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saxyman

ISU 2011

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Lincoln-Way East were Grand Champions as recently as three years ago and they placed 9th. Lake Park has consistently placed in the Top 4 --most recently 2nd/3rd/4th and placed 5th. Marian Catholic won but then again I don't think many people who know the activity well can disagree with that placement, esp. being closer to November than mid-October given how their calendar works.  Prospect in 2nd  and Lincoln-Way North in 3rd isn't out of this world.

 

The best marching bands in the state, almost without fail, were there last night. Missed Naperville North..were they even at the competition?

 

There's a difference between enjoying a show and that show doing well on judging sheets.

 

Would you mind being more specific, with what outcomes you didn't agree with?  Downers South and Lincolnway North being in the top 4 sure doesnt seem like the status quo to me.

 

All,

I have not been involved with bands for the last 20 years or so but I do have eyes and ears.  Although I felt the performances at finals were quite enjoyable, I do think there's a distinct "expectation" in the results.  I have seen this all too often in many band contests where the perennial favorites continue to be the perennial winners in spite of evidence to the contrary in terms of performance.  It appears to me that in order to "dethrone" the favorite, your show has to be phenomenal, exceptional, and leave no doubt that it is the best.  It is not good enough to be better, that will not push you over the top.  I also believe that the bands who frequent a particular venue are somewhat placed higher than their counterparts who have not been in a particular contest.  No, I'm not Oliver Stone, and I'm not paranoid, just observant.  I get that this thing is subjective and they try to get judges who are unbiased bit somehow I think they're still underachieving on that front.  I still enjoy attending these events although I just wish they were a little less predetermined...

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Some of my thoughts from yesterday:

 

-United Township and Lemont both in my opinion, did well enough to earn a finals spot. But only 14 can get in, and that's the way it works.

 

-Was actually very impressed with Lake Park, they did very well musically and were spotless visually. Their show looks much improved over their early season performances.

 

-LOVED Lockport's show. They're finally starting to become one of the big dogs of Illinois Marching Band, and put out a very strong performance yesterday. Extreme talent in the Clarinet soloists, and was very well put together.

 

-DGS did very well, loved all the impact points in their show, and it was great to see them soar up to the Top 5. Great job to them.

 

-Victor J. Andrew did great, percussion was near flawless with great sound support.

 

-O'Fallon and Prospect impressed me quite a bit. Congratulations to both of those groups, great to see O'Fallon go to ISU, loved their show, and Prospect opened a lot of eyes with that 2nd place finish.

 

Great competition yesterday!

 

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I'm just glad Naperville North got the Crowd Appeal. 'Cause scores, placement, finals, that doesn't matter to us. As long as we entertain and perform our best, that's what makes it all worth while.

 

Also, our director would be pissed if we didn't win, since we almost always win this award. :P

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Do these bands play these shows for football games, play a completely different show, or not play at home games at all? 

 

Yes.  Some of the bands (Marian, on a national level, Broken Arrow, L.D. Bell) have completely different shows for the football crowd.  Marian does a complete pep band show of 1970's hits, Broken Arrow brings out the 400+ member Tradition, and L.D. Bell does pep band tunes.

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I get the difference between enjoying a show and what the results may be on a judge's scoresheet.  I am very interested in seeing a full accounting on the scores to see just how "far apart" these bands are.  As to your mix of top bands, they tend to be the same top four or five bands for the most part over the last ten years or so in this competition.  That may be a result of who participates or the strength of their band programs.  My concern lies in the fact that I saw other bands at this festival who I felt should have placed higher than they did.  So, seeing the scores will help to either confirm or dispel my concerns. 

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Do these bands play these shows for football games, play a completely different show, or not play at home games at all? 

 

Yes.  Some of the bands (Marian, on a national level, Broken Arrow, L.D. Bell) have completely different shows for the football crowd.  Marian does a complete pep band show of 1970's hits, Broken Arrow brings out the 400+ member Tradition, and L.D. Bell does pep band tunes.

 

Then that makes sense.  I just couldn't imagine some of these shows at a football game.  Of course, at our school, they come to watch the band and leave after halftime, because there isn't much else going on :)

 

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It has been an amazing season this year!  I think this years finalists placings show that it doesn't matter what your schools reputation is and how well you did in years past.  This years finals prove that there are no predetermined results.  Just look at LWE, LWC, LP, NN,  they were all beat by Downers Grove South.  That program has been really growing over the years and showed these other bands with great programs that you don't have to be the expected band to be an expected band.

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Do these bands play these shows for football games, play a completely different show, or not play at home games at all? 

 

Yes.  Some of the bands (Marian, on a national level, Broken Arrow, L.D. Bell) have completely different shows for the football crowd.  Marian does a complete pep band show of 1970's hits, Broken Arrow brings out the 400+ member Tradition, and L.D. Bell does pep band tunes.

 

Then that makes sense.  I just couldn't imagine some of these shows at a football game.  Of course, at our school, they come to watch the band and leave after halftime, because there isn't much else going on :)

 

At the same time, there are many more programs that DO perform their competitive show at halftime of games.  This is more common than not.  We all know how crowds tend to be at games, but many schools and communities understand what competitive marching band is and know what their band "style" is because they see it many times during the season.  It all becomes part of the culture of that community.  What may be entertaining to you and you parents may not be the same down the road.

 

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Just another opportunity for performers to get out there and do a run-through before a crowd.

 

I'd much rather that bands just did their normal field shows for halftime. If people don't like it, that's their problem.

 

Personally, I would be at the concession stand regardless because without competition, the stakes aren't as high.

 

 

Do these bands play these shows for football games, play a completely different show, or not play at home games at all? 

 

Yes.  Some of the bands (Marian, on a national level, Broken Arrow, L.D. Bell) have completely different shows for the football crowd.  Marian does a complete pep band show of 1970's hits, Broken Arrow brings out the 400+ member Tradition, and L.D. Bell does pep band tunes.

 

Then that makes sense.  I just couldn't imagine some of these shows at a football game.  Of course, at our school, they come to watch the band and leave after halftime, because there isn't much else going on :)

 

At the same time, there are many more programs that DO perform their competitive show at halftime of games.  This is more common than not.  We all know how crowds tend to be at games, but many schools and communities understand what competitive marching band is and know what their band "style" is because they see it many times during the season.  It all becomes part of the culture of that community.  What may be entertaining to you and you parents may not be the same down the road.

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I agree with what you are saying, and I would never have my band do a stock arrangement, or a Hal Leonard box set.  We do original pieces, but ones that are upbeat and in your face but with its soft side as well.  The killer for me with a lot of the shows is that there is usually no climax.  It stays the same consistent level, with the nice symphonic sound, but no great "Ahh" moment.  It's just my preference, and my kids' as well. 

I never said what the bands are doing is wrong-it's done well, but not my cup of tea for marching band.  For instance, I loved Batavia's show this year, but unfortunately, what I payed attention to the whole time were the two violins and cello.  I couldn't have told you what the guard, or the rest of the band was doing, because I was focused on the pit the whole time.  They served the show well, but if you have to rely on amplified strings as the focal point for your marching band show, maybe a different show should have been picked? Again, I thought it sounded great, and just using them as an example.

 

This Batavia show reference is a GREAT example of a show that is designed in such a way that many people might need to see it more than once to see/hear everything.  They did not rely on the amplified strings.  While it was one main focus, it is not unusual for some people to see and hear this for the first time and *their* mind is focused on it.  A second or even third viewing of this show probably would have enabled the ability to take in the other aspects of this show. 

 

Part of having a great show design along with a great performance level is making audience members WANT to see it again.  The reasons can be many.  The more you see a particular show that is put together and performed well, the more aspects of the show you see/hear and get to appreciate.  Maybe even answer some questions you may have had the first time around.  At the same time, it is possible to have too much depth...but it still can be appreciated on some level.

 

It would be sad to have a show that you can see only once and not need to or be interested in seeing again.  There's nothing like looking at a line up of bands and pre-determining when you will go get a hot dog thats not during intermission.

 

But, then again, not everyone likes hot dogs ;)

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Congrats to all bands that performed yesterday! A couple notes

- John Mackey has probably gained popularity x 1000%....VJA and DGS played Hymn to a blue hour...and Romeoville and DGS played Strange humors...and Normal West, Plainfield North and DGS played Kingfishers. Who knows how many bands play his music next season.

- All the bands in finals definately deserved their spot in it.

- Marian- wow..intense

- Prospect- I have to say, I liked last years show a little more, but this years is nonetheless phenomonal! Very exciting show to watch

- LWN- Definately deserved 3rd, very clean.

- DGS- surprised me the most. They really know how to prep for ISU. Does anyone think their little 2nd piece, strange humors sounded a lot like Mr. Incredibles theme at the end before they played blue hour? just wondering :)

- Lake Park- Not the biggest fan of their theme this year, but still very powerful and clean, it was a really good show to watch.

- OFallon- Very enticing show, loved it

- VJA- I really grasped the theme of their show with their musicality, and I could have done it even without the props. They played great!

- LWE- Not the best show, but I like the concept. What happened to the guitar? Ive seen them in the past, and I like them then and now still.

- Normal - Cute kid...and great music. Watch out NN, might take the crowd award away ;) just kidding

-Morton - since I have read hunger games, it was very entertaining to see how they pictured it. Nice mini-story out of it, and appreciated that they didnt spoil the ending...kind of would have been complicated to do that. I think they could have placed a bit higher.

- LWC - still a strong program, and Im happy that they made it in, was very clean visually.

-IVC - deserved 1a win...nice show!

- Plainfield- I went gaga for Lux Aurumque. They have such a full sound. Great job!!

-Lockport - I liked their interp of Aaron Guidrys show, they also have a great choreographer! Musically, they were awesome!! I hope they do another Aaron Guidry show, they do well with them. (Id like to see them do Aqua, all their woodwinds are like technical machines!! Esp clarinets)

 

Just a few thoughts from the bands I watched and payed attention to all season. Good luck to Bands going to BOA !!

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This will undoubtedly be controversial, and I do not mean for it to be taken that way at all..

 

I understand the direction of marching band is changing, but what I don't get is, why?  In most schools, the purpose of a marching band is to provide entertainment for a football game.  Competitions are second in your purpose.  Why then, are so many bands using concert band arrangements for their field shows? As a band director, it is hard to find shows that will be both competitive, yet entertaining for your home crowd, but they are out there!  I am a huge fan of Eric Whitacre in a concert band setting, but I can only take so much of him on the field. Watching the rest of the bands at U of I, and I can only assume ISU as well, everything starts to sound the same after a while.  Do these bands play these shows for football games, play a completely different show, or not play at home games at all?  <legit question..  Talking to a neighboring band's parent recently, they said "Hardly any of the band parents go to the football games, because we can only stand to be bored to death once in a weekend, and we'd rather support the competitions."  That's sad to me!

 

Side rant...why use props?  If you can't support your theme/show with your drill, music, and auxiliary, then you aren't doing something right.  The same goes for electronic music, narration, and recorded music.  Why?!

 

Now, by no means am I negating the work that the students, directors, and support staff do.  They are all extremely talented in what they do.  I guess I'm just an extreme traditionalist! :)

 

This is exactly how I feel as well!

 

Congrats to all bands/staff for putting in the hard work and dedication that is required for marching band!

 

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I get the difference between enjoying a show and what the results may be on a judge's scoresheet.  I am very interested in seeing a full accounting on the scores to see just how "far apart" these bands are.  As to your mix of top bands, they tend to be the same top four or five bands for the most part over the last ten years or so in this competition.  That may be a result of who participates or the strength of their band programs.  My concern lies in the fact that I saw other bands at this festival who I felt should have placed higher than they did.  So, seeing the scores will help to either confirm or dispel my concerns.

 

If your concern is that the judges didn't get every score "right" then you're probably correct. Judging is at least partially subjective especially the GE captions, and judges on the field can only be in one place at a time, so they are seeing and hearing one specific thing at a time, with the intent on sampling the different sections of the band during the course of the show.

 

For a pair of bands that are within a point or less of each other at a show, the scores could have gone either way. There can be an element of luck. That's just the way it isn and that's why bands should not focus on score and placement, but rather performing their best and maximizing their show.

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Some of my thoughts from yesterday:

 

-United Township and Lemont both in my opinion, did well enough to earn a finals spot. But only 14 can get in, and that's the way it works.

 

-Was actually very impressed with Lake Park, they did very well musically and were spotless visually. Their show looks much improved over their early season performances.

 

-LOVED Lockport's show. They're finally starting to become one of the big dogs of Illinois Marching Band, and put out a very strong performance yesterday. Extreme talent in the Clarinet soloists, and was very well put together.

 

-DGS did very well, loved all the impact points in their show, and it was great to see them soar up to the Top 5. Great job to them.

 

-Victor J. Andrew did great, percussion was near flawless with great sound support.

 

-O'Fallon and Prospect impressed me quite a bit. Congratulations to both of those groups, great to see O'Fallon go to ISU, loved their show, and Prospect opened a lot of eyes with that 2nd place finish.

 

Great competition yesterday!

 

I'm a junior at United Township and yesterday was the best we have ever performed the show, we don't really care about finals (although it would have been a wonderful experience) We just love to perform our show well and i think we did FANTASTIC what I thought was a little strange was Rock Island not placing, there show was AMAZING and I totally expected them to beat us and possibly even make their first appearance in finals! but it is what it is and we can't change the judges opinions, but we were all happy with how we did and so was our band director and thats all that matters but it's nice to know people did recognize our hard work, thanks :)

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It's good to see that's the way bands think. It's all about the memories, the passion (no pun intended), and the dedication to the program you get throughout the season. In the end, the way I think of it as is, it's just four numbers.

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Recaps attached.  Also, at the end of each recap is an ordinal scoring set for each set.

 

ISU Class 1A

55.65 IVC (Music, GE)

54.05 U-High (Visual)

53.20 Eureka

52.85 Herscher

43.85 Richmond-Burton

37.55 Olympia

 

Class 2A

71.50 Morton (Music tie, Visual, GE)

69.15 Lincoln-Way West (Music tie)

65.55 Limestone

58.45 Lakes Community

53.30 Pontiac

53.30 Providence Catholic

38.65 Marengo

 

Class 3A

83.55 Marian Catholic (Music, Visual, GE)

72.20 Normal West

68.45 United Township

68.25 Lemont

67.35 Bloomington

63.60 Rock Island

51.90 Argo

 

Class 4A

77.95 Lincoln-Way North (Music, GE)

74.00 Plainfield North

69.85 Lincoln-Way Central (Visual)

62.40 Normal Community

58.65 Batavia

56.35 Romeoville

 

___________________________________

Class 5A

83.65 Prospect (Music, Visual, GE)

79.45 O'Fallon

77.70 Lincoln-Way East

77.10 Victor J. Andrew

75.25 Wheaton Warrenville South

69.25 Edwardsville

68.40 Wheaton North

67.00 A.A. Stagg

65.75 Huntley

61.30 Minooka

 

Class 6A

81.50 Lake Park (Music, Visual)

81.10 Downers Grove South (GE)

79.00 Lockport

75.85 Naperville Central

73.95 Glenbrook South

73.75 Belleville East

72.90 Naperville North

71.00 Warren Township

66.95 Joliet West

 

____________________________________

Finals

89.15 Marian Catholic (Music, Visual, GE)

86.15 Prospect

85.05 Lincoln-Way North

83.55 Downers Grove South

83.15 Lake Park

82.95 O'Fallon

77.05 Victor J. Andrew

76.60 Lockport

76.10 Lincoln-Way East

76.00 Normal West

75.50 Plainfield North

75.25 Morton

72.65 Lincoln-Way Central

67.50 IVC

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Recaps attached.  Also, at the end of each recap is an ordinal scoring set for each set.

...

And I was just about to tease you about time being up. ;D  Seriously, thank you and Mark for all you do to manage this site and share the info with us all.

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From an observer's point of view, I think some of these scores are just wrong, but it is what it is. There are a few placements in each class and finals I definitely would have done differently. Oh well. Congratulations to all the bands, it was a great day

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Does anyone think that Downers Grove South could be a contender at BOA if they decided to go this year. Even possibly make Grand Nationals?

 

Grand National Finals? No.

Semifinals? Solid chance.

 

Super Regional Finals? Bubble.

 

Most regional finals? Yes..lower 5.

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Guest Brucknerfanatic8

From an observer's point of view, I think some of these scores are just wrong, but it is what it is. There are a few placements in each class and finals I definitely would have done differently. Oh well. Congratulations to all the bands, it was a great day

 

Do they reflect your predictions? Or would you have changed your predictions now after seeing the preliminaries and finals.

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