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 Post subject: 2003 NCBA Fall Season/Looking Back
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:05 am 
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My personal opinion...there were no major standouts of the 2003 NCBA fall season! Every year there is that one parade or field band that comes out of nowhere and gives a great performance! Like in 2001 when Benicia HS finally outscored Fairfield HS at the Vallejo Band Festival with a great performance of 'General Mitchell'! Or Amador Valley HS finally giving Leigh HS some much needed competition on the field with their performance of 'Appalachian Spring'! This past season was pretty much bleak.

Lincoln HS once a top tier parade band no more! What happened since last year? Leigh HS's performance of 'A Pirtes Tale' didn't exactly take it to the next level from last seasons 'The 13th Hour'! It was a great show but I guess I expect to see each show they do top the last having seen them blossom year to year since their 'Prince Of Egypt' show I first saw in 1998!

Highlights...Benicia HS auxliliary! The first year Fairfield HS wasnt the standout colorguard! Benicia HS really stepped it up this season with a much more crisp routine!Santa Cruz HS and Vallejo HS also had really competitive guards this season! San Benito HS has really improved under Zuniga!(What ever happed to Wilcox HS?!?)

Cant wait to see what happpens in the spring season! What do you think about this past season?


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 Post subject: Re: 2003 NCBA Fall Season/Looking Back
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 10:34 am 
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Paul wrote:
Leigh HS's performance of 'A Pirtes Tale' didn't exactly take it to the next level from last seasons 'The 13th Hour'! It was a great show but I guess I expect to see each show they do top the last having seen them blossom year to year since their 'Prince Of Egypt' show I first saw in 1998!


Oookay, first...the show was called "A dead man's tale."

And looking back from year to year...what exactly do you mean by "topping" the previous years show?

Because in many aspects, this past years show was much improved over the 13th hour show. Execution wise...from a marching standpoint...light years ahead. The music ensemble was also much more tight than the previous year.

What you have to understand is that through the years...things change. There are things that improve...and decline with regards to quality, performance, and concepts, and that some, if not all of these "changes" are invisible to the audience, as they are just looking to be entertained. So if it is entertainment value that is what is letting you down...then please just say that. Most of the changes that occur are also to challenge the kids from a performance/execution standpoint. Maybe nothing "impressed" you this year...or was a let down from last year, but a lot of bands, including Leigh, ARE improving in many different aspects...to put a label on each of them because they didn't "do anything for you" though... I don't think that's fair to the kids, parents or staff members that are teaching,marching, and helping out with these groups.

-Dawg


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 1:42 pm 
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First off...Clarification. Sorry about the show name mistake! I was thinking of something else! Second off...At the beginning of my thread I stated that this was 'my personal opinion'! I wasn't stating any fact or fiction, I was merely stating what 'I' thought of a couple performances this past season!

Quote:
Maybe nothing "impressed" you this year...or was a let down from last year, but a lot of bands, including Leigh, ARE improving in many different aspects...to put a label on each of them because they didn't "do anything for you" though... I don't think that's fair to the kids, parents or staff members that are teaching,marching, and helping out with these groups.


Again, I stated that 'A Dead Mans Tale' was a great show! What I stated from my previous post is that they didn't take this show to the next level! Musically, visually, and execution wise they were pretty much on par with last season. I don't know if you are a current band member of this group or just a disgruntled parent but please just calm down! I was not degrading the Leigh HS program at all which is what you make me out to be!


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 Post subject: Okay.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 2:57 pm 
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I wasn't stating that you were degrading that particular program.

I realize that this is your opinion...you are entitled to your opinion as this is the good ol' US of A...AND this is a forum environment.

I didn't mean my post to be a slam towards your opinion. I was merely asking for further clarification.

And myself, nor the marching members of the program would agree with you in stating that execution wise with regards to music, visual, and possibly even performance...thier was a fall off from the previous year. The kids have been trained for years, and the execution of what they are given has only been improved upon on a yearly basis. But, as you stated, this is your opinion, as I am offering mine. Thought that's what the whole forum environment was about...

-Dawg


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 Post subject: Please re-read both of my last post!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:32 pm 
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Quote:
And myself, nor the marching members of the program would agree with you in stating that execution wise with regards to music, visual, and possibly even performance...thier was a fall off from the previous year.
Please re-read my last two post! Reading back my last two post I dont recall myself stating anything of a 'fall off' within the program at all! I simply stated that Leigh HS didnt take it to the next level with 'A Dead Mans Tale' but was pretty much on par musically and visually with 'The 13th Hour'! Anyway, SQUASH...enough on this topic! Any other opinions out there for the 2003 NCBA Fall season!

-Paul


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 6:54 pm 
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*poke*

i tink this was a wonderful season, with great competition. We were challenged, and had a fun time doing it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 11:06 pm 
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Well, I can't make very many statements about bands in NCBA because I wasn't at every review, but I can make a few comments.

Leigh's show was again, outstanding to watch, although it seems to be the Leigh Longhorn Color Guard and Marching Band. I've never seen so many color guard in my life. And while they do an excellent job, it is almost as though they are used to COVER UP the marching band. (Especially last year...color guard running into the stands, scaring audience members...really tacky.) After all, this is first and foremost a MUSICAL performance. I think it needs to stay that way. But, this is a dead topic, so I'll move on.

Lincoln did have quite a dropoff...enough said.

Foothill Pleasanton needs to up the "entertainment value" of their field shows. They don't play "fun" music. I mean come on...A Night at the Opera...Music from Swan Lake...you get the idea.

I think it is safe to say that Benicia has solidified their stance as a powerhouse parade band. This year, Benicia takes the title of "Best Overall Parade Band" in my book. They are nearly unbeatable on the street. There are, of course, several runners up...Fairfield, Golden Valley, Las Plumas/Oroville, just to name a few.

As far as field show, Leigh takes the cake, although I don't tend to favor the style with which they approach "Marching Band". However, if I was required to name a second place, I don't think I could do it. There were loads of spectacular performances, many of which I've simply heard about. All of the following bands deserve field recognition (don't be offended if I leave you out!)

Bella Vista - the kids are excellent marchers, and they truly know how to put together an entertaining field show full of spunk, sass, and personality.
Saratoga - hard drill, and executed extremely well.
Foothill Pleasanton - the woodwinds get a standing ovation from me...they ripped up those string parts like nobody's business. Also some hard marching that was executed in an acceptable manner.
Homestead - I have heard rave reviews about this show, so I'm terribly sad to say I missed it.
Lynbrook - Apparently another GREAT show that I didn't have the opportunity to see.
Folsom - did a good job with Applachian Spring by the end of the season...little rough at Del Oro, I must say.
Granite Bay - as much as I thought the theme for their show (reflections of Sept. 11) was stupid, and that the drum major didn't know how to find beat four, they did have some very good marching and well executed music.

The only reason I say the theme was a lame is this: field shows are a piece of entertainment. I don't believe one should walk away from a field show with a different look on life, or that one should learn lessons or feel a need for social action due to a field show. It is simply a method of entertainment. I think Granite Bay could have picked a show theme that was slightly more entertaining that didn't pull on the heart-strings of the audience quite so much. The goal of a field show should not be to emotionally move the audience. It should be to entertain.


As far as NCBA as a whole goes:
The judging has to be fixed or tweaked. I know this has been brought up a lot. I have two opinions.

1.) Judges are human, thus they have human characteristics and can think on their own. They formulate opinions of their own, and learn to like certain things, and dislike certain other things. Rarely are two judges going to agree completely with each other. Marching band scores are subject to a judge's opinion. Some judges may like the band, others may not, and that's just the way it is. Simply because some judges liked us and some didn't, my band's field scores were consistenly LOWER at every band review, although we knew we were far improved by the end of the season. The only thing a band can do is take a judge's score with a grain of salt, listen to the comments, and move on. This is what we did. It is just a judge's opinion, and it really means very little in the whole scheme of things.

2.) With that said, there has to be a way to standardize some of the scores. The judges need to be required to attend clinics more often so that they know what the standards are. While there are little descriptions on the back of the judge's sheets, that doesn't do a whole lot when the judge or the band doesn't understand what they mean. As far as marching scores, there needs to be more consideration to DIFFICULTY. I recommend the following:

There should be a marching technique score which grades the band on their step style and size, intervals, slides, etc. and how well these elements are executed. Worth 60 points, just for example.

Additionally there will be a DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY. I don't know how this would be graded. Maybe bands will be required to supply their drill book to a judge who grades the band's difficulty of drill. Or maybe the marching judges assign a difficulty level in the process...who knows. Anyway, this DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY could be worth...say 5 points.

A recap sheet would look something like this:

Love Canal HS Marching Yaks

Field Show Marching

Judge 1 (Bufort Jones)
Marching Technique: 55/60 X Degree of Difficulty: 4.5 = 247.5/300

Judge 2 (Clyde Roberts)
Marching Technique: 53/60 X Degree of Difficulty: 4.5 = 238.5/300

Overall Score: (Average of two) 243/300

Give me your thoughts on this...

Wow...I've been typing for nearly 45 mins...time for bed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 9:36 am 
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One little thing. In the world of the drummers... one thing did stand out.
Fairfield scored a 97.... thats only been done once, by lp/o back in i think 95.
and the toc.... lp/o drumline has won the toc the past 3 years in a row. this year vellejo and lp/o were damn close, but hogan came out of no where with a dirty show and trampled both lp/o and vellejo. I think that is something in the ncba that stands out... if your a drummer.


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 Post subject: Ncba Scores
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 2:45 pm 
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In regards to the score of 97...a little inflated maybe? I've seen some pretty out of this world scores at NCBA competitions in the past! In the fall of 1998 at Westside Band Review in Newman,Ca. Fairfield HS's ID line recieved a score of 99!


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 Post subject: Wait
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:02 pm 
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My director is the President of NCBA and all of the judges go to clinics and they attend meetings about everything. My director has told us that the scores in different areas ie: Del Oro, and Santa Cruz were high but they were all high. I would see a huge problems if one judge was high and low and could never keep something close to one or the other, but judges are human and they all have their reasons and scores will occasionally be high or low. It's not a bad thing if ALL scores are high. It's only a problem when they are terribly scattered. Some judges may see things we don't, they have their reasons. But they do know what they are doing and they do go to clinics. My director has said that they are cleaning up the sheets for scoring and making everything better. Please chill out about NCBA.

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 Post subject: Wait
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:14 pm 
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My director is the President of NCBA and all of the judges go to clinics and they attend meetings about everything. My director has told us that the scores in different areas ie: Del Oro, and Santa Cruz were high but they were all high. I would see a huge problem if one judge was high and low and could never keep something close to one or the other, but judges are human and they all have their reasons and scores will occasionally be high or low. It's not a bad thing if ALL scores are high. It's only a problem when they are terribly scattered. Some judges may see things we don't, they have their reasons. But they do know what they are doing and they do go to clinics. My director has said that they are cleaning up the sheets for scoring and making everything better. Please chill out about NCBA.

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Q: How can you tell which kid on the playground is the child of a trombonist?

A: They don't know how to use the slide and can't swing.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:28 pm 
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I don't think anyone was necessarily complaining about the scores being "high." Because as you said...if they are all high...and the placements are right, then what's the big deal? No quarrels here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 12:32 am 
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toughest thing bout inconsistent judging is that you cant compare yourself to your previous shows/scores.

its just annoying to have your scores jump around from 85 one week to 95 another and back to 87 or something like that.


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 Post subject: okay.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 9:18 am 
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Do you really need scores to "judge" yourself in a circuit like the NCBA though? Not slammin the circuit at all though, but it's a known fact that thier are inconsistancies that exist...but like i mensioned before...if the placements are right...then what's the big deal?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 6:37 pm 
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Different judges sometimes DO base their scores on different things. That's when I have a problem. When Judge X at Band Review A gives you a first place, and then Judge Y at Band Review gives you a sixth place, while another band is given first place at the second review, but received a fifth place at the first review, the judges are clearly judging on different things. There needs to be more consistency in what bands are being adjudicated on. Granted, there will always be the subjective judge's opinion, but any way in which scores will be less influenced by that, I support.


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