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johnlivingston last won the day on October 20 2019

johnlivingston had the most liked content!

About johnlivingston

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  1. what schools surprised you the most

  2. U of I Results

    Their MPI + MPE scores were dreadful. I have to see this performance.
  3. How Marching Band is Judged

    It's clear that you don't know where to begin. So probably should have just remained quiet as you added nothing to the discussion. Wish you would have! If you can't agree that woodwinds matter in marching band, then it isn't marching band anymore. It's drum corps. Can't agree with that? Go back to the 1970s and early 80s with that corps style macho weirdness. Play some disco while you're at it.
  4. How Marching Band is Judged

    True, the activity on the visual level has really evolved. I would argue that some of the very top bands' brass sections are great as well. What we have lost though are the woodwinds. Sadly, the activity has backslid both in terms of gimmicky arrangements/concepts and visual crutches. I know most people who have viewed my recent posts will think that I HATE Lincoln-Way (baby mamma has a kid in the band...so not the case, but whatever), but their uniforms were overdone. Obviously, that helped their program the past couple of weekends in the scoring department, but I hate to think that this is where we are now. I can only think of a few contending bands that value their woodwinds (and not for the sake of running up to the sideline, performing a few bars, and then fading into the back of the ensemble to check off a box). It's really sad that the high school marching band now resembles drum corps, which is great in it own right, but discludes other sections of the band that makes high school marching band unique. Also, too much influence from a couple very good designers like Wes Cartwright. Many bands, whose directors can't write to save their lives, outsource to this gentleman, and while I admit that he is exceptionally talented, a program who lives and dies by a contractor's work is living on perilous ground. The shows are not vastly different and everyone scrambles to figure out who he's designing for next because they will be successful (or not). There truly is very little originality anymore. Gone are the days of the directors actually putting together their own programs, with one or two notable exceptions. Another unregulated part of the activity, but one that is wrong IMO. It offends people whenever I've talked about this at my band meetings, but let's get real. If you are going to field a competitive marching band, you should hire a director who knows what he/she is doing in that arena. Not waste valuable taxpayer dollars to bring in people to do what you cannot.
  5. ISU Results

    I'm not sure what you are talking about. Lincoln-Way existed as one band far before they split up into four schools and had some success at BOA, but have never made a BOA National Finals. I personally thought they would have if they attended in 96 & 99, but most years they just weren't good enough. It's OK - just not good enough is OK. They have made regional finals as different groups, mainly LW Community, East, but North as well. West I believe eeked in one year at an early season regional. If you can guarantee me that Marian Catholic cares so deeply about ISU, then you also don't really know their history. BOA Nationals is their thing.. I suppose a great showing at ISU is what most bands are striving for, but you would be incorrect as to how --at least I think-- they view their season. An important show, but certainly one step along the way to the bigger, more competitive shows. Great performance opportunity, but definitely not bringing a great product most years to that show. I am so confused about what you are talking about. LW has several different high schools, right? There isn't Lincoln-Way High School. There's Central, West. East. They have their own identities and sports teams. They combined to field a band, which I personally find to be unethical, but that's only from a competitive standpoint. I never was ripping 'kids'. In terms of bands' history: Lake Park has been far more successful, though not in at least a decade. Prospect also has a comparable level of success to LW. Marian of course 7-time National Champions and dozens of National Finals appearances. No comparison. Based on last weekend's Super Regional results, the tide may be shifting, but you are SO off base in most of this post, it's sad. You wasted your time commenting.
  6. ISU Results

    I have remained consistent on the topic AND in responses to those who disagree. This was before and after ISU results, where of course I picked LW to win -- yet apparently am so JEALOUS of them that I can barely give them any credit. Have ZERO reasons to be jealous of that program. Am more questioning how this is ethical? No one has been able to provide a good answer except to say EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT. Don't like the trend of unethical approaches -- and I am not alone. You can disagree if you'd like, but I am not implying that anyone is paying off the judges or cheating. I also did say that the organizations like BOA should police these things (and clearly they haven't). What I have consistently stated is that it creates an uneven playing field, especially where competitions are concerned. I do not care if they have a combined band for exhibitions or parades, but it tends to dilute the achievement (as a staff) by combining forces to gain a 'competitive' advantage. Personally, I was not WOW'd by the LW program this year, although it was good and deserving of 1st place. Their visual demand is certainly improved and I must say that they certainly have a chance to become more and more relevant at the national level if they buck years of Super Bowl ISU (as they very well may be) and program for a mid-Nov. finish. Jealousy? No. It's called calling it like I see it. I picked their band to win ISU based on the show that they presented at what has traditionally been their Super Bowl. Tell me what other event superseded ISU for the LW program? ISU is a big event, but obviously it is not the biggest event for many of the top bands every year. No one TRULY cares who wins ISU because there are bigger fish to fry. Ask other more historically successful Illinois marching bands and I bet they'll tell you the ISU results do not matter. So, good for whoever wins that event, but to imply that I am trying to take them down for their win? No way. I'm just saying that I think they'll be passed up, if history is any indicator. It will happen. How soon is a different story. They aren't NEXT LEVEL yet. Here is a small piece of advice: When you try to call someone out and hurl accusations, at least be able to back up those thoughts with context. I have pointed out historical results, scores, etc. to underscore my points about LW fading late in the year -- as ISU is their Super Bowl. It maxes out there, with the caveat that it *could* change. So many examples.. but you don't like that I'm ripping a band for combining individual high schools. It's cool. I just want them regulated for what they are and now allowed to compete in the same fashion. If they want to have a class for all COMBINED district bands, etc. let's do that instead. But a school with 2000 students going up against a band from schools with 8000 combined... that's a problem. And that's all I was EVER saying, besides the common-sense historical results -- i.e. LW's record after Nov 1 vs ISU Super Bowl = ISU Super Bowl matters more (traditionally). Repeating/ranting so it SINKS in this time
  7. ISU Results

    Naysayers? I picked LW to WIN. Just because bands combine doesn’t mean it’s ethical. It just isn’t regulated. Lol naysayers. Assuming it is only me. Definitely no sour grapes here! I don’t understand how some can defend the inequity & twist that for a weird jealousy angle.
  8. ISU Results

    Band family? It’s a competition. Combining individual high schools does not make it right. LW does not have to compete.. to keep their band family together. The equivalency argument falls flat vs multi-campuses like Lockport and Lake Park. Old LW had it right - two campuses- one school.
  9. ISU Results

    Yeah I’m only referring to the adults. I’m totally fine if they want to combine to create bands & ensembles. But competition must be on an even playing field- and as long as there are competitions with multiple performance opportunities on the table for several groups - they should represent their schools in the same way that their basketball and football teams do. Imagine if a district attempted to combine 3 schools into one football team? IHSA would not allow them to compete. Why is band so different? The adults in this matter may face limited choices based on the budget + admin.. but that also needs to be addressed internally and by other BOA-related organizations. LW at a parade? Great. LW as three schools vs one school of any kind? Wrong.
  10. ISU Results

    That isn’t my problem if they can’t afford it. It isn’t ethical no matter what. That is different than against the rules. More importantly, it’s against the spirit of how most others compete. They don’t combine. And the bands you mentioned who have the ‘resources’.. what planet are you living on? Lake Park is all-volunteer. Marian is well known as not having the same resources but making it work. Not sure about Prospect. LW district mishandled and mismanaged funds — not anyone else’s fault. Combining multiple schools to compete as one band is wrong. It dilutes the achievement in my book. I believe they deserved to win ISU but am generally dismissive of their approach to forming a competing band - not a band in general.
  11. ISU Results

    LW was solid. The uniforms got old after a while (one viewing) & the concept is a little blah, but it was a well performed program that should give them the confidence perhaps next year to try to compete at the highest competitive level (BOA Nats). Drawing from so many public high schools, they should have little issue fielding a highly competitive band at that level, especially if they pool resources to hire good outside staff to create the programs. Congrats to Lockport. Always a well playing band and deserving of a top finish. Don’t think they’ll do as well next week relative to the competition, but a nicely deserved high placement. Marian is improving. The most intricate music book. Earlier movements in their program are cleaner, easier to digest than only a week ago. Really loved the build in their second to last movement. They exhibit so much ensemble control. I suppose I am having some issues understanding their program - I get that it involves some kind of a snake or symbolism, but haven’t been able to connect the dots myself. Prospect and VJA nice programs. Very solid. Should be proud of what they do year in and out.
  12. ISU Results

    Let’s get real.. LW isn’t accustomed to tons of success outside of the state. They had a very good performance tonight. IL ST is their Super Bowl. I still think it’s ethically wrong for a public school district to field a band comprised of 3 high schools and compete against single high schools.
  13. ISU Results

    When you consider last week’s results, I’d say it’s more like shocking. BOA Indy should be interesting.

    I am surprised that Lockport outplaced Marian here but am no longer as concerned about MC’s chances come 4 more weeks. They look good. LW deserved to win tonight. Were expected to.
  15. ISU Results

    The only one I am a bit surprised about is Edwardsville. Otherwise I think the panel got it right in 5A/6A.