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 Post subject: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Fairfield Tournament of Champions
Parade Bands
Class E
84.50 Benicia MS
83.90 Solano MS
82.50 Hogan MS
79.90 Davidson MS
75.70 Lacy MS

Auxiliary
77.00 Benicia MS
71.00 Hogan MS
70.50 Solano MS
70.00 Davidson MS
64.00 Lacy MS

Class D
87.95 Jesse Bethel
86.35 Santa Cruz
85.80 Vallejo
84.40 Encinal
82.50 John Swett
82.20 Cordova
81.30 Wheatland

Auxiliary
83.50 Santa Cruz
82.00 Jesse Bethel
74.00 Vallejo
65.50 John Swett
63.50 Cordova
58.00 Encinal
56.50 Wheatland

Class C
92.40 Benicia
88.90 Merced (Tie)
88.90 Vanden (Tie)
85.35 American
84.60 St. Francis

Auxiliary
81.50 Benicia
80.50 Vanden
77.50 Merced
67.50 American
64.00 St. Francis

Class B
88.70 Concord
88.35 Archbishop Riordan
86.25 Dixon
85.95 Petaluma
85.20 Woodcreek

Auxiliary
71.00 Archbishop Riordan
66.50 Concord
65.50 Petaluma
61.50 Woodcreek
60.50 Dixon

Class A
92.20 Franklin
91.55 Rodgriguez
91.00 Foothill
88.00 Oakridge
84.95 Cupertino
84.45 Elk Grove

Auxiliary
83.50 Rodriguez
80.00 Franklin
67.50 Elk Grove
66.00 Foothill
61.50 Cupertino
59.50 Oak Ridge

Middle School Percussion
90.70 Hogan MS
87.50 Solano MS
85.70 Benicia MS
76.00 Lacy MS
67.50 Davidson MS

High School Percussion
93.60 Merced
93.40 Rodriguez
91.10 Vanden
90.50 Franklin
89.40 Vallejo
88.90 John Swett
88.80 American
87.50 Elk Grove
87.30 Santa Cruz
86.90 Oak Ridge
86.40 Foothill
86.20 Woodcreek
81.50 St. Francis
81.00 Cordova
77.50 Petaluma
76.20 Concord
72.50 Archbishop Riordan
70.00 Wheatland
69.40 Dixon

Sweepstakes
Auxiliary – 90.00 Armijo
Marching - 188.00 Armijo
Showmanship - 283.50 Armijo
Music - 461.50 Franklin
Sweepstakes - 93.05 Armijo

Jazz Band
Middle School
86.65 Davidson MS
85.05 Benicia MS
82.75 Hogan MS
71.20 Lacy MS

High School
Class D
88.00 Archbishop Riordan
76.00 Wheatland

Class C
85.60 Petaluma
85.30 Santa Cruz
82.60 Dixon

Class B
90.75 Concord
89.05 Benicia
85.30 Vanden
84.60 St. Francis

Class A
92.05 Woodcreek 1
91.50 Oak Ridge
90.15 Foothill 1
89.05 Franklin
85.15 Foothill 2
83.00 Woodcreek 2

Concert (No information for Venue 2)
Class E
93.80 Benicia MS
90.65 Davidson MS
86.80 Hogan MS
84.65 Lacy MS

Class D
92.40 Archbishop Riordan 1
91.90 Dixon
87.60 Wheatland
81.35 Encinal
78.50 Archbishop Riordan 2


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:55 am 
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Thank you!

Does anyone have the Venue 2 Concert results?


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:56 pm 
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I was in attendance at this show. Just wanted to share my opinion on the performances as a NCBA alumni.

First off, what a great turnout at ToC! Glad to see this competition still alive and thriving. There were competing bands from all over the place marching on Saturday.

Now for some hopefully constructive criticism. I'll speak in general terms so I don't rustle too many feathers. After watching the entire parade lineup I felt as though the performances needed more. More musicianship, more marching excellence, and just more oomph.

I noticed a lot of bands implementing different block formations, visual tricks, and marching steps, but I felt as though the overall execution was a bit sloppy. Instead of band blocks being strong, powerful and moving in unison, I saw many bands giving off a wobbly, unsure impression, especially when trying to pull off these different marching tricks and everyone is not together.

Musicianship was another issue for me. Very few bands were able to strike that correct tonality and balance. Even some 'top bands' at the competition were unbalanced, with individual instruments sticking out, poor phrasing and poor dynamics. I heard 'Carry On' a few times but I didn't feel as though the bands understood the music they were playing. Like they were just playing the notes and going through the motions if that makes sense. I'd say that Benicia High had the best music that day, but even they had some blending issues.

Finally the parade colorguards... I honestly feel as though NCBA needs to return to a more militarized style of colorguard on the street. There's way too much dancing and leaping in these modern colorguard routines. And not enough technical excellence of the equipment. I was looking for a squad with sharp shields, rifles, and clean flags, but I couldn't really find a standout group. There were too many individual performers. Parade guards need to work more on performing as a unit and showcasing equipment instead of body movement. A flag line performing a simple but clean routine is much more impressive than a group dancing around with angles, hands, heads and eyes all over the place. The same thing goes for ID shields. They should be sharp, precise and confident. I know that these groups have the talent, but their instructors need to focus on a more tight, militarized style for parade. It just suits the music better and looks more visually appealing.

That's my opinion for now, this was not meant to be offensive to anyone but just my view on the competition. Great job to everyone!


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Chrome12 wrote:
I was in attendance at this show. Just wanted to share my opinion on the performances as a NCBA alumni.

First off, what a great turnout at ToC! Glad to see this competition still alive and thriving. There were competing bands from all over the place marching on Saturday.

Now for some hopefully constructive criticism. I'll speak in general terms so I don't rustle too many feathers. After watching the entire parade lineup I felt as though the performances needed more. More musicianship, more marching excellence, and just more oomph.

I noticed a lot of bands implementing different block formations, visual tricks, and marching steps, but I felt as though the overall execution was a bit sloppy. Instead of band blocks being strong, powerful and moving in unison, I saw many bands giving off a wobbly, unsure impression, especially when trying to pull off these different marching tricks and everyone is not together.

Musicianship was another issue for me. Very few bands were able to strike that correct tonality and balance. Even some 'top bands' at the competition were unbalanced, with individual instruments sticking out, poor phrasing and poor dynamics. I heard 'Carry On' a few times but I didn't feel as though the bands understood the music they were playing. Like they were just playing the notes and going through the motions if that makes sense. I'd say that Benicia High had the best music that day, but even they had some blending issues.

Finally the parade colorguards... I honestly feel as though NCBA needs to return to a more militarized style of colorguard on the street. There's way too much dancing and leaping in these modern colorguard routines. And not enough technical excellence of the equipment. I was looking for a squad with sharp shields, rifles, and clean flags, but I couldn't really find a standout group. There were too many individual performers. Parade guards need to work more on performing as a unit and showcasing equipment instead of body movement. A flag line performing a simple but clean routine is much more impressive than a group dancing around with angles, hands, heads and eyes all over the place. The same thing goes for ID shields. They should be sharp, precise and confident. I know that these groups have the talent, but their instructors need to focus on a more tight, militarized style for parade. It just suits the music better and looks more visually appealing.

That's my opinion for now, this was not meant to be offensive to anyone but just my view on the competition. Great job to everyone!



Wise words indeed...


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Actually I am one of those that has the more modern guard approach and please be aware that modern vs classic doesn't change the fact that they may or may not be trained in technique. My girls and guy have excellent equipment technique but that is because we work on that. My feathers do get ruffled when suggestions of becoming more militarized guards is thrown out there mainly because the style isn't the issue. The issue is lack of a quality training programs. When the guard is not supported and the director doesn't put the show together with the instructors you will have lots of issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:29 pm 
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I was actually quite impressed with the bands this year in all of the divisions. I feel that everyone stepped up their game this year and produced some high quality stuff.

I thought most groups improved their marching skills from previous performances in past years. I mean don't get me wrong, there's always room for improvement, but after trying my hand at teaching marching I realize how difficult it is to get a large group of individuals to march with good technique. No one is sidelined in band, which means everyone marches, even those who lack the ability to find the beat.

I feel that everyone has been producing better musicianship over the years. Not too many bands chose to play a march that has been overplayed, which makes a nice change. I kept walking through the parking lot thinking about how nice everyone sounded, even the small bands. It's nice to see directors focusing more on the music, cause otherwise it's just a bunch of kids marching with shiny objects.

I don't know anything about color guard, but I don't understand why they have to come behind the band and continue to perform. The band doesn't have to do a counter movement, why should the guard have to do more work? I think if they went through once, it would give them a better opportunity to clean their routines. I personally like to see unison flag work, although I guess it does give a better learning opportunity to throw in other equipment as well.

Keep in mind that some bands have to do parade and field, as well as other venues too. There isn't always a lot of time to work on everything equally. Rodriguez does a fantastic job at producing a great parade band, auxiliary, and field. I think most kids just don't get a kick out of playing old parade marches, when now more then ever the DCI craze is kicking in. Why march in straight lines playing boring music when you could be rocking out on the field. A lot of them stay in the programs for winter percussion and guard and just go through the motions in the fall. The directors/instructors are trying, the kids just aren't as passionate. You can lead a horse to water, but you have to drown it to make it drink.


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:18 pm 
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I don't mean to offend any NCBA colorguard units with my suggestion that parade routines return to a more militarized style, but I still stand behind that thought.

To me, the colorguard unit is just as important as the band block when it comes to a parade performance, and should be held to the same standard of marching excellence. I saw many guards this past Saturday with sloppy feet and I really think that it's due to a lack of focus on parade basics such as marching in step to the music, and proper poise and discipline. I saw very few guard units marching in unison and that was a big red flag to me, considering that guard units are the first impression of a parade performance and should be clean and precise, aware of their feet and where their heads and eyes should be directed at all times. Many guards should spend more time reviewing parade basics in order to perform better as a unit. I saw groups with too much emphasis on dance movement and complex equipment work that they completely forget about their feet/hands/eyes and the result is far less impressive than everyone simply marching together on the same foot, performing in perfect unison. It's a parade after all, and spectators see the equipment first, so there should be more focus on cleaning up equipment work with proper poise, angles, free hands, feet placement, etc. sometimes less is more.

As far as routine content, I still think that a sharper military style better interprets parade music which is generally very precise and impactful. Too much dancing and leaping around, too many dizzying formation changes, and overly complex equipment work are a distracting contrast to a band block marching down the street playing thru a staccato passage. Routines should visually complement the music, not take away the focus from it. I come from a previous era so maybe I just have a more narrow idea of what a parade guard should look like, but I still think that today's units would greatly benefit from a more focused approach on equipment excellence and poise.

There's something very impressive about a flag line performing a clean routine in perfect unison. There's something very impressive about an ID line performing a sharp, precise routine with interesting formations. I saw very little of this at ToC so it was a bit disappointing that so many parade guards have moved towards more loose, free flowing routines that are probably more appropriate for winter guard.

There were a few talented guard units on Saturday for sure, but I feel as though they could be even better if only their instructors wrote more appropriate routines for parade music and dial down the excess movement a bit, focusing more on unison equipment excellence and visual impact.

Here's an example of a perfect parade guard unit in my opinion, Fairfield High Scarlet Brigade in 2000:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR7P1Lp7yxU


Last edited by Chrome12 on Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:13 am 
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I respect your opinion. Here is my $0.02:

Why should guards of today take a step back in modernization of what they're doing? If the activity and their program have moved to more "free flowing" work, then how can you justify not working on that style all year round?

I will agree with you that there is not enough emphasis on the feet in a lot of areas with guard people (not just NorCal). Guard should do some sort of marching basics if nothing else but to work feet timing. And they should be held more accountable with some of their across-the-floor exercises when it comes to being in time.


P.S.
Weezie, weren't you at Fairfield with Russ in 2000? :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:25 am 
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8-ball wrote:
Why should guards of today take a step back in modernization of what they're doing? If the activity and their program have moved to more "free flowing" work, then how can you justify not working on that style all year round?

Because it doesn't fit the performance environment/style it's being wedged into. For field show and winter guard, I agree with you 100%. But parade band hasn't really undergone the modernization the other two environments have. The new guard style-du-jour in WGI does not mesh with the parade environment nor parade music. The parade marches being performed today are largely the same that were being performed 50 years ago.

I'm not saying we need to go back to drop-spins and high mark-time, but I do think that the street routine should emphasize equipment work over body/dance work. It should NOT have the same balance or emphasis between elements that an indoor or field show would have.

And I agree with the other poster: mid-late 90s and early 2000s Fairfield H.S. guards are the pinnacle of parade guard concept ideals for me.

My $0.02.


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:23 am 
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Hostrauser wrote:
8-ball wrote:
Why should guards of today take a step back in modernization of what they're doing? If the activity and their program have moved to more "free flowing" work, then how can you justify not working on that style all year round?

Because it doesn't fit the performance environment/style it's being wedged into. For field show and winter guard, I agree with you 100%. But parade band hasn't really undergone the modernization the other two environments have. The new guard style-du-jour in WGI does not mesh with the parade environment nor parade music. The parade marches being performed today are largely the same that were being performed 50 years ago.

I'm not saying we need to go back to drop-spins and high mark-time, but I do think that the street routine should emphasize equipment work over body/dance work. It should NOT have the same balance or emphasis between elements that an indoor or field show would have.

And I agree with the other poster: mid-late 90s and early 2000s Fairfield H.S. guards are the pinnacle of parade guard concept ideals for me.

My $0.02.


I can see both sides of the coin, and there are some really good arguments. However, to be quite honest, the Scarlet Brigade's guard was part of the evolving factor in street guard. Their instructor at the time, who I believe taught world guards like the San Jose Raiders, Rhapsody and I think had a hand in the Northern Lights, took Fairfield HS towards that direction in terms of drill on the street, movement, the introduction of sabres on the street as well as work that was largely done on the winter season floor. So the pinnacle in which you speak was the beginning of the 'modern' movement of street guard. Guard continued to further evolve into what it is today in order to replicate, improve and attempt to out-do what they have done.

I'll have to agree with Louise on this one. In the hands of a strong instructor and an even more powerful training program, this would not be an issue. I certainly love the approaches guards have been taking the last couple of years towards evolving the activity, but there have been many times where guards could not achieve that evolution completely because they lacked a training program that gave them the opportunity to grow. If you look at a lot of the programs right now, there are many young instructors. Many of whom just graduated from high school. You have many schools out there who have coaches that come from out of state and do not quite understand how the activity is done here versus what they might have done outside of California. Many bands largely do field show out there, too. So it becomes not only a learning process for the students, but the instructor as well.

Another thing to point out is the lack of training there is from judges to instructors. There aren't many clinics out there for judges to actively sit down and discuss what judges' expectations are, what instructors can do to improve their guard's programs, or forums that allow for conversation on the news trends in the guard world (for parade, field show, winter guard and so on). I mean, these are supposed to be the experts in their field, right? I mean this with no disrespect, of course, but not much has been done by the judging community to remedy the issue except for comments on a mp3 at the end of an event. Honestly, judges only meet perhaps once or twice in a season and even then judges who are absent from those training sessions and meetings still end up on the panel, therefore creating a problem that exacerbates the issue further, which is 'the community's take on guard shows in specific activities'. There is no consensus. As a judge myself, I personally don't think we're doing enough to give the needed and essential tools to striving young instructors to help their programs grow.

Guard is quite an art form and it continues to involve year after year. It can be entertaining and unique. It just happens that some instructors are losing sight OR unaware of the foundations needed to make the visual effects of their shows more appealing and clean.

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That depends on your definition of "Logic".


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:34 pm 
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I would like to point out that for 2000, Fairfield's guard was "cutting edge" for that point in time. The activity has evolved and the instructors from the 2000 Scarlet Brigade trained the Armijo Guard Instructor who was a student at Fairfield during that time period. Again I agree with Miss Jacob it's all in the training program not the style.


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:24 pm 
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Lots of great points.

While correct technique is always most important to any colorguard, I still contend that proper style is a big factor when it comes to putting together an impressive parade performance.

It's pretty clear that winter guard design has made its way into NCBA parade, but I'm not sure that this is an 'evolution', when foundations from prior generations are completely overlooked or forgotten. Things like poise, staying in step, proper equipment carriage, and general effect are lost in most guard units I watched this past weekend.

The reason I say that style is something to take a second look at is what Hostrauser touched on. Parade music is just better matched to more sharp, precise routines that help punctuate the band's performance. This more 'traditional' style of parade guard focuses on technical excellence and visual effect, working together with the music instead of outperforming it. This is a nice match. More free flowing routines are better left to winter guard or field show, where staying on correct step with the music is less of an issue.

As an example, I saw many guards at ToC with routines in a bit of a contrast to the music being played by the band. The band is playing through an impactful passage in a march while the guard looks to be performing to different music. There's a lack of cohesiveness when this happens and the focus is taken away from the band when a guard routine doesn't quite match with the music. I was always told a parade guard's job is to frame the band with its routine, always aware of impact points in the music.

Here's an example from Solano Junior High, which had a standout Sweepstakes year in 1994:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abkz3xY8Edk

Look at how impressive a guard can look when everyone's together and moving in unison. The guard's routine effectively frames the band's music and enhances the whole performance. The guard is in step, focused and completely aware of every single count. There are dance flourishes here and there but for the most part the guard is marching along just like the band. This attention to detail is what I see missing in routines today, and I say detail because it takes a lot of effort to always stay in step throughout an entire run-through, but it looks very impressive.

Here's another example from the Merced High Marching 100 back in 1992:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lt5iPiI90I

Just look at all the interesting shapes, patterns and formations you can pull off with ID shields alone. Those are the exact same shields used today. Notice how precise the unit is and how impressive it looks from afar when everyone's together and hitting each count. Instructors writing for ID lines today should work on proper spacing between letters (not spaced too far apart), keeping the letters facing the audience, and making interesting patterns and formations with rigid precision. It's so impressive to see a well trained ID line perform. So many great visual possibilities with shield work yet I see few groups today exploring interesting design in this particular area.

Parade guards use the same equipment and perform to the same music as they did many years ago, so I just wanted to show that a traditional style is still very impressive even today.


Last edited by Chrome12 on Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Oh I'm sorry please don't tell me you just told me to watch a junior high performance from 1994! That was almost 20 years ago. Yes, I was with Russ teaching at Fairfield from 1996-2002. Had Russ and I still been at Fairfield today this wouldn't be a conversation because Russ and I understood allowing the activity to evolve. That is why Armijo is the extension of the Scarlet Brigade Campbell Jacob days. He taught me very well and I would like to think that he is very proud of the work I do with Armijo. While I know this wasn't meant to be an attack on Armijo I feel as it is since we have been pushing the envelope. Many directors show our routines to their instructors to become more like Armijo.

While you might want old school people love watching us and ultimately it's about the spectators not the former band people who can't appreciate the evolution of parades.


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:34 pm 
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http://youtu.be/nOSHFonnVOM

That's what I think of parades ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Fairfield Tournament of Champions Results
PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Wow, that discussion got heated real fast....

you guys sound like a bunch of drum corps people... :shock:


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