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Re: Recent judging questions

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  • T
    The mere fact that the judges had to huddle indicates a real grey area. When contestants skate near that area they take a risk. Of course, if their performance
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 1, 2007
      The mere fact that the judges had to huddle indicates a real grey area. When
      contestants skate near that area they take a risk. Of course, if their
      performance is nowhere near barbershop, the judges have to decide under the
      new guidelines what is acceptable.

      I understand that the SG set was fantabulous and the audience loved it. I
      understand all the hard work that went into it and trying to make sure it
      would clear the judges guidelines. Well, it didn't work and I, for one,
      can't fault the judges for huddling and ultimately deciding it wasn't
      barbershop, which it wasn't. If you want to win, sing a heartfelt rendition
      of "Sweet Adeline". It will score big time. If you think that's boring, you
      don't belong, Icarus.

      To give you an example, take the Gas House Gang - one of the most
      entertaining quartets ever. When they got in medalist range, they decided to
      bag the jokes, the costumes, the schtick - put on tuxes, sang "Bright Was
      The Night", and won the gold.

      - Tom Campbell
    • plcmat
      I am glad Rich brought this up. My quartet ran into this new MUS category scoring of individual infractions at our district contest this fall. We sang a song
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 1, 2007
        I am glad Rich brought this up.

        My quartet ran into this new MUS category scoring of individual
        infractions at our district contest this fall. We sang a song that
        had been evaluated by a MUS judge at our request in June and given a
        thumbs up, was performed in Denver with no apparent penalty, and yet
        received a 10 point deduction from each MUS judge on the panel.
        (And before anyone asks, we sang the notes that were on the paper as
        far as I know).

        As it turned out it only influenced our placement by one position,
        but what we found alarming was hearing that the International BOD
        went to the MUS category after International and effectively told
        them that they weren't adjudicating the category as written. The
        Contest Administrators were asked to provide a scoresheet where
        individual infractions could be noted. And we learned that some MUS
        judges had never laid eyes on this new scoresheet until they judged
        their first contest this fall. I also witnessed a few of these
        huddles (one after someone sang "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"!), and I
        am thinking maybe there was one after our performance as well.

        So while the latest C&J manual containing the category descriptions
        is dated April 2007, the de facto rules were changed without the
        knowledge of competitors between Denver and the fall contests. I
        find this situation, and the awkward situation our MUS judges were
        put into, rather disturbing. I AM NOT BLAMING THE MUSIC JUDGES.
        The one we had for our evaluation was incredibly straight and
        forthright about what had happened. If I am wrong about what
        transpired between Denver and this fall someone will set me straight
        I am sure.

        If indeed the umbrella has been narrowed slightly I think denoting
        the individual infractions is a good idea so we can all learn
        together, but I find narrowing the umbrella without telling any of
        the competitors to be pretty upsetting.

        FYI, the song in question was Katie Farrell's arrangement of They
        Say It's Wonderful. You can find Rounders singing it on YouTube if
        you want to hear it, or maybe you heard it in the finals in Denver.

        I was planning to write to the BOD about this and not post anything
        about it on the Harmonet. I will still write the BOD but the way
        this discussion is going I thought this information would be
        pertinent right now.

        Steve Nester
        Sounds of Concord
        Bass, Concord eXpress


        --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, "Rich Hasty" <rich_hasty@...> wrote:
        >
        > Chas...
        >
        > Good post. If you were in Denver this past summer, you would have
        > seen the members of the Music category "huddle" every so often.
        These
        > happened when what was presented raised questions regarding the
        > lowering of scores due to perceived rules infractions. The actual
        > scores were not discussed.
        >
        > I was on that panel in Denver as I was a few weeks ago at the EVG
        > District Fall Convention. In EVG, we also "huddled" from time to
        > time. Again, we DID NOT discuss the amount, if any, to lower a
        score.
        >
        > As a point of clarification, we discussed this very issue at our
        > category school this past summer (where we spent about 35 hours
        > training together). We now have to denote every single infraction,
        > whether it is 1 point or 20, on our score sheets, on the back of
        the
        > score sheets that we turn in, and on the front of the score sheets
        > that we turn in. This is new to us, and we are still finding our
        way.
        > Your patients are much appreciated. The intent, by the spring of
        > 2008, is to have asterisks placed by the total music score on the
        > public score sheets so that people will be better informed of what
        > went into a score.
        >
        > I hope that this helps.
        >
        > Rich
        >
        >
        > --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, "Charles D. Denzler" <justdoit110@>
        > wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi everyone,
        > >
        > > Coming out of lurk mode to throw something out for your
        > > consideration. Two recent instances of possibly questionable
        > judging (in
        > > JAD and M-AD contests) triggered a thought in my mind.
        > >
        > > I have always assumed that our judges, being so highly
        > trained to
        > > evaluate our performances as we present them on the day of a
        > contest, are
        > > expected to render their judgements as individuals with no
        outside
        > > influence. Indeed, most of the time their scores are remarkably
        > uniform
        > > and consistent, which is to be expected.
        > >
        > > What was reported in the two instances cited above was
        that
        > the
        > > judges were observed to get in a huddle, presumably to come to
        some
        > > agreement as to how to score a particular performance.
        > >
        > > I submit that this huddling may have resulted in a lower
        > final
        > > score for the contestants than what they might have received by
        > simply
        > > adding up individual judges' scores. I further submit that this
        is
        > > rather unfair to the contestants involved. Just my humble
        > opinion. Chas
        > >
        > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Charles Denzler~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        > > Fiction & Fact from Uncle John's Bathroom Reader:
        > > Each of the Statue of Liberty's fingernails weighs
        100
        > > pounds.
        > > ~~~~~~~~~It's great singing with the Bryn Mawr PA
        > Mainliners~~~~~~~~~
        > >
        >
      • Montana Jack Fitzpatrick
        Sort of amazing isn t it that the MUS category is now deducting points for stylistic deviations. We haven t seen anything like that since-----well-----the
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 1, 2007
          Sort of amazing isn't it that the MUS category is now deducting points for stylistic deviations. We haven't seen anything like that since-----well-----the arrangement category that had it's unfortunate demise about 15 years ago.
          In addition to deducting points for deviations, they also added plus points for innovations. However, since the category was destroyed and "re-written" (allowing almost every song ever written to "become" barbershop), everything is an innovation---so---no need for that at all.
          Montana Jack, keeping the faith and keeping it barbershop



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rich Hasty
          Now that s a healthy perspective. Rich Deductor of points for style infractions for seven years. I just never had to explain every point that was subtracted
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 1, 2007
            Now that's a healthy perspective.

            Rich

            Deductor of points for style infractions for seven years. I just never
            had to explain every point that was subtracted from a holistic score. I
            want to judge the impact of music without having to discourage the
            performer.


            --- In bbshop@yahoogroups.com, "Montana Jack Fitzpatrick" <mtjack@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Sort of amazing isn't it that the MUS category is now deducting
            points for stylistic deviations. We haven't seen anything like that
            since-----well-----the arrangement category that had it's unfortunate
            demise about 15 years ago.
            > In addition to deducting points for deviations, they also added plus
            points for innovations. However, since the category was destroyed
            and "re-written" (allowing almost every song ever written to "become"
            barbershop), everything is an innovation---so---no need for that at all.
            > Montana Jack, keeping the faith and keeping it barbershop
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Dave Duncan
            Actually, to perhaps nit-pick a little, I d like to re-visit your statements here. The mere fact that the judges had to huddle indicates a real grey area.
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 2, 2007
              Actually, to perhaps nit-pick a little, I'd like to re-visit your statements
              here.



              "The mere fact that the judges had to huddle indicates a real grey area.
              When contestants skate near that area they take a risk." Yup. Couldn't
              have said it any better. With great risk comes the possibility of great
              reward OR great disappointment. "Of course, if their performance is
              nowhere near barbershop, the judges have to decide under the new guidelines
              what is acceptable." What is Barbershop and what is acceptable are two
              entirely different issues. A performance can be completely Barbershop and
              still completely UNACCEPTABLE.





              By saying "I understand that the SG set was fantabulous and the audience
              loved it. I understand all the hard work that went into it and trying to
              make sure it would clear the judges guidelines." I have to infer that you
              were indeed not present at the performance, but thanks for recognizing what
              went into creating it. It did indeed "clear" numerous Certified Judges
              guidelines long before it ever hit the stage.



              You continue on to say "Well, it didn't work" If you weren't there, how
              would you know ? If you were there, you would know that it DID work for the
              audience, EXACTLY as it was planned. " and I, for one, can't fault the
              judges for huddling and ultimately deciding it wasn't barbershop," I'm glad
              you assign no fault to the Judges here. The confusion resulted from the
              presentation not being in the "typical" Barbershop contest format of
              "applause-song-applause-song-applause" and that resulted in a discussion to
              determine if one or two songs had been sung. As for the huddle, at no time
              did any Judge ever decide or say that it was not Barbershop. There was some
              discussion about song "construction issues" but that's all. In the final
              analysis, as we already knew, no rules had been broken. Maybe you should
              stick with their decision instead of rendering your own separate opinion of
              "which it wasn't."



              "If you want to win, sing a heartfelt rendition of "Sweet Adeline". It will
              score big time." A heartfelt rendition of Sweet Adeline can be magnificent
              if performed well but, if that's ALL we ever sang at contest and there was
              no innovation, it WOULD be a little tiresome, don't you think?



              As for "If you think that's boring, you don't belong, Icarus." I belong and
              have for some 31 years now. The ink on my application is clearly dry. I've
              been a Certified Judge. I've sung with three different International
              Champion Choruses and will categorically state this was one of the
              highlights of my Barbershop "career." Sometimes it's just a matter of
              perspective and sometimes people need a little shove to change their
              perspective.



              Contrary to the wishes of his father, Icarus flew too close to the sun,
              melted his wings and paid the ultimate price for it, and although we may
              have flown closer to the sun that we realized, our wings have not melted and
              we'll be flying again soon, having paid our price and singing Barbershop all
              the while.



              Thanks for caring enough to have and share an opinion.



              DD





              From: bbshop@yahoogroups.com [mailto:bbshop@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of T
              Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2007 9:20 AM
              To: bbshop@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [bbshop] Re: Recent judging questions



              The mere fact that the judges had to huddle indicates a real grey area. When
              contestants skate near that area they take a risk. Of course, if their
              performance is nowhere near barbershop, the judges have to decide under the
              new guidelines what is acceptable.

              I understand that the SG set was fantabulous and the audience loved it. I
              understand all the hard work that went into it and trying to make sure it
              would clear the judges guidelines. Well, it didn't work and I, for one,
              can't fault the judges for huddling and ultimately deciding it wasn't
              barbershop, which it wasn't. If you want to win, sing a heartfelt rendition
              of "Sweet Adeline". It will score big time. If you think that's boring, you
              don't belong, Icarus.
              To give you an example, take the Gas House Gang - one of the most
              entertaining quartets ever. When they got in medalist range, they decided to
              bag the jokes, the costumes, the schtick - put on tuxes, sang "Bright Was
              The Night", and won the gold.

              - Tom Campbell





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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