DAC GUIDELINES •DRUMS ACROSS CALIFORNIA• DRUM CONTESTS
1. DAC sponsors a series of percussion competitions second semester. Both Standstill & Marching divisions are offered. Check-in at the admission gate upon arrival at the show on Saturday. The host will assign you a guide. This would be a good time for your parents to pay their $8 admission fee & receive their free doorprize ticket.
2. The drum line performs on the basketball court in the gymnasium. Check out the entrance and exit doors upon arrival, you may have to use the exit double door for your big marimba to enter the gym.
3. The drum line has an 11 minute slot to set up, warm-up, compete & exit the performance area. There is a 1 point penalty for every 30 seconds overtime. Your school's name will be announced and at your signal, your judged performance will begin. The judged show length should be between 4-8 minutes. We recommend 4.5 to 5.5 minutes of music for most groups. Again there is a 1 point penalty for every 30 seconds under or overtime.
4. Again remember to: Check in at the admission gate upon arrival. You will be given any last minute changes to the schedule & directions/guides. Conduct your warm-up rehearsal away from houses and the stadium. No marathon rehearsals. Begin warm-up 1 hour prior to performance. We must be sensitive to the neighborhood. Report to the ready area, at the gymnasium, 11 minutes prior to your performance time, at the latest. [There is a 1 point penalty for every 30 seconds late. If you totally miss your performance time, you will receive a 3 point penalty and be reassigned a spot at the end of the show. If you are a no-show for the day your 3 point penalty will carry over to the next show.] Remember not to cancel your performance after the schedule has been posted online. (See #9 below).
5. DAC judges consist of championship DCI percussion instructors & performers, who are also expert at high school percussion programs.
6. The judges will be evaluating in 3 areas: Execution (how you play), Exposure (what you play), & Effect (total show including uniforms, visuals, musicality etc.). The judges' thumbrule is to adjust the final score by the size of the line (up to our minimum). This is really a buildup of your score based on size.
If a line has less than 2 snares, 2 tenors, 3 basses etc. it will be placed in Standstill Div. III (Small Drumline). If a Drumline changes its' basic formation, it will be placed in the Marching Division. Also, a Drumline may enter the Large Ensemble Division, this has no size requirements.
7. For a maximum buildup in scoring (a potential 10.0 build up score & 20.0 caption score!) we recommend 3 snares, 3 tenors, 4 bass(tuned), 4-8 keyboards, & 3-4 auxiliary(pit) &/or 3-4 cymbal players. Recruit from the band & orchestra to fill the line. However we have seen many lines win with 2 snares & 2 tenors & 4 basses etc.
DAC AXIOM: IT IS BETTER TO BE SMALL & CLEAN THAN LARGE & DIRTY.
8. The judges will also deduct 1.0-2.0 points (each) in build up, if they feel that the line has performed too loud for the indoor environment. Plus the normal loss of buildup points while the judges are struggling to hear. Watch your decibel level. Save everyone's hearing! A big tip is to thin out the writing so each section can be heard in a feature, or featurette.
9. DAC schedule: The last Saturday in February is the Season Opener show, usually in March is the Preview of Champions and the Quarter-Finals, in April is the Semi-finals, and the State Championship Finals is usually the first Saturday in May. (This makes our 10 week season). The February schedule is posted 9 days in advance. Each following show's schedule is posted the night of the previous show. We need the scores to place the lines in the proper order for the next show. However it is easy to get a general schedule by using any show as a guide. The schedule remains approximately the same in each general category. There is a 2 point carryover penalty for cancelling a performance after it has been posted online. Please plan ahead!
10. DAC divides the lines into 7 divisions (maximum):
1. Marching Division (Any Drumline that changes it's basic formation)
2. Standstill Div. I (Top scoring lines, with at least 2 snares, 2 tenors, 3 basses, etc.)
3. Standstill Div. II (If Division I grows too large, Division II is added, still at least 2 snares, 2 tenors, 3 basses etc.)
4. Standstill Div. III (Small Drumline, less than 2 snares, 2 tenors, 3 basses, etc.)
5. Junior Div. (Jr. High/Middle School)
6. Large Ensemble (any size line, any instrumentation).
7. Small Ensemble (9 players or less, one per part, a maximum of 1 snare, 1 tenor, 1 multi-bass, 1 cymbal, 1 orchestra bells, 1 xylo, 1 marimba, 1 vibes, and 1 timp/aux.)
11. The first 2 shows of the season, in February & March, may also have 6 solo & section solo(soli) competitions:
1. solo snare
4. drum set
6. duets, trios, and quartets.
All solos, duets, trios, & quartets are 1.5 to 2 minutes. In addition to first place medals at each show, sticks or prizes are also given to every soloist at each show. $20 entry fee for each solo or soli (per person/per performance). Sticks are given to each performer. Medals to the winners.
12. Gold Head Sweepstakes trophies (our highest honor) are given away in May at the Championships. These are based on adding each divisions lines' 2 highest show scores to the Championship score. (Usually the quarter-finals & semi-finals & Championship-finals scores are added together, just like DCI, 3 show total).
Gold Medals are given to the highest combo line (i.e. Standstill in March, Marching in May, 2 show total).
Gold Medals are also given to the highest scoring drum line of the day, (1 show total).
Gold Medals(optional): may also be given to the highest scoring sweepstakes champions, if different from above, (3 show total).
13. All soloists and drum captains (in uniform), should line up in the gym for the presentation of awards announcement. This is usually 22 minutes after the last line performs. Please wait for the announcement.
14. The schedule for each line at the first shows will remain flexible, depending on each band director's needs (9:30 AM-2:30 PM). The schedule for the finals in May will be much less flexible. Each line will perform in reverse order of score from each lines' highest scoring performance.
15. DAC charges a $8 admission fee to all parents. This allows us to keep our entry fees low. (You may pay this with a booster check if you desire.)
16. The host school supplies: 4 timpani, 1 concert bass, 1 xylophone, 1 marimba, 1 set of big chimes. (bring your own mallets!) However, we recommend bringing your own set of equipment, if you wish to use them for warm-ups.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What division should I enter? Read guideline #10. Choose the division that best describes your line. The judges' scores will decide Division I or II. (see below). If you change your basic formation you will be placed in the Marching Division. If you have less than
2 snares, 2 tenors, 3 basses etc., you will be placed in Division III (Small Drumline).
Why do the chaperones have to pay? We do need the $8 admission to break even. You can pay with a booster check if it's a hardship for the parents. The money goes to a good cause, we could just raise the entry fee, but we think this way is better and allows the parents to help in a tangible way with the bands. We know they already do a lot!
If a division becomes too large, how do you divide the groups into smaller divisions for awards? We have a fixed numerical system in place to keep the divisions fair and objective. If we decide to divide, here is the math.
1-9 lines =no mandatory dividing into divisions
10 lines=5&5 (Division I & Division II)
18 lines=9&9 etc.
How do you handle the subdivisions for the Championships? We will freeze the lines into the division they have reached in the quarterfinals. We will not use the numerical formula at that point, we will just keep everyone status quo for the last shows.
Why can't we just let the lines decide what division they are in? We actually do that already. See the answer to the first question. The judges view all lines as competing against each other. Their job is to rank and rate and critique. However we want to give away as many trophies as possible to these deserving groups. Also it's easier to communicate, "We got 1st in our division," rather than, "We got 13th overall." These are the only reasons we subdivide the divisions.
How do you decide how many trophies to give away in each division? We again have a formula. We don't want to give everyone a trophy as this would devalue the award. This is our plan:
9 lines=1st, 2nd, 3rd trophies
8 lines=1st, 2nd, 3rd trophies
7 lines=1st, 2nd, 3rd trophies
6 lines=1st, 2nd, 3rd trophies
5 lines=1st, 2nd, 3rd trophies
4 lines=1st, 2nd trophies
3 lines=1st trophy
2 lines=1st trophy
1 line =1st trophy
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