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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:40 am 
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Very good comments and well developed. I agree with the writers thoughts.
One of the major problems with most of these Bands is that the directors consider Parade Performance to be "Something we can put together in one practice" Sadly most of the Bands in Macys and the Rose Parade looked like they only spent one practice session getting ready.

Years ago I dealt with an outstanding out of state Band Director that was coming to CA to compete in a contest. The contest required both Parade and Field Marching. He had an outstanding field Band and he dismissed Parade Marching with this comment "Why should I spend as much time working on 2 minutes of Parade time as I do on my field show which takes 8 Minutes". After watching his Parade performance I have to believe he only spend one session working on street marching.

I wish things were better, but unfortunately they probably will not improve. These events would rather have big Bands, who are in all probability good field Bands march down the street looking terrible than having Bands that really know how to march on the street.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:39 pm 
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This is reinforced by Parade organizers. Many of the large, televised parades (Macy's is the most notable) REQUIRE a video tape of your field performance as your application. They do not want a video of street performances.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:54 pm 
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I am sure the Rose Parade Band Committee would welcome a video from a field band because they also host the Band Fest a couple days before the parade. I am not sure what they want to see from bands in the mid-west and back east as far as their parade skills, I have never been told or shown what their criteria is for that.

The problem with the parade skills from most of the out of states bands is that they don't think logically about what the musical goal of the band should be while performing on the street. They keep thinking about volume... both how loud they sound and about the length of the street they take can cover with marching members. They forget that the audience they are performing for is NOT in front of them or above them, they are on the sidewalk. They have this mistaken belief that if they can spread out the band for blocks it will somehow make them more impressive. And of course you have to position your whole brass section in the front of the block so you can be loud! Delivering a balanced sound to the audience on the sidewalk is impossible doing it that way!

I learned an important lesson from Larry Curtis back when I was at Cal State Long Beach, when we did the Rose Parade and we had a really large band. He wanted to spread out over the whole width of the street to create as wide a wall of sound as we could. Then he divided the winds and brass up into three separate bands instrumentation wise. He then stacked one band behind the other, stacking three bands in a row. He then put the percussion in the center of the formation, but they had to march in the same alignment as the rest of the band to give effect of visual (alignment) consistency. The result was, as we marched past the audience we kept a balance sound, and since we were in a wide formation, the fewest bells were covered by bodies stacked in front of them and we were loud! In fact we were told afterwards that the Rose Parade Committee got complaints from the band directors of USC and Michigan for allowing another college band into the parade... because we came across better on television than they did.

Note the 3 ranks of sousaphones showing 3 band instrumentations:
Image

Unfortunately the cameramen were a little over zealous watching all the cute blondes dancing in front of the band! :wink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kWtoyScnR0 - video

PS - We worked for hours in rehearsals to make that 110 degree turn as clean as possible! We also played almost non-stop during the parade, just one cadence between songs, so we performed music OVER 60 times during the parade.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Bandmaster wrote:
I am sure the Rose Parade Band Committee would welcome a video from a field band because they also host the Band Fest a couple days before the parade. I am not sure what they want to see from bands in the mid-west and back east as far as their parade skills, I have never been told or shown what their criteria is for that.

The problem with the parade skills from most of the out of states bands is that they don't think logically about what the musical goal of the band should be while performing on the street. They keep thinking about volume... both how loud they sound and about the length of the street they take can cover with marching members. They forget that audience they are performing for is NOT in front of them or above them, they are on the sidewalk. They have this mistaken belief that if they can spread out the band for blocks it will somehow make them more impressive. And of course you have to position your whole brass section in the front of the block so you can be loud! Delivering a balanced sound to the audience on the sidewalk is impossible doing it that way!

I learned an important lesson from Larry Curtis back when I was at Cal State Long Beach, when we did the Rose Parade and we had a really large band. He wanted to spread out over the whole width of the street to create as wide a wall of sound as we could. Then he divided the winds and brass up into three separate bands instrumentation wise. He then stacked one band behind the other, stacking three bands in a row. He then put the percussion in the center of the formation, but they had to march in the same alignment as the rest of the band to give effect of visual (alignment) consistency. The result was, as we marched past the audience we kept a balance sound, and since we were in a wide formation, the fewest bells were covered by bodies stacked in front of them and we were loud! In fact we were told afterwards that the Rose Parade Committee got complaints from the band directors of USC and Michigan for allowing another college band into the parade... because we came across better on television than they did.

Note the 3 ranks of sousaphones showing 3 band instrumentations:
Image

Unfortunately the cameramen were a little over zealous watching all the cute blondes dancing in front of the band! :wink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kWtoyScnR0 - video

PS - We worked for hours in rehearsals to make that 110 degree turn as clean as possible! We also played almost non-stop during the parade, just one cadence between songs, so we performed music OVER 60 times during the parade.



Now, if we had just played something OTHER than DISCO CRAP if would have been a great experience. At the time, I thought, "what a waste"...you had 200 collegiate members of probably the ONLY majority music major college marching band in the USA, 90% from the top parade bands in SO CAL, and we didn't play a march. Imagine what Purple Carnival, or even Curtis's favorite "Law and Order" would have sounded like with that band. Even IF they had Marvin Branson arrange it. An awesome opportunity shot. Could have even done Branson's arrangement of "Barnum and Bailey's Favorite" but I think he did that sometime after the Rose Parade year of 1977.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:11 am 
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Dig the diagonals and uniform feet phasing in that photo....classic old school Long Beach. Although I am biased, it was obvious watching that parade on TV which college band was superior that day.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:51 pm 
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JLGORMAN wrote:
This also brings up the contrast between the Glendora and Liberty Bands. This must have been the first time that two Bands came from the same style with Bagpipes and British Music appeared in the Parade. Some thoughts on each one.

Glendora. They have a much more polished street performance and their spacing was excellent. However their style of marching was patterned after the US Marines and not the Brigade of Guards. The British Bands do not glide step.

Liberty. Their street performance was better than in 2009. They march much more true to the British Style than Glendora. For example:
In British Military Bands the Bagpipes are included in the Band Block, not out in front like Glendora used them. Drum Major. In the British Armed Forces, the Drum Major does not throw their Baton in the air and catch it as part of the performance. Arm Swing. The British Armed forces have a very exaggerated arm swing which Liberty does, which Glendora does not do. Their spacing was not great, and they seemed crowded together, more than I would like.

However if folks liked Bagpipes they got them this year.
One thing I do not understand, both Glendora and Liberty keep using the same numbers, Scotland the Brave, Rule Britannia and There will Always be An England. With all the numbers that are symbolic of the British Isles, could we have some musical variety.

...

However the USMC Band still showed why you can look outstanding on the street. They were enjoyable to watch. None of the other Bands would have finished in the top 10 at All Western back in Old Days. It is a shame that things have gone sort of backward.


Just a note - The standard to which parade band performances are compared in the SCSBOA world is a military band. The USMC Band is a great example of what SCSBOA Parade Adjudication is all about. To have performed in British Style, with exaggerated arm swings, would not score well in SCSBOA competition. Also, I suppose the pipers could be a part of the band block instead of in front as a part of the Auxiliary, but then they would not contribute to the Auxiliary score, which would be limited to the Banner Carriers, Tall Flags, and an occasional Solo Majorette. The pipers are obviously a huge part of presenting the Scottish theme of the Glendora HS Tartan Marching Band and Pageantry. I think British style is more tolerated and accepted in NCBA competitions.

Also, I don't believe a Drum Major performing in British style would score well in SCSBOA competition either. As colorful and dramatic as a drum major dressed in Royal Stewart Plaid Scottish Tartan kilts is, would still not score well unless s/he also demonstrates her/his mastery of twirling (and sometimes tossing) a mace baton. You DM judges could probably elaborate better than I, but there is more to great SCSBOA DM performances than simple rolloffs, beating of time, and a simple salute.

Now if we were in Great Britain, I'm sure Glendora might modify their style if they were seriously competing there. I'm pretty sure Scotland the Brave is the Glendora HS Band's theme song. I remember hearing their custom arrangement of it in concert at Glendora HS back in the late 1960s with Gordon Norman conducting. It works for them still, especially at the LA County Fair for the Rose Parade Music Committee Members. I would like to hear other bagpipe repertoire, too, but to some it just drones on. (My apologies. I couldn't resist.)

Also, I agree that the British theme used by Liberty HS seems a bit unrelated, but how related is the Beefeater theme used by the Vista HS Panther Guard Band or the Rancho Bernardo Royal Regiment Broncos? You would be amazed at how many SoCal bands have a dramatic theme that is not particularly associated with their school mascot. Why in the world is Orange Glen HS wearing red, white, and blue uniforms? Rubidoux HS Delta Alliance Corps (Falcons), Poway HS Emerald Regiment (Titans), Ayala HS Band and Colorguard (Bulldogs), Riverside King HS Kingsmen Band and Color Guard (Wolves), Mission Viejo Marching Band (Diablos), Live Oak HS Emerald Regime (Acorn), Esperanza HS Entertainment Unit (Aztecs), Los Altos HS Entertainment Unit (Conquerors), Rancho Verde HS Crimson Regiment (Mustangs), Eleanor Roosevelt HS Marching Band (Mustangs), Shadow Hills HS Regiment of the Realm (Knights), Valley View HS Crimson Regiment (Eagles), West HS Entertainment Unit (Warriors), Chino Hills HS Marching Band (Huskies), Rancho Buena Vista HS Rhythm of the Ranch (Longhorns), Chino HS 77th Cavalry Band and Pageantry (Cowboys), and so many more. I can't wait to see/hear the UC Irvine Anteater Marching Band and the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slug Marching Band.

My personal favorites are the Butte Pirates (Butte County HS from Arco, Idaho) and the Hooker HS Horny Toads (Hooker, Oklahoma). :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:28 pm 
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The Golden Valley High School Cardinal Regime (Cougars), Fairfield High School Scarlet Brigade (Falcons), Merced Marching 100 (Bears), and the Armijo High School Super Band (Indians) to name a few more.

My personal favorite.......the Bakersfield High School Drillers.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:31 am 
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Orange Glen's HS mascot is the Patriots and school colors are red white and blue (as I recall). The color Orange was already taken by Escondido HS.

I did a little research on Liberty HS. They were originally Bethlehem HS. When it was decided to build Freedom HS, they named the original school Liberty after liberty ships. (so says Wikipedia). There mascot is the Hurricanes.

The disconnect for me is, they are the Grenadier Band, modeled after the Coldstream Guard.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:05 am 
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DR is right on the drum major part. If all the drum major did was the basic commands they would not score well in SCSBOA (and I am pretty sure NCBA) competitions because of the emphasis put on spinning routines.

And while we are talking about bands whose style does not match their mascot, don't forget the Whitney Royal Regiment (Wildcats)

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:06 am 
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The reason that Liberty is modeled after the Coldstream Guards is that when they went to the British style in the early 1960's they developed a close relationship with that Band(apparently the Grenadiers were not as friendly) which has continued to this day. Every director of the Coldstream Guards in recent years has conducted Liberty at Spring Concerts and the Coldstream Guards were instrumental in the performance of Liberty at Royal Albert Hall and other locations during their tours of the UK. Even their Drum Majors Mace Baton is a direct copy of the one carried by the Drum Major of the Coldstream Guards. Even the directors of Liberty wear full Guards Band Directors Uniforms.
With the exception of the use of Sousaphones instead of upright Basses, their style is very British. Based on the influence of the Coldstream Guards, and their affinity for British style Marching, Liberty will probably never change their Marching style to American Military Style Marching. Plus one big thing is that most of the US has never seen SCSBOA Band Review style of Marching so they consider what Liberty does to be authentic. I myself think they need spacing and diagonal practice, but then again I marched in So Ca.

I agree that they could not March the way they do and be successful under SCSBOA rules. My only comment was that by British Standards, they are more correct in their style of marching and appearance.

If the Kiltie Band from Riverview HS in Sarasota Florida had been at the Rose Parade, we could have had a mini British Style Band Contest judging use of pipes and style of uniforms(Riverview wears Kilts).

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:58 am 
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Cardinal Regime wrote:
My personal favorite.......the Bakersfield High School Drillers.

We can't forget from the Napa wine country: the Vintage High School Crushers!

There's also the Yuba City High School Honkers and the Hayward High School Farmers (and their band was/is called the Marching Farmers!)

In addition to Orange Glen not wearing orange, neither Rancho Verde nor Palos Verde wears green.


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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:11 am 
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Don't forget the Coalinga High School Horntoads or the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:00 am 
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I guess excellence is in the eyes of the beholder. PLease not the compliments from some one in CA about "The Best Band in the Parade"
http://lhsgbopc.org

I wonder if the firm had any business investments in assisting Bands entering the Parade.

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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:07 am 
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From a purely spectator's point of view (and not one knowledgeable about techniques, etc.) who watched the RB Parade on the KTLA reply (because I was at the Rose Bowl stadium all day as a volunteer):
One thing I appreciate is that TPTB still recognize that the parade goers and TV viewers still love to watch marching bands.

Unfortunately I watched the Hollywood Christmas parade on TV (and only because my flute player was marching in it) and each band was on for at the most 18 seconds (I started counting out loud after the first band or so). The producers weren't showing a parade, they were showing a two-hour commercial for various sponsors in between musical performances (that had been recorded on December 1 in a concert for paid ticketholders on Hollywood Blvd. before the parade actually started).

When I was growing up, halftime shows were shown on TV. I don't know how much of this year's bands were shown in between all the rehashing of the first half and discussions of other games to be shown that day too. I could be wrong, but my guess is that the diehard football hands are not sitting in front of the set for the whole halftime intermission. Why not just show the bands instead?


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 Post subject: Re: The Rose Parade. What are we missing.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:22 pm 
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flutemom wrote:
Unfortunately I watched the Hollywood Christmas parade on TV (and only because my flute player was marching in it) and each band was on for at the most 18 seconds (I started counting out loud after the first band or so). The producers weren't showing a parade, they were showing a two-hour commercial for various sponsors in between musical performances (that had been recorded on December 1 in a concert for paid ticketholders on Hollywood Blvd. before the parade actually started).

You are being way to nice to the folks that broadcast that mess. This year's coverage had to be the worst I have ever seen. Some of the bands didn't even get 5 seconds of TV time. How will the travel agents be able to keep a straight face when trying to sell a travel package to an eastern band to come to next years parade? The producers apparently don't want a parade, they want a variety show. I wonder what the ratings were for this year's broadcast?

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