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  1. Based on some of the discussions this year, it seems worthwhile to take a minute and cover how marching band is judged in the contemporary setting (i.e. BOA) Old School vs. New School In the "old days" marching bands (and drum corps) were judged with the "Tick System" where judges were largely there to count perceived errors and subtract those from a total number of points. This is NOT how marching bands are (or at least theoretically) judged today. New adjudication is based on REWARDING ACHIEVEMENT and building scores up rather than taking away from 100. Judges are asked to consider both WHAT the performers are doing and HOW they are doing that. On each of the six different judges sheets, there are SUB-CAPTIONS which are added together to form the judge's total score for a group. Criteria Reference System and Boxes Judges sheets include information to help determine an approximate score based on certain criteria. These criteria help determine if a band's score should fall into one of five different ranges referred to as Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, Box 4 and Box 5. Box 5 is the highest level of achievement, where the band exhibits the greatest level of achievement, technique, training, and artistry. Judges should be both RATING and RANKING bands. This means that when a judge assigns a score they do not do it in total isolation. Rating is the process of assigning a number that accurately represents the achievement of a band, while the ranking is assigning a score that relates to the other bands appropriately. The judge should consider the scores they have already given and slot a band in relation to each other. This means that is Band A received a 16.5 from a judge and Band B got a 16.6, the judge perceived them to be almost identical in the level of performance but believes Band B to be slightly better. This is why comparing scores between two different contests/pannels of judges is not always as simple as looking at a band's total score. You will notice that at BOA super regionals and Grand Nationals, where there are two different panels of judges for prelims, the formula for who advances balances taking some bands from each panel. Number Management This phrase was thrown around a bit. This is where things get a bit more complex. It is generally perceived that going on later in a class or in a show is advantageous. The assumption is that judges will start the day, or class with putting down a fairly conservative number to leave room above that to for higher scores, and it is thought that scores naturally creep higher throughout the day (referred to as SCORE INFLATION). Judges do have to be careful that they assign scores fairly to all groups throughout the day. That is where the "RATE and RANK" responsibility becomes very important. A judge SHOULD be considering the other bands as they assign scores. The Captions The BOA handbook has example score sheets and extensive descriptions of each caption. Below is a general overview of the most typical setup. https://marching.musicforall.org/adjudication-handbook/ Visual Performance Individual - One judge on the field with the performers. 20 point sheet averaged with Visual Performance Ensemble. This judge is evaluating the winds/percussion AND color guard. Visual Performance Ensemble - One judge in the press box.. 20 point sheet averaged with VPI. This judge is evaluating the winds/percussion AND color guard. Music Performance Individual - One judge on the field with the performers. 20 point sheet averaged with Music Performance Ensemble. This judge is evaluating winds AND percussion. Music Performance Ensemble- One judge in the press box.. 20 point sheet averaged with MPI. This judge is evaluating winds AND percussion. Music General Effect- TWO judges in the press box. 20 points each for a total of 40 points. Visual General Effect- One judge in the press box. 20 point sheet. With this set up you will see that 60 points out of 100 come from music (20 points Music GE1 + 20 points Music GE2 + 20 Points Music Performance (Invidiaul and Ensemble averaged together)). This system also means that 60 points of 100 are based on the General Effect of a show. (20 points Music GE1 + 20 points Music GE2 + Visual GE). Guard, Percussion and Drum Major- at some contests there may be separate judges providing feedback and scores for these areas, but those individual scores generally are not factored into the total score for a group. In Illinois, there is no organization that oversees marching contests like how ISSMA in Indiana or UIL in Texas does. This means there is no standard of scoring system or judges training. The system described above is certainly becoming more standard than it was. However, there is still a great deal of variation. These exact sheets may be slightly different, or the number of judges may be a little different. Frequently shows will only hire 1 Music GE judge to save money. This usually means the MPI and MPE are not averaged and the scores are taken as-is. There is also no formal judges training in Illinois and the experience of judges and training may vary greatly.
  2. How Marching Band is Judged

    You hit on some really key points that are really hot topics in the marching world right now. I'm not sure anyone really has all the answers but here are a couple of thoughts. There is definitely less full ensemble playing taking place with a lot of bands (and drum corps). Larger and larger portions of shows are based on the front ensemble and/or mic'd virtuosic solos (and small ensembles). When there are ensemble moments, they are very carefully coordinated. Ultimately the design of these shows is getting more strategic about exactly what to demonstrate and when to demonstrate it. There was a post on one of the drum corps Facebook groups or forums, where someone had gone through and analyzed the top six shows from DCI finals and if I recall most of them had fewer than 5 minutes of ensemble playing. This is in stark contrast to days when pretty much everyone played the whole show. Regarding costumes and props. Technically speaking they the presence of props/costumes does not IMHO directly increase the performers' achievement level (score), unless they do something with them (i.e. move or interact with the props, change costumes, etc.). HOWEVER, props and costumes can help clarify the theme or narrative of the show. This helps make the music and visual content demonstrated by the performers be more understandable and easier to award credit (score). The money thing is a tough issue and hotly debated. As a whole Illinois bands seem to have cheaper fees/dues compared to other groups competing at the top level. I'm not sure if anyone in Illinois is charging more than $1000 in fees, but that level of financial commitment is not uncommon in the upper levels of the activity. There are GN finalists whose fees are over $2000.
  3. Marching Band Random Questions

    They are non-competitive I believe
  4. ISU Results

    At this point, most people are using something that at least resembles the BOA system and sheets- which was not true all that long ago. The most common variation is those that only hire one Mus GE judge (perfectly appropriate way to save $$ for hosts of smaller shows IMHO). The big issue I see is that we need more high quality, trained judges in Illinois. There are definitely some excellent judges in the state, but we need more. There are a lot of judges that lack high-level experience in the activity and/or don't understand modern marching band adjudication (i.e. number management). I don't mind not having an official state system most of the time, but having one would help ensure consistent judge training. I
  5. Normal Marching Invitational results

    10.12.19 Normal TABS FINAL ALL.pdf
  6. FINAL ISU PREDICTION

    7 Finalists from 1-4A (Class champions + the next 3 highest scores regardless of class) 7 Finalists from 5A-6A (Class champions + next 5 highest scores regardless of class) At least this is how it's been done in recent history.
  7. BOA St. Louis

    First BOA show for a couple of these schools, yeah? (or at least first in a while)
  8. Tabulation was done by a third party company and the judging panel was in place before the new director was hired. David Boggs ran a great show at McKendree (with smooth logistics and strong judging panels). I fully expect the show to run smoother, have better number management, and no tabulation errors in the future.
  9. Very interested to see a full recap of the whole day. I believe tabulation was outsourced to the same third party who manages the judges recordings.
  10. Hmmm interesting... Thanks for sharing!
  11. I figured it was some combination of both, but knowing some of the schools and their band sizes I can't see where the divisions are, especially if 1a and 1b are separate classes.
  12. Does anyone know how these classes were broken down?
  13. Here’s the recap that was posted:
  14. BOA Muncie Indiana

    There are a lot of bands that I'm not super familiar with here. Lincoln-Way should make finals and do pretty well at that. I'm a little surprised we're not seeing some of the bigger name Indiana schools here, but there are 7 other shows going on in Indiana this weekend. Also with the Indy Super Regional and Grand Nats, I'm not sure how appealing doing another BOA show is for some of them. The next couple weekends are ISSMA shows, so perhaps the thought is to take an off weekend now while they have a chance.
  15. Finals Results: 1) Blue Springs 82.85 (Visual, GE-Tie) 2) Rosemont 82.60 (Music- Tie, GE- Tie) 3) Camdenton 80.65 4) O'Fallon Township 79.75 (Music-Tie) 5) Marian Catholic 76.85 6) Lockport Township 76.30 7) Lincoln 73.05 8) Independence 72.95 9) Nixa 72.95 10) Blue Springs South 71.50
  16. Congratulations to all four Illinois bands on placing in their classes at the Iowa regional! O'Fallon, Lockport, and Marian Catholic perform in finals tonight.
  17. Danville Viking Invitational

    Some nice small bands are here. Should be a good show, assuming the rain holds off! Champaign Central is the larges program here by far and will more than likely be GC by quite a margin.
  18. I'll refrain from predictions until after we see results form this weekend. I'll just say this is a really exciting line up of groups. EIU has new marching band director this year, for anyone who was curious/didn't know.
  19. Geneseo Maple Leaf Classic

    I had a chance to look over the sheet. Some interesting findings: -The only band to band to be ranked first in their class by all 6 primary judges was Dunlap. They were also first in guard and percussion. Sherrard was first in all captions, except music gen effect where they were second. -Galesburg was first in music individual and music general effect, but fourth in music ensemble -In all four classes, the band that was first in visual gen effect was first in their classes. Point spread by caption: VI: 74-115 VE: 68-144 VGE: 79-144 MI:60-161 ME: 58-116 MGE:59-162
  20. Geneseo Maple Leaf Classic

    Great thanks!
  21. Geneseo Maple Leaf Classic

    Do you have a recap? I'm not surprised by the class winners, but the margins on some of them are really interesting. I'm curious to see how each caption broke down. Thanks!
  22. This weekend kicks off the start of Band of America (BOA) competition. There are only 5 Illinois bands competing in the first two weekends of BOA shows, so I figured one thread was plenty. A little background on BOA: If you are new to the marching band scene or have never heard of Bands of America here is a little background. BOA is a sort of affiliate or sub-section (I don't know what the formal, legal structure is) of Music for All. Throughout the Fall, BOA hosts a series of competitive events in college and pro stadiums throughout the country. "Regionals" are one-day competitions, "Super Regionals" are two-day competitions, and "Grand Nationals" spans three days in November. Although USBands also has a competitive circuit, BOA is widely considered the premier series of regional/national competition. All shows follow a prelims/finals format, except for Grand Nationals which is prelims/semi-finals/finals. Schools are classed by school size, but performance order is not determined by class. There are 3 BOA regionals this weekend, and 4 next weekend, but there are only two shows that have Illinois bands in attendance. Louisville, KY this weekend and Cedar Falls, IA next week. Normal appears this weekend in KY, while Morton, O'Fallon, Marian, and Lockport appear in IA. All 5 programs have experienced a change in one form or another in the last couple of years. Normal is in their second year as a combined program, Morton has a new director, and the other three have all gotten new assistant directors in the last year or two. All too often people pass quick judgment in the wake of change, and for better or worse there are a lot of people watching these programs. However, as stated in my ISU post, the level of marching band in Illinois is rising across the board, and as fans, instructors, designers, etc. that is the real focus that should be celebrated. Frankly, I don't pay enough attention to bands outside of Illinois to make any meaningful predictions for these two regionals. And especially this early in the season there is only so much weight you can put into the few results we've seen so far. Even the shows we see this weekend and next will evolve a great deal and may place very differently in a month from now. Based on the little that I do know about the groups performing and some quick checks of scores from last year, I think all 5 Illinois groups are part of the finals conversations. I think O'Fallon (and potentially Lockport or Marian) could place top 3 at their regional, but Blue Springs if probably the favorite to win the top spot.
  23. Band of America - Sep 21 and Sep 28

    Normal placed 2nd in Class 4A at the KY regional, but did not make finals.
  24. My ISU thoughts with no real predictions: 1A) IVC, Eureka, and U High have been top three in this class on more than one occasion. I think they are top 3 this year. The three were pretty tight together at Morton last weekend, and I expect they stay tight throughout the season. U-High won this class last year and made their first (I believe) appearance in ISU finals and a top placement at the St. Louis BOA super regional. Paris was just GC at Monticello and could be knocking on the door here. 2A) Morton has won this class every year since 2005 and they are no stranger to high-level competition. A strong staff helps them consistently turn out great shows year after year. Canton, Metamora, and LaSalle-Peru all saw each other at (and Morton) at Washington earlier this month, and may very well be at more shows together this season before ISU. I don't know everyone's schedule but we will likely not get a read of Providence Catholic alongside the rest of 2A until ISU. 3A) The name Marian Catholic is pretty much a household name in the marching band world. They are always a breathtaking band to watch with artistic and well-performed shows. In the last few years, we've seen Bloomington holding their own in this class as well, they are also no stranger to finals. Galesburg brings a great show to the table in their brand new uniforms this year. They were a band everyone was talking about last year, and I think we will be talking about them for years to come. Galesburg last marched in finals in '93 according to their ILmarching page. I don't know if that is a goal for them but regardless they are a band to watch for a fun, well-performed show. Limestone is another band that has been in finals a couple of times, along with Dunlap who made their ISU finals debut last year. 4A) John Hersey has won this class a number of times and is also easily one of the best concert band programs in the state. Look for some outstanding music from this group and keep an eye on them. Elk Grove and Rock Island both marched in finals last year for the first time. 5A) The legacy of the PMK in the state of Illinois is long and well known. Prospect was just GC at Lake Park and I would anticipate another strong showing from them here. Victor J Andrew, Plainfield North, and Edwardsville have also all made finals in recent years. The only non-finalist in this class is H.D. Jacobs- who started competing back in 2010. 6) This class holds the most bands in it and will be fascinating to watch. Minooka is, I believe, the largest high school marching band in the state. They have not been at ISU in my memory and will be fun to watch. Lincoln-Way is now in the 4th year of their combined operation and have established themselves as a tremendous band. Downers Grove South is playing very well, and is wearing shakos now, a departure from their older styled hats- looking sharp DGS! Normal is in their second year as a combined program and will the only Illinois band at the BOA Regional in Louisville this weekend. Lake Park, Warren, and Joliet West are programs with rich histories and are all present in this class. Lockport was a semi-finalist just last year at GN, has a multitude of moving props, and is marching a drumline for the first time in a number of years. The big takeaway from this and all of we've seen this year so far: the level of competitive marching band in Illinois is growing tremendously. Almost every program is as good, or better, than they have ever been. There are more growing and developing competitive programs than we've seen. We've seen tremendous growth in visual content and design out of some central and souther Illinois programs, who are now going toe to toe with suburban programs. Side note, there are a handful of bands that are not at ISU, or have never attended ISU, that it would be really cool to see here at some point.
  25. I agree with TheAngryBavarian that Lake Park is a solid pick for 1st in AA, I would guess Elk Grove to place 2nd but anything could happen. I also agree with Prospect and Warren being in the top two spots in AAA.
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