2020 Drum Corps International Rules Congress Approved New Electronic Effects and Color Guard Judging Criteria

2020 Drum Corps International Rules Congress Approved New Electronic Effects and Color Guard Judging Criteria.

Those hoping to see flutes, clarinets, and saxophones join their brass and percussion counterparts in drum corps will need to keep waiting. At the 2020 Drum Corps International (DCI) Rules Congress in January, a proposal to allow any instrument in drum corps failed.

By proposing the “every instrument” rule, directors were hoping to appeal to wider audiences and inspire future participants, according to Dan Acheson, DCI chief executive officer.

Hopefuls may not need to wait long though. Acheson says that he expects the proposal to come up again soon.

One rule allowing electronic effects like live looping did pass. While it may present judging challenges, the judges are trained to consider whether sounds are live or electronically produced, Acheson says.

A rule to change the color guard judging criteria also passed. It will shift the considerations in color guard adjudication to include bigger picture effects as well as specific skills.

A proposal to shift judges to vantage points in the audience will be further reviewed before a final decision is made.

“There is a sentiment among some instructors and judges that the positioning at some of the major events is somewhat disconnected from the performers and the audience,” Acheson says.

Allowing drum corps constituents to propose and vote on their own rules for the activity is one of the most exciting aspects of DCI’s governing process.

“All of these stakeholders take this responsibility very seriously and strive to consider how their decisions impact all of marching music worldwide,” Acheson says. “The proposals passed this year are just another step in the ongoing effort for improvement.”



About author

Kacie Brown

Kacie Brown was a member of the Pride of Broken Arrow from 2012 to 2016. She is now an associate instructor at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she is pursuing a Master of Music degree in saxophone performance as a student of Dr. Otis Murphy. She completed a Bachelor of Music degree with a certificate in journalism at Indiana University in 2020. In 2019, she won the inaugural Elise Hall Competition for Emerging Saxophonists and has performed at the U.S. Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, and the Society of Composers, Inc., National Student Conference.

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