Marching band fans,
It is that time of year again when fall schedules are released, flight changes come out, and general anticipation for the upcoming marching season starts to build!
Tentative MCBA and SMB Contest Schedule:
First, you will notice in our calendar that the tentative MCBA and SMB contests are now posted. Please note that these contests are subject to change and cancellation. Also, the Wyoming Park SMB contest scheduled for 9/29/12 has not been posted as Wyoming Park High School will no longer exist come fall. We’re waiting to see if the new Wyoming High School Band will still host the contest and which stadium they will use to host (the old Rogers HS or the old Wyoming Park HS). We will let you know when we have more information. Also, the BOA schedule will be posted once we know which contests Michigan bands are attending. Note: The Pontiac Regional is on 10/6, the Indianapolis Regional is 10/19-10/20, and Grand Nationals is the weekend of 11/7-11/10.
MCBA Scoring Changes:
Starting with the 2010 season, the MCBA stopped using the Bands of America scoring system for several reasons including cost and being able to change the educational focus of the MCBA by placing more emphasis on the performer and less emphasis on design. Each season since, the MCBA has tweaked the scoring system slightly.
For the upcoming season the scoring breakdown is:
The new breakdown eliminates captions that end in odd numbers. This should eliminate some of the scores we’ve seen in the past few seasons that end in very messy decimal points.Music Field: 10
Music Ensemble: 20
Visual Field: 10
Visual Ensemble : 20
Music GE: 20
Visual GE: 20
MCBA Flight Changes:
Every year, MCBA changes the flights based on the February count numbers in order to ensure that each flight is as equal as possible. This is even more imperative now that 12 bands advance to state finals in each flight. For the 2012 season, the flight breakdown is as follows:
Flight I: 1694 – higher
Flight II: 1207- 1693
Flight III: 771-1206
Flight IV: 770 – lower
For comparison, this was the breakdown for 2011:
Flight I: 1,653 and higher
Flight II: 1,214 to 1,652
Flight III: 800 to 1,213
Flight IV: 799 or less
The flight number changes are consistent with the decrease in student population at most Michigan High Schools for next school year.
So what does this all mean? Flight changes! Scary and exciting, the flight changes this year are breaking up some old rivalries, putting some bands back into their traditional flights of competition, and putting others into new territory.
MCBA Flight Changes in Alphabetical Order:
Dearborn Heights: Crestwood (III to II) – Once again, Crestwood is moving back up to Flight II. Crestwood tends to always be on the bubble and has moved between Flight III and II several times over the years.
Edwardsburg (IV to III) – The last time Edwardsburg was in Flight III was during the 2010 season. After one season, they moved back to IV in 2011. However, Edwardsburg will probably see their days as the bubble band coming to an end. The school has consistently grown each year from spillover from the affluent suburb of Granger, Indiana. People moving to the area see Edwardsburg as a smaller option to Granger’s Penn High School (for comparison, Edwardsburg has a student population of 806 – Penn is 3,379).
Flint: Carman Ainsworth (II to I) – The Carman Ainsworth Blue Brigade is back in Flight I. However, we hope that with back-to-back state finals appearances under their belt, they can keep their competitive momentum going back in their traditional Flight of competition.
Hudsonville (I to II) – After missing state finals for the first time in years after moving up to Flight I for the 2011 season, Hudsonville is back in their Flight II home (which they have been in since they moved up from Flight III in the mid-90’s).
L’Anse Creuse (I to II) – The L’Anse Creuse Lancers are moving back down to Flight II after spending two seasons in Flight I. The Lancers’ time in Flight I has made them a much stronger band and we’re expecting good things from them back in Flight II.
And our biggest change…
Reeths-Puffer (II to III) – The Reeths-Puffer High School Rocket Marching Band’s trailer proudly proclaims that they are “out of this world” and they have a resume to match that claim. The former Bands of America Class AA National Champion and nine-time Flight II state champion is moving down to Flight III; however, the Flight III bands will put up a fight. RP will have to contend with seven-time state champion Ferndale; three-time state champion (and perennial top three finalist) Stevensville: Lakeshore; up-and-coming powerhouse Byron Center; and a very consistent Grand Rapids: Northview. Throw in a DeWitt High School band that surprised many with a third place finish last year and you have what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive flights of competition in MCBA history!
Excited for September yet? We are!
Once you can share your shows and repertoire and know your 2012 schedule, send them in! We can only do so much without your support!