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Bands of America (BOA) is the host of regional championships for high school marching bands throughout the United States, including the annual Bands of America Grand National Championships. Established in 1975 as Marching Bands of America (MBA), founder Larry McCormick's goal was to provide educational opportunities for music students nationwide. McCormick organized the first annual Summer Workshop and Festival in 1976.[3][1] Renamed Bands of America in 1984, the organization became an independent, tax-exempt entity in 1988. In 2006, Bands of America merged with the Music for All Foundation, a music education advocacy organization, becoming the flagship program of the combined organization.[4]

Bands of America
Bands of America.svg
Logo (1983–present)
Music for All.svg
AbbreviationBOA
NicknameThe Nats (abbr. for Grand National)
Formation1975; 44 years ago (1975)
FounderLarry McCormick[1]
Merger of
  • Bands of America, Inc.
  • Music for All Foundation
Purpose[T]o create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all.[2]
Location
Region
United States
Chief Judge
Gary Markham
Advisory Committee Chairman
Ken Snoeck
Parent organization
Music For All, Inc. (MFA)
Website
Formerly called
  • Marching Bands of America (1975–1984)
  • Bands of America, Inc. (1984–2006)

Since 1975, Bands of America's various programs, services and events have served approximately 1.75 million music students. Approximately 450,000 spectators attend Bands of America championships every year.[5]

The adjudication manual and contest procedures utilized by Bands of America have been licensed to or adopted by other organizations. As a result, Bands of America functions as a de facto governing body who determines the adjudication and competitive attributes of marching band competitions throughout the United States.

The next Grand National Championship is scheduled to occur on November 14 – November 16, 2019 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. From 1980 to 1989, Bands of America hosted an annual Summer National Championship in June.

HistoryEdit

Larry McCormick established Marching Bands of America in 1975 as a subsidiary of McCormick's Enterprises, a music education supplies company.[3] The goal was to provide a unique education and performance opportunity for music students nationwide. In 1976, Marching Bands of America hosted the first annual Summer Workshop and Festival on the campus of University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. Included in the program was the first Grand National Championship, whose inaugural champions were Kosciusko (Mississippi) and Live Oak (California) high schools.[4] From 1980 onward, Grand National Championships were hosted in November. The Summer Workshop and Festival was relaunched as the Summer National Championships, which continued until 1989.

Marching Bands of America was spun-off as an independent entity by McCormick's, beginning in 1983, which was incorporated as Bands of America, Inc. in 1984. L. Scott McCormick, son of founder Larry McCormick, was named CEO of the new Bands of America in 1985, after serving as interim-CEO. In 1988, Bands of America was awarded tax-exempt status, retroactive to 1984.[4] The Student Leadership Workshop began as part of the Summer Workshop and Festival in 1988, which was relaunched as the annual Summer Symposium in 1990.

Bands of America began a recurring program of honor ensembles in 1992 with the creation of the Honor Band of America.[6] The Honor Band's first performance was at the National Concert Band Festival established by Bands of America to rekindle the "concert band tradition in America as exemplified by the National Band Contest in the 1930s."[7] Also in 1992, the Summer Band Symposium became a resident program at Illinois State University.[4] The symposium has since been hosted by Indiana University and Ball State University.

Yamaha Corporation has been a corporate sponsor and presenting partner of Bands of American in 2003.[8][9]

The Honor Orchestra of America premiered at the National Concert Band Festival in 2005, launching the Orchestra of America program.

In 2006, Bands of America merged with the Music for All Foundation, a music education advocacy organization. Bands of America became a subsidiary of Music For All, and its flagship program, with L. Scott McCormick becoming the combined organization's CEO. Other programs operated by Bands of America, such as Orchestra and Honor Band of America, were operated directly by Music for All beginning in 2007.[5]

Awards and recognitionEdit

Bands of America has been recognized for excellence by the International Festivals and Events Association since 1989.[4]

  • 1989 – Special recognition for the design of promotional materials.
  • 1990 – Two Gold Medals for print materials and promotional artwork.
  • 1993 – Three Gold Medals for newsletter and program book design.
  • 1994 – Four awards for newsletter and program book design.
  • 1995 – Gold Medals for newsletter design.
  • 1996 – Bronze Medals for website (bands.org) design.
  • 1997 – Silver Medals for newsletter design.
  • 1998 – Gold Medals for Best Television Program for Grand National Championship video program.
  • 1999 – Best Fundraising Program award for Grand National pin program.
  • 2000 – Four medals:
    • Silver Medal for Best Newsletter.
    • Bronze Medal for Best Website.
    • Bronze Medal for Best Sponsor Solicitation Video Production.
    • Bronze Medal for Best Television Production (Grand Nationals).
  • 2001 – Silver Medal for Best Newsletter and Gold Medal for Best Sponsorship Video.
  • 2002 – Recognition with three Pinnacle Awards.
  • 2006 – Recognition with six Pinnacle Awards.

Championship systemEdit

All Bands of America championship events are open to all America high school bands on a first come first serve basis. There are no qualifications or prerequisites for participation. However, the Bands of America system is highly competitive. Bands receive a score which determines placement, however, Bands of America promotes all participating bands as champions. Announcements place more emphasis on rankings between bands, such as advancing to the final round, versus the total scores. Promotional materials and programs often include essays and letters of education philosophy from prominent music educators which highlight the festival atmosphere of each championship event, as well as exploring concepts such as the pursuit of excellence, and individual growth and achievement through competition. Spectators are encouraged to give each participating band a standing ovation.

Many bands have competed at championship events every year since 1978.[10] Approximately 450,000 music students and their families, music educators, and spectators attend Bands of America championships every year.[5]

Regional championshipsEdit

The regional championship program began in 1978 with events in Harrisonburg, Virginia and Jackson, Mississippi. Regionals are single-day events limited to a maximum of 32 bands in preliminary competition, with the ten highest scoring bands advancing to a final round. Regionals attract bands from the surrounding area, with many bands competing in more than one regional every year.[11]

The 2019 schedule of consisted nineteen events over a two month period, in thirteen states.[12]

Date Venue(s)
September 21, 2019 Veterans Memorial Stadium
McCallen ISD
McAllen, Texas
Glass Bowl
University of Toledo
Toledo, Ohio
Cardinal Stadium
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
September 28, 2019 Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex
Round Rock ISD
Austin, Texas
Fortress Obetz (stadium)
Obetz, Ohio
Walkup Skydome
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona
UNI-Dome[13]
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa
October 5, 2019 Scheumann Stadium
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana
Legacy Stadium
Katy ISD
Katy, Texas
Pennington Field
Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
Bedford, Texas
Maryland Stadium
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
October 12, 2019 ETSU Athletic Center
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, Tennessee
Grande Communications Stadium
Midland, Texas
Camping World Stadium
Orlando, Florida
October 19, 2019 McLane Stadium
Baylor University
Waco, Texas
October 26, 2019 Williams Stadium
Liberty University
Lynchburg, Virginia
McEachern High School
Powder Springs, Georgia
November 2, 2019 Memorial Stadium
Bakersfield College
Bakersfield, California
Trailblazer Stadium
Dixie State University
St. George, Utah

Super Regional championshipsEdit

In 2003, the San Antonio Regional was relaunched as a Super Regional Championship, a two-day event which included a national caliber adjudication panel, a maximum of 84 bands, with the fourteen highest scoring bands advancing to a final round. According to FloMarching, the caliber of bands at the San Antonio Super Regional is second only to Grand Nationals.[14]

The St. Louis and Atlanta Regional Championships were relaunched as Super Regionals in 2004. The Indiana Regional was relaunched as a Super Regional in 2011.

Date Venue(s)
October 18 – October 19, 2019 The Dome at America's Center
St. Louis, Missouri
October 25 – October 26, 2019 Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
November 1 – November 2, 2019 Alamodome
San Antonio, Texas

The Alamodome is also site of the annual Texas state marching championship hosted by the University Interscholastic League,[15] and Lucas Oil Stadium is also the site of the annual Indiana State School Music Association marching band championships.[16] The Atlanta Super Regional Championship ended in 2017 due to venue availability.[citation needed]

Grand National championshipsEdit

The Grand National championships are open to all high school bands. There are no qualifications or prerequisites for participation; a standard established by Larry McCormick at the first Summer Workshop and Festival in 1976. The format and terms for advancing to the semifinal and final competitions have changed since its inception.

As of 2019, Grand Nationals are open to as many as 112 bands, with performances taking place over three days. All bands participate in a preliminary competition, split between two rounds. The highest scoring bands from each preliminary advance to a semifinal competition, and the twelve highest scoring bands advance to the final round. Class champions (A, AA, AAA, and AAAA) are announced following the semifinal, with the Grand National Champion announced after finals.

Championship trophyEdit

The Grand National Champion receives the Championship trophy for one year. The trophy's base includes plaques for all previous champions, excluding the Summer National Champions. The trophy is capped by a white enameled eagle; hence, the phrase heard frequently during championship weekend: "taking home the eagle."[17]

The eagle was installed when the trophy was refurbished in 1995. Each school that has received the trophy has given the eagle a nickname.[a]

Past national venuesEdit

From 1976 to 1979, Grand National Championships occurred in June. From 1980 onward, championships occurred in November. The June event was relaunched as the Summer National Championship which continued until 1989. The next Grand National Championship is scheduled for November 14 – November 16, 2019 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Year Grand National Championships Year Summer National Championships
1976–1979 Warhawk Stadium
University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Whitewater, Wisconsin
1980 Gator Bowl Stadium
Jacksonville, Florida
1980–1989 Warhawk Stadium
University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Whitewater, Wisconsin
1981–1983 Memorial Center
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, Tennessee
1984–1986 Hoosier Dome
Indianapolis, Indiana
1987–1988 Pontiac Silverdome
Pontiac, Michigan
1989–2007 RCA Dome
(Hoosier Dome, 1989–1994)
Indianapolis, Indiana
2008–2019 Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana

Future datesEdit

Dates for Grand Nationals have been announced up to 2022.[18]

Date Venue
November 12 – November 14, 2020 Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
November 11 – November 13, 2021
November 10 – November 12, 2022

Classification and adjudicationEdit

Competing bands are assigned to a competing class based on the total enrolled students at each band's high school enrollment levels (grades 10 through 12).[19]:2 Classes are used to determine preliminary placements and awards. The highest-scoring bands regardless of class advance to finals performance. Class champions who do not advance to finals are invited to perform in exhibition.

Available classesEdit

Bands of America attempts to keep the number of competing bands in each class across the entire championship system evenly distributed. Classes AA, AAA, and AAAA are realigned every three years based on enrolled students data provided by participating bands.[19]:2 The next realignment will take place in 2021. The following classes are available as of 2018.

Class Enrolled students
A 600 or fewer
AA 601 – 1250
AAA 1251 – 1750
AAAA 1751 and above

Historic classesEdit

The following classes are known to have been available from 1976 to the present:

1976–1979 1980–1985 1986–1989 1989–2008 2008–present
A A
AA AA
AAA AAA
AAAA
Open
Summer National Championships
A
AA AA
AAA
Open

AdjudicationEdit

The adjudication system used by Bands of America is a single-tier "criteria reference system, in which a band showing proficiency in particular criteria, or meeting certain criteria at a certain level."[19]:25 Each adjudicator is assigned a specific category, or caption. The system has a strong emphasis on the Music General Effect, which accounts for 40% of the total score, as scores for Individual and Ensemble performance are averaged for both Music and Visual categories. According to the Adjudication Handbook a band's achievement (total score) is based on the content of the performance, as well as the quality of the performance. The Ensemble and Individual Performance scores in each category are averaged.

Category Performance * + Effect = Points
Music Ensemble Performance (20) + Music Effect (40) = 60.00
Individual Performance (20)
Visual Ensemble Performance (20) + Visual Effect (20) = 40.00
Individual Performance (20)
Subtotal = 100.00
Field & Timing = - 0.00
Total = 100.00
  • * Ensemble and Individual Performance scores in each category are averaged

The manual and contest procedures utilized by Bands of America have been licensed to or adopted whole, or in part, by other organizations hosting marching band competitions. As a result, Bands of America functions as a de facto governing body who determines the adjudication and competitive attributes of marching band competitions throughout the United States. However, Bands of America is not organized as a governing body. It instead operates almost exclusively as an event promoter, producer, host, and music education advocacy organization. Changes to the attributes of Bands of America championships are made by the Music for All board of directors, who regularly appoint an advisory committee composed of directors from participating bands to provide input on all aspects of Bands of America's programs and events.[20]

Past championsEdit

Sources(s):[21][22]

Grand National Championships (1976–present)Edit

From 1976 to 1979, Grand National Championships were hosted at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater in June. In 1980, the Grand National Championships moved to November where they have remained since.

Year A Class AA Class AAA Class AAAA Class Open Class Grand National Champion
1976
(1st)
Kosciusko
(Mississippi)
Live Oak
(California)
Live Oak
(California)
1977
(2nd)
Murray
(Kentucky)
Live Oak (2) Murray
(Kentucky)
1978
(3rd)
Monticello
(Illinois)
Live Oak (3) Live Oak (2)
1979
(4th)
Sylva-Webster
(North Carolina)
Flushing
(Michigan)
Sylva-Webster
(North Carolina)
1980
(5th)
Hanover
(Pennsylvania)
South Cobb
(Georgia)
J. M. Tate
(Florida)
J. M. Tate
(Florida)
1981
(6th)
Danville
(Kentucky)
Chesterton
(Indiana)
Norwin
(Pennsylvania)
Chesterton
(Indiana)
1982
(7th)
Danville (2) Chesterton (2) Norwin (2) Norwin
(Pennsylvania)
1983
(8th)
Carroll
(Ohio)
Rocky Mount
(North Carolina)
Ben Davis
(Indiana)
Rocky Mount
(North Carolina)
1984
(9th)
Western
(Indiana)
Rocky Mount (2) Norwin (3) Rocky Mount (2)
1985
(10th)
Western (2) Marian Catholic
(Illinois)
Westfield
(Texas)
Marian Catholic
(Illinois)
1986
(11th)
Marlington
(Ohio)
Marian Catholic (2) Rocky Mount
(North Carolina)
Rocky Mount (3)
1987
(12th)
New Philadelphia
(Ohio)
Marian Catholic (3) Cicero–North Syracuse
(New York)
Marian Catholic (2)
1988
(13th)
Western (3) Marian Catholic (4) Lake Park
(Illinois)
Marian Catholic (3)
1989
(14th)
New Philadelphia (2) Marian Catholic (5) Lake Park (2) Marian Catholic (4)
1990
(15th)
Western (4) West Genesee
(New York)
Plymouth-Canton
(Michigan)
Plymouth-Canton
(Michigan)
1991
(16th)
Academy
(Pennsylvania)
Kiski Area
(Pennsylvania)
Plymouth-Canton (2) Plymouth-Canton (2)
1992
(17th)
Owen Valley
(Indiana)
Marian Catholic (6) Plymouth-Canton (3) Centerville
(Ohio)
1993
(18th)
Jackson Academy
(Mississippi)
Marian Catholic (7) Spring
(Texas)
Spring
(Texas)
1994
(19th)
Bellbrook
(Ohio)
Kiski Area (2) Westerville South
(Ohio)
Marian Catholic (5)
1995
(20th)
Bellbrook (2) Marian Catholic (8) Westfield
(Texas)
Center Grove
(Indiana)
1996
(21st)
Northwestern Lehigh
(Pennsylvania)
Marian Catholic (9) Center Grove
(Indiana)
Lake Park
(Illinois)
1997
(22nd)
Elizabethtown
(Kentucky)
Marian Catholic (10) Center Grove (2) Marian Catholic (6)
1998
(23rd)
Bellbrook (3) Marian Catholic (11) Lassiter
(Georgia)
Lassiter
(Georgia)
1999
(24th)
Bellbrook (4) Reeths-Puffer
(Michigan)
Plymouth-Canton (4) Plymouth-Canton (3)
2000
(25th)
Bellbrook (5) Tarpon Springs
(Florida)
Marian Catholic
(Illinois)
Marian Catholic (7)
2001
(26th)
Bellbrook (6) Tarpon Springs (2) Carmel
(Indiana)
Lawrence Central
(Indiana)
2002
(27th)
Norwell
(Indiana)
Avon
(Indiana)
Lassiter (2) Lassiter (2)
2003
(28th)
Norwell (2) Tarpon Springs (3) Westfield (3) Westfield
(Texas)
2004
(29th)
Jackson Academy (2) Bellbrook
(Ohio)
Kennesaw Mountain
(Georgia)
Lawrence Central (2)
2005
(30th)
Adair County
(Kentucky)
Tarpon Springs (4) Ronald Reagan
(Texas)
Carmel
(Indiana)
2006
(31st)
Beechwood
(Kentucky)
Tarpon Springs (5) The Woodlands
(Texas)
Broken Arrow
(Oklahoma)
2007
(32nd)
Adair County (2) Marian Catholic (12) L. D. Bell
(Texas)
L. D. Bell
(Texas)
2008
(33rd)
Bourbon County
(Kentucky)
Marian Catholic (13) Avon
(Indiana)
Avon
(Indiana)
2009
(34th)
Bourbon County (2) Marian Catholic (14) Center Grove (3) Avon
(Indiana)
Avon (2)
2010
(35th)
Bourbon County (3) Marian Catholic (15) Tarpon Springs
(Florida)
Avon (2) Avon (3)
2011
(36th)
Beechwood (2) Marian Catholic (16) Lafayette
(Louisiana)
Broken Arrow
(Oklahoma)
Broken Arrow (2)
2012
(37th)
Western (5) Tarpon Springs (6) Kennesaw Mountain (2) Carmel
(Indiana)
Carmel (2)
2013
(38th)
Bellbrook (7) Marian Catholic (17) Harrison
(Georgia)
The Woodlands
(Texas)
The Woodlands
(Texas)
2014
(39th)
Adair County (3) Tarpon Springs (7) Kennesaw Mountain (3) Broken Arrow (2) Tarpon Springs
(Florida)
2015
(40th)
Adair County (4) Marian Catholic (18) Harrison (2) Hebron
(Texas)
Broken Arrow (3)
2016
(41st)
Adair County (5) Tarpon Springs (8) Leander
(Texas)
Avon (3) Carmel (3)
2017
(42nd)
Adair County (6) Marian Catholic (19) John H. Castle
(Indiana)
Carmel (2) Carmel (4)
2018
(43rd)
Bourbon County (4) Tarpon Springs (9) Dobyns-Bennett
(Tennessee)
Carmel (3) Carmel (5)
2019
(44th)
Bourbon County (5) Marian Catholic (20) Leander (2) Vandegrift
(Texas)
Vandegrift
(Texas)

Summer National Championships (1980–1989)Edit

In 1980, the Summer Workshop and Festival was relaunched as the Summer National Championship. Below is an incomplete list of champions:

Year A Class AA Class AAA Class Open Class Summer National Champion
1980
(1st)
Herscher
(Illinois)
Chesterton
(Indiana)
James B. Conant
(Illinois)
James B. Conant
(Illinois)
1981
(2nd)
Herscher (2) Chesterton (2) Independence
(California)
Independence
(California)
1982
(3rd)
Herscher (3) Chesterton (3) Norwin
(Pennsylvania)
Herscher
(Illinois)
1983
(4th)
Herscher (4) University
(Washington)
Clovis
(California)
University
(Washington)
1984
(5th)
Oskaloosa
(Iowa)
Marian Catholic
(Illinois)
St. Laurence
(Illinois)
Marian Catholic
(Illinois)
1985
(6th)
Western
(Indiana)
Marian Catholic (2) Mountain Crest
(Utah)
Marian Catholic (2)
1986
(7th)
Kosciusko
(Mississippi)
Marian Catholic (3) St. Laurence
(Illinois)
Imperial Scots
(Illinois)
Marian Catholic (3)
1987
(8th)
Oskaloosa (2) Marian Catholic (4) Fred C. Beyer
(California)
Sun Prairie
(Wisconsin)
Marian Catholic (4)
1988
(9th)
Oskaloosa (3) Marian Catholic (5) Armijo
(California)
Sun Prairie (2) Marian Catholic (5)
1989
(10th)
No results data Christian Brothers[b]
(Illinois)

The criteria for Open Class was altered in 1985 to accommodate member bands of the Mid-America Competing Band Directors Association (MACBDA). All remaining scholastic bands transitioned to the newly created AAA Class. Christian Brothers, 1989 Summer National Champion, was a combined band representing four schools from the Chicago-area: Brother Rice, Mother McAuley, St. Laurence, and Queen of Peace High Schools.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Based on threads from the former Bands of America student forums.
  2. ^ "Christian Brothers" was a combined band representing four high schools from the Chicago-area: Brother Rice, Mother McAuley, St. Laurence, Queen of Peace.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Why BOA? The philosophy and history of Bands of America Championships". Music for All. January 28, 2013. Retrieved October 21, 2019 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Stephens, James (May 31, 2019). "Bands of America Official Procedures and Adjudication Handbook" (PDF). BOA Marching Championships. p. 1. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  3. ^ a b McCormick, Larry (February 11, 2017) [1976]. The Challenge (film). excerpts. Marching Bands of America, Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2019 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ a b c d e "BOA History Timeline". www.bands.org. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Our History". www.musicforall.org. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Honor Ensembles". www.musicforall.org. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  7. ^ "Music for All National Festival". www.musicforall.org. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "Yamaha and Bands of America Present Grand National Championships" (Press release). Indianapolis, Indiana: Yamaha Corporation of America. November 1, 2003. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Bands of America Regional Championships". www.marching.com. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  10. ^ Katula, Paul (May 4, 2010). "Bias detected in Bands of America trait scoring". www.schoolsnapshots.org. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  11. ^ Coachman, Frank (July 2006). "Performances and Competitions". Marching Band. New York: Rosen Publishiing Group. p. 47. ISBN 9781435837683.
  12. ^ Schamma, Andy (December 19, 2018). "Full 2019 BOA Streaming/Event Schedule Available". www.flomarching.com. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  13. ^ Weber, Colby (September 26, 2019). "UNI-Dome hosts Bands of America". Northern Iowan. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  14. ^ Andy, Schamma (September 4, 2018). "Must-Watch Guide To Full Bands of America 2018 Season". www.flomarching.com. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "State Marching Band Championships — Music". University Interscholastic League. November 4, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  16. ^ "Marching Band Event Information". Indiana State School Music Association. November 3, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  17. ^ Grand National Champion Trophy. Music For All. November 28, 2015. Retrieved October 31, 2019 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ "Grand Nationals". BOA Marching Championships. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c Stephens, James (May 31, 2019). "Bands of America Official Procedures and Adjudication Handbook". BOA Marching Championships. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  20. ^ "About BOA". BOA Marching Championships. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  21. ^ "BOA History 2.0 Continued - RESULTS". hornrank.proboards.com. March 23, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  22. ^ "BOA Results". BOA Marching Championships. October 29, 2019. Retrieved November 2, 2019.

External linksEdit