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View Full Version : I complain but do not offer suggestion....



Trojan by Birth
11-01-2009, 10:57 AM
So here it is. The Trojan by Birth guide to improving the entertainment quality of TSOTS.

1. Movement Movement Movement. I don't mean walking around while playing the instruments either. Swing those horns from side to side. Jump up and down from time to time. Turn around... dance. No standing. TSOTS is a marching band... so march. Prime example: 50 billion kids standing still playing Michael Jackson's Thriller. A better performance would have been TSOTS playing Thriller and moving as close as possible to the Thriller dance.

2. Not one slow song ever. It's hard enough getting the Trojans up and cheering. Not one opportunity to catch a nap. Save the slow songs for after the game. I want high intensity music.

3. Forget the classics... play to the youth, as they are the fans of the future. If I ever hear "a classic George Gershwin ensemble", I'll release a dog with a frisbee.

I'm not a band person and I couldn't play an instrument, but I'm one of the thousands that the band plays for. These are my thoughts and I may be completely in the minority but I figured since I complain that I would offer my ideas of improvement.

BleedingCardinal
11-01-2009, 12:37 PM
Well the tubas had a dance made up and was ready to do it ... UNTIL the high school drummers got there and they couldn't keep the beat so they had to count for them.

PS We're a marching band not a dancing band.

troy4ever
11-01-2009, 03:19 PM
1. You defined what you want in movement from the band and essentially it seems to be dancing, jumping, and swinging of horns. That being said, you need to understand that there are various styles of marching band. The two primary styles are corp style and show style. The SOTS is a corp style band that does traditional marching while playing instruments. The other...show style...is more along the style of Alabama State where they dance, swing horns, jump around, etc. So to help you be more informed...I'm providing you with this link...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marching_band

Read that. Since you're "not a band person" it will help you understand more about what it is you're talking about.

As far as band day and the high school kids on the field last night with the SOTS...that was a HUGE recruiting effort by the band and many of those kids will come to Troy and be in the band because of what they experienced yesterday and last night. So it's not necessarily about your opinion of what you'd like to see as much as it is the directors of the Sound of the South doing what they both need and are suppose to do to ensure the continued success of the band program at Troy and that's recruit through various methods.

2. When did the band play a slow song last night? I only remember hearing them play one and that was "My Home's in Alabama" with the mass band which is a salute to the state in which Troy is in Alabama. But in another context...you can't just play all fast, high intensity all the time. For one...where is the educational value in that? Remember...that even though it IS marching band...it still has to be educational in value for the COLLEGE students in the band, many of which will go out and become band directors themselves and have to teach things of educational value even during marching season. So that means exposing them to more than one type of music in various styles and tempos in order to do that.

3. "Forget the classics" can also be interpreted as forget tradition. The Sound of the South has a tradition that they must uphold in honor of not only its history, but also its alumni base that provides plenty of money for that band program which in turns helps fund it and send it on trips to games and such. While it's important to play to the youth sometimes...not all the time. I sat right beside the band last night and witnessed them play more rap and hip hop songs than they ever did when I went to school there. They were catering to the youth in that way and I witnessed many high school band students in the stands eat it up when they did. So they are doing it in the stands...just not how you want them to on the field.

While you offer your opinions for improvement, and you do understand you may be in the minority, there are also others who completely love and enjoy all the things the SOTS do; from their style of shows to what they do in the stands. What's important to understand is that everyone has an opinion on this subject and nobody's is more right than anyone else's. Please know that I was in no way trying to be a smart butt with my response or to directly target you and create an argument. I was simply trying to inform you of how "others" may view the things in which you say.

BleedingCardinal
11-01-2009, 04:54 PM
+1 Very well said. Said everything that I was thinking and then some. Plus, last night's slow song got the fans off their feet for a standing ovation, which I thought showed their approval of the song.

TrojanWarrior418
11-01-2009, 05:52 PM
So here it is. The Trojan by Birth guide to improving the entertainment quality of TSOTS.

1. Movement Movement Movement. I don't mean walking around while playing the instruments either. Swing those horns from side to side. Jump up and down from time to time. Turn around... dance. No standing. TSOTS is a marching band... so march. Prime example: 50 billion kids standing still playing Michael Jackson's Thriller. A better performance would have been TSOTS playing Thriller and moving as close as possible to the Thriller dance.

2. Not one slow song ever. It's hard enough getting the Trojans up and cheering. Not one opportunity to catch a nap. Save the slow songs for after the game. I want high intensity music.

3. Forget the classics... play to the youth, as they are the fans of the future. If I ever hear "a classic George Gershwin ensemble", I'll release a dog with a frisbee.

I'm not a band person and I couldn't play an instrument, but I'm one of the thousands that the band plays for. These are my thoughts and I may be completely in the minority but I figured since I complain that I would offer my ideas of improvement.

I give you at least your trying to be constructive.

But as an old band guy let me answer your suggestions.

1) As it has been mentioned on here the movement a band does depends on its style and while Troy does have G.E (general effect) in their shows it's not the center piece, the music is. Now back in the day the marching used to be about the forms on the field but it has changed since the founding days of the Sound. I would like to see the Sound go back to that style, but wouldn't hurt my feelings if they didn't.

Also the reason for the total lack of movement for band day was 1) logistics: There was no way for 1,000 + band students to march on the field safely. 2) Time: The bands had the music in advance, but there was no time for all the bands and SOTS to learn and perform a marching routine. You have to practice these things in advance as well and all the bands got into Troy earlier that day and thus there would be no time to practice a drill.

2) Slow songs are a part of band. You have to have the slow as well as the fast and you have to fit your halftime theme. And believe it or not it's harder to play slower songs than fast ones (at least that was my experience).

3) I'm not sure what you mean by "the classics". I have never heard SOTS march a Gershwin or Sousa tune. But they will play 70's shows because that is the music that the people who donate money to the band like. Also you would be doing a disservice to the students by not playings swings, latin, jazz, etc... shows.

moosicman
11-01-2009, 09:45 PM
I was thinking about the O.P. as I was listening to the SOTS CD with all the Star Wars and Gladiator tunes on it. I suppose I can see how someone who has a "Kanye West" (meaning of ultimate low class and quality) type of appreciation for music wouldn't be too interested in the more intense musical numbers that give the rest of us (musicians or no but who feel and sense the vibe, creativity, and energy in music) chill bumps. And I can even understand how you begin to limit the numbers that you please by playing more "operatic/symphonic" styles more akin to a professional drum corp. But the SOTS has never had such a show that I can recall. So to say of the O.P. that he is in the minority of people who feel the way he feels is an insult to minorities. Even listening to the cassette tape of the '88 SOTS with the Gershwin medley I can recall it being a crowd pleaser to adults and even high schoolers (usually in the "too cool for it" group){since he mentioned Gershwin}.

And about the slow songs: to listen to either of Ford's arrangements of Amazing Grace ('88 or the current retooled version) both in a half-time show or just in the post-game show and call that NOT entertaining, moving, or inspiring is just...well.......nevermind, I typed it, but my wife said it was mean, so I deleted it. But I have to say that some people's opinions are rightfully given to prove to the rest of the world that they have no clue what they are talking about.

Now I don't say that to be mean or disrespectful. Honestly! So let me end by saying that I'm almost certain your football knowledge dwarfs me and I give you kudos for this and other areas in which you are an expert, O.P!! But leave the music stuff to someone else. You remind me of Elaine Benes dancing on Seinfeld.

MusicMan
11-07-2009, 02:33 AM
Umm.....sorry I'm big on tradition. The biggest tradition I can think of is the Fanfare. I think the whole stadium would probably boo SOTS off the field if that ever ceased to be played. I'm 19 and marched with the SOTS, I'm also a 60's, 70's, and some 80's music junkie. Most of the high schoolers I kno actually do like that stuff, so if the high schoolers like it, I don't see what would change in a few years of college. Like everyone's said before me, I'm not causing an argument, I'm just putting my opinion in. If you want to know what Corps style is, I suggest you go to ESPN.com and look up DCI, Drum Corps International. You mentioned in another thread that ESPN doesn't air band, but they air the DCI finals every year. One of my favorites is a show called Spartacus, unfortunately be Corps has escaped my mind at the moment. Just from a marching perspective, you can't play all fast charts the whole show, if your a wind player, anything other than drums, guard and majorettes, you would more than likely fall out from lack of oxygen. It's hard to march 180 bpm for 10 minutes and have to play at the top of your lungs, like I said, just my opinion. I have a feeling I'm going to be flamed for this in some way, oh well. :D :D :D

gotroygo
11-07-2009, 02:33 PM
One of my favorites is a show called Spartacus, unfortunately be Corps has escaped my mind at the moment.

Spartacus was the Phantom Regiment's show in 2008. And they won!

MusicMan
11-07-2009, 02:34 PM
Thank you, that was the best show, and personally I'm a Cav's fan. Their Robot show was AWSOME!