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  1. Happy New Year

    I know this forum is dead around this time every year, but I wish everyone (even you Robes) a Happy New Year and best wishes to all.
  2. BOA Grand National Championship Thoughts

    Big step foward in my view. Shocked to see LWE so close as well. They deserve an immense amount of credit for being evaluated higher than multi-time finalists like Kiski, Ayala, Winston Churchill and Centerville. This year was just an intense and super competitive field, the likes of which we may not see again. Speaking of semi-finals, I know we can slice-and-dice many things to find a silver lining, but Marian Catholic and Carmel tied for first in Music GE in semifinals, with David McGrath scoring MC first in his subcategory. Even on more of an off scoring year, they find a way to get a #1 in there somewhere. Congrats to all.
  3. BOA Grand National Championship Thoughts

    For the previous post, I meant a sincere congratulations to Morton and I believe the next step for them should be making the semifinals show as an outright top 30 band and not as a filler. Still great to have two performances and congratulations on 3rd in AA. Marian's formula, at least to me, seems to be in the blending of their entire ensemble by going balls out and not cutting corners. Many of these bands tonight did not cut corners in their shows and these factors were quite evident. But let's face facts. This isn't 2000 anymore. Marian Catholic cannot waltz into national finals and afford to have any weak links if they expect to consistently rival some of these giants, even if they have an outstanding conceptual show that truly sets them apart from the rest. Marian in 7th somewhat befuddles me, but in the end I am not sure how much higher I could have legitimately had them. The scoring disparity is very perplexing as I believe the semis and prelims results will likely show, but for those of you who saw the live feed via BOA, there were 8 or 9 finalist bands tonight that could've placed just about anywhere. The top seven, including Marian, were scary good and each brought something different to the table. BUT what ALL of them have in common is that they play loud, have clearly represented themes (forget Carmel) and march clean. We can't control, nor do I think you need to control, how complex a field show is. I think the beauty of Marian Catholic is in the depth of their programming and the exposed sections of their shows, but from a competitive standpoint I do not see how they can consistently maintain the way that Avon and LD Bell have specifically because what they are doing is simply not being rewarded as much. Tweaking is the right word I would use, but you have to remember that their focus isn't to win. I am sure that Marian was comfortably in finals tonight and there is no good reason that they should change what they do because of one panel. We forget that they've placed (and scored) highly in the past two finals shows. I do not think that many bands can achieve great success in BOA deep into the season WITHOUT being in-your-face, drum corps style. That's what is being rewarded now and the two programs who consistently achieve a championship-level show (in the eyes and ears of judges) are Avon and LD Bell and both do the same thing. It is truly amazing how great some of these finals bands have become. There are varied styles and approaches represented but what is being rewarded right now is not quite what MC has done over the years. It's a shame in a small way because I felt they had a very strong finals performance, but there is no doubt that they should at least think about a shift in strategy moving forward with their lesser experienced performers. Regardless of what we think about drawing from different grade schools or bigger geographical areas, this is where Marian Catholic has a disadvantage to schools that they compete with on the highest levels.. The learning curve and adaptation to performing literature on par with students in other programs who may have had those opportunities within a school system. I also think that Marian Catholic should strongly consider auditioning and/or creating a second band. They did not embarrass themselves, but for the strong performance that they had, to not be rewarded by a professional panel means that something is amiss somewhere in the system. It's not the director or the design, which usually is what happens to bands who are on the decline (design/music arrangement falls a level or two); it's individuals...probably freshmen.
  4. BOA Grand National Championship Thoughts

    I echo that and a fine performance this morning. Morton now should aspire to make semifinals outright. That would be cool.
  5. BOA Grand National Championship Thoughts

    Finals. Yeah, I don't think under any scenerio I could see one out, let alone both. Lafayette and C'ville are probably on par to finish between 15-18th.
  6. I realize not being in the arena presents unique challenges, but I was able to see many of the shows today, especially from Illinois bands and am interested in beginning a discussion; one that is happening in nearly every other forum but here. Quick thoughts on prelims I: Morton: I think this band is on the verge of taking that next step, as they have steadily improved over the past five years, however, have to remain objective within the context of this performance by writing that they simply ran out of gas. Someone needs to have those kids run around the football field a few dozen times to build endurance, because the show flowed a bit better than ISU (which is expected), but the high brass and especially the dynamics of the ensemble gradually lost power as the program shifted into more demanding drill. I can appreciate the program more now than I did a few weeks back in terms of what is being asked of the performer, but the execution level simply was not where it needs to be to advance. I hope they do advance to semis as an autobid from Class AA, but right now I think they are on the outside looking in. Ending was quite effective. Lake Park: Very smooth and body parts noted. Not a big fan of the theme or concept, but if we're judging this solely on flow and execution, they did an admirable job. I expect to see LP where many of you probably do 20-30, or in the final eight selected after the Top 11 from each day are determined. Lincoln-Way East: Performance level has risen since ISU. Nice open and visual is pretty strong throughout the show, however I lose some flow as we get into the final passages. It seems to fizzle. Maybe that's just me, but I wasn't the only one in the Facebook chat on the live feed that noticed. Technically, I have LWE in semis, but I would not bet my house on it right now. Herscher: Hey, they tried their best and that's all you an really ask for. Had some apparent ensemble imbalance and foot issues, but most bands do. Hope they got the most out of their program tonight. O'Fallon: Musically, O'Fallon plays well and they might actually have an outside of an outside chance at semi's right now, but the visual book has to become a little more progressive in my view to give them the opportunity. It's just such a difficult year to make another round nothing would surprise me. Victor J. Andrew: Pretty solid show that belonged in ISU Finals, but that's been gone over here time and time again. There were some phasing issues that became apparent on the high cam, but it was a fairly good performance and now we'll just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow. Others: The only two I see making finals from this day are Lawrence Central (IN) and Union(OK) who appeared to rock the dome. William Mason (OH), Lake Central (IN) and Center Grove (IN) are definitely on the bubble, while Centerville appears on the outside looking in at this point as well as Lafayette (KY). In Class A, Adair County (KY) looked very good and Western (IN) will likely join them in semis. Class AA could always include Morton, but I just find it a bit unlikely at this point in time. They just didn't have enough gas to project the ensemble sound necessary to create the effect they were looking for. If they did, it would've propelled them further faster. Maybe that's what next year is for.
  7. 2010 BOA Grand Nationals Predictions

    Why is everyone more down on LD Bell this year than others? Not to say they won't score in the mid-90s which is still on the highest level, but is it just because of the competition or is their show just lacking in an area or two. Also, I have a really hard time placing Tarpon above 4th under almost any circumstances. Maybe 3rd at best, but unlike 2000 when they had such a great show, there wasn't as much meat at the top. That's what she said.
  8. 2010 BOA Grand Nationals Predictions

    In order. Thursday top 11: 1.Lawrence Central (AAAA) 2. Union (OK) AAAA 3. Center Grove (IN) AAA 4.William Mason (OH) AAAA 5. Centerville (OH) AAAA 6.Walled Lake Central (MI) AAA 7.Lake Central (IN) AAAA 8.Ben Davis (IN) AAAA 9. Rampart (CO) AAA 10.Lafayette (KY) AAA 11.Lake Park (IL) AAAA Friday top 11: 1.Avon (IN) AAAA 2.Marian Catholic (IL) AA 3.Carmel (IN) AAAA 4.Tarpon Springs (FL) AAA 5.LD Bell (TX) AAAA 6.Broken Arrow (OK) AAAA 7.Stephen F. Austin (TX) AAA 8.Kennesaw Mountain (GA) AAA 9.Winston Churchill (TX ) AAA 10.Kiski Area (PA) AA 11.Cedar Park (TX) Next 8 1.Lafayette (LA) AAA 2.Ayala (CA) AAAA 3.Plymouth-Canton (MI) AAAA 4.Boiling Springs (SC) AAA 5.Bellbrook (OH) AA 6.Lincoln-Way East (IL) - AAA 7.Jenison (MI) - AA 8. Western (IN) - A Class Fillers: A: Adair County (KY) Bourbon County (KY) Berryhill (OK) AA Morton (Thursday) Semifinals Awards: AAAA 1.Avon (IN) 2.Carmel (IN) 3.LD Bell (TX) Music: Avon/Carmel tie (IN) Visual: Carmel (IN) GE: Avon (IN) AAA 1. Tarpon Springs (FL) 2. Kennesaw Mountain (GA) 3. Stephen F. Austin (TX) Music: Stephen F. Austin (TX) Visual: Tarpon Springs (FL) GE: Tarpon Springs (FL) AA 1. Marian Catholic (IL) 2. Kiski Area (PA) 3. Bellbrook (OH) Music: Marian Catholic (IL) Visual: Marian Catholic (IL) GE: Marian Catholic (IL) A 1.Western (IN) 2.Adair County (KY) 3.Boubron County (KY) Music: Western (IN) Visual: Western (IN) GE: Western (IN) Finalists: Avon (IN) Broken Arrow (OK) Kennesaw Mountain (GA) Tarpon Springs (FL) Stephen F. Austin (TX) LD Bell (TX) Marian Catholic (IL) Winston Churchill (TX) Carmel (IN) Union (OK) Lawrence Central (IN) Kiski Area (PA) On bubble: CENTER GROVE, Centerville, Plymouth-Canton, Lafayette (LA), Ayala, Cedar Park, Walled Lake Central ------------------------------- Lower 1/4 12. Union 90 11. Kiski Area 90 10. Winston Churchill 91 -------------------------------------------------------- Middle/Lower 9. Kennesaw Mountain 92 8. Stephen F. Austin 92 7. Lawrence Central 93 6. Broken Arrow 93 -------------------------------------------------------- Title Contendors 5. LD Bell 95 4. Tarpon Springs 95 3. Carmel 96 2. Marian Catholic 96 1. Avon 97 I don't think that Avon will actually win, but I can't pick a show to dethrone them just yet. Carmel has an able chance and there are some unknowns with Tarpon Springs as so much as how their program will ultimately be rewarded due to size, production value, etc. . LD Bell is somewhat unknown as is Marian Catholic in terms of peak potential, but all five are in this and I would not be surprised with any one of them winning.
  9. BOA Indianapolis Regional Schedule

    It should be very close between the top three here, LD Bell and Tarpon Springs.
  10. ISU reviews

    High scores and recognition/multiple performances are what everyone strive for specifically the recognition that you have achieved a high level compartively within yourselves that also projects across a panel of several adjudicators. It's not everything, but it should be for what people aspire for; perfection, show clarity and the effort that made it possible. I fully support any motivational tool used by staff members that includes 'beating this band or that band'. If it raises the students' performance level and you can dually assign ownership of the program, an emotionally-charged performance and the best result attainable at that place, by that band and at that time, great. I'm all for it. Bravo LWE. That's great! The real world isn't always about simply doing your best, it is about results and putting in all of that effort not to simply feel good, but also to be recognized. Competitions make bands better. Naperville North did not have the show design to keep your attention on the band, but they did have a theatrical design that has to be lauded. Probably should embrace diversity in the arena than look down upon it. They play well and put together a good program. One word about the Marian Catholic situation.. I think because it rained all morning and prelims was delayed due to the weather they chose not to chance using their uniforms for that reason; especially for the colorguard. Weren't they on 2nd or 3rd after the break? Not a lot of time to adjust or change. You will see this from time to time with bands especially in inclimate weather. Sometimes it's just not worth having to dry things off when you probably have another show ahead of you later. And every band suffers from dropped flags or rifles..not just them. Each performance is different. I agree with you about Lincoln-Way North's guard. Real good; contributed very well to the program. Agree about Plainfield North and Morton. Agree about LWN and Lake Park. Just know that you are at a competition and scores do matter in terms of number of performances and recognition..but only to a certain degree. Everyone needs a challenge somewhere, even if they claim that they do not. Competing within yourselves becomes boring if you have no 'rival', even if it is a friendly one.
  11. Why is there no state championship?

    I personally like the fact there is no official state governing body..or at least one that has taken the reigns on this subject. While many people on here are emphasizing trophies, band A scoring 6 points more or ..should've scored 2 points or less more than Band B, ridiculous multipliers and other non-essential aspects to music education, there is something to be said for allowing programs the freedom to grow at their own pace without a semi-forced inclusion into a wider-ranging and often red-tape-riddled state governing association. There are nearly as many complaints, if not more, from states who hold these types of events (UIL judging system/scheduling, ISSMA scheduling) about the same issues being bellyached by Monday morning quarterbacks on here. I love competition, scores are the main reason why I go to marching band competitions or pay attention at all..but I do not understand what is so broken about the wide-open system in this arena within this state. Many bands can pick and choose where to attend based on budget, staff preference and proximity. If a band can get a better educational experience by attending a BOA Regional, YIM, USSBA or whatever else is out there, they should be able to. Whether or not ISU or U of I ultimately is recognized as 'the championship', I don't see how adding regionals would be fruitful. Where is the money going to come from to host these events and where are the venues? ISU is a great show. U of I may be on the way to having a great show. Just leave it as it is and quit focusing on some sort of lame validation that a band has to be an official state or class champion or whether a specific judging standard should be adopted across the entire spectrum. When a prominent show has become archaic in its structure and people have voiced concerns, like U of I, the host modifies the system to not only appease the masses, but improve the event. Leave IHSA and IMEA out of this.
  12. Scores for 10/23

    I agree with you about the whining about judging, classifications or bands placing here or there. It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme, but there is nothing wrong with hashing over things as long as you can make an educated argument. Between you, me and the rest of the world, I hope some of the people on here have more going on outside of this forum.
  13. IHSA Multiplier

    Whistlin' in the wind. Several schools were opposed to the multiplier back in 2005 and filed a lawsuit against IHSA over this issue, as one would expect. http://www.ihsa.org/announce/2005-06/050927.htm Someone correct me if I am wrong, because I am not intimately familiar with Bands of America policies, but the way I read the rulebook that was laid out, I think the organization takes into account the actual official reported numbers by the applicant and, should there be a question in terms of enrollment between the time of submittal and either the school year or prior to the numbers being submitted, then BOA consults with the state's official numbers as the default. If a school has properly reported their student population and there are no serious fluctuations or questions, this is probably why the issue has never been addressed. Then again, if you recall, Marian Catholic was in BOA's largest class for quite a while, probably even when this multiplier was implemented, so it was a moot point anyway at that point in time. Do your homework, call BOA directly and ask them about it instead of speculating that people skirt rules. Call Marian Catholic and get an explanation from them.
  14. ISU reviews

    Again, a lot of words to say "I really don't know what I'm talking about". Does Marian create a VERY demanding visual package and musical package? Absolutely, and unquestionably unparallelled in Illinois. However, people I VERY MUCH TRUST told me that Saturday night they looked like an absolute mess...ridiculously dirty from a marching standpoint. So, my question is...if you sound amazing, have a great colorguard and visual "intent", yet march like a junior high band...do you deserve to win ISU? There's two words in the activity, and one of them is MARCHING. No question in 3 weeks they will be cleaner and have a lot of those issues taken care of...that's a given. Nobody closes the last 3 weeks like MC...but ISU was Saturday..not three weeks from now. I am entitled to my opinion and am sure that there were cleaner groups there, but cannot discount the overall package as being superior. Comparing their marching technique, by indirect or direct implication, to a junior high band shows an extreme lack of knowledge on your part. Actually, comparing most, if not all, the bands at ISU to junior high bands would be somewhat demeaning. They scored an 86.00 and while that is only relative to the competition, it is clear that there is much to build on in the coming weeks. I felt that the Top 5 bands were very good in their own ways, but that it is hard to make the case for any of the other four to top MC in spite of any bugs in their system. Again, I am entitled to my opinion and it appears you were not at the show, so pipe down. You have nothing to say because you apparently were not there.
  15. Scores for 10/23

    I agree that they should randomize prelims in the smaller classes and then between 4A-6A. The greatest crowd of the day is always there for the 6A bands and I don't see why you can't mix 4A-6A bands as well as 1A-3A. The same panel should judge prelims and there should be a different panel for finals as well. I think what they were trying to do was inflate the 1-3A scores by giving one panel of judges a certain amount of bands to box, thus promoting what ISU probably perceived as a more accurate head-to-head reading versus judging that may be holding out on higher marks until later in the day. Just a theory, but if you think about it, that explains a huge disparity in scoring between prelims and finals (not to mention the panel and performance slotting). Just sayin'.