Notably absent from the large school state finals: Franklin Central, Zionsville, Carroll, Center Grove, Ben Davis, Chesterton, Homestead. I totally understand that directors who wish to participate must enter their choirs in an ISSMA qualifier and then submit a high-enough qualifying score, but I just wish more would choose to do so.
The question is, what would it take for these choirs (some who never/rarely participate in ISSMA state) to want to participate?
(With all that being said, good luck to the choirs who did earn their qualification this year... it’s still a great lineup.)
on Mar 11, 2019, 8:17 PM (Edited by Chief)
I’m not sure exactly what could be done to change it. It seems to me that the groups, excluding franklin central, that do not attend state anymore don’t attend due to wonky placements in the past. It’s seems every year that placements seem to be somewhat off. I do know that Issma hirers out of state judges though so I wouldn necessarily consider it a show choir politics problem. What’s the weirdest to me is that these groups you mentioned often place and score well at issma qualifiers, but when they get to state seem to not place as well.
TLDR: The problem is that groups that should place high at state often place lower than expected. What can be done? I don’t know.
If you look at the comments on last year's competition, there is a good discussion that generally explains the situation. Basically, some directors have problems with different aspects of the ISSMA setup (venue, scoresheet, judging, etc.), but are often met with stiff resistance from the ISSMA board when voicing their concerns. This resistance to change is a big part of what is driving away schools such as Franklin Central, Center Grove, Ben Davis, etc. Take, for example, the venue situation. As Jeff explained below, ISSMA agreed to alternate the venue for State each year between Franklin Central and North Central, which was seen by many as a welcome and exciting change. They ended up rethinking that decision, however, and are instead using FC as the new site for Small State each year. Many directors (and students) were excited to see that a venue change was happening, only to have it taken away again. It is highly unlikely that any of the schools that have decided to stop attending will return until they feel that ISSMA has really listened to the concerns that have been voiced for years.
I can't really answer this question with the best representation of Indiana show choir in mind, but I would have to guess it would have to go with the "politics" surrounding show choir in Indiana. I can think of multiple years that certain choirs have only beaten other choirs at the state level. The hard part with state level competitions in general is typically, there are teachers from competing schools on the boards of their respective state's show choir panels. Unlike local competitions, this offers a challenge towards the legitimacy of neutrality in their judging. There are only 3 states offering a true state championship in show choir right now to my knowledge: North Carolina, West Virginia, and Indiana. South Dakota was another one the last few years, but has since decided to drop their competition due to similar concerns (as well as other deciding factors, I'm sure). States are hard because if you give show choir boards to people who don't do show choir in an effort to promote neutrality in judging, you end up with the judging panel from Season 1 of Glee. But if you allow show choir people to do it, there's a chance that whether true not, accusations of bias may happen for those who are a part of the judging selection, and you see great groups like FC, Center Grove, Zionsville, and Carmel drop from these events. I would love nothing more than to see those 5 go up against each other at a competition, but due to weirdness in Indiana in the past, I can almost guarantee that this isn't going to happen anytime soon. Get rid of "States" all together IMO.
I wouldn’t necessarily like to see this competition end. I think the first step though is to hirer a judging panel of show choir people who have 0 affiliation with any choirs. The next step would be to move the site of the competition. North central hasn’t gone without placing top 2 in a while. This isn’t meant to take anything away from them. Their win last year was very well deserved they had one of my favorite shows of any choir I saw. However they have major home field advantage here(ie being able to perform on that stage way more than any other choir and being able to work with the acoustics of their auditorium way more than any other choir). If the competition was held of site of a high school campus this advantage would be eliminated. If these two things met changes I could see big name groups coming back. And in the future possibly a scoring system reform but I consider that pretty far fetched for issma.
I can’t speak to why State is held at North Central. But I would like to add to what kadepiper stated and point out that North Central went up against some major power houses last year at Nationals and won. They’d never performed at that venue, so it seems they clearly proved themselves without a “home field” advantage.
As i stated above, “This isn’t meant to take anything away from them. Their win last year was very well deserved they had one of my favorite shows of any choir I saw.“ . I fully understand that north central is a consistently great group. My point was that a state competition shouldn’t be held at ANY school that is competing at the competition to eliminate avoidable advantages.
Many people agree with you, I believe that they should host it at a university or professional stage. There is not a shortage of great auditoriums in the Indianapolis area and i wish they would choose a neutral venue considering it5 is the state championship.
My understanding is that NC’s auditorium (though aged!) seats many more people than other cheap/free options, and that FC requested NC host large because they didn’t have room. I don’t know if that’s correct, but it makes sense. At any rate… I totally get the perception that it seems unfair. For everyone’s benefit, it would be awesome to compete at a neutral arena. Then everyone (including NC) could be judged without a perception of bias.
Yeah one of the vocal judges was sick and couldn't come, so they had to bring someone in last minute to judge. But this caused some scoring issues within the women's division because they counted the vocal judges score twice, so this really brought some groups rankings down.
Saturday at 6:12 PM (Edited by Kadepiper)
GC: Franklin Community best vocals
1RU: Noblesville New Dimension
2RU:North Central best band
3RU: Brownsburg best visuals
5RU: Noblesville sensation
8RU: Lawrence Central