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Jeff.Simmons

No guard/percussion awards at KMEA contest?

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None. It will be us coming one step closer to the current times.

 

You may see some shows go none sanctioned and give these awards. But that is a case by case thing.

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It is not like the scores from the drum and guard trophies counted for anything overall. In reality guard helps visual and drumline helps in the music scores.

 

I have no problem with it what so ever. Now, can we get actual scores announced at shows or will that be too much?

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It's certainly a welcome change for me, if the decision holds.

 

I'm way past the point in my life where guard instructors and percussion instructors who only know how to clean a battery are allowed to "rule the world" of music education in Kentucky.................................lol.

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Here are a few questions for the percussionists and percussion instructors (guess we already have JH's answer): Will you miss the percussion judge tapes? How useful were they? Are the regular music and music ge tapes enough? I would ask the same questions for guard people, but it seems to me that visual and particualry visual ge judging have gotten more guard-centric in the past decade or so . . . but I may be off base with that comment.

 

As a percussionist it always struck me how music judges who were primarily wind players focused solely on winds, while percussionists tended to be more balanced. But it's been a while since I actually had a reason to listen to these tapes, so things may be different now. There do seem to be more and more percussionists judging music, particularly at state.

 

Anyways, I understand the rationale for getting rid of these awards, though it does seem like a lot of pointless hand-wringing over such a small issue. Of course, it does mean two less judges to hire when you're hosting a contest. That's a pretty good upshot.

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I like the whole idea of judges judging different families (brass, percussion, woodwinds). However KMEA doesn't think so. I guess we will have to go with it.

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In an ideal world, I think a brass judges, woodwind judge, percussion judge, etc. would be a very cool way of going about things. It would really be a way of encouraging programs to excel in all areas, and it would punish those programs who still use their woodwinds for drill-fill hanging out in the back unheard.

 

But from a practical point of view, it would be very hard to institute in Kentucky. As John hinted at above, we already seem to have a shortage of truly qualified percussion judges in our state.

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Chaunticleer: No.

 

It has not been my experience that the percussion tapes were taken all that seriously most of the time, and for several reasons, the largest of which being that the percussion judge's score doesn't count for anything. There's no use trying to appease a percussion judge when the only person whose opinion matters most isn't judging percussion.

 

Though that's not to say that a percussion judge's opinion never matters to us. A lot of times it's somebody we know, and even somebody we've worked with. But even then, especially then, what they're saying is nothing we don't already know. It's not like Paul Rennick is sitting there giving us arrangement tips.

 

But that's only from a limited perspective. Smaller programs may benefit more from the critique, I have no idea; even so, I don't think it's worth the effort, time, or money.

Edited by TakeTheField
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I have to stand up for our Guard Performers and their Instructor's. I do think that there should still be an award given out to the Color Guard! Looking back over the years, I remember many bands whose Color Guard really added to the entire Effect of the Band's performance. And now that I think about it, I think they should keep the Percussion Awards as well. Since i don't know, I'll ask those of you that do..., Did the K.M.E.A. members have a chance to vote on these decisions or was it the Board of Director's and their Administration come up with these changes? Just wondering? I realize that both groups do add to the GE of the Visual and Overall Music scores, but come on, really?????

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The thing is, color guard is judged as a part of visual performance and effect. Perhaps this didn't use to be the case, but these days visual judges are increasingly focused on guard... perhaps even too much so, but that's a subject for another discussion entirely... The lack of a separate guard award would not discredit the work of guards and their instructors.

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I, personally, am indifferent about this decision, but do see where it can be good, but also cause a bunch of fuss with directors/parents. My suggestion, if KMEA wants to bring the awards back, but incorporate them more into the direct score, KMEA needs to fully migrate to a BOA score sheet, that way there is a percussion score that goes directly into the music and a guard score that goes directly into the visual score and, if KMEA or that specific contest chooses so, still be able to give awards for those two things. However, I truly think that any extra award given at a contest should be left to the decision of the contest host.

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Chaunticleer: No.

 

It has not been my experience that the percussion tapes were taken all that seriously most of the time, and for several reasons, the largest of which being that the percussion judge's score doesn't count for anything. There's no use trying to appease a percussion judge when the only person whose opinion matters most isn't judging percussion.

 

Though that's not to say that a percussion judge's opinion never matters to us. A lot of times it's somebody we know, and even somebody we've worked with. But even then, especially then, what they're saying is nothing we don't already know. It's not like Paul Rennick is sitting there giving us arrangement tips.

 

But that's only from a limited perspective. Smaller programs may benefit more from the critique, I have no idea; even so, I don't think it's worth the effort, time, or money.

 

Thanks for the answer! So are you generally satisfied with the level of commentary music judges direct towards percussion? My perspective is way out of date on this. The only percussion related comments I can remember hearing on many a tape is "Too loud!" So do you get useful input from non-percussionist judges that goes beyond basic issues of balance? Not that balance isn't important.

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Personally, I am very upset by this. The Best Drumline trophy was a way that me and my friends from other counties could have rivalaries. Not to mention the personal glory of holding the trophy with the little Drummer figurine inside of it.

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Thanks for the answer! So are you generally satisfied with the level of commentary music judges direct towards percussion? My perspective is way out of date on this. The only percussion related comments I can remember hearing on many a tape is "Too loud!" So do you get useful input from non-percussionist judges that goes beyond basic issues of balance? Not that balance isn't important.

 

That's a great question. Generally, yes. I mean, I can specifically remember a tape from last year or so of Steve Calhoun doing Music GE and complimenting the tuning of the snares and the sensitivity of the percussion's playing. I'd posit that the level of commentary you receive remains pretty reliably proportional to the level of training and experience of the judges, which I think is more of an argument to do away with superfluous categories that don't count towards a final score in order to free up funds for more effective training for the judges whose categories DO count.

 

Even comments of "TOO LOUD" are still helpful. I think (and I'm not the only one) that there tends to be a rather pervasive lack of emphasis on the tastefulness and sensitivity of percussion arranging and performance in high school marching band. Sometimes it seems to be more about the number of notes and the height at which you play them rather than how well those notes support the rest of the ensemble and the program they're presenting.

 

Well-written percussion will typically be recognized by qualified judges, as will poorly-written percussion, and anything beyond that is pretty incidental to the rest of the package of a high school marching band show.

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That's a great question. Generally, yes. I mean, I can specifically remember a tape from last year or so of Steve Calhoun doing Music GE and complimenting the tuning of the snares and the sensitivity of the percussion's playing. I'd posit that the level of commentary you receive remains pretty reliably proportional to the level of training and experience of the judges, which I think is more of an argument to do away with superfluous categories that don't count towards a final score in order to free up funds for more effective training for the judges whose categories DO count.

 

Even comments of "TOO LOUD" are still helpful. I think (and I'm not the only one) that there tends to be a rather pervasive lack of emphasis on the tastefulness and sensitivity of percussion arranging and performance in high school marching band. Sometimes it seems to be more about the number of notes and the height at which you play them rather than how well those notes support the rest of the ensemble and the program they're presenting.

 

Well-written percussion will typically be recognized by qualified judges, as will poorly-written percussion, and anything beyond that is pretty incidental to the rest of the package of a high school marching band show.

 

That's good to hear. I don't really buy into the stated reason for getting rid of the rewards, but since it sounds like percussion is being adequately judged in the music categories it won't be much of a loss. And it'll free up some money for bands hosting contests.

 

Can anyone provide some perspective from color guard side of things? It really does seem to me as though guard is thoroughly (maybe even excessively, as Jason Shelby says) covered in visual judging . . . but will anyone miss the guard tapes? Are they generally useful, or are they generally superfluous?

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We still don't have certified judges so everyone still loses.

 

No disagreement, but a slight modification of the chain of causation:

 

"We still have poorly funded programs so too many bands are dependent upon having a contest in order to break even so KMEA can't cut back on the number of contests without hurting programs so too many judges are needed on each weekend so attempts at judge certification have failed because we simply need too many judges and there aren't enough people willing to get certified since they know they can get a judging gig without it....

 

So everyone loses."

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No disagreement, but a slight modification of the chain of causation:

 

"We still have poorly funded programs so too many bands are dependent upon having a contest in order to break even so KMEA can't cut back on the number of contests without hurting programs so too many judges are needed on each weekend so attempts at judge certification have failed because we simply need too many judges and there aren't enough people willing to get certified since they know they can get a judging gig without it....

 

So everyone loses."

 

 

 

 

And look how much money programs will save by not hiring percussion and guard judges, allowing percussion to be judged by music people and guard to be judged by visual people.

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And look how much money programs will save by not hiring percussion and guard judges, allowing percussion to be judged by music people and guard to be judged by visual people.

 

or "look how much money programs will save by not hiring percussion and guard STAFF now that there will be a de-emphasis on those sections."

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Not only will groups not have to hire guard or percussion staffs, they can just stop fielding a guard and a percussion section. Finally marching band/drumcorps will be the way I have always wanted it to be...wind players only. Let the dumb guard and percussion focus on the winter season only, and wind players can focus on the summer/fall. The elimination of guard and percussion awards may be the best decision in KMEA's history. Here's to a guard and percussion free 2012.

 

Z

Shaking my head at things that are posted on this board.

Edited by MikeZ
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or "look how much money programs will save by not hiring percussion and guard STAFF now that there will be a de-emphasis on those sections."

 

MikeZ's post might not register as sarcasm . . . so I'll just assure you this won't happen. ISSMA doesn't give out guard or percussion awards, and Indiana bands still hire armies of guard and percussion staff. I swear some of these bands seem to have tech for each player. Anyways, no good director is going to reduce their percussion or guard programs just because they might not win a couple of cheap plastic trophies for a few weekends in the fall. Like I've said before, I don't think the percussion or guard awards were hurting anything, but eliminating them won't hurt anything either.

 

And maybe the judging pool will improve a little bit with the more qualified percussion and guard judges being freed up to judge music and visual.

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or "look how much money programs will save by not hiring percussion and guard STAFF now that there will be a de-emphasis on those sections."

 

 

I can absolutely assure you that is not going to happen. Maybe directors will simply run off all the "drum heads" who only care about "best percussion", not what is best for the band as a whole. That would be fine with me. We need less guys in music education who only know how to clean a snare line.......................lol.

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