Changes are being made to the General Effect (GE) judging sheets for Drum Corps International (DCI) this summer. Now both GE judges have the same sheet, which allows them to comment on visual and musical effects.
“The time was right to take an additional look at what we do in effect,” says Michael J. Cesario, artistic director for DCI. “You should know that I never use the word ‘entertainment’—it means different things to different people. Every corps takes a different path to create effect, and we want to reward that.”
The change will not impact the selection of GE judges—one will still have a background in music, the other in visual arts. “Their areas of expertise will inform their observations and weighting of that background,” explains Cesario. “Nonetheless, they will finally be able to look at the show as the audience does. When the music and visuals all come together, whether in a gorgeous and delicate moment or a big, bold statement …, let them see the show the way that the audience sees the show.”
The cuts and additions to create one unified GE judging sheet amounts to nine changed words. For example, the word “musical” was deleted from “musical ensemble.”
Cesario says the change is small but allows corps a better chance to reach their audiences. “Any show that’s out there, we want to make sure it gets a fair shot,” he says. “I expect the corps to produce compelling programs this year.”