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Dan Balash

ISU 2008

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As one who has been around the Illlinois Marching Activity for over 30 years, I can tell you that there was a "standardized" system and a standardized judge's guild that included a training, mentoring and trial jdging process before a judge was allowed out in the filed to affect the outcomes of the weekly activity. It was called Central States Judges Association and many of those who have gone on to develop and foster BOA were part of it. Unfortunately, many contests these days hire very fine muscians to adjudicate who have very little experience in actually providing analytical process and balanced sampling of a performance, let alone enough national experience and exposure to accurately understand what a National Linear Scale is. At its apex, names like Tim Lautzenhiser, Ward Durrett, Bill Theis, Frank Bischoff and Paul Luttrell were the stewards of the activity and it's phenominal growth in Illinois and Indiana. Unfortunately, many directors in Illinois - predominatly Central and Southern Illinois - didn't like their bands receiving realistic Natioinal Linear relevant scores and so many refused to support contests that use a CSJA slate for their show. It was really patterned after DCI adn DCM in that you would usually see several of the same faces during a season so you could expect some consistency from panel to panel.

 

I was at a contest this past wek and the recap was amazingly inconsistent from judge to judge with some bands receveing a 91 score on their first competitive performance....guess they don't have much to look forward to....

I did not know that... wow, thanks for the education on that... That makes me sad to know we had that but it fell apart...

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As someone who's been around for about 15 years in this whole marching band scene in IL, I've definitely viewed the ISU competition as the definitive state championships.  Not only is the judging system at ISU just plain better than the U of I, but the judges at the ISU competition are usually of much higher quality.  Not only that, but having an actual FINALS makes it much more legit as an actual championships rather than a random competition. 

 

That being said, ISU if FAR from being perfect.  And will remain so unless they at some point choose to go to better sheets, and figure things out from there.

 

The only solution is one I don't know if everyone would go for, and I would LOVE to be part of the process.

 

As much as I disagree with all his plans, what George Hopkins uses for the USSBA in normalizing competitions structures seems to work.

 

If we could find a way to organize independently (because IHSA isn't getting involved, and it's been tried, often) the same sheet throughout the state at all competitions, and to either hold an official state finals with the top X bands ranked at the end of the season, or to leave it as an open invite like ISU, but use previous scores from other competitions to seed performance times, and keep the finals structure that we have come to know and love from ISU.

 

Any ideas or anyone want to get on board?  I have thought about this for quite a while, and believe that some of the people on this message board would be good for the activity and for the planning stages, as well as the application of it.

 

There would be a TON of things to make happen, but wouldn't it be nice to have something real and legit to finally end this debate?

As one who has been around the Illlinois Marching Activity for over 30 years, I can tell you that there was a "standardized" system and a standardized judge's guild that included a training, mentoring and trial jdging process before a judge was allowed out in the filed to affect the outcomes of the weekly activity. It was called Central States Judges Association and many of those who have gone on to develop and foster BOA were part of it. Unfortunately, many contests these days hire very fine muscians to adjudicate who have very little experience in actually providing analytical process and balanced sampling of a performance, let alone enough national experience and exposure to accurately understand what a National Linear Scale is. At its apex, names like Tim Lautzenhiser, Ward Durrett, Bill Theis, Frank Bischoff and Paul Luttrell were the stewards of the activity and it's phenominal growth in Illinois and Indiana. Unfortunately, many directors in Illinois - predominatly Central and Southern Illinois - didn't like their bands receiving realistic Natioinal Linear relevant scores and so many refused to support contests that use a CSJA slate for their show. It was really patterned after DCI adn DCM in that you would usually see several of the same faces during a season so you could expect some consistency from panel to panel.

 

I was at a contest this past wek and the recap was amazingly inconsistent from judge to judge with some bands receveing a 91 score on their first competitive performance....guess they don't have much to look forward to....

Ugh...Central States...WAS a good organization.

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Yes, notice I said "was"...... CSJA retreated to Indiana where there was more work and then I think as the MBA/BOA presence became larger, the need for CSJA as a "vendor" dwindled. As far as a standard sheet system,,,anyone remember MACBDA?

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Yes, notice I said "was"...... CSJA retreated to Indiana where there was more work and then I think as the MBA/BOA presence became larger, the need for CSJA as a "vendor" dwindled. As far as a standard sheet system,,,anyone remember MACBDA?

MACBDA is still out there....macbda.org

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I am making an update to my earlier prediction:

 

After seeing most of the top bands in my earlier prediction i have my new top 5 ranking bands for finals.

 

1. Prospect

2. LWE or LWC

4. Lake Park

5. Marian

 

2 and 3 will be interesting beacuse of the two LW's fighting for the 2nd place.

Only reason i have it this way, Marian, is that it is a little early for their show to be at its peak. Lake Park, I think both LWE and possibly LWC to beat LP by the smallest of point values.

 

LWE and LWC, LWC at their show, though I don't know if it was from their judge's biased, but LWc beat LWE in points wise. Not to say that LWE will fall a placement to LWC this year, but I am saying if people are putting LWE up there to be a good canadate to win ISU LWC must be up there also.

 

Prospect, I can see winning, though I have not been able to see their show since Wheeling... Though I think they could very well be one of the few people who could win it.

 

This will be one interesting year for the finals...

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Saturday is going to be awesome! It's one band event that one should not miss! Anyone of these bands can take 1st.

 

Prospect

Marian

LWE

Lake Park

 

Seen them at recent competitions and they're pretty impressive. I've never been to ISU so it's twice the excitement for me! I'm assuming ISU is an open stadium?

 

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So, from reading the past posts, are we in agreeance that Prospect not getting 1st is an upset?

It was dsiappointing not to see Prospect clinch first place .... however, it was very rewarding to be in the top 5 considering this was Prospect's first trip to ISU after so many years of not being in it. It was an honor to be with the many great bands there and see the performances of the many talented musicians (dancers and singers too!). The state of Illinois ought to be proud. Great job everyone!

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So, from reading the past posts, are we in agreeance that Prospect not getting 1st is an upset?

I would agree. Their show is at 196 for much of the time. They cover the entire field with fewer kids than Marian. They have a very technically challenging piece. I'm not asking for a bunch of counter arguments, as I'm sure others have plenty. But I will be eager to see the breakdown on scores and find out what the judges were thinking as they came up with their final rankings. The point spread was a bit wider than I thought it should be. Also, it was my opinion that Prospect's finals performance was stronger than their prelims, yet the score went down.

 

The top three bands were all stellar in my mind, and the finals were all very very good performances. Great job everyone!

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I dont believe there show really fits together. It was all this smooth peaceful music. Then they started playing JUMP ON IT. I didnt feel like that made sense.

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I dont believe there show really fits together. It was all this smooth peaceful music. Then they started playing JUMP ON IT. I didnt feel like that made sense.

 

Actually their show is called "Shall We Dance" and the pop tune they played was "Everybody Dance Now", so it makes sense, and I thought added a little humor to the show.

 

And I had guessed LWE to win, especially after seeing both at Prospect, however, I definitely thought it would be closer than it was.

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I dont believe there show really fits together. It was all this smooth peaceful music. Then they started playing JUMP ON IT. I didnt feel like that made sense.

My prediction was up there as far as who'd be in the Final's top 4. No disregard to the fantastic job LWE did, but I thought for sure that Marian was a tad stronger than LWE (but that's my opinion). I'm sure MC will fare great at upcoming BOAs. Prospect's overall presentation of their show was great, regardless if their show made sense or not. The LWE and MC bands were better that night. Congrats to all bands who participated! My first experience at ISU was memorable and it was well worth the many long hours delegated to this event (from getting up early to get the band kids to school, travelling for hours to Normal, sitting at the stands to see the many talented bands, enjoy the thrill of hearing the winners at finals, waiting in the school's parking lot for the kids to arrive and going back home, not hitting my pillow until 4am on Sunday). What a band fan I am - or would that be a dork? LOL!

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prospects show made sense to me more so than lwe.

along with the songs mentioned above, im pretty sure i heard bandancing by stamp in their show-another addition to their "dance" theme. i thought prospects overall sound was better than lwe. idk about show in general, just my observation.

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i thought prospects overall sound was better than lwe. idk about show in general, just my observation.

Thanks Dan for the much awaited scores.

 

Looking at the scores and comparing Prospect's prelim and finals shows, idk what the judges saw or heard that would make Prospect's scores lower at finals. I thought Prospect sounded better at finals. Did I miss something? Hmmmm.

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I don't know how many times this needs to be said but scores are SUBJECTIVE AND RELATIVE!!! It was the "same" panel as prelims, but they were judging different categories. The scores from prelims to finals are not always going to be the same. It's essentially relative to what other bands are doing.

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I don't know how many times this needs to be said but scores are SUBJECTIVE AND RELATIVE!!! It was the "same" panel as prelims, but they were judging different categories. The scores from prelims to finals are not always going to be the same. It's essentially relative to what other bands are doing.

 

This is another good point

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