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Texas Bands at 2014 BOA Grand Nationals


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I just saw the list of bands currently signed up for the 2014 Grand Nationals. So far, only 1 Texas band is going -- Flower Mound HS. It's been a while since we only had 1 participant. Here's what we had in previous years:

 

2013 - The Woodlands

2013 - Round Rock

2013 - Marcus

2013 - LD Bell

2013 - Cedar Ridge

 

2012 - Bowie

2012 - Reagan

 

2011 - The Woodlands

2011 - CTJ

2011 - Spring

 

2010 - LD Bell

2010 - Stephen F Austin

2010 - Cedar Park

2010 - Winston Churchill

 

2009 - LD Bell

2009 - Marcus

2009 - The Woodlands

2009 - Bowie

 

2008 - LD Bell

 

2007 - LD Bell

2007 - The Woodlands

2007 - Stephen F Austin

2007 - Richland

2007 - Reagan

2007 - Clear Brook

 

2006 - LD Bell

2006 - The Woodlands

2006 - Winston Churchill

2006 - Bowie

2006 - Cypress Falls

2006 - Connally

 

2005 - Reagan

2005 - LD Bell

2005 - Richland

 

2004 - Stephen F Austin

2004 - The Woodlands

 

2003 - Westfield

2003 - Reagan

2003 - LD Bell

 

2002 - Stephen F Austin

2002 - The Woodlands

2002 - Winston Churchill

2002 - Reagan

2002 - Haltom

2002 - Spring

 

2001 -  LD Bell

2001 - Richland

 

1999 - Winston Churchill

1999 - Leander

 

1998 - Winston Churchill

1998 - The Woodlands

1998 - Haltom

 

1997 - Richland

 

1995 - Westfield

 

1994 - Klein

 

1993 - Spring

1993 - Duncanville

 

1991 - Duncanville

1991 - Spring

 

1990 - Westfield

 

1985 - Westfield

 

 

 

 

 

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I really hope to see more Texas bands at the Grand Nats. this year.  As a Hoosier band fan I always enjoy seeing the Texas bands in Indy, they are awesome.  Also excited this year to see Homestead here in Indiana participating for the first time in many years.  They have always been neck and neck with Avon in the Indiana state finals and I expect them to do very well at Grand Nats. 

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Looks like a pretty dissappointing line up for TX bands after the awesome lineup we had last year. Pretty surprised to not see a single top tier band attending. Not to take anything away from flower mound, of course, I'm sure they'll do great. But not a super competitive lineup.

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With BOA SASuper becoming so competitive I feel alot of schools will place their efforts for this event (I predict SA will become an unofficial grand national and schools from up north will come down to measure themselves against TX competition, my honest opinion). With it aslo being a 6A state year many schools wont go to BOA Grand.

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Not concerning Texas Bands, but Broken Arrow looked pretty incredible on the St. Louis Webcast.  Didn't they pick up a lot of LD Bell staff members recently?  I feel like I can DEFINITELY see the influence in their show this year and the past 2 or so years as well.  Disturbingly awesome tapestries that they utilize in a very uncomfortably good way.  

 

They're coming to play after 2012, I was shocked in a Reagan 2005, LD Bell 2006 kind of way they didn't win that year.  Their brass was jaw dropping for a high school last year, and they're ramping it up another level this year, and the color guard is as breath taking as always.  This show has Eagle written all over it, though we'll see.

 

Back to Texas bands, I'm excited to see what Flo Mo has been up to, LOVE their show after the Denton regional, can't wait to see what they have done and still have to do with it, it's pretty breath taking musically and will look amazing visually with those uniforms and color palette once it has cleaned up.  I think they can definitely make finals.  Wakeland's really pushing as well, could definitely see them in the fight.  

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Yep. Both LD Bell and Broken Arrow were Wes Cartwright bands for much of the 2000s. He no longer works with LD Bell, though still works with Broken Arrow and William Mason. I actually prefer William Mason's show this year to Broken Arrow's. BA's show this year is more reminiscent of some of their stranger shows, like 2009's Raptor show, which placed 6th at nationals, I believe. This year's Face Me show is very well-performed, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and that could hurt them in the hunt for the Eagle.

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I guess I just know that Broken Arrow still has a lot up their sleeves, I'm usually not too struck by their shows thematically through the first 2/3rds of the season, and then they show up at nationals and just blow me away every time.  The back half of their show still seems like it has a lot of development to be done.  I'm not too sure what the show is about, but there's just something I love about it.  We'll see, regardless of the show, I think they'll perform like a champion, and I bet the show will be there too by nationals.  

 

And I haven't seen Mason's show yet, last year I appreciated more than enjoyed, "This Land" and "A Winter's Solstice" however were phenomenal.  Avon's show I've seen some media on, we'll see.  Last years I fell in love with the first time I watched it.  Haven't seen anything of Carmel.  Interested to see how Homestead does considering their long absence from BOA, ISSMA they do very well in, interested to see how that transfers over to BOA.  I enjoy what I've seen of their show.  Tarpon will be Tarpon, excited to see what adrenaline filled show they have in store for us.  

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Dare I say I think Flower Mound is a finalist lock?  We'll see after BOA SA and State, but I feel like they've got some serious momentum going.

 

Also, checked out the Indy webcast last night.  Marian Catholic has one of the coolest high school concepts in my eyes I've seen.  Called "Rapture from the Deep", it seems the story line is a deep sea diver gets stuck at the bottom of the ocean, and when at the bottom, all of the deep sea creatures emerge, and help him/her back to the surface in the glorious closer.  Really cool use of field coverage, starts up in the top left side 1, and gradually progresses down to the bottom right of side 2 at the bottom of the ocean, and then back to where they started, with the diver clawing their way back onto land.  The guard's in a really cool old school divers outfit with the big round helmet for the first portion.  Think of the show like the movie "Gravity", but under water in a way.  A LOT of notes and very intense drill.  There's a lot of cleaning to be done, but it was solid enough to take a very impressive 3rd over Homestead.  If they clean up....the skies the limit.  Might be my favorite high school show I've seen this year.  

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So after this weekend, thoughts?  Flower Mound was interesting, I had them in the 5th - 8th range, as they were in prelims.  Finals was kind of unexpected.  At first that made me a little worried about nationals, but then I went back to last year:

 

San Antonio last year:

 

Cedar Ridge - 11th

Round Rock - 11th

LD Bell - 9th

Marcus - 8th

 

Grand Nationals last year:

 

Prelims:

 

The Woodlands - 1st

Round Rock - 4th

Marcus - 5th

Cedar Ridge - 6th

LD Bell - 13th 

 

Semifinals:

 

The Woodlands - 1st

Round Rock - 4th

Cedar Ridge - 5th

Marcus - 7th

LD Bell - 8th 

 

Finals:

 

The Woodlands - 1st

Round Rock - 4th

Marcus - 5th

LD Bell - 10th

Cedar Ridge - 11th

 

Round Rock and Cedar Ridge really impressed me with the level of improvement they made from SA to Nationals last year, not just in scores, but I could tell their actual performances that they had kicked it into overdrive, I'm sure Flower Mound will rise to the task and be amazing, I'm predicting 8th at Nationals.  

 

And any news on Wakeland?  I think they have a shot at sneaking in as well.  

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So after this weekend, thoughts?  Flower Mound was interesting, I had them in the 5th - 8th range, as they were in prelims.  Finals was kind of unexpected.  At first that made me a little worried about nationals, but then I went back to last year:

 

San Antonio last year:

 

Cedar Ridge - 11th

Round Rock - 11th

LD Bell - 9th

Marcus - 8th

 

Grand Nationals last year:

 

Prelims:

 

The Woodlands - 1st

Round Rock - 4th

Marcus - 5th

Cedar Ridge - 6th

LD Bell - 13th 

 

Semifinals:

 

The Woodlands - 1st

Round Rock - 4th

Cedar Ridge - 5th

Marcus - 7th

LD Bell - 8th 

 

Finals:

 

The Woodlands - 1st

Round Rock - 4th

Marcus - 5th

LD Bell - 10th

Cedar Ridge - 11th

 

Round Rock and Cedar Ridge really impressed me with the level of improvement they made from SA to Nationals last year, not just in scores, but I could tell their actual performances that they had kicked it into overdrive, I'm sure Flower Mound will rise to the task and be amazing, I'm predicting 8th at Nationals.  

 

And any news on Wakeland?  I think they have a shot at sneaking in as well.  

http://vimeo.com/111349337

 

Here is Wakelands full production. I believe they have a fair shot at it.  

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http://vimeo.com/111349337

 

Here is Wakelands full production. I believe they have a fair shot at it.

If they can clean up the closer (which is AWESOME), I think they could slip in, we'll see.

 

I think the top 5 are:

 

Broken Arrow

Tarpon Springs

Avon

Marian Catholic

Carmel

 

Marian Catholic, with my favorite show for sure, "Rapture of the Deep" is just awesome, the concept is pretty stunning and they sell it VERY well. Telling the story of a deep sea diver who almost succumbs to the deep, only to be saved by the creatures that lurk beneath, bringing him back to the surface in a fantastic arrangement of John Mackey's "The Frozen Cathedral". The use of field coverage is awesome, and the final chord with the diver clawing his way back onto land at the top of the field is just GE galore. Fantastic show! Tarpon Springs probably has my next favorite "Man Vs. Machine" is a show theme that could have been cliche, but it is pretty dang cool, if you've seen iRobot, think that. It's pretty awesome. Avon's is stunning, "Drawn to the Flame" makes relatively boring Moths into something breathtaking and beautiful. Broken Arrow's "FaceMe" is pretty intense, still not too sure what it's about, but their music, including Pines of Rome, Spartacus, Saint Saen's Organ Symphony, and others is pretty awesome. Fantastic visual package, guard as stunning as always. Carmel's "In the Cards" has a pretty great visual package, musically, not too into it, but they perform the crud out of it.

 

After those, probably about a two point gap or so before in my eyes:

 

Homestead

William Mason

Lawrence Township

Flower Mound

Union

Owasso

 

Homestead's a wild card, I could see them as high as 3rd, and as low as 12th - 14th I just don't know. Their show is interesting, the guard is pretty stunning with their wings, but other than that, I can't remember much about it. My favorite show of theirs is definitely still 2010s "Children of the Sun". William Mason's VERY polished, especially visually. "Once Upon a Time" is a fun show. Some New World Symphony, Once Upon a Dream, Sabre Dance,Symphonie Fantastique, ect. is a fun show that seems to be Maleficent themed. A dragon much like Haltom's this year spans the back of the field and moves around during the show. The guard is huge and impactful, lots of bright greens, purples, ect. Flower Mound's "Harmonic Tapestries" is stunning. The use of color throughout is fantastic, and the music is beautiful, noteably the Samuel Barber Ballad with the Bassoons and the GOREGOUS purple color scheme in the guard. They should do very well. The french horn opening is amazing as well. Love the ending where the band is scattered within the towers with the different colors from the show stretched about. Lots of great visual GE Moments. Lawrence Township's "The Green Table", based on a ballet by German Choreographer Kurt Jooss depicting the futile peace negotiations leading up to World War II, is another favorite from outside of Texas this year. Awesome visual package, and very playful music book which includes an AWESOME ballad.  I think everyone's still surprised they didn't make finals in 2012, but Union's "Caged Bird" is more along the lines of what they did in their previous two Grand National Finals appearances. Pretty solid. Reminds me a lot of Marian Catholic's 2009 show that got 3rd at nationals. Owasso's "2 Road's, 1 Voice" is a nice show, a different take on the Two Roads Diverged in a wood poem we're all familiar with, they make it their own for sure.

 

I see 1 of these groups rounding out finals:

 

Franklin

Lake Central

Wando

Wakeland

 

Wakeland's Venomous show is pretty awesome, especially the newer stuff in the closer. They've been keeping quiet, but they've got a fantastic show. That super dark and....venomous version of Sensemeya is just AWESOME. Love the trombones in the closer. Fantastic color guard.

 

Excited to see how our Texas bands, as well as some of my favorite band programs from outside the state do in a week to close out the 2014 marching season for the most part!

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