Saying farewell to 2011, welcoming 2012, and a thank you.
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 1:09 pm

Another year has come and gone in marching band.  Bands across the state exceeded expectations yet again.  O’Fallon made Grand National semifinals for the first time ever, placed in the St. Louis Super Regional, placed 6th at ISU in their first trip back since 2002.  Lincoln-Way East won their class at the Indianapolis Super Regional, made Semifinals for the 2nd time, and impressed all season.  Lincoln-Way North shook off the 35th place finish and 11th place finish at the St. Louis and Pontiac regionals, and placed 3rd at ISU, while winning their class.  Lockport makes BOA regional finals for the first time ever, Downers Grove South places 4th at ISU.  Lincoln-Way West overcomes the tragic loss of their director Steve Nedzel and has a great season, winning their class at competitions 3 times.  Victor J. Andrew rights the ship and makes ISU finals, after missing last year, and has their best finish at Grand Nationals, placing a little under 3.5 points out of semifinals.  Marian Catholic makes Grand National Finals for the 28th consecutive season, winning their 17th Grand National Class Championship in the process, winning their 15th ISU title, and placing in a regional finals for the 34th and 35th time, while winning their 19th and 20th Regional Class Championships.  Great seasons were also had this year by Rock Island, Lincoln-Way Central, Dunlap, Granite City, Illinois Valley Central, and Morton, just to name a few.


Time for some nerdy facts from this season:

  • 204 bands competed this season, for a total of 734 performances, at 41 Illinois shows, 6 Bands of America events, and a few other out of state shows..
  • These bands traveled a total of 47,874.95 miles to get to the show.  Round-trip, bands traveled a total of 95,749.90 miles.  The average Illinois band traveled 232.40 miles all season.  Lake Park traveled the most (975.5 miles one way), and Bloom Township traveled the least (5.4 miles) to get to their shows.  UHigh in Normal had the shortest trip to a show (.4 miles to ISU), and T.F. South had the longest trip (433 miles to Minnesota).


I’d like to share some site statistics from this season:

To date this year, we have had almost 40,000 unique visitors, visiting 132,647 times, and amassing 831,756 page views. We have logged some 25,000 posts to the forums since we started back in 2004, and over 2000 registered members. On October 30th, we had the most active users on at once, at 165 people. Some staggering numbers for a website run by a few marching band nerds! We can’t begin to express how thankful we are to all our members. It is because of all of you that we work so hard on this website, and continue to try and make it better.

And speaking of making the website better, we want to thank all of the people that took our survey this season. We have always taken user input, and the response we got on the survey will really help drive the development during the off-season (Mark is going to be really busy this off season adding things to the site and making it better) We had over 100 people take the survey thus far, and we can’t thank you enough for doing so. In another post, most likely on the forums, we will share some of the results, and our to-do list for the site over the coming months.


I want to thank everyone who continues to use the site, my staff, Mark (who continues to take my crazy ideas and somehow make them work), our current sponsors (Fitzpatrick Music and Voxitatis), our past sponsors (Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps, Phantom Regiment, KnightFire Drum and Bugle Corps, and 1 or 2 others that I am forgetting.)

I also want to thank the people who continue to send me information for the site and keep in contact with me.  Without you, the site would not have nearly as much information as it does now.

I also want to thank the staff, students, band boosters, parents, alumni and fans of Illinois marching bands.  Without you, we would not have this little community that we are so passionate about.


So, what’s next?

For the site:

  • Illinois Marching Online will experience periodic downtime this winter while we work to improve the site.  So, don’t panic when the site is not available.  It is not shutting down.
  • We will be looking for additional staff later this spring.  More information will be forthcoming on that.
For Illinois marching band:
  • The 2012 schedule is mostly set.   The season looks to be 10 weeks long, with a week in between ISU and Grand Nationals, for the first time in a number of years.   There may be some additional shows that were not held in 2011, including the Mustang Music Bowl at Downers Grove South.  2013 may be in complete flux (the likes of which have never been seen in Illinois, as the schedule as been mostly the same for quite a few years) if IHSA does indeed add marching band to their state championships.
What will happen next year?   Only time will tell.
Thank you.
-The ILmarching staff
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