Marching Bands in Illinois High Schools, Fall 2014 (Voxitatis)

Voxitatis Home Page
The latest marching news on our blog

BOA Grand National Championships

Occurred on Wednesday, November 12. All Performing Bands on September 10.

Ada, OH; Adair County, KY; Archbishop Alter, OH; Avon, IN; Avon, OH; Bassett, VA; Bellbrook, OH; Bellevue, KY; Ben Davis, IN; Bishop Fenwick, OH; Brentwood, TN; Bridgewater-Raritan, NJ; Broken Arrow, OK; Brunswick, OH; Carlisle, OH; Carmel, IN; Carroll, OH; Cary, NC; Castle, IN; Center Grove, IN; Centerville, OH; Central Hardin, KY; Chesapeake, OH; Davenport Central, IA; Daviess County, KY; DeSoto Central, MS; Dobyns-Bennett, TN; East Clinton, OH; Edmond Memorial, OK; El Segundo, CA; Father Ryan, TN; Flower Mound, TX; Franklin, TN; Fred J. Page, TN; Grant, MI; Greendale, WI; Greenwood Community, IN; Hamilton, OH; Henry Clay, KY; Homestead, IN; Indian Hill, OH; James Madison, VA; Jenison, MI; Kennesaw Mountain, GA; Lafayette, LA; Lake Central, IN; Lake Hamilton, AR; Lake Orion, MI; Lakeland, MI; Lawrence Township, IN; Lebanon, OH; Logan Elm, OH; Meade County, KY; Miamisburg, OH; Milford, OH; Milton-Union, OH; Monrovia, IN; Mt. Pleasant, MI; Nation Ford, SC; New Palestine, IN; New Philadelphia, OH; Nordonia, OH; North East, PA; North Hardin, KY; Northmont, OH; Norton, OH; Ohio County, KY; Ooltewah, TN; Owasso, OK; Panther Creek, NC; Plymouth-Canton Educational Park, MI; Pulaski County, KY; Reeths-Puffer, MI; Rock Hill, SC; Rockwood Summit, MO; South Point, OH; Tarpon Springs, FL; Taylor, OH; Tippecanoe, OH; Union, OK; Upland, CA; Wakeland, TX; Walled Lake Central, MI; Wando, SC; Waukesha North, WI; Western Brown, OH; William Mason, OH; Andrew; Collinsville; Herscher; Lake Park; Lockport Township; Marian Catholic; O'Fallon

Downers Grove South Marching Mustang Music Bowl

Occurred on Saturday, October 25. Schedule of Bands on October 8.

Waukegan; Niles West; Taft; Eisenhower; Watseka Community; Thornton Fractional South; Yorkville; Herscher; Shepard; Lincoln-Way Central; LaSalle-Peru; Batavia; Stagg; Metamora; Eureka; Waukesha North, WI; Glenbrook South; Plainfield North; Lemont

BOA Super Regional - Indianapolis

Occurred on Friday, October 24. All Performing Bands on September 20.

Archbishop Alter, OH; Avon, IN; Beech Grove, IN; Bellbrook, OH; Ben Davis, IN; Bentonville, AR; Carmel, IN; Carroll, IN; Castle, IN; Center Grove, IN; Centerville, OH; Clinton, MS; Columbus North, IN; Concord Community, IN; Edgewood, OH; Floyd Central, IN; Forest Park, IN; Franklin Central, IN; Franklin, TN; Greenfield-Central, IN; Greenwood Community, IN; Homestead, IN; Jefferson City, MO; Jeffersonville, IN; Kettering Fairmont, OH; La Salle, OH; Lafayette Jefferson, IN; Lake Central, IN; Lawrence Township, IN; Lindbergh, MO; Munster, IN; Northmont, OH; Northwestern, IN; Norwell, IN; Orleans, IN; Paoli, IN; Parkway South, MO; Pearl, MS; Pendleton Heights, IN; Perry Central, IN; Rockwood Summit, MO; Springs Valley, IN; Terre Haute North Vigo, IN; Terre Haute South Vigo, IN; William Henry Harrison, OH; Wilmington, OH; Andrew; Bloomington; Lake Park; Limestone Community; Lincoln-Way East; Lockport Township; Mahomet-Seymour; Marian Catholic; Morton; Naperville North; Normal Community; O'Fallon; Prospect; Providence Catholic; Rock Island; Romeoville

Illini Marching Band Festival

Occurred on Saturday, October 18. Confirmed on October 24.

Prospect; Morton; Bloomington; Hersey; Washington Community; Waubonsie Valley; Edwardsville; Downers Grove South; Champaign Central; Minooka; Neuqua Valley; Joliet West; Rock Island; Macomb; Centennial; Romeoville; Fremd; Monticello; Sandburg; Mater Dei; Oak Park-River Forest; Elk Grove; Stagg; Pontiac Township; Alton; Newton; Yorkville; Streator Township; Highland; University (Normal); Galesburg; Eureka; Prairie Central; Mattoon; Effingham; Plainfield East; Mt. Zion; Urbana; Rochelle; Tri-Valley; Sandwich; Salem Community; East Richland; Watseka Community; Centralia; Hoopeston Area; Pinckneyville; Blue Ridge; El Paso-Gridley; ROWVA

Lincoln-Way Invitational Field Show

Occurred on Saturday, October 18. Schedule of Bands on October 8.

Lincoln-Way East; Herscher; Rantoul; Rock Falls; Willowbrook; Wheaton Warrenville South; Coal City; Thornton Fractional South; Eisenhower; Jacobs; Lincoln-Way West; Waukegan; Glenbrook North; Andrew; Shepard; United Township; Batavia; Plainfield South; Huntley; Plainfield Central; Mahomet-Seymour; Marian Catholic; Lincoln-Way Central

BOA Super Regional - St. Louis

Occurred on Friday, October 17. All Performing Bands on September 20.

Bellevue West, NE; Bentonville, AR; Blue Springs, MO; Blue Valley West, KS; Blue Valley, KS; Broken Arrow, OK; Camdenton, MO; Choctaw Senior, OK; David H. Hickman, MO; Eastview, MN; Eden Prairie, MN; Father Ryan, TN; Fayetteville, AR; Fort Zumwalt East, MO; Fort Zumwalt North, MO; Fort Zumwalt South, MO; Fort Zumwalt West, MO; Fox, MO; Francis Howell Central. MO; Grain Valley, MO; Haltom, TX; Irondale, MN; James Martin, TX; Jefferson City, MO; Jenks, OK; Kickapoo, MO; Lafayette, KY; Lake Hamilton, AR; Lees Summit North, MO; Legend, CO; Lincoln, SD; Lindbergh, MO; Marshall, MN; Mountain Home Senior, AR; Mustang, OK; Neosho, MO; Nixa, MO; Owasso, OK; Paragould, AR; Parkway Central, MO; Parkway North, MO; Parkway South, MO; Paul Laurence Dunbar, KY; Potosi, MO; Rockwood Summit, MO; Roosevelt, SD; Rosemount, MN; Saint James School, AL; Tahlequah Senior, OK; Union City, TN; Union, OK; Van Buren, AR; Wentzville Holt, MO; Belleville East; Collinsville; East Peoria; Illinois Valley Central; Lemont; Lincoln; Lockport Township; Naperville Central; Normal Comm West; O'Fallon; Plainfield North

Marengo Settler's Days

Occurred on Sunday, October 12. Schedule of Bands on October 8.

Morris; Oregon; Evergreen Park; Genoa-Kingston; Dwight; Sandwich; Marmion-Rosary; Prairie Ridge; Sycamore; Antioch; Grayslake Central; Hampshire; Evanston Township; McHenry; DeKalb; Mundelein; Wheeling; Marengo

Effingham Marching Hearts Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, October 11. Schedule of Bands on October 7.

Casey-Westfield; Okaw Valley; Oblong; Sangamon Valley; Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond; Georgetown-Ridge Farm; Nashville Community; Sullivan; Mater Dei; Vandalia; Paris Cooperative; Carterville; Newton; Salem Community; Charleston; Taylorville; Highland; Triad; Effingham

ISU Invitational Marching Championship

Occurred on Saturday, October 11. Confirmed on October 13.

Marian Catholic; Prospect; Lake Park; Lincoln-Way North; O'Fallon; Lockport Township; Lincoln-Way East; Normal Comm West; Edwardsville; Morton; Plainfield North; Andrew; Lincoln-Way West; Warren Township; Limestone Community; Plainfield Central; Bloomington; Normal Community; Lincoln-Way Central; Downers Grove South; Naperville Central; Lemont; Batavia; Naperville North; United Township; Lakes Community; Providence Catholic; Illinois Valley Central; Pekin; Stagg; Oswego; Argo; University (Normal); Herscher; Eureka; Richmond-Burton; Marengo; Olympia; Tri-Valley; Kaneland

Mahomet-Seymour Marching Bulldog Festival

Occurred on Saturday, October 11. Schedule of Bands on October 7.

LeRoy; Heritage; Dwight; Hoopeston Area; Paxton-Buckley-Loda; Prairie Central; Unity (Tolono); Sandburg; Minooka; Urbana; Stagg; Mahomet-Seymour

McKendree Univ. Preview of Champions

Occurred on Saturday, October 11. Schedule of Bands on October 7.

Mt. Carmel; Orchard Farm, MO; Wesclin; Northwest, MO; Murphysboro; McCluer North, MO; Freeburg Community; Centralia; Collinsville; Carbondale; Marion; Mascoutah; Mehlville, MO

Metamora Band Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, October 11. Schedule of Bands on September 28.

St. Joseph-Ogden; El Paso-Gridley; Fieldcrest; Bremen; Niles West; Ridgeview; Wheaton North; Watseka Community; Olympia; Pleasant Plains; LaSalle-Peru; Crete-Monee; Limestone Community; Lincoln; Romeoville; Canton; Galesburg; Bolingbrook; Washington Community; Metamora

Newton Marching Eagles Band Classic

Occurred on Saturday, October 11. Schedule of Bands on October 7.

Oblong; Bement; Okaw Valley; Lawrenceville; Casey-Westfield; Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond; Georgetown-Ridge Farm; Mt. Carmel; Robinson; East Richland; Mater Dei; Vandalia; Highland; Taylorville; Triad; Newton

WIU Marching Band Classic

Occurred on Saturday, October 11. Schedule of Bands on October 7.

Bushnell-Prairie City; Cambridge; Wethersfield; Hamilton; AlWood; Prophetstown; Orion; Maroa-Forsyth; Auburn; Sherrard; Rockridge; Macomb; Jacksonville; Pontiac Township; Geneseo; East Peoria; Dunlap; Moline; Davenport Central, IA

St. Rita Mustang Stampede

Occurred on Sunday, October 5. Confirmed on October 9.

Glenbrook South; Rolling Meadows; Sandburg; Argo; Grayslake North; Eisenhower; Evergreen Park; Evanston Township; Niles West; Grayslake Central; Thornton Fractional South; Antioch

Dunlap Marching Band Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, October 4. Confirmed on October 8.

Washington Community; Illinois Valley Central; Metamora; Streator Township; Jacksonville; Cambridge; Dwight; Wethersfield; Dunlap

EIU Panther Marching Festival

Occurred on Saturday, October 4. Confirmed on October 8.

Mahomet-Seymour; Granite City; Limestone Community; Marion; Centennial; Highland; Monticello; Triad; Newton; Belleville West; Mater Dei; Mt. Zion; Danville; East Richland; Mt. Carmel; Paxton-Buckley-Loda; Robinson; University (Normal); Unity (Tolono); Mattoon; Paris Cooperative; Freeburg Community; Centralia; Charleston; Watseka Community; Arcola; Rantoul; Casey-Westfield; Carterville; LeRoy; Ridgeview; Johnston City; Oblong; Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond; Blue Ridge; Pleasant Plains

Prospect Knight of Champions

Occurred on Saturday, October 4. Confirmed on October 6.

Lake Park; Hersey; Morton; Wheeling; Downers Grove South; Naperville Central; Naperville North; Elk Grove; Joliet West; Waubonsie Valley; Glenbard West; Oak Park-River Forest; Fremd; Jacobs; Rochelle; Prospect

Providence Catholic H S Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, October 4. Confirmed on October 7.

Downers Grove South; Munster, IN; Andrew; Lincoln-Way East; Minooka; Lemont; Lincoln-Way Central; Lincoln-Way West; Huntley; Shepard; Lakes Community; Wheaton North; Plainfield East; Oswego; Evergreen Park; Herscher; Plainfield South; Morris; Providence Catholic

BOA Regional - Dayton, Ohio

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Confirmed on October 4.

William Mason, OH; Centerville, OH; Miamisburg, OH; Carroll, IN; Milford, OH; Victor, NY; Blue Springs South, MO; Kettering Fairmont, OH; Larry A, Ryle, KY; Lincoln-Way North; Bellbrook, OH; Muhlenberg County, KY; Dublin Coffman, OH; Northmont, OH; Greenfield-Central, IN; Archbishop Alter, OH; Lakota East, OH; Kings, OH; Cabell-Midland, WV; Springboro, OH; Lincoln-Way West; Lebanon, OH; Sycamore, OH; West Bloomfield, MI; La Salle, OH; East Clinton, OH; Milton-Union, OH

Danville Viking Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Schedule of Bands on September 23.

Blue Ridge; St. Joseph-Ogden; El Paso-Gridley; Georgetown-Ridge Farm; Bismarck-Henning; Hoopeston Area; Charleston; Urbana; Champaign Central; Danville

Falcon Marching Festival

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Confirmed on September 28.

Munster, IN; Lincoln-Way Central; Naperville North; Wheaton Warrenville South; Shepard; Bolingbrook; Sandburg; Glenbard West; Plainfield East; Thornton Fractional South; Fenton Community; Niles West; Bremen; Elmwood Park; Wheaton North

Gateway Marching Classic

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Confirmed on October 4.

O'Fallon; Edwardsville; Belleville East; Granite City; Mehlville, MO; Marion; Carbondale; Wesclin; Massac County; Collinsville

Limestone Marching Rockets Field Competition

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Confirmed on October 4.

Bloomington; Normal Community; Rock Island; Dunlap; Pekin; Macomb; Illinois Valley Central; Canton; Prairie Central; Tri-Valley; Galesburg; Rushville-Industry; Watseka Community; Farmington; Kewanee; Limestone Community

Marching Maroons Band Festival

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Confirmed on October 4.

Newton; East Richland; Salem Community; Casey-Westfield; Oblong; Sullivan, IN; Robinson

Mt. Zion Marching Music Games

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Confirmed on October 4.

Monticello; Lincoln; Effingham; Mt. Zion; Olympia; Mattoon; Sullivan; Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond; Blue Ridge; Arcola; Okaw Valley; Fieldcrest; Maroa-Forsyth; Auburn

Naperville Central Marching Classic

Occurred on Saturday, September 27. Confirmed on September 28.

Plainfield North; Wheeling; Glenbrook South; Joliet West; Waubonsie Valley; Warren Township; Romeoville; Batavia; Shepard; Stagg; Lakes Community; Huntley; Glenbrook North; Wheaton Warrenville South; Prairie Ridge; Eisenhower; Benet Academy; Hinsdale South; Sandwich; Naperville Central

BOA Regional - Louisville, Ky.

Occurred on Saturday, September 20. Confirmed on September 21.

Center Grove H.S., IN; Castle H.S., IN; North Hardin H.S., KY; Franklin H.S. TN; Lockport Township; Adair County H.S., KY; Floyd Central H.S., IN; Campbell County H.S., KY; Central Hardin H.S., KY; Fort Zumwalt North H.S., MO; Eastern H.S., KY; Henry Clay H.S., KY; Franklin Central H.S., IN; Fort Zumwalt South H.S., MO; George Rogers Clark H.S., KY

Chicagoland Marching Band Festival

Occurred on Saturday, September 20. Confirmed on September 21.

Prospect; Marian Catholic; Wheeling; Lake Park; Plainfield North; Glenbrook South; United Township; Neuqua Valley; Fremd; Lemont; Elk Grove; Rolling Meadows; Chesterton, IN; Glenbard West; Stagg; Plainfield South; Glenbrook North; Mundelein; Eisenhower; Waukegan; Jacobs; Richmond-Burton

Maple Leaf Marching Classic

Occurred on Saturday, September 20. Confirmed on September 22.

Oak Park-River Forest; Illinois Valley Central; Galesburg; Rockridge; Rock Falls; ROWVA; Oregon; Kewanee; Orion; Prophetstown; Wethersfield; Geneseo

Normal West Marching Band Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, September 20. Confirmed on September 21.

Minooka; Pekin; East Peoria; Herscher; University (Normal); Eureka; Effingham; Ridgeview; El Paso-Gridley; Normal Community; Morton; Normal Comm West

Red & Black Fall Classic

Occurred on Saturday, September 20. Confirmed on September 21.

Andrew; Oak Creek, WI; Downers Grove South; Lincoln-Way East; Naperville Central; Indianapolis (Pike), IN; Greendale, WI; Batavia; LaSalle-Peru; Plainfield Central; Joliet West; Metamora; Romeoville; Yorkville; DeKalb; Argo; Prairie Ridge; Wheaton Warrenville South; Oswego; Kaneland; McHenry; Willowbrook; Reavis; Rochelle; Providence Catholic; Elgin; Genoa-Kingston; Grant Community; Taft; Fremd; Lincoln-Way North; Metea Valley

Sage City Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, September 20. Confirmed on September 22.

Centennial; Danville; Newton; Lincoln; Mt. Zion; Robinson; Paxton-Buckley-Loda; Olympia; Mattoon; Sullivan; East Richland; Rantoul; Jacksonville; Unity (Tolono); Bement; Oblong; Monticello

Tiger Ambush Classic

Occurred on Saturday, September 20. Confirmed on October 4.

O'Fallon; Granite City; Belleville East; Collinsville; Alton; Washington, MO; Waterloo; Seckman, MO; Marion; Fort Zumwalt West, MO; McCleur North, MO; Salem Community; Murphysboro; Carterville; Wesclin; Mt. Carmel; Winfield, MO; Centralia; Wentzville Liberty, MO; Edwardsville

North Knights Marching Festival

Occurred on Sunday, September 14. Complete on September 21.

Elk Grove; Lakes Community; Rolling Meadows; Grayslake Central; Antioch; Grant Community; Marengo; Richmond-Burton; South Milwaukee, WI; Grayslake North

A.A. Stagg Jamboree

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Confirmed on September 14.

Marian Catholic; Plainfield Central; Lincoln-Way Central; Sandburg; Fremd; Huntley; Elk Grove; Oak Park-River Forest; Bolingbrook; Glenbard West; Providence Catholic; Argo; Wheaton North; Lakes Community; Hinsdale South; Eisenhower; Sandwich; Oak Lawn Comm; Coal City; Stagg

Belleville East Marching Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Confirmed on September 28.

Rockwood Summit, MO; Edwardsville; Francis Howell North, MO; Collinsville; Jefferson City, MO; Mehlville, MO; Alton; Pattonville, MO; Wesclin; Belleville East

Lake Park Lancer Joust

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Confirmed on September 17.

Prospect; Lockport Township; Wheeling; Lincoln-Way East; Hersey; Naperville Central; Plainfield North; Greendale, WI; Lemont; Warren Township; Waubonsie Valley; Naperville North; Lincoln-Way North; Wheaton Warrenville South; Wheaton North; Herscher; Jacobs; Downers Grove South; Lake Park

Metro East Marching Classic

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Confirmed on September 28.

Rockwood Summit, MO; Edwardsville; Fort Zumwalt North, MO; Francis Howell North, MO; Collinsville; Francis Howell Central, MO; Fort Zumwalt South, MO; Timberland, MO; Granite City; Belleville East; Triad; Oakville, MO; Mater Dei; Fort Zumwalt East, MO; Jefferson City, MO; Pattonville, MO; Parkway North, MO; Hillsboro, MO; St. Charles, MO; Nashville Community; East Richland; Highland; O'Fallon

Morton Pumpkin Fest

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Confirmed on September 14.

Andrew; Normal Comm West; Bloomington; Limestone Community; Rock Island; United Township; Champaign Central; Lincoln-Way West; Pekin; East Peoria; Farmington; Morton

Murphysboro Drums at Appletime

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Complete on September 21.

Cape Central, MO; Waterloo; Marion; Mascoutah; Carbondale; Potosi, MO; Carterville; Massac County; Pinckneyville; Johnston City; Sparta; Kelly, MO; Anna-Jonesboro; Murphysboro

Pontiac Indian Showdown

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Confirmed on September 14.

Washington Community; Normal Comm West; Champaign Central; East Peoria; Plainfield East; Dunlap; LaSalle-Peru; Streator Township; Eureka; Illinois Valley Central; Danville; Prairie Central; Paxton-Buckley-Loda; Olympia; Tri-Valley; Watseka Community; Hoopeston Area; ROWVA; Dwight; Fieldcrest; Pontiac Township

Sullivan Marching Band Competition

Occurred on Saturday, September 13. Confirmed on September 14.

Monticello; Effingham; Mt. Zion; Mt. Carmel; Paris Cooperative; Robinson; Pana; Sangamon Valley; Maroa-Forsyth; Okaw Valley; Heritage; Sullivan

Marching Panther Invitational

Occurred on Saturday, September 6. Confirmed on September 8.

Morton; Normal Comm West; Normal Community; Limestone Community; United Township; Centennial; Eureka; Pekin; Metamora; Canton; Pontiac Township; Geneseo; Lincoln; Illinois Valley Central; East Peoria; Streator Township; Farmington; Okaw Valley; El Paso-Gridley; Cambridge; Washington Community

City School Show Title Director(s)
AlgonquinJacobsAlter EgoAnthony Gnutek, Jake Stouffer
AltonAltonChutes & LaddersAlyssa Cudney, Steven James
AnnaAnna-Jonesboro Renee McLain
AntiochAntioch Jonathan Untch
ArcolaArcolaJames Bond/007Christopher Gore
Arlington HeightsHerseyWhat Makes a True Warrior?: A Question for the Common ManScott Casagrande, Mark Hengesh
ArthurArthur-Lovington-Atwood-HammondSelections from FrozenRichard Moma, Joe Wolfe
AuburnAuburn Bekah Philbrick
AuroraMarmion-Rosary Stephen Thurlow
AuroraMetea ValleyAmerica: A Musical TributeDon Devany
AuroraWaubonsie ValleyDreamlandKevin Carroll, Chris Dandeles, Mark Duker
BartonvilleLimestone CommunityWorld MachineAndy Empey, Stevi Rzeszutko
BataviaBataviaInto the Woods: A Dark JourneyChris Owen, Brian Van Kley
BellevilleBelleville EastBe Still My Beating HeartMark A Tessereau, Timothy Hassall
BellevilleBelleville West Tom Birkner
BementBement Julie Reynolds
BensenvilleFenton CommunityFrom Fenton with LoveGarrett George
BethanyOkaw ValleySecret Agent BandTheresa Colclasure, Kathy Doty
BismarckBismarck-Henning David Schroeder
BloomingtonBloomingtonThe Other SideMax Chernick, Pamela Kelly
Blue IslandEisenhowerDead Men Tell No TalesJustin Antos
BolingbrookBolingbrookCommon Greatness of Modern TimesRobert Hanerhoff, Scott Weber
BreeseMater DeiWhen Push Comes to ShoveBlake Korte, Mike Largent, Rachel Robben, Julianna Swanson
BroadlandsHeritageDa Bluze!Justin Lee
BurbankReavis Andrew Davis
BushnellBushnell-Prairie City Jon Jones
CambridgeCambridge Chris Allen
CantonCantonColorsKristin Schrag
CarbondaleCarbondaleEchoes of the SavoyGregory Townsend
CartervilleCartervilleChicago Street PlayersNicholas Williams
CaseyCasey-Westfield Brent Ritter
CentraliaCentraliaA Night on Broadway!Sean Cartner
ChampaignCentennialFuego LatinoMike Allen, Stacey Peterik
ChampaignChampaign CentralThe Road Not TakenJohn & Jennifer Currey
CharlestonCharleston Laney Grimes
ChicagoTaftMetamorphosisKevin Harriman
Chicago HeightsMarian CatholicRapture of the DeepGreg Bimm, Scott Oliver, Matthew Black
ChillicotheIllinois Valley CentralLove Is Louder Than...Matt Chapman, Kim Tegg, Timm Higus
Coal CityCoal CityVoyage to a New WorldTom Ruzinok
ColfaxRidgeviewDoctor WhoAnthony Marchese
CollinsvilleCollinsvilleBound to EternityRobert Wright, Ryan Stack
CreteCrete-Monee Chris Tedeschi
Crystal LakePrairie RidgeReflections of Form, Sound and LightTim Blakewell
DanvilleDanvilleWe'll Always Have ParisKent Krause, Elizabeth Sachtleben
DarienHinsdale SouthStyx and StonesPatrick Maag
DeKalbDeKalbLes MisérablesSteven Lundin
Downers GroveDowners Grove SouthDon't Forget Your PassportCraig Roselieb, Greg Hensel
DownsTri-Valley007: Play Another DayDan Marcotte, Rebecca Marcotte (flags), Steve Hempen (Percussion)
DunlapDunlapFall of the TitansJill Potts, Jason Shea
DwightDwightI Love the 80sJustin Gund
East MolineUnited TownshipImages of the OrientDave Maccabee
East PeoriaEast PeoriaInfectedAdam Schneblin, Kyle Newgard
EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleOne Wild RideMarvin Battle, Lawrence Rogers
EffinghamEffingham Jordan Black
El PasoEl Paso-GridleyFrom Dusk to DawnChristina Lohrberg
ElginElgin Jaimie Abney-Giraldo
Elk Grove VillageElk GroveThe Insanity of an Imaginary WorldRon Fiorito Jr
Elmwood ParkElmwood Park007: The Music of James BondKyle Rhoades
EurekaEurekaDIS(appear)Todd Stalter, Denise Quitschau (asst), Kari Marino, Shane Rocke
EvanstonEvanston TownshipThe Wizard of OzMatthew Bufis, Michael Lehman
Evergreen ParkEvergreen ParkBases LoadedKen Kazin
FairburyPrairie CentralSoarLesa Kline, Megan Lackaff (asst), Aaron Kavelman, Amanda Heyden
Farmer CityBlue RidgeThe Big Band TheoryChristopher Mitchell
FarmingtonFarmingtonThe Music of John WilliamsElizabeth Driscoll, Fred Herink
Fox LakeGrant Community Ellen Skolar
FrankfortLincoln-Way EastAnd the Mountains Rising Nowhere ...Bert Johnson
FrankfortLincoln-Way NorthReturning HomeKirk Hickman, Justin Barnish
FreeburgFreeburg Community Danielle McKenzie
GalesburgGalesburg Brianne Hankes, Jacob Bisaillion
GeneseoGeneseoMangione Meets MatthewsSteve Scherer, Tony Hernandez
GenoaGenoa-KingstonEarth, Wind and FireTom Rucker
GeorgetownGeorgetown-Ridge Farm Sara McGovern, Leslie Thompson
Glen EllynGlenbard WestThe Music of Steely DanJonathan Walsh, William Ortega
GlenviewGlenbrook SouthThe ABC's of American ComposersGreg Wojcik
Granite CityGranite CityCross the LineWyatt Roberds, Josh Palmer
GrayslakeGrayslake Central Dominic Bertino
GrayslakeGrayslake NorthA Tragedy of TemptationCandace Edstrand, Laura Bertermann
GurneeWarren TownshipPolar VortexChristopher Jenkins, Kurt Gros, David Tribley
HamiltonHamilton Michael McDermott
HampshireHampshire Helen Lawrence
HerscherHerscherOut of the Storm: Finding the Silver LiningWill Brocker
HighlandHighlandJourney Into DarknessChristopher Wilson, Trent Mason
HoopestonHoopeston AreaJerky Across AmericaPatrick Brooks, Ashley Beauvois, Kyle Ayers, Alex Berg
HuntleyHuntleyIllusionsNick Konwerski
JacksonvilleJacksonville Matt Johnson
Johnston CityJohnston City Nicole Lindsey (Hodges)
JolietJoliet WestIllusionsEric Wellman
KewaneeKewanee Eric Hollaway
KewaneeWethersfield Jay Hagaman
Lake VillaLakes CommunityLive, Learn, LeadMatthew Kastor
LansingThornton Fractional SouthJames Bond, 007John Haney
LaSalleLaSalle-Peru Kyle Adelmann
LawrencevilleLawrenceville William Magee
LemontLemontOpen Doors and Open MindsMatt Doherty, David Nommensen
LeRoyLeRoy Bridgette Wells
LincolnLincolnThat 60's ShowDavid Swaar
LisleBenet AcademyThe West SideRich Alifantis
LockportLockport TownshipNevermoreBrian Covey, Andrew Beckwith
MacombMacombGloriaDoug Mattsey, Ken Zahnle (asst), Jacob Thurmon (perc), Leandro Paleyo (perc), Anna Powers (guard), Katie Herrenbruck (guard)
MahometMahomet-SeymourFemme FataleMichael Stevens, Carmen Parks
Maple ParkKanelandOverture!Aaron Puckett
MarengoMarengoTop SecretTodd Stellmach
MarionMarionWavesTodd Graham
MaroaMaroa-ForsythPirates of the CaribbeanJosh Youngs
MascoutahMascoutahInto the StormSandy Richter
MattoonMattoon Todd Black
McHenryMcHenryThe Blues BrothersDavid Brachmann
MetamoraMetamoraSpark: Ideas IgniteChristopher Render
MetropolisMassac County David Hannan
MidlothianBremenMan of SteelBen Salgado
MinonkFieldcrestMusic of Simon and GarfunkelRusty Russell
MinookaMinookaAround the WorldRick Anderson, Gina Wych
MolineMoline Zack Morton
MonticelloMonticelloAscensionAllison Allender, Amanda Allen, Jody Stone (perc), Lindsey Alexander (perc), Mary Diniz (guard)
MorrisMorrisThe Music of Richard SaucedoJeff Muraida
MortonMortonEscape YourselfJeff Neavor, Craig Fitzpatrick
Mt. CarmelMt. CarmelPostcardsKim Mandrell
Mt. ProspectProspectSong of the SirenChris Barnum
Mt. ZionMt. ZionThe Hunger GamesBrianna Bjerke, Zach Garrett, Chris Weirman, Evan Romack
MundeleinMundelein Jerry Shelato, Andy Sturgeon
MurphysboroMurphysboro Michael Moreland
NapervilleNaperville CentralThe GiftDJ Alstadt, Brandon Estes
NapervilleNaperville NorthEnd ZoneDan Moore, Donald Stinson
NapervilleNeuqua ValleyMusic from West Side StoryJonathan Lauff, Mark Duker
NashvilleNashville CommunityThe Far EastSteve Browne
New LenoxLincoln-Way CentralJoy in All Things: A Journey Through LifeChris Mroczek
New LenoxLincoln-Way WestSevenCary Ruklic, Adam Rusek
New LenoxProvidence CatholicGraceRobert Sanchez
NewtonNewtonThe ClimbBrian Ridlen, Jeffery Finley (asst), Kristie Finley (guard), Kylee Whitehurst (guard), Suzanna Downes (perc), Brian Slamhart (perc)
NianticSangamon ValleyON FIRENathan Wheeler
NormalNormal Comm WestThe Giving TreeLisa Preston, Ryan Budzinski
NormalNormal CommunityThe Siren's CallLance Meadows, Kris Bence
NormalUniversity (Normal)Magical Mystery TourJason Landes, David Sulzberger
NorthbrookGlenbrook NorthGo WestMark Running, Rich Chapman
O'FallonO'FallonClimbMelissa Gustafson-Hinds, Sean Harris, Mark Donahue
Oak LawnOak Lawn Comm007Paul Levy, Bob Habersat
Oak ParkOak Park-River ForestThe Bermuda TriangleAnthony J Svejda
OblongOblongBlast From The PastSarah Bleyer
OlneyEast RichlandThe Hunger GamesRalph Petrella, Nancy Deimel (asst), Jay Vaal (perc), Josh Milliman (guard)
Olympia FieldsRich Central Phillip Crews
OneidaROWVAMusic from the IncrediblesDonald Fisher
OregonOregon Andy Eckardt
OrionOrion Jennifer Hays
Orland ParkSandburgFrench PortraitsStewart Bailey, Annabelle Sarmiento
OswegoOswegoThe Music of Wizard of Oz and WickedStephanie San Roman, Kevin Schoenbach
PalatineFremdRevolution & TriumphMatthew Moore, Dave Lang
Palos HeightsShepardI SpyChristopher Pitlik, Kenneth George
Palos HillsStaggKeys to the ImaginationRobert Mecozzi, Jim Colombo
PanaPana Theresa Steiner
ParisParis Cooperative Kevin Pruiett
PaxtonPaxton-Buckley-LodaA Tribute to New OrleansTimothy Hess
PekinPekinAfterworldKarli McCann
PinckneyvillePinckneyvilleFun NightsStephen Cannedy, Cathy Cunningham, Rhonda Hicks (guard), Karen O'Brien (perc), Kyle Pursell (perc)
PlainfieldPlainfield CentralHauntedDan Valkema, Patrick Hoadley
PlainfieldPlainfield EastBelieveDavid Lesniak, Justin Koszarek
PlainfieldPlainfield NorthTime After TimeTim Hatcher, Jason LaVallee
PlainfieldPlainfield SouthStorm HorizonJerrod Cook, Chris Jamrose
Pleasant PlainsPleasant Plains Matthew Boze
PontiacPontiac TownshipPure JoyKeith Schmink, Scot Schickel, Amanda Legner (perc), Heather Christensen (aux)
ProphetstownProphetstown Jane Davis
RantoulRantoulPictures at an ExhibitionAdam Hawthorne
RichmondRichmond-Burton Kateri Tumminello
RobinsonRobinsonWeathering the StormKatie Zdanowski
RochelleRochelleMusic for a Darkened TheatreRonald Duval
Rock FallsRock Falls Elizabeth Judd
Rock IslandRock IslandHireathPeter Carlin, Michael Tollenae, Megan Bartlett
RockfordJefferson Jordan Yi
Rolling MeadowsRolling MeadowsThe Far EastChristopher Buti
RomeovilleRomeovilleCHANCEClark Anderson, Adam Hill
RoselleLake ParkThe Road Not TakenSteve Pyter
RushvilleRushville-Industry Jodi Worthington
SalemSalem CommunityImmortalJohn Randolph, Christy Zimmerman (asst), Matt Webster (asst), Travis Heaton (brass), Sara Beth Fennell (guard)
SandwichSandwichRegiment NoirJustin Heinekamp, Erin Killey (asst), Jordan Yi, Ben Runkel, Kevin Nevsimal, Kristin Heinekamp, Maggie Resillez, Tori Deike, Marcus Taylor, Jake Coon
SherrardSherrard Dana Jones
SkokieNiles WestImagination, Strange Humors, Pure Imagination, BazaaroJustin Johnson
SpartaSparta Robert Jasper
St. JosephSt. Joseph-Ogden Jacquelyn Evers
StanfordOlympiaSpectacle: A Night at the CircusKyle Brubaker
StreatorStreator TownshipJersey BoysDavid Grayson
SullivanSullivanLaws of MotionRyan Krapf
SummitArgoMan of SteelMegan Corkins, Devin Godzicki
SycamoreSycamore Ken Goodman
Taylor RidgeRockridge Jessica Zabransky
TaylorvilleTaylorville Chris Gunn
Tinley ParkAndrewMade in AmericaMark Iwinski
TolonoUnity (Tolono) Bill Jean
TrentonWesclinHeartbeatRodney Washburn
TroyTriadThe Beatles: Magical Mystery TourKevin Devany
UrbanaUrbana Darren Hicks
VandaliaVandalia Melanie Schuette (?)
Villa ParkWillowbrookThe Music of Arcade FireJonathan Bogue
WashingtonWashington CommunityReturn of the KingJim Tallman, Lisa Parrott
WaterlooWaterloo Michael Mullins
WatsekaWatseka CommunityREFLECTIONSErik Parmenter
WaukeganWaukeganPostcardsJosh Kumpala
WheatonWheaton NorthAnother Shade of RedJon S Noworyta
WheatonWheaton Warrenville SouthJourney of Two HeartsVic Scimeca, Don Kaihatsu
WheelingWheelingBeyond BluesBrian Logan
WoodhullAlWood Bob Fornander
YorkvilleYorkvilleJersey BoysVictor Anderson
Commentary Newsfeed (most recent first)

For Eureka ... by Paul Katula Oct 11 ... At 7:03 AM, the Voxitatis firewall detected activity that it said resembled phishing activity on a URL associated with Box 5 Media, which is expected to webcast the ISU contest today. Plus, no secure socket layer is provided to allow sign-up for Box 5's website, and personally identifying information is requested over a non-secure layer. We therefore regret that we are unable to cover the festival. We urge you to use caution in providing any information on websites that are known to engage in phishing-like activity. Furthermore, we note, once again, the complete disregard for Internet safety on the part of the people who select vendors for Illinois State University, Normal.

For Hersey ... by Paul Katula Oct 7 ... Hersey's show asks the question, "What Makes a True Warrior?" Some researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, recently took a stab at trying to answer that question, based on their research. Of course, it wasn't about warriors but about leaders. Same thing, probably, in the 21st century. Our story.

For Downers Grove South ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... A few times during the show, band members lay down their instruments and join in the dance, either with the auxiliary or in a line-dance series in parade formation. When it comes to show design, doing something once and then abandoning it has its place, such as a flash movement that is intended to catch people's eye during the one split second where the movement is visible. Dancing like this, on the other hand, is really only effective if it is played out in full, which probably means doing it more than once, to keep the theme of the overall show consistent. Great job, DGS, in both design and execution tonight at two shows.

For Minooka ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The Minooka band takes us on an eight-minute trip around the world (well, to several continents, anyway). We start in the US and travel to Spain, India, Africa, Japan, and then back to the US after a quick message about tray tables. The initial US segment and Spain could probably feature a little more visual interest, as there were parts where it seemed marchers played in place for a few measures, moved to the next set, played a little more, and so on. That changed a little for India and a lot for Africa, however, where the visuals really picked up. The African portion had drummers bouncing around from left to right and back.

For Huntley ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Uniforms with the single white line from foot to shoulder are nice because they underscore the straightness of the band's marching formation. Huntley is likely to score higher in music captions than in visual captions, nevertheless, because the times when they were moving on the field, they tended to move in more or less a parade formation—straight ranks and files. The music execution, on the other hand, just rocked.

For Prospect ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Coverage of the Prospect festival is now found in the Daily Herald, here.

For Morton ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The pre-show sets the mood, with people looking in mirrors, asking themselves, via the narration, Do you see yourself as you truly are, or do you hide behind a mask? This is followed as the band officially takes the field with impressive music, based on "Say Something" from A Great Big World and other tunes. Most impressive was the staccato playing right out of the gate, as Morton is up to its old tricks of nailing the music execution. The marching followed suit, especially with leg movements as the band stood in place for a few seconds. Never a dull moment visually with Morton. The mirrors brought onto the field as props had more than a background role in the show: they were moved around and actually entered into the theme. One particularly effective use of the mirrors was when a flutist and trumpeter stood in front of a row of mirrors to perform a brief but spot on duet. After their duet, the music took off, especially in the percussion, which should get the band a few points in that caption. Visually, one of the most impressive elements of the show was the swirls on the flags. When those are spinning in unison, it's picture-perfect. And in the music, one angry passage between two opposing forces in the band concluded with those chords found in the music of Morton's assistant director and marching band arranger Craig Fitzpatrick. The emotion comes through loud and clear, because Morton takes time to build climaxes in the phrases, and when it comes time to cadence, Morton doesn't miss. That's real music and real emotion in a performance.

For Plainfield East ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Movement has clearly been added, and it's effective enough. The problem here is, as there are so many marchers on the field, keeping the files and diagonals straight is necessary. Some guiding is still needed, and I think any added precision will improve the entertainment value of the show. That being said, the music is catchy. I find myself singing along with the familiar tunes. I think they should be better arranged for marching band, such as with the Neil Diamond blockbuster, "I'm a Believer," because there were some points where I could have expected a grand pause followed by a full-band hit. Anyway, let's not blame Neil Diamond for that one: for what the band had to work with, they came through.

For Elk Grove ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The wetness of the field outside the 40-yard lines became apparent, under the Saturday night lights in Mt Prospect, as auxiliary units from Elk Grove actually lay down near the end of the band's show. But the show goes on, and none of that takes away from Elk Grove's fine performance of what is a very difficult show based on the Alice in Wonderland story. The dancers, particularly Alice and the twirler in white, performed a ballet that told the story, as the band chimed in with the occasional hit to accentuate the key moments of the show. Excellent pit and a breathtaking ballet here.

For Lake Park ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Lake Park does this show so exquisitely, every element of it, that it leaves me speechless. At first I wanted the sax soloist to have more to do with the dancer instead of just dropping her off so he could get to his solo, but she comes back later in a very effective reprise. At first I wanted to tell the person who looks one way and then the other as he chooses his path in life that there's only one fork in the road in the poem. But even that is handled nicely, as the band uses many, many paths through the visuals. There's simple music for a simple theme, despite the fact that the poem may be misunderstood, but again, the execution is so beautiful that I can't imagine a more perfect choice for the music. I still say there needs to be a clearer connection to the poem's value as literature, but as far as marching band shows are concerned, the integration of music and visuals is very effective, particularly at the end, with the l.v. in the pit as the drum major turns and bows. Moving.

For Oak Park-River Forest ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Orange rifles are very showy and nicely handled here by the auxiliary. In addition, the final hit, followed by pit percussion just letting it ring as the band turns and exits to the right backfield, played very well into the band's theme. Nice work.

For Lincoln-Way East ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... LWE is impressive for its size: so many marchers on the field weaving in and out in fairly tight formation. They are absolutely in constant motion, which is very effective. This is an excellent composition for use in a marching band, by the way. The singing is haunting, and that plays right in to the rest of the piece and the visuals, which use body positions that fit the music to a T. This piece was Joseph Schwantner's first composition for a large wind ensemble. It uses, in addition to the band, unusual elements like crystal flutes, the aforementioned singing, and most importantly, an amplified piano accompanist, here in the pit. Stunning.

For Fremd ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The wind band sound on the Beethoven toward the end of the band's show was just as powerful as it should be. The percussion interlude, followed by a reprise of the allegretto theme and a double-front presentation of the final cadence, was likewise effective. Solid show here.

For Lemont ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... With the exception of not having any words, I would say Lemont's performance in terms of the mood conveyed in the music, beginning with a lone sax and coming to a conclusion with actual singing, rivals that of Donny Osmond. Visually, I'm wondering why all the white doors (except two or three) close randomly after the soft cadence. The effect of the props is lost, and that carries through to the music a little. I think the show design could benefit a little if there was a more natural build from the Joseph number to the end.

For Andrew ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... What was so striking to me about Andrew's show this year was not the theme, though that should hit everyone close to the heart, but the precision in the marching. Evidence of work ethic in the band is clear, as the formation, in one place, starts out with little files, which turn quickly into diagonals and end up in completely different files. When several lines of marchers do this together, the overall visual is very effective. Also, when the TV newscaster says that Pearl Harbor has just been attacked, there's a very well placed rifle toss. When the rifles hit, there's a virtual explosion in the band, especially in the percussion. It lasts just a second, but it was very well done. The whole Pearl Harbor idea, reinforced by the use of US-like flags, culminates in two rows of marchers kneeling to focus on a dancer with double blue flags, as a soft cadence is heard. Touching and effective.

For Joliet West ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... A trumpet fanfare led to a full band finale, which had a little coda with two trumpets playing about a third apart, which was strikingly well executed as far as intonation and attacks are concerned. That brought the show to a rousing conclusion. Nice work, Joliet West.

For Downers Grove South ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The show at Prospect has come a long way this season, and I don't mean to the different continents, in keeping with the band's theme, although it also travels far to incorporate a wide variety of musical styles. Their intercontinental trip ends in New Orleans, where we are, of course, treated to jazz that Louis Armstrong might have used. But that comes after we travel to Africa, with a rhythmic diversity that switched from three, to four, back to three for a few bars, and so on. It's hard to keep that straight but DGS did a great job. The soloists didn't hurt the show, either, including some nice flute work in the middle.

For Wheeling ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... On the sideline, a sax trio, then a single trumpeter backed by a dancer in red. Then the full band kicks it, and it is unbelievable. Only bands as good as Wheeling could take the music that far in such a short span of time. This leads to an incredible bit where three trumpets and two trombones jam on the sidelines, and by jam, I mean the trumpets are just wailing. Wow!

For Lincoln-Way West ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... If you notice nothing else about LWW, you will notice the body positions and the diversity of marching steps used in the show. They open with band members frozen in Stravinsky-like body positions, an omen of what is to come. At one point, marchers go down on one knee and stretch out their left leg in unison: a very striking movement. Then, a mellophone soloist is encapsulated in an arch made by the arms of other band members. The soloist finishes the solo and proceeds to dance, as in a ballet, back into formation. At the conclusion of a beautiful trumpet solo, with its long, stylistic phrases, band members again sway while in a half-kneel. This body position, to begin with, isn't easy, and to get it in unison as LWW does is just evidence of a lot of hard work. Finally, things take a more lively turn with "Luck Be a Lady," as band members strut around the field with their arms raised on alternate steps to be parallel with the ground.

For Naperville Central ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The show ends on a sort of quiet note, but it's one where you realize you've stopped breathing as it progresses. Very nice. Plus, getting there had plenty of hits. Add the brief narration ("Roses are red, violets are blue, she said yes, I love you") to the heart-shaped props used by the dancers, and it builds a nice theme. But the story here is the percussion, I think: marimbas in the beginning, timpani in the middle (don't worry about playing too loud here), and the drum line near the end. On top of that, the marching, while it still needs a little straightening, complements the theme nicely. I'm thinking in particular about the bright pink flags at the end, which weave among the band for a while, twirling. Then the band moves gracefully asde, leaving the flags in the middle. Effective.

For Evergreen Park ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... A baseball theme, including "Seventh Inning Stretch" and "Play Ball" in the music and baseball uniforms hung up in the back of the field as props, comes with the auxiliary playing a little game of catch at the beginning to some lively tunes. It was quite playful and very appropriate for the theme, as was the cry of "Home Run" that went up from the entire band in the middle. The conclusion may have had some spacing issues in the marching, but it finally integrated the auxiliary into the rest of the band. There was an impressive crescendo turn following a long stretch of the band playing backfield. This short-lived hit was nice and previewed the end of the show a little.

For Naperville North ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Very high entertainment value here. I want to give special mention to the quality of the dramatic acting on the field. Look, it's not easy to tell a story and convey emotion in a performance when you can't even say any words, but Naperville North's auxiliary does just that. And folks, the coming together at the end, where military people dance with science nerds, touches me in a special way. And if you're going to dance, you want to dance big, inside a heart-shaped marching band, just as it happens here.

For Wheaton North ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The scenery is fantastic—a little house, a cross bridge, a tarp on the field, and even a few different costumes in red worn by the auxiliary—but it is surpassed by the musical performance, especially from the percussion. Wheaton North has a very thematic show, and it should score high in all general effect categories. From a visual perspective, the twirler, who also works adeptly with double-red streamers, and the tightness of the entire band on the tarp make for a very powerful display. But more than that, the music reinforces at every opportunity the highs and lows in the show's presentation. This is one well put-together show.

For Bremen ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Weather may have caused an issue, as Bremen did not perform at 4:00 at Providence.

For Waukegan ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... It wasn't the 40-degree temps that kept the band from Waukegan away from the Prospect Knight of Champions. About 17,000 students are out of class as teachers in Waukegan failed to agree on a new contract and went on strike on Oct 2. As of the festival time, they were still on strike, and teachers can't work with students in any capacity during a strike. The Chicago Tribune has coverage.

For Morris ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Auxiliary is very good with the flags and in a little dance during the second movement—a ballet of sorts, in a circle to the right of the field. Very nice and appropriate for the music, and it's followed by a little double-flag work to conclude the movement. And that was it for their presentation at Providence (the show might have more to it, to be learned later).

For Jacobs ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... Now I get it. From the famous "Für Elise" theme, it's a short leap to get to Psycho's haunting dissonances, which come out in the low brass. In the last movement, which is based on Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D," it was hard to hear (through microphones on a very windy day) the upper woodwinds sometimes, mainly because the lower brass was pounding out the bass for the canon, whereas the balance could have perhaps emphasized the upper woodwind line at that point.

For Rochelle ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... The motion picture composer Danny Elfman has a style all his own, as evidenced in music from many classic offbeat and spooky movies. Rochelle features themes from "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Spider-Man," "Beetlejuice," along with a few others. In general, more attention is needed on the phrasing in the second movement. Notes don't make sense by themselves and can't really be played independent of other notes in the phrases. Rather, the shape of each phrase should be considered. Even in the softer movement, although the few crescendi were nicely done, a trumpet line rises and falls in terms of pitch, so it would make sense to rise and fall (or surprise us) in dynamic level as well. Repeated eighths are often without accent, played at the same dynamic for all notes, and this has the effect of throwing off the rhythm and weakening the overall effect of those great hits.

For Centralia ... by Paul Katula Oct 4 ... From Les Misérables, the reprise of "Do You Hear the People Sing?": Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me? Somewhere beyond the barricade / Is there a world you long to see? Do you hear the people sing? Say, do you hear the distant drums? It is the future that they bring / When tomorrow comes. Although US citizens are speaking out and writing about school at an increasing rate, activism alone won't bring about better schools for the poor in this country, who have often become entrenched in the worst schools in urban and rural districts. "Teachers, parents, and older students must understand the mechanisms that have subverted honest efforts to give working-class children a decent education," writes Patrick J Finn in his book Literacy with an Attitude: Educating Working-class Children in Their Own Self-interest—highly recommended if you care deeply about public education. Chapter 20 relies substantially on the ideas presented in Les Misérables. Thanks, Centralia!!

For Providence Catholic ... by Paul Katula Oct 3 ... Thanks to the folks at Providence Catholic High School for sponsoring a live webcast of the marching band festival on Oct 4, via High School Cube.com, here.

For Prospect ... by Paul Katula Oct 3 ... Thanks to the folks at Prospect High School for sponsoring a live webcast of the 2014 Prospect Knight of Champions via High School Cube.com, here.

For Lemont ... by Paul Katula Oct 1 ... Time to wake up, and it never sounded so good. CBS 2's Vince Gerasole was at Lemont High School this morning, with the marching band.

For Danville ... by Paul Katula Sep 30 ... In an article for the Commercial News, Carol Roehm writes that Danville's show is entitled "We'll always have Paris": "We'll be playing pieces to evoke images of Paris," she quotes director Kent Krause as saying. "We're trying to tell a love story." Ms Roehm also talked to the boosters team about the amount of work that goes into these festivals. "Itís a lot of work," the publicity chair of the music booster organization was quoted as saying. "They work close to a nine-hour day from 2 in the afternoon on the day of the invitational, including cleaning up when it's over, plus the set-up the day before. ... We start planning for it (next year's event) the day it wraps up."

For Naperville Central ... by Paul Katula Sep 29 ... In an article for the Naperville Sun, Suzanne Baker wrote that DJ Alstadt, Central's band director, said marching bands could be divided into two groups: those that raise school spirit at football games and those that add a competitive aspect to their school support. Plus, as one freshman said, older students are always ready to help. "It's like one big family," the Sun quoted her as saying.

For Plainfield North ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... What a difference two weeks makes. Congratulations Plainfield North on winning grand champion at Naperville!

For Sandburg ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... Visually, the band is splash-fantastic, and part of that is due to its size. When more than 150 people do the same thing in unison, like a flash mob, it makes a statement. At one point, the band runs around and forms a very tight solid square on the field. Then, very briefly, every band member turns to the right, and the effect is like a flash that catches the eye. It goes on from there and I think there was too much standing still in the final set (maybe not learned yet this early in the season), but those little things that last only a second in a performance but require quite a bit of rehearsal time are the things that turn marching seasons into lifetime memories. It reminds me of a great reception that wins a Super Bowl: the event itself lasts a very short time; the preparation to get there takes countless hours of work. Yet it'll be the events that transpire in those few seconds, shared by everyone involved, that live on.

For Bolingbrook ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... This band doesn't just have a theme; it has a message. Narration at the beginning and twice throughout the program, including recorded quotes from Neil Armstrong and Martin Luther King Jr, is very effective and teaches as it entertains. The conclusion of the first movement made good use of the flags with the band in concentric circles. It'll be beautiful with some minor polishing of the flag synchronization, so I suppose there's some work to do on the visuals, in addition to putting more movement into the show. But, when "Jupiter" came on after Neil Armstrong's famous quote about how we go to the moon for the same reason salmon swim upstream, I could not think of a more fitting connection between the narration and the music. That clicked.

For Lincoln-Way Central ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... The dancers were so good and synchronized at the beginning that I thought I was watching a ballet. It took my breath away. During the first section, the marching wasn't always lined up, but it was intricate, with musicians in constant motion, leading up to a perfectly timed (with the music) shallow semi-circle front. Very nice. And by the way, amid a band in absolutely constant motion, those ballet dancers are just as handy with the rifles and flags as they are with the dancing. The conclusion had flags a-flying in perfect unison, capping the triumphant chords from the winds in this original musical composition. There's just so much wonderful and engaging motion!

For Glenbard West ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... The show engages the audience right from the word "go" by moving short little squads around, resulting in a wavy front, pausing for a moment so we can take a mental picture during a momentary climax in the music, and then continuing while not letting the energy get away. Nice. Shortly after that, I loved the energy in the little percussion group in the front of the field, some of whom brought handheld instruments out from the pit to temporarily join the group on the field and jam with them. The group works off of popular music, and that may get in the way here. Every time the music seems like it should build, there's another climax, and it's short-lived and not very exciting. Pop music thrives on having most of the song be singable and memorable. That means it can't spend a lot of time building, and from a strict music performance point of view, the build-up is needed to create excitement from a musical perspective. One of the nicest sets in the show was when the flags were in the center of a square. The alternating light blue was flashy.

For Elmwood Park ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... A few elements of the show still need some work: During most of the marching, spacing is uneven. It can start uneven, but it has to fall into place at the earliest possible time. The trumpet lick that kicks the band into Live and Let Die needs to be more prominent visually, such as having the trumpeter standing still in front and the rest of the band marching behind him. Music execution suffered a little, which played a big role in the general effect score for the band, I'm sure. There has been, in recent years, an upgrading of the percussion in marching bands, especially in the pit, and Elmwood Park brought no pit onto the field. I'm not sure why that is, and it's pointless to talk about something the school has no control over. However, if improvement is the goal, a percussion pit (or at least a walking drum line) would help. Anyway, it's a fun show, and James Bond seems to be making quite a run this year. Hmm.

For Niles West ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... The band's opening set has just a few members out and the others hidden behind the props. Maybe we're supposed to "imagine" what it would be like with more musicians on the field, as the opening trumpet solo is in need of support from the rest of the band. However, the effect of members coming out from behind the props and falling into formation is a little lost. Maybe it would be even more effective (and thematic) if those marchers who start out behind the props incorporated piece by piece into the formation, culminating in the full-band climax that had some strong playing. Same with the percussion feature after the sousaphone lick (which was great, by the way): the band stands in place on the front sideline. When winds are resting, it's really the perfect time to get them moving. Motion is good and keeps the audience engaged. Perhaps it's still early in the season, and the marching hasn't been learned here yet. I expect it's coming, though. Great jazz trombone lick, too.

For Wheaton North ... by Paul Katula Sep 28 ... The town I live in, Baltimore, where I'm happy to be able to watch the live webcast of the 27th annual Falcon Fest provided by Wheaton North High School on the NFHS Network, last week concluded a tremendous celebration of the 200th anniversary of the writing by Francis Scott Key of the poem used for The Star-Spangled Banner. "If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that tourists respond to authentic expressions of Baltimore's history and culture," wrote the editors of the Baltimore Sun last week. And if there's a lesson to be learned about the national anthem, performed again tonight by members of Wheaton North's brass section, standing out on the field in a semi-circle, it's that music lovers (and educators) respond to authentic expressions of the hard work put in by band students (and their teachers and their parents) on these shows. Our country and Illinois's state constitution provide for a system of free public schools, and there are few places where education comes together more clearly and perfectly than in a marching show. Visual and musical elements combine, and students are required to analyze situations a hundred different ways, executing, with good practice, the best way to achieve the excellence in performance that is their goal. Any mistakes have to be dealt with on the fly as students think on their feet, answering a thousand different questions very quickly (they don't have much time to think) for every eight-minute show. So, as The Star-Spangled Banner ends with a single question (I think it's the only national anthem in the world that does so), we kick off the 27th annual Falcon Fest and see how many questions bands, their directors, and their students have answered successfully.

For Fenton Community ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... During the opener and during the percussion movement, the band is basically standing still, slinging flags, and performing some swinging dance steps. Some dancers clearly had more enthusiasm for the dance than others. As the second movement opens, there's an introduction followed by a sousaphone line, which was awesome, by the way (they must have a good sousaphone teacher in Bensenville), but the visuals need to match the music. During the introduction is a good time to get the band moving, not to stand in place. It goes a little against the corps tradition to stand in place during a percussion solo and dance. Fenton here, I think, is borrowing nicely from show-style bands, and their take on it was entertaining and effective.

For Thornton Fractional South ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... The show opens with music from Goldfinger, and the band has pretty much a forte dynamic throughout. For example, in the first movement, there should be more of a contrast between when the trumpets come in and the underlying ostinato is exposed. That way, the music will add excitement to the show. In the second movement, soft playing has a little less confidence in the playing than after the crescendo. The band builds to a climax and then moves in toward the center after standing still for quite a while, leading to an entire stretch of the show where there's very little interest in the movement on the field. The second movement ended with a gorgeous diminished chord fp crescendo that was nice, as was the percussion work toward the end of the show. I couldn't see a drum set, but it sure wouldn't surprise me to learn that the percussion was written to simulate a drum set.

For Bremen ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... When it comes to show design, I would like to see more movement rather than less when I watch a corps-style marching band. There was one point about a minute from the end where the drums kept cadence, building to some resounding notes from the winds. This is the perfect place for the band to move around (since they're not playing, they can watch their lines more closely). Those notes in the winds are awesome, but the music doesn't match the visuals at this point, because I would have expected the band to arrive at a picturesque set right when the first chord hit. The band was standing still before the resolution and remained standing still after the resolution. I feel providing movement leading up to the resolution, which is executed quite well in the music, would make the overall entertainment value of the show more effective.

For Hinsdale South ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... Trumpet solo that started "Sail Away" was well executed and, I think, muted for effect. After that ends, the band kicks it off with a rockin' remainder of the song, with nearly flawless attacks and cut-offs. Hinsdale South may be one of the best Illinois bands that just doesn't get to very many competitions in the fall. As such, we simply note the clean and crystal clear playing, notably in the conclusion of the band's show. It sounds fantastic and must provide a great deal of entertainment for the home crowd at football games.

For Stagg ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... I wasn't kidding about the piano in the percussion pit. It's not, but it looks like, a real grand piano. Let's talk about that for a little. To open the show, dancers in white did a ballet around the awesome pianist, as if they were gliding on air. It lifts the piano to its place of glory, right where it should be, especially given the opening with Tchaikovsky. Then, we have polyphony, real polyphony, during the Chopin and between a trumpet and mellophone, drawing the long tones of Chopin's prelude in contrast to the opening. No big sounds yet, but just wait. The Chopin evolves into a woodwind quintet, and I mean a real woodwind quintet, including instruments not normally seen on a marching field, such as a real French horn, an oboe, and a bassoon. This is already a treat, and the Weber percussion interlude fills a space nicely as we move toward the Moussorgsky. Now the punctuation and loud sounds come, and the only problem is that Stagg needs to develop those fp crescendos a little more so they're more effective. A bigger sound in Hut would also give the interlude in the pit more of a contrast. Think of it like the concluding notes are performed. That loud.

For Batavia ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... The opening flute solo was outstanding and strongly tied to the theme: it set an eerie mood, which is what we should feel if we venture into the woods. Unfortunately, the video stream was interrupted shortly after that. ... We're back. Beginning with a mellophone solo, the music and marching become a little more abstract. We hear cries for help and the unstoppable advance of trouble, which comes in the form of a wolf's howl. Very entertaining.

For Waubonsie Valley ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... My prediction is that Waubonsie will score higher than most bands this early in the season in the music categories. The mellophone statement of a simple theme, to which a higher voice was added to make a duet, which then built, had pristine intonation and flawless balance. Not to mention, a smooth performance by whoever those musicians were. After that movement came to a conclusion, there were sixteenth notes in perfect unison with the whole band to kick off the next section of the show. Often, when lesser bands try something like that, the notes just all run together. Not Waubonsie. It was so clean, I just had to comment on those four notes. There are still many bands to go, but Waubonsie has the best musical balance so far.

For Prairie Ridge ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... One of the most difficult things to do when a marching band is spread out between about the 25-yard lines is to keep them all together. Prairie Ridge did a good job, from what I could hear, although the video streaming cut for a little while toward the beginning. The most effective part of the show, I think, was the middle, where a flute-clarinet duet was followed by a high trumpet solo. This was effective, of course, because it provided a great contrast, as the second movement does in Classical or Romantic era symphonies. Good job! There are many, many reasons why that formula has worked for a couple hundred years of music history.

For Shepard ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... A very entertaining show. The band came in a little late from the back sideline, creeping like prowlers, which was thematically appropriate. A quick climax in the winds hit right after a prowler stole the gem and an alarm sounded. The soft music that followed was a nice contrast, but it wasn't long before it built again to a forte climax. Whether they're dancing to a swing beat or cadencing, the large Marching Astros can play backfield, turn, and punch it better than most bands. A note about the telephone call: Used once, it seems to be a departure from the story line, in which the girl tells James Bond she can't get to him right now because there's a band on the field. If that plot line had continued, it might have been more related to the theme and more effective.

For Benet Academy ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... Benet did an admirable job with Bernstein's difficult music from West Side Story, including "Tonight," "America," and a medley in the closer that included "One Hand, One Heart" and "There's a Place for Us." It was beautiful music, and Benet, to make their show much more effective, should consider the continuity. For example, the ending should build more and more energy, I think. The show sounded a little like it took a shortcut to the end (maybe the show's not complete, though, not that we're judging them anyway, but ...).

For Lakes Community ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... Lakes Community HS celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new motto: Live, Learn, Lead. That's also the theme of the marching band's show. And while the school has a new motto, the band provides something much more entertaining: the theme from the "Ode to Joy" from the Fourth Movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony played on a gorgeous, liquid, lone trumpet. It builds from there, and it also includes a few phrases from the Fourth Movement of Symphony No. 1 in C Major by Johannes Brahms. Every time we hear something brand new or a new way of performing something old, we learn something about ourselves. Congratulations, Lakes Community High School, on a gripping performance. I especially liked the running double-length strides near the beginning. Very well executed.

For Eisenhower ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... The announcer mentioned that this is only Eisenhower's second year of competitive marching band. Thanks for starting a tradition with a whole new group of kids. On the field, the band places backdrops of scenes from the sea, and plays pirate-sounding tunes: good use of props, although the backdrops could be more integrated into the show. However, the flashy virtuoso trumpeter who wailed amid subdued tones from the rest of the winds stood out as effective. The show builds to the climax with some oom-pah dancing (we are on a pirate ship, after all), which accelerates, builds to a percussion interlude with box-like movement in the center from resting winds, and moves to a strong conclusion. If this is Year 2, I can't wait till these freshmen are seniors. Watch this band.

For Sandwich ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... The Renegade Regiment uses a pit in the center of the field, which can, as happened at Naperville, lead to problems with the electricity or amp hookups. There was a slight delay in the performance, but the show went on. Some music execution suffered, such as with the four long notes (probably marked with legato accents) at the start of the second movement. This is a natural phrase, and phrasing needs to be applied, such as with perhaps a slight rise and fall in the dynamics. These four notes establish the primary thematic material for the rest of the movement (and help with the remaining movements as well), and they need to be made more prominent in the performance (people won't hear something unless you make it real obvious what you're trying to convey). Also, some of the flags are large. When they aren't in sync during a twirl, it's very noticeable. Thanks, Sandwich, for being a real trooper despite the difficulties.

For Wheaton Warrenville South ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... Music includes snippets of various American tunes, including an extended one in the opener of "Shenandoah." When the mellophone solo (maybe it's a trombone ... couldn't tell on the video feed) came in with "Across the wide Missouri" and the band swelled in a beautiful chord to conclude the opening movement, it was a moment to remember. And, it sort of previewed the ending, which has a huge fortepiano crescendo, just as a small marching band can pull off with great success. Excellent music execution, WWS!

For Farmington ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... The haunting "Saying the Rosary" from the movie Sleepers; his "Call of the Champions," written for the Winter 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and conducted in front of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, here—these are the works that make John Williams stick in the minds of music lovers and movie lovers. He has won numerous awards, including five Oscars, for his music (Fiddler on the Roof, 1971, Best Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score; Jaws, 1975, Best Original Dramatic Score; Star Wars, 1977, Best Original Score; E.T. the Extraterrestrial, 1982, Best Original Score; and Schindler's List, 1993, Best Original Score), and 21 Grammy Awards, including the 2007 Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for his "A Prayer For Peace," the theme from Munich.

For Romeoville ... by Paul Katula Sep 27 ... Romeoville's technical execution may not be perfect (yet), but the sound coming out of this huge group matches its size and lifts the spirit, appropriate for the theme of the show. Barney Chance was born in Beaumont, Texas, on Nov 20, 1932, said to be the descendent of a gambler from Mississippi. But in his less than 40 years of life, he was a prolific composer, especially for concert band and wind ensemble. Among his more famous works are "Incantation and Dance," "Elegy," Symphony No 2, and "Blue Lake Overture." He studied under Clifton Williams at the University of Texas and eventually became the arranger for the 8th US Army Band in South Korea, where he encountered the sounds that would become part of his most famous work, Variations on a Korean Folk Song, completed in 1965. His unfortunate death in 1972 came as the result of an accidental electrocution as he was working in the backyard of his home in Lexington, Ky. (William Pugatch, "Chance, John Barnes [Barney]," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed 9/27/14, uploaded 6/12/10. Texas State Historical Association.)

For Benet Academy ... by Paul Katula Sep 26 ... It's courageous for Benet's marching band to try to choreograph the music of Leonard Bernstein. Jerome Robbins, who choreographed the 1961 movie, had to come up with a whole new way of dancing because of the music Bernstein had created. Dancers, who on Broadway until West Side Story had counted four, six, or eight, just about every time, now had to deal with Bernstein's time signatures of 5/4 and 25/6. But it has been said, by the incomparable Roger Ebert, "if street gangs did dance, they would dance something like the Jets and the Sharks in this movie, and not like a Broadway chorus line."

For Stagg ... by Paul Katula Sep 26 ... The march, or fourth movement from Symphonic Metamorphosis, was added by Hindemith after a stylistic disagreement over how exactly he should compose a suite based on Carl Maria von Weber's works. Choreographer and dancer Léonide Massine wanted a stricter translation of Weber's works than Hindemith originally produced for the first and third movements. But Hindemith saw a ballet Messine had produced and didn't care much for it either, so the artistic differences were mutual. Hindemith had already come to America at the time. He originally titled the work in English and clearly wrote it with the virtuosity of American symphonies in mind, despite the nearly pure European thematic material. Weber originally wrote the piece as incidental music for a play by Carlo Gozzi. The play was known as Turandot and may be familiar to opera fans as the same play that inspired an opera by Giacomo Puccini. Weber wrote the Turandot music in about 1809. (See Anderson, Gene. 1994. "Analysis: Musical Metamorphoses in Hindemith's March from Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber." Journal of Band Research 30(1): 1–10.)

For Naperville Central ... by Paul Katula Sep 25 ... Thanks to the folks at Naperville Central HS for doing a live broadcast of the Sept 27 Marching Classic on High School Cube.com.

For Andrew ... by Paul Katula Sep 23 ... Congratulations to the marching band from Victor J Andrew for winning back-to-back grand championships (Morton and NIU) for the first time in the school's nearly 40-year history, District 230 tweeted. Can someone from the band please post a comment as to what music is being used in the show this year?

For Glenbrook North ... by Paul Katula Sep 23 ... The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former (1975-1999) Glenbrook North band director Peter Herr has died. We extend our condolences to his family and his many friends, many of whom are former students. When the band program was a fledgling version of what it was after his tenure, Peter got a call from the staff of then-unknown Oprah Winfrey to perform on "AM Chicago": "When my dad got the call from someone on Oprah's staff asking if they'd like to perform for the show, his initial reaction was, 'I'm not sure who this woman is, but it sounds like a great opportunity for the kids,'" the Tribune quoted his son, Peter, as saying. Said current co-director of bands Richard Chapman: "Peter was a wonderful, compassionate man who had a true love of teaching. He had a major influence on the lives of hundreds of young men and women, many of whom are music professionals today."

For Wheeling ... by Paul Katula Sep 22 ... Check out the article by Eileen O. Daday in the Daily Herald, here. Marching band judge Dallas Niermeyer, one of 10 judges at the 47th annual Chicagoland Marching Band Festival, put on by Wheeling's band parents, said that the quality of marching bands is getting better, since they're following the lead of top drum corps shows. "It puts a stronger emphasis on the percussion section, in particular up front, with the xylophones, timpani, and stationary drum sets," he was quoted as saying. "But it also gives the wind players more control of their instruments and allows the color guard to be more involved."

For Jacobs ... by Paul Katula Sep 22 ... The (Arlington Heights, Ill.) Daily Herald reports that "Für Elise" was written by Debussy. Oh well. But other than that, it's a nice article, and the halftime show from Jacobs is not your standard fare, I agree. Thanks to the Daily Herald for the excellent coverage, here, despite a few music education deficiencies. :-)

For Fremd ... by Paul Katula Sep 20 ... Two shows in one day!! The band concludes its show with the finale from Tchaikovsky's "Little Russian" symphony, so called because he quotes the occasional Ukrainian folk song. He originally wrote Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17, in 1872, and it might strike some listeners as being a little more cheerful than the composer was known to be. However, he rewrote it in 1879-80, completely redoing the opening movement and the scherzo and shortening the finale a bit. The fourth movement opens with a short fanfare that keeps building with longer and longer phrases. Then it quotes the folk song "The Crane," and after a lyrical theme from the strings, the symphony ends in a rather triumphant C Major. The conclusion has become so well-liked that many music lovers list it among their favorite one and a half minutes from the 19th century.

For Andrew ... by Paul Katula Sep 20 ... Looking good in the new uniforms!

For Lemont ... by Paul Katula Sep 20 ... "Close Every Door" is one of the two big hits from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Broadway musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1967). Here's Donny Osmond's performance. The work deals with oppression and imprisonment of the Israelites (Bar all the windows and shut out the light / Do what you want with me, / hate me and laugh at me / Darken my daytime and torture my night), fitting perhaps as we approach the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, but it moves, using children as a real and metaphorical device, to a more hopeful tone, affirming the inevitable triumph of the human spirit (Children of Israel are never alone / For we know we shall find our won peace of mind / For we have been promised a land of our own). Hence the open minds of children, of students, of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., and hence the show's title.

For Glenbrook North ... by Paul Katula Sep 20 ... Glenbrook North's program music includes Aaron Copland's most famous (because of a beef commercial) "Hoe-down" from his ballet Rodeo. The inspiration behind Copland's writing of the ballet movement was Kentucky fiddler Bill Stepp, whose performances from prisons to farmhouses have been well documented in the Library of Congress. "When you're hearing 40 concert violins and a xylophone and a wood block all playing together, really [you're] hearing fiddler Bill Stepp," NPR quoted musician and author Stephen Wade as saying.

For Eisenhower ... by Paul Katula Sep 20 ... The show's title and musical selections clearly refer to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dead Man's Chest," which is a song he wrote as part of his novel Treasure Island in 1883. It's a sea song, meant to be sung by the crew of a boat, but since Stevenson only wrote the chorus in his novel, people have sort of come up with several different versions of a verse. Another song lyric near the end of the novel may be closer to what Eisenhower had in mind with the title: "But one man of her crew alive / What put to sea with seventy-five." This lyric may be part of the sea song known as "Dead Man's Chest" or it may not. In either case, the lyric plays an important role in advancing the novel's story line. Factoid: In addition to Eisenhower's 2014 marching band show, the poem (Fifteen men on the dead man's chest / Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! / Drink and the devil had done for the rest / Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!) has been used in several works of art in various media, including in the poem "Derelict" by the newspaperman Young Ewing Allison, first published in the Louisville Courier-Journal in 1891.

For Jacobs ... by Paul Katula Sep 20 ... Jacobs took the field today at Wheeling, opening their show with a movement that includes Ludwig van Beethoven's famous piano solo, "Für Elise." For a version accompanied by orchestra and repeated about 15 times for a recording that lasts over an hour, this YouTube video seems popular. Interesting factoid: The work was first published in 1867, 40 years after Beethoven's death in 1827. Ludwig Nohl, who discovered the original autograph manuscript, said it carried a date of April 27, 1810, although the whereabouts of the original are unknown at this time.

For Wheaton North ... by Paul Katula Sep 20 ... Thanks for doing a live broadcast of the Sept 27 Falcon Marching Fest on the NFHS network.

For Hersey ... by Paul Katula Sep 17 ... A nice story and awesome photo in the TribLocal community pages.

For Pontiac Township ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... We would like to thank Pontiac High School for hosting a wonderful Indian Showdown, for the 11th straight year, and bringing us a glimpse of JS Bach on a marching field, as well as their own marching version of Beethoven's Ode to Joy from the Ninth Symphony in D Major. What a wonderful send-off from an opening weekend that was one for the books.

For Washington Community ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Washington opened their show in a formation that resembled the titular lion. They closed it in a similar formation, bringing it full circle, also in connection with the title. And although the show didn't include the music for certain words, those words from the same musical are perhaps most fitting for this band: "It's enough to make kings and vagabonds believe the fairy tale."

I would be remiss not to mention here, at Washington's first competitive performance this season, that Washington's band looks very much like it did at this time last year, better even. But what happened to Washintgton Community High School's students, their families, their friends, their teachers and neighbors in between last year's Indian Showdown and this year's was a tornado. In a metaphorical way, as well as a real, physical, musical one, they have returned. It's not a fairy tale, but the belief among kings and vagabonds alike is real. Good show! And best wishes to you all for a happy, successful marching season and school year.

For Champaign Central ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Although Lake Park performed a show by the same title today, Central's rendition of a marching show centered on Robert Frost's 1920 poem was much more punctuated than Lake Park's. The marching was impressive, especially the fast and expressive movement during the transitions (and the fact that the band provided a transition with music from one movement to the next). All this points to a spectacular year for Central, despite the fact that having too many big concluding chords sometimes tends to diminish the effectiveness of each one to a certain degree.

For Normal Comm West ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... The show opens with polyphony: a narrator and a cello, yes, but also in the cello itself, the "implied" polyphony of Johann Sebastian Bachís Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello, G Major, BWV 1007:



I apologize to our readers who can't follow a score, but for some moments in musical history, there are no words.

Anyway, Normal West's show goes on from there, keeping the narrator involved in a story between a tree and a boy, but after Bach, performed well, it's not easy to concentrate on a story about a tree. I will say one thing: the music selections are very closely tied to the story of the show. Thanks, Normal West, for incorporating Bach into a marching show.

For Plainfield East ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Musically, the show opens with some impressive execution as the straight eighths in the intro contrast the jazz or swing eighths afterward. This really got my hopes up for great things to come (and I'm sure they will), but the energy simply got nipped before it got going as a result of the long delay between the first movement and the ballad. Even ballads need to maintain momentum or energy in the music, I think. Tempo doesn't necessarily correlate with energy. At least it shouldn't. The drill, which during the ballad may not have been fully learned on the part of the students, included too much standing in place or minimal movement to be effective. Maybe the band's rehearsals haven't gotten to the marching during the ballad yet.

For Danville ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... The sense of Édith Plaf's 1945 hit "La Vie en Rose" is that of living in a rose garden, of living a blissful life. I think it would help the band develop that theme a little better if the visuals had more to do with bliss than with the color pink, though. There's some movement, nothing too complex, but the arrangement of the main tune, in the form of a marching band piece, is strained and takes itself much more seriously than Plaf's original ever did. This makes the theme of the show just miss the mark for me, although hard work on the part of the students is beginning to become evident in their execution.

For LaSalle-Peru ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... The band's dynamic range is narrow (it'll grow with more practice as the season progresses). Their range in marching, however, is expansive. For example, during the percussion feature, two side-by-side ovals rotate and then blend into concentric squares. Then, we get some hand work, as marchers enclose the dancers and flash their white gloves in a very effective, coordinated visual display. Then an asterisk forms, which also rotates clockwise. Impressive indeed.

For Dunlap ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Some talented musicians here! And the incorporation of the drum line into the show's theme of the gods is seamless. Especially powerful was the switch to the tenor drums, carried out to the field, as the tom players dropped their harnesses in front.

For East Peoria ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Better than many similar bands, East Peoria does a good job of integrating the flags into the show, rather than just sending them off to the side as the band plays. The purple is nice, and I liked how it built up from a lone dancer without a flag, to five without, then five with, and finally the whole auxiliary. However, because of how young this season is, some work on the music is still needed. For example, at the end of the slow movement, voices just started dropping out at random times before the actual cut-off. By the time the DM gave the cut-off, nobody was left playing that I could hear.

For Streator Township ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... This band's got rhythm—and a strong, lone sousaphone. Can't take my (ears) off of him or her. From the only sousaphone on the field, there was strength and support for everything above. Still, there's work to be done on the attacks and releases, which will allow the band's uncanny sense of rhythm to shine through. And the multi-colored, sectioned flags are cool. When they spin, the effect is dizzying.

For Illinois Valley Central ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Nice show! By way of what I hope will be constructive criticism, the narration needs to be given the prominence that it deserves in the show. It sounds too much like it's being read and not like poetry or pronouncement. The words, though a little on the everyday side for a show—e.g., "They may just be having a bad day"—should still be treated more like poetry, as the integral part of the show they are.

For Lake Park ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... The title, of course, refers to Robert Frost's 1920 poem, "The Road Not Taken," featured in the narration. It is one of the American poet's most popular but also most misunderstood poems. It's often read as a sign of America's individualistic nature of choosing a path that is different from everyone else's, but that may not be entirely accurate upon a closer reading. The poem's second and third stanzas reveal that both paths that lie before the traveler may be equally trodden and leaf-covered. The traveler initially hems and haws about choosing a path, makes what would seem to be an illogical choice, sighs regretfully about the choice, but then justifies it later by saying it was a logical choice after all. I don't know.

Anyway, thanks again to Lake Park for hosting another entertaining Joust and for the hard work evident in your performance at the festival and by the many student and parent volunteers who make this show possible every year. We stand in awe, whatever the poem means.

For Lockport Township ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... If you're going to incorporate the March to the Scaffold from Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique into your marching show, you had better bring along a few timpani drums with hard mallets. Perfect. The band is quite large and a few phasing issues happened at this early show, but they didn't detract (too much) from an overall enjoyment of the show.

For Wheeling ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Lay back and nail it to the wall, ye jazz trumpeters and trombonists! Or add a Harmon mute. You know, loud, by itself, isn't too exciting, but when you start soft and build the way Wheeling's big band brass and saxes do, now you're talkin'!! The ballad features a jazz flute solo that couldn't be creamier if Jean-Pierre Rampal had played it himself. I'm sure the solos aren't improvised, but they have a very jazzy quality to them, and that is due to the high school music program's excellence in jazz. It ends with a Latin trumpet that couldn't be any brassier, giving way to a full-band finish.

For Lincoln-Way East ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Singing. In harmony. You rarely see multi-part singing on the marching field, but LWE pulls it off beautifully. And that's not all. They put so many marchers on the field and weave them in and out in such tight formation, the Blue Angels would be proud. Straight lines and French curves are all nicely orchestrated, though the season is still very young. LWE tends to peak around the time of the BOA super-regionals and Grand Nationals.

For Naperville North ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Spaceships fly across the field from right to left right after a fairly traditional opener. Then scientists in white lab coats discuss something with a woman dressed in a business suit. And a military dance soloist, who doesn't seem to appreciate whatever the scientist has in mind, brings troops. But in the end, a heart-shaped formation and harmonious cadences bring all parties together in another very thematic show from NNHS.

For Downers Grove South ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Open Mic!! Somebody needs to tell the sax player to turn off his personal wireless mic after he finishes his solo and rejoins the group so we can hear the rest of the band. Besides that unfortunate mistake, the band showed its usual skill in marching and would seem to be developing a very entertaining routine, including a little singing, a little dancing, and a lot of rhythm. Great jazz combo at the beginning, before the open mic trouble.

For Lincoln-Way North ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... Banjos, fiddles, and washboards take the field—or should I say "porch"—close to the opening, as Lincoln-Way North once again pushes the envelope of creativity. The fiddler converts to a violinist in a middle movement but quickly gets back to her roots, her home. LWN, in its short history, always makes good use of the small number of students. Bring it home, Lincoln-Way North!

For Plainfield North ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... The show began with a simulation of the hands of a clock, which is a very difficult marching maneuver to keep lined up, especially this early in the season. They almost made it to 1:00, but quickly expanded out from the center to fill the field. But during the "digital" portion of the show, the only reference I could detect to the theme was the alarm sound played over an amp. I was thinking I was going to see some numbers, like on a digital clock, especially since the band's uniforms are red in front and black in the back. Surprises, surprises! Great show.

For Prospect ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... The band has some of the best-placed climaxes in marching, but when French composer Claude Debussy brings the music to a climax, whether with an orchestra or a piano, it's not going to miss. And then, when Prospect adds a pair of dancers in the middle of some sweet harmony, the result is simply liquid, even this early in the season.

For Hersey ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... "No man is born a warrior, but with strength, courage, and ..., he can find his true inner warrior," says the narrator, with Copland playing in the band. I couldn't help but think of the James Earl Jones narration of A Lincoln Portrait with the Seattle Symphony, as Hersey used a narrator with a similarly deep and resonating voice. With the fire-colored flags and Samurai dancers, the show was effective from an aesthetic and thematic perspective as well. This is a great beginning for the season!

For Warren Township ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... I found it very effective, from a visual and musical perspective, that the lone dancer was brought back during the whole-tone harmony in the Debussy, having been foreshadowed in the opening set in the middle of a very large field. Took my breath away! Also, the tremolo during the Vivaldi was particularly effective and very well executed, even without any violins.

For Naperville Central ... by Paul Katula Sep 13 ... MA-RIM-BA!! Four virtuoso marimba/xylophone players stole the opening at Lake Park. They are very accomplished, and the balanced sound coming from the band behind them provided excellent support. In the ballad, dancers worked with big hearts and red flags, sort of a Valentine's theme on the field (the simple gift of love?).

For Stagg ... by Paul Katula Sep 12 ... Pianist in the percussion pit. Here's our interview with director Bob Mecozzi.

For Oak Lawn Comm ... by Paul Katula Sep 12 ... Welcome back, Oak Lawn Community High School, competing at the Stagg Jamboree after being away from competition for six years!

For Alton ... by Paul Katula Sep 12 ... A comment on Illinois Marching Online says, "Ms Cudney's work is already evident with a 5th place finish by their drum line in class at Mozingo and 9th overall this past weekend. That in class placement is especially impressive when you look at the rest of the lineup, which included O'Fallon, Blue Springs (MO), Rockwood Summit (MO), and Lindbergh (MO)." It'll be nice to see where this program goes this season as it builds to a climax.

For Collinsville ... by Paul Katula Sep 12 ... One commentator on Illinois Marching Online writes: "Bobby Wright was a phenomenal instructor with O'Fallon while in school and the music program at Collinsville has improved tremendously since he got there." What do you think is in store for the band at Collinsville this year?

For Morton ... by Paul Katula Sep 11 ... Congratulations to the Morton High School Marching Band, named grand champion at the Sept 6 Marching Panther Invitational at Washington Community High School. This show marked the very first time the invitational marching band competition, in its 28-year history, was conducted on artificial turf, the Peoria Journal-Star reported.

For Herscher ... by Paul Katula Sep 11 ... Who's the director at Herscher? The school board published minutes from the May 12 board meeting, here, saying that Rachael Dickman had resigned. We are unable to find news reports of the reason for her resignation, and we wish her well.

For Thornton Fractional South ... by Paul Katula Sep 11 ... John Haney moved north to the suburbs and takes over as band director at TF South! He was formerly the director at Salem Community High School downstate.

TF South's former director, Mike Madonia, was charged in June (article) in connection with a prank that had forced him to quit a month earlier. He has made no comment on the record concerning his resignation, but according to the Northwest Indiana Times, he allegedly poured valve oil on two stairways at the school, making them slick.

Word Wall (click on term for contest info)

1907

The year a college marching band first took the field in formation during halftime of a football game. The place was Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill., and the game was the Big 9 match-up between the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. The Illini lost the game, but halftime would never be the same after that day. The director: Albert Austin Harding. Oct 8

Floating

A complex movement in which marchers get from one point to another in a specified number of counts, adjusting step size as necessary. While it can be very difficult, the movement appeals to drill designers for the effect it adds. The technique most likely has its origins in college bands of the 1940s: the portion of the band that formed the school's letters was often "floated" in back of some other formation. Oct 7

Drifting

Shifting out of position gradually while moving on the field. An entire segment can be ruined, inch by inch, if just one person drifts. This is a little different from "phasing," which is a condition in which one or more individuals in the band get ahead of or behind the rest of the band. Phasing is a time zone issue, because two or more people are playing at different points in the show; drifting is just a spacing issue. Oct 7

Cochlea

A structure in the inner ear with microscopic hair cells that can become damaged and result in permanent hearing loss when overexposed to loud noises for too long a time period. For example, the maximum safe exposure time for a marching band at 120 dB is 7 seconds. See our recent article. Oct 4

Misting

In meteorology, a ground report meaning that tiny water droplets are suspended in the air. This differs from fog, which is a cloud based at the Earth's surface and may also contain water droplets or even ice crystals, only in that misting doesn't reduce the visibility as much as fog does. In marching, misting is the term used by adult staff, wanting the show to go on, to describe drizzle or even rain. Oct 4

Horns to the box

A position for holding the instruments in a marching field show, almost always while playing, in which they are pointed toward the press box, at about a 45° angle upward. This position is used especially at a local climax in the music, because the sound is loudest for the judges, who sit in the press box, to hear, but the position is used more for its visual effect than for its effect on the music. In Mahler's Symphony No. 1, e.g., the composer writes the abbreviation "Schalltr. auf," short for "Schalltrichter auf" (bells up). In Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, horns are told to play a fortetissimo phrase with their "pavillons en l'air." It changes the sound somewhat, but even in a symphony orchestra, it's more striking visually than anything. Oct 1

Dress right

To check the straightness of a lateral line, in which marchers are standing side-by-side, by looking to the right. This means the marcher on the far right is effectively leading the row. The military use of the word dress, used here to mean straightening the troops, came into the English language in the early 14th century, a little before the meaning more commonly heard today, to adorn or put on clothing. That one came into the language in the late 14th century. Oct 1

Cover down

To be in line with other marchers by occupying a position directly before or behind them. Given that the front marcher is facing forward, it's usually more prudent to guide off of that marcher when bringing a file into alignment. The term has origins in the military, where it was first heard in the 1680s, but the understanding of cover meaning "conceal by standing in front of" has been around since the 12th century. Oct 1

Connecting force

A high school marching band. A video has been produced in cooperation with the Lake Brantley High School band in Altamonte Springs, Fla., saying that at a time in our school history when budget cuts are common and testing reigns supreme, there's an even greater need for music education. Marching band, it is argued, allows students to participate in a larger enterprise with hyper-connected individuals who share a common goal and to encourage the healthy development in each other of skills they can transfer to many other areas. "Band has been more than a class or a club; it's been a family I can just go to," one student says. Music, especially in the advanced form of an excellent high school band program, gives students tools for solving problems in life. "In music, you don't have time to freak out about anything, so it really teaches you to just let what's going to happen happen, trust what you've done, and just go on from there," a teacher says. Sep 27

Corner

A parade marching maneuver in which the entire band turns right or left at an intersection of two streets. Bands have several options, ranging from the pinwheel or swing-gate turn to the minstrel turn to the more complex Texas turn. According to the Missouri Music Educators Association, whatever turn is used, it's important to maintain straight lines, which means marchers have to know how to guide. For example, in a swing-gate turn, guiding is based on the outside person, who travels the greatest distance. In a minstrel turn, guiding is by rank (across), by file (front-to-back), and by diagonal. "Straight lines, good posture, and good carriage will make any turn look better," writes the MMEA. Sep 27

Corps-style marching

A style of presentation for a marching band marked by a wide variety of music, tempos, and moods, in contrast to a military, or Big 10 style (q.v.), from which corps-style marching is derived. When Drum Corps Associates formed in 1965, followed by Drum Corps International in 1972, marching bands at the high school and college level followed the lead of the drum corps and got a lot more creative. Very slow and very fast music was incorporated. Bands faced the audience instead of the end zone so the music was substantially louder and more exciting for fans. Timpani drums, xylophones, pianos, and organs started showing up in the pit, as did string instruments and vocalists on occasion. Classical music, jazz, pop, and everything in between started to be integrated into shows that carried themes, such as the show from Purdue University in 2011, which even incorporated a narrator. Steps changed, as did the formations. While Big 10-style bands continued to make letters and words on the field, corps-style bands developed geometric patterns and curves, including pinwheels, company fronts, etc. Sep 24

Show-style marching

A style of presentation for a marching band in which marching wind musicians spend more time standing in place than in other styles and the use of a drum line predominates more than the winds when it comes to providing a cadence for marchers to move around. The style was developed at historically black colleges and universities during the 1970s, and the shows typically are based on more popular music than other marching styles. While they're stationary on the field, band members often dance to entertain the spectators. In addition, most show-style bands maintain a twirler and dance line instead of a color guard, although there's wide variation even among show-style bands (e.g., Grambling State University). Sep 24

Big 10-style marching

A style of presentation for a marching band characterized by the use of military-style marches, many of which were written by John Philip Sousa and Henry Fillmore, a baton-twirling drum major, and pictures and other formations, such as words like "Gophers" or "Illini" on the field. Unlike other styles, bands use a strict eight-to-five step, or 22½ inches (q.v.) and one in which the knee is lifted higher than during normal walking. After the Civil War, troops from the North and the South started sending their own bands to parades, using primarily military-style marches. The tradition continued through the two world wars and is still a major force in the US, especially among collegiate marching bands (e.g., the Marching Illini). Sep 24

Six and six

A protocol for the salute given by drum majors in a parade in which the salute begins six steps before the DM reaches the reviewing stand and is held for six steps after passing in front of the reviewing stand. Drum Majors of Southern California Inc defines this as the ideal salute for use in a parade. Sep 22

Eight and eights

A marching exercise, designed to teach precision, in which marchers mark time (q.v.) for eight beats and then march forward for eight beats. The exercise is repeated over and over, and it is said that if you can do 10 eight and eights in a row while holding a glass of water as you would an instrument and still drink the water when it's over, you're good. A video of the Santa Clara Vanguard, doing exercises at a summer camp in Utah in July, with eight and eights at the end, can be seen on YouTube, here. Sep 22

Mark time

Marching in place, without moving any distance forward, backward, or sideways. You lift your legs as if you're marching, but you put your feet back down in the same place each time. Some bands have different versions of marking time: (1) Low mark time uses a step in which the heels are raised as high as possible while keeping the toe on the ground at all times. In this case, the beat is struck in the heel, which hits the ground every beat. (2) High mark time uses a step in which the leg is raised so that the thigh is parallel to the ground and the foot is at the level of the opposite knee. The toe is usually pointed toward the ground. Whichever step type is used, however, there should be no movement above the waist. Sep 22

Eight to five

Taking eight steps to travel a distance of five yards (a main grid line on the gridiron), or using a stride length of 22½ inches. It's a common stride length used by marching bands because marching band arrangements often use simple meter, dividing each "beat" into two notes, an even number. So eight steps, taken on the notes, will move marchers to the next yard line when they get to the next natural boundary in the music, known as a measure. Also common is "six to five" marching, which computes to a stride length of 30 inches. Sep 21

Company front

A marching formation in which the entire band (most of it, anyway) is in a straight line across the field, with marchers standing or marching side by side, facing forward. The term is derived from "front," which represents the distance across the first row (rank) of a marching band. A company front simply means the entire band, or company, is part of that distance. Sep 21

Pit

An area of the field, usually forward of the front sideline, where musicians, usually percussionists, remain stationary. Pit musicians may play marimbas, timpani, gongs, drum sets, and other large percussion instruments that can't be moved around easily. The "opposite" of the pit is the drum line, which does march around while playing and is usually reserved for cymbals, snare drums, toms, or bass drums. Some bands construct stages, which allow pit performers to move around on the field. Pianos, organs, and other instruments may also be played in the pit area. Sep 21

Crack of dawn

In meteorology, the time of day just before the sun comes up, when temperatures are usually coldest in any 24-hour period. In marching, the time of day, usually on a Saturday, when parents or guardians are expected to drive band members to the school, so they can stand out in the parking lot until bus drivers open the buses and let them in. This scene is most commonly observed when a marching band has to get to a marching band festival several hours away from their home school. Sep 19

Counter march

A marching maneuver in which the entire band turns, one row of band members at a time, and marches in the opposite direction. The drill only works if the band is marching with precision, since a failure to do so will result in marchers stepping right into each other. A disaster would ensue. Sep 19

Caption

A trait of a marching band's show that judges should evaluate independently of all other traits. For example, some scoring systems say that "marching and maneuvering" is a caption, while "music performance" is another caption. Typically, one judge scores each caption. Some caption scores count toward the final score, whereas other captions may be used only to give trophies to the top score earners, such as Best Drum Major and Best Percussion. Captions are occasionally divided into sub-captions, as in Kentucky state series performances, and judges are advised not to leave any tie scores in the sub-captions. This instruction to judges introduces bias into the scoring, but since there's already a lot of bias in the scores, adding a little more can't do too much damage. Sep 19

General effect

A trait used to score marching band shows, the one most subject to bias and opinion. More specifically, the general effect score given by a judge is supposed to reflect how effective he or she thought the marching bandís field show was. Breaking down general effect, we have G.E. Music and G.E. Visuals. That is, how effective—or entertaining, or engaging, etc.—was the music, and how effective were visual elements of the show? Did the given aspect of the show boost or detract from the overall entertainment value? Sep 18

Grand champion

The marching band that wins the festival, usually because they received the top combined score from judges at the event in several categories. It is entirely possible that a band will be named grand champion but will not have achieved the top score in any of the individual categories. One reason for naming a grand champion is that at festivals, where several school bands compete for points, the bands are often grouped into classes by either school enrollment, band size, or a hybrid function of those two. The grand champion, then, is the band that received the top combined score, regardless of class. Sep 18

Backward marching

Moving backfield while still pointing the instrument toward the home audience. Sometimes a band or a section of a band needs to move toward the back of the field, away from the main viewing stands or press box where judges are located. Since judges can't score what they can't hear, marchers can sometimes keep their instruments pointing forward and just take backward steps to move backfield. Julie Mack on mlive.com defined backward marching as a "tough skill to learn" and "one you will never, ever use again once your band days are over." For one band, backward marching ended in a seven-sousaphone pile-up as marchers tripped over each other, one by one. Sep 18



PLAY. THE. GAME.

You have until Oct. 11 to predict the prelim rankings at ISU.