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Rubisco last won the day on September 24

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  1. I wish I were going to Indy! There's something magical about seeing shows in person. I just don't have the time anymore. I'm always either in the lab or giving a presentation or working on some side project. I won't be seeing any groups this weekend, either -- not live anyway, because I've agreed to take on somebody else's coding project. I feel like it will be late season again before I watch anything live. Such is life!
  2. I'm harping on the guard aspect a bit, but I think the knowledge from that is transferable to the rest of the band, especially as choreography becomes more involved with each year. I remember watching that 2014 Broken Arrow show and being pretty stunned by the band members performing lifts -- literally picking each other up and spinning them around. Talk about difficult! If as a judge you can say something like, "Hey, as that side 2 block of woodwinds performs a chassé into their next drill set, they're not maintaining vertical alignment," I think that's very useful, because it's specific.
  3. Interestingly enough, they've redone the UIL sheets recently. I wasn't aware of this, unless they're the same changes from a few years ago. Lots of conversations with successful directors, some of them genuinely insightful. There's definitely been an infusion of some of the elements we see on the BOA sheets. Obviously, I like these changes, but some members of the "old guard" might not be fans. To my earlier point, some of these guys do mention being a bit apprehensive about judging some of the elements they're less familiar with, like guard. My recommendation would be to head over to WGI's site and take a peek at those adjudication sheets, get a feel for what they look for in a show, get a feel for what A class, Open class, and World class skills look like. Heck, pop in a few basic guard instructional DVDs, if you can find the time. Obviously, it's beyond the scope of the UIL visual sheet to go into great depth just on the guard, but even just a little bit of knowledge will go a long way in helping you communicate effectively (and specifically) as an adjudicator -- not to mention helping you rate the relative excellence of the groups in that particular area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vnJFxJuSCw
  4. I definitely understand your concerns about putting teenagers in fishnet stockings with short pants. 😅 That's probably why I would have never chosen this theme in the first place. Can't really commit to it. You're right though: the show is very bright and cheery, which is much appreciated at this time. And technically, yes, despite usually being adult in nature, cabaret isn't necessarily adult entertainment.
  5. Oh, don't get me wrong, I like the inclusion of difficulty. It just needs to be spelled out a little better in the adjudication handbook.
  6. I've got my fingers crossed! They were really great in 2019. I am a bit concerned if more than half of the band has never marched, but I feel like that's a position a lot of groups are in this year, so maybe it won't be that much of a setback. Klein Oak is definitely producing some very nice sounds in that first football game performance vid. I can see them in finals for sure. I just don't know where, because I haven't really seen enough groups. Btw, just watched the most recent (mostly crappy field-level) vid of TWHS. Yeah, it's a great show, but those costumes... lol... I just can't. I'm sorry. It's like a double whammy with the guard outfits. They don't read Cabaret at all. But they are weirdly mesmerizing to look at from high up. When that side 1 brass block assembles in the first movement, it was fascinating, the way the costumes kind of play with each other when mixed like that. Also surprised that they don't have more on the field. Seems cleaner than 2 weeks ago, but not much has been added, unless they're saving more for Saturday. Really need to see it from higher up.
  7. So let's just get this thread over with before the season really kicks into gear. It can be for BOA or UIL. Get it out of your system now. I was just over at the MFA site and was reviewing the BOA adjudication sheets to see if anything has changed. Didn't notice anything. The sheets were already pretty general, but I feel like over time they've gotten more and more vague -- probably to give adjudicators some latitude. I have mixed feelings about that, especially as the competition gets fiercer every year. For example, the Music Individual performance sheet used to be more specific for all 3 choirs. Now it's just tone quality for one half of the score and accuracy for the other half. Meanwhile, the Performance halves of the General Effect scores have always been vague. I've long wished that the effect of cleanliness were more explicitly mentioned, just so that I can stop having to correct people who think that GE is all about design. You can't get a high GE score without a great performance. Percussion seems to be a complete afterthought in the sheets -- same as auxiliary groups, like guard, for whom the only mention is a vague one of "equipment." (Actually, can guards even be called auxiliary anymore, given the enormous contribution they make to many bands' shows? Is that Broken Arrow guard really a "support group"? It's like the size of the band!) We probably need to go back to the old way, where these two groups are separated out and judged by qualified professionals, because they need more attention. I'll be honest: I don't really trust wind specialists judging percussion and vice versa. Too many bad experiences listening to those tapes! Meanwhile, whether or not guard is mentioned in any substantial way largely comes down to whether the visual judge is trained in it. Frankly, you shouldn't be judging visual performance if you don't know the basic facts regarding the adjudication of movement and equipment skills. Everyone knows how to judge issues regarding spacing, alignment, timing issues, drill that clicks and is readable vs. drill that amoebas its way from one form to the next, projection of style, etc. Persistent issues with an auxiliary group are just as distracting. I like the inclusion of difficulty and challenges, but again, we need to be a bit more specific. What is considered dirty for a blind drill move, for example, as it's listed as "highly difficult" on the sheets? I'm not asking for some Olympic-style point docking system, just some clarification. For this reason, performance captions have sometimes become difficult to predict, because sometimes shows that are much dirtier than others (not just a little bit dirtier) end up getting significantly higher scores than cleaner shows. I'd love for BOA to go the WGI route and develop a "Box 6" for their sheets, which is reserved for groups that set new standards. These are the 98+ scoring groups. I agree that scores that high should be reserved for those groups really pushing the envelope in terms of artistry and demand. Having a "Box 6" provides a stronger incentive to try new things. Not really sheet-related, but I'd also love BOA to double the judging panels at major events like Nationals and the San Antonio Super Regional. Everything is so competitive that I feel like some safeguards are needed so that a group doesn't get screwed over by a single judge.
  8. Yeah, it seems like a lot of groups are better than expected this year, particularly the ones going to nationals. I feel like there are more than 6 top 6 groups right now, which means some will be bumped down, and some others will be bumped out of finals entirely. Crazy!
  9. Yep! Common problem. If the guard directors are treated like throwaway employees, don't expect them to stick around! Oh, yes, very much so. I wasn't going to watch any of the junior groups this past WGI season, but I'm glad I did. McCullough JH was the winter guard equivalent of Henry Middle School's Honors Band. Like, is this really a middle school group?! That's how good they were. That said, I didn't think it would translate so quickly at the high school level. Assuming the last half of TWHS's show looks like the first, their guard will only be topped by Avon and Carmel in national finals this year, at least in terms of the depth of the skills. Granted, that was probably true in 2019 as well; it just wasn't as obvious. The lesson here: invest in your guard programs! They WILL elevate your visual program! Anyway, back to Austin...
  10. So, uh, just saw on social media. William Mason is doing a Top Gun show. And we're not going to discuss that? 🙃 I'm SO excited for this. Hahaha. Cartwright can definitely do kitsch well, as Broken Arrow's cowboy show attests.
  11. Okay, so the music sounds like it could be early season Bowie, and I like the arrangement, but I was thrown off a bit by the guard. It's a lot smaller and less... uh... world class looking than usual? They were the absolute standard for guards in TX just a few years ago. This might be another case of pandemic rebuilding, unfortunately. Question for anybody who knows: did the Bowie guard compete at all last winter guard season? I don't remember. I know they didn't do the WGI virtual thing. Lots of guards are taking a hit this season it seems. I think it underscores just how fragile guard programs are in general.
  12. I like this. Seems like it would be very cute. Do you know who designs for them? I haven't seen anything from this group yet.
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