We had a 15 minute interview with Judging Co-ordinator Mark Basset about his role and responsibilities, goals for the upcoming season. Also Mark is taking a step back from judging in 2017 to work with The Company. 

What are the responsibilities of the Judging Co-ordinator?

I am responsible for providing a team of certified judges for Drum Corps Europe, and for managing the Judging Team. I ensure that the Code of Conduct rules are enforced, and also act as the first point of contact for any queries that are raised during the season – I also provide a response when any investigation has concluded. I am responsible for the recruitment of new judges and the start of their training, and (along with the Judges’ Administrator, Ann) for the arrangement and logistics of the Judges’ College, which is held in May each year. I also oversee the judging allocation/assignment process.

This sounds like a lot of work! Why did you take up the role?

It is a busy role, but one that I enjoy. There is always something to work on from January through to December – it’s not just a job for the summer months! After my passion for Drum Corps began back in 1990, it feels good to be giving something back to a hobby that I have got so much from.

For my ‘day job’ I work as a Project Manager for the UK government. I was put forward for Judging Co-Ordinator, as I have transferrable skills to undertake the requirements of the role. I have been in this post since the start of the 2014 season.

What are your aims for the Judging Team during the 2017 season?

Firstly – we need to recruit more judges! If you are interested in starting your training this year, even if you are still marching/teaching, please get in contact! We all always looking for new judges across all captions, but at the moment especially for Ensemble Music and Music Effect.

The Judging Team contains a group of people that are skilled and experienced in the area(s) they adjudicate, and are very passionate about the activity. I hope that the team remains strong, friendly and willing to learn and better themselves, and that they continue to provide educational and constructive commentary/feedback to corps at all levels of ability.

I am very grateful to each member of the team for volunteering their time to provide this integral part of our activity.

Alongside your Judges' Co-ordinator role, you also judge Field Percussion. Describe your judging experience to-date in three words!

Challenging. Rewarding. Fun.

You are taking a step back from judging in 2017 - what are your plans for the season?

I have lived with Kidney Failure for most of my adult life, and my kidneys failed completely in late 2009. This resulted in me having to undergo dialysis treatment multiple times per week, and therefore no longer able to be involved in teaching a drum corps.

I started training to be a DCE Judge in 2010, which allowed me the opportunity to stay involved in the activity, but without the weekly commitment level expected from teaching a corps.

In April 2016 I had a Kidney Transplant, which has afforded me a new lease of life. This includes being away from home for longer periods of time due to not having to dialyse, and having increased energy levels to allow me to do more of what makes me happy.

Music; specifically drum corps, has played a big part of my life, and is something that I really missed during my prolonged period of illness. I have decided to take a step back from judging this season, and instead have taken the opportunity to be involved with The Company Performance Ensemble. I am a member of the percussion staff, as well as assisting with logistics management of the corps.

I hope that this sabbatical from the field will allow me to refresh/improve my percussion knowledge, and enable me to bring a renewed understanding from a corps perspective back to the judging team.

Best wishes and good luck to each corps that are competing in the 2017 edition of the European Music Games.