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Top 14 Bands in Illinois

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From what I understand, the new format at ISU was NOT created to "benefit" the smaller classes. It was created to enlarge the Finals field in order to find a way to increase participation in Finals from quality bands in the smaller classes WITHOUT taking Finals slots away from 5A and 6A. If you read the rationale that was done (Dan or somebody outlined very well on this site, I can't remember), with the examples from several of the past years of who would have been "in" and "out" if the new system was in place, you would have noticed that the new system would have kicked only 1 band out from 5A or 6A in that time period, and would have allowed some deserving smaller class bands a spot. And, as I recall, that "out" band's Finals appearance that year (Waubonsie Valley if memory serves) was much discussed at the time as being kind of a surprise.

 

The format change was put in place to enhance the ISU competition and allow it to showcase more of the quality groups from the lower classes that are perceived to be negatively impacted by score inflation, and the crappy early morning performance times. It was not created to "dumb down" the scoring, or make things "fair" by "letting small schools in"; on the contrary, I think they succeeded quite nicely in INCREASING the competitiveness all throughout the classes by doing this. Just look at those 4A scores, and Bloomington from 3A in there...BRUTALLY close, all great groups.

 

To my knowledge, never has ISU ever claimed that their Finals format showcases the "top 14 (or whatever it used to be) bands in the state"...that is a fantasy that fans create in their own minds when it comes to this show.

 

In my opinion, to say that the ISU show is a "joke" shows a lack of awareness of what is actually going on. If you can name any other show in Illinois that has the quality of field from top to bottom that ISU has, I'll eat my computer right now.

 

As evidence for why this new system is a good idea, take this for an example...United Township was 10 points clear of Eureka in Prelims (5.5 hour scheduled difference in performance times, but due to the lightning delay it was much longer). But at night, UT only squeaked past by .7 points. So was Eureka a full 10 points worse in performance in Prelims?...I doubt it...judges have to set their limits somewhere at the beginning of the day. United Township performed immediately after Eureka in Finals, so the night judging panel got a side-by-side look at the two groups...so which result was probably the most accurate?

 

As an example of pure conjecture, I bet that under the old system, Plainfield North wouldn't have made it into Finals, which would have been a shame, they are a fantastic group.

Well said.

 

You're honestly going to say that even at a BOA event, there isn't some subjectiveness and personal opinion in judging? that if an entirely different pannel of qualified adjudicators judged the same event and came up with a comparison list of "top" bands, that the lists between the two sets of judging pannels would be identical? And, that while every band improves during the season, performance every week only improves proportinally across all bands? So if Band A is better than Band B last week, their performance this week is also going to be better; that Band B can't clean their show to a finer degree where they would edge out Band A by a few tenths of a point or more?

 

Really?

 

Your passion is admirable. But it appears you want absolutes; that are cut and dried and can't be disputed: Isn't going to happen in these contests.

 

Try switching to cross country or track; faster person always wins...provided they make it to the finish line and don't cramp during the race. Oh wait...that would mean that the fastest person during the first part of the race didn't win. And that scenario happens; sometimes the individual who is clearly a faster and better runner during the span of a season might be injured or cramp during a race or get sick, etc. and doesn't win first place on a given week.

 

Personally, I thought the change this year for ISU was an improvement. Could it be improved? Probably. But it will never be perfect.

 

 

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I agree ISU over UofI any day if the week. Look at the scores though - 1-4a were much higher than they should I've been. Why have two different prelims panels???
First off, scores are relative. It doesn't matter where they are specifically in numbers. Secondly, the panel for 1a-4a had no bearing on what happened in 5a/6a. All the bands in 1a-4a could have scored higher than all the bands in 5a/6a, the only thing that would have changed would have been top half/bottom half for draw in finals, the same groups would have still been in. Look, I don't love this system very much, but it is what it is. You can complain all you want on these boards (and you have), but that isn't going to change anything. We get it, you don't like it, you've said it every post practically. Now either move on, or spend time writing to the people who can actually change things rather than waste our time reading the same post 20 times over and again by someone who just joined this board.

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People complain about last year's format... they adjusted something very little to try to make it better and people still complain. Give them a break. At least they tried. By some reasons it was an improvement and by other reasons it wasn't. Relax. They'll never be able to please everyone

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Surely you realize that the new isu rules are to the benefit of the smaller classes. And, aren't most of the smaller class schools (1 and 2a) a lot closer to isu, distance-wise?

 

Most of the 1A and 2A schools are that close because of how early they perform. If 1A and 2A were later - you would see bands from farther away come to ISU. I didn't return this year because last year we had a departure time of 4:15am. If times were later - you would see more bands come from farther away from Bloomington. The Indiana way of splitting up the classes is better - and not trying to cram all bands in all classes into 1 day.

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Surely you realize that the new isu rules are to the benefit of the smaller classes. And, aren't most of the smaller class schools (1 and 2a) a lot closer to isu, distance-wise?

 

Most of the 1A and 2A schools are that close because of how early they perform. If 1A and 2A were later - you would see bands from farther away come to ISU. I didn't return this year because last year we had a departure time of 4:15am. If times were later - you would see more bands come from farther away from Bloomington. The Indiana way of splitting up the classes is better - and not trying to cram all bands in all classes into 1 day.

amen...

 

Couldn't have said it better myself

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Does anyone know / can explain how some of the big marching band states (ie, Texas) do their championships?
Here's how Indiana does it, because that's the one I'm more familiar with:

 

The first ISSMA competition of the season is districts. There were 7 sites around the state, and all bands that chose to compete in ISSMA competed at their district. There's 4 classes in Indiana; A, B, C, and D, done by school size. Bands are rated on a gold, silver and bronze criteria; scores are not publically announced. Anyways, all bands that score gold in district advance to regionals. 4 regional sites across the state; A/C have 2 sites, and B/D have 2. The top 10 scoring bands from each regional class advance to Semi-State, which was this past weekend. The top 20 bands in each class compete head-to-head at semi-state, and the top 10 scoring bands from each class advance to State, which is this upcoming weekend.

It should also be mentioned that Class A/B and Class C/D have different score criteria to achieve a Gold, Silver or Bronze rating.

 

Also, there are Visual, Music and GE captions given out at the District contest for each classification.

 

Ratings are also given at the Regional Contest, but the criteria is 10 points higher than at the District Contest. Ratings do not effect who advances to Semi-State.

 

It should also be noted that the Semi-State competition is a new addition to the qualifying system (I believe this is the 2nd year for it). Many directors felt that a "true top 10" was not represented at State finals previous to this addition.

 

ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) also holds a Festival event for marching bands that are either less competitive or choose not to participate in the State finals qualifying system. They only get ratings of Gold, Silver, Bronze with a more relaxed scoring criteria.

 

 

TEXAS is governed by the UIL (University Scholastic League). UIL governs both athletics and music in the state. Marching band has some similarities to Indiana in that there are levels of advancement. They start at Region, then advance to Area, and finally State. Classification is based on school size and ranges from 1A to 5A. Region contest is 3 judges giving Division ratings. The bands that get a Division 1 can go on to the Area contest. The number of bands that advance from Area to State depends on the number of bands participating in said contest. The judging system is similar to what U of I used to be. The judges rank the bands. It is not uncommon to see a prelims/finals format at some of the Regions and Areas, based on the size of the contest.

 

While there is a state contest every year (normally the first Monday and Tuesday in November in San Antonio), not every class has state every year. It is every other year. State has a prelims/finals format. For years when it is a "non-state" year for a particular classification, they only have the UIL Area contest and get Division ratings.

 

 

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Does anyone know / can explain how some of the big marching band states (ie, Texas) do their championships?
Michigan has two different "circuits" within the state. There are the Scholastic Marching Band Contests and the Michigan Competing Band Association.

 

The scholastic bands are typically less competitive with a judging system that is more of a ranking system. Classes are based on school size. Scores are VERY relative here as there is little criteria to base on. It's possible to be at a show in early September and score in the 80's/90's only because the focus is making sure that bands are in the "right order." There is no state contest in the scholastic system and the last competition is typically the 3rd weekend of October.

 

MCBA shows use a judging format similar to BOA, though the criteria on the back of the sheets has been adjusted to include 7 boxes. Classes are called Flights and are based on school size. MCBA tracks each bands scores throughout the season and average each bands top 2 scores to determine the CAS (Championship Average Score). The top 11 (used to be 10) average scores in each class advance to state finals, which typically takes place the first Saturday in November.

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I'm not sure whether its the judging, the system, or both but VJA got completely screwed over. What I'd like to see for ISU in the future is random prelim times regardless of class, and the top 10 bands regardless of class make finals- the class winners can even perform an exhibition if they don't make it. Also, it would be nice to see a GREAT judging panel- not ok, decent, or pretty good. If this is going to be "THE" marching band contest its about to time to start getting great panels.

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You'll rarely ever get a unanimous "great" panel. Someone will always have issues with it. If it's 40 plus bands, you need more than 10 finalists. Have it be like a BOA super regional, put out anywhere from 12-14 and if the class champions don't score high enough, then they can do exhibition. I get the feeling you are from VJA since both of your posts on here are just "VJA got screwed." I really don't think Mr. Iwinski or Mr. Romano would be too thrilled with you posting such things, as I know that's not what they're about. So stop saying things like that, and prepare for nationals with class.

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You'll rarely ever get a unanimous "great" panel. Someone will always have issues with it. If it's 40 plus bands, you need more than 10 finalists. Have it be like a BOA super regional, put out anywhere from 12-14 and if the class champions don't score high enough, then they can do exhibition. I get the feeling you are from VJA since both of your posts on here are just "VJA got screwed." I really don't think Mr. Iwinski or Mr. Romano would be too thrilled with you posting such things, as I know that's not what they're about. So stop saying things like that, and prepare for nationals with class.
I agree with you about the super regional format- good point. I also agree that its hard to have a unanimous great panel, but what I'm talking about is the overall trend. The quality of the judging panels at ISU has been really inconsistent over the years- what I would like to see is more of a commitment to have a great panel every year, not just on occasion. I feel that thats what the students, parents, fans, and directors deserve. I also wish to leave my high school anonymous, but I would appreciate it if I can present my opinion without it being insinuated that I have no class. You'll notice I didn't rip on any finalist bands, I just simply stated that I believe VJA got the shaft on Saturday. The reason I put this in both posts is because I think its an important issue and I wanted to hear thoughts from others about it. This is also not the first time I've ever posted on this site- this is just a new profile. That said, I wish all Illinois bands the best at BOA in the coming weeks.

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You'll rarely ever get a unanimous "great" panel. Someone will always have issues with it. If it's 40 plus bands, you need more than 10 finalists. Have it be like a BOA super regional, put out anywhere from 12-14 and if the class champions don't score high enough, then they can do exhibition. I get the feeling you are from VJA since both of your posts on here are just "VJA got screwed." I really don't think Mr. Iwinski or Mr. Romano would be too thrilled with you posting such things, as I know that's not what they're about. So stop saying things like that, and prepare for nationals with class.
I agree with you about the super regional format- good point. I also agree that its hard to have a unanimous great panel, but what I'm talking about is the overall trend. The quality of the judging panels at ISU has been really inconsistent over the years- what I would like to see is more of a commitment to have a great panel every year, not just on occasion. I feel that thats what the students, parents, fans, and directors deserve. I also wish to leave my high school anonymous, but I would appreciate it if I can present my opinion without it being insinuated that I have no class. You'll notice I didn't rip on any finalist bands, I just simply stated that I believe VJA got the shaft on Saturday. The reason I put this in both posts is because I think its an important issue and I wanted to hear thoughts from others about it. This is also not the first time I've ever posted on this site- this is just a new profile. That said, I wish all Illinois bands the best at BOA in the coming weeks.
VJA played a good show in prelims, but things happened and they didn't make finals. That's over. They can redeem themselves at BOA if that's what they feel. If they feel like they were all "screwed" or "got the shaft". I know VJA is a great program, so I think they have the class within the band to not worry about a lack of finals, throw down at BOA to show everyone back here, Hey. We deserved a spot. Then they can come back next year and reclaim that finals spot. Case in point, don't dwell on the past here. A band didn't make finals? Didn't make top 5? Didn't win their class? Take that as motivation to finish off the season as strong as you can.

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I'm glad that my posts have sparked so much conversation. I would only hope that the gentlemen that run the ISU Contest sit down and toss ideas around as well.

 

Boswell is right - No band got "screwed". The outcome from Saturday was determined by two different sets of judges working within a flawed system on a day that weather and delays had just as much to do with the outcome as the actual performances.

 

I'll tell you what - if things went a couple of tenths the other way and Morton got left out and Bloomington or Romeoville got in, this board would be up in arms!

 

How do we relay the ideas expressed on this board to people at ISU?

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You act like this is something new that has never been discussed on the boards before. Every year, someone feels that Band A should have made finals because Band B did not deserve to be there, blah blah blah. This gets brought up after ISU EVERY year, you are not the first, and there will be someone else, hopefully not you, that does the same thing after ISU next year. You want the truth? You have NO say in changes to ISU. Unless you're the director from a band that brings their kids there, they could care less about what you think. Why don't you use that high quality U of I education and figure it out.

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Why assault me verbally? Forums are for opinions and I am actually saying there are a bunch of good ideas on here! I know that I don't have a say.

 

I didnt know that I want supposed to express opinions. I thought this board was a place to do that.

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Again, you JUST joined the boards. Most of these opinions have been expressed in PREVIOUS years after ISU. Everyone on here has had great ideas with what to do about ISU in the past. I reiterate, ISU doesn't care what you or I think about their contest. Unless you're a director that will threaten to not go and thus not bring families and boosters through the gates, they could care less what you think about their show.

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Let's say you like woodworking...and you are really into it. It's a passion of yours, and you're really good at it. Your friends, and people who are also woodworkers that sell their pieces and make a living from it, like your stuff and say you have a real talent. They think you should do this for a living, you're so good at it.

 

So you work on lots of pieces over the years, sell a bunch at shows and get some pieces featured in the trade magazines and what not, and take great pride in your work, because you know (and lots of other people do, too) that it's darn good.

 

And let's say you're currently working on something really intricate, something that really matters to whomever you're making it for. And you're in your shop, carving, sanding, whatever...

 

And you've been at it for five hours straight (well, you stopped to hit the bathroom once, and grabbed a bag of chips to munch on), but you're starting to get tired, so you say "Man, I've got to take a break, give this a rest, come back tomorrow when I'm fresh, OR I MIGHT MAKE A MISJUDGMENT AND MAR THIS WONDERFUL PIECE I'M WORKING ON."

 

But you figure you don't have to finish the honey-do list quite yet today, and continue to work...

 

Then it happens...just like you feared it might...your steady and sure hands failed you (not sure why, it just happened unexpectedly), and you gashed out more wood that you wanted, ruining all the delicate work of the last five or so hours.

 

Well...now you know what it's like to be a judge for ISU Prelims and Finals.

 

Stop crapping on the judges already...

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Let's say you like woodworking...and you are really into it. It's a passion of yours, and you're really good at it. Your friends, and people who are also woodworkers that sell their pieces and make a living from it, like your stuff and say you have a real talent. They think you should do this for a living, you're so good at it.

 

So you work on lots of pieces over the years, sell a bunch at shows and get some pieces featured in the trade magazines and what not, and take great pride in your work, because you know (and lots of other people do, too) that it's darn good.

 

And let's say you're currently working on something really intricate, something that really matters to whomever you're making it for. And you're in your shop, carving, sanding, whatever...

 

And you've been at it for five hours straight (well, you stopped to hit the bathroom once, and grabbed a bag of chips to munch on), but you're starting to get tired, so you say "Man, I've got to take a break, give this a rest, come back tomorrow when I'm fresh, OR I MIGHT MAKE A MISJUDGMENT AND MAR THIS WONDERFUL PIECE I'M WORKING ON."

 

But you figure you don't have to finish the honey-do list quite yet today, and continue to work...

 

Then it happens...just like you feared it might...your steady and sure hands failed you (not sure why, it just happened unexpectedly), and you gashed out more wood that you wanted, ruining all the delicate work of the last five or so hours.

 

Well...now you know what it's like to be a judge for ISU Prelims and Finals.

 

Stop crapping on the judges already...

I'm not disagreeing with your point, I don't envy the judges their job, and NO show is the same...you get presented with different variables/orders/etc. each time out.

 

But Warren should not have been in over VJ based on what I've been able to watch, and what I've heard from people who were there.

 

However, true to your point, there's always something that "goes wrong", hence the nature of really cherishing the reward of the experience of your show vs. only looking at the number.

 

 

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But Warren should not have been in over VJ based on what I've been able to watch, and what I've heard from people who were there.

 

So what you meant to say is:

 

Based on the PAST (which doesn't matter at ISU), I don't THINK Warren should have made it, even though I wasn't there to actually judge for myself.

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Robes - Well said "However, true to your point, there's always something that "goes wrong", hence the nature of really cherishing the reward of the experience of your show vs. only looking at the number."

 

I couldn't agree more - I just think the adjudicators owe it to the performers to "get it right". In my opinion there was a huge difference between both Victor J, LWC and Warren... I would go as far to say the even WV was better than Warren.

 

 

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But Warren should not have been in over VJ based on what I've been able to watch, and what I've heard from people who were there.

 

So what you meant to say is:

 

Based on the PAST (which doesn't matter at ISU), I don't THINK Warren should have made it, even though I wasn't there to actually judge for myself.

Clarinetdude- I could be wrong, but I think they were referring to saturday's performances, not the past.

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Clarinetdude- I could be wrong, but I think they were referring to saturday's performances, not the past.

 

How I read it was that the people Robes heard from were there on Saturday, but Robes himself was not...not sure if that's right either lol

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