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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:37 pm 
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<cough>
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ARCADIA...
<cough><cough> :D

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:57 pm 
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But seriously...

There was a parade championship event once long ago, called the All Western Band Review in Long Beach. Unfortunately, it ended in the early 80s. There's a great topic way in the archives of the marching band forum about it, and it's great reading.

For now though, all we have pretty much is Arcadia. At least in Southern California. Did you also want to include NCBA bands?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:19 pm 
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Could always do it BCS style. Rank the units by where they compete and with who... now wouldn't that be interesting. WOP needs a polling system anyways.


note: BCS - Bowl Championships Series (NCAA College Football poll ranking system used to crown the #1 college football team in the US)...

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:15 pm 
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I def think we should. I know as a marching-band-only student in North Cali, i think it would be awsome to have a state-wide comp. Just a little friendly comp, jo0 know?

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 Post subject: Re: We DON'T Need Parade Band Championships
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2003 4:10 pm 
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euphman wrote:
There already are championships for field, but what about parade? <snip>


The Long Beach All-Western Band Review was the first, although unofficial, parade championships. It was (with a few exceptions - a LONG story of political intrigue best saved for another time) an SCSBOA-adjudicated event from at least the early 60s until its demise in 1983 (I think, VORE?). The event also attracted a significant number of the best of the Central and Northern California Bands. A slightly less prestigious event was held for awhile the day before the All-Western called the California Band Review and it was a non-SCSBOA event. It also featured a diverse group of Southern, Central, and Northern California bands since many of the bands participated in both events that weekend. (Thanksgiving weekend, by the way.)

With the demise of the All-Western Band Review, the unofficial parade championships became the West Arcadia Band Review (now a part of the renamed Arcadia Festival of Bands). Unfortunately, this event rarely if ever involves any bands outside Southern California. But it ALWAYS has all the best parade bands in Southern California.

The original Tournament of Champions was an attempt to try to create a championship for bands that were competitive both in parade and field. Looking through the SCSBOA Newsletters reveals that for only a year or two was TOC proclaimed to be an official SCSBOA Championship event. The original Tournament of Champions was scheduled for the first Saturday in December, avoiding the Thanksgiving weekend. (It may have started when All-Western was still around. I can't get to my detailed notes right now.) All units were required to perform in both the parade and field events. At its peak, the TOC was **THE** event to attend. TOC rarely had any bands from outside Southern California.

For a number of political and financial reasons TOC dropped the parade portion of the event. Many of the directors had second thoughts about attending a field-only event so late in the year. If they dropped TOC, marching season would end two weeks earlier with Arcadia (for parade) and Savanna (for field). At this point, many of the top bands quit going to TOC, obviously making the event less of a true "championship," even for those attending. The de facto championships in Southern California were then Arcadia (parade) and Savanna (field).

Once Arcadia secured a decent field for competition (Citrus College - one of the best around), they were able to attract some of the great field bands as well, attracting many of the parade/field bands that had previously gone to Savanna. Arcadia became the Southern California Championships for Parade and Combined Parade/Field. The only reason they weren't in consideration for Championships for Field is because they require their field participants to also participate in the parade competition. Some of the top field bands don't participate in parades, so they don't attend Arcadia. Therefore Arcadia can't be considered a field championship.

The only disappointment with the Arcadia Festival of Bands is that one of the great bands never competes there - the Arcadia Apache Marching Band. For that reason, I'm not sure if Arcadia is really a true championship either, although it has always been my favorite event.

As someone who has been involved in the parade activity for, well let's just say a goodly number of years, I can say that I would not be in favor of an SCSBOA-run parade championship for a number of reasons.

1) It would require that SCSBOA mandate a single classification system for all qualifying events. The events as they exist today have very different characters and personalities and different strengths and weaknesses. Some events feature mostly local groups. Other events have developed into mid-season championships. Current classification can be either by school enrollment (traditional method) or by previous year's season ranking. In either case the event has the option of pre-establishing classification (e.g., Class C = school enrollment 1500-1650 or Class C = ranking from 100-150) or customized event classification (e.g., listing the bands in school enrollment or ranking order, then dividing the bands into equal classes). An SCSBOA run championship would require pre-established classifications and result in many events being "overbooked" in some classes and "underbooked" in others. The event could choose to accept only so many bands into each class, rather than only so many bands into the entire event.

2) The current crop of Band Reviews have been around for awhile. They have spent a great deal of money, thought, and time to establish the reputations and prestige they now have. Establishing a new "championship" event would be injurious to the existing events, making them nothing more than qualifying events. For those of you that don't know it, band reviews are not good financial investments. Judges, trophy, city fees (police, fire, permits), insurance, etc. are not balanced by entry fees. You don't charge admission. The parade band in Southern California is still in decline. I don't think you want to further jeopardize the activity by creating an event that just might financially ruin others. If every event is of equal value in qualifying, then why attend the most competitive events? I think creating a new parade championship event could bring about the end of band reviews, sooner rather than later.

3) Aside from ultimate bragging rights, what is the purpose of a championship? Just read through the posts on the various championships results and you'll see that no one agrees with the judges. People whine about scores not going up from week to week. People whine about judges being biased. People whine about judges not being open to "their kind of music." People whine about the advantages of having a large band.

Do you folks not understand the concept of subjective?

What may sound bright to one judge may sound strident to another. One judge may be recently familiar with a particular march and be listening for that troublesome out-of-tune chord in the first strain, the other judge may be focused on some other aspect of the music and miss that chord. The local acoustics can really affect the sound that reaches the judges. The tall buildings in Long Beach and Santa Monica always made the sound that much fuller. Chino, Placentia, Loara, La Palma, and Arcadia don't have that advantage. The acoustic stage is different at every event. Not to mention the fact that the sound reaching the judges on the judging stand is much different than the sound on the street.

There are a lot of factors other than hard work and pride that go into a group's score. The judges are supposed to score what they see and/or hear. It is entirely possible that the judges saw and/or heard something completely different than what even a knowledgeable spectator may have seen or heard. This isn't a race where the best time wins. Nor is it a game where the most points win. It is a competitive art form, where the best impression wins. Not everyone's impression of a given performance is the same. That's true for judges too. The parade or field performance is an interpretation. There can be as many interpretations of any given act as there are performers. Likewise, there can be as many different opinions of the impression of the performance as there are listeners, let alone judges.

I think most people understand that any of the top bands could be the winner on any given day. Your band may have had some kind of problem getting to the event and had to perform in a rush. Your performance may have become so mechanically correct that it is no longer musical. The wind on a given day could make your auxiliary suffer more with their equipment than the auxiliary without equipment that you usually beat when there is no wind. There must be a million reasons why your group scores better or worse than you think they should. Once you start focusing on score consistency (at a given event or from week to week) you are doomed to frustration. Subjective judging, by its very nature, isn't necessarily consistent. Imagine judging a single sound element - volume. If the performances are random anyone would have difficult determining if band 4 was as loud or louder than band 33, two hours later. Now multiply that difficulty by the number of elements that make up the music, M&M, and showmanship scores. You want ultimate consistency? Good luck. The scores are WAY, WAY more consistent than they were 10 years ago. Many events have watered down their scores by adding duplicate judges and averaging scores. This sounds like democracy in action, but in reality, from a mathematical standpoint, all it does is reinforce bands that the judges agree on and lessen the gains or losses for bands that the judges disagree on. [What makes you think the higher score is the correct one?] Go figure.

So you want to establish a single championship event that crowns a singe band the champion. How valid is that title if the band that has been undefeated all season, beating every other band competing, doesn't win the championship? Whatever the results of the "championships," you are still only rating that day's performance. The fact that the day may be the last day of the season gives the title a certain amount of weight, but it still won't seem "fair" for those bands that for whatever reason, scored lower than they did the rest of the season.

4) Personally, I think a season ranking derived from all the season's scores is the most reasonable ranking. You couldn't claim it to be the indicator for any particular day or particular competition, but it gives a good indication of general season ranking. If you want a snapshot ranking of the groups on a particular day, you will need to have them not only compete simultaneously at the same time of day, but also require that their performances be at least as good as all previous performances. Anything less would not really be "fair," would it?

Is there really a reason we need to be able to say more than "my band won [these awards] at [these events]?" People who know the activity and the events know what those awards mean. People unfamiliar with the activity don't care. There were over 200 bands competing in parade competitions last year. One of them ranked 200. Are they better off telling their friends they placed 200th or that they won 2nd place at the Fillmore Parade?

JMO

:shock: (I apparently have way too much time on my hands!)


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 Post subject: Parade Band Championships
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 12:19 pm 
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Yes!!
There used to be two...
Long Beach and the All Western. That used to be the culmination to marching season for many of the "parade" only bands. All the best usually were there.
Both those went away, sadly.
In the community I teach in, there are many band alumnus that remember marching in both.
This kind of thing needs to come back.


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 Post subject: What???
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:16 pm 
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The Long Beach and All-Western Band Review were one in the same...

"The Annual All-Western Band Review" held in Long Beach.

To fill in for DR on just a couple of points...

The California Band Review (run by Bob Ward and the Santa Ana Winds Youth Band) was held on the Friday following Thanksgiving. The All-Western Band Review (Long Beach) was held the very next day. Many schools traveled from Northern California for a "two for one" weekend.

The first year of the T of C was 1974, and it was held at Chaffey College.

Foothill HS from Northern California did compete at the T of C in 1982. Clovis HS from Northern California competed at the event in 1980 or 1981...

The last year of the All-Western was 1983.


The main reason for the cancellation of the T of C Band Review was the demise of the Santa Ana Christmas Parade. (This caused a lack of city funding for the police thus contributing to the demise of the band review.) The last year of the T of C Band Review was 1991. This action contributed greatly to the decision by many of the top band directors to withdraw their bands from the T of C and end their season at Arcadia...

A great deal of this type of information will be in my new book that is due out next year...

vore

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 Post subject: Nor Cal chimes in..
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:51 am 
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There has often been talk about a State Championship..or in our case, a Nor Cal championship, but I don't see it happening for a few reasons...

In the case of a Nor Cal Championship:

When are you going to have it? All the weekends are full of shows/reviews. Are you going to do it after Thanksgiving, in the kind of bad weather we have at this time of year? Pretty iffy. And as in the case of the SCSBOA "championships" some of the best bands WON'T be there...in Nor Cal case, Golden Valley stops marching in early November, some of the good field bands like Leigh also stop in early November..or have in the past. SO you might conjecture a "championship" might lure them out later in the year...I doubt it. Who wants to march FOREVER?? Many of us start school in Nor Cal in August and by mid September we are well into our shows. The last weekend of October is considered the start of "late season." I know in the case of my band, we would NOT march after Thanksgiving, period. We have "sit down" music to do! However, I'm sure there are some bands that would be there.
I don't see it happening, but if someone wants to propose it, the NCBA can always talk about it.

In the case of a STATE championship for parade-
What standard/system/concept are you going to use for judging? SCSBOA?
That would be somewhat unfair to NCBA bands who use an entirely different concept of showmanship on the street. And the reverse would be true if we did it the other way around. In the days of the "All Western" Nor Cal bands did well enough, mostly in the small school divisions (because most of our schools are RELATIVELY small compared to So Cal), but the concept of showmanship for Nor Cal changed dramtically in the 80's and early 90's in Nor Cal, so I think there is a distinct difference in the two styles. I think musically and marching there may be some concept differences too..and you might ask how that can be..and I refer you to Dennis' wonderful post in this thread which hits the nail on the head.

Given that difference-and perhaps its not as great as I conjecture, I think it unlikely this would happen. Or, if you had a "state championship" at the right time of season, in the right place, maybe the bands/directors would not care enough about the differences and go for it anyway. Maybe so.

If you were to have such an event BEFORE Thanksgiving, in some central location (like...Fresno?? Visalia?? Bakersfield??...) maybe you could pull it off.
But it would probably have to be a once every couple years event, and maybe by invitiation only, maybe the top 25 bands or so, but then again, determined by whom??

Lots of pitfalls here.

One of the many things that was so attractive about All Western was that the kids had the Long Beach "Pike" to enjoy themselves at between parade and awards, and that in the cold weather you had awards in the 14,000 seat Long Beach Arena that evening. Plus a great parade route along the ocean. It was just a very attractive event. Those kind of additional "PERKS" help convince directors and students that its worth it. Tough to duplicate nowadays.

JCYS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 7:44 pm 
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[quote="bari_benzo"]Could always do it BCS style. Rank the units by where they compete and with who... now wouldn't that be interesting. WOP needs a polling system anyways.


note: BCS - Bowl Championships Series (NCAA College Football poll ranking system used to crown the #1 college football team in the US)...[/quote]

In light of this weekends turn of events in college football, are you sure you really want a polling system generated by a computer or other strict formula?
And I really don't even like SC!


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 Post subject: Re: What???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 9:41 pm 
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vore wrote:
The main reason for the cancellation of the T of C Band Review was the demise of the Santa Ana Christmas Parade. (This caused a lack of city funding for the police thus contributing to the demise of the band review.) The last year of the T of C Band Review was 1991. This action contributed greatly to the decision by many of the top band directors to withdraw their bands from the T of C and end their season at Arcadia...


I thought the last year of the T of C Band Review was 1992. (Please correct me if I am wrong.) This is not that big of a deal, of course, but if a book is going to be published on it...

vore wrote:
A great deal of this type of information will be in my new book that is due out next year...


I am looking forward to it, Mr. Hausey. When and where will it be available?

-Alan


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 9:59 pm 
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aaaah Jeff...always full of such wisdom...

:dunce: <-- that funny-looking euphonium sectionleader

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 Post subject: 1991 or 1992??
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 8:33 am 
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I have to dig through my notes... I have all the recaps from all of the T of C's from 1974 - 1996. I will make sure of the correct year.

vore

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