This year has seen an unprecedented number of new and returning teams. In fact, we had more teams add and return to the FFCC than we had in competition at our first five years of FFCC Championships. More than thirty teams in total. In general, this has been a very good thing. We are spreading more opportunities to more teams in more counties than any other color guard and percussion circuit in the country. It does, however, come with a price. [Read more…]
FFCC is very excited to give you details of the clinic this Saturday. You have been received instruction in your Show Information Packet and the recent News Letter but this is one last bit of information to help you get every bit of educational oppotunity out of the weekend with the experts.
We are extremely fortunate to have three of the best designers, technicians, and artists in the color guard world with us for the weekend. Randy Nelson is leading the team. Randy has designed countless teams during his many years in the business including Choctawhatchee HS during their reign as one of the top three color guards in the Scholastic World class. Randy has worked and designed successful teams in every single FFCC class. Jude Boughton is coming to us from Texas, where his teams are know for their iconic choices in art and design. Jude spent years as the lead designer for Black Watch and he brings that creative eye to all classes of competition where he can give you solutions to your design and art issues you might not have even considered. Carla Burgess Thomas is without a doubt one of the best in the business at writing and training teams in body and equipment skills. She has brough her talents to Juxtaposition and the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. Among Carla’s many amazing talents is her ability to isolate, analyze, and solve those variations for member to member. She is also great at helping you lay down a foundation to avoid those training issues in the first place. This combination of design, effect and training will give you a three pronged attack to your design and will undoubtedly give you a blue print for the rest of your season.
How It Works –
Directors should leave someone at the sound table to start your music. If you do not have an extra person, this weekend only you can ask the sound table to start the music for you. You will have to cue the start from the stands. You are responsible for having everything cued to the correct track.
All staff should go to the top of the stands in the area marked off for the clinicians and staff. During your performance one or two of the clinicians will discuss your performance, and ask questions, and make possible suggestions. Directors will receive an audio file on the interaction.Once your performance is over, if you are able one of the clinician is going to take you aside in the stands and spend another seven minutes discussing your questions and giving you ideas and possibilities. This is going to take some coordination on your part and maybe some help from parents or friends that can get your teams off the floor. If at all possible take advantage of the one on one time. These are extremely talented people spending time focused only on your program – it’s invaluable.
Part Two –
In addition to the one on one service each guard will receive, at 3:00 PM there will be a 45 minute open forum session for all directors and staff ( those who have performed as well as those who are performing later in the contest). This will be a question and answer session on understanding adjudication and effective communication in critique. It will also cover design choices in music, staging, and effect. The clinicians will also discuss training in movement and equipment. The directors and staff will drive the session with their questions and curiosity. You are getting this information now so that all team staff and or directors will be able to participate by making plans in advance of the contest day. This is open access to people who can teach to get the answers you are looking for from judges in your short critique sessions, you have to admit that alone would be worth making time to attend.
The Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit is proud to announce the election of Stephen Porter and Carrie Short to the FFCC Hall of Fame. They join 24 distinguished fellow honorees and will be inducted in a ceremony at the 2017 FFCC Championships on April 2.
The Hall of Fame is the highest honor presented to individuals who have influenced FFCC history through their achievements in performance, in struction, adjudication or administration. Each year, outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the activity are nominated by the membership at large and inducted.
Stephen Porter –
Stephen is truly a product of the FFCC. He began his winterguard career as a band student at Largo High School, under the instruction of Michael James, Tom Slaughter & Willie Agustin. As a music education student at UCF, he marched with Beyond Winterguard under the direction of Jon & Cathy Kersten, the Knights under Michael James, and a later stint with NEI in 2004 under Jill Moser and Robbie DuFresne. While his performance career was shorter than he’d hoped, he has made up for that as an instructor. He began teaching Colonial High School and working with the Knights winterguard in the early 2000s, and Lyman High School in 2002. In addition to his Music Education degree, he returned to school and received an associate’s degree in dance, and became the full time dance teacher at Lyman in 2002, building a program that started from virtually nothing to what today stands at over 200 dance technique students, a fifty-member dance team, a fifty-member colorguard, and three winterguards.
Stephen’s accolades as a designer and director are well-known. His first FFCC team to attend the WGI World Championships, Colonial High School, came home with the Scholastic A Gold Medal in 2008. In 2009, Lyman High School earned the bronze in Scholastic A. In 2011, his independent team, Orlando Visual, which began the season in Independent A class but was promoted over dinner at their first regional, took the silver medal in Independent Open. In 2014, Lyman earned the Gold Medal in Scholastic A. In addition, he’s been the designer or director for over 10 WGI finalist teams, and countless FFCC medalists. He has worked with a plethora of FFCC teams besides his own, including Apopka HS, Colonial HS, Lake Howell HS, Storm Winterguard, Gainesville Independent, Knights Winterguard, Dr. Phillips HS, Winter Park HS, Timber Creek HS, East Ridge HS, Fleming Island HS, Sebastian River HS, and more.
Carrie Short –
By Tom Slaughter, FFCC Chief Judge
All of us on the FFCC Board are excited at how the delivering of judge commentary to directors and staff members has been made even more efficient as we move into the 2017 season. Here are some things to do and a few things to not do as you are looking to access commentary after your performances this season.
*Before you go to a show, make sure your member profile is up to date with correct email addresses for both individuals who have director access to the ensemble, as well as the staff page. These are the email addresses that commentary links will be sent to once your files are uploaded. Directors can log in and update your contact information and your staff contact information in your member profile at any time.
*Make sure all individuals who want to listen to commentary on their cell phones have downloaded the Dropbox App onto their device. You do not have to set up a Dropbox account, but you must have the app on your device.
*When commentary on your team has been uploaded, all of the addresses in the profile will be emailed a link that allows you to access this commentary. When you receive the email, simply click the link contained within it.
*Clicking the link in the email will automatically open the Dropbox app and your commentary will be available to you. Listen to the commentary within the Dropbox app (using the Dropbox player).
*DO NOT TRY TO LISTEN TO THE COMMENTARY ON A CELL PHONE THROUGH YOUR MEMBER PROFILE ON THE FFCC WEBSITE. Clicking the emailed link, and then allowing your device to open the Dropbox app to play the files is the most successful way to listen to your commentary.
*Did someone on your staff not get an email link because they weren’t set up in the profile? Then whoever did receive the link can simply forward it from their email to the staff member’s email.
*All ensembles should make every attempt to listen to their judge commentary before critique. Critique dialogue is much more useful and productive if the judge feedback on the performance is already known.
- Use links you receive in email to listen to commentary
- Make sure the Dropbox App is on your device
FFCC Vice President/Chief Judge
by Tom Slaughter, FFCC Vice President and Chief Judge
As the days tick by and the Premiere shows get closer to occurring, it is easy for directors to completely focus on getting their “on the floor” presentation ready for its debut. Within this article, let’s remind ourselves about some of the “off the floor” preparations that directors should also dedicate a little bit of time to in advance of their Premiere Show.
#1 – Read the rulebook. Especially the pages that include discussions of what each caption looks for. All FFCC directors can view the entire WGI rulebook (along with FFCC Policy Manuals) by logging into www.ffcc.org , clicking “resources” across the top toolbar and then choosing “member documents”. Refreshing your mind on the specifics of each caption will make the commentary the judges provide at your first show more meaningful and useful to you as your season begins.
#2 – Remind yourself of the timing rules for your class. Specifically, Color Guard Teams in Scholastic AAA, remember you are required to write your show to conform to A class timings, even though the caption judges will be adjudicating your team using the Regional A judging criteria. Timing rules for all classes can be found in the WGI rulebooks. Contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
#3 – For premiere, don’t force more on to the floor then your students are ready to do. Remember, timing penalties at all Premiere shows will be assessed at a maximum of 1.0 points. This is a rule the FFCC has followed for years to make sure that we are all thinking of our students’ development over the whole season first and foremost.
#4 – Practice coming on and off the floor a few times during rehearsal. This will help your students to relax in the moments before their show and have a positive premiere experience. Percussion ensembles especially, make sure your cords are untangled and your front ensemble performers are comfortable plugging in what needs to be plugged in.
#5 – And last, but definitely not least, make sure your roster is completely up to date 2 weeks before your show date. If students are absent from a show for whatever reason, make sure to declare at check-in the number of students who are performing THAT DAY. Do NOT take a performer wristband from the check-in table for a student who is not at the show. The performer count by our Timing and Penalties judge will show this discrepancy, causing your team to be subject to penalties, or even disqualification. If a student on your roster is injured, or not performing on that day for whatever reason, you can take a performer wrist band for them. The non-performing member should wear something that makes it clear they are a part of the ensemble (show shirt, jacket, uniform) and be pointed out to the Timing and Penalties judge as you enter the performance area. Students who are not listed on your signed roster, and uploaded to the FFCC website two weeks before the performance day will not be able to perform. Please do not try to sneak them through. This will be caught at check-in, also subjecting your ensemble to penalties and possible disqualification.
We all know the frantic feeling that a premiere show usually creates for all of us. Take notice of these things listed above that can help make your Premiere experience what it is supposed to be about…giving your kids an amazing performance experience to kick off their season.
Feel free to contact myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions you may have prior to your Premiere Show day. On the show day itself, here are the Contest Directors and Chief Judges you can find to answer any questions you have at the site:
January 21st, 2017 – Regional A Guard Premiere at Freedom High School (Tampa)
Contest Director – Jim Taylor
Chief Judge – Michael Higbe
January 21st, 2017 – Southeast Percussion Premiere at John I Leonard High School
Contest Director – Brian Fisher
Chief Judge – Tom Slaughter
January 28th, 2017 – National Class Guard Premiere at Dr. Phillips High School
Contest Director – Mike Palau
Chief Judges – Tom Slaughter and Jen Karp
February 4th, 2017 – North Percussion Premiere at Oviedo High School
Contest Director – Jim Taylor
Chief Judge – Ed Argenziano