History of Band Reviews

Topics and polls that cover the overall marching band activity

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History of Band Reviews

Post by Hostrauser » Wed May 27, 2020 6:21 am

Why have competition band reviews remained a fixture in California? Were they ever popular in other states before dying out, or did other states never bother with them?

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Re: History of Band Reviews

Post by Cardinal Regime » Thu May 28, 2020 12:37 pm

Kevin........my suspicion is that it's only been a California thing.

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Re: History of Band Reviews

Post by JCYS » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:45 am

It's a good question actually. I have heard people say that this state or that has "something like that" or did at one time, but not that I can verify.

I mean, obviously, almost every city in every state still has a parade. But unlike most other places, in So Cal the SCSBOA not only judges band reviews, but judges a huge percentage of hometown parades too. (or used to). So even if you go to the Duarte Route 66 Parade or the San Juan Capistrano Swallows Day parade or whatever you will get competent judging...albeit with a reduced panel.

The question is when did someone say, "Hey, lets have a parade with nothing but bands!" Perhaps VORE would know, although the All Western Band Review predates even his vast amount of years. :D Also interesting to note that in it's early years the All Western had a huge number of non public school bands. IE, college bands, youth bands, even military bands I believe. And the question is, why here and no where else? I mean, you could guess because of the weather, but the weather isn't any better on the football field than it is on the street.

Many years ago I took my LPO band to the Citrus Bowl Parade in Florida, and several other directors asked me "how do you get your band to take parades seriously?" To them, because competition started and ended on the football field, doing a parade was a joke, a chore, and that attitude was passed on to the kids. I saw the same thing in our many trips to the Victoria Days Parade in Victoria BC, Canada. Even though it was a competition (though I have NO idea who judged it)...

Perhaps that is also a factor....that when a parade has competent judging with a meaningful judges sheet, it becomes meaningful. Otherwise, you show up and somebody from the Chamber of Commerce says, "Oh, I like the baton twirler, they get 1st place!" and you think, why bother? I know at our hometown parade they started to award 1st place on a rotation because "it wasn't fair LPO won it every year." Interestingly enough though, after they did that other HS's stopped showing up.

JS

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Re: History of Band Reviews

Post by JLGORMAN » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:00 pm

I think the reason CA has many Band Reviews is the Good Weather. I know that Bands in Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas have Parade Marching Contests during the summer months from Jun to Aug. That is when the weather is best there. To be brutally honest most other places in the States are cold during the period of late Oct to the end of Nov. To train for a Band Review requires most Bands to spend time on the street, and if you have been in the midwest during the fall, the roads have numerous problems with pot holes. and other problems that are getting fixed for the winter and not available for a contest on the street. The simple fact is that CA Bands do Street better than any other place in the nation. Field Bands can be good in almost any state because now most schools, especially TX have Astro Turf fields so thus you can have field shows every week. CA should be proud of how their Bands march on the street. When you look at the poor lines and sounds of many good field Bands making an appearance in the Rose Parade you can appreciate the emphasis on Street Marching in CA. By the way, I believe All Western Started in 1936. First Field Show, which was the Corona Band Jamboree was in 1955 which is late compared to the rest of the country.
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Re: History of Band Reviews

Post by Hostrauser » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:49 pm

The upper midwest parade competitions (almost entirely in Minnesota in the summer, though there are a few in MN and SD in the fall) are like mini-field shows on the street. They're interesting in their own right, but nothing at all like a California band review.
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Re: History of Band Reviews

Post by JLGORMAN » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:48 am

Interesting about the Parades being Mini Field Shows. I believe back in the mid to late 1970's Orange High School's Band spent a month in the upper midwest competing in this circuit. If I am right, they won 7 different events and sort of shocked the folks from MIN, Iowa and the Dakotas. I believe that Zig Kansteul was their director on this journey.
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