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DCM judges guild disbanded, future of circuit discussed

by Kelly Bitter, DCW editor

After seven hours of presentations, discussions and voting, the future of Drum Corps Midwest is still uncertain.

DCM member corps voted to disband the DCM judges’ guild in favor of Drum Corps International judges at the organization’s October 7 meeting, but no decision was reached on the issue of discontinuing DCM and creating a new DCI-Midwest division.

DCI Executive Director Dan Acheson gave a presentation at the meeting outlining the benefits of bringing the Midwest corps under DCI leadership and providing scenarios for the operation of the Midwest division and its championship event. He pointed out that the scenarios are based on many assumptions, and the actual details would come from the wishes of the members of the region.

An eight-member committee made up of DCM Executive Director Roman Blenski and a mix of directors from division I, II, III and senior corps was formed to review Acheson’s suggestions and DCM’s policies and procedures before the DCM meeting December 7.

Acheson said the new format would allow for a “seamless scheduling process for corps to enter and depart the region” and would allow for a national mix of division I corps at the De Kalb, IL, show that has served as the DCM Championships.

Member corps voted to allow up to five out-of-area corps to participate in the De Kalb regional show. In exchange, some Midwestern division I corps will travel to the Denver, CO, show that takes place the same night.

The 20 highest scoring DCM corps, regardless of division, vote on issues such as this. Blenski said the fact that DCM serves all four divisions and all four have a vote makes DCM unique and makes it a win-win situation for everyone.

“The rest of the corps world looks up to us and how we treat all four divisions fairly,” Blenski said.

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Drum Corps World is published as an on-line electronic magazine by Sights & Sounds, Inc., Madison, WI. It is supported by advertising from manufacturers, service providers, corps, circuits and show sponsors. The publication began in October 1971 at the same time Drum Corps International was formed and has been produced continuously as a tabloid newspaper until April 2011 and on the Internet since May 2011. It is released monthly, as well as six additional e-mail blasts, one in late June, three during July and two in August.

The worldwide staff of writers and photographers provide show reviews during the season and interviews, feature articles, news and human interest stories during the off-season. The photographs that appear in the magazine are provided by 27 staff members who are scattered around the world. The publication covers World and Open Class Drum Corps International corps, Open and Class A Drum Corps Associates corps, alumni, mini-, parade and standstill units, as well as the growing activity in Europe, the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Philippines and South Africa.