DCA holds winter session, elects new chief judges

Minnesota Brass (St. Paul, MN)
Photo by Alan Winslow

by Tom Peashey, DCA PR/DCW staff

Drum Corps Associates met in extraordinary session in Scranton, PA. DCA President Gil Silva and Judging Coordinator Ken Sherry opened the weekend, introducing their newly elected caption coordinators for 2004.

Bob Cardaneo returns to guide the brass caption for 2004. From Monmouth Junction, NJ, he has long been associated with DCA judging and was brass chief in 2003.

Well-known DCI and WGI adjudicator Dick Burke from Wilmington, MA, was elected to lead the visual caption. He has worked for DCA for many years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position.

Rounding out the triumvirate is long-time DCA percussion judge John Stauffer from Harrisburg, PA. He has been a DCA adjudicator for many years and was a logical choice to head the percussion caption.

The membership thanked outgoing caption chief Ed Argenziano for his dedicated service. He resigned to return to the DCI Division I arena and take over as percussion arranger and caption head for Magic of Orlando.

Both Sherry and Silva were quick to point out that DCA is fortunate to have a quality adjudicative team in place and that the 2004 leadership represented both talent and experience and gave DCA a much better geographic diversity in its adjudicative management team.

This most unusual two-day meeting was held for several reasons. First, DCA recognizes the tremendous “shock to their system” the loss of long-time President Mickey Petrone was. The strong and experienced management team, headed by President Silva, is proceeding, full steam ahead. However, they wanted the opportunity for more input from the competing senior corps.

They also recognized that with the spiraling success DCA has had in recent years, it is critical that DCA have a clear and defined future direction. Much time was spent on what the goals of a five-year plan for DCA should be. After defining some of these goals, a committee was appointed to boil these ideas down into a plan of action and present this to the membership at the next meeting on March 27.

As the plan is defined, ratified, the board believes the membership and the fans will be most pleased with the directions chosen by Drum Corps Associates in the drum and bugle corps arena. Considerable time was also spent on marketing and the upcoming DCA season and championships. With another full season ahead, much effort was put into how DCA can improve for the 2004 fans. Corps travel and how they can help their sponsors improve their entertainment products were major topics of discussion.

DCA Championship tickets
A major announcement was made concerning the handling of ticket orders for the 40th DCA World Championships, September 3, 4 and 5 in Scranton, PA. The following timetable was established:

* Beginning around February 1 and continuing for the month of February, fans may log on to http://www.dcacorps.org and sign up for a ticket “mailing list.”

* During the month of March, those who sign up will be contacted by DCA and they may purchase their “first choice” tickets at that time.

* April 1, the remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public. There will be a number of ticket packages available, including a discounted offering of the same premium reserved seat for both finals and prelims. This is the first time reserved seats have been offered for the preliminary competition and the first time preliminary competition has ever been held at night, Saturday night September 4.

Fans planning to attend the Scranton championships should check the Web site often and sign up for the premium ticket mailing list as soon as that is available. Priority will be given by date signed up. Those who sign up first, get first choice.

DCA is also pleased to announce that Drum Corps World is again handling much of the advertising and sponsorships for the championships. Everyone appreciates the efforts of publisher Steve Vickers and sales manager Ed Corwin. Several major sponsors have already signed contracts for the 2004 DCA season. With more major sponsors than ever before, it is apparent that they recognize the successful product DCA has brought to the drum corps community and to the general public. President Silva also advised the membership that DCA will soon sign a contract with a commercial advertising company to produce and market DCA brand merchandise of all types. An online store is planned to be in full operation prior to the 2004 season. These products will also be marketed at
DCA shows by the member corps and by DCA at the championship.

Silva was also pleased to introduce the representatives from other areas present. In addition to the strong contingent from DCA South, Minnesota Brass was joined by Mike Meyer representing both Chops and Govenaires — a first-ever representation by those two fine Midwestern corps — and new Kiltie Director Mike Phillips. This group of Midwest talent contributed much to the weekend’s discussions. They were warmly welcomed by the DCA membership.

Overall, the weekend was most productive and proved that everyone is determined to continue and improve on the recent success and overall popularity of Drum Corps Associates and most importantly, provide the drum corps fans with a high quality and most entertaining product.