Drum Corps International
Cascades choose to limit scope of 2008 summer tour

Cascades choose to limit scope of 2008 summer tour

by Drum Corps International

From a Cascades press release: The Seattle Cascades will remain in the Northwest for the 2008 season, choosing not to embark on the broader national Drum Corps International Summer Tour as a member of the World Class. The corps has decided instead to field an exhibition unit, providing a regionally-focused drum corps experience for returning and new members rather than withdrawing from the entire season. This approach will assist in the support of additional drum corps shows in the Northwest during the course of the summer. Cascades administrators felt that although a scaled-down 2008 national tour might be possible, it would not be at their desired level. "Fielding a corps that is marginally financed, touring with some questionable equipment, and deficiencies in the number of brass players is simply not good enough for us," said Mike Bujnowski, Board President of Northwest Youth Music Association (NYMA), the parent organization of the Cascades. "A World Class drum corps needs to be supported by a world class organization. We are on track, but we are not there yet." The decision to eliminate their participation in a 2008 summer tour follows a difficult year in 2006 and a successful rebuilding year in 2007. In 2006 the organization endured a change in management, budgetary over-expenditures, and was forced to close its bingo operation after declining revenue. By season's end, the corps faced accumulated debt of nearly $250,000. From that low point, the Cascades have effectively rebuilt their organization, culminating in an 18th place finish at the 2007 DCI World Championships in Pasadena, Calif. At the same time, debt has been nearly eliminated through the efforts of a number of committed supporters and board members. The organization's 2008 donation/grant drive has thus far raised financial commitments of $146,000.

The Cascades perform at the 2007 DCI San Antonio major event.
According to organization officials, "2008 will be used to get ahead of the game." The Cascades will retain the majority of its staff through 2008 leading to its projected return to World Class competition in 2009. The organization will use this time to sell marginal vehicles, upgrade remaining vehicles, explore uniform enhancements and accumulate financial reserves. "We are disappointed to cancel our 2008 national tour," said Michael Leone, Corps Director for the Cascades. "We are taking this opportunity to introduce drum corps to a greater number of students this summer at a very low tuition cost. We feel that we must find ways to make drum corps more accessible to the young people in our region. As such, our goal is to significantly reduce tuition fees for the 2009 season." The Northwest Youth Music Association remains active in the community, sponsoring a winter guard, the "Seattle Brass Attack" all-age performance ensemble, the Portland Summer Music Games DCI sanctioned event, and the Seattle Summer Music Games (a non-DCI event). NYMA is also a partner with Seattle Public Schools and Rotary District 5030 in the "Rotary Music 4 Life" program to provide more than 1,100 musical instruments for elementary students in the Seattle School District. SeattleCascades.org