Announcement by DCUK and DCE re Senators

Statement from DCUK

You will all be aware of the recent announcement placed on this website informing the Drum Corps community of Senators intentions for the coming season.

There have already been a number of postings on both this website and other discussion groups, many of them full of conjecture and speculation.

The purpose of this statement is to set out the facts.  Whilst debate will inevitably take place about the actions of the Senators and their decision not compete within DCUK, any discussion of the merits or otherwise should take place with full possession of the facts.

Senators Drum & Bugle Corps have announced their intention, as published on this website.  The Corps Director of Senators, Joe Fitzpatrick, extended me the courtesy, as Chairman of DCUK, of notifying me of the Senators plans a few days prior to the announcement being made.

DCUK exists in order to facilitate for the needs of its members, essentially in the area of competition.  DCUK has no sway over which Corps choose to join DCUK, all it can do is to set a framework of rules, as decided by the membership, which those who wish to compete must abide by.  If the Senators choose not to compete then DCUK is faced with two choices; to exclude Senators completely or to attempt to encompass them in a spirit of inclusion .

Using the powers vested in me by the Board of Trustees I have made the decision that Senators will be included within the DCUK organisation as far as possible.  DCUK has been buffeted by falling membership numbers and when combining this with the shifting market place in which we operate I see no reason to deliberately exclude those who may well, at some point in the future, be welcomed back into the fold.

Many have drawn parallels between the actions taken by Senators and the actions taken by Northern Star in 2005.  All I can say on that matter is that I was not Chairman in 2005.  Progress has been made in rebuilding relationships between Northern Star and DCUK and to that end I have formally invited Northern Star to perform in exhibition at this years DCUK Championships.

I am hopeful that Northern Star will accept my invitation and that this will therefore allow many Drum Corps fans who would not be able to make the trip to DCE Finals to see both these Corps at our Championships.  I will however stress that it is our Open Class Finals that will remain the pinnacle of that day’s events.  There is no question of any Corps that is not competing under DCUK rules being permitted to perform after Open Class Finals.  Such exhibitions will provide additional entertainment throughout the day.

Questions have been raised about the ability of Senators to compete in DCE.  It is only right that those who are interested in this aspect refer to DCE, as it is their rules that Senators must now abide by.  In fact, rather than speculate and give my understanding of DCE’s rules, which may be inaccurate, I have invited DCE to prepare a formal announcement on this subject, which is reproduced below.

On Friday evening I sent an extensive email to all Trustees and Members (Corps) of DCUK.  I have reproduced part of that email below: -

As you are all aware, the summer season has suffered a few setbacks over recent weeks, however the decision to cancel one show in the second half, together with the enforced delay to the start of our season, has proved to be the right course.  We now have a far healthier looking show schedule, with the number of corps entries averaging 8 per show.

However, the future of DCUK summer season beyond this year still hangs in the balance.  We face extreme challenges from a variety of sources and it is my analysis that we can either treat these challenges as threats or opportunities. 

DCUK is very much at a cross-roads, and I have concluded that there are really only two choices - resist change, placate the traditionalists and ask the last one to leave to turn the lights out; or, to grasp the nettle that fate has handed me and implement the change, be branded as the anti-christ by certain factions and let time alone prove whether it was the right or wrong course of action!!!  All I can say is that I never actually wanted to be a hero!

Drum Corps United Kingdom faces two possible futures - a dignified retirement or a new era of inclusive Drum Corps activity as the vanguard of the activity outside the USA , regaining its former strength and stature.  It is for that reason that I asked the question at the last Board Meeting and Corps Directors College "Do we want to do Drum Corps?"

The response from the Corps Directors was a resounding success and I therefore insist that the Board of Trustees and the Membership moves forward to embrace the future.  There is no place for the apathy that I have seen from too many members of the Board and the Membership.

The time has come to make some radical decisions about the way forward for Drum Corps United Kingdom - the summer season and the winter season - two complementary parts of a potentially superb whole

The Board Meeting, which has been re-scheduled to July 22nd, will have the morning devoted to addressing the opportunities facing both DCUK, with the afternoon devoted to WGUK.

Ian Scaife is currently collating a questionnaire for DCUK and I would encourage you all to complete this and return it to Ian as soon as possible.

I will be pleased to respond to any specific emails on any subject referred to in this announcement; however I will only do so to legitimate and email addresses where the author is clearly identified.

Gavin Johnson
Drum Corps United Kingdom
6th June 2006


Reply from DCE


We received many questions from drum corps fans ourselves. All we can say to them is that we have our terms and conditions for participation:

Some of the criteria are:
2.3 Corps in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany, who will be participating in the DCE Championships 2006, must also participate in at least one contest in their own country in the same year (UK: contests from Drum Corps United Kingdom or the British Youth Band Association, The Netherlands: contests from Drum Corps Nederland, Germany: contests from Drum Corps Germany).

2.4 If, due to regulations, you are not permitted to enter contests in your own country, you can request dispensation from Drum Corps Europe.

The terms can be downloaded from our website: 
At this moment, we haven't received official information yet to determine if rule 2.4 applies. As soon as we have that information, we will be able to determine if the rule applies or not.


Marco Janssen


6th June 2006







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