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Full Band Drill Rehearsal -
July 31, 2014 (6:00 pm)
Full Band Visual Rehearsal -
August 05, 2014 (6:00 pm)
Full Band Visual Rehearsal -
August 07, 2014 (6:00 pm)
Opening Day Performance -
August 11, 2014 (7:30 am)
Full Band Visual Rehearsal -
August 14, 2014 (6:00 pm)
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Written by Jim Cakalic   
Friday, 11 July 2008 13:16
Marching competitions are a big deal! Parents and family are encouraged to attend. The support is very important to our students and the reaction from the audience motivates them to give their best performance.

Bands are divided into classes or divisions. Sometimes the divisions are based on school size (student body enrollment) and sometimes they are based on the band size. These divisions are usually expressed as A, AA (or 2A), AAA (3A), AAAA (4A), AAAAA (5A) in increasing size of school/band. Sometimes the divisions are expressed as colors. (Buying a program will help you keep it all clear and give you some place to record the competition results.) Bands within a given division compete with each other during preliminaries and, if there are finals, all finalist bands compete evenly for overall placement. After the final band in the division has performed the caption and participation awards for the division will be announced and accepted by the drum majors. If there are finals, then after the last band of the last division has performed, the bands that will be performing in the finals are announced.

Some judges observe from the press box while others will be on the field with the band during the performance. It is the judge’s responsibility to stay out of the way. This frequently makes for entertaining viewing as the judge tries to anticipate where on the field to go when the band starts to move. Judges record their observations on tape recorders during the performance. Later those remarks are shared with the Band Director and he will share them with the band, at his discretion, so that they will better understand what areas of the show need to be improved or changed.

Performances are scored, usually according to one of the four judging systems developed by the Mid-America Marching Band Consortium (may not work in Firefox). A maximum of 100 points can be earned for the performance. As a scoring example, the "6 judge panel with auxiliary and percussion totaled" system is scored using the following point allocation:

Scoring Category Scoring Max Points
Music Performance General Effect 20 + (score x 1.25) 25
Music Performance Ensemble 20 + (score x 1.25) 25
Percussion Performance 10 10
Visual Performance General Effect 20 20
Visual Performance Ensemble 10 10
Visual Performance Auxiliary 10 10
Total 100


Get to the competition early. It takes time to find a parking place and get through the gates. It’s also fun (yes, fun) to watch other bands in the same class, evaluate their performance, and see how your ratings compare to the judges. At larger events where there may be hundreds of spectators it is easiest to get seats before the class competition starts. The best seats are usually within the 45 yard line markers at least half way up or higher; remember that the formations in the show are designed to be viewed by the judges in the press box.

Your enjoyment of the show will be enhanced by sitting with other St. Charles West parents at the competition. Don’t be ashamed to be loud; yell, cheer, and clap at appropriate times. As a matter of etiquette, please do not enter/exit the stands during any band’s performance. It is also impolite to talk during any show. And of course, set cell phones and pagers (does anyone still use those?) to vibrate.

Applaud every band after their performance. Students in other bands have worked just as hard as our students and they deserve respect and applause too. Regardless of how you feel about the judge’s decision, remember that every parent and every band member performing feels their band should be number one. Do not mistakenly equate winning with coming in first. The band will receive that honor when it deserves to based on performance. Until then, we know "winning" is the state of every individual having endured the hardships, taken the chance of competing, and done their personal best in the pursuit of excellence. All the students in all the bands are participating in an activity that is teaching teamwork, respect, and pride in themselves and their achievements. There are no losers on the marching field.

Each competition is hosted by a school and is usually held at the school’s football field. The hosting band does not compete with other schools but will frequently give an exhibition performance. Admission generally ranges from $5 -$10. The hosting band will also operate a concession stand; sell programs, and sometimes band-related apparel like T-Shirts and hats. A competition is a fundraising activity for the host school. Dollars you spend help support band activities at the host school.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 17 July 2008 18:50 )
 
 
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