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This can be so amazing done right. I am a full believer good narration can be done amazingly well. A school near me when I used to live in Arizona found a student in the schools speech and d team with the most groundbreaking amazing narration voice and his voice brought up the entire show times ten. Narration has to be done right and live. I am a firm believer that if you find a great student that narrates, not a band kid. Band kids have to focus their all into band. But a speech kid. I guarantee you, narration brings the show up. I hope schools use it next year more, (live narration) and I hope we see schools going to Grand Nationals implementing

 

I believe it is best used for poetry pieces that tie in or excerpts!

I hope vista, cedar park, Reagan, ,ctj or big schools use it to show off all talents!

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Blue Knights in 2014 is my gold stand for narration done right in a marching ensemble setting.  Whoever recorded it sounds authentic, the material they pulled from for it is really well written, and the implementation in the show is enhancing without getting in the way of the music.  That show was emotionally captivating and fully aided by the narration, and I think if it was gone the show would lose a big chunk of what made it special.  

 

It's really hard to do it right, especially if you do it live.  I thought Burleson Centennial did a nice job this year.  

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Very controversial subject, but one that's good to have a separate thread to discuss. Personally, I often find narration to be a cop-out. I'd much rather see a show that can convey a concept with music and movement rather than someone having to explain it to me. Maybe that's me being too old school, and there are certainly exceptions to the rule (Crown 13 is one of my few exceptions). If narration is done as something that adds a layer to the music/production then i can live with it, but if it's used as an introduction to a show or movement to explain what's going on (Avon...cough), it bugs me a bit. 

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I always say if you're going to say it you might as well sing it.  Vocal features can achieve the end that narration does, and adds a musical element at the same time.

It can also serve as a bridge to the chunk of the halftime audience that can't stomach instrumental music purely because they convinced themselves at some point that music has to have lyrics, otherwise it's boring.

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Narration and singing both at times have made shows better. But I must admit that I think they both usually make things worse.

 

I can't help but focus on the quality of the singer most of the time and with few exceptions it isn't a match for the quality of the band. Not to mention a marching band isn't the easiest accompaniment to sing to.

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By favorite use of singing in a marching band show (and yes it probably is a big bit of homerism) is FloMo's Surreal and the choir heads in the box.  They were just singing notes and added to the overall effect of the show.

I really don't like singers (solo or otherwise) in a marching band show.  To me it becomes more about the singer and not the band.

Don't get me started about pre-recorded narration during a show.  If there is a student that actually performs, then that is ok in my book.  My enjoyment of a show really drops is there is recorded narration during the actual show (pre-show is another thing and fine with me) 

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By favorite use of singing in a marching band show (and yes it probably is a big bit of homerism) is FloMo's Surreal and the choir heads in the box. They were just singing notes and added to the overall effect of the show.

 

I really don't like singers (solo or otherwise) in a marching band show. To me it becomes more about the singer and not the band.

 

Don't get me started about pre-recorded narration during a show. If there is a student that actually performs, then that is ok in my book. My enjoyment of a show really drops is there is recorded narration during the actual show (pre-show is another thing and fine with me)

It should be noted that even pre recorded audio is performed by a student playing it at the correct time in the show. Not that pressing a certain key that plays a voice track is incredibly difficult, but it is still something the performer must take into consideration. A poorly timed or accidental voice over activation could ruin a shows effect.

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I usually hate most narration but Leander’s is working for me this year. Especially if you watch the actual Oppenheimer interview. That man was the epitome of completely dejected about the part he played in creating the atomic bomb. I definitely feel like the bits and pieces of his thoughts played at the perfect moments are beneficial to Leander’s show rather than detracting from it.

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I really don’t care for narration on the field or in winter drumline. Sometimes it’s ok with winter guard, maybe because it’s so much more dancing involved. But even then, it is usually overused and is a distraction. There have been a couple of instances when narration made a perfect point in a small dose. More often than not, however, it’s used to replace what the designer didn’t create an overall effect with and gets in the way of the performance and the performers. Just my 2cents.

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Blue Knights in 2014 is my gold stand for narration done right in a marching ensemble setting. Whoever recorded it sounds authentic, the material they pulled from for it is really well written, and the implementation in the show is enhancing without getting in the way of the music. That show was emotionally captivating and fully aided by the narration, and I think if it was gone the show would lose a big chunk of what made it special.

 

It's really hard to do it right, especially if you do it live. I thought Burleson Centennial did a nice job this year.

I don’t know if I’ve ever listened to or watched “That One Second” without tearing up. One of my top 10 DCI shows, period.
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I enjoy narration when it’s evident (at least to me) that the narration enhances musical effect as opposed to replacing it.

 

(Controversial opinion) CTJ 2018 was one of my favorite shows from that year. The layers upon layers of effect is something that I really enjoyed; and in that case, narration served as another one of those layers. When there’s narration in that show, it’s complemented by music to sell the theme and create musical motion. I really like that form of narration, as opposed to, say, silence + narration.

 

Also, someone mentioned Just Another Brick. I also remember really enjoying that one when I watched it at BOA Houston 2017.

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