It’s easier to be better than somebody else than to be the best you can.

In my first article I have been writing about the things that were different in GPMB 2011.

I have seen many comments, but I think that most people writing comments are not seeing the big picture and that’s OK for as long they are polite. One comment was that I have lived for 20 years in Indonesia and should have written my article in Indonesian. First, I have not yet lived 20 years in Indonesia because I left in 1998 and it toke a long time to return. Second, I’m the representative of Drum Corps Europe and I’m sending all judging comments and articles to DCE for information and approval. Third, I think that most Indonesians are quite good enough to read English so where is the problem? Fourth, I don’t want to make a mistake somewhere in my language and insult people.

There was a comment about the relation of me writing that the Thai corps are copying DCI too much and the program of PKT. Yes, a copy is never as good as the original but I did not have the intention to blame PKT because they just did an excellent job. Judges are supposed to give credits for content and achievement. In other words; WHAT a band is doing and HOW well they are doing it. It’s not the judges task to say that a certain DCI corps already played that music and/or marched that drill. When that band has a difficult and entertaining program with an excellent execution they simply deserve to be credited. When the judges start to give penalties to bands that do music and/or drills that have ever been performed in DCI, BOA, DCE or DCA there will be not many programs left. “Evita” has been performed many times already, “The Titanic” and “Harry Potter” are certainly been used for marching band shows, so what’s the problem for PKT using DCI content? Please consider that 10 years ago every band played music that was copied from DCI shows, now the creativity and originality of Indonesian bands has improved tremendously but the individual qualities of PKT are still outstanding. The fact also that most critics said the PKT is using music and drills from Blue Devils proves that they are not well informed. Music and drill were mostly from different DCI units like Cavaliers, Cadets and Phantom Regiment.

I should like to invite all criticasters saying that this or that band should have deserved a higher ranking to one of the clinics with the Judging Team. Please bring your CV with your experience as musician or designer and show that you are eligible to take part in a Judges College, you are most welcome!

I have been missing comments about the “Showcase” the performance from the winners of the individual and ensemble competition. Did you like that or not? Don’t you think that those members practicing their individual performance in addition to the show need more exposure?

No comments on my suggestion to have GPMB outdoors, there the organizers can accommodate more spectators and the shows will be more interesting due to the bigger field and no echo of an indoor arena. Most of you will be surprised of the lack of power when bands are playing outside.

Barely comments about the use of electronics, great!

Many comments are about “winning or losing” GPMB, those people still don’t understand that our activity is about education and not about winning or losing. Sure, GPMB is a competition but also a showcase for Indonesian youth to show their skills. Marching band is more than playing music and march. It’s a terrific opportunity to educate young people in leadership, performance, teamwork, coordination and discipline. Those should be the real goals of our activity, when those goals are reached the students are the real champions. That’s why I wrote the title of this article: It’s easier to be better than somebody else than to be the best you can.

For years I have tried to convince the organizing committee to drop the “School Division” in GPMB.

To my opinion most bands coming from High Schools are completely able to compete with community or company bands. In the School Division they were considered as “Second Class” units, a title they don’t deserve. BCK has showed that they have excellent skills and the creativity to put on a great show and finishing second. So, my opinion for the School Division was justified and let’s see how school bands will be doing in the future.

Next step should be to abolish all those individual prices for solos, duets and drummajor/field commander. Those awards are not from this era anymore, marching band is a collective effort and individual prices are not fitting that purpose.

Another thing is the announcement of the preliminary results, why wait to the evening and announce all those details? Why should a band have to wait till late at night only to hear that they have to play first or second the next morning? The organizers should realize that a band that has to perform at 9 AM has to wake up at 3 or 4 AM. Just announce preliminary scores during the breaks and everybody will be happy, bands and spectators.

Scores should be announced earlier, the GPMB schedule says that there is a Judges Meeting of an hour. Well, there is NO judges meeting after the shows are ready! After judging the last band the judges have to check if their scores have been rightly entered into the computer, that’s all. No meetings to discuss scores for other captions or ranking and certainly no changes of scores.

In fact scores can be announced within 10 minutes after the last performance, so let’s do!

Opening and closing ceremonies are still old fashioned, why disturbing a band’s preparation for the opening ceremony? Especially those bands that have to play early are handicapped when at least 10 members are needed to attend a ceremony nobody is interested in. Those students miss stretching, warming ups, briefings and all kind of things that are important for a good performance. When the GPMB committee is still insisting on those ceremonies make it for Drum majors only, most bands have two or three and it will not affect their show.

Last but not least, the fact that so many people are sitting on the stairs of Istora. Has somebody been thinking what happens when a spectator in the stands gets unwell, or even worse when there is a fire? How can medics or rescue people ever help?

But instead of blaming the organization people should also blame those “fellow band lovers” who sell used tickets to brokers (calo2). During the breaks they go out and sell their paper ticket to the brokers and get in again with their wristband and stamp.

No wonder there are more people as seats and many have to sit on the stairs, just because a number of  “marching band friends” just don’t want to pay the full price for such an event.


Wil Bijl



What was different in GPMB 2011?

Kolom Komentar GPMB 2011


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Posted by on Dec 31 2011. Filed under Dalam Negeri, Events, GPMB GPJB, News, News, Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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