Friday, was another fantastic event, the Sauk Rapids parade, which always brings out our best.  There is something special about that venue; the trees, the curves of the route, the roundabout and the response of the audience.  You were 2nd out of 10 bands (still a click or 2 behind Owatonna).  Your highest rankings were in Music and Marching (1st in each).

We finished a long run of parades yesterday with an exhibition performance at Glencoe.  And, this non-judged event may have been the most rewarding experience we’ve had in years.  Marching and playing for the audience without any care about a judging stand felt like a true blessing.  The crowd response was fantastic, the “purple wave” of HERD fans was evident throughout the parade, and fans of both the Litchfield and Waconia bands were really supportive and encouraging every time you performed.   The highlight, of course, was sharing our music with the Litchfield band before the parade, performing for the Waconia band at the end of the parade, and supporting the Litchfield group on their last play.  To share this experience with these fierce competitors was a reminder that we are all just “band kids” doing what band kids do.  And, it reminded me of this statement that is included in the “HERD Biography” that is sent in with every parade application: “More than anything, members of “The HERD” are marching band fans that believe that their participation helps to develop essential skills found in well-rounded young adults.” Yesterday was evidence of this philosophy in action.

Congratulations to our most recent Golden Dinkle Winners (recognition of an outstanding visual performance). From Sauk Rapids, it was Dillon Huss of the Drumline.  Anna Ebnet took home the award from Glencoe.

I’ll see you all tomorrow at 2:00 for the Roseville Parade.  This will likely be the toughest lineup of the year, with almost all the top bands in the state participating.


Milaca Summary

Thanks to everybody who was so flexible yesterday.  The rain delay at the high school required an extended time of focused visual rehearsal in the BAC.  The rain on site made things awkward during the pre parade prep.  And, the wetness of everything meant everybody had a lot of work to do once we returned to the high school.  All day long I saw leaders…people doing what needed to be done, when it needed to be done, whether they wanted to do it or not.  Great kids…Great parents…Great band!  What a pleasure it is to be involved in the organization…in this activity!

Last nights performances were exceptional.  The band continues to improve each time out.  With three parades under our belts it feels as if we are beginning to really “perform” rather than just execute.  An example of this is last night’s winner of the Golden Dinkle, Mitchell Rabehl, of the Alto Sax section.

Here is a link to the parade results from Milaca. http://www.minnesotaparadebands.com/2018-Season.html

“The HERD” was 2nd in Class AAA (really 3rd but Waconia won the Grand Championship) and was 5th overall out of 17 high school bands.  Our highest ranking was in Marching, where we were in 2nd place.

High scores have been pretty hard to come by this year, and I like that.  An 80 or higher indicates a “Superior” performance in the eyes of the judges, and I believe that recognition should be very difficult to achieve.  There are 7 or 8 bands that earn multiple scores in the 80’s each year in Minnesota and we have a goal of being one of those bands.  Previous to last night, there were only 3 bands that had received “Superior” ratings: Waconia, Litchfield and Henry Sibley.  Last night, 2 more bands joined that group (Sauk Rapids-Rice and Owatonna) and we are right on the cusp.  Let’s work hard today.  “You didn’t come this far, just to come this far!”

Foley Parade 2019

Good Thursday morning friends.  I’m just going to leave a short post today…it’s a busy week.  Wow, did you ever step up your game last night.  The difference between Saturday and today was extraordinary.  There aren’t enough points in the scoring system to capture the amount of improvement that happened in our two rehearsals, in every section of the band.  I had goose bumps multiple times (so did the judges). Congratulations to the winner of the Golden Dinkle, Mellophone player Ethan Brummer.  Here is a link to the results.


Report time today is 1:50 again.  Be prepared to work hard.  “What was acceptable last night, is no longer acceptable today!”

Buffalo Days Recap

What an amazing week.  The progress the band made was beyond belief and you finished with two fantastic performances on Friday and Saturday night.  The entire team was “all in”; students, Sweat Camp parent volunteers, Parade Band Aides and Trailer Aides, and volunteers at the parade helping to host all the bands.  I am never so proud to be part of this organization as I am during this week.  Congratulations to our first two winners of the Golden Dinkle for outstanding visual performance: Alto Saxophonist Shannon Bowers (Sweat Camp) and Trombonist Sigourney Wubben (Buffalo Days).

Friday and Saturday were both really strong performances and set the stage for another successful season.  The staff will be examining the judging feedback from last night to see if there is advice useful in planning our next couple rehearsals.

Congrats go out to the Grand Champion band from Milaca.  Although we were not part of the competition, we did get judged and were about 5 points behind Milaca.  Given that we are 3 to 5 parades behind most of these bands we usually find that we catch up by later this week.  I have attached a link to http://www.minnesotaparadebands.com/2018-Season.html so that you can look at the scoring results from last night, as well as other parades throughout the state.

Please be aware that scores are not comparable from parade to parade.  There are too many variables to take into consideration.  A 72 in one town may have the same “value” as a 78 given in a different parade.  This is a very subjective activity and we have to beware of the power we give the competitive results to inform us about our progress.  Variables that cause inconsistencies in parade scores include:

  • Weather
  • Angle of the sun
  • Acoustics of the judging zone
  • Length of the parade route before the judging stand
  • Number of judges on the panel (2 to 6)
  • Position in the parade lineup (first is bad…later is general good).
  • The bands the judges see just before you.
  • Who the actual judges are.

See you all tomorrow night.  Be ready to work hard to take it to the next level.  Remember:  What was acceptable on Saturday will not be acceptable on Monday night!

Thanks for the great week, friends.

Roseville Results

Superb work this evening friends.  Many of you thought you had your finest performance of the year.  What a fantastic way to finish our competitive season.  We got to share a spectacular parade venue with what I believe are the 5 best parade bands in the State of MN and held our own in every caption.

Congratulations to Kwynn Kalamaha from the Colorguard for winning the Golden Dinkle Award tonight.

Here are the results:

Class A

81.3 Litchfield

71.6 Lake City

70.0 Alexandria

Class AA

86.0 Henry Sibley (Grand Champion)

82.8 Waconia

69.7 Bemidji

51.6 Anoka (Included middle school students)

Class AAA

82.5 728 Cadets

82.4 Mankato 77 Lancers

81.6 “The HERD”

71.9 The Patriots

70.9 Champlin Park

Best Music: Waconia (Buffalo was 3rd behind Waconia and Sibley)

Best Marching: Henry Sibley (Buffalo was 4th behind Sibley, Waconia and Litchfield)

Best General Effect: Henry Sibley (Buffalo was 6th behind Sibley, Mankato, Cadets, Litchfield and Waconia)

Best Winds: Henry Sibley (Buffalo was 3rd behind Sibley. and Waconia)

Best Color Guard: Henry Sibley (Buffalo was 6th behind Sibley, 728 Cadets, Litchfield, Mankato, and Waconia)

Best Drumline: 728 Cadets (Buffalo was 5th behind the Cadets, Waconia, Mankato and Sibley)



Lake City Results

What can I say?  This band just keeps getting better.  Every time we go out, our performance level increases.  Today was no exception.  On a day that many veterans said was the most uncomfortably hot parade they remembered, you put up the highest scores at a June parade in the history of the band, when being judged by a 3 judge panel (2 and 1 judge panels sometimes result in higher scores).  I was truly proud of the way you persevered in “the black uniform of death” and pounded out one of your best performances ever.

Congratulations to banner carriers Emma Staut and Sophia Nosbush on winning The Golden Dinkle Award for outstanding visual performance.  They create an exceptionally high first impression for our ensemble every single day.

Here are the results for today.

Class A

85.5 Litchfield (Best Colorguard, Best Drumline, Best Drum Majors, Best Winds in Class A)

82.2 Milaca

78.1 Benson

Class AA

84.4 “The HERD” (Best Drumline, Best Drum Majors, Best Winds in Class AA)

83.4 Owatonna (Best Colorguard in Class AA)

79.3 Bemidji

Overall Caption Results regardless of class.

Best Music: “The HERD”

Best Marching: “The HERD”

Best General Effect: Litchfield (“The HERD” in 4th)

Best Winds: “The HERD”

Best Colorguard: Litchfield (“The HERD” in 5th)

Best Drumline: “The HERD”

Congratulations.  Sleep well.  Be ready to work hard tomorrow at our last competitive event of the season.  We will be seeing Litchfield, Lake City and Alexandria in Class A, Henry Sibley, Bemidji, Waconia and Anoka in Class AA, and The Patriots, The 728 Cadets, Champlin Park, and the Mankato 77 Lancers in Class AAA.  It will be a fantastic event to close out the month.

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