Sunday, August 12, 2012

What's next in the Marching arena?

Summer is now over for Drum & Bugle Corps, and that means hundreds of talented members will be going back to High Schools, Colleges, or Universities. Some will be returning to their jobs, while others will be looking for jobs in and around their communities.

What can these talented youth do with what they learned over the summer? For some, they can be used as instructors to better marching bands around the Country. This can be anything from teaching basic marching techniques, teach proper posture, horn movements/placements, percussion instruction, and/or color guard instruction. High School Bands will compete in area competitions, while others will go on to compete in larger venues/competitions/festivals.

Few of my favorite High School Marching Band competitions from Virginia (and surrounding areas) are (all held on Saturdays):
Martinsburg Band Spectacular, Martinsburg H.S., Martinsburg, WV. September 15, 2012
Millbrook Pre-Festival Showcase, Millbrook H.S., Winchester, VA.  September 22, 2012
Hermitage Classic Marching Band Festival, Hermitage H.S., Richmond, VA.  September 29, 2012
North Stafford Invitational, North Stafford H.S., Stafford, VA. September 29, 2012
Mountain State Forest Festival, Wilmer Stadium, Elkins, WV. October 7, 2012
Blue Ridge Showcase, James Wood H.S., Winchester, VA. October 13, 2012
Parade of Champions James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA. October 20th, 2012.
Oakton Classic Invitational Oakton H.S., Vienna, VA. October 20th, 2012.

Now that I've been in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, I've learned the bands here are just as competitive as we were in Virginia in terms of competition. Here are some great festivals/competitions that I like to attend (if I'm not flying) here in the Twin Cities: (from
Prairie Colors Festival, Eden Prairie, MN. September 8, 2012
Eastview Marching Festival, Apple Valley, MN. September 8, 2012
Rosemount HS Marching Band Festival, Rosemount, MN. September 15, 2012
Irondale Music of the Knight, New Brighton, MN. September 29, 2012
Youth in Music Marching Band Competition, Minneapolis, MN. October 13, 2012
Youth in Music Preview Cup, Minneapolis, MN. October 20, 2012

Fall Festivals/Competitions:
Virginia State Marching Festivals, held at various schools and dates.
Cavalcade of Bands, held at various schools and dates.
Midwest Marching shows

Spring Festivals/Competitions:
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Music Festival (generally first weekend in May)
Performing Arts Consultants - Music Festivals
All American Music Festival, Orlando, FL

Grand National Championships

Grand National Championships

Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha, is the nation’s premier championship for high school marching bands.
2012 Grand National Championships
November 7-10, 2012
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
View the list of 2012 Grand Nationals Participating Bands.
More than 90 bands will compete in over three days of performances. The event kicks off Wednesday night with the Indianapolis Public Schools Marching Band Tournament. Preliminary performances continue Thursday and Friday. Bands advance to Semi-Finals Saturday, with the top 12 scoring bands advancing to Saturday night’s Championship Finals.
The level of excellence of the Grand National Championship bands is recognized worldwide. The Grand National Champion will be given an automatic invitation from the Tournament of Roses to perform in the 2014 Rose Parade®, as part of a three year agreement between Music for All and the Tournament of Roses®.
Check out this cool Lucas Oil Stadium FAQ Diagram (PDF)
Click here for information on what to do, where to stay, where to eat and more during your visit to Indianapolis.
Click here to learn more about ticket prices and how to purchase tickets.
View media coverage, articles, and the fan guide from the 2011 Grand National Championships to start planning your trip. (Note: 2011 items are available for planning and reference purposes. Some details may change for 2012.)

 Fifteen Bands of America Regional Championships are being held this fall across the nation. Bands of America Championships are recognized as the premiere high school marching band events in the United States.

The Regional Championships offer world-class band performances by many of the finest high school marching bands in America with expert evaluators.

2012 BOA Regional Schedule

September 22, 2012
Louisville, KY
  University of Louisville
Monroeville, PA
  Gateway H.S.
September 29, 2012
Kettering, OH
  Kettering Fairmont H.S.
Denton, TX
  University of North Texas - Apogee Stadium
October 6, 2012
Conroe, TX
  Woodforest Bank Stadium
Pontiac, MI
October 13, 2012
Akron, OH
  University of Akron
Jacksonville, AL
  Jacksonville State University
October 19-20, 2012
Indianapolis, IN
  (Super Regional)
  Lucas Oil Stadium
St. Louis, MO
  (Super Regional)
  Edward Jones Dome
October 26-27, 2012 October 27, 2012
Atlanta, GA
  (Super Regional)
  Georgia Dome
Towson, MD
  Towson University
  (Site Tentative)

Glendora, CA
  Citrus College
November 2-3, 2012 November 3, 2012
San Antonio, TX
  (Super Regional)
St. George, UT
  Desert Hills H.S.

Along with Bands of America, there is another option. The Youth Education in Arts (!) has their own set of competitions with USBands (formerly USSBA)

NFL Clears Way for 3 Days of USBands Championships at MetLife Stadium

Giants, Jets road games on 11/11 allow wall-to-wall band action
The gods of NFL scheduling must be marching band fans afterall!metlifestadcap2.jpg

How else would you be able to explain the fact that the $1.6 billion dollar MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., home to the New York Jets and current Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, and the 2014 Super Bowl would be vacant on Nov. 10 and 11?

When the 2012 NFL schedule was released, the USBands staff cheered with high-fives around the room as the Giants and Jets were announced to play road games in Cincinnati and Seattle respectively on Sunday, Nov. 11, allowing the USBands Open Class National Championships move in for three days of competition.

USBands National Championship registrations are continuing at a very strong pace, with the number of Group III and IV bands leading the way in the number of registrations.  Rich Hammond, director of band relations, said, “We’re currently evaluating the possibility of a three-day championship which would allow 130 bands to participate in this remarkable event in this awesome facility.”

Plan 1 would have Group I and II Open bands featured on their own evening competition on Friday, Nov. 9. With the Group IV and V Open bands on Saturday and Groups III and VI on Sunday.

Plan 2 would have Group II Open joining the Group IV and V bands on Saturday and Group I kicking off the Sunday events before the Group III and VI bands take to the field.

“It is still early in the process, and there is always some opportunity for Plan 3 or 4, but for now, Melissa, Jon and I are talking to as many Open Class bands as possible to see what their plans might be given this tremendous new opportunity,” said Hammond.

Registration for the USBands A Class National Championships are continuing for the event to be held on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11 at the Navy & Marine Corps Stadium at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

To register your band for either of these events, click here or contact Melissa Reese at, Jon Swengler at or Rich Hammond at

Still don't see a competition/festival near you? Here are some more Band competitions around the Country as shown on

Bands of America Bands of America Regional Championships
Various Sites
September/October/November, 2012
World-class band performances with expert evaluators.

Waseca Marching Classic Waseca Marching Classic
Waseca, Minnesota
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Event features parade, field, clinics and a fireworks finale.
Tri-State Band Festival Tri-State Band Festival
Luverne, Minnesota
Saturday, September 29, 2012
This long-running event features both parade and field.
Champlin Park Rebel Classic Champlin Park Rebel Classic
Champlin, Minnesota
Saturday, October 6, 2012
This well-attended contest draws bands from several states.
Sioux Falls Festival of Bands Festival of Bands, USA
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Saturday, October 6, 2012
A large lineup for parade, field prelims and finals.
Quad State Marching Competition Quad State Marching Competition
Vermillion, South Dakota
Saturday, October 13, 2012
A major regional contest in a climate-controlled dome.
Bands of America Bands of America Grand National Championships
Indianapolis, Indiana
November 7-10, 2012
Recognized as the nation's premier field marching event.
NYC Veterans Day Parade and Band of Pride Tribute NYC Veterans Day Parade and Band of Pride Tribute
New York, New York
Saturday-Sunday, November 10-11, 2012
Largest veterans parade in USA plus mass band performance.
San Diego Veterans Day Parade and Band of Pride Tribute San Diego Veterans Day Parade and Band of Pride Tribute
San Diego, California
Sunday-Monday, November 11-12, 2012
Mass band rally plus parade with Grand Marshal Chuck Yeager.
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade
Chicago, Illinois
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Lighted procession illuminates Michigan Avenue.
Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
New York, New York
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Televised spectacle kicks off the holiday season.
6abc Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Oldest Thanksgiving Day parade in America.
Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at the Walt Disney World Resort Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at the Walt Disney World® Resort
Orlando, Florida
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Bands experience Disney's magic at the holidays.
Waikiki Holiday Parade Waikiki Holiday Parade
Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 23, 2012
Bands are warmly welcomed at this exciting destination.
West Chester Old Fashioned Christmas Parade West Chester Old Fashioned Christmas Parade
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Friday, November 30, 2012
Bands compete and welcome Santa on streets of historic town.
Americas Childrens Holiday Parade Oakland California America's Children's Holiday Parade
Oakland, California
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Bands, balloons and characters join this televised event.
Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade
Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, December 7, 2012
Official parade commemorating the Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary.
Fiesta Bowl Fiesta Bowl Parade and Fiesta Bowl Band Championship
Phoenix, Arizona
Saturday-Sunday, December 29-30, 2012
Prestigious parade and field contests with bands from across the nation.
Rome New Year's Parade Rome New Year's Parade
Rome, Italy
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Features bands from across Europe and the United States.

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