Black Friday took on a whole different meaning for the Glassmen family this year. The day after Thanksgiving, the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, a non-profit organization with 50+ years of history, including 17 Drum Corps International World Finalist appearances, announced they were filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This came after almost a year of uncertainty for the future of the corps and, while the announcement was unexpected, it was desired by nobody affiliated with the corps, past or present. With this announcement, the Glassmen organization begins the process of liquidating all of its remaining assets in order to pay off creditors, including DCI itself, and will finish with the dissolving of the Glassmen. While it is possible that a new group of dedicated individuals could come forward to resurrect the corps in some way, shape, or form, there will be no new additions to the Glassmen family in the foreseeable future.
While this is a sad time for myself and my fellow Glassmen, we are fortunate to still have one another. The bonds we have formed with those we marched with and even those which came before and after us are strong, sometimes as strong as the bonds of blood. Jon Bay, a soprano player I marched with, once said that he would jump in his car and bail any one of his fellow Glassmen out of jail, no questions asked and no matter how much time passed since we shared the field together, because of how special we are to one another. Jon is not alone in that sentiment and, judging from the outpouring of memories on Facebook, he is also not alone in understanding just how much of a family we all are to one another.
I recently had the opportunity to share one of my favorite Glassmen memories on the Marching Roundtable podcast. When it was recorded, the Glassmen Board of Directors had not announced their decision to file for Chapter 7. Now that they have and the organization is in its final days of existence, I am very glad I had the opportunity to share that memory for posterity. I hope that we all take the time to raise a glass and tell a story or two from our “experience of a lifetime” as a way of keeping the Glassmen name and memory alive. I also hope that those of us who can will get together at the various DCI, DCA, BOA, TOB, US Bands, WGI, and other marching arts events throughout the years. After all, family reunions are a blast, especially with this family.
Announcement of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing:
Description of Chapter 7 bankruptcy from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapter_7,_Title_11,_United_States_Code#For_businesses):
When a troubled business is badly in debt and unable to service that debt or pay its creditors, it may file (or be forced by its creditors to file) for bankruptcy in a federal court under Chapter 7. A Chapter 7 filing means that the business ceases operations unless continued by the Chapter 7 Trustee. A Chapter 7 Trustee is appointed almost immediately, with broad powers to examine the business’s financial affairs. The Trustee generally sells all the assets and distributes the proceeds to the creditors. This may or may not mean that all employees will lose their jobs. When a very large company enters Chapter 7 bankruptcy, entire divisions of the company may be sold intact to other companies during the liquidation.
Fully secured creditors, such as collateralized bondholders or mortgage lenders, have a legally enforceable right to the collateral securing their loans or to the equivalent value, a right which cannot be defeated by bankruptcy. A creditor is fully secured if the value of the collateral for its loan to the debtor equals or exceeds the amount of the debt. For this reason, however, fully secured creditors are not entitled to participate in any distribution of liquidated assets that the bankruptcy trustee might make.
In a Chapter 7 case, a corporation or partnership does not receive a bankruptcy discharge—instead, the entity is dissolved. Only an individual can receive a Chapter 7 discharge (see 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(1)). Once all assets of the corporate or partnership debtor have been fully administered, the case is closed. The debts of the corporation or partnership theoretically continue to exist until applicable statutory periods of limitations expire.