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.”