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festival date: June 16, 2018

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Viewer Guide

festival date: June 16, 2018

When watching marching band parade competitions have you ever wondered how the judges come to their conclusions in ranking and evaluating the bands?

Here is some helpful information that should give you important insight on this difficult task.

A panel of six judges evaluate specifically assigned areas (or captions). Each of these captions are divided into specific criteria that the judge will be evaluating. Their respective assignments are just a portion of the total score of 100 possible points.

The judges evaluate the entire show from beginning to end, using both a tape recorder and judging sheet to record their comments. These are given to the bands after the competition.

General Effect Music — 20 points

This judge is located on the judges platform and takes a broad approach to the performance from a musical perspective. In addition to evaluating the overall musical quality of the presentation and the repertoire itself, the judge must consider the overall effectiveness of the entire show. All aspects of the show must combine to create a unified production with the music as the basis.

Music Performance — 20 points

This judge is located on the street and will evaluate the technical accuracy of the musical performance. Individuals as well as the woodwind, brass and percussion sections will be judged on balance and blend, consistency of tone and pitch, technical precision and musicality of performance.

Visual General Effect — 20 points

This judge is located on the judges platform and takes a broad approach to the performance from a visual perspective. They are looking for how well did the band “sell” their show to the audience. Emphasis is placed on the marching drill itself in terms of its execution and effectiveness in creating visual interest and in highlighting the musical presentation. Other considerations include visual creativity, demand, coordination of all visual elements with the music and overall professionalism and intensity of the group.

Visual Performance — 20 points

This judge is located on the street and evaluates the technical proficiency of the individual marchers in the entire ensemble. Judging aspects include marching accuracy, posture, poise and definition of a uniform marching style within the group. Also included are spatial control, equipment technique, artistic expression and visual cohesion with the musical performance. The score is based on overall marching excellence with consideration of the demand, construction and content of the marching drill.

Color Guard — 10 points

This judge is located on the judges platform and will focus exclusively on the color guard unit in all its parts. They are looking for uniformity in movement and equipment technique as well as emotional portrayal of the mood and music. Key is the ability to show a broad range of visual work that compliments the overall presentation and does not distract from the musical performance.

Percussion — 10 points

This judge is located on the street and will focus exclusively on all members of the percussion section. They are looking for uniformity in stick control and technique, rhythmic accuracy, dynamic contribution that augments the overall musical presentation, tone and pitch, balance and blend within the section as well as the entire musical ensemble.

Inclement Weather:

  • The parade will go on as scheduled. Each band will decide whether or not to march, depending on the circumstances.
  • The parade may be delayed up to one hour or cancelled.
  • Each band will be expected to begin marching from the lineup area and continue through the judging area.
  • All requests for departure from the above policies are to be directed by the band director or his/her representative to a Parade Committee member at the start of the route.

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
Harry Wenger Marching Band Festival
PO Box 188
Owatonna, MN 55060

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