A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

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A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by airons0678 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:27 pm

Hello. I'll keep this as short and sweet as I can.

Great day for a show. A little hot. I'm glad the stadium was not completely packed or all the sun-sensitive umbrella folks would've been annoying. I had time to stop by the warm-up area to say hi to my friend who was running warm-ups. (BOA flew him out from the east coast.) Parking was easy. Buying a prelims ticket and getting into the stadium was simple. It's sad BOA staff still have to pop out of nowhere to do a little scolding to those who bring their cameras in (copyright laws), but has to be done, and totally understand it.

Okay, now on to the bands. Most of the bands had incomplete shows, unpolished shows, or shows that needed major work. A few bands--the top CA bands and the out-of-state performers--had their stuff together. (Please note that California bands have the luxury of ending their marching season around Thanksgiving, which means they usually start in the last week of September, and sometimes as late as the third or fourth week of October. That's just how it is. Most BOA bands, however, get rolling in August, early September, and are done by the end of October or the first or second week of November. They have to, because things can get quite cold, and snow is a big possibility.)

I'll write about each band I saw, and then give my score based on "effect"--"music effect" being what sways me the most, because that's the biggest chunk of reward. Here we go:

Arroyo H.S. - I really like the staging of the tubas as representative of an idol, and the atmosphere was immediately set with eerie, mysterious sounds. Love, love, love the woodwind book that made clear use of all the instruments. Some of the drill looked cluttered at times, and I'm not sure if this was a staging issue, or simply the fact the uniforms had too much going on (dated). Their ballad was very expressive, had all the right stuff. I love that this show left a lot to the imagination. Well done. I was very pleasantly surprised by them. MY SCORE: 63.10

Los Osos H.S. - Supremely strong start to this band's show, with perfectly balanced woodwind section, just the right amount of brass, and a clean cut-off. Things seemed to get a little muddled in the extremely difficult John Adams section. Ooh, you think the show is done, but it's not. The time between the ballad and the next movement was too long, and the drum major even gave the impression it was over by presenting his band with his arm and hand. Not good. (Even the announcer got fooled.) Not a bad show! Just slightly uneven, inconsistent. MY SCORE: 66.90

Etiwanda H.S. - This group has a very pit-heavy sound, with narrative that fits their "I/Eye" show. (Didn't Ayala do an "I/Eye See You" show some years back? Yes they did. And these shows were quite similar.) I regret to write this, but I think there is too much atmosphere, too much "fuzz" to their show. You have to really look for the creepy masked figure near the soloists, but even he/she looks like a uniformed member if you weren't paying attention. (And the role is not pronounced!) The end of their show was very abrupt. MY SCORE: 63.00

Newbury Park H.S. - Their opener was super short, but got the job done. Upper body was all over the place for some of their members on the move. This group had a great percussion ensemble. The overall sound seemed timid at times--insecure. I see a staff member helping with the pit, now, which I think is against the rules...but there is obviously a problem with the gear. Okay, cool: fixed! They seemed to gain a little momentum near the finish line. When you're this small of a band you really have to make use of all your members, 100%, in very exaggerated ways...and they fell pretty short. Solid effort, people, despite this. MY SCORE: 54.70

Fountain Valley High School - The first big "attention getter" of their show is the huge teeter-totter a guard girl and uniformed boy operate with dramatic glee. There were some other fun spots to their show. Their sound was controlled, but seemed restrained. The way the show was written musically did not seem to match what was written visually. The ballad, in particular, was icy cold. I was not moved by this group at all. Their saving grace is their professionalism. MY SCORE: 60.00

Imperial High School - A totem pole takes center stage, as the winds circle it and march to Lion-King-like chants from the electronics up front. All right, I'm just going to state it: I'm getting sick and tired of these idol-worship type shows. Ooh, out-of-sync with the notes to close the first movement. These kids have got to learn how to do things together. The broke out some hand drums at the end of their show, which was neat. MY SCORE: 52.10

Montwood High School - Everything they did to kick off this show was in order. They did not seem to cover a lot of ground visually, and that knee-pop before moving was...awkward. All the soloists were strong, and most of this show was solid. They had a pretty small rifle squad, average in ability. This was a very safe product. MY SCORE: 57.90

Colony High School - A thick concert horn solo plus three high saber tosses in a row that were caught near-perfect helped get this show on its way in a good way. The feet of those marching were fast, but not together. The repetitive theme was indeed that--repetitive. Yikes, the end of the soft section was not quite in tune. Ugh, late release, trumpet player! Don't get sloppy on me, gang! They obviously have to work on the latter parts of their show that was overall unpolished. They need some improvement, but it will just take some time. MY SCORE: 56.80

Trabuco Hills High School - They had an interesting part of their show that was, I believe, pre-recorded and not played on an instrument in real time, note-for-note, which is illegal in BOA land. Nevetheless, I was quite impressed with what I saw and heard. When the forms need that clarity, they deliver. Musically, they seemed to make Glass's Low flow too much. Steady as she goes, gang! The Mad World reprise is cooked WELL, but so dull emotionally. A crazy drum feature ends the show, leaving much to be desired. MY SCORE: 59.50

Vista Murrieta High School - The show was primo in how it began--a pitch perfect pre-show that gave me goose bumps. Way to set the stage! I like how the brass did a kung-fu thing, Michael Jackson or something-or-other move to highlight the woodwinds, who rocked their feature. This was a deeply impactful product, flaws included. (Lots of drops in the percussion show.) MY SCORE: 73.80

Lunch Break! I needed water...BAD. I was being stupid, and could have given myself heatstroke. So me being me DIDN'T do that, and hung out in the shade for a bit, and chewed on almonds. Part 2 is coming up!

Sincerely,
Alan
Last edited by airons0678 on Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: No BS, No Bias Review of BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by BKdrummer » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:27 pm

Actually for Trabuco Hills everything is played in real time :)

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Re: No BS, No Bias Review of BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by airons0678 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 8:34 pm

BKdrummer wrote:Actually for Trabuco Hills everything is played in real time :)
Oh, cool. Thanks for the clarification!

Alan

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Re: A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by Hostrauser » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:34 am

Thank you for posting this! As you alluded to in your intro, the Wisconsin State Championships were LAST weekend (10/17), and the Minnesota championships were on October 10th! So marching season is over and done with here, except for the few bands heading to Grand Nationals.

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Re: A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by airons0678 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:57 am

Hostrauser wrote:Thank you for posting this! As you alluded to in your intro, the Wisconsin State Championships were LAST weekend (10/17), and the Minnesota championships were on October 10th! So marching season is over and done with here, except for the few bands heading to Grand Nationals.
Wow. I didn't realize things ended there so early. For the bands out west who think it isn't "fair" that Grand Nationals is the second weekend of November, that's late enough as is, and tough for bands who have completed their season and have to go weeks beyond (without competing) to ready themselves. For bands out west to compete at BOA GN, you need to have the midwest/east mentality, and start prepping in July/August. That, and of course having a national-standards show, and $$$ to make the trip there.

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Re: A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by JLGORMAN » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:14 am

Besides WI and MN Here are some other states that are almost done with Marching Season
Nebraska. Championships were held on the 24th. NESBA WEB Page announced that "Marching Season is Over"

Mississippi. Class A, AAA & AAAAA State Championships were held on the 24th. The Class AA, AAAA and AAAAAA State Contest will be held on Saturday the 31st.

Oklahoma. State Class 4A & 5A Contests were held on the 24th. Class 6A Contest(Broken Arrow, Union, Jenks) will be held on the 31st. For Alan. Owasso is skipping the State Championships to go to BOA San Antonio. This has not met with a lot of approval in the OK Nation

TN is over the first week in Nov
TX is over the 2nd and 3rd of Nov
Most of us start much earlier and finish earlier than CA or AZ. Since BOA is located in the Midwest its schedule will be made to fit best with Bands in the Eastern Part of the Nation.
TN and KY Bands start practice on the 15th of Jul
TX, MS & OK all start seasons on First Monday in Aug.

CA is not alone going longer, Florida also goes on to the Weekend before Thanksgiving. Must be the warm weather.
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Re: A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by airons0678 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:20 am

JLGORMAN wrote:Besides WI and MN Here are some other states that are almost done with Marching Season
Nebraska. Championships were held on the 24th. NESBA WEB Page announced that "Marching Season is Over"

Mississippi. Class A, AAA & AAAAA State Championships were held on the 24th. The Class AA, AAAA and AAAAAA State Contest will be held on Saturday the 31st.

Oklahoma. State Class 4A & 5A Contests were held on the 24th. Class 6A Contest(Broken Arrow, Union, Jenks) will be held on the 31st. For Alan. Owasso is skipping the State Championships to go to BOA San Antonio. This has not met with a lot of approval in the OK Nation

TN is over the first week in Nov
TX is over the 2nd and 3rd of Nov
Most of us start much earlier and finish earlier than CA or AZ. Since BOA is located in the Midwest its schedule will be made to fit best with Bands in the Eastern Part of the Nation.
TN and KY Bands start practice on the 15th of Jul
TX, MS & OK all start seasons on First Monday in Aug.

CA is not alone going longer, Florida also goes on to the Weekend before Thanksgiving. Must be the warm weather.
Interesting! Thank you for those facts!

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Re: A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by Hostrauser » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:24 am

Indiana, Michigan, and New York have seasons that go longer. Their state championships are usually the first weekend in November or the last weekend in October.

The catch: their state championships shows are in domed or roofed stadiums, so weather isn't a performance factor. 8-)

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Re: A Look at BOA Long Beach Prelims (Part 1)

Post by airons0678 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:39 am

Hostrauser wrote:Indiana, Michigan, and New York have seasons that go longer. Their state championships are usually the first weekend in November or the last weekend in October.

The catch: their state championships shows are in domed or roofed stadiums, so weather isn't a performance factor. 8-)
That, too. Lots more domes out there than there are here.

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