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2016 Nationals


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I saw that as well and feel the door is left open. Not to put Avon or even Carmel or Mason aside but a key component could be who finishes higher at BOASA and what the point spread is? Say if Reagan or Leander finishes higher (I say higher because Flower Mound may be too much to beat) combined with Tarpons score, they could be considered a favorite going in. That day will really be telling as we'll see how Super Indy and Super SA stack up and have a clearer picture. Not that those placements are locks for order but I can't imagine a lot of jockeying around...

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Who do we think has a legitimate shot at taking the title?  Here's my rundown of the players at the top.

 

From Texas?

Reagan and maybe Leander?  I find it hard to believe Leander would NOT win the Austin Regional and go on the win nationals.  I understand the difference in time, but it's rare for groups to bounce back to win a national championship.  Reagan is rolling with their second year director, capturing back to back wins at BOA Houston.  BOA SA results will be a big window into how they will fair at nationals.

 

Tarpon?

They appear vulnerable after their narrow win in Atlanta

 

Avon with the late push?

Carmel beat Avon early in the season at the non-BOA Fisher's Invitational, but Avon has since beat Carmel in 2 (maybe 3?) ISSMA State Championships.  It will be interesting to see if they win the Indy Super Regional

 

Mason?

After a dominating win in a less-than-stacked regional, Mason looks like they might be set to improve on their 4th place finish at last years Nationals.

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Who do we think has a legitimate shot at taking the title?  Here's my rundown of the players at the top.

 

From Texas?

Reagan and maybe Leander?  I find it hard to believe Leander would NOT win the Austin Regional and go on the win nationals.  I understand the difference in time, but it's rare for groups to bounce back to win a national championship.  Reagan is rolling with their second year director, capturing back to back wins at BOA Houston.  BOA SA results will be a big window into how they will fair at nationals.

 

Tarpon?

They appear vulnerable after their narrow win in Atlanta

 

Avon with the late push?

Carmel beat Avon early in the season at the non-BOA Fisher's Invitational, but Avon has since beat Carmel in 2 (maybe 3?) ISSMA State Championships.  It will be interesting to see if they win the Indy Super Regional

 

Mason?

After a dominating win in a less-than-stacked regional, Mason looks like they might be set to improve on their 4th place finish at last years Nationals.

 

I think Ronald Reagan and Leander with an outside shot of Claudia Taylor Johnson are the Texas contenders.  

  • Ronald Reagan isn't my favorite of the group in terms of personal taste but they're definitely performing at that level and have a very well put together show. 
  • Leander has EXPLODED the last two weeks.  That show is starting to clean, get the small additions that make it come alive, and they are starting to believe and perform this thing.  I think they could end up being the highest placing Texas band.  
  • Claudia Taylor Johnson has the show...just gotta clean clean clean clean clean.  

Outside Texas I agree with your picks:

  • Tarpon Springs was the unbeatable favorite about 24 hours ago.  Now they're showing some potential weaknesses.  The show is wild, exciting, and just downright difficult, it's just a question of over saturation and cleanliness to me, and seemingly the judges.  
  • I haven't seen it, but the murmurs and rumors are that Avon absolutely came alive the last few weeks with a pretty stunning and inspiring ISSMA Championships performance to take the gold this weekend.  
  • Carmel was solid early on, but once shows were finished and cleaning, seems like Avon got ahead and stayed ahead.
  • William Mason.  I have a gut feeling.  I really liked what I saw design wise early on and we know they'll perform it incredibly well.  They're definitely lurking in the shadows.  

I've got my locks and bubbles down to about 18 bands now, but there are of course a few that could break into that.  These 18 are the bands I see having a shot at finals.  

 

- Avon

- Ayala

- Bellevue West

- Carmel

- Cedar Park

- Claudia Taylor Johnson

- Dobyns Bennett

- Homestead

- James Bowie

- Leander

- Marian Catholic

- Owasso 

- Ronald Reagan 

- Tarpon Springs 

- Union

- Vista Murrieta 

- Wando

- William Mason

 

There are about 10 others that I think have the room to grow into that grouping, and countless others in the conversation for a teens placement.  I took into consideration potential growth, etc.   

 

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Watched the heavy hitters from Indianapolis that are attending Grand Nationals. 

 

Avon - Should finish in the top 5, fantastic performance levels from them and the show works.  For me though I really wish the front of the pack leaders of the band world would be a little bit more adventurous in terms of their source music and show themes instead of going back to the same old pieces and themes every year.  I've seen that show from College Park a few years ago and The Woodlands in 2012.  Another Copland leaving home show.  Nothing wrong at all with it and I actually enjoyed it, just personal taste. 

 

Carmel - Also very solid.  Design wise it definitely has some highs and lows.  The opener which I raved about early on, the ballad climax, and the ending were all very nice.  Between those moments I'm not too sure.  Best I've heard them play in a few years and that guard is as good as ever though.  I could see them anywhere from 4th to 8th. 

 

Marian Catholic - They've cleaned up a ton from the early season video I saw from them.  Front 75% of the show was very solid performance wise.  Show is nice, opening few minutes are actually some of the more interesting stuff I've seen this weekend.  The ballad and the two minutes that follow are...different for sure.  Need to see again to decide on those.  Closer was nice, got pretty loose at the end but I'm sure that'll be their focus before GN.  In terms of finals...people have been saying they'll miss every year since 2013 or so.  They always pull it out.  They always seem to work some kind of strange magic that week before GN and jump a huge amount of points.  So it's not smart to bet against them.  ALL that aside.  I'll make it black and white.  Do I think there could be at least 12 better bands next week?  Yes.  Do I think there are 12 better designed shows?  Yes.   Am I saying they'll miss?  No.  We shall see. 

 

Castle - I loved Castle.  Incredibly powerful music performance, fantastic ballad, and very clean visual performance from up top.  Loved them.

 

Homsetead - Didn't catch them this morning but I've seen a recent video of the show.  Fantastic visual program and visual performance and the music is great. 

 

If I had to rank the top 6:

 

1)  Avon

2)  Carmel

3)  Blue Springs

4)  Castle

5)  Homestead

6)  Marian Catholic

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I will say...I caught a James Bowie video of Area that was VERY high quality (which is now down unfortunately).  And it may be my favorite or 2nd favorite (to Leander) of the Texas shows heading to Grand Nationals.  The interplay of the Queen songs is just SO well done and entertaining.  The show is so clear in its intent, and they sound like a million bucks playing it.  I feel like since they didn't go to San Antonio they're getting forgotten about (more on other sites than on here), but I wouldn't be surpsied to see them show up at Grand Nationals and finish well into the top 10, 8, 6 etc.  It's just fantastic stuff. 

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What the heck.  I've been working on a prediction all year. 

 

1)  William Mason - GE (just a gut feeling based on early season stuff, show had that "it").

2)  Tarpon Springs

3)  Leander - Music

4)  Avon - Visual

5)  Claudia Taylor Johnson

6)  Carmel

7)  Ronald Reagan

8)  James Bowie

9)  Cedar Park

10)  Wando

11)  Homestead

12)  Union

--------------

13)  Bellevue West

14)  Owasso

15)  Marian Catholic

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What the heck. I've been working on a prediction all year.

 

1) William Mason - GE (just a gut feeling based on early season stuff, show had that "it").

2) Tarpon Springs

3) Leander - Music

4) Avon - Visual

5) Claudia Taylor Johnson

6) Carmel

7) Ronald Reagan

8) James Bowie

9) Cedar Park

10) Wando

11) Homestead

12) Union

--------------

13) Bellevue West

14) Owasso

15) Marian Catholic

It's amazing how Reagan and CP are likely to place the same ordinals at Nats as they did this weekend.

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I think the Texas bands will be strong at Grand Nats.  

Leander had a big fall at the end of their finals performance and it seemed like the vocalist for Reagan missed a count and came in too early during finals.  I don't know how much it impacted their overall score, but it didn't help either one.

CTJ has the bulk of the week to continue to polish and tweak their show.  I think they will bring something big to Indy.

 

I wish I had more info on Bowie.  I only have info about their show from the earlier regional.

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Very unlikely the fall hurt them at all. He or she recovered very well and very fast. You'd be surprised how little effect someone falling has on a shows score.

 

Correct.  I think the reasons for this are twofold, or at least I like to think so.  Although it is not visually pleasing and does in a way 'detract' from the show, I think it is usually acknowledged more of an anamoly, or a random freak thing than it is a 'mistake'.  A lot of times the littlest thing can cause this and yet a major gaff may not even result in one.  Secondly, I think it may be an unwritten thing in terms of protecting the esteem of students.  I give you this scenario...band A places 2nd place in some major competition behind another band 'B' by a slim margin.  In all likelihood this student may forever feel as if he cost his band something, almost like a place kicker that misses a potential game-winning field goal if I can draw a comparison.  Although this potentially could still be the case the rules are not clear on it and out of respect I don't think most adjudicators do much there...the UIL even notes that a mistake such as that (if corrected immediately etc. etc.) it is hardly an issue.  I remember the UIL wording on it a bit.  

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I didn't get to watch Indy, but based on what I've heard and seen the top 6 will likely be:

-Avon

-Carmel

-CTJ

-Leander

-Tarpon Springs

-William Mason

 

I think SA scores were more accurate in prelims (and many groups gave more impressive showings in prelims) but placements were more accurate in finals.

Leander and CTJ are definitely potential medalists.

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Why do I have this nagging feeling that Leander is going to overtake Tarpon Springs?

 

And that Texas will have at least two medalists?

 

That's just me. I love Avon and Tarpon and William Mason, don't get me wrong. But I especially love the crop of bands that are making the trip to Indy this year. 

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I think Reagan has another level in them for Grand Nats. Believe they are going to show up with some power and energy this week. 

 

I completely agree. New judges, new week, and new stadium will only help them. I think they are the dark horse candidate to medal if everything goes well, but we shall see. I'm super pumped for this week.

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