Drum Corps World Recaps 2016 Season

Steve Vickers from Drum Corps World interviewed our executive director about The Battalion's inaugural season. The full text of the article is included below, but you can also read the original article by clicking here.


The Battalion makes impressive 2016 debut in Pacific Northwest

by Steve Vickers, Drum Corps World publisher (publisher@drumcorpsworld.com)

I first interviewed The Battalion co-founder and executive director, Dallin Hatch, earlier this year about his new organization based in Utah. The group passed their spring DCI evaluation and was included in a five-event series of Pacific Northwest tour shows that spanned from Tigard, OR, two competitions in Auburn and Tri-Cities, WA, Boise, ID, and back home at the Blue Knights-sponsored show in Ogden, UT.

Drum Corps World staff writer Donald Chinn and photographer Karen Sunmark covered the corps during the Tigard and Auburn competitions and reported that they were very impressed with the first-year corps.

So it seems appropriate to follow up with Dallin to find out how things went during their initial season and what the corps has planned for the upcoming season.

Steve Vickers: First, give me a brief description of the timeline involved in starting The Battalion and preparing for the 2016 season.

Dallin Hatch: We formed the organization in the spring of 2014, with the goal of building toward a first tour in the summer of 2016. In the interim, we built an education team and board of directors, met with local directors to develop synergies between programs, hosted a number of educational clinics, began grant writing and other fundraising initiatives, and worked to gather all of the assets a startup corps would need to get going. It was probably the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but we really couldn’t be happier about the result. The corps had a fantastic first tour. We joke that we took the “Dave Ramsey” approach to starting and operating a drum corps, and that’s put us on a solid operating foundation.

SV: Describe the process your organization went through for the DCI evaluation. Who represented DCI and what kinds of things did they require for a first-year group to be allowed to enter the Open Class tour schedule?

DH: DCI has a team of onboarding consultants, mentors, and evaluators they pair with prospective groups. That team will have different personnel depending on the region of the new corps. They act as a sounding board and show new corps the roadmap, but a corps’ startup team has to build the organization on their own. DCI can’t do that for them.

New corps need to demonstrate that their organization is structured well, is financially sound, and is set up to give prospective members the education and performance experience they deserve. The evaluators meet with prospective corps regularly to go over budgets, financial statements, organizational bylaws, and they also observe new groups during rehearsals to get a feel for how everything is run. If prospective corps are able to complete the checklist to the satisfaction of the DCI team, they may be allowed access to the DCI tour as an Open Class ensemble.

Our evaluation team included Tom Hope (DCI’s Pacific Representative), Ibe Sodawalla (Executive Director/CEO of the Legends Performing Arts Association and Chair for the DCI Open Class), and David Eddleman (DCI’s Open Class Coordinator). They were fantastic. I can’t thank them enough for their service to DCI and for their guidance as we worked through the evaluation process.

SV: Obviously your season, as far as competition was concerned, was very short. What other types of performance opportunities were you able to include to promote the existence of The Battalion in your home area?