OK FINE, so there’s no such thing as a perfect score sheet. All scoring systems have flaws because music is a subjective art and it’s an extremely difficult task to use the same sheet to compare adult bands to student bands, large bands with small bands, story shows to theme shows, and so on.
That being said, I have designed a band rubric that I believe works well, and even if it’s not a perfect system it still does a good job of teaching students what areas are most important to focus on.
QUALITY OF SOUND – 10 POINTS
Demonstration of tone quality, articulation, breath support, and other techniques associated with trained playing. when used, electronic instruments and effects choose appropriate sounds and complement the performance. If present, mixing and other sound support are executed successfully.
NOTE ACCURACY – 10 POINTS
Each instrumentalist accurately executes their individual part. Band members are in tune, both individually and collectively.
TEMPO & RHYTHM – 10 POINTS
Tempos are consistent and appropriate for each piece. Band demonstrates rhythmic integrity, synchronized onsets, and uniform releases. The rhythm section drives the ensemble, allowing the band and choir to perform as one unit.
BALANCE & BLEND – 10 POINTS
Relative volume of instrument parts and individuals is well proportioned, unobtrusive, and harmonious. Balance within the band is maintained through all dynamic levels. the horn section presents a unified sound, with chord tones properly balanced.
MUSICALITY – 10 POINTS
Elements of phrasing, dynamics, sensitivity, and nuance are present. Musical choices provide variety and engage the listener, reflecting a mature understanding of the form and structure of each song, and the overall shape of each arrangement.
STYLISTIC AUTHENTICITY – 10 POINTS
The ensemble uses distinctive sounds, techniques, articulations, and effects according to song genre choice.
FACILITATES VOCALS – 10 POINTS
Band accommodates, enhances, and complements vocal sound. Proper balance with the choir is always maintained, including overall phrasing and dynamics.
DANCE BREAKS – 10 POINTS
Band plays out, accentuates and adds to choreographic energy, and maintains cohesiveness and musicality during dance breaks. Other instrumental features and transitions are executed successfully and contribute to the energy of the show.
EFFECTIVENESS OF REPERTOIRE – 10 POINTS
Repertoire choices provide stylistic variety, showcase the band when appropriate, and support overall show design. Arrangements are well paced and orchestrated effectively for the skill level and instrumentation of the band.
PROFESSIONALISM – 10 POINTS
Band appearance and poise are professional, physical setup is appropriate, and acoustic or other logistical adjustments are made for the venue as necessary. If present, problems are addressed without disruption of the performance.