| September 15, 2011 | 1 Comment
I. What makes a transition effective/ineffective?

A.   Effective transitions

1. Make sense musically

2. Match the mood/dynamics

3. Leave an element of the guard to maintain emphasis

4. Maintain horizontal thought process (continuity) throughout program

5. Are planned to enhance the visual design of the entire ensemble

B. Ineffective Transitions

1. Disrupt the horizontal thought process (continuity) and mood of the program.

2. Draw one’s eye to the transition itself

a. jazz running or SPRINTING  between each song

3. Create extra “visual noise” to the program

a. performers talking

b. adjusting uniform

4. Repetitive

a. always changing equipment in a particular area of the field

b. always changing equipment between each song

5.   Too much negative space between multiple design elements

II. Methods/ideas to achieve successful transitions

A.   Reflect musicality & mood changes

1. This does not always occur with each new song.

2. Often mood changes occur 2-3 times during each song.

B. Use of multiple elements (i.e flags/dancers/sabres/rifles)

1.  Have one group transition while the other group is maintaining clear emphasis

2.  Careful of how the element that is left on the field generates emphasis.

C. Use of motion

1.  “Assembly line”

2.  Gradual add-on

D.   Use of soloist, duet etc.

1.  Must maintain superb expressive qualities

2.  Defined emphasis/space on soloist, duet…

E.   Try to get out of your “comfort zone”

1.  “Hidden” equipment

2.  Exchanges

III.  What is the difference between functional and artistic transitions?
A. Functional transitions
                1. Are predictable
                2. Normally serve the sole purpose of exchanging equipment
                3. Can be distracting
                4. Rarely reflect the musical or artistic intent of the program
                5. Normally rely on sidelines for exchanging equipment
B. Artistic transitions
                 1. Maintain continuity & flow of the program
                2. Reflect mood/musical changes
                3. Show good planning and logic relative to placement of the transition itself
                4. Can create an “effect”
                5. APPEAR SEAMLESS!

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Category: Design, Drill & Staging

About the Author (Author Profile)

Lorraine has been involved in the color guard activity since 1989, first as a performer, then as an instructor and adjudicator. She is currently instructing the color guards at Saugus and Valencia High Schools in Santa Clarita, California, as well as designing for other guards in California. Lorraine also has worked with programs in Utah, New York and Georgia. She was the Instructor/Designer at Littlerock High School from 1995 to 2008. LHS was a semi-finalist at WGI World Championships in 2004 and 2005 and the Fresno Regional Scholastic A Champion in 2005. She is an Adjudicator for SCSBOA, WGASC, and UWGA, and has also traveled to Oregon, Nevada, and Texas to judge marching band and winter guard contests.

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