which are held on the second
or third Saturday in August. In 1995, Finals will be held in Buffalo, 
NY on August 12th.

5.5 How can I catch the Championships on TV?
        In past years, PBS would broadcast the tape that DCI makes of the
Championships (DCI produced two tapes: one of the live show and a highlights 
film). Each PBS station had the option not to broadcast it or not.
        For the 1994 season, DCI has announced that they will not produce
a live video for broadcast on PBS. Instead, there will be closed circuit 
sites scattered across the country where people can go to watch the four hour 
DCI Finals broadcast. DCI is planning to produce a two hour highlights video 
that will be made avaiable to PBS stations later in the fall.

5.6 How does the judging work?
    For 1994, DCI has moved from a nine judge system to a seven judge
system. There will be 4 music judges and 3 visual judges broken down 
as follows:

GE music                20 points
GE visual               20 points
Ensemble music          15 points
Ensemble visual         15 points
Percussion performance  10 points
Brass performance       10 points
Visual performance      10 points

        The most noticable changes are that visual captions are worth 45 
points, up from the previous 35 points allocated under the old system. The
GE music and Ensemble music judges will be each be judging the merits of both
percussion and brass lines.

5.7 What is a legal bugle?
        For competitive purposes (i.e. at DCI competitions), a bugle is
defined as follows: "By the word `bugle' as used herein is meant a
straight bell-front brass instrument pitched in the key of G. All
instruments shall have no more than three (3) valves except for the
contrabass bugle, which may have four (4)."
        This is quoted from Drum Corps World (January, 1990) which quotes
the rule book (Rule 4.3.1). This rule was passed at the 1989 DCI
Rules Congress. The rule used to say exactly the same thing, except
that all instruments (even contrabasses) could have only two (2) valves.
        There is an interesting history to what was allowed on the field.
At first only valveless bugles were allowed. Then one-valved, piston-rotor, 
and then two-valved were allowed, in that order. In fact, there used to be 
only soprano bugles until the baritone bugle, mellophone bugle, French horn 
bugle, and the contrabass were invented.

5.8 What kind of percussion is allowed?
        Rule 4.1.1:  "All acoustic percussion membrane and keyboard
instruments (those not needing electricity to generate sound) are legal."
        Rule 4.1.2: "Percussion keyboard instruments may use resonators.
A self-contained motor that is battery-powered is permitted to be used
on vibraphones only. This motor is not to be used for amplification,
but rather to produce a vibrato effect by turning the resonator
propellers. Electric amplification is not allowed."

5.9 What is the "pit area"?
        It is the area between the 35 yard lines on the front side line
ten feet deep (outside the playing field, toward the audience). Basically, 
this area is an extension of the field. Any piece of equipment can be 
brought into or out of the pit area to or from the "normal" playing field.
        Corps typically use this area to place stationary percussion
instruments, such as chimes, keyboard instruments, tympani, gongs,
etc. It is also used sometimes to store color guard equipment. Some
drill writers have used the pit area for performers to march through.

5.10 How long is each show?
        Each corps' performance is supposed to last between 10 and 11 1/2
minutes. There is a 0.1 point penalty for each 6 seconds above or below 
these limits. A typical show consisting of 7 corps will last about three 
hours.  Usually, the winner of the show will do an encore performance while
standing still (i.e. not marching). These kinds of performances are 
known as standstill performances.

5.11 What are all those strange abbreviations and/or nicknames people
keep using when writing about drum corps?

        It's a lot easier to use an abbreviation or nickname than to have
to type the entire corps name every time. Here is a short table of

    'Coats or BC = Bluecoats (Canton, OH)
    BD = Blue Devils (Concord, CA)
    BK = Blue Knights
    Boston or BAC (Bad Ass Crusaders?) = Boston Crusaders (Boston, MA)
    Cadets or Garfield or CBC = Cadets of Bergen County (Hackensack, NJ)
      (they used to be called the Garfield Cadets until 1989)
    Cavies = Cavaliers (Rosemont, IL)
    G-Men = Glassmen
    MS or Madison or Scouts = Madison Scouts (Madison, WI)
    Magic = Magic of Orlando (Orlando, FL)
    PR or Phantom = Phantom Regiment (Rockford/Loves Park, IL)
    SCV or Vanguard = Santa Clara Vanguard (Santa Clara, CA)
    Sky = Sky Ryders (Shawnee, KS, TX)
    Spirit = Spirit of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
    Star = Star of Indiana (Bloomington, IN)
    Suncoast = Suncoast Sound (Pinillas Park, FL)
    VK or Velvet = Velvet Knights (Anaheim, CA)
    X-Men = Crossmen
    27 = the 27th Lancers (a former open class corps from Revere, MA 
                              now an alumni corps)
  In DCA:
    Cabs = Caballaroes
    Sky = Skyliners
    Emp. or Empire = Empire Statesmen
    Buccs = Reading Buccaneers

  Other abbreviations include:
    contra = contrabass bugle
    bari or bary = baritone bugle
    sop = soprano bugle
    DM = drum major
    GE = general effect

5.12 Why do people keep misspelling things?

Here is a small set of things people commonly misspell.

    Bluecoats (the corps from Canton, OH)
    Sky Ryders (the corps from DeSoto, TX)
    drum corps (TWO words)
    corps (singular, pronounced "CORE")
    corps (plural, pronounced "CORZ")
    corps' (possessive, pronounced "CORZ")

    There is no such word 'corp'.

5.13  How to join a drum corps                     Donald Chinn

        My experience with drum corps has been basically as a spectator.
However, I did march in high school marching band (so I have *some*
appreciation for how hard the stuff that drum corps do really is :-).
Anyway, here's the extent of my knowledge on how to get involved.

        Junior corps (Blue Devils, Phantom Regiment, etc.) march people who
are 21 or younger. A person "ages out" of corps when they become 22. You 
can legally march at the DCI Championships if you do not turn 22
until after June 1st of a given compeitive season. 

        If you are 22 or older, then you can still play in a Senior 
drum corps. Senior drum corps are governed by DCA (Drum Corps Associates).

        If you are still under 22, then the typical way to get involved in
drum corps is to contact a drum corps directly. So the big decision
is: "Which drum corps should I join?"  It depends. If you want to
have a reasonable chance at winning the championships, then joining
the Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguard, Cadets of Bergen County,
Phantom Regiment, Star of Indiana, the Cavaliers, or Madison Scouts is
the thing to do. If you want to be more involved in a smaller group
(or less well-known), you can try some of the 13th-26th place corps,
or even a Class A or Class A-60 corps.

        It seems to me, the things to consider are location, size of the
corps, style of music, and reputation of the corps, and the chance at
winning it all. For example, if you like jazz, then the Blue Devils
is probably where you want to be. If you like classical, then Phantom
is the place to be. WARNING: Tryouts for the top corps can be very
tough, since everyone wants to be a part of a winning corps.

        There are basically 4 drum corps associations related to DCI that
handle the corps in their region. These are DCE, DCM, DCS, and DCW (Drum
Corps East, Midwest, South, and West, respectively). To find out what corps
are in what association, you can contact the associations directly.
See the section on "Drum corps associations" for phone numbers.

DCI's address and phone is:
    Box 548
    Lombard, IL 60148
    (708) 495-9866

        There are also a slew of other smaller drum corps associations:
Eastern Massachusetts, Drum Corps New York, etc. You can probably ask
DCI if you want more info on them.

        To join a corps, call up one of the associations and find out where
the nearest corps in your area are. Or, contact a corps directly (see
"Current active corps", part 2).

        Rehearsals usually begin in the fall (this is certainly true of
the top corps). I suspect that when rehearsals begin largely depends
on how much money the corps has. During the winter, rehearsals mostly
consist of camps held on the weekends (once or twice a month in the
fall and more frequently as winter and spring roll around). However,
not everyone shows up to these camps, especially if they would have to
fly 1000 miles to go to one. This is one reason to join a corps close
to where you will be living.
        The corps you join would provide you with an instrument, probably
with some safety deposit on it. Also, most corps require that you pay a 
fee to join the corps. This is to compensate for uniform cleaning, 
equipment, food, etc. This fee can be very cheap or very steep anywhere 
from $200 to $1,000).
        When summer arrives (late May, early June), then things really
pick up. Rehearsals can last up to 10 hours a day (or more), and the
sun beats down unmercifully. Tan lines on the feet are not uncommon.

        Corps travel thousands of miles each summer, and the bus rides 
can be as long as 12 hours. Usually, you roll into some town at 1am and
sleep in their high school gym for 8 hours or so (you bring a sleeping
bag!). Food is usually prepared by volunteers for the corps. Then
you rehearse in the day, do a show (or do laundry), and the cycle
repeats. There are numerous parties, as well.

5.14  Rehearsal information                   Paul D. Herzog

        I marched four years (1986-1988 Colts, 1989 Bergen County) and am 
asked one question more than any other: What is a corps' rehearsal 
schedule like, both in camps and on the road?

        A corps consistently has their first rehearsal around the weekend after
Thanksgiving. This camp has little actual rehearsal, and is used for the
corps' veterans to re-acquaint and for the rookies to the get the feel of the
activity as a whole. The actual camp schedule afterward will usually be:

     - 1 camp in January
     - 1 camp in February
     - 1 camp in March
     - 1 (perhaps 2) camps in April
     - 2 camps in May

Most top 12 corps require all members to be "moved in" by Memorial Day 
camp, after which daily (or at least multiple times per week) rehearsals 
start.  A typical camp varies from corps to corps, but nearly all corps 
have a camp from Friday evening to Sunday is an 
example schedule from a top-25 and a top-5 corps:

  Top 25                                    Top 5
  ======                                    =====
  6-8:30 PM     Members arrive              6-8:30 PM 
  8:30-9        Welcome from director       8:30-9
  9-12 AM       Sectional rehearsal         9-1 AM
  12-1          Snack                       1-2 AM
  1 AM          Lights Out                  2 AM

  8:30 AM       Get Up/Breakfast            8 AM
  9:30-10       Calistenics/stretching      9-9:30
  10-1 PM       M & M                       9:30-2 PM
  1-2           Lunch                       2-3
  2-6 PM        Sectionals                  3-8 PM
  6-7           Dinner                      8-9
  7-11 PM       Ensemble rehearsal          9-2 AM
  11-12 AM      Snack                       2-3
  12 AM         Lights Out                  3 AM 

  8 AM          Get Up/Breakfast            9 AM
  9-9:30        Calistenics/stretching      10-10:30   
  9:30-1 PM     Sectionals                  10:30-2 PM
  1-4 PM        Ensemble                    2-4 PM
  4-5           Snack                       4-5
  5-6           Clean up/pack               5-6
  6 PM          Get the hell out            6 PM

        Drummers, since the emphasis is completely on playing as a line, 
rather than individuals, will often have their own rehearsals, not as strict, 
more to get used to being around each other than to really learn the summer 
program. These rehearsals will usually split the monthly camps (i.e. 
Camp on the 1st, drum practice on the 15th).

        Once a corps is on the road, the schedule tends to be the same 
nearly every day, since there are shows (and for the Top 5, clinics) nearly 
every day. A typical schedule may look like this:

     9-10 AM        Get Up/Breakfast
     10-10:30           Cals/stretching
     10:30-2 PM         Sectionals (M & M for the horns, usually)
     2-3            Lunch
     3-5:30             Ensemble rehearsal
     5:30-7         Dinner/Clean the school/Pack/Get in uniform
     7-7:30             Travel to show site
     7:30-8:30          Warm up
     8:30           Show Time!
     11:00              Finish with retreat
     12:00 AM           Pull out for next town
     4:30           Arrive at next town
     4:30-9:00 AM       Sleep on a gym floor

        A corps on the road will usually have about two days a week with no 
shows, and the day is usually devoted to a little extra rehearsal (2-3 
hours), laundry (sometimes!), relaxation time, etc. There are usually 
two or three free days over the course of a summer, where the corps will 
go to the movies, amusement parks, the ocean (I still have great 
memories of two days in Ocean City, MD), where the corps members can 
spend all their money on junk food and other refreshments (for the age-
outs, anyway), souvenirs, and whatever other tourist traps they fall into.

5.15    Music for wind ensemble

        Corps play a wide range of music including classical, contempory,
jazz, soundtracks, and music for wind ensemble. Original recordings of
much of this music can be bought at your local record store. But most
music for wind ensemble is not widely available. I have found a good
source of music for wind ensemble. They are:

West Coast Music Service
P.O. Box 3501
North Ft. Myers, FL  33918-3501

        I have ordered CDs and LPs from them, and they have been 
fine. They have almost everything that has been written for 
wind ensembles available, mostly performed by university bands.

Original written by Michael Fath and Donald Chinn
Updates and new material by Cathy Doser and Caryn Roberts
RAMD FAQ administered by:
 Cathy Doser ( and Caryn Roberts (

Comments welcome on any aspect of this FAQ. We are especially looking 
for information on Div. II/III corps, and early drum corps information 
(VFW and American Legion Championships and pre-DCI corps in general).  
If you see anything that is inaccurate (such as corps address information 
or repertoire), please let us know.

NOTICE:  This FAQ is copyright (c) 1995 by Cathy Doser and is made available
as a service to the drum corps and the Internet community. The FAQ may be 
distributed freely in printed or electronic form, provided that it is not 
modified. The FAQ may not be sold in any medium including electronic, CD-ROM,
or database, or published in print without the express written permission of 
the authors. Contact Cathy Doser ( if there are
any questions.
Cathy Doser                                              Caryn Roberts                         

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