I love marching bands! So I go to the marching band festival in Osseo every year. It’s only a block from my house, so its not hard to get there. I also like to comment on the bands and rate them and see how it compares with what the judges have to say, because I am a giant nerd. However, I was at the first performance area, the judges are at the second, so they might have performed different. But its too crowded there, so I stay closer to home.
The weather was perfect, except for a couple gusts of wind which surprised a couple color guards, but they handled it well.
A couple general observations – I hate it when all the staff is walking with the bands and giving them cues. I believe the band should be independent at a comp. I hate the bands that have buckets of props with them. Some bands hide it with decorated boards and what-not, but the ones that just have big ugly bins need to come up with something else. It’s distracting.
Ok, time for my thoughts and ratings:
Richfield – Class A – simple choreograhy on the first song. Second was better. Band was good, color guard needed work.
Maple Grove - Class AA – Such a small group for such a large school. I find this odd. Much improved over past years. Too much dancing without flags. I don’t like just dance in a marching band, it feels like it doesn’t stand up to the grandeur of the musicians.
St. Peter – Class A – Baseball theme. Super cute and fun. Really made me smile. Band was good. guard hand some coordination issues, but still good. Entertaining.
Waconia – Class AA – Art heist theme. Great! The band and the guard were all great. The ‘set’ and props were great. Possibly best of show.
The Patriots – Class AAA – good and clean but no ‘wow’ factor.
Winona – Class A – Good. Color guard needs a little improvement but not bad. Rifles were gerat. Less wowo factor than usual.
Osseo Alumni band – Exhibition band, not competing. Improved over last year and added flags. They just had a lot of fun and were good at it.
Champlain – Class AA – The Godfather Theme. Good
Park Center – Class AAA – Snow day theme. Started with a radio anouncment of school closures due to the storm. The guard danced with shovels at one point and they had an imaginary snowball fight. Odd to see in the summer, but very fun and entertaing. Very energetic. The band and the guard had a heck of a work-out. Some timing issues in the guard.
Albany – Class A – Michael Jackson Theme. Good but no ‘wow’. Simple guard and the melody of the music was lost and drab.
Owatonna – Class AA – Good but no wow.Color guard pretty good but room for improvement.
Henry Sibly – Class A – Great! Well coordinated. Played True Colors. The guard was gorgeous. Loved the double giant flags.
Mankato – Class AAA – Really good. Great choreography. Band was great. Guard almost great. They even had some singing which was surprisingly good.
St. Michael & Albertville – Class AA – Great! Avatar theme with camo costumes. Perfect guard.
728 Cadets – Class AAA – Really good. Great band, great guard. Really great, but needs something.
Osseo – Host band, can’t compete. Big sound for few band members. Guard had shaky start, but ended strong. Good over-all.
How I would Rank them: (First is best, last is worst)
Class A: Henry Sibly, Winona, St. Peter, Richefield, Albany. Note: Winona and St. Peter nearly tied.
Class AA: Waconia, St Michael, Owatonna, Champlain, Maple Grove. All really close though.
Class AAA – Park Center, Mankato, 728 Cadets, Patriots. First three might actually be tied.
Best Band – Mankato (though I paid less attention to this category)
Best Guard – Mankato
Best Choreography- Mankato, Park Center & Waconia all tied.
Best of show – Waconia
Those re my 2 cents. Can’t wait to hear what the judges thought!