A Note from the President

Drum Corps Associates Board of Directors’ and its members held our annual spring meeting on Saturday, April 28th in preparation for the upcoming 2018 season.   The draw took place and the final performance schedule will be posted on our website in the coming days.  The summer schedule is full and you will have the opportunity to see favorite corps compete in New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and Connecticut.   The corps are all having strong winters and are excited to hit the field.   We kick off the 2018 season in Wildwood, NJ on June 16th and end our year over Labor Day weekend in Williamsport, PA.

Drum Corps has been in the news a lot in recent weeks and sadly not all of it has been good news.   DCA wants to assure the fans and general public that we are addressing these issues and challenges head on.   Let’s start with the issues that face the YEA organization and our member corps the Cadets 2.   It was a shock heard around the drum corps community when the news hit of allegations against one of our own.   The board has been in constant communications with the YEA organization along with legal council.  We are moving forward to assist Cadets 2 to help the organization heal and be successful in the coming months.  We are working with the new board and waiting for a formal announcement of a new director.    As all DCA corps are their own legal entities we are limited as to how much we can directly be involved.   We can guide and offer assistance and lend a helping hand as the corps moves forward and that’s what we plan to do.   The YEA organization is providing DCA with bi-weekly reports on current handlings, weekly progress and steps that are being put into place for their future.

DCA has reached out to several organizations and have arranged for a presentation / seminar that will take place at our Annual Meeting as a mandatory session for all participating members of the Association.   Safety protocols, sexual harassment, background checks and moving forward from sexual assault will all be part of the presentation.   We take this situation extremely serious and want to do what is right as we move forward.

Another issue that we have had to face head on is the shocking news out of Minnesota in late April.   The DCA Board was notified that the Minnesota Brass Incorporate Drum Corps will go inactive for the 2018 season.   This was a shock to me as well as our entire circuit.   MBI has been a power house in DCA for decades and sealed the deal back in 2011 taking home the Open Class DCA World title!   We wish them well and hope for a quick return!   Other corps who were with us in the past have also announced that they were trying to get back on the field.   The Kilties are an example of one corps that has not been with DCA for the past three seasons but are trying to get back on the field!   We’d love nothing more than a strong return from them some day as well.   We currently have three brand new corps who will be evaluated in the next month and announcements on that will come soon!

Why do drum corps fold or take a year off you wonder?   Recruitment, equipment, scheduling, finances, travel, membership, rebuilding, management…….   All these things come into play.   We have seen amazing drum corps come and go in the last 54 years since DCA was founded and we are still here!  Times change and do I have an answer to changing modern times?  A quick answer is no.     DCA will never be nor do we ever want to be DCI.   We look up to DCI as a prestigious organization that draws thousands of fans to their shows and we have a very strong amazing working relationship with their organization.    Many of the DCI fans are Mom & Dad enjoying watching their young one live out their summer dream.   What DCA can do is provide a wonderful summer hobby to anyone of any age.    An entire family can be together and enjoy the activity together.    Has drum corps changed over the years and do we have constant challenges… YES!    How do we deal with them?   We take those head on one at a time.    DCA is stronger in 2018 than it has been in the last decade.   We have 20 corps that will compete over Labor Day weekend in Willimasport this year and that is after the loss of MBI.   We are financially stronger and have been adding to our list of supporters and sponsors each year consistently over the past 3 years.   We are thrilled to have Cadence from the UK join us as well.    Those of you DCA history folks think back to not too long ago, in 1993 DCA had only 13 corps in the entire circuit.    As challenging as today’s world is I think we are doing just fine!   In 2019 we already have commitment from a corps out of England and Germany that will attend our Championships.

Is DCA what is was in 1975….. Absolutely not, nothing is!   I’d ask you to use positive energy to help the activity move forward.   I’m sure many people reading this note most likely enjoyed or participated at some point in your life in the marching arts.   Here is your chance to reach out in some way and try to support the activity that you once loved.   See how you can help!  There are many corps that need assistance with recruiting or even reach out and possibly volunteer.    I look back many years ago when I marched and then taught and then managed and it’s some of the most wonderful memories of my life.   This activity can give you so much and when you reach the point in your life that you can’t participate as a marching member any longer there are many other ways you can still be a part of it.   Do we have all the answers…. No we do not but we will move forward and do the best job we can do to let those who still want to enjoy drum corps do exactly that!

Here is to a great 2018 and many years past that!

Allen Buell
Drum Corps Associates