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 Post subject: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:18 am 
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Interesting... the top DCI corps have apparently developed a new national marching band circuit to compete with BOA.

http://marchingmusicseries.org/


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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:45 pm 
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Yes: US Bands is trying to get a hold in TX. However the classification of Bands by Band size is a killer for the over 400 Bands that are from schools with under 400 students enrolled. It is hard to convince small schools that it is fair to compete against large schools with smaller Bands.
USBands is hard selling their programs to schools in TX. Look at the Texas Yellow Board and you will see that they are trying to shut down the individual schools invitationals by announcing their outstanding judges for the Music In Motion Events. As of last week the Music in Motion event in Houston was filled up with mostly second tier Bands. The event in Denton is running way short of Bands.

I doubt that the top line Bands, The Woodlands, Marcus, LD Bell, Round Rock, Reagan, CT Johnson, Westlake, Coppell, Lewisville, ETC, will get involved with USBands.

One big problem for USBands is that their judging panels come heavily from the Drum Corps Community. The UIL requires all judges to be a current or retired BAND DIRECTOR with over 5 years of service. I have the feeling there is going to be some difficult times with the USBANDS folks and UIL. BOA is the clear winner in this.

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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:58 pm 
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I'm sorry to speak up with a negative attitude, but Mr. Gorman, the post is about a joint DCI "circuit," not USBands. That is not to say that USBands is not actively operating in Texas. However, this post was specific to the Music in Motion endeavor, which will be hosting 2 events in Texas in 2014. The first has 20 bands registered, the second 15, as of today. It only makes sense for these 7 DCI corps to use the existing infrastructure of USBands to facilitate this new circuit, rather than creating something from nothing.

But to address the majority of your "flame," USBands has a total of 11 events scheduled in Texas with over 152 (many duplicates) participating. (If I get really bored one day, perhaps I'll figure out how many unique schools are participating.)

And while there are many DCI, WGI, and their affiliated circuits judges participating in their adjudication panels (as is also the case in BOA), they are not the only ones. I have judged a number of shows in Texas for USSBA/USBands, and am a band director (24 years). But believe it or not, there are many former, and current band directors in the ranks of the aforementioned DCI and WGI judges.

No matter what your views to the contrary, there are over 50 bands EACH WEEKEND in Texas who are choosing to march in a USBands or Music in Motion event. That means that a significant, albeit not massive, number of directors are choosing something which they feel will be a positive experience for their students. Choice is a wonderful thing.

But to denigrate those staffs and students who participate in, as you refer to them, "second tier programs," simply based on the choice of events they participate in, is unfair and does nothing to help build those programs up to that "first tier." In fact, a number of bands are participating in both USBands and BOA events.

While it would be ludicrous to not recognize the achievements of a number of Texas' instumental programs, (and most of us in the rest of the country would love to have the resources that help to make that possible), it is just as laughable to believe that ALL of Texas' programs are at that level, and those programs need support and opportunities as well. For some, at least, that support and opportunity is provided by USBands and DCI's Music in Motion.

Ken Hoffman

[quote="JLGORMAN"]Yes: US Bands is trying to get a hold in TX. However the classification of Bands by Band size is a killer for the over 400 Bands that are from schools with under 400 students enrolled. It is hard to convince small schools that it is fair to compete against large schools with smaller Bands.
USBands is hard selling their programs to schools in TX. Look at the Texas Yellow Board and you will see that they are trying to shut down the individual schools invitationals by announcing their outstanding judges for the Music In Motion Events. As of last week the Music in Motion event in Houston was filled up with mostly second tier Bands. The event in Denton is running way short of Bands.

I doubt that the top line Bands, The Woodlands, Marcus, LD Bell, Round Rock, Reagan, CT Johnson, Westlake, Coppell, Lewisville, ETC, will get involved with USBands.

One big problem for USBands is that their judging panels come heavily from the Drum Corps Community. The UIL requires all judges to be a current or retired BAND DIRECTOR with over 5 years of service. I have the feeling there is going to be some difficult times with the USBANDS folks and UIL. BOA is the clear winner in this.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:02 pm 
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Actually I stand by what I wrote Rick Dengler of USBands. I commented to him that USBands was interested in TX Bands as long as they were not Military Precision Drill Bands(over 100 Bands at this writing) or the over 70 Show Band HS Bands in the State. The fact is that USBands like most judging groups are skewed toward the Drum and Bugle Corps Style of Band. Bands not of this genre are not important. I would imagine this would apply to Southern CA Parade Bands to.

Further Mr. Dengler implied that judging to a Standard as UIL does at Regional contest was like being judged by a man behind the curtain. Your comment about aiding smaller school Bands is not matched by the numbers. Of the approximately 150 HS Bands listed as performing in USBands contests, only 15% come from schools in Class A-AAA (schools with under 400 students enrolled). In truth the high percentage of small school contest prefer being given Ratings instead of placings. Just this week I had looked at the Contests in Bangs, Texas A& M Commerce, Teague and McGregor to name a few that are limited to small school Bands. All used the Ratings.

As to my calling many of the USBands competitors 2nd Tier, that may be unfair because many are fine Bands. They are not however, Marcus, Cedar Ridge, Cedar Park, Westlake, LD Bell, The Woodlands, Round Rock, Ronald Reagan, Flower Mound, Coppell, who do not compete in USBands and are the top rated Bands in BOA events.

Finally I have no problem with 150 Bands out of 1200 being involved in USBands. Their is always room for their type of judging. However, it might be interesting to note that the Michigan Competing Band Association is having trouble with Bands joining their events. The Michigan School Band and Orchestra ASSN is now holding District Marching Festivals where Ratings are being given. This is matched by the Ohio Music Educators Assn hosting their state Marching Contest with Bands advancing Based on Ratings at contests. The reason why this is taking place is because in the upper Midwest there are several hundred HS Bands that march Big Ten Style and Corps style judges associations "Do not know how to Judge these Style of Bands"

In Georgia and North Carolina, the judges associations are offering both scored and rated events.
This pattern is also being seen in Kentucky where Bands are declining to enter the State Marching Contest due to non-Corps style Bands having little or no chance of winning.
I am sorry that it bothered you what I said, however you might note that Rick Dengler has tried to push hard to sell USBands on our State Band Directors Yellow Board. I did take and stand by my issue with his comments that the adjudicators for the Music in Motion contest were by far the best panel in the State of Texas for the 11th of Oct. We have many fine adjudicators in this state. We are not amused by comments like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:17 pm 
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So is this "USSBA evolved"? More power to the new kids on the block. Like Ken wrote, choice is nice. I don't know if I'd say they're out to compete with BOA (or the like), as Kevin implied, or if they even could. I remember when WGI Friendship Cup was supposed to be the next big nationwide thing. Like all things, give it a few years.

Alan


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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:24 pm 
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Would it be fair to think that when I'm watching the stream of BOA Grand Nationals, it is somewhat like a high school version of DCI Finals with woodwinds added and differences in some of the brass instruments?


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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:20 am 
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Totally fair. I've always thought the bands of BOA have exceeded drum and bugle corps in terms of art and creativity with the near limitless things they could entertain. I think 1993 was a pivotal year in which the best DCI groups in the world could do the best they could do, and peaked, and the best BOA groups were just getting started. That has changed, somewhat, with the multi-keyed instruments and synthesizers rulings (and perhaps someday WOODWINDS) in DCI. To be fair, though, excellence seems to have reigned supreme in DCI (given the environment). As for "influence," it goes both ways: one just needs to look at the relationship between the Blue Devils and Clovis West High School (Ramiro Barrera being the key player) in the late 80's to mid 90's to see how they rubbed off on each another--one group a test run for the other.

Alan


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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:15 pm 
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I think any national circuit (BOA or USBands) could benefit by adding in categories for band types (Drum Corps style, Big Ten Style, Show Band Style, etc.) set rules for each style and let bands compete in the division of their liking, and get expert judges for each. Although this might be a coordinating nightmare, and probably the primary reason why it hasn't happened. What it really comes down to is you can't compare apples to oranges, and we will never have just apples. So different strokes for different folks is what it really comes down to. Can you blame the new guy on the scene for trying to promote their events? Even though he may have offended with his "best judges" comment, I'm sure it wasn't an intentional insult, and rather just overzealous promotion. Of course Texas is going to be targeted, because that's where a large majority of the countries marching activity takes place.

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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:02 pm 
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Actually this may be an act of self preservation for both BOA and USBands. The National Federation of State High School Associations is entering into the realm of Marching Bands.This is a new area for a mostly sports operation. Marching Bands and Cheerleaders are both going to be new areas of interests for the National Federation. Could we eventually see them sponsoring a "National HS Championship" under Federation Rules. Unknown but possible.

When you look at the Current state of Marching Bands in this nation, there is a big surge toward marching Band adjudication being done by organizations that also do Concert and Sight reading Contests. This is already the way it is in the following States
Texas (UIL)
OK (OBA)
NE (NSBA)
AR (ASOBA)
MS (MSBA)
WY (WHSAA)
GA (GMEA)
WI (WSMA)
AZ (ABODA)
NC (NCBA)
SC (SCBDA)
TN (TNBA)
OH (OMEA)
IA (IHSMA)
VA (VABODA)
This is also the format that is being utilized in NM and LA for improving their Band Programs. It should be noted that in each of these states the adjudication is done by a Group that has direct ties to the school music programs of the states in question. Judges associations are not utilized due to their failure to adjudicate concert Performances for the schools.
In the state of Florida, the FBA has its own system of Marching Performance Assessments which they have ran since 1940. In all the states listed above, a big carrot is the awards given to Bands that have straight Superior Ratings in Marching, Concert and Sight Reading Performances. In many states, especially TX and FL, Bands that have complete Superior(First Division Ratings) are awarded Sweepstakes Trophies and students are given special recognition for being in a Sweepstakes Musical Group. TX carries it even farther in that the Bands results are heavily weighted for award of the Lone Star Trophy given to the top all around school in each class of enrollment. It is needless to say a great honor to the administration of a school system to have a Sweepstakes UIL Band Award given. Winning a BOA contest does not carry that type of pull.
Also the National Federation would probably support Ratings vs Scores since Bands would play against a Standard. All the states in question plus ME and MA use Ratings as part of the adjudication process. Both NC and GA are allowing schools to opt for Ratings instead of scores. In AR, even if the event is Scored by ASBOA, All Bands are Rated also so that if a Band wins a Group award. but is not really very good, That Rating is out there for all to see. It is not unusual for a Band to be a Group winner and have a II(Second Division Rating next to their placement).
I think that the heavy cost of BOA and USBANDS is leading many administrators to consider putting Bands under National Federation Rules. It will unfortunately be another large difficult organization for Bands to deal with.

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 Post subject: Re: Music in Motion - new national band circuit
PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:36 am 
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airons0678 wrote:
Totally fair. I've always thought the bands of BOA have exceeded drum and bugle corps in terms of art and creativity with the near limitless things they could entertain. I think 1993 was a pivotal year in which the best DCI groups in the world could do the best they could do, and peaked, and the best BOA groups were just getting started. That has changed, somewhat, with the multi-keyed instruments and synthesizers rulings (and perhaps someday WOODWINDS) in DCI. To be fair, though, excellence seems to have reigned supreme in DCI (given the environment). As for "influence," it goes both ways: one just needs to look at the relationship between the Blue Devils and Clovis West High School (Ramiro Barrera being the key player) in the late 80's to mid 90's to see how they rubbed off on each another--one group a test run for the other.

Alan


Although I have not yet been to BOA Grand Nationals, we did attend DCI Finals in Indy this year for the first time (my son played snare with Cadets); and in terms of musical excellence, it was truly amazing....the level of creativity and commitment on display was top shelf.


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