Three new corps were added to the attendance this year: Steig Holdorf, Royal Knights Representative; Andrea Birbilis, Racine Scouts Representative; Dan Scerpella, Kilties alumni mini corps Representative. Although not in attendance the following additional new member corps sent their regrets but will participate in the 2012 season; The Windy City Legion, the Chicago Hornets and the Missouri Gold.
Chris Ferrara, President began the meeting by asking all in attendance to introduce themselves and give their backgrounds. Once introductions were made, Chris gave the State of SDCA address as follows: SDCA is a Not for profit corporation Registered in the state of Illinois the county of McHenry.
SDCA’s goals are: a. to provide a friendly, satisfying venue for corps with out requiring minimum or maximum membership. b. to assist in the growth of existing corps. c. to promote new community based corps. d. to expand the program by meeting the demands of individual corps growth as well as their geographic location. e. to provide equal sharing of revenues. f. to provide each corps an educational environment by sharing experience and talent for the betterment of the individual and the art.
Our regional directors are Chris Wellner Director of the Northern Midwest region; Jay McGuffin director of the Central Midwest region; Dr. Tom Corso Director of the Eastern Midwest region and Carl Allison Director of the Southern California region.
All of these positions including executive board members are strictly volunteer and receive no monetary gain. Regional Directors receive .25 cents for every ticket sold in their region. Special thanks go to Don Warren and Roman Blenski for their overwhelming support as well as Steve Vickers from Drum corps world, Kevin Gamin from Drum corps planet and David Eddleman DCI open class coordinator. it is not our intentions to limit ourselves to only indoor performances. In door or Arena drum corps was born because of the need for smaller drum corps to perform in a stage that was fitting the size and acoustical demand of their organization. There will be times during community events, due to the design of their venue, where we will be performing outdoor, but, careful consideration will be taken to maximize your performance presentation.
One goal of SDCA is to minimize the expense to your corps. There are no annual dues required; when you host a show our Arena venue cost an average of $ 500 to rent a gym and appertainant facilities. SDCA supplies generic tickets purchased in quantity and your awards are single Olympic style medals. We do not hand out badges, patches or buttons to all your members and we do not buy trophies. We do not pay judges fees but instead ask the host corps performance staff to evaluate the corps performances and then we give the audience an opportunity to participate as they text in their favorite choice for the evening. This texting costs SDCA $65 per show.
Thus far since the organization of SDCA we have influenced many corps to form alumni organizations or have influenced new corps to start up and we have provided a venue for some of the DCA mini corps. Our first season we had 6 participating corps currently we have nearly 40 corps throughout the United States and Canada.
We have had to divide the original Midwest region into the Northern Midwest region and the Central Midwest region; we have established the Eastern Midwest region and the Southern California region. The Texas region will have a director selected in the next few weeks. There is an interest from Ottawa Canada to form a region and we have been in contact with Holland where we may open a region in the Netherlands. Last season we developed a working relationship with DCI. This season they have asked SDCA to host a show for the open class corps. Finely, SDCA does not want to interfere with any corps involvement with DCI or DCA. Instead we feel that performing in an SDCA show will better prepare a corps for those organizations if that is their goal This is the state of SDCA
Chris further stated the SDCA came about because of the limitations of Drum Corp Associations to accommodate smaller corps competitions SDCA members will be comprised of small drum corps, colorguards, bands and percussion groups. SDCA performances will take place in an arena setting usually a high school gym or a football field. Chris has been working with Davie Eddleman, Open Class Coordinator for DCI and there is a possibility that open class DCI corps can participate in an SDCA show in 2012. This will officially open the second phase of SDCA; “SDCA Field Drum Corps Plus.”
Chris Wellner, Director of Northern Midwest Region was introduced and reported on the Northern Midwest Region. The Northern Midwest Region covers Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. In the 2011 season there was a successful show in Menominee, MI hosted by the Northernaires in April. A second opportunity in Michigan may come about in Ishpeming, MI sponsored by the Blue Notes. The Americanos had to cancel their show in Appleton.
There is great interest in the Ontario, Canada area with five or six corps coming from the Midland, London and Sudbury areas. Toronto Optimists and the Lakeshoremen are forming alumni corps. The Blue Saints hosted a show in Sudbury in July, 2011.
There are also parade opportunities with Legends in Kalamazoo, MI and the Blue Notes in Menominee, MI. The Goldenaires is a Senior Corps out of Bessemer, MI that does parades and concert performances. There could also be show opportunities linked to festivals that should be considered in 2012 such as the Rum Rebellion Days in Iron River, MI held every July.
Other SDCA corps or potential SDCA members in the Northern Midwest Region were noted such as the Royal Knights, the New Royal Knights, Americanos Alumni Association, Chippewa Valley Brigade, the Governaires and Chops Inc. Minnesota Brass also has a winter guard and drumline that compete as well. They are also instrumental in helping try to help other alumni corps wishing to get started.
Chris welcomed Andrea Birbilis, Representative of the Racine Scouts and Dan Scerpella of the Kilties Min Corps. Both Andrea and Dan spoke regarding each of their corps. The Racine Scouts are comprised of younger members wanting to stay in the Midwest rather than participate in a traveling corps. Steig Holodorf, Representative of the Royal Knights is being helped By Chris Wellner to establish their corps.
Jay McGuffin, the new Director of the Central Midwest Region, was introduced. Jay looks forward to working with the existing corps such as the Classic Cavaliers, Royal Airs, Sine Wave, Prairie Sound and Strikers drumline. Jay will also be in touch with the Derby City Knights out of Kentucky. Jay brought forth having an Alumni night for recruiting members and Scott Jameson agreed. Scott thought the annual Alumni Reunion Picnic would be a good place to attract new members.
Jeff Williams, Director of Research spoke about the resources available for starting a corps and applying for the 501c3, nonprofit status. A handout was given to all attendees listing the references online through www.nolo.com . He also provided a list of books that would benefit In writing a business plan, marketing plan and writing for grants to support the corps.
Rhonda Schock, Director of Marketing and Merchandising displayed the SDCA t-shirts used as promotion during the 2011 season. The front of the t-shirt had the SDCA logo and the back listed corps that performed by each year from 2009-2011. Rhonda encouraged corps to do the same for their corps and she offered embroidered logos on shirts at $7 per shirt by submitting a JPEG to her. Any type of promotional items that could be sold at shows such as hats or mouse pads was suggested. Selling location and tables are provided at each show.
A discussion then took place regarding membership in corps. Dan Scapella stated 80% of small corps were alumni corps and SDCA was providing an opportunity for small corps to compete with 18 or 19 members. Rhonda Schock said the Royal Airs would be targeting members, those that have aged out to join the Royal Airs.
Chris Ferrara addressed the definition of SDCA membership which is the importance of hosting a show as well as performing. He stressed not cancelling once your corps has made a commitment to a show. He stated that all of the corps are part of the SDCA family. We have to be concerned about the health and strength of SDCA collectively.
A video was shared with the group showing an example of what a small corps should try to achieve in their performance. While some are just doing a standstill, Chris thinks the audience comes to see a visual show and it can be achieved on a basketball court without too much change from the field show drill. Colorguard is key to the visual part of the performance as well. The 2012 calendar was reviewed for the tentative dates that are in place. Roman Blenski discussed additional opportunities to add a show or march a parade the weekend of May 26th with the Chocolate Festival in Burlington, WI and Brat Fest in Madison, WI. Chris Wellner will follow up on these and the country’s largest Flag Day celebration in Lower Michigan.
Andrea Birbilis recommended finding housing through the Catholic schools or scout camps. Andrea also offered New York contacts she has through the Racine Scouts for the upcoming SDCA meeting in Erie, PA.
Chris Ferrara gave each corps present an SDCA “community event” promotional brochure. Members were encouraged to go to their community leaders and during the festival week offer to provide entertainment in the form of a drum and bugle corps show. SDCA would do all of the set up work and provide financing so that the events committee does not need to do anything but publicize the event in their festival materials. Andrea shared that store openings and community events is where the Racine Scouts participate.
Chris reminded members to have insurance up to date. SDCA liability insurance is $1 million. Members were also encouraged to look to public domain music selections to avoid having to pay fees for the right to play current music.
Jeff Williams provided a handout showing the dimensions of arena drum corps on a basketball court and how that would overlay onto a football field. Chris reminded members of proper footwear when marching on gym floors. It was mentioned that some corps have tarps, but the man power to carry and lay down a tarp was very labor intense. SDCA does not require tarps
SDCA has people’s choice competition where the audience texts in their favorite corps and it is working well and has been adopted by DCI. SDCA continues to review adjudication of a performance where a scoring configuration of 20% each Brass, Percussion and Visual and 40% audience vote may be formalized in the future. Rhonda Shock suggested corps pass in review passed the winning corps instead of disbursing. She suggested an announcement be made to the audience to remain seated until the corps have left the floor. All suggestions will be reviewed.
Andrea shared two dates extended to all members, Sat, Nov, 12th an all drum corps alumni event with food and music in Racine. The event will be at PBG’s Bar in Racine, WI. June 17th is the Racine Scouts 85th Anniversary and all are invited to Pershing Park, Racine, WI to celebrate. Andrea also requested all members to please vote for the Racine Scouts to win a $5000 fuel card on www.fuelinggood.com. Search their name on the site and vote.
Respectively submitted Jane Sinclair
|Meeting opened at 10:00 AM Those present introduced them selves. Represented were the Mon Valley Express, Grey Knights, West NY Alumni Corps, Steel City Ambassadors, Lake Effect, Ghost Riders, Thunderbirds and the Sound. IN total 13 individuals. President Chris Ferrara read the state of SDCA (see the Northern and Central Midwest meeting minutes) Regional Director Tom Corso talked about the many other corps that have an interest but were unable to attend. It was discussed that this region can grow into its own style as long as there remains some constant with the rest of the SDCA regions so that multiregional competitions can occur. Regions are defined only for geographic purpose and any corps can participate in any region they desire. SDCA is to be a family where each corps assists the other in order to be prepared to participate. When committed to participate always find a way to fulfill your obligation and keep the family members healthy. Each corps should host a show preferable in their own community.||In the discussion of performance style it was said that the show was preferred to be in motion. The Arena is from the 35 yard line to the 35 yard line and is as deep as the first hash line. This is a model that is already used in smaller field corps to provide the maximum sound and visual for this size group. Consequently a field drill and an arena drill is (almost) the same. If a corps does not wish to provide a full visual show some movement is still required even if it is to set a different stand still position. Music stands will not be permitted. The general concern is the effect on the audience. A Drum and Bugle Corps show is characterized by marching and music. If the show is to be a standstill it should be publicized as such. When hosting a show it was discussed that a verity of performers can take place. I.E. Color guard, drum lines, bands, individual and ensemble competitions etc. The major point is to entertain the audience. We want them to come back next year. The host can also be a school band encouraged and organized by the SDCA corps. Adjudication was discussed and determined to only use the current “people’s choice” method currently used thru-out SDCA. It was reminded to review your 501c3, by laws and copyright laws to keep your NFP status and stay with in the laws. Meeting adjured at 1:30PM Respectfully submitted Chris Ferrara|