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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/16/2019 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    I respect your opinion, but I also disagree wholeheartedly. To each their own, we’ll never really know
  2. 6 points
    A beloved member of our marching band community, Andy Reynolds, passed away today. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers during this difficult time. He was a genuine spirit in this world, and he will be missed.
  3. 6 points
    i love me some NH but disagree. I wouldn't even put them in my top 3 this year. Hoping they figure out whatever it is that has them, in my opinion, relatively stagnant in both circuits.
  4. 6 points
    Okay okay okay...this will be long and I apologize, but this is something that’s SUPER important to me, enough to login to this account from 2017 (and even then I didn’t post much, granted it’s was all in defense of the group I was teaching at then, etc.) Before I start, let me say, I LOVE marching band. It’s an income source, a passion, and a tool for me to teach the most amazing students in the state (and I do!!! I swear!). But the successes of that group in recent years was due to the successes of more than what they put and did on a football field. First off, the answer to this whole topic, or the question posed, is a big fat “NO”. But, with that, allow me to qualify the no: 1.) You simply cannot judge a program by their marching band alone. You also cannot judge a program based on their concert bands/jazz bands/pep bands (?)/Solo and Ensemble/I&E/All State Participants/All District or All County/etc. ALONE. These are all different beasts in themselves. Yes, you can judge individual students in a lot of these areas, but not the program as a whole. Many programs have wonderful participation in Solo and Ensemble festivals, but their programming ensembles are subpar. In Kentucky, I notice many school have good marching bands and ~just okay~ concert bands. That, in particular, tells me a lot of things, but I’ll dive into in a second. 2.) Marching Band is NOT the end-all-be-all of band. If that’s the case, then count me out. Band and music is SO MUCH MORE than marching band. While marching band is, arguably, the most exciting facet of band, I would argue that other parts of a program teach students much more than marching band can, out the other major ensembles that are included with band. Personally, I learned more in concert band than I ever did in MB, and a heck ton more in private lessons than in either. But, let’s dive into some principles: Marching Band teaches you to practice to achieve perfection and the true meaning of winning/comradeship/dedication, private lessons/individual performing teaches you to perfect and own the fundamentals of music and your instrument to be the best musician You can be, Concert Band teaches you to perform the fundamentals with others to achieve more difficult areas of music in an ensemble setting, jazz band teaches you to be experimental with music and your instrument, pep band teaches you to have fun and support others with music and your instrument, Solo and Ensemble teaches you to be judged on your fundamentals and put that into your practice and performance, and all facets of music/band teach you emotional aptitude/appreciate for the arts, yourself, your peers, and your craft. Every Part mentioned above has to do with the other, meaning, in my truest opinion, you cannot have one without the other. Those people in programs that do not have marching bands don’t get the chance to experience what it’s like to win a contest or be in state finals, or even the simplistic joy of performing in front of TONS of people at sporting/sport-like events. However, those without a concert band that is above average/subpar do not get the true act of music making while truly accomplishing fundamental levels of musicianship and their instruments. This can go on for every single part. Band is fully rounded, not one sided 3.) *Competitive* Marching Band has NO level of Sight Reading (THE MOST IMPORTANT FACET OF MUSIC, IMO). Yes, maybe, MAYBE, the first day or two of Band Camp, but that is it. Sight reading often is one of the best ways to test And master your habits, fundamental skills, and musicianship. If you can pick up a piece of literature and create music with it the FIRST time, then you’ve accomplished so much in this craft. That is a huge accomplishment and achievement. “Football” Marching Band, in the act of changing shows week to week, does involve more sight reading than competitive MB. So, I would give Football Marching Band a leg up on that one...but that’s the only real leg up it has on Competitive MB! Lol 4.) Lastly, you can look at the whole of a program easily. You can TELL when a director doesn’t and isn’t doing well. It’s not hard. All you have to is listen to every part of their machine, and you can typically get that done in a whole week if you try hard enough (or come around at the right time). But, it’s also just as easy to see bands that are amazing. And, with that, you can see that bands that have great Concert Bands typically have great marching bands. The opposite isn’t always true: marching band is inherently easy - it’s “easy” to go out for 5 months (maybe more depending on when music is given) and make 7-9 minutes of music sound good. That’s a lot of time! Now, to do it right and make an amazing product, you add in skills from the other facets to make that MB product the best it can be, but you can’t magically make those skills appear if they weren’t worked on beforehand. That’s where it gets hard and being well-rounded comes in - this is why the best marching band programs in the state have GREAT and amazing concert bands! They worked on their skills sitting down and then put it on the move - Again, if you don’t have the skills before you start trying to move with your instrument, you won’t be successful. Now shift gears and think about the typically concert cycle: about 6-8 weeks, give or take. That’s 20-30 maybe even 40 minutes of music learned in about 1/3 of the time as it takes to get a marching band show State ready. You could, hypothetically, give at least 3 concerts with nearly quadruple the amount of literature/length of music in the time it takes to learn, perfect, and clean one marching band show. That does not take away from marching band, but, IMO, shows the importance and complete need of a good concert band program. To digress: Marching Band IS NOT everything, it should not be judged as everything, every director has their own philosophy on what is important to and for their ensembles and program, every community and school has their own separate expectations, you cannot have one facet of band without the others, at least in some form, **it’s sad and detrimental that many programs spend thousands of dollars on instruction for marching band but almost nothing for their concert/jazz bands and private lessons**, and... THE GOAL OF EVERY PROGRAM IS TO BE WELL ROUNDED. Let’s stop looking at the success of one part of a whole machine and look at it as a whole. See what people are doing, attend concerts, and support well rounded musicians and programs. So, no, no Band Director should fired for having a bad marching band. But they should be looking to grow every year in some capacity. A Director should be questioned if the whole program is failing or incredibly subpar in more than one aspect or if the students are truly not getting the musical nutrition to be the best they can be. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk! LOLOLOL
  5. 6 points
    Estill Co lit this place up this morning
  6. 5 points
    Next year will be deep for sure. Have to remember that these bands are 200 players++ with many 300++, Carmel was 326 players, it takes an army to move these bands, especially for the Texas groups. They don't have the luxury of Carmel, Avon, Homestead, Fisher's, Castle, etc with GN in your back yard. So it's understandable why Texas bands alternate years. And let's face it.. If we had all the Texas powerhouse bands at GN, it would be a finals of Texas, BA, and the top IN bands in finals. I sat in a group of Vandergrift parents in Semi's and they were discussing this and the amount of fundraising they do. Also, one thing that was really cool. All the Texas bands pretty much sat together, very nice people and they all stood and cheered each of the other TX bands. I love Lafayette, but saying they would have been in top 12? I'm 50/50. Lafayette is super clean, but their overall design lacks. I sat and watched from 7am onwards at semi's and part of me says Lafayette would have been behind NH and part of me states they would have been 13th-16th place. The Top 6 are/were on a completely different level than everyone else there, you see/hear it.
  7. 5 points
    Yeah, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
  8. 5 points
    North Hardin was the best band in KY this year.
  9. 4 points
    I wasn't far off from your thinking! I thought Lafayette would have been between 10th and 15th. Not sure they would have finished ahead of Fishers and Lawrence Township. Everyone thinks this was a really strong year but I think next year could be even harder to make finals with Broken Arrow, Tarpon Springs, Wando, Castle, Jenks and who knows which Texas bands returning! This finals was very top heavy 1st thru 8th! After that I have seen much stronger 9th thru 16th place bands.
  10. 4 points
    I love your post. Especially this sentence. This is why I'm not a fan of gimmicks, custom uniforms, and a ridiculous amount of electronics and microphones. That's money that could really be better used elsewhere and its not required to have a great marching band (but, oh wait, when lots of other groups do it, it kind of is required to be successful.)
  11. 4 points
    Our KY bands really showed up this year. 4 bands placed in class and with one as our 1A champion! KY really does have the best small bands in the land and they continue to prove it year after year. Semis was the very first time I got to see Estill's show live and I completely understand what all the hype was about. Outstanding show! They've made an amazing impression for their first year in BOA. I sat amongst a bunch of Texas band parents in finals and they were all completely blown away by Bourbon's sound! They really do put out the sound volume and quality of a band twice their size. I hope they can keep their numbers up because they've put out some amazing shows the past few years. Looking at the prelims recap they placed 31st overall and were just one spot away from making semis on score. Super impressive! I was really happy to see North place higher than 22nd place for the first time since the 90s. I know it seems like such a small step placing 21st but I think it finally shows that they're getting closer to being a bubble band. Their shows the past two years have been really ambitious for their program and I'm excited to see where the Lindsey Vento shows take them. As Sheldon Cooper pointed out, the prelims results are very interesting considering North beat Marian in music performance, visual performance, and music effect. 5/7 judges preferred North but the huge difference in visual effect allowed Marian to get ahead by just 0.25 points. What I find the most interesting is that Miamisburg beat both Marian and North in prelims. Grand Nats just keeps getting more competitive year after year. Usually the next 8 bands are kind of a bore but I was very impressed by the quality of bands top to bottom in semis. I thought any of the bands in the top 16 or so could have been in finals. Looking forward to what our KY bands have to bring next year!
  12. 4 points
    North has the shows down. Top tier designer. Great color schemes. Great portrayal. What they need to do, and I say this now for 20th time, is clean it up visually. They were considerably close to MCath. And they could have pulled it off with just some cleaner marching.
  13. 4 points
    I don’t think Lafayette would’ve been in finals either, but I think they would have been close. After watching semis, I think they would have been in the 13-16 range. I’m excited to see them go deeper into the BOA circuit next year and continue on their current path in terms of show design. I hope to see MC at a BOA event as well.
  14. 4 points
    Yes, awesome job to Bourbon, Estill, and Beechwood for showing who has the best small bands in the country. All the Kentucky bands this weekend did a great job in showcasing our states talent and should be very proud!
  15. 4 points
    Congrats to Bourbon, Estill, Beechwood, and North Hardin for Representing KY well today and making semis! Good luck to all!
  16. 3 points
    There it is. I was wondering when this thread would pop up this year.
  17. 3 points
    Yeah, but even most videos on flash drives have issues opening on most TVs, because not all TVs cover all video file types. Personally I think this is a bad move and could cause Box 5 to see a drop in sales, but then again I don't run the company so it's not my call. I'm just waiting for a certain company owner to get online.
  18. 3 points
    My biggest gripe is Lafayette 33. I watched the entirety of semifinals live and can assure you Lafayette would’ve been awarded somewhere between 9th and 12th place on finals night... HornRank does not do the research they should on programs like that. I get that they only attended one BOA contest but I would think that if you’re running a sight like that you’d do some deeper research especially considering that a lot of people look to those rankings as something solid and definitive when it comes to high school band.
  19. 3 points
    I know that at Lincoln Way, each high school still has their own band that plays at each game (more of a pep band type environment). The unified band is only for competitions. They moved towards this model when they closed one of their high schools (they previously had 4 in the district). Their concern was that as kids had to switch schools, some of them were thinking of dropping band all together and this new model would keep some consistency (at least for the competitive marching band). For those kids that didn't want to make the time commitment for a competitive unit, they can still be a member of the band at their respective school as this unified group meets completely outside of normal class time and rotates their rehearsals between all three schools to make it equitable for each student.
  20. 3 points
    https://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article236919383.html This popped up on my Facebook feed this morning. Thought I would share. Love when programs get featured like this in their communities.
  21. 2 points
    I will just offer up my main complaint on WKU as a venue. When you are sitting in the lower stadium seats, the concourse is directly behind the seating area. People walking in the concourse area "feel" disconnected from the seating area and will carry on conversation during band performances. That disconnect is only mental. The physical space is very connected and the conversations carry into the lower seating area. Most folks talking in the concourse area were not mindful of the distraction they created. I don't see that UofL, UK, or EKU have that same issue with the concourse area being so directly connected to the seating.
  22. 2 points
    Just to give a comprehensive look at SMBC venue availability (as it stands right now): EKU - off 24th, away 31st, home 7th Murray St. - off 24th, home 31st, away 7th UofL - all dates TBA UK - away 24th, off 31st, away 7th WKU - all dates TBA I went ahead and threw in Murray St. for you far west peeps who still dream of it going back there someday.
  23. 2 points
    Lexington Township would legitimately be a force. Tons of talent between all those schools.
  24. 2 points
    Nobody knows scores until after finals so just enjoy the ride
  25. 2 points
    Strictly based on marching band results? No I don’t necessarily think that’s fair. The activity is so subjective whereas sports is pretty definitive. A touchdown is a touchdown. A goal is a goal. Etc etc. However, marching bands can be pretty misleading when it comes to the overall strength of a program. Go to an assessment sometime. There are programs that have great marching bands that have average/subpar concert groups. There are too many programs that treat concert season as the offseason. When, in reality, the concert season is where your students develop the most growth.
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