Question: Do judges have an idea about a band before they take the field? Either by the band’s name or how they did they week before?
Answer: I’ve always subscribed to the belief that you judge “the show of the day”. Personally, I DON’T want to know what happened last week (or last year for that matter). It could’ve been raining the week before, or possibly East Podunk High School didn’t perform their closer at last week’s contest. You will sometimes have bands that are tackling a very difficult program so they may struggle during the early part of the season. Once their program begins to improve and their performance level begins to rise, you would expect their score to rise as well. If a judge is basing their score on “last week’s results”, this creates an unfair bias against those bands. Are some judges going to recognize certain names of schools more than others? Of course. Bands that compete on the national level (both in the marching as well as the concert venues) are seen by a wider audience. However, the name of the school shouldn’t create a different expectation for the judge.
– Mark Culp