2016 - 2017 season has gone and passed.
It's approaching the summertime and I am very sure we have reviewed some of this past season. With that said let's talk about EVERYTHING and any type of critique on our SWAC Bands this could be anything Band, Arrangements, Auxiliaries, stands, halftime performances anything you can think of (Open Dialog).
Hopefully those who are viewing can give constructive criticism for those with the power that be can take notes on what others are saying.
AAMU Marching Maroon and White "Show Band of the South"
ASU Mighty Marching Hornets
Alcorn "Sound of Dynomite"
JSU "Sonic Boom of the South"
SU "Human Jukebox"
Grambling State "World Fame"
PVAMU "Marching Storm"
TXSU "Ocean of Soul"
Good breakdown! Thanks fellas.
I agree with all of your band analysis above John Brown and with the other statement to from SwimPHan. What I will say about bama state is two things, I think there problem is twofold, a) leadership and b)miles and talladega. If you look at bsms states last big year 2012, 2013 is when miles and talladega started coming to notice and sure enough numbers have went down. To me it seems like Alabama's number one band now is aamu. One thing aamu has going is good stability and direction and that won't change so they are good. So then bama state should ask themselves do we need a change in leadership and that's where a ball could start rolling. Quitefrankly I don't see miles falling off, but dega might idk.
But tnst and aamu have got to find a way to do a home and home series soon enough. I also would like to see more crossover home and home games to between swac, meac, ciaa and such.
John Brown said:
What I meant by saying "ASU is a gold mine (thanks for the correction lol) is that they award out a substantial amount of scholarships, school support/funding(they get new uniforms often), good regional area for recruiting, etc. That's why I say let a new director come in with fresh blood and see how quick they get back on track.
Bama State is in a situation where State of Alabama students not flocking in droves to Bama State like in past years when A&M band program was having leadership issues, Miles was the old Miles, and Talladega didn't have a band. Bama State benefited from that. As we see, things have changed now.
Many of your critiques were spot on.
-I believe AAMU being close to TNSU helped improve their sound. The John Merritt Classic used to bring out the best in AAMU, but with them being in the SWAC, the pressure is on for them to conform.
-You were so right about UAPB. Their sound used to be exceptionally decent for a SWAC school, but I feel like the program has lost some momentum. Memphis used to be a heavy recruiting city for them, but I fear TSU, JSU and maybe even SU have taken over the M.
-I don't know if I agree that ASU is a "gold mine", but they could definitely stand to get new, fresher leadership.
-Spot on with the JSU critique. I've been saying that they should stop trying to blow like Southern and get back to the things that made them unique. IMO, they've succumbed to the pressure that is the Jukebox. Also, like another poster alluded to, the J-settes are too historic and popular for their uniforms to be so drab. The J-Settes need to do a lot of things, but I just can't give them an in-depth critique right now. This past season just hurt my feelings(lol).
John Brown said:
FIELD SHOW- I think every SWAC band can improve and be more creative in their halftime shows. If bands focused more on halftime than they do on stands we will see a vast improvement. It seems the only time bands focus on halftime is when they are in a national spotlight (i.e. Honda), or a big Classic game (i.e. MCC/Bayou).
My 2016 season SWAC rankings and critique.
SU- the power/loud band King of Kings. What happened to “It don’t take many to do plenty”? The Jukebox has gone against that philosophy. I guess they need many now. At any rate; consistently good arrangements, diverse book, and decent song selections. My only issue is the sousaphones; the sousaphones not holding that bottom down like they should be.
JSU- so power/loud is their thing now? Interesting to say the least. The old Boom sound (Mid 80’s thru early 2000’s) was their identity. That identity is gone. Now their sound is similar to SU and all the other bands whose style is that of “power”/“blowing”. You didn’t need to do that Boom….ijs. Needless to say the Boom is loud AF and "can be" rude as hell playing over (at the same time as) the other band. I hate that shat! #classless. However, very nice song selections (mainly rap tunes). Intimidating presence with the size of the band. The Boom finished the 2016 season VERY strong. Hopefully that momentum will carry over into the upcoming season.
Alcorn- another blowing band that’s steady growing and out to redeem and prove. They too have an intimidating/wow presence in the stands. Sometimes their sound is undisciplined. Not saying they sound bad, but when compared to other top bands that are good at the same sound concept; it shows that more work needs to be done. They need to master their sound and stick to “doing them” and not trying to out SU-SU, or out JSU-JSU. You will lose that battle every time because you get out of your character.
AAMU- so glad the MMW changed their sound concept from power/blowing, into a “we will finesse you with control, technicality, balance and intonation type of band”. They are well disciplined band sound wise, and has come into a formidable identity of their own. I just wish they increased the volume just a tad bit. They have a nice size band; but if they mess around and increase their numbers by 30-40 brass instruments, their volume will increase naturally and they will become more of a problem for the SWAC. Decent book but there’s room for improvement.
PV- a band definitely back on the come up. I’m trying to figure out are they a blowing band or technical? Most times it’s blowing and they pushing out watts on select songs. They need to continue to work on a more disciplined sound and improve their book.
TxSU- you all having growth issues and it is heard through your inconsistent power sound. There’s a lot of hit and misses in your sound depending on the songs you play. Could be youth, talent, idk, but you need to get that together FIRST, because the bands on this list ahead of you will expose everything you lack. I love your book but a lot of times it seems as though you struggle with executing many arrangements. Keep working on improving your sound.
Bama State- this program is a gold mind. Mess around and let the right person take over and see what happens. Anyway, this band is sinking steadily in the SWAC band rankings at a fast pace. Their numbers have dwindled too. It’s soooo obvious that they are having a band leadership issue. Who is teaching the music because the students are not learning anything that’s beneficial to producing a great collegiate sound. I hate to sound harsh (I apologize) but their sound is horrible, arrangements/arranger horrible, book horrible. It’s like the only thing keeping them relevant are the Honey Bees/Stingettes. That’s sad. Time for a new band director. Expect the same ole-same ole this upcoming season.
Grambling- they are in their own lane. Own sound, own style, own identity, and they are consistent with it. Unfortunately it doesn’t equate to “W’s” in comparison to other bands. Their sound appeal is consistently hit or miss, but that’s Grambling. I believe if they had better talent in their band the sound would improve.
UAPB- okay so; what has happened to this program? Do anybody know? They use to sound so good. Sound wise, they use to be the Tennessee State of the SWAC; but not so much anymore. Can we get back the UAPB bands of the mid 2000’s thru 2010 to return?
MVSU- the only thing I will say about this program is that until they get better stability, better resources, funding, etc., they will continue to finish last in the SWAC. Have they improved? Yes, but not enough. Keep working.
And the Sonic Boom of the South needs to stop calling themselves Hollywood's Band of Choice which is a lie. The last "Hollywood" event they did was over 20 years ago.
That title belongs to the Ocean of Soul, Human Jukebox, MMH, or even Grambling's Tiger Marching Band ... they've done way more Hollywood type events than the Boom ever done.