LAKEVILLE, IN. - The LaVille High School Royal Regiment will soon begin the Marching Band Performance season.
Under the direction of Mr. Nick Lieto, The Royal Regiment will begin the invitational season Saturday, September 21, at the Concord High school Invitational.
The Royal Regiment started its preparation back with two weeks of summer camp. They band has worked diligently to put together their show. This year's theme will be "Second Star To The Right", which is the story of Peter Pan.
According to Lieto, it will be a very visual show with lots of big props. The Royal Regiment will have big trees on the field along with a big storybook. There will also be backdrops with starry nights. "It's a very whimsical show," says Lieto.
"We rehearse every day in class, Monday evenings, Thursday evenings, Fridays after school and early mornings on Saturdays before we leave for our competitions," said Lieto. "From the moment we arrive at the competition until the time we perform, we are evaluated. We have certain things we are not allowed to do the moment we step off the bus or we will receive penalties that would come off our grand total after our performance is complete. Our equipment is inspected and warm ups begin."
According to Lieto, at every competition there are two judges walking around on the field evaluating individual performers. One judge is for music - do you know your music, are you playing in time, are you playing in tune, are you making proper sounds according to what your instrument should sound like (this is where proper and quality instruments come into play which is why we are trying to replace as many instruments as possible as a lot of our are not in good playing conditions), can you physically make it through your entire show? The other judge is for visual performance - Are you in step? Are you using proper marching technique? Are your shoulders to the sidelines when your instrument is facing forward? Are you in proper marching band attire? Are the instrument angles the same for each instrument group? Is the color guard using appropriate technique? Is the color guard together? Are the instruments coming up and down together in like groupings? Do your props enhance your show?
Lieto also explains that there are two or three judges up in the press box judging the ensemble as a whole. One judge is for music - Is the whole ensemble playing in tune? Are you playing with dynamics? Are you blending and balancing? Can you hear each individual part? How are the attacks and releases? Is there phasing?
One judge is for visual ensemble - Can you tell what each individual set looks like? Do you have any holes from missing people or is the spacing incorrect and make you look like a clumpy mess? Is the color guard integrated enough? Are they together, Does the choreography work with what is being played musically?
And one judge for overall general effect - Is your theme clear? Does the guard uniforms match your theme? Does your guard equipment and colors work for what you are trying to get across to the audience? Is the audience enjoying the performance? Is your music interesting and does it take the audience on a journey? Do your visuals read from this far away?
"All of those scores are combined for a total score out of 100 (minus any penalties your group might have accumulated before you performed)," said Lieto. "The Royal Regiment will be playing for awards given from first to third place in each class. Caption awards are given to the best music, best general effect and best visual categories. LaVille competes in Open Class D. Class size is determined by school enrollment. We use all of these competitions for the judge’s comments to improve our show. We do this so that we can have a clean, final product at the ISSMA Open Class Regionals. At regionals, bands are either given a Gold (Highest Rating), Silver, Bronze or Participation (Lowest Rating). All Open Class bands can compete at regionals. There are two sites for Open Class D bands. Each site typically has around 15 bands per class that compete for a spot at semi-state. They only take the top 10 bands from each site and from each class (D, C, B, A) to move on. If we make it to semi-state, there will be 20 bands from class D that will be competing for a spot at state finals. Only the top 10 moves on to state finals, which takes place in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. We are competing against the entire state of Indiana with bands who choose to compete in Open Class (which is one of the biggest without competing as a BOA (Bands of America) Band.
"The kids have worked so INCREDIBLY hard this year and I can't wait to see where this season takes us," concluded Lieto. "We would be making school history here if we make it to semi-state. Last year we made school history just by attending Open Class D regionals, as it was the first time ever attending the competition. We missed semi-state last year by .16 (point 16). We placed 11th."
Best Of Luck To Mr. Lieto and The LaVille Royal Regiment At Concord This Weekend!