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 Post subject: Hostrauser's BOA Grand Nationals Finals Review
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 6:46 am
Posts: 7944
Location: West Allis, WI
Before I start my review, it's important you know my qualifications so as to give credence to my opinions.

Qualifications: Still none

Excellent. Let's begin.

So I left Semfinals on Saturday and walked down the street to the Circle City Mall. Walked around to kill time for a bit, then had a leisurely (and relaxing) dinner at P.F. Chang's that was literally cheaper than the hot dog, pretzel, and soda I inhaled at Lucas Oil for lunch.

Returned to the stadium in time for the gates to open for Finals. They were late opening the gates, and then had far too few ticket scanners for the large crowd that had assembled. Took probably 30-45 minutes just to get through the gates and into the stadium, and a lot of people were grumpy from this because it was colder than expected that night (29ºF). Something Music for All might want to take a look at before next year.

Anyway, on to the show!

ADAIR COUNTY H.S., KY
Repertoire: Music selections from Purcell, Beethoven, Radiohead, Metallica, the Rolling Stones, and John Mackey
The band from southern Kentucky claimed their fourth straight Class A title (for schools with 10-12 enrollment of 600 or fewer) and sixth overall. It might be their last season in Class A, too, as the school has been steadily growing. Show title not in program, but it was kind of a robots-becoming-self-aware theme. Not really man-vs-machine but more awakening and discovery. They weren't nearly as clean as the finalist bands, but they certainly didn't shy away from a challenge as their show was complex and difficultly written. They would be a contender in WBA Class 4A Championships.
Exhibition performance, no score or ranking

DOBYNS-BENNETT H.S., TN
Despite leading off Finals, DB was amped up and definitely threw down. They were much better than their semis performance. From field level they sounded much better and it was really apparent how fast they were flying around the field in sections. They definitely justified their qualification for the evening show, but I was still shocked how high they climbed. The effect judges loved them.
MY SCORE: 92.5
MY PLACE: 9th
ACTUAL SCORE: 92.725
ACTUAL PLACE: 6th

MARIAN CATHOLIC H.S., IL
Feel free to refer back to my semifinals review. Marian had a better ensemble sound at finals, but it seemed like more individual flubs. Whatever "it" is that they've got the judges see and hear, I don't get "it."
MY SCORE: 88.5
MY PLACE: 12th
ACTUAL SCORE: 89.800
ACTUAL PLACE: 11th

UNION H.S., OK - "This Bitter Earth"
Repertoire: Dies Irae from "Requiem" (Guiseppe Verdi), Serenada Schizophrana (Danny Elfman), This Bitter Earth (Clyde Otis), On the Nature of Daylight (Max Richter), Mombasa from "Inception" (Hans Zimmer), Todo Tiende (Ojos de Brujo)
Union was the only finalist I didn't see in semifinals and they came out and rocked my socks off. Big, brassy and loud, with thunderous percussion, this show had zero subtley and it was terrific. But by far the biggest impression was made by their solo vocalist, a little five-foot wisp of a girl who came out with a huge voice and a cover of "This Bitter Earth" that would have made Dinah Washington proud. All that energy came at the expense of some cleanliness, but IMO it was worth it. One of my favorite shows of the year.
MY SCORE: 92.7
MY PLACE: 8th
ACTUAL SCORE: 91.025
ACTUAL PLACE: 10th

ROUND ROCK H.S., TX
Music might have been a little better than in semis, visual might have been a little worse. Overall the labyrinth show didn't seem to carry as much punch the second time around. Still thought they were better than Marian Catholic.
MY SCORE: 90.1
MY PLACE: 11th
ACTUAL SCORE: 89.625
ACTUAL PLACE: 12th

BLUE SPRINGS H.S., MO
Just the opposite of Round Rock: I felt Blue Springs' music was actually a step down from semis, but their visual performance was terrific (it was their visual captions that carried them over Union). The older I get, the more I'm of the opinion that a little Danny Elfman goes a long way.
MY SCORE: 92.0
MY PLACE: 10th
ACTUAL SCORE: 91.175
ACTUAL PLACE: 9th

CASTLE H.S., IN
In what was probably an incredibly difficult performance emotionally, Castle didn't seem quite as locked in as they were in semis. It was still an amazingly beautiful show and, in this reviewer's humble opinion, badly underscored.
MY SCORE: 94.8
MY PLACE: 6th
ACTUAL SCORE: 91.200
ACTUAL PLACE: 8th

THE WOODLANDS H.S., TX
Another band that might have left their best show on the field in the afternoon. The Woodlands had several visual mishaps, including having one of their giant, inflatable "space pearls" land on a band member's head at the very end of the show! (Thank goodness they were basically giant balloons, and relatively light.) I was still surprised they ended up so far back of the Top 5.
MY SCORE: 94.2
MY PLACE: 7th
ACTUAL SCORE: 91.825
ACTUAL PLACE: 7th

CARMEL H.S., IN
Calm, cool, and collected, Carmel aced the final performance of their "Serenity" show. Just incredible exposure to error across the program, and solid proof that fast sixteenth note runs aren't the end-all, be-all of muscial difficulty, even on the field. The only question I had after Carmel's performance was if Broken Arrow could match them.
MY SCORE: 96.5
MY PLACE: 1st
ACTUAL SCORE: 97.500
ACTUAL PLACE: 1st

BROKEN ARROW H.S., OK
Broken Arrow certainly gave it their all, with a virtuoso musical performance that earned them best Music Individual Performance and tie for High Music. But overall, I just don't think they matched Carmel's cleanliness and control. I figured Carmel had it locked up after Broken Arrow finished.
MY SCORE: 96.1
MY PLACE: 2nd
ACTUAL SCORE: 96.925
ACTUAL PLACE: 2nd

FLOWER MOUND H.S., TX
Still a dazzling kaleidoscope of color, and a well-earned 2nd in Visual Effect. But overall this was another performance that felt just slightly off from their semis run. Just a little blend problem here, a little phasing on the visuals there. The soloists killed it once again, though. Flower Mound had the best instrumental soloists at Grand Nationals
MY SCORE: 95.0
MY PLACE: 5th
ACTUAL SCORE: 95.625
ACTUAL PLACE: 5th

MARCUS H.S., TX
In contrast to their rivals, the other band from Flower Mound really brought their A-game into finals. Their musical performance was sublime, and I'm a little surprised they finished behind Avon in musical performance. Their visual book was clean, clean, clean... and part of that is because it wasn't nearly as robust as the other members of the Top 5.
MY SCORE: 95.4
MY PLACE: 4th
ACTUAL SCORE: 95.700
ACTUAL PLACE: 4th

AVON H.S., IN
Jay Webb's last show as band director at Avon, and the kids played the heck out of it. They were pretty clearly third, but I think they maxed out the potential of this show. It just wasn't quite the streamlined machine that Carmel and Broken Arrow had, and the visual clutter I think hurt them in the end.
MY SCORE: 95.8
MY PLACE: 3rd
ACTUAL SCORE: 96.475
ACTUAL PLACE: 3rd

All in all, it was a great first time at Grand Nationals. I will definitely make it a point to attend again, maybe make it an annual tradition. And hey, I got the Top 5 correct, in order, so maybe I'm not a complete chucklehead after all.

:dno:
:whistle:
:shades:

Nah.


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 Post subject: Re: Hostrauser's BOA Grand Nationals Finals Review
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:55 pm
Posts: 48
Thank you for doing this I appreciate it. What you do take a lot of commitment. I enjoyed reading your review.


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