Saturday, February 22, 2020
US flag

Should Illinois Name a State Champ?

There has been rumbling for some time that Illinois doesn’t really crown a state champion for marching band.

The state is rich with fantastic marching bands, but because of their commitment to appear at certain school festivals, we have trouble getting all the best bands in one place for the same set of judges.

The set of judges used presents another problem. There are several systems in use, including BOA, USSBA, and so on. The scoring uses different systems, so first, a scoring system would have to be agreed upon. For example, consider one judging system’s descriptors for the range of score points, from the state of Texas, which I have uploaded to this site (PDF link).

Then, some of these school festivals, at which a lot of money is made, would have to be coalesced into a state tournament. This would not only bring more performing bands to these festivals, and thus more money, but it would also serve to standardize the scoring at these festivals, so a high school marching band program’s improvement over time could be assessed more accurately.

Texas does crown a state champion marching band in each of four classes, thanks to the University Interscholastic League, which is similar to the Illinois High School Association. The UIL—and the IHSA, except for marching bands—divide the schools into classes based on enrollment and provide basic rules for the contests. Their main Web site for music is here.

One thing about Texas is that the UIL also provides for the music education. Illinois has the Illinois Music Educators Association for that function, which establishes rules for other music contests, including providing a prescribed music list, and also divides Illinois’s schools up into districts based on geographic location.

The question put forth: Can Illinois (in conjunction with the IMEA for its “districts” based on location and the IHSA for its “classes” based on enrollment) organize and standardize a state championship for marching band? Is such a venture worthwhile? How would such a venture happen?

Previous articleSuggestion Box
Next articleWhat is a fraction?
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.