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Check out the 2004 show (Ballet for Martha), the Simple Gifts finale is spellbinding, and probably the best performed rendition of Simple Gifts by a HS marching band.  They may have placed 4th that year at Nats, but the show was polished enough to where they could've won with the right panel (a 1.2 point gap from 1st-4th).  They won Outstanding Music that year as well as placing 1st in Vis GE, and it's clear why.  But more than that, this is the most intense show I've ever seen as far as the level of buy-in from the kids is concerned...it just oozes passion and energy.  Their dance team always had a sense of poise and stage presence back then that is similar to bands like Broken Arrow in the modern era....that rare feeling just from looking at their eyes that the kids really know what they're doing and why they're there.

 

Found it. It's lovely! They used the choreography very effectively to take full advantage of the dresses, which created an almost flag-like effect on the field when the skirts flared out with leg movements, spins, and leaps. And those girls moved A LOT -- it looked like they dance-ran the equivalent of the full hundred yards multiple times through the course of the show. And of course, there were a ton of them, so they filled the field while enhancing the band's drill rather than fighting it for attention.

 

Though video quality has come a very long way in 13 years, and I can't see the kids' expressions the way you describe them, I can see that the dancers finished with the same level of energy and commitment to their movement as they started. Like I said, they covered a lot of ground, but they didn't wilt at the end. Very nice. I see what you and Dan mean now. Thank you for sharing!

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Congratulations to Prosper on advancing to BOA Grand National Semifinals!  

I came across an old post on MFA forums trying to compare SA with GN and which was better lat year.  People were trying to compare with what they saw online and while streaming.  I can say there was n

Yeah, I know, my standards are extremely high, but honestly I wasn't a huge fan of the top 6 this year. Carmel's show is a slow-burn at first, but the ballad to the end is amazing, and leaves a very g

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Honesty I doubt it. They don't go very often, and I think after 2016 they wouldn't want to skip UIL again.

I think you might be wrong about that - IMO - CTJ has had 2 shows in the past 4 years that I (and many others) believe could have been competitive at GNats - both shows won SA - I think we will see them sooner rather than later. 

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They're planning it already. I know some CTJ moms that said that this was the case any way. Maybe they just don't give a hoot about progressing out of area at UIL.

CTJ made state finals early in their history - and in 2014 they won the BOA SA  Gold and then won a UIL Bronze Medal days later. I do not speak for them, but my understanding was bowing out of UIL finals last year was based on their start time in Indy and ensuring that all their equipment could be there with the new UIL changes to their schedule. I saw the director post that here on this post.

 

I have heard the same, that they may be going but it is not a snub to UIL.

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Though video quality has come a very long way in 13 years, and I can't see the kids' expressions the way you describe them, I can see that the dancers finished with the same level of energy and commitment to their movement as they started. Like I said, they covered a lot of ground, but they didn't wilt at the end. Very nice. I see what you and Dan mean now. Thank you for sharing!

 

I was even going to say I could see them in tears....but that's not immediately obvious from the videos that are up either.   It's been a number of years since I saw this show, I'm wondering if maybe there was a better quality video up at some point that eventually got taken down.

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If BOA believes what it professes, then Bands that have Dance Teams should be rated as fairly as Bands that have all sorts of equipment. In many Texas Schools, the Drill(Dance Team) is still a major part of the Bands Shows. Most of you folks do not see them due to their not going to BOA contests(they have been told that the odds are stacked against them). We had a director get fired some years ago in Region 8 because she wanted the Guard to be the primary aux and jettison the Dance Team.   She was foolish because in her contract she agreed to use the Dance team as part of the show, something the school had been doing for 40 years.  At the start of the season she installed her program without the Dance Team, the parents complained and she got fired. She is still not directing a large HS Band.

 

Here is the crux of the matter, to the folks in the stands, Guard is in many cases boring(along with the show they walk out on for the same reason). Fortunately UIL does not make that distinction.   

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The guard/dance team debate is an interesting one, that I think will evolve greatly over the next few years. I think if we continue to see dance team based bands place well at these contests, then we may see color guards slowly fade away into nothing over time, because like has been said - the risk of tossing things, and the exposure of flag work isn't being rewarded. The reward for the risk is being minimized. I wonder if there will be a point where see a drum corp move away from guard to a dance team...at which point it will truly mark a real transition.

 

I'm not on either side of the fence, I've never been too knowledgeable on guard things, but its an interesting trend that makes a lot of sense for many groups.

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The guard/dance team debate is an interesting one, that I think will evolve greatly over the next few years. I think if we continue to see dance team based bands place well at these contests, then we may see color guards slowly fade away into nothing over time, because like has been said - the risk of tossing things, and the exposure of flag work isn't being rewarded. The reward for the risk is being minimized. I wonder if there will be a point where see a drum corp move away from guard to a dance team...at which point it will truly mark a real transition.

 

I'm not on either side of the fence, I've never been too knowledgeable on guard things, but its an interesting trend that makes a lot of sense for many groups.

Considering the influence WGI and DCI has on marching band, and their importance of guard work and "throwing things", I don't think we will see that go away. Dance companies could become more of a thing though.
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I don't know a lot about color guard either,  but what I do know is that without them, our marching show would have suffered. When they are purposefully incorporated in the show and move around with the band, they really add a lot of visual eye candy and often times bring the whole show together. Speaking as a band mom, I am very thankful for what the color guard adds to the show.

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Personally, whatever get's the job done, I'm good with. You can have a color guard that, frankly, "adds no value" just as easily as a dance team that "adds no value". On the other hand, a dance team doesn't need flags or rifles to effectively convey a visual idea. Personally, I love rifles. It's a real treat to see bands like Avon or Tarpon whose visual books contain as much nuance (or even more) than their musical books. However, I don't think a band should get docked for going a different route. If anything, it's harder to effectively sell a dance team than rifle tosses because tosses just look so cool when you're perched up in the bleachers, so if a band like Vandegrift can do it, good for them!

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Keller should be going too

Keller went to Nationals in 2015 and had planned to return in 2017 until they were invited to the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and decided to make the trip to NYC instead. 2019 would likely be their next "scheduled" trip to Nationals but even that may ultimately depend on the level of community support for the Macy's Parade fundraising efforts.

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Keller went to Nationals in 2015 and had planned to return in 2017 until they were invited to the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and decided to make the trip to NYC instead. 2019 would likely be their next "scheduled" trip to Nationals but even that may ultimately depend on the level of community support for the Macy's Parade fundraising efforts.

I use whoever chose these bands to March in the rose parade or Thanksgiving Day parade etc would pay for the band to go. What if these bands couldn't afford to go?

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Keller went to Nationals in 2015 and had planned to return in 2017 until they were invited to the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and decided to make the trip to NYC instead. 2019 would likely be their next "scheduled" trip to Nationals but even that may ultimately depend on the level of community support for the Macy's Parade fundraising efforts.

Keller planned to go in 2017? I don’t think that’s true.

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Keller planned to go in 2017? I don’t think that’s true.

The info came directly to me from the highest source. The tentative 2017 plan changed before it was made public because of the 2018 Macy's Parade invitation after the 2016 marching season. Trips of this kind (BOA Nationals, Macy's Parade, Rose Parade, etc.) are typically scheduled years in advance due to issues like cost, travel logistics, and district approval requirements. All of these host organizations also work years in advance for their major events. Even so, there's just no point in telling all the kids and parents in 2015, "We're going back to Nationals in 2017 and 2019 and...", when all that could change quickly when you get an unexpected significant invitation. So long-term plans remain flexible and out of the public view until they are firm and require public action. More happy surprises and fewer disappointments that way.

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The info came directly to me from the highest source. The tentative 2017 plan changed before it was made public because of the 2018 Macy's Parade invitation after the 2016 marching season. Trips of this kind (BOA Nationals, Macy's Parade, Rose Parade, etc.) are typically scheduled years in advance due to issues like cost, travel logistics, and district approval requirements. All of these host organizations also work years in advance for their major events. Even so, there's just no point in telling all the kids and parents in 2015, "We're going back to Nationals in 2017 and 2019 and...", when all that could change quickly when you get an unexpected significant invitation. So long-term plans remain flexible and out of the public view until they are firm and require public action. More happy surprises and fewer disappointments that way.

That’s unfortunate.. with a little bit of cleaning their show could have been top half at nats, imo. It’s really amazing to see how far they’ve come. Their show this year was pretty unique and refreshing.

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The info came directly to me from the highest source. The tentative 2017 plan changed before it was made public because of the 2018 Macy's Parade invitation after the 2016 marching season. Trips of this kind (BOA Nationals, Macy's Parade, Rose Parade, etc.) are typically scheduled years in advance due to issues like cost, travel logistics, and district approval requirements. All of these host organizations also work years in advance for their major events. Even so, there's just no point in telling all the kids and parents in 2015, "We're going back to Nationals in 2017 and 2019 and...", when all that could change quickly when you get an unexpected significant invitation. So long-term plans remain flexible and out of the public view until they are firm and require public action. More happy surprises and fewer disappointments that way.

Not true.  Keller would have had to apply for the Macy's parade many months before the invite, and wouldn't have done that if they were planning on attending nats.  I would imagine they were on a 4 year plan, now more because of their Macy's invite.  Regardless, when they do go back they should make a splash.  It's been pretty impressive to watch what they've done over the past four years or so.

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Not true. Keller would have had to apply for the Macy's parade many months before the invite, and wouldn't have done that if they were planning on attending nats. I would imagine they were on a 4 year plan, now more because of their Macy's invite. Regardless, when they do go back they should make a splash. It's been pretty impressive to watch what they've done over the past four years or so.

Your logic is based on the assumption that Keller applied to participate in the parade. My understanding is the invitation came from Macy's, unsolicited. Being a BOA National Championships Finalist and winning the Souza Foundation Sudler Shield in the same year tends to get a program noticed.

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Your logic is based on the assumption that Keller applied to participate in the parade. My understanding is the invitation came from Macy's, unsolicited. Being a BOA National Championships Finalist and winning the Souza Foundation Sudler Shield in the same year tends to get a program noticed.

My comments were based on this article from the Dallas Morning News.  Looks like there is a pretty involved application process.  I was in a group that did the Rose Parade, and it's the same kind of thing for that.  I think the only "invite" for the Rose Parade is the one that's given at Grand Nats, and even then I think the staff knows about it ahead of time.  I could be wrong though.

 

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/keller/2017/08/05/macys-thanksgiving-day-parade-selects-keller-high-school-band-perform-2018

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My comments were based on this article from the Dallas Morning News.  Looks like there is a pretty involved application process.  I was in a group that did the Rose Parade, and it's the same kind of thing for that.  I think the only "invite" for the Rose Parade is the one that's given at Grand Nats, and even then I think the staff knows about it ahead of time.  I could be wrong though.

 

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/keller/2017/08/05/macys-thanksgiving-day-parade-selects-keller-high-school-band-perform-2018

 

The Grand Nats invitation is given to the highest placing band that doesn't say no. Directors submit a form verifying that they have the community support and resources to support a Rose Parade trip should they be the highest placing band.

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