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Technology and curricular instruction will ALWAYS be funded more than fine arts. ALWAYS.

 

Maybe things are different at private schools.

 

Doubtful, unless it's some sort of private fine arts school, in which case fine arts would be a large part of curriculum for all students.

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And the name Marian Catholic has helped Marian to stay successful. This is why Marian can go to an early show, be dirtier than all sin, and still win over bands that are cleaner and more polished at that point in the season.

 

ummm... what??

 

Your "I have great respect for Marian and they have earned everything they have" is fading. Talk about a credibility problem -- once you start insinuating that on-field judges score based on name and not according to their best adherence to the sheets (i.e, doing their jobs), we're done.

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Oh and one last thing:

But back in the day, (I may get the dates wrong on this but here it goes) Limestone was an absolute MONSTER of a band back in the late 70s through the 80's.

Under the direction of a Mr. Cunningham, the band had almost 250 kids.

 

Just goes to show that the director really is the #1 factor for bands.

No, it doesn't show that.

 

Back in the 70's, marching band involved kids, instruments, uniforms, and making freaking letters on the field. Limestone's band of the 1970's and 80's was never competitive on the national scale.

 

Competitive marching band's genesis began in the late 1970's, and was still very basic and rudimentary.

 

Greg Bimm was a pioneer in this field, beginning in simpler times. His focus on competitive marching band earned he and his program much success and recognition. As the 70's gave way to the 80's, he was also able to build up his program incrementally, and it was during these years when the expenses for marching band started getting more hefty. The 90's got more expensive, but year by year, Bimm was able to increase a little bit more. In addition, the name Marian Catholic was recognized, resulting in continued success which fueled his ability to build the program further.

 

Take a look at BOA now. Bimm and Marian Catholic are still at the top because they got success at first, and didn't want to lose that. The school and parents have been willing (and able) to dole out more and more money as the activity has gotten more advanced. And the name Marian Catholic has helped Marian to stay successful. This is why Marian can go to an early show, be dirtier than all sin, and still win over bands that are cleaner and more polished at that point in the season.

 

Limestone (and other smaller bands) don't have the same situation. For them, the money that it takes to actually compete at the highest levels is unrealistic, plus you're dealing with a geographical issue. I contend that Limestone will continue to do well, but they will never be able to reach the levels of funding that they need to be on par with the top BOA bands, Marian included. Time will tell, and I'm more than willing to visit this board 10 years from now to see who ended up right.

 

Interestingly enough, we almost have already seen where the Limestone experiment will go...we watched Dan Moore get his start at Limestone and have success, but then abandon the program due to a "glass ceiling" of funding and head up to Naperville North. Will the same thing happen this time? For Limestone's sake, I hope not. But the reality of the situation is that Limestone does not have the same financial ability to support an extra-curricular marching band as Marian Catholic does. Spin all you want, but it's just the truth.

Before Marian Catholic, there were powerhouse bands like Herscher and Joliet, who no longer are as competitive or nearly as successful. You act as if Marian Catholic does not quite deserve their continued successes and I submit to you Lake Park, Centerville, Plymouth, Lassiter, Center Grove, Norwin, Seminole, Chesterton, Westfield, Spring and Ronald Reagan. All of those programs had their days in the sun, but today they do not quite achieve the same high levels that they once did. Some continue to appear and disappear from BOA Finals, but none are extremely competitive on the top level.

 

It must be more than a name, Robes. Lassiter looked subpar at the one regional they attended and may have barely eeked into National Finals this year, yet their name props them up in the minds of people who have not seen them for years. For bands that compete or have the luxury of competing every single year and choose to do so, my hats are off to them. It's a very competitive field each year and to have a streak of 25+years in finals goes beyond a name.

 

Marian Catholic scores better dirty because the content of their shows are greater than a cleaner offering from most other bands they compete with at an early point in the season (mostly local bands, correct?). What they do in 2 or 3 minutes is beyond what most bands do in 7 or 8.

 

I don't see why you have to put the Limestone program through such an unfair comparison. I don't see how you can even begin to compare Limestone to Marian Catholic, even in their earliest days. If that's the case, you can compare every band who has 50 members to any current powerhouse band before as they were building their respective programs. Most bands encounter pitfalls while growing, as I am sure Marian Catholic endured. But I know that the more supportive the community and school districts are to the arts, the more likely a band program will succeed. There has to be a committment to that end beyond one director or administrator.

 

So you can discuss guard instructors or the wealth of a given school or area until you're blue-in-the-face, but the facts are that Marian Catholic has a legacy that one man's opinion will not be able to derail. Even if that one man claims he loves their program, yet says they are incredibly flawed and have unfair advantages. And to say that their director is the only reason for their success I think takes away from the students and others who have bought into that program. It starts with the director, but if Greg Bimm left tomorrow, I think they very well could still field a competitive marching band. To what degree, I do not know, but the support for the arts is strong enough to warrant a great program for years to come.

 

 

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And the name Marian Catholic has helped Marian to stay successful. This is why Marian can go to an early show, be dirtier than all sin, and still win over bands that are cleaner and more polished at that point in the season.

 

ummm... what??

 

Your "I have great respect for Marian and they have earned everything they have" is fading. Talk about a credibility problem -- once you start insinuating that on-field judges score based on name and not according to their best adherence to the sheets (i.e, doing their jobs), we're done.

I think it's happened before. However, I think that happens in all walks of life for groups that are successful and have a solid reputation for being great. Want the benefit of the doubt? Then be really good.

 

And if you want to take that as me saying "Marian hasn't earned anything", then that's your prerogative. What we're ultimately talking about is an activity that is subjectively judged anyways, but that's a whole other thread.

 

And I do have great respect for Marian. What I don't do is deify Marian, which is apparently your definition of "respect", because to you nobody's allowed to bring up anything (even straight up staffing or whatever) that would suggest that Marian has any sort of advantage over any band in Illinois.

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Before Marian Catholic, there were powerhouse bands like Herscher and Joliet, who no longer are as competitive or nearly as successful. You act as if Marian Catholic does not quite deserve their continued successes and I submit to you Lake Park, Centerville, Plymouth, Lassiter, Center Grove, Norwin, Seminole, Chesterton, Westfield, Spring and Ronald Reagan. All of those programs had their days in the sun, but today they do not quite achieve the same high levels that they once did. Some continue to appear and disappear from BOA Finals, but none are extremely competitive on the top level.

 

And why did Herscher fold? Because they wanted to start upping the ante for all things, and their administration and school board shut them down. THAT'S the reality and the glass ceiling I was talking about for many Central and Southern Illinois bands, and that's my only true argument in this thread.

 

And your list of bands? Most of them are (last time I checked) still suburban, and still successful. Lake Park had one of the great directors in BOA history, Ken Snoeck. Lost him. Took a couple years to rebuild under a new director, and just missed Finals this year. Their system was IN PLACE. The financial support was IN PLACE from when Snoeck built it up in the 80's. For bands now...trying to get that sort of funding but starting at the same spot that MC and Lake Park started in the 1970's, and trying to do it in areas that have less money? All but impossible, even over a span of 30 years, and who's to say that the activity won't get more expensive?

 

And NO, NEVER did I say that MC does not "quite deserve their continued successes". Where did I say that?

 

I don't see why you have to put the Limestone program through such an unfair comparison. I don't see how you can even begin to compare Limestone to Marian Catholic, even in their earliest days. If that's the case, you can compare every band who has 50 members to any current powerhouse band before as they were building their respective programs. Most bands encounter pitfalls while growing, as I am sure Marian Catholic endured. But I know that the more supportive the community and school districts are to the arts, the more likely a band program will succeed. There has to be a committment to that end beyond one director or administrator.

 

And that committment also needs to translate into support and dollars. A school and parents can be "committed" to their music program, but it's not going to change the fact that their students and parents can't afford $1000 for their kid to be in winterguard, or their kid to be in marching band. Money does play into it, and choices have to be made.

 

So you can discuss guard instructors or the wealth of a given school or area until you're blue-in-the-face, but the facts are that Marian Catholic has a legacy that one man's opinion will not be able to derail.

 

Now I'm trying to "derail" Marian's legacy? It's sad that by simply mentioning that Marian has a few built in advantages in their program that I'm now painted as trying to derail anything. Drama queen much?

 

Even if that one man claims he loves their program, yet says they are incredibly flawed and have unfair advantages.

 

Over the course of one sentence, you've switched from dramaqueening it up to straight up lying. I never said they were "incredibly flawed"...are you serious? I also didn't say they have "unfair" advantages. Where did I say that? I said that it was stupid to say that the advantages only come from Bimm, and that any school could replicate them if they so wished. That's all. If the school and the parents at Marian want to spend their money on the band program that they have EARNED, then that's totally fair. That's their call. It's not unfair, nor did I imply it was.

 

Sadly, I'm not surprised on any of this from you, though. Your true colors came out last year when you were ripping on anything and everything in Illinois that you didn't view as "elite". Mocking bands that don't have the capacity to produce the kinds of show you liked...classy....I'm sure everybody remembers that, as I'm sure that will factor that in to their perceptions of your positions on this thread.

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And hey, just a general public service announcement to the board. (young kids especially)

 

Calling somebody a "hater" just because you don't agree with their views is the first sign of a complete lack of critical thinking. Things are not black and white, and trying to reduce them down to that is a sign of an inferior reasoning capacity.

 

For example, I can think that Marian Catholic has a lot of advantages over the vast majority of bands in Illinois, yet at the same time I can respect Marian and be a big fan, as I did this year where I hoped they made finals and was genuinely happy for their 3rd place finish.

 

This is a good lesson for young posters to learn, so they don't rush to intolerance of other people's opinions.

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I think it's happened before. However, I think that happens in all walks of life for groups that are successful and have a solid reputation for being great. Want the benefit of the doubt? Then be really good.

 

And if you want to take that as me saying "Marian hasn't earned anything", then that's your prerogative. What we're ultimately talking about is an activity that is subjectively judged anyways, but that's a whole other thread.

 

And I do have great respect for Marian. What I don't do is deify Marian, which is apparently your definition of "respect", because to you nobody's allowed to bring up anything (even straight up staffing or whatever) that would suggest that Marian has any sort of advantage over any band in Illinois.

Nope -- I never deified -- I have acknowledged many of your points, just not all of them. Just my opinion, but you're the one who seems defensive here and unwilling to allow any dissenting point.

 

Please read my post #125 and respond directly to that. If we're close on that one, then I'll call our little discussion over. If not, I'd prefer to just talk about the specific points we disagree on and not roll every post into hyperbole.

 

(You may have other issues with what other posters are saying -- I can't speak for them -- I'd just like to clear up the specific points that I have been discussing, and then move on :) )

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I think it's happened before. However, I think that happens in all walks of life for groups that are successful and have a solid reputation for being great. Want the benefit of the doubt? Then be really good.

 

And if you want to take that as me saying "Marian hasn't earned anything", then that's your prerogative. What we're ultimately talking about is an activity that is subjectively judged anyways, but that's a whole other thread.

 

And I do have great respect for Marian. What I don't do is deify Marian, which is apparently your definition of "respect", because to you nobody's allowed to bring up anything (even straight up staffing or whatever) that would suggest that Marian has any sort of advantage over any band in Illinois.

Nope -- I never deified -- I have acknowledged many of your points, just not all of them. Just my opinion, but you're the one who seems defensive here and unwilling to allow any dissenting point.

 

Please read my post #125 and respond directly to that. If we're close on that one, then I'll call our little discussion over. If not, I'd prefer to just talk about the specific points we disagree on and not roll every post into hyperbole.

 

(You may have other issues with what other posters are saying -- I can't speak for them -- I'd just like to clear up the specific points that I have been discussing, and then move on :) )

OK, I'll go back and look. I just probably won't have time this weekend, most likely next week. (do don't think I'm ignoring you)

 

Also, Liam, I had some ideas this week about why maybe we don't see as many private parochial schools as successful in modern marching band that I wanted to bounce off you. I'll try to collect my thoughts and post next week.

 

 

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Oh, I don't care if you think I'm a liar. I didn't directly quote you, but the tone and nature of your posts implies everything I've already said. Sure, we all can acknowledge that a band is good or better than good, but you appear to make more of an attempt to suppress or downplay their success because of heresay and, futher, an unwilligness to acknowledge that your speculation may be flawed or completely (although indirectly) exaggerated.

 

I will stand by my long-held view that Illinois still has a long way to go in the marching arena to achieve the level of a state like Indiana or Texas, but have always submitted that Illinois generally produces very good concert band programs. In fact, some of the best in the country.

 

Robes, what's your address so I can send you a limo (and driver). I hope you don't plan on driving home tonight from wherever you are. Worried about you.

 

 

 

 

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Oh, I don't care if you think I'm a liar. I didn't directly quote you, but the tone and nature of your posts implies everything I've already said. Sure, we all can acknowledge that a band is good or better than good, but you appear to make more of an attempt to suppress or downplay their success because of heresay and, futher, an unwilligness to acknowledge that your speculation may be flawed or completely (although indirectly) exaggerated.

 

I will stand by my long-held view that Illinois still has a long way to go in the marching arena to achieve the level of a state like Indiana or Texas, but have always submitted that Illinois generally produces very good concert band programs. In fact, some of the best in the country.

 

Robes, what's your address so I can send you a limo (and driver). I hope you don't plan on driving home tonight from wherever you are. Worried about you.

 

 

 

Unshocked. People that twist people's words into something untruthful generally don't care what others think about them. But like I also said before, unsurprising due to what we already know about your attitude.

 

And Gordon, make sure you don't trip over your own feet backpedaling...

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Oh, I don't care if you think I'm a liar. I didn't directly quote you, but the tone and nature of your posts implies everything I've already said. Sure, we all can acknowledge that a band is good or better than good, but you appear to make more of an attempt to suppress or downplay their success because of heresay and, futher, an unwilligness to acknowledge that your speculation may be flawed or completely (although indirectly) exaggerated.

 

I will stand by my long-held view that Illinois still has a long way to go in the marching arena to achieve the level of a state like Indiana or Texas, but have always submitted that Illinois generally produces very good concert band programs. In fact, some of the best in the country.

 

Robes, what's your address so I can send you a limo (and driver). I hope you don't plan on driving home tonight from wherever you are. Worried about you.

 

 

 

Unshocked. People that twist people's words into something untruthful generally don't care what others think about them. But like I also said before, unsurprising due to what we already know about your attitude.

 

And Gordon, make sure you don't trip over your own feet backpedaling...

OK, do your own investigation, make your calls and get to the bottom of this subject.

 

If you don't feel like it, then you're just like me. I couldn't care less. This is entertainment.

 

Have a nice day.

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Quoting limited to 3 levels deep

robes- I think you are missing the point I was trying to make. Try the paragraph that starts out: "Now Limestone's band is rising...." Or more specifically the second sentence.
I'm afraid the paragraph you are referring to just isn't an accurate depiction of how most schools seem to work. I know of a number of programs that have become very successful without much money, or an increase in funding over the years, and the schools still want to take more money away from those successful programs. At most high schools, the band can be very successful, but they will never spend as much money per child in band, as they do the athletics. This is sad because this is tax payer money and should be spent fairly and evenly. Also, music will create a stronger academic environment....sports do not.

 

If schools want better test scores, even out the spending between athletics and music and the arts. I'm confident that it would be money better spent.

 

Basically, most administrations don't really care if the band is competitive or successful...they just want a pep band at halftime (only referring to Illinois, I know other states do care about the success of the marching and all music programs)

I feel like I missed something again not having the opportunity to look at this this weekend. Anyway.

 

My point with this was not to say that all bands might work this way. I'm sure they don't. That quote is from someone who I am taking as being from Limestone or someone who knows a great deal about their program. Which is quite the opposite of what robes has been saying about it and I'm not sure where robes is getting the information he has. I'm afraid that google searches are limiting in the information you are able to get.

 

Curricular vs. noncurricular. We can discuss that in a bit. It is just I am afraid that I am limited in my time this week so I may not be able to respond as quickly as I would like.

 

To everyone:

 

Try and limit the personal attacks. They won't get you anywhere, besides make you look like a small minded fool.

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Robes wrote, "Limestone (and other smaller bands) don't have the same situation. For them, the money that it takes to actually compete at the highest levels is unrealistic, plus you're dealing with a geographical issue. I contend that Limestone will continue to do well, but they will never be able to reach the levels of funding that they need to be on par with the top BOA bands, Marian included. Time will tell, and I'm more than willing to visit this board 10 years from now to see who ended up right."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Robes, you are right. Someone earlier stated that $9K/year tuition at Marian was overpriced. Considering the affluence in that area, I'd say that is an untrue statement. A private school in that area can and does command that kind of price. To put Limestone's situation into perspective, it is a public school in an area where the private Catholic school in neighboring Peoria (Notre Dame) costs $4.5K/year tuition. One-half the price, but still "overpriced" in my opinion. (And I'm a Catholic in Bartonville - daughter in the LCHS band.) The difference in academics isn't worth the price. A kid can get a great education at Limestone if he/she wants to.

 

That said, because we are a public school, our school board are elected officials and tend to fund the programs that are popular with their constituents. Because the band has made great strides under the direction of Mr. Empey, the board has been a bit more generous the last couple years. When Dan Moore left, the program left with him. (My son was in Dan's band at LCHS - the 1996 State 3A Champion band at ISU - and Dan was there only through my son's Junior year.) After Dan, the program languished, for whatever reasons, so Mr. Empey had a big hill to climb.

 

This years' band was the first time that all four grade levels have been brought up through Mr. Empey's system. So I expect that things will continue to improve over the years. Mr. Empey's biggest hurdle is the fact that there are eight separate K-8 grade schools that feed Limestone. And the kids are all over the map with their musical skill level - and none come to pre-band camp each summer with ANY marching experience. So he is teaching the basics of music and marching to a new crop of kids each year! Considering these things, he's doing a heckuva job!

 

I think that in 10 years, given that Mr. Empey stays on at LCHS, the Marching Rockets will be a lot closer to Marian's level of competetiveness than they are today. Limestone really made great leaps this year and the kids are pumped to get started on next year's show and do even better. That's not to say that Marian will stand still, but that Limestone has more room for improvement than Marian. And all indications are that they will improve (and hopefully, for my daughter's sake, sooner rather than later).

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Robes further writes, "Interestingly enough, we almost have already seen where the Limestone experiment will go...we watched Dan Moore get his start at Limestone and have success, but then abandon the program due to a "glass ceiling" of funding and head up to Naperville North. Will the same thing happen this time? For Limestone's sake, I hope not. But the reality of the situation is that Limestone does not have the same financial ability to support an extra-curricular marching band as Marian Catholic does. Spin all you want, but it's just the truth."

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Well, Robes, to quote Snopes - mixed truth and fiction.

 

Marching Band at LCHS is not extra-curricular. A grade and a credit is earned. If you take Marching Band, you don't have to take PE (thisis approved by the state and available for any school that chooses to recognize the rule). There is a band class every day. Pre-Band Camp and Band Camp are mandatory and part of the grade, as are Tuesday and Thursday evening rehearsals, and football games, and Saturday competitions (all but two from 9/1-11/15). Phew!

 

Also, Dan Moore left Limestone to further his education, not because of a "glass ceiling" (unless he lied to us). He had an opportunity to work and earn his Masters, so he took it.

 

Dan was truly a great director, but it takes more than a director to win at ISU. He has used two of Limestone's shows at Naperville N. (which he wrote - drill and music) and they did not win the state championship with either show - one being the same show that Limestone won 1st place at ISU in 1996. I watched them at ISU this year and they were good! As good as Limestone was then - maybe better! What's the difference? That could be a whole other thread, but IMO, 14 years of increased competitiveness, different kids, different judges, a lot of things. But one thing it is NOT, is money. (I'm sure his budget at Naperville is bigger than Limestone's.)

 

Who knows? Why did Limestone finish second in class to Marian at ISU and almost at the bottom of their class at BOA in Indy? The performance at Indy was actually better than the one at ISU.

 

My point here is that there are a lot of factors, but the biggest one is that this is completely subjective and up to the judges. And like it or not, the judges already have certain expectations when Marian steps onto the field versus Limestone and similar bands. It is just human nature to expect to see a better performance from a band that consistently produces great bands and great performances. That's just the way it is.

 

If Limestone keeps hammering away, the judges may think of them that way some day, too, and then they'll have that little edge. Limestone has not had the 30+ years of consistent top-notch direction and building that Marian has had. As a Limestone band member pointed out earlier, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Neither was Marian, or any other band that competed in the finals at BOA.

 

But you are correct, a public school like Limestone will never get the financial backing from school or community that Marian gets. Parents choose to send their kids to Marian. The rules are different for public schools. That's where kids go if their paents choose not to send them to private school. And if you want to be in Limestone's marching band, you just sign up - like math class (and abide by the band's rules and attend band camp and other requireds).

 

This is all good debate, but realize that this is really all about the kids. My hat is off to any school that can consistently produce the level of excellence over 30+ years as has Marian. When a public school like Limestone can say the same thing, we'll be posting this much about them, too. (And those great public schools are out there. We watched ten of them at Indy on Saturdy night!)

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Well robes it will be interesting to hear what you have to say about Scouter2's post. It seems marching band is not extra curricular as you claimed and they do have band class for credit. Same as Marian by the way. Do you think the band kids have to choose between band and TV production?

 

Affluent area that Marian is in. We already discussed that ad nauseum I thought, so I won't add to that.

 

Eight feeder schools for Limestone. Didn't know that. Not to take anything away from Limestone and the fantastic job he seems to be doing but I don't know how many "feeder" schools Mr. Bimm has to contend with but I am quite sure it is more than 8. And the first thing they start with is maching basics and the music. Sounds like a similar approach.

 

Robes, here is yet another Limestone person who disagrees with you about the money issue. Keep in mind Limestone was your example not mine.

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Good grief...maybe it's time to just chill out and realize some "truths" about this situation.

 

1) Greg Bimm is a genius. He seeks out great people who have creative ideas and who are intelligent, are on the cutting edge of the activity, and are great with kids, and he matches their abilities by arranging music and writing drill to complement their visual artistry and amazing concepts. He does this so his kids can work to experience a more intense and greater aesthetic experience, and to help them realize that music has more personal meaning and importance in their lives than they can dream of. There you go. Any school can have a great program if the right combination of talent/skill/motivation/dedication is present from the school board to the directors down through the parents and kids. Notice I said "great program," not "one exactly like Marian's." That combination is what Greg has. Everyone has bought into the system, and invests in it personally, financially, psychologically, spiritually...it's amazing. And, it's sort of unique, which is cool.

 

Don't give me this "built in advantage" baloney...enough time has passed to give everyone who wanted to a chance to catch up. Anyone can build in "advantages" to their program, but the use of that word in this context springs from viewing things from the angle of "competition" and not education. If you listen to Greg, he cares very little about the competitive aspect of the activity...it's about the artistic PRODUCT and PROCESS, not the RESULT. The numbers are just a way to see where improvements in the product and process can be made.

 

And, Greg would help them all if they asked...he is a great guy, willing to answer any question anyone has about anything related to marching band. Done it, seen it, experienced it.

 

2) That being said, money is ridiculously important in this activity...music arranging, drill, support staff, equipment (and whatever hauls it around), uniforms, food, ad infinitum. But having lots of money does not equate to excellence, nor does the lack of it equate to inferior performance. The type of program Marian runs demands a lot of coin...you don't just trot all around the Midwest the entire fall with a boat load of staff, marching a ton of BOA events, on nothing. However he obtains the funds, it works for him and for his particular educational situation. Bully for him...there is NOTHING WRONG with that! Other band directors have to find out what works best for them in their particular situation, and every situation is DIFFERENT. Usually, if the folks who complain about what other people have would just channel those energies into fixing their own situations, they would be much better off. So would their students.

 

3) Please stop with the "judges have predetermined expectations" stuff. Those who do usually do not work for very long at BOA or high profile events such as ISU or Greater St. Louis. I watched Dan Moore's Watseka band come within 1.5 of Marian in Marching Individual at ISU in the early 1990's. I wonder what their dollar spent value was per point compared to Marian :-) That score was not out of bounds either...their feet WERE that good.

 

I used to think that the old saying "a ounce of image is worth a pound of performance" was true because still, as late as the mid '90's, I thought I saw a lot of that happen at various shows around the state, but I don't see it very much any more...in the last decade I've seen many bands who should have easily walked away with shows because "everyone knows how great they always are" get beat by an obvious "underdog" who had a better show and deserved to win. And, kudos to the improvements in judging consistency for allowing that to happen.

 

4) One thing people have to realize is that as you get closer to 100, it becomes harder and harder to push your score higher. The distance between 70-80 is WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY larger than what it is from 50-60. In other words, you can make up a lot of ground if you go from being average to pretty good, and pretty good to "darn" good, but to be upper echelon like Marian, Lake Park, etc., you have to be absolutely exponentially better. So, the Limestone person who thinks in ten years that they will compete with Marian...I'd like to believe you, but I just don't see it happening. Morton is a HELL of a band, slays anybody and everybody in central IL by a wide margin, but they are still not in Marian's class yet, not even by a longshot...14 point difference at ISU Finals this year. IMHO it's fair to say that at ISU, a difference between bands of just 3 points is a "significant" difference in the minds of the judges. So, there you go.

 

I think it's fair to say that whatever band is making the greatest artistic statement across the entire spectrum (visual, music, theatrics, drama, expression, et. al. at every possible moment for every individual AND the ensemble) scores the highest. And until bands explore and perform ALL of those things in detail, they don't reach Marian's level. Too bad we don't spend enough time celebrating those achievements, instead of getting all caught up in who should "win." Whose kids won at ISU that night?...was it really Marian, or was it the Lake Park band, who won something greater than a trophy when they played for the Marian band.

 

And exactly how much money did it cost them to do that? :-)

 

5) Statistically speaking, you will find more upper echelon bands in suburban areas, because there is just more money there to support the growth and sustainability of that type of program, and the concentration of talent in staff and people is just greater, plain and simple. Sure, in some other pockets of Illinois, there will be some cities that are affluent and could support a high-power competitive band program, but by and large, it will be up north. So, don't get upset about it, just realize the truth and get over it. Or, better yet, find a way to help your band get more monetary support. Your director sure would appreciate it, no matter where you live in good old Illinois (where our governors make our license plates).

 

Bottom line, folks, is that you just can't do an "apples to apples" comparison of Marian to anybody else, because no one else is like them. It's almost an exercise in futility...

 

...unless you do it on a discussion board where everyone can put in their $.02 LOL

 

 

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It is an excerise in futility to do these comparisons. The programs are too different. I started out on this thread trying to point out where robes was wrong in his argument (mainly the recruiting thing) and this has kind of morphed into something way different.

 

For the money issue, of course it takes money to do this activity. Never said it didn't. Here is a question for all those, robes especially, who think money is the main factor. I will use robes' example of Limestone (even though I really don't like comparing one band to another). If Limestone were to suddenly find $10million in their budget for band, would they suddenly be "the one to beat", the new powerhouse in Illinois next year? Why or why not? Your answer to that will show you what I have been saying all along. It is not just the money. There has to be and is something else to it.

 

What has been said about Mr. Bimm and the competition aspect is true. In the 4 years that I have been around the program I have never once heard anything different from him. He is not doing this to "win".

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If any band came across 10 mil then yes - they should eventually be the band to beat. They could afford to higher full time staff on each individual section (flags, wepaon, dance, snares, basses, tenors, pit, flutes, clarinets, saxes, trumpets, mellos, baritones/euphs, basses). Then you'd still have money to hire a Grade A drill writer and bring in 5 (or however many one wanted) visual staff to teach your visual program.

 

Yes - it would become the band to beat.

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Many successful programs have gone through changes at the top. It seems to be more often that the program continues to thrive. That's one part of being a great director...being able to hand over the reins and things continue on. There are some exceptions, of course, and other factors to consider, but I suspect that Marian would continue to be strong.

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I wonder. It seems to me that a Catholic high school in a middle class neighborhood would have trouble being competitive with the salary and benefits which could be offered by a large public high school. Marion hit the jackpot once with Mr. Bimm; can they be so lucky again? I suppose all of this is very premature, but it will be interesting to watch when the time comes.

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I wonder. It seems to me that a Catholic high school in a middle class neighborhood would have trouble being competitive with the salary and benefits which could be offered by a large public high school. Marion hit the jackpot once with Mr. Bimm; can they be so lucky again? I suppose all of this is very premature, but it will be interesting to watch when the time comes.
I may be naive, but I would think that plenty of top-level educators would be salivating to take over after Mr. Bimm. Plus, with such a large and supportive group of alumni and band parents, I would think the school would want to continue the success of the program. Again, that may be naive, but I think that's probably a likely scenario when it happens.

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I wonder. It seems to me that a Catholic high school in a middle class neighborhood would have trouble being competitive with the salary and benefits which could be offered by a large public high school. Marion hit the jackpot once with Mr. Bimm; can they be so lucky again? I suppose all of this is very premature, but it will be interesting to watch when the time comes.
I may be naive, but I would think that plenty of top-level educators would be salivating to take over after Mr. Bimm. Plus, with such a large and supportive group of alumni and band parents, I would think the school would want to continue the success of the program. Again, that may be naive, but I think that's probably a likely scenario when it happens.
I think I would have to agree. I think I am the only one who keeps saying it is about more than just the money. I have no idea what Mr. Bimm's salary is, nor do I really care. I think we all can agree that the salaries at Private Catholic High Schools are lower when compared to their public counterparts. I have never heard of anyone going into teaching at a Catholic school for the money. Actually I have heard the opposite, the teachers leave the private schools to teach at public schools because the money is so much better. That being said, it has to be something else that keeps them there and I would hope that it would be the same something that would allow them continued sucess when Mr. Bimm does decide to retire (which hopefully isn't anytime soon).

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