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Review: ISU Finals

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I don't travel to Bloomington-Normal often. In fact, the last time I bothered to was way back in 2001 or 2002. Well, today, apparently I had no life.. so I ventured down for the evening finals. It was then why I remembered why I hadn't come back. The whole place sucks.

 

Below is my review of the bands I saw. I'm sure the weather played a factor in some of the guard performances, but overall I think most groups overcame the steady rains (and occasional downpour) and stayed on their feet. I took mental notes. Never would I subject myself to wasting time (as Alan Irons does, for those of you familiar) writing a book on every band's performance or poetry to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

 

I will try to be as objective as I can in evaluation.

 

I'm sorry to those I missed. Andrew, LW East and Waubonsie Valley.

 

Here we go..

 

Eureka HS

Score: 67.45

12th Place

 

Notes: Pretty good size ensemble. Nice low brass sound and the group held some nice moments. Visual was average at best, phasing and people just not on their dots, at times, a problem. Don't worry, it happens to them all. For the 1A band here, Eureka exceeded my expectation.

Morton HS

Score: 72.50

11th Place

 

Notes: A well-balanced ensemble. Functional visual book, yet, better-than-average. Good energy and drive throughout the performance. Definitely worth my time. Nice to see a AA band come up and hang for a while.

 

Warren Township

Score: 73.80

10th Place

 

Notes: Although Warren brought a lot of vocal supporters to the deal, it appears that their show just didn't have the same enthusiasm from a composition standpoint. Now, I'm not one to go and question a given show, but the band brought solid energy, only to be robbed by the one thing no one on the field can control: The composition of the show.

 

 

Naperville North

74.60

Place: 9th

 

Notes: "Around the World in 10 Minutes" did not have as much stage quality as previous Naperville North shows, but don't let that fool you. The musical book consisted of a cornicopea of well-known pieces. I liked the visual presentation by the guard and the functional, yet stylistic quality of the flags. The Japanese Dragon (or Chinese?) was another nice touch. As usual, The Marching Huskies play well and this year was no exception.

 

Lincoln-Way Central

75.15

Place: 8th

 

Notes: I agree with the judges. This was an 8th or 9th place show. First, a few comments. Lincoln-Way Central (and the former Lincoln-Way Community HS) have the best mellophone section in the state, maybe 2nd in the country behind Carmel HS (IN). Now, only if that could translate through the rest of the band. Loved the chords and continuous fanfare, but this group was hampered by their visual book. On a scale of 1-10, I'd probably place the overall visual demand on the marchers as 3 or 4. The show has some nice moments, but there is very little visual representation. This stuff could fly in the 1990s. Relative to what some of the bands are doing today though, it's 8th place. Still a nice musical performance though. The kids did what they could with what they had.

 

United Township

Score: 75.55

Placement: 7th

 

Notes: United Township tried Gershwin, etc. and it came out well. The former BOA Nationals Semi-Finalists sounded like I thought they would (balanced and with attention-to-detail). The colorguard and the gentleman who was featured with the girls was one of the better performances of the night. Visual was functional.

 

Lemont HS

Score: 79.10

Placement: 6th

 

Note: Well-deserved score and placement. Ghost Train is a piece that's been tried plenty of times on the football field, but within the context of the overall package, Lemont came to play, dance and lead the audience on a ride past their intended stop and into a non-stop free-for-all. This runaway train symbolizes the 2006 Lemont state finals performance. Above and beyond the larger class bands below them. Well-deserved!

 

 

Waubonsie Valley

Score: 81.30

Placement: 5th

Notes: None. Surprised.

 

Victor J. Andrew

Score: 82.80

Place: 4th

 

Notes: Quite a jump from their results at Lincoln-Way Central this past week. Nice to see the T-Bolts striking back with the ruthlessness of a serial killer.

 

Lake Park

Score: 85.05

Place: 3rd

 

Notes: This show reminded me of 1990s Lake Park more than any of their recent shows. Very solid music performance (ens.) and while the visual can be slightly improved, the nuts-and-bolts are working in this band's favor. Certainly not out of the question for this group to slip into BOA National Finals. The vocalist/drum major was very good as was the ensemble choral feature. Overall, just a very nice program with some room to grow.

 

Lincoln-Way East

88.00

Place: 2nd

Notes: Heard a loud ovation after this performance. Probably the biggest reaction of the night. Otherwise, I can't add much of anything. Sorry.

 

Marian Catholic

88.60

Place: 1st

 

Notes: With props lining the front and back of the field (resembling what appears to be the workings of a symphony stage), Marian Catholic attempts to take the audience through an educational lesson (a la Young People's Concerts) in varations of music. Again sporting the black and white mesh uniforms, this group leaves no nuance unturned in sculpting what could turn out into a masterpiece. Musical book was the hardest of the evening. Visual book was above average in difficulty, but must improve in execution and perhaps demand. Showcasing the various aspects of this program, a presenter, or 'conductor' showcases different aspects on the field. Now, I felt that the interplay between conductor and soloists were OK, but with the rain it was difficult to tell. Overall, the guard was elegant and the show is turning into the best show that MC has done since 2002.

 

I'm wondering whether that was your final ending, Marian? The ending did seem to end abruptly. Very cool last section, bass guitar and all. Great stuff. The real question is whether or not MC can get the audio lined up with the mic/soloist for their BOA stuff. That and whether or not this is the show. Just seems like there should be more Paganini in there. Maybe a reprise? Classy show and performance.

 

 

My placements:

(Groups I did not see will be kept the same)

 

12- Eureka

11- Warren Twp.

10- Morton

9- Lincoln-Way Central

8- Naperville North

7- United Township

6- Lemont

5- Waubonsie Valley

4- Victor J. Andrew

3- Lake Park

2- Lincoln-Way East

1- Marian Catholic

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Great review. I was upset to not be there this year, but it's really cool that you'd take the time to write all this stuff down for us. I really want to see Marian this year considering if it's their best since 2002 (my favorite Marian show).

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My friend who attends ISU will be happy to hear the good news about his former section! You may have nailed exactly what I couldn't place when I watched the podcast. The drill didn't seem to have the same demand that we had last year (MANY sets, jazz runs, etc.) but I believe it has to do with what the directors felt this band could handle. Knowing that I marched the hardest visual book ever put together for the Marching Knights is humbling when one considers that, perhaps, it was an exception made because we could handle it. Either way, I hope the band will bounce back stronger next season! The upcoming senior class will be ready to handle a more demanding show, both musically and visually and prepare their underclassmen to handle it as well.

I am sad, though, that this is the first time in the history of the Marching Knights that they have placed out of the top five. Oh well, there's a first time for everything!

 

Thank you for the great review!

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6 years ago there was Lincoln Way High School, now there's two Lincoln Way East who's performing the best they've ever done, almost as good as Marion Catholic, and LWC who's sadly hit a recent rut... but I'm not sure if I'm right, but is last year LWE and LWC's last year as school's??? I heard they were dividing again, which would be a pity, because Lincoln Way East Probably should've won this year

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well LWC won 6A prelims last year, so I don't know what kind of rut they might be in...the schools are splitting eventually but the Lincoln-Way North (which will split from East) is not scheduled to open until Fall 2008, LW West (split from Central) scheduled for Fall 2009.

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I don't travel to Bloomington-Normal often. In fact, the last time I bothered to was way back in 2001 or 2002. Well, today, apparently I had no life.. so I ventured down for the evening finals. It was then why I remembered why I hadn't come back. The whole place sucks.

Just curious about this statement. What's so wrong with B/N?

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Congrats to all the bands who competed in finals! There were some awesome shows that were put on the field, even despite the rain, which I believe worked to some of the band's advantages.

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Lincoln Way East Probably should've won this year

I don't know if this is the way judges think or not, but it's hard to justify putting Lincoln-Way East over Marian Catholic at ISU because Marian Catholic's hornline is exponentially better than the one at Lincoln-Way East. They're more musical, more balanced (East has 20+ trumpets and 4 baritones), and play harder music. I'm not saying they were or weren't better than Marian (but even then, we'd have to think almost Jackson Academy good to overcome the odd instrumentation), as I wasn't there, but the size and overall intimidation of Marian Catholic gives them what seems to be an immediate competitive edge.

 

As i've said before, I love my alma mater, and i loved their show this year, but my friends back in Frankfort have told me that their musical performance score in Ypsilanti was not very good, and it probably involves the overall balance of the band. These problems have been a part of LWE since 2002.

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some good comments overall Jim...don't know if I agree completely with your take on Marian but since I wasn't there, I'll have to take your word for it.

Well, Larry, I think they have some room for improvement but am guessing they competed without a full deck. Their visual book is pretty good, but not to the same velocity as I've become accustomed to seeing them.

 

They'll need a new ending and a little luck, but it was a pretty good ISU performance.

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Central will be split in 2009, but just like the East/Central split, seniors will be grandfathered through Central if they so choose.

 

Central has been on steady decline since 2000. The reason isn't the split. It's that when the split happened, marching band was changing radically and Central has failed to keep up. The things that we harped on for four years are no longer the things that make the difference. But there were a host of factors that I'm sure led up to this year. And I'm almost positive the internal "people" problems will go away next year. The real problem is that you will see the same things happening four years from now. It's a sad cycle. Remember that this graduating class were freshman for "Council Oak" another notoriously bad year, overall, both inside and out.

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I have a question....

 

As i was looking over scores i found an error. IF the scores posted are correct the worng band played in finals.....

 

These are the prelim scores of what should be top 10 plus class winner... what should be the bands for finals...

 

Top scores

1. 89.55 Marian Catholic

2. 87.55 Lincoln-Way East

3. 86.35 Lake Park

4. 84.90 Victor J. Andrew

5. 83.25 Waubonsie Valley

6. 82.60 Lincoln-Way Central

7. 82.20 Naperville North

8. 80.55 United Township

9. 79.85 Lemont

10. 78.50 Normal West (Did NOT make finals????)

11. 77.80 Warren Township (Made Finals??)

12. 76.05 Collinsville

 

 

Class Winners (Bold made it in on score)

 

Class 1A

62.75 Eureka

Class 2A

71.70 Morton

Class 3A

89.55 Marian Catholic

Class 4A

80.55 United Township

Class 5A

84.90 Victor J. Andrew

Class 6A

87.55 Lincoln-Way East

 

Warren Township played in finals but had a prelim score of (77.80 Warren Township)

 

So the way they do it Finals should have been these bands...(Unless a band didnt play cause of rain)

1. Marian Catholic

2. Lincoln-Way East

3. Lake Park

4. Victor J. Andrew

5. Waubonsie Valley

6. Lincoln-Way Central

7. Naperville North

8. United Township

9. Lemont

10. Normal West

11. Morton

12. Eureka

 

 

 

 

Was it raining in finals that Normal West didnt want to play or did they make a mistake? (I was not there at finals so i don't know)

 

 

Finals were

Finals

88.60 Marian Catholic

88.00 Lincoln-Way East

85.05 Lake Park

82.80 Victor J. Andrew

81.30 Waubonsie Valley

79.10 Lemont Township

75.55 United Township

75.15 Lincoln-Way Central

74.60 Naperville North

73.80 Warren Township???????????

72.50 Morton

67.45 Eureka

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I believe Normal West had some sort of school function, and had decided beforehand that even if they made it in, they were not going to be performing in finals. Somebody posted this in another thread, but if you're closer to the situation than myself, feel free to corroborate or correct this.

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I believe Normal West had some sort of school function, and had decided beforehand that even if they made it in, they were not going to be performing in finals. Somebody posted this in another thread, but if you're closer to the situation than myself, feel free to corroborate or correct this.

Nope i was just making sure... Thanks... :]

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I believe Normal West had some sort of school function, and had decided beforehand that even if they made it in, they were not going to be performing in finals. Somebody posted this in another thread, but if you're closer to the situation than myself, feel free to corroborate or correct this.

I believe this is Normal West's homecoming weekend, and last night was their homecoming dance.

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I believe Normal West had some sort of school function, and had decided beforehand that even if they made it in, they were not going to be performing in finals. Somebody posted this in another thread, but if you're closer to the situation than myself, feel free to corroborate or correct this.

I spoke with some Normal West parents. Their homecoming dance was last night. They had informed the ISU judges in davance that they would not be staying for finals. They left right after 3A/4A awards were announced.

 

 

 

 

 

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Finals this year was great. I believe that ALL the bands gave excellent performances regardless of the rain. After watching the bands, this is how I would rate them...

 

1. Marian Catholic

2. Lincoln Way East

3. Lake Park

4. Victor J. Andrew

5. Waubonsie Valley

6. United Township

7. Lemont

8. Naperville North

9. Morton

10. Lincoln Way Central

11. Warren Township

12. Eureka

 

Congrats to all the bands!

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As for LWE...i kind of agree w/ your review...even seeing the show, i didn't have much to say.

In my opinion drill was much more exciting than music. The music seemed to lack that drive and energy in parts of the show that audiences love to see. The drumline was good though.

 

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